Principal's Newsletter

Sam Barlow High School ~ October 2018


Welcome to the 2018-19 school year at Sam Barlow High School. I am happy to say that we have had a smooth and productive start. We hit the ground running with our Friends of Freshmen program by welcoming all 475 ninth graders on Tuesday, September 4th. Our athletic and activities teams have begun to see the hard work they committed to this summer pay off during competitions and performances. The Barlow staff returned energized and ready to provide a quality experience for your student in the classroom and throughout the building. Finally, I am very excited to begin my fifth year as the principal of Barlow and look forward to the great things we will achieve this year.

It has been amazing to see the work being done around campus as a result of the recently passed school bond. We have seen major work completed in our gym, hallways, and of course in our Career and Technical Education classrooms. To put things in perspective, we completed almost five million dollars of construction in 10 weeks time and have made some significant changes to our building. The students have been impressed with the work that has been done, and extremely patient with the changes in hallway traffic, the use of portable classrooms, and of course, limited parking. I am so proud of our students for their flexibility and willingness to adapt to the changing landscape at Barlow. It will be an ongoing process, but it will be incredible when the project is complete.

On Monday, September 24th, a group of parents who meet at the “Know Your School” meeting had a chance to tour the campus to see the completed projects first hand. There were many questions, but mostly smiles and excitement due to the changes. I would like to invite you to these monthly meetings that take place on the fourth Monday of the month from 7:00-8:30 pm in the Library. It is a great time to learn more about what is going on at Barlow, get information directly from me, and learn about the construction progress over the course of the year. They are pretty fun meetings to attend.

We are very proud of our recent hires to Sam Barlow High School. This year we hired a total of twelve new staff members to support your student and our quality programs. We are very excited to add these new Bruins to the Barlow family and look forward to their successes with your student. To learn more about these new staff members, please check out the “Welcome New Staff” section of this newsletter. We will be featuring four staff members per month so you can get to know a bit more about our newest teachers and staff members.

Please be sure to check on your student’s progress through the use of ParentVue. This is a very powerful tool that enables you to check grades, attendance, and receive messages from your student’s teachers. As we are approaching the first grading period of the year (progress grades will be completed on 10/11) this would be a great time to make sure you have access to this information. Remember, high school is about helping your student set goals, follow through with commitments, and coaching them through some of the challenges they may face along the way. If you need help setting up your account, please see the “Report Cards Online” section of this newsletter for more information.

On a final note, I wanted to wish all of you a great school year and GO BRUINS!


In August, at our back to school convocation event, Sam Barlow High School was recognized by the District for the work we have done around addressing issues of equity in our building, and in our local school community. During the 2017-18 school year, staff and students, through our ERA Club (Equity Requires All), hosted two town hall style meetings that were organized in a way to give students a voice, and for us to hear about their school experiences. Through listening to the student experience, we are able to find ways to better meet the needs of our students and shed light on what takes place on other school campuses. We are so proud of this award, and our ERA Club. I am constantly inspired by our students to continue working to provide a high quality program where "all means all".


We have several new staff members at Sam Barlow High School that we are excited to introduce to you. We will be featuring four of them in each of our next three newsletters. This month, we would like to introduce:

  • Graham Beldsoe, Special Education Teacher
  • Lauren Duncan, Math Teacher
  • Damon Burns, Campus Monitor
  • Kerry Smith, Counseling Secretary

Hello Bruins – my name is Graham Bledsoe and I am entering my 4th year as a Special Education teacher and case manager. I am super excited for the opportunity to work with your family this school year. I currently teach Math Strategies (Periods 2, 6 & 7) and Social Skills Strategies (Periods 4 & 5). In room 714, it is my goal to provide students with a safe learning environment where they feel both supported and welcomed at Sam Barlow High School.

A little background information about myself – this will be my first year teaching at Barlow after spending the last three school years at Gresham High School. Not only have I lived in the area my entire life, but I am also a proud Barlow Bruin alumnus. After graduating from SBHS, I went to Oregon State University where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Sciences (2014) and most recently I completed a Master’s degree in Special Education at Pacific University (2017) – Go Bruins, Go Beavers & Go Boxers!

My name is Lauren Duncan, I’m a High School Math Teacher, this is my fourth year teaching, and I just moved to Oregon from Tucson, AZ, where I was working at Tucson High School. I love working in schools because the students are just amazing and I’m proud to be part of their lives! The students are definitely the best part of my job. They’re so funny!

I’m excited to be apart of SBHS, and especially excited right now with all of the changes happening!

My name is Damon Burns and I am a Campus Monitor. This is my 23rd year working as a Campus Monitor in High Schools. I graduated from Jefferson High School in Portland. Previously, I worked for a Portland Public School alternative program as a lead in security. Honestly, I love working with youth, so I started coaching basketball and really enjoyed working with students. My favorite thing about working with youth is seeing their everyday growth, and eventually when they are accomplishing their goals.

I'm excited to get to know everyone, students, staff, building relationships, being a role model, and helping students make the right choices in difficult situations at SBHS.

My name is Kerry Smith and I am the Counseling Secretary at SBHS. I started with GBSD in the fall of 2000 as the Social Worker Secretary for both SBHS and GHS. In 2007 I took the Counseling Secretary job at GHS and worked there until this Fall.

I graduated from Central Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business. For a while, I worked as Big Brother Big Sister Director and Children's Home Society Office Manager. Wanting to make a difference in kids' lives I was fortunate enough to get the Social Worker job at GBSD and have been with the district ever since.

My favorite thing about working with students is helping them achieve their full potential and to help them feel happier and better about themselves.

I am so happy to be back at SBHS. It feels like home. I love the sense of community and support this school has for their students. It also brings me joy when I drive to work and get to pass a tractor!

Student Pick-Up and Drop-Off Guidelines

In partnership with Gresham Police and Multnomah County Sherrif, we have worked to create a safer and more streamlined pick-up and drop-off experience. These new guidelines were emailed to all parents on Monday, September 24th. We have attached those guidelines to this newsletter for your review.

THE DEN - Barlow's Student Store

The Marketing Program kicked off the school year by cleaning out the school store (The Den) and hosting a blow out sale in order to sell last years’ merchandise. Ethan Wallis spoke at the pep rally assembly to get the word out to the student body about the Marketing Program and to promote the opening of The Den. The sale was a success with a constant flow of students coming into the store to get their merchandise! The Den will continue to be open every Friday during both lunches. New merchandise will be coming in this October so keep your ears open!

PSAT –Wednesday, Oct. 10th, 7:35am - 11:00am.

Registration begins on Wed., Sept. 19, 2018. This test is given only ONCE A YEAR across the nation. All SBHS sophomores will participate. This is a MUST for juniors to be eligible for the National Merit Scholarship award and a practice prior to their SAT test in the spring. On the day of the test, students must bring a calculator and at least two #2 pencils. Freshmen and juniors may register at the bookkeeper’s office before and after school and during lunch. Cost is $16 - Space is limited. There are a limited number of fee waivers available for students on free & reduce lunch. – The deadline to register is Wed, Oct. 3rd. Sophomores do NOT need to register. All sophomores will take the PSAT.

Don’t forget: Wed., Oct. 10 will not be a late start day. It will be a regular schedule.

Test Location: Sam Barlow High School Gym

Test Date: Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Test Time: 7:35 am Report Time

Test 7:45-11:00am

Who Can Help?

If you have concerns about your child’s schedule or other issues, the following are the staff to contact. Email is a quick way to get answers to the questions you might have.


A-E Michelle Kahan

F-J Erin Boelow

K-Ra Oscar Rethwill

Re-Z Molly Ninneman


Kimberly Louvin


Paul Quirke


Karen Galicia


Ryan Alexander


A-G Cheeri Schacht

H-O Tim Collins

P-Z Kelly Hart


Big picture

Class of 2019, Welcome to your senior year!

This year will be busy and filled with challenges and excitement for your future. Your College & Career Center is here to assist you on your journey. We will work hard to answer your questions and make your senior year a fun and productive one.

Applying to College-First Steps:

  • Visit a wide variety of schools now so you can determine the right fit for your future.

  • Make sure the colleges you are considering have the programs you want.

  • Pay attention to application deadlines. Start a calendar of due dates. Many schools have an early application deadline of November 1.

  • Ask for letters of recommendation from counselors, teachers, employers, etc. (Do not wait until the fall to do this. Ask now!)

  • Request an official transcript from the registrar, after your final grades have posted, or use your Common Application to request an electronic version through your Naviance account.

  • Apply to colleges using Naviance or directly on a college’s website.

  • Make sure your SAT or ACT test scores are where you need them to be. Re-test, if necessary, in the fall. Send your scores to schools. Either test is acceptable.

  • Complete an activity chart/resume to use for college applications and scholarships.

  • Research financial aid options and learn more about the FAFSA, your primary source of college funds.

FAFSA-What is it and how do I get ready to apply?

The FAFSA is open now! There are funds available for many students and a variety of post high school programs. In addition, several scholarships require completing the FAFSA application. Students who wish to apply for the Oregon Promise (free tuition assistance to Oregon Community Colleges) will need to complete the FAFSA in order to be eligible.

The Oregon Promise application can be found at Applicants must have 2.5+ GPA at the time of graduation, plans to attend college within 6 months and have completed the FAFSA or ORSAA. This application will open soon.

  • Students and parent(s) will need to create a FSA ID number. Go to: Students and parent(s) will need to know social security numbers, birthdates and full legal names to create a FSA ID at:

Students need access to 2017 tax information for themselves and parent(s) to complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA.

Please see the College and Career Center News attachment for upcoming FAFSA workshop dates.



There is a lot of work that goes into throwing a great All-Night Party for our graduates. We would love to have as many of you as possible attend our meetings and help out in any way that you can. There are a lot of different tasks, both big and small, that we could use your help with. If you can't attend a meeting, please send an email to , and let us know how you might be able to help out.

The meeting is Monday October 29th 6:30pm.


Saturday, Oct. 27th, 6pm

5105 Southeast 302nd Avenue

Gresham, OR

Barlow High School will be hosting an Alumni Dinner/Auction on Saturday, October 27th at 6:00PM in the Barlow Cafeteria. If you are interested in attending, please email Tom Johnson, or call the Athletic Office, 503-258-4895.

Tickets are $25.00

Doors open at 5:00PM

Individual Student Report


During the week of October 1 schools in our district will be sending home Individual Student Reports (ISR) to families. The Individual Student Report includes information about how well your child performed on state assessments last year and includes their scores for the Smarter Balanced Assessment in English and math. The ISR will only display your child’s scores for last school year and will not display their scores for each year they have taken the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Please take a moment to review your child’s ISR along with any additional information that is included on the report. Please note that ISR’s are only being sent home with students who participated in State level assessments last year. If you do not receive your child’s ISR, please contact the school office for assistance.