Senior Newsletter

Sam Barlow High School ~ May 11th, 2021


To the Class of 2021,

Well, it is that time of year when we have the privilege of sharing all those final details leading up to graduation and can begin celebrating the great successes of the senior class. I realize that this is far from a "typical" year, but there is so much to be grateful for. You have completed (or are very close) all courses needed for graduation. Unlike any graduating class to come before you, you have all found ways to persevere, adapt, and make the best of a very challenging situation. You have done a phenomenal job as a class and we are so proud of you.

I have been thinking quite a bit about this newsletter in the hopes that I could leave you with a few parting words as you finish your tenure at Sam Barlow High School. Even though I have been a part of 25 graduating classes, crafting a message never gets any easier. So here it goes……

Over the past 28 years I have attended 25 high school graduations. Not because I have had to, but because I have always wanted to. It is what I work for as a professional. To see students smile, take their diploma, and walk off stage in front of friends and family is an awesome experience to be a part of. On a personal level, I measure my success as a professional based on the number of students who graduate. I feel both a sense of pride and accomplishment knowing that the students I have worked with have completed their mission and will have earned something that no one can ever take away. I also reflect on what I can do better to improve our school programming so more students can join their classmates at graduation. Your success and experience means that much to me and I can’t wait to share this with you on June 15th.

To leave you with a parting thought, I want you to consider the following. For the past four years you have heard the phrase “Bruin PRIDE”. This may have been as the member of a team, in a classroom, or during an assembly. Regardless, you have heard this phrase multiple times as a student at Barlow. I encourage you to think about how the PRIDE concept applies to life as you move beyond Barlow. Trust me, it is not just a cute little acronym. First and foremost, always lead your life with Purpose. Be focused, chase your dreams; be purposeful by setting a goal and going for it. Always Respect yourself and others. Understand that there are three things all people want in life. They want to be known by name, they want to be valued, and they want to be respected for who they are, not for what they may become. Knowing this now will help you become the type of person others want to be around. Be an individual of Integrity by saying what you mean and doing what you say regardless of who is watching. Show Determination in all you do. Life is not a spectator sport and those that are determined in all aspects of their lives will always be successful. Finally, strive for Excellence not perfection. Perfection is simply a snapshot in time, while excellence is a way of life. Bruin PRIDE is more than a tagline; it is an outline for five key skills that all successful people exhibit.

Each and every one of you has the power to actualize your dreams and make this world a better place for all. It is up to you to make that happen. I wish you the very best in your future, and Go Bruins!


While hosting a graduation at the Memorial Coliseum is always a fantastic experience, we are excited to be providing the Class of 2021 the opportunity to participate in a formal graduation ceremony at Sam Barlow High School.

As you are all aware, we must follow the Oregon Health Authority's Sector Risk Guidance in relation to how many people can attend a particular event. In the case of graduation, we will be hosting an event in an outdoor entertainment facility and therefore must follow the sector guidance for that type of activity. Due to limitations on the number of participants, graduates will be divided into three groups of approximately 125 students. Each graduate will be able to invite four guests to the event as long as the metrics stay in the "Low" or "Moderate" range. We anticipate that on June 15th at 4:00 pm, when our first wave of graduates enters the stadium, we will be in a position to host our graduation with both students and family members. In addition, the event will be on a livestream through the NFHS Network and available nationwide for no charge to families. So everyone will be able to see the Class of 2021 finish strong.

While we realize this will look different from what we are all used to, it was important for us to find ways to have the Class of 2021 celebrate as a class versus individuals. This format enables us to have groups of students together, provide all the graduation fanfare such as student speeches, recognitions, and performances, and provide opportunities for spectators to witness this great event.

For a complete description of the graduation event, please visit the link to the Senior Parent Meeting that was held on Tuesday, May 4 where all of this information was first shared.


In order to keep both families and students informed of upcoming events for the Class of 2021 we have built a comprehensive calendar. This is a great resource and should be kept on hand to monitor upcoming events and deadlines that students need to be aware of with respect to graduation. You can always find this information on our school website under Students, but we here is a fast link to the Senior Calendar 2020-21.


One of the greatest resources available to both you and your student is the College and Career Center. Patty Neuenschwander, our College Coordinator works tirelessly to assist students and families complete scholarship applications, the FAFSA, and college applications. LindaLee Frazier, our Career Coordinator, provides countless resources for students looking to transition into the workforce, apprenticeship programs, or the military. In combination, these two ladies make things happen for students and families!

Please be sure to check out the most recent College and Career Center Newsletter that contains key information for all graduates and their family.

Upcoming Events


Each year we host an "Evening of Excellence" where students receive honor cords, Scholars of Distinction Stoles, and scholarship awards from local, regional, and national organizations.

On Tuesday, June 1st, at 7:00 PM, students who receive an invitation for the Evening of Excellence will be recognized at Sam Barlow High School. We are hopeful that we will be able to issue at least on ticket per family so honorees can bring a guest, however, that will depend upon countywide metrics. As always we will put our students first and livestream the event so those who are unable to attend will be able to enjoy the celebration. We will be issuing final plans for this event by the time students receive their invitation the week of May 24th.

If you have earned a scholarship, please report that to the College and Career Center by using the: 2021 Senior Feedback Form. This is important as we will be putting your name in the graduation program and keeping a tally of scholarship dollars to share with the media. Share your winnings!


The first step in getting closer to graduating, other than earning all of your credits, is going through senior clearance. This is the process where you will be turning in all textbooks, sports uniforms, library books, the school's Chromebook, and covering any outstanding fees that you may have. An updated fee statement was sent home to all students on April 30th. We will accept checks for outstanding fees until May 21st, and then cash or online payment will need to be used after that point. To pay fees online, go to the Bruin Webstore.

On Monday, June 7th and Tuesday, June 8th Seniors will need to come back to Barlow to finish this process. As we get closer to that date we will have a route map that shows everyone how they will work through the building to complete this last major step prior to graduation. The final step in clearance will be to pick up graduation tickets for the ceremony that will be held at Barlow. If students have not completed this process, graduation tickets will not be issued.

We look forward to seeing the Class of 2021 in the halls once again and getting one step closer to graduation.