Senior Newsletter

Sam Barlow High School ~ April 2023


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. We are so excited to see such a great group of young men and women earn the right to call themselves graduates. We are so proud of the class of 2023 as they have all found ways to persevere, adapt, and make the best of their experience while overcoming the many challenges they have faced. I appreciate the role you have played as parents and guardians and you should be celebrated with your graduate.

Over the past 30 years I have attended 27 high school graduations. Not because I have had to, but because I have always wanted to. Additionally, this year marks a long run as this will be my last graduation ceremony as a Bruin. As you, this end is a bit bittersweet, nostalgic, and brings up countless emotions. 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. Although it will be from a different role, please know I will utilize my time spent at Barlow and will always be working towards increasing the success rate of our students. Your success and experience mean that much to me and I can’t wait to share this with you on June 13th.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives and I wish you all the very best. Congratulations to the Class of 2023 and Go Bruins!


On May 1, 2023 during Advisory a senior meeting will be held in the Main Gym. Students will be informed about all end of the year activities such as the senior banquet, awards assembly, picnic, final clearance procedures, graduation practice, commencement, and the all-night party. Additionally, we will take an all class photo that can be purchased through Dorian Studios. This is a fantastic memento for the Senior Class and a great way to memorialize your student's senior year. Don't miss this opportunity.


We are so excited to be back at the Memorial Coliseum for our graduation ceremony. Holding graduation at this venue is always such a great experience. It provides a quality atmosphere, great visibility from all seats, and of course is indoors providing a sense of security considering the weather we have had this spring. Please see below for a few key details.

  • Commencement: Sam Barlow High School’s 2023 Commencement Exercises will be held at the Memorial Coliseum on Tuesday, June 13th, at 5:00p.m.

  • Commencement Tickets: Distribution of commencement tickets will begin on June 2nd after seniors have cleared with the bookkeeper. Each senior will receive 10 tickets; we will ask those who do not need all 10 to please return extra tickets to the Student Management office. Parents may request the need for extra tickets, in writing, or an email, to Brandie Seibel, no later than 3:00 pm May 31st (No Exceptions). We want to accommodate everyone, however, a request does not guarantee that you will receive additional tickets.

  • Graduation Practice: This is a mandatory event for seniors. Practice will take place at 8 am on June 13th at the Memorial Coliseum. Due to limited parking, we encourage students to carpool or take public transportation to the coliseum for the practice.

  • Marching Order: Beginning May 22nd, seniors should see the Registrar to sign up for marching order. Seniors may sign up in pairs and must have their walking partner with them when they sign up. Counselors will choose marching partners for those who sign up individually.


In order to keep both families and students informed of upcoming events for the Class of 2023 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 have included a link to the Senior Calendar 2022-23 to make life easier for you all.

While you can download the calendar for your use, I wanted to take the time to share some key details about some incredible events and activities that we have planned for the Class of 2023.

Senior Banquet: The senior banquet will be held on May 25, 2023 from 6pm-8pm in the SBHS Cafeteria. Tickets will be $15, and ticket sales will be 5/15-5/18 in the Main Commons.

Evening of Excellence: The Evening of Excellence will be held on May 30, 2023 at 7pm in the Auditorium. Students will be recognized for their academic and athletic excellence and achievement. If your student will be receiving recognition or an award, you will receive an invitation to the event from the College and Career Center. If your student has received a scholarship, please have your student inform Patty Neuenschwander in the College and Career Center.

  • Scholars of Distinction: Students who are earning a Scholar of Distinction Stole for graduation must pay the bookkeeper $15. The stoles will be distributed at the Evening of Excellence on May 30, 2023.

Graduation Walks: On June 6th, the last day for seniors, we will be hosting a special assembly with Graduation Walks to follow. We will be visiting all of our feeder elementary and middle schools with all seniors wearing their cap and gown. This will give our younger students the chance to see what it looks like to be a graduate, and for our seniors the chance to see their past teachers. This is a phenomenal experience that has been well received by all.

Senior Picnic: Following our Graduation Walks and Senior Assembly, we will be headed to Blue Lake Park for a Senior Picnic. This is an event open to all seniors and is free of charge. Food, activities, and time to socialize is a great way to end your Barlow career while having lots of fun.

NOTE: Seniors who are planning to attend the graduation walk on June 6th to the elementary and middle schools and then on to the senior picnic must remember to bring their caps and gowns. All students attending the graduation walk and senior picnic must ride the bus to and from the events.

We would like to re-emphasize the need for your senior to make every effort to keep informed about senior activities. It is your senior's responsibility to seek information by reading the "Morning Announcements", going to Advisory, by reviewing the newsletters, by attending the senior class meetings, and by taking the time to stop by Student Management/Brandie Seibel to ask any questions they may have about senior activities. In addition, all information can be found on the Barlow website @, Parent Resource tab or the Student Resource tab-Senior Information link.


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.


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, May 30th, at 7:00 PM, students who receive an invitation for the Evening of Excellence will be recognized at Sam Barlow High School. Students who have received scholarships, scholars of distinction honors, are CTE completers, have enlisted in the military, as well as other recognized honors will be celebrated. This is a free event for students, families, and friends.

If you have earned a scholarship, please report that to the College and Career Center by using the: 2023 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 at the beginning of the semester in February. We will accept checks for outstanding fees until May 16th, and then cash or online payment will need to be used after that point.

On Friday, June 2nd and Monday, June 5th Seniors will need to complete the checkout process. 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.


Commencement Speeches

  • Each year we encourage students to submit a speech and audition to be one of our three speakers at the commencement ceremony. We have always enjoyed having students share their experiences and "words of wisdom" with their class and guests. Unlike other schools, we do not reserve speech slots for our class president or valedictorian. I firmly believe that ALL students should have the chance to address their peers.
  • If your student is interested in giving a speech, please have them complete the Graduation Speech form by May 8.

Recorded Message

  • One of the nice touches we add to our graduation ceremony is pre-recorded messages from our graduates. This is a chance for our seniors to share a special message with those who have supported them over the years. They will record their message with Mr. Holzbach at Barlow and we will then play that message during the commencement ceremony.
  • If your student is interested in recording a message, please have them complete the Ceremony Recording form by May 8.


We realize that both you and your senior student have worked very hard over the past thirteen years. However, there are some potential pitfalls that may keep a senior from graduating that you should be aware of:

Attendance: Maintaining a responsible attendance pattern is often difficult for senior students, especially during their final semester. However, nothing can sink a student's graduation chances faster than missing a class, or classes, on a regular basis. Please monitor your student's attendance by paying special attention to calls you may receive through our automated phone calling system, warning letters, and attendance printouts sent home with grade reports. If you are concerned about your student's attendance, call his/her counselor or the attendance office (503.258.4860) for specific information.

Personalized Learning / Extended Application (Career Related Learning Experience) Graduation Requirements: Your student has been given the opportunity to complete a series of experiences with their counselor and while enrolled in Personal Development classes. The goal of these projects is to enhance your student’s understanding of potential careers and prepare them for life after high school. They include:

  • Development of an educational plan and profile. (Personal Development 1 – grade 9)
  • Participate in career-related learning experiences, including: Career Paper, Mock Interview and Job Shadow
  • Apply and extend their knowledge in new complex situations related to the student’s personal and career interest and post-high school goals through critical thinking, problem solving, or inquiry in real world contexts. (Personal Development 4 – grade 12)
  • Some seniors can make-up missed CRLEs, please check out the Complete CRLE List on the College & Career Website, then complete the CRLE Form if required on the College & Career Website.

Credits: Letters were sent home earlier in the semester with information on your student’s progress towards graduation. Be sure to review your senior’s transcript, and the classes they are currently in to make sure your student is on track to graduate. If you have any questions, please contact your student’s counselor.

Behavior: For some unknown reason, some seniors believe that they can see the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel,” and school rules do not apply. Nothing could be further from the truth! Few things are more frustrating than to keep a senior from participating in senior activities due to his/her failure to follow school regulations.

"Senioritis": I have seen this mindset overcome some seniors to the point that they either do not graduate or just barely make it. Please work with us to encourage seniors to “hang in there” and not lose sight of their goal to graduate from SBHS. There is nothing more rewarding than finishing their K-12 education with strength and class.