The Gresham Outlook | November 13, 2023

Once a Barlow Bruin, always a Barlow Bruin.

Two honored guests went back to their alma mater Thursday, Nov. 9, to see their old high school, meet with administrators, and chat with students. Rep Mark Owens, R-Crane, and Rep. Greg Smith, R-Heppner, toured Barlow with Gresham-Barlow Superintendent James Hiu.

The Eastern Oregon reps are both graduates — Smith was the Class of 1987 and Owens Class of 1989.

“I want to thank Superintendent Hiu for the tour today,” Representative Owens said. “Sam Barlow High School has changed a lot since I last walked the halls. I was impressed with the remarkable Career and Technical Education programs offered to the students and how well the funds were being used.”

The pair agreed strolling the corridors evoked memories of youth and ties to their community growing up. Gresham has undergone rapid expansion since they both relocated to Eastern Oregon, but were struck by how the traditions and unity remains steadfast.

“There is often a disconnect between the East and West sides of the state,” said Representative Smith. “It was so nice to return to my roots and see that no matter where you are in Oregon, communities come together to support the education of our youth.”