Wilczewski Leaving After 27 Years

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Wilczewski Leaving After 27 Years

Mrs. Wilczewski, beloved English teacher and debate team coach, is parting from Sam Barlow as she leaves after the 2023-2024 school year. Wilczewski has taught at Barlow for 27 years, yet she is welcoming change and moving to Hawaii to teach 8th grade humanities, which combines English and world geography. 

“It’s a dream position. I’ve been wanting to relocate to Hawaii for probably about ten years now. And I tried to look a little bit every spring to see what was out there; I wouldn’t do it unless it was the perfect position,” states Wilczewski.

Although finding the perfect position, Wilczewski stated that Barlow is like a home to her. “All four of my daughters have gone through Barlow. They’re all in college now, so this is probably the hardest decision that I’ve ever had to make. It kind of breaks my heart, but I feel like it’s the right time to go.” 

Some of Wilczewski’s fondest memories of Barlow are: The year that the speech team won the debate tournament and they shaved Val Garrison’s head, being the faculty member that greeted her first daughter when she graduated, and then watching her youngest two daughters graduate on the football field the year after Covid. 

When she moves and begins teaching, Wilczewski will only have 32 academic students and the rest will be in debate, which is right up her alley. 

“Teaching younger kids was not my initial plan, but that’s where the opening is. I taught freshmen this year, so it feels like a good fit because the freshmen pretty much behave like eighth graders,” she said with a laugh. The school she will be teaching at is The Parker School, which is a K-12 school and only has around 300 students. It used to be a horse and cattle ranch, and it is 2,700 feet up in the hills, making the weather only about 20 degrees above what Oregon is. Similar to Oregon, though, it’s overcast most of the time. Since the school is so small, Wilczewski is excited to know the kids on a personal level and watch them grow up. 

One thing Wilczewski loves about The Parker School is that they don’t have a football team and rather choose to focus on their academic program rather than their sports. The debate team is fully funded, giving them the freedom to travel and debate without the restraint of a too-small budget. “That is the world I need to live in! Where academics are valued, and sports take a back seat,” she exclaimed.

In bidding farewell to a teacher who has taught for nearly thirty years, we notice how big of an impact one person can have. While we will undoubtedly miss Mrs. Wilczewski since she has been a pillar in the Sam Barlow community and the debate team, we should be excited that she is embarking on this new chapter in her life. Congratulations, Mrs. Wilczewski! Have fun in Hawaii!

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