Bartlett High students kick off first day of school with special tradition for Class of 2027

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – Class is back in session for the Anchorage School District.

On Thursday, thousands of students headed back to the classroom to kick off their first day of school, but for Bartlett High School, it welcomed its newest students with a unique tradition: inviting only the freshmen class to school with a handful of select upperclassmen to provide guidance.

“We are welcoming our freshmen to Bartlett High School today,” Principal Sean Prince said. “For the last six years, we’ve been setting up a situation … we have a couple teachers have lead what we call the ‘Link Crew,’ and that is a group of mentors that are upperclassmen — juniors and seniors — that welcome all of our freshmen as they transition from middle school to high school.”

Bartlett is celebrating its 50th annual Homecoming, Prince said, and is making sure the Class of 2027 is appropriately prepared for the next four years.

Link leaders applauded and cheered as they welcomed in the new class Thursday morning. For the next year, Prince said these leaders will be divided amongst the class.

Throughout the year, they will work as a mentor.

“I think establishing a sense of belonging at a school is really important, especially a school like Bartlett, where we’re a family of inspired lifelong learners,” Prince said.

Although these Golden Bear Cubs are just freshmen now, when Prince sees them, he sees the future.

“Just to see them coming in the door — I see hope, I see inspiration, I see the future family of Bartlett High School,” Prince said.

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Prince said that within Bartlett’s 50 years, it has seen its graduates go to extraordinary places, listing Nobel laureates and fighter jet pilots as just some of the accomplishments that Bartlett alumni have gone on to enjoy.

“I know the students who have come through Bartlett High School are eventually going to be the adults that are taking care of me in my older age,” Prince said.

The new class is now adding to that legacy.

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