As senior class president at Oklahoma Union High School, Julia Barron has encouraged her classmates to dream big in choosing a destination for their senior trip. Disney World big.
Right now, they are working hard to raise $25,000 to $30,000 to pay for theme park tickets, a charter bus for some 45 seniors and other expenses.
OKU principal Rusty Sellars said that Julia is great at providing vision and is willing to put in the work behind the scenes to make that vision a reality.
“It’s kind of a big undertaking, no class has really tried to go for a trip that’s that hard or that far away,” Julia said.
A Powder Puff football game brought in $2,000 so they plan to build on that success with a second game.
“The whole community came out and watched. I think we had more fans there than the boys’ game on Friday nights,” Julia said.
They are also planning a boys volleyball tournament with teams from each grade along with a teachers’ team, and then perhaps a softball or dodge ball game.
But the biggest moneymaker they hope will be their five-gun raffle which could bring in $16,000 to $17,000 if they can sell 1,000 tickets for $20 apiece. The first drawing is set for Nov. 15.
“A lot of people from our area love guns so it’s been something that really appeals to our community which is easier to sell than some things,” she said.
Julia has been selected as one of two November Students of the Month in the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise and Patriot Auto Group recognition program.
The Night of Scholars and Champions will be held towards the end of the school year. Two outstanding athletes will receive $1,000 scholarships, and one distinguished scholar will win a brand-new car.
At 4, Julia’s dad, Brad Barron, an attorney in Tulsa, moved their family from the city to a farm near Lenapah, where they breed Hereford cattle. She is glad to have lived a country life with opportunities she might not have found at a bigger school.
“The sense of community and everyone being involved in lots of activities is something I really enjoy at our school and am proud to be part of,” she said.
Julia has spent many hours working in the ring with her heifers. This year she had the Third Overall Horned Hereford Heifer at OYE and was Cattleman’s Congress Reservice division champion. Last year, she was among the top ten intermediate showmen at the Hereford Junior Nationals out of more than 400 competitors.
“Showmanship is my favorite contest mostly because anyone can be good at showmanship no matter if you have a lot of money to buy a good heifer or no money at all you can present your animal well just depending on how hard you work on it,” Julia said.
She is also a standout in volleyball, being named to the Verdigris Volleyball All-Tournament Team. Last year, she was the OKU Volleyball MVP and the OKU Volleyball Tournament MVP. She has helped take her team to the state tournament every year of her high school career.
She was captain of her team but said that mentoring and coaching the younger players has been one of the highlights of her high school years.
“I love doing that,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to do it.”
Public speaking and debate are among some of the other skills she has developed on the FFA’s parliamentary procedure team. She was on OKU’s first Parli Pro Team that qualified for state. She received the FFA Greenhand Award and the Discovery Award.
She has been on the Superintendent’s Honor Roll every year of high school and has also found time to volunteer with the FFA coat drive, the Boys and Girls Club of Nowata, at her church and nursing homes.
While sports and extracurricular activities have been important in high school, Julia said she is ready to focus solely on academics in college. She’s considering a degree in psychology with options in pre-law or pre-med. Coming from a small, rural school, this time she’s ready for a big school experience.
“I think it would really be neat to go to a school that really just focuses just on academics,” she said. “I want to go somewhere that’s out of my comfort zone.”
This article originally appeared on Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise: OKU's Julia Barron nominated for Night of Scholars scholarship