North Salem makes hall of fame accessible on phones


North Salem makes hall of fame accessible on phones

Published 4:51 p.m. PT March 1, 2017 | Updated March 2, 2017

North Salem High School’s Hall of Fame isn’t just about athletes — or just for those feeling nostalgic.

When entering the main doors of North High, photos and plaques line the walls on either side of the wide hallway.

And now, those who go will also see a QR code hung on the wall to the left of the front office. By using an app on your smart phone, visitors can scan the code and learn about all the inductees.

This unique hall of fame was inaugurated in 2006 at the 100th anniversary of the first graduating class of Salem High School, the previous name of North High.

Only one of the four categories is sports. It also has categories for distinguished lifetime, achievement, and service.

A U.S. Senator, an Oregon Supreme Court Justice, a Broadway actor, a Grammy-winning opera singer, and two past directors of the National Science Foundation are only a few of the 56 honorees in the hall of fame.

Steve Chambers, president of the North Salem Viking Alumni and Friends Association, said the original idea for the hall of fame was to present role models from a variety of fields for the students.

The association wanted students to know these people who have accomplished great things “walked these halls,” just like them.

The school’s alumni association announced the 2016 inductees in October, who are: Carrie Halsell Ward, class of 1921, the first African-American to graduate from Salem High School and the first African-American to graduate from what is now Oregon State University; David Chambers, class of 1961, the Associate Dean of the University of Pacific School of Dentistry; James Nelson, former principal, then registrar at Salem High School in a career that spanned from 1914 to 1944 ; and Doug Brown, class of 1964, who was a World All-Around Rodeo Champion.

Michael T. Smith serves as the chair of the Hall of Fame Committee. He said the honorees aren’t idols; they should be heroes.

“An idol is someone you can’t become,” he said. “But a hero serves as (the idea) of someone you can be.”

Elliana Chidwick, 16, used the QR code to access the hall of fame bios for the first time Wednesday.

“It’s really cool it isn’t limited to this,” she said, pointing to the photos on the walls. “You can use the QR code and see so much more.”

Chidwick thought it was especially helpful since students are so technology-minded these days, she said. The students have learned about the hall of fame through morning newscasts and at the homecoming assembly, where the inductees are honored each year.

“It’s cool to see so many names,” she said. “I hope other students aren’t afraid or intimidated … (or think) it’s boring, and that they get to know the school’s history more.”

Members of the public are able to view the hall of fame and use the QR code. It is free to download most code-reading apps on a smart phone.

The hall of fame names and bios are also available online at

For more information call North Salem High School at 503-399-3241.

This story was written by Natalie Pate. Contact Natalie at, 503-399-6745, or follow her on Twitter @Nataliempate and Facebook at

Published by Natalie Pate

Natalie Pate is a freelance journalist and author based in Salem, Oregon. She wrote about education for more than seven years at the Statesman Journal and now covers education and other topics throughout the Pacific Northwest. She is originally from Colorado and earned her B.A. in Politics and French from Willamette University.

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