Catlin Gabel teachers are wise, dedicated, expert, approachable, and supportive. In a word, they are amazing. Our teachers are more than the sum of their credentials and previous work experience. We asked our teachers five questions that would reveal something about our their personalities. Each teacher chose one question to answer.
What was a great Catlin Gabel experience you've had lately?
What is your favorite movie, play, book, or pastime? Why?
What brought you to Catlin Gabel (if you are new to the school), or why do you like working at Catlin Gabel?
What is one surprising thing about you?
Who was an influential teacher?
Limit by division: Upper School | Middle School | Lower School | Beginning School
|Glenn Burnett, US student activities director, US music teacher, at CG since 1996. Bachelor's in music, Pacific Lutheran University. Master's in education, Portland State University. After teaching music for 26 years, I am excited to assist students in their co-curriuclar experiences at CG. I work with students in clubs & activities, community service, assemblies, Winterim, and yearbook production.|
|Blythe Butler, associate director of college counseling, at CG since 2010. Bachelor's in English, Willamette University. Master's in writing, Portland State University. Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfeild, still sits next to my favorite reading chair. Its three young protagonists study, work and perform in London theatres during World War II to support their family. I wanted to climb right into the story, and I credit it for seeding many of my eventual goals and passions - living in London, dancing, writing, art, and travel.|
|Dennis Christman, US library assistant, at CG since 2013. Bachelor's in computer science, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. |
|Paul Dickinson, US science teacher, at CG since 1969. Bachelor's in biology, University of Connecticut. Master's in education, Portland State University. |
|Sara Dier, teaching and learning center administrative assistant, at CG since 2010. My favorite pastime is photography. The whole concept of capturing a photograph, processing the film, and manipulating the image is fascinating. I often spend my free time with a lense at my eye, ready for whatever happens.|
|Paul Donohoe, US English teacher, at CG since 2011. Bachelor's in English and American literature, Harvard University. Master's in victorian literature, Oxford University. |
|Marion Edens, US science teacher, at CG since 2012. Bachelor's in microbiology, University of Otago. Doctorate in biological sciences, Aston University. |
|Chad Faber, Knight Family Scholars Program director, US history teacher, at CG since 2011. Bachelor's in business administration, Georgetown University. Master's in education and history, Brown University. |
|Aline Garcia-Rubio, US science teacher, US assistant division head, at CG since 2004. Doctorate in medicine, LaSalle University Mexico. My greatest Catlin Gabel experiences usually have to do with students thinking about their learning and growth. I had one such moment in class recently when a freshman made the connection between the concepts of energy transformations and entropy. He said, “Oh, I get it, this is why no machine can run forever!” I wanted to scream, Eureka! He came to that conclusion on his own. That kind of interaction makes every minute of my day at Catlin Gabel worthwhile.|
|Elizabeth Gibbs, US drama teacher, at CG since 2011. Bachelor's in theater performance, Scripps College. Master's in advanced theatre practice, Central School of Speech and Drama. What brought you to Catlin Gabel or why do you like working at Catlin Gabel?
I first came to Catlin as a preschooler where I reportedly spent a huge amount of time playing dress-up. Dress-up and pretend has been my career path even after Catlin and I could not feel more lucky to be working in theater. An acting teacher in London once told me that when we are children we completely believe in the monster that lives in our closet and as we grow up we are able to intellectually and rationally understand that there is no real monster there. Actors, she said, are the people who can bring that monster to work every day.
|Madeleine Girardin-Schuback, US French teacher, at CG since 2005. Master's in education, College de Mirecort, France. Catlin Gabel teachers are equipped to engage students in analytical reading, speaking, listening, and writing-whatever the event, the topic, or the enduring social question. The Upper School is intellectually vibrant. It is a school in which each of the students feels himself a part of the whole.|
|Meredith Goddard, US history teacher, at CG since 2012. Bachelor's in history, Carleton College. Master's in secondary social studies education, Duke University. |
|Kate Grant, director of college counseling, at CG since 1997. Bachelor's in American studies, Smith College. Master's in psychology, Harvard University. What is your favorite movie, play, book, or pastime? Twice in the last ten years, I've had the pleasure of accompanying my husband (a professor at Lewis and Clark) to Siena, Italy, while he led a study abroad program. I learned so much from that experience about history, art history, my family, the world, and myself and the many people who befriended us. I encourage everyone to travel now: whether it is to Eastern Oregon or to Russia. Our apartment looked right on to the piazza that was the inspiration for Pioneer Square in Portland. One book that a student on the Siena program shared with us was Marguerite Henry's "Gaudenzia, Pride of the Palio." It provided a great introduction to the special festival in Siena, the Palio.
|Peter Green, outdoor program director, at CG since 2005. Bachelor's in psychology, Williams College. Master's in ecology, University of California, Davis. Somewhere in the far distant past I found myself responsible for groups of teenagers as they explored the wilderness of the North Cascades. I was just 18 years old and had no idea what I was doing, except that I was supposed to return everyone home safely. Now, 30 years later I do know better what to do. The basic rule to return the kids home safely hasn’t changed. I’ve learned the second rule: don’t bring them home quite the same; make the experience worthwhile for each student.|
|Dan Griffiths, upper school head, at CG since 2007. Master's in biological science, University of Oxford. Doctorate in zoology, University of Cambridge. My A level biology teacher, Paul Gainey, started me on my convoluted journey. His enthusiasm and passion for the natural world, combined with his unique teaching style and humour, inspired me and many others. An amazingly high number of students who took his class ended up studying biological sciences at university. He also instilled in us a sense of personal responsibility, allowing us to learn that ultimately the stimulus that drives you to success must come from within.|
|John Hamilton, US PE/health teacher, at CG since 1974. Bachelor's in physical education, Western Oregon University. When I first began teaching and coaching in 1974, veteran teacher and coach Dave Corkran had guided the girls cross-country program to the top of the state rankings. During the past 20 years I have had the great pleasure to work with the cross-country program. During that time the girls have worked hard to become the all-time number-one ranked class 3A program in the state.|
|Beining Hu, US Chinese teacher, at CG since 2006. Bachelor's in Chinese, University of China. Master's in Chinese, University of Oregon. I enjoy my life here every day and appreciate that Catlin Gabel gives me such a great chance to grow in my profession. It is wonderful to work with the caring and thoughtful people here. As I teacher I also learn from my students and my colleagues. Teachers can be guided by their own interest or be led by the students’ interest. The students are encouraged to do their best and extend their own personal limits with a variety of possibilities.|
|Yoko Iwasaki, US Japanese teacher. Bachelor's in agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture. Master's in English as a second language, Portland State University. |
|Hedy Jackson, US PE/health teacher, at CG since 1996. |
|Renee Jenkinson, outdoor program teacher, at CG since 2012. Bachelor's in public health education, Portland State University. |
|Ginia King, US English teacher. Bachelor's in comparative literature, Yale College. Master's in comparative literature, University of North Carolina. Doctorate in comparative literature and literary theory, University of Pennsylvania. |
|Veronica Ledoux, US science teacher, at CG since 2008. Bachelor's in biochemistry, Mercyhurst College. Doctorate in neurobiology, Northwestern University. |
|Nance Leonhardt, US art teacher, at CG since 2007. Bachelor's in fine arts & radio, tv, film, Evergreen State College. Master's in teaching, Seattle University. People make all sorts of assumptions about arts educators - informed in part by limited experiences and caricatures from popular culture. We hear “F” words all the time. We're “flaky” and “flowery.” We're “fun.” While there are certainly positive attributes associated with these terms, I would like to put out some “F” words that capture a different dimension of arts educators. I'm fanatical when it comes to issues of pedagogy and school culture that lead to equity for students and further the cause of social justice in our world. I believe my role as an arts educator is to equip students with the tools they need to understand and counter the politics of representation in our culture. I'm fascinated by young people on the developmental continuum as they become adults. They make me want to laugh daily and rejoice that the future is in their hands. I'm fortunate that Catlin Gabel is the type of school that views educators progressively - not to be defined merely by the content that they deliver, but how they can facilitate a young person's academic, social and developmental growth.
|Sandy Luu, athletic director, at CG since 2011. Bachelor's in education and pe, Concordia University. Master's in athletic administration, Ohio University. What brought you to Catlin Gabel (if you are new to the school), or why do you like working at Catlin Gabel? I came to Catlin because I love the small school environment. Within this model, Catlin is mindful about seeking out the interests of the students. We have an amazing number of offerings with sports, clubs, and activities. The kids are so talented here and can do anything they set their minds to.|
|Jessica Marlitt, outdoor education sub, at CG since 2013. What brought you to Catlin Gabel or why do you like working at Catlin Gabel? I truly feel like each week in this community brings me great, memorable experiences. Most recently, we held class elections for the class of 2015. Not only was the campaigning positive and funny, but the speeches also rang with optimism, good will, and hope. No mudslinging in the students' democracy! I advise the US student government - CGSA - and am honored to explore with students how they can develop and practice good leadership.
|Chris Mateer, US art teacher, at CG since 2012. Bachelor's in fine arts, Massachusetts College of Art. Master's in fine arts, Ohio University. |
|Brett Mathes, US English teacher, at CG since 2007. Bachelor's in English, Dartmouth College. Master's in English literature, Middlebury College. One of my favorite units to teach is the Winter's Tale project for English 10. This assignment prompts the sophomores to write and perform winter-themed stories for the first- and second-graders. The young audience inspires my students to present their most imaginative work, and frequently I get to see a new facet of each teller's personality.|
|Mary Medley, US administrative assistant. Master's in theater, University of Portland. |
|Robert Medley, US theater teacher & theater director, at CG since 1981. Bachelor's in education, University of Portland. |
|Andrew Merrill, US computer science teacher, at CG since 1999. Bachelor's in mathematics, Swarthmore College. |
|Casey Mills, US counselor, at CG since 2012. Bachelor's in communication disorders, Colorado State University. Master's in education, Western Oregon State College. |
|Rieko Mine, US Japanese teacher, at CG since 1997. Bachelor's in English literature, Rissho University, Japan. |
|Leanne Moll, US English teacher, at CG since 2012. Bachelor's in music history & literature, Mills College. Master's in education, English language arts & literacy, Lewis & Clark College. Master's in musicology, Cornell University. |
|Cindy Murray, US learning specialist, at CG since 2011. Bachelor's in education, University of Missouri. Master's in special education, Michigan State University. What brought you to Catlin Gabel or why do you like working at Catlin Gabel?
I feel very lucky in my life because I have had the opportunity to pursue two passions at the same time. One is to travel and the other is to guide and teach students who learn in unique ways. Because I am married to a non US citizen, whose focus was international business , we moved often. I was allowed to live and work in many wonderful cities both in the US and Europe. I benefited from the varying cultures, attitudes, trends and expertise of educators from many educational institutions. I find myself again rewarded by being part of the Catlin Gabel community that not only supports but celebrates the unique learning style in each and every one of us.|
|Kenny Nguyen, US math teacher, at CG since 2012. Bachelor's in mathematics, University of Chicago. Master's in learning technologies, University of Michigan. Doctorate in mathematics education, North Carolina State University. |
|Lark Palma, US history teacher, at CG since 1995. Bachelor's in English, George Mason University. Doctorate in English literature, University of South Carolina. |
|Sue Phillips, upper school librarian, at CG since 2004. Bachelor's in English literature, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Master's in English literature, Portland State University. Master's in library science, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Why do you like working at Catlin Gabel? One of the most satisfying elements of working at Catlin Gabel comes from providing opportunities for the older students to take on leadership roles that define the culture of this special place. I recently returned from the freshman class trip during which thirteen seniors taught skills, led small groups, discussed ethics, and set the tone for the 9th graders' four years in the Upper School. It is a joy to help these students become such effective leaders and role models.|
|Joan Piper, US math teacher, at CG since 1999. Bachelor's in mathematics, Bates College. Master's in mathematics and curriculum and instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison. I have really enjoyed working on the senior project committee for the past several years. I love to see what students choose to pursue when given pretty unlimited options at the end of their senior year. Everything from flying airplanes to baking bread, to participating in political campaigns to working in a cancer research lab, has sparked someone’s interest lately. My role as a facilitator of these opportunities has been extremely rewarding and I am looking forward to lots more creative projects this spring.|
|Mark Pritchard, US jazz band, at CG since 1998. Bachelor's in music, New South Wales Conservatory of Music. Who was an influential teacher? Most high schools in Sydney are grades 7-12. My most influential teacher was my music teacher. He got me into playing the flute and piano and I liked so much what I was doing that I had decided by the 8th grade that I was going to be a music teacher in the future. David got the job as lecturer in music education at the Sydney Conservatorium where I studied with him an additional four years once I was done with high school. I always make a point of contacting David any time I go to Australia to visit. He's a good friend and a mentor throughout my career.
|Dale Rawls, US art teacher, at CG since 1989. Bachelor's in art, Portland State University. Master's in education, Lewis & Clark College. Art professor Ray Grimm was an important role model for me. Not only did I meet the love of my life and wife of 34 years in his college class, but I was his studio apprentice during several summers in college. He modeled problem solving as an effective way to teach and continued to have shows and make art during the 35 years that he was a college professor. He continues to be a friend and mentor to this day.
|Lauren Reggero-Toledano, US Spanish teacher. Bachelor's in education, University of Miami. Master's in Spanish, University of Salamanca, Spain. My maternal grandfather was Greek and I was raised in a very proud Greek-American family. I began the formal study of Modern Greek during the spring of 2007 when I spent the semester in Spain. My husband and I had classes twice a week with a Greek exchange student. I had to start from zero while my husband could pull from his memory of the Ancient Greek class he took in college. Our classes with Fotini prepared us well for our first trip to Greece that spring. After returning to Portland, we found a wonderful teacher and we take independent Greek with Erna once a week. Learning Greek has made me appreciate nuances of the culture in which I was raised. It has made me a more empathetic Spanish teacher. I have also recently joined the programming committee for the Hellenic-American Cultural Center of Oregon and Southwest Washington.
|David Reich, challenge course manager. |
|Shannon Rush, US math teacher, at CG since 2012. Bachelor's in mathematics, Seattle Pacific University. |
|Bob Sauer, US science teacher, at CG since 2001. Bachelor's in physics, Whitman College. The strong sense of community, academic enthusiasm, and integrity of the students at Catlin Gabel, and the care, compassion, and competence of the faculty and staff alone would make this a marvelous place to work. But on top of all that there are so many fascinating opportunities outside the classroom, in which I immerse myself (and my kids) as much as possible. I’ve enjoyed participating in overnight class trips; hiking, skiing, canoeing, rafting, climbing, and backpacking with the outdoor program; traveled with students to Turkey and Peru; and restored the environment in the Mt. Hood National Forest for one week each summer with the Elana Gold ’93 Memorial Environmental Restoration Project. It has been a fun adventure learning to drive a school bus, which allows me to drive for my own geology, astronomy, and physics class field trips. I greatly appreciate that my own kids are able to attend Catlin Gabel. They are currently in the Lower School, having a great educational and social experience, in which I am more fully able to participate, as I’m in the same location. It will be especially thrilling when they come to the Upper School!|
|Alfred Schultz, interim Spanish teacher, at CG since 2012. Bachelor's in architecture, Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. Master's in humanities, Centro Panamericano de Humanidades. |
|Lauren Shareshian, US math teacher, at CG since 2010. Bachelor's in mathematics, New York University. Master's in mathematics, Duke University. In seven years, I lived in seven different states. I am originally from New Jersey, but due to my undergraduate and graduate studies and research opportunities, I have spent time at Duke, NYU, Mount Holyoke, UC Santa Barbara, and Reed College. In 2008 I taught in New Mexico, and now I am fortunate to teach at Catlin Gabel. I love Portland and I'm tired of moving, so I think it is finally time to unpack my bags.
|Peter Shulman, US history teacher, at CG since 2003. Bachelor's in history, Haverford College. Master's in history, University of Michigan. It’s 3:15 p.m. and I’ve just completed a long day of teaching, but I feel exhilarated and grateful. My 7th period U.S. history students continue to amaze me with their intellectual curiosity and depth of engagement with the texts. The questions are sophisticated and interesting; there’s no showboating, but a pure desire for learning in effect. A student stays after class, curious about the veracity of charges leveled at President Lincoln over the abuse of civil liberties. Every day, I walk out with the same thought: I am incredibly lucky to work at Catlin Gabel.|
|Kathy Sloan, US math teacher, at CG since 1996. Bachelor's in mathematics, Middlebury College. I am a risk taker. I look for opportunities to step outside my comfort zone both physically and mentally. This can take the form of joining the outdoor education program for a midnight climb up Mt. Hood in freezing rain, to joining a high school Winterim, to learning how to swing dance at a public dance in downtown Portland. In my classroom I am not afraid to stray from the perfect lesson plan to entertain a thoughtful question that takes us off topic. Sometimes the thoughtful question comes from me, and I interrupt the class flow to put it out there for the students to ponder. I find myself often saying, " I wonder what would happen if...." I always find things interesting when I step outside the box, physically and intellectually.|
|Kathryn Slothower, US science teacher, at CG since 2011. Bachelor's in biochemistry, Lewis & Clark College. |
|Ron Sobel, US Spanish teacher, at CG since 1977. Bachelor's in political science, San Jose State University. Master's in Spanish, Middlebury College. Homework Club is a wonderful service program where our students mentor younger Latino students after school in their apartment complex. Watching our students interact, as well as participating myself as a tutor, reinforces in me the importance of this special type of community outreach.|
|Tony Stocks, US English teacher, at CG since 1999. Bachelor's in English, Oberlin College. Master's in English, Cornell University. |
|Nichole Tassoni, US English teacher, at CG since 2007. Bachelor's in English, Wesleyan University. Master's in English education, Columbia University Teachers College. My favorite book of all time is "Bread and Jam for Frances," by Russell Hoban. What could be better than a story whose moral is "I think eating is nice"? Yes, it's still my favorite book. And "King Lear."|
|Tom Tucker, head of woodshop, US woodshop teacher. Bachelor's in design, Marlboro College. pending|
|Roberto Villa, US Spanish teacher, at CG since 1984. Bachelor's in French, Pacific University. Master's in French, Portland State University. Since 2001 we have been fortunate to send three student groups to Cuba despite many roadblocks and government restrictions. In our role as ambassadors we toured the island, visiting schools, hospitals, medical facilities, and churches, where we made humanitarian donations on behalf of our country. In March 2008, given the political climate of the island and the transition of power, our 25 students witnessed history in the making. Every day the government announced a new law or lifted a restriction (such as the ability to buy a DVD or stay at a tourist hotel). These actions seemed to give the Cubans a sense of hope and economic optimism. During our short stay in Cuba we met hundreds of people from Pinar del Río to Trinidad. In every case, we were treated graciously and with respect, despite the differences between our two governments. I am proud of my students, who represented our school and country with dignity and respect.|
|Charles Walsh, US music teacher, at CG since 2012. Bachelor's in music, Kenyon College. |
|Patrick Walsh, US history teacher, at CG since 2006. Bachelor's in art, University of California, Berkeley. Master's in history, California State University, Chico. Doctorate in history, University of Texas. When I was a kid, there was a low-rent movie house in the warehouse district of Berkeley that showed Marx Brothers movies each winter right around my birthday. I don't know how many times I watched "Duck Soup" or "Horse Feathers" with a bunch of friends in lieu of a "regular" birthday party. Thirty-some-odd years later, I still watch them regularly. Harpo and Chico and especially Groucho are like favorite uncles, old friends who help me with what it means to be a grown-up.|
|Robyn Washburn, US registrar, at CG since 2012. Bachelor's in English literature/communication studies, University of Montana. |
|Dave Whitson, US history teacher, at CG since 2011. Bachelor's in history and comparative literature, University of Washington. Master's in curriculum and instruction, University of Washington. What was a great Catlin Gabel experience you've had lately? On the freshman trip, a group of seniors served as advisors for the incoming 9th graders, volunteering to give up two days to accompany us and work long hours. For me, it was my first introduction to many of the soon-to-be-graduates. Their relentless good cheer was impressive enough, but the thoughtfulness that they displayed towards the freshmen was remarkable. At all times, they worked to learn names, build connections, and create one of the most positive and welcoming environments I've ever been in. On the last morning, they gathered before the freshmen and sang a song they had prepared the night before, reinforcing everything they had done over the retreat and reiterating that the relationships they had established would remain as strong when we returned to campus on Monday. The singing might not have been pitch perfect, but every other aspect of their performance was.
|Wendy Wilkinson, US French teacher, at CG since 2012. Bachelor's in history, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Doctorate in law, Lewis & Clark Northwestern School of Law. |
|Becky Wynne, US science teacher, at CG since 1998. Bachelor's in architecture, Portland State University. Bachelor's in chemistry, Swarthmore College. Master's in science and math education, Cornell University. I attended kindergarten in Moscow, USSR, during the Cold War. My parents are mathematics professors, and we would go on sabbatical to visit and work with mathematicians in other countries. When I was 5, we spent six months in Moscow. I remember going to kindergarten, learning Russian, learning to cross country ski and play chess. I remember the cold of the winter, but also how warm and welcoming the Russian people were. My experiences living in foreign countries when I was a child (we also lived in Warsaw and the West Bank of Israel) made me a global citizen at an early age. I believe in the basic goodness and humanity of people in this world, no matter where they are from.|
|Jim Wysocki, US math teacher, at CG since 2010. Bachelor's in mathematics, Niagara University. I had no intention of leaving my previous school, but Pam McComas, former Catlin Gabel Beginning School head, who now works at my old school, told me that Catlin Gabel had an opening and that I might be a good fit. After talking to several people I realized that even though I had not been looking for a new job, Catlin Gabel seemed to be an interesting place and deserved a closer look. So, I flew to Portland - for the first time in my life - and fell in love with both the area and the school.
|Dale Yocum, US robotics program director, at CG since 2007. Bachelor's in computer science, University of California, Santa Barbara. When I was in high school, my electronics teacher was a pack rat. He loved to go to government surplus sales and take back to our lab everything nobody else wanted. Why? It was free! We had stacks and stacks of random
electronic gizmos to fix, take apart, cannibalize, and puzzle over. He had every electronic component under the sun salvaged from this stuff. When I sold my company after 25 years in software and electronics management, I
vowed to recreate that sense of exploration and fun here at Catlin Gabel. That's why you won't find rows and rows of neatly stacked identical kits in our robotics labs. A little chaos is good for the soul.|
|George Zaninovich, place director, US history teacher, at CG since 2008. Bachelor's in environmental studies, University of Pennsylvania. Bachelor's in political science, University of Pennsylvania. Master's in urban and regional planning, Portland State University. |