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The Big Green Center of Campus

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The Barn keeps everyone happy and nourished

From the Summer 2012 Caller

By Nadine Fiedler

Enter Catlin Gabel’s big green Barn at the start of lunchtime, and here’s what you’ll see. Hundreds of students line up, talking and laughing, to order the day’s hot entrée—which might be Phnom Penh rice noodle soup, vegetable or ham panini, quesadillas, grilled fish or tofu, stuffed poblano peppers, or a host of other tasty and healthful dishes. Others rush for the salad bar, stocked with brilliant greens from a local farm, veggies picked just hours before from the school garden, and beautifully prepared grain and vegetable salads. Teachers and staff members sit together at one of the many round tables, eating their lunches and catching up on what’s going on around campus, surrounded by tables of students. It’s a loud and lively place, centered on the Barn’s fresh, local, nutritious, irresistible offerings.

It’s A Whole New World of Food at Catlin Gabel.

The revolution began in the summer of 2006, when Hen Truong joined the staff as food services director. The food service until then had been loving and attentive, but it was time for Catlin Gabel to catch up with advances in food and nutrition to best serve its 740 students and their growing bodies and brains. Hen’s background as a member of a restaurant family, a graduate of the Western Culinary Institute, and a fast-rising young manager of food services at colleges and universities made him a perfect candidate to renovate the Barn’s approach.

A Necessary Diversion: Who’s Hen?

It’s almost impossible to talk about how the Barn has changed without talking about Hen Truong, and what motivates him so strongly. His determination has driven all the changes the school has made over the past six years, and will continue as he fulfills his vision.
Hen lived in Cambodia until age 3, the son of a Chinese restaurateur father and a Chinese-Cambodian mother. When the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia began their relentless genocide in the country’s “Killing Fields,” Hen’s family escaped to Vietnam amidst great hardship, starvation, and chaos. They were rescued by a boat captain whom his father had adopted as an orphan years earlier, but had not seen for a long time. The family lived in Vietnam until Hen was 7, when they had to flee again because Hen’s brother and sister were about to be conscripted into the army— which meant a life expectancy of a few months at best. After secretly arranging transit, paid with gold, they walked right out of his father’s restaurant during lunchtime into a rainy afternoon with nothing but what they had on. They lived in a crawl space in a safe house in Saigon for three weeks, then boarded a boat that took them to Thailand—and to three years of refugee camps there and in the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Hen’s father made and sold steamed buns in the camps. “Life there made me realize what not having material wealth feels like, and what hunger feels like,” says Hen. He was surrounded by people from many Southeast Asian cultures, and remembers playing with kids speaking a bewildering number of languages. Finally they located an aunt in San Antonio, Texas, who sponsored their immigration. Hen began his life in the U.S. at age 10 in cold, wintry Texas, speaking no English, in a new school. He learned the language quickly, thanks to an ESL teacher who devoted extra time to his education.
After two years in Texas, the family moved to Oklahoma City for another two years, then moved to Portland. Hen’s father opened the East Restaurant in north Portland, and the whole family chipped in and worked. Hen yearned to be a cook there, propelled by his admiration of Pat Transue, his 9th grade home economics teacher at Jefferson High School. “I did a lot of whining before my dad let me cook at East Restaurant. He wanted me to be more than a cook,” says Hen. Mrs. Transue, touched by Hen’s desire to become a chef, helped Hen enroll at the culinary institute.
After receiving a thorough grounding in the culinary arts, Hen decided to go to college to learn more about business, so he could run a restaurant. He enrolled in Concordia University and met another influential mentor: Robert Bjorngriebe, the head of the food service. Robert was doing what Hen was later charged with at Catlin Gabel: revving up a food service that had stayed the same for many years. Robert took Hen under his wing, hired him to work in the dining hall and kitchen, and taught him everything from catering to how to conduct oneself as a chef. Hen was also attending classes full time, and working at East Restaurant on weekends. Although Hen was set on going to a big city to become “the next Wolfgang Puck or something,” Robert convinced him that school food service was a sane career that would allow him to have a family life. After graduating from Concordia and completing several internships, Hen stumbled into a food service job at Oregon State University in Corvallis—by commenting about the food when he was visiting a friend there.
With OSU’s director, Richard Turnbull, Hen oversaw a huge project: the complete renovation of OSU’s dining services and construction of a new dining hall. As general manager he learned how to motivate staff people, and how to have them take pride in their food. He managed a new concept in food service, with seven restaurants for different food concepts, such as deli, coffee shop, grill, and Italian food. It was a huge success.
After 10 years there, Hen yearned to direct a dining program and move back to Portland to be nearer to his parents. He worked briefly for a food contract service at a small college in Portland, but didn’t like the politics of serving two masters, the contract service and the school, and their vastly different goals.
Hen and his brother set out to open their own restaurant, and that was the plan—until the summer of 2006, when a friend told him about the job at Catlin Gabel, which was similar to what Hen had done so well at OSU. Hen interviewed, just to keep his skills sharp, but says the unexpected happened: “The minute I stepped on the beautiful campus I felt great. I met with the committee, and I went from ‘I’m not in’ to ‘Please hire me. I can do a lot for you!’” And he has, in these six years since.

Hen’s Philosophy

“My philosophy is simple. I want to create good, fresh, seasonal, and thoughtful food, so that customers find value in it. Food service is my passion. Every hour of the day I plot and plan how to improve it and make it better. I feel vested in Catlin Gabel. I save us money wherever I can and do things as economically as possible. It’s very powerful for me to know I get support from the faculty-staff, students, and parents. It drives me to do more personally. I want to do everything.”

Changing the Status Quo

After meeting with retired food service director Terry Turcotte, Hen spent the summer of 2006 figuring out what he could do to make the system more efficient. In a whirlwind of activity, he met with vendors to find the most healthful food and consolidated them to keep traffic down and the quality high, centralized the ordering of coffee for all offices, and created a regulation commercial kitchen. He rewrote the menu to do as much seasonal, from scratch, local, and fresh cooking as possible. He met with staff members, divided up responsibilities, and hired more people. By the time school started that fall, the Barn was already radically changed. “Although there’s still a lot more to do,” says Hen.

The Barn’s Daily Work

Hen’s core crew is made up of kitchen supervisor Sara Gallagher; Robin Grimm, in charge of front of house; Chris Sommer, salads; Yuri Newton, deli and grab-and-go; kitchen help Woming Chen; and dishwasher Jonathan Sarenana-Belten. Hen is always interested in furthering their skills with cross-training and classes. “The way the staff works so hard drives me to work harder,” he says.
Every day the Barn feeds 400 to 450 kids, with about 350 eating hot lunches, plus around 50 adults. The students’ dietary restrictions are a big focus for the Barn crew. Every meal includes gluten-free foods and vegetarian or vegan options. They accommodate children with nut and dairy allergies, and they try to use less sodium and as much organic food as possible.
When Hen first came to Catlin Gabel, every office did outside catering, which meant paying premium prices. Hen offered to do all the school’s catering, reducing costs significantly. Anyone on campus can place a catering order, from two to hundreds of eaters, and the Barn now does 99 percent of the school’s catering. The cost for food is much less, and the food is much fresher.
The Barn crew produces food for special events, such as commencement, Spring Festival, and alumni Homecoming weekend. They’ve taken on providing food for field trips, to relieve teachers and parent volunteers, packing food and supplies for cooking. Hen also does on-campus cooking demos, and offers special dinners as school auction items.

The Sustainability Loop

Hen works with teacher Carter Latendresse, head of the school garden, to figure out what to grow that can be used in Barn meals. Carter sends email to Hen when a vegetable crop is ripe, and they go up the hill, harvest the vegetables, and use them quickly in the Barn. All food scraps, including those from diners’ plates, go into buckets, which go right back into the garden, when they’re ready, as compost. “You can’t get more sustainable than that,” says Hen.

The Future

In the drive to use as much local and seasonal food as possible, the Barn received a grant to buy dehydrators, a greenhouse, and a juicer, all of which will extend the usable life of produce into the cold-weather months. Hen is excited about being able to offer fresh fruit and vegetable juice blends. Given Hen’s motivation and drive, we can expect the Barn to improve and keep surprising its happy customers. “I want to continue sourcing new products and support other departmental programs. I want to continue to provide a place where people can come to collaborate, a social place, a place to talk over food or coffee,” says Hen. “Mostly, I want to continue to encourage and excite people about food.”

A Recipe from Hen

Quinoa, Roasted Beet, and Walnut Salad 

Ingredients for 4 servings
3–4 medium beets, washed
1 C. dry quinoa
2 C. water
1/2 C. toasted walnuts
2–3 cloves crushed garlic
Zest and juice of one lemon
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. sugar
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 F. Wrap beets in foil and bake until tender, about 45 min. to an hour. Let cool, then peel off the skins and cut into 3/4 inch cubes. Set aside
Bring water to boil in a small heavy saucepan. Rinse quinoa well and add to water. Return to boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Allow to simmer for at least 25 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Uncover pan, allow to cool.
For dressing, heat oil in a nonstick frypan. Add garlic and lemon rind. Cook and stir for 2 minutes, then add balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar. Remove from heat.
Add beets to cooled quinoa. Break walnuts into pieces and add to the bowl. Pour dressing over, add cilantro, and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  

 "Market" curtain backdrop in photo of Hen Truong was painted by Claire Stewart '07.

Nadine Fiedler is Catlin Gabel’s publications and public relations director and the editor of the Caller.


CG named U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School – read the story and watch TV news clip

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78 winning schools in 29 states and D.C. represent a diverse portfolio, includes 66 public and 12 private schools in urban and rural communities

Scroll down to watch KGW-TV news story featuring Catlin Gabel

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, together with White House Council on Environmental Quality chair Nancy Sutley and Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson, announced today that Catlin Gabel School, in Portland, Oregon, is among 78 schools named U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools. Oregon is among 29 states and D.C. with schools receiving the first-ever awards.

Four schools in Oregon received the award. In addition to Catlin Gabel, Portland’s Sunnyside Environmental School, Willamina Elementary School, and Gladstone High School were honored.

Catlin Gabel’s focus on sustainability extends from the classroom to its grounds and facilities. The school has had an aim since 2007 of generating zero waste, and every year has brought new initiatives—including a school garden and extensive composting—that has brought it closer to that goal.

“Science and environmental education play a central role in providing children with a well-rounded education that prepares them for the jobs of the future,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Green Ribbon Schools demonstrate compelling examples of the ways schools can expand their coursework while also helping children build real world skill sets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments.”

U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools is a federal recognition program that opened in September 2011. Honored schools exercise a comprehensive approach to creating “green” environments through reducing environmental impact, promoting health, and ensuring a high-quality environmental and outdoor education to prepare students with the 21st-century skills and sustainability concepts needed in the growing global economy.

The 78 awarded schools were named winners of this one-year recognition from among nearly 100 nominees submitted by 30 state education agencies, the District of Columbia and the Bureau of Indian Education. More than 350 schools completed applications to their state education agencies. Among the list of winners are 66 public schools including 8 charters, and 12 private schools composed of 43 elementary, 31 middle and 26 high schools with around 50 percent representing high poverty schools.


What a monumental honor! Congratulations to all who work so hard to lead and support Catlin Gabel´s inspiring efforts to become more sustainable and environmentally minded with each passing year.

Mountain to Mouth!

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Exploring the Hood River Watershed from Mt. Hood All the Way Down to the Columbia River

The inaugural Hood River Watershed Ecology trip, planned collaboratively with the Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute, provided students with the unique opportunity to explore the land surrounding the Hood River, south of the Columbia River Gorge and southeast of Mt. Hood, from multiple perspectives.

In addition to classic outdoor trip highlights such as learning to use an ice axe and crampons for the first time, glissading down snow fields on Mt. Hood, camping in Elk Meadow surrounded by wildflowers and Mt. Hood smiling down, flying down hills on our bikes alongside small tributaries to the Hood River, making s’mores by the campfire, and paddling down Class III rapids in inflatable kayaks, trip participants also learned invaluable lessons about the complexity of the Hood River watershed’s ecosystem and the ways in which humans rely upon and interact with it.

Here are some snapshots of each day of the trip:

Day 1: Water Quality at the Source, Eliot Glacier, Climate Change and Mini-Snow School

We drove up to Cloud Cap early Monday morning and met Kelly Nokes from Columbia River Waterkeeper right away at the headwaters of the Tilly Jane Creek. She taught us how to measure pH, temperature, turbidity, and more, all of which indicate the health of the water and its capacity to sustain life.

We then hiked up onto Eliot Glacier with Darrel Lloyd, a glaciologist that has been photographing Eliot and surround glaciers for thirty years. He showed us photos of changes over time, and the shrinking ice astounded us. He also talked at length about the science and ecology of glaciers and their importance to the overall health of a watershed. For example, the more a glacier melts, the more rocks and debris slide down the mountain into rivers, thereby destroying habitat and fish spawning grounds.

Finally, George taught everyone how to safely walk with crampons, how to use ice axes for self-arrest, and how to glissade down the snow fields—a fun change from the serious academics earlier in the day. Many students said they definitely want to try climbing Mt. Hood when the chance arises later this year.

“Until this trip, I always though of Mt. Hood as just a place for snowboarding. That’s it. That’s all I did there. Now I have a whole new way to look at it…it’s where our water comes from, it’s a good place to hike, forest fires have come through there…there’s just a lot more to think about.” –Andrew

Day 2: Backpacking the Timberline Trail, Wildfire, Coniferous Forest, Alpine Wildflowers, Gnarl Ridge, Elk Meadow

On Tuesday we began the first leg of our backpacking trip, heading southeast and traversing the timberline of Mt. Hood’s northeast side. We quickly climbed above the timberline and looked down upon it for much of the day, with Mts. Rainier, St. Helens, and Adams behind us to the north.

We crossed countless snowfields and ridges, and eventually came to a good resting spot. Alan Horton, a thirty-year veteran of the US Forest Service, accompanied us on this portion of the backpacking trip so that he could help us to better understand wildfires and forest ecology. Peter and Andrew both read articles about wildfire in preparation for the trip, and they contributed good background information to the discussion.

“We sometimes think that whatever we do to stop forest fires is helping nature, when actually nature has its own way of stopping things and has a plan for how everything works, and we’re just interfering and usually making it worse.” –Peter

Alan spoke not only of the complexities of managing fires and forests, but also of the challenge of maintaining his conservationist philosophies in a system that often values economics above ecosystems. Four students cited conversation with Alan as the highlight of the day.

 “I come away from this very brief, touching experience with you all with a renewed hope in our future, because you are so attentive and you have such great attitudes. I know you’ve got some great ideas that are going to be good for the earth. Thank you for letting me part of your experience.” –Alan

After our discussion and some off-trail navigation due to higher-than-normal snow levels, we descended onto Gnarl Ridge just below Lamberston Butte and felt awed by the sweeping views of grey sediment and rock alternating with snow patches all the way down the gorge below the Newton-Clark Glacier. We ate lunch on top the ridge, and while eating heard what we mistook to be thunder…but without a cloud around! We turned around and saw a dramatic rock fall way up high near the summit of Mt. Hood, as clouds of dust plumed up into the sky.

We then continued to descend into the coniferous forest and eventually made our way to the spectacular Elk Meadow, with all its wildflowers and small creeks. We sketched the mountain, wrote journal entries, napped, feasted on macaroni and cheese, and fell asleep on the edge of the meadow.

Day 3: Backpacking the Cold Spring Creek Trail, Salmon Habitat and Lifecycle, Old Growth Forest

We awoke to a layer of frost on our sleeping bags and tarps on Wednesday morning—a reminder of our relatively high elevation (around 5300 feet) sleeping in the meadow. The Cold Spring Creek Trail, running alongside its namesake through a second-growth forest, proved much easier to navigate than the previous day’s Timberline Trail.

At one point we sat down on the side of the trail and learned from Genevieve and Emily about old growth forest, climax forests, the spotted owl debate, and other interesting ecological tidbits. We felt lucky to have such resident experts! We made good time on the eight or so miles to Tamanawas Falls, where we ate lunch under the mist of the waterfall.

“Little things, such as species becoming endangered, are really indicators of a larger problem, and we should look at it from a larger perspective—which can be frustrating for people in their own [non-interdisciplinary] careers sometimes.” –Genevieve

We then hiked about two miles down to Cold Spring Creek’s confluence with the East Fork of the Hood River, where we talked with Emily about salmon and salmon habitat. Soon we were joined by where we met Jurgen Hess, an alpine ecologist and retired Forest Service employee. We talked more about wildfire, old growth forest, and salmon habitat, and then hiked the rest of the way to the Tamanawas  Falls Trailhead. We camped in Nottingham campground that night, alongside the east bank of the raging East Fork of the Hood River.

 “I learned a lot about nature in Oregon since I just moved here [two weeks ago], and how it’s different from the East Coast. It’s bigger.” -Lucy

Day 4: Farming, Irrigation, Salmon, Wendell Berry, Biking the Back Roads North of Hood River, Interdisciplinary Innovation

We began our day at Tollbridge Park, where we met our bikes and Jerry Bryan and Jer Camarata from the Farmer’s Irrigation District. Jerry’s introduction left us a little confused, but undeniably curious. As we rode away from his recitation of Wendell Berry’s poem, “A Farmer’s Manifesto,” we wondered how such an outspoken, almost-retired, theology degree-holding atheist could possibly be doing anything useful for salmon and farmers alike.

“I liked what Wendell Berry said about how everything is connected and some people don’t realize that. If something [a fish] dies, people don’t realize that the fish are connected to the forest [for nutrients].” –Libby

We kept Jerry and Jer in our minds as we biked through perfectly manicured orchards of cherry, pear, and apple trees, with Mt. Hood looming over us the whole time. We eventually made our way to a fish hatchery operated in cooperation between the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Warm Springs Confederated Tribe. Albert, the hatchery assistant manager and a tribal member, and Jim, the hatchery manager, gave us a tour of the facility and helped us to understand the role of fish hatcheries in the broader context of managing the watershed and maintaining the health of Columbia River Gorge salmon populations.

Our next stop was Punchbowl Falls, as the confluence of the East, West, and Middle Forks of the Hood River. We ate lunch above the water, and afterward watched several salmon attempt to jump up a smaller nearby waterfall. None made it while we stood nearby.

We hopped back on our bikes and once again met up with Jerry and Jer. We followed them down a little-used gravel road to one of the Irrigation District’s innovative horizontal water diversion fish screens. We learned that the Irrigation District, whose job is to provide irrigation water for over 5,000 acres of Hood River farmland, hired Jerry twenty-five years ago because of his experience advocating for fish. Over the course of his tenure with the District, Jerry developed a knack for figuring out ways to satisfy the needs of both fish and farmers. He said, “I’m the guy they [farmers] love to hate!...As soon as we started thinking from the point of view of the fish, we actually figured out ways make the farmers more money than they’d made before, when they were ignoring fish health and habitat.” He helped develop an innovative screen that allows water to be diverted for irrigation without harming fish. People have come from all over the world to learn about this invention:

“The Farmers Irrigation District developed a screen technology that keeps fish from entering irrigation and hydroelectric canals. The Farmers Screen is a horizontal, flat-plate diversion screen that harmlessly moves fish over the screen and back to the river while safely diverting water for irrigation and hydroelectric use.”

Follow the link to watch live fish screen webcams and read more about it:

 “I’m going to take away knowledge about the horizontal fish screen process because…when they showed us the diagram and the movie and then we actually saw it, it brought to life how much thought goes into this whole process, with the physics of it all and it made me realize that you can pull different ideas from different fields to solve one problem, and that makes teamwork sound a lot more important.” –Margaret

After our inspiring final meeting with Jerry and Jer, we continued down towards Hood River through the farms. We stopped to buy some cherries and enjoy them under a tree, and then made our way to Tucker County Park—our last campsite of the trip. Students waded in the river and sunned on rocks before a final delicious Pad Thai dinner, marshmallows, an impromptu performance by a fellow nine year-old camper, and sleeping under the stars. 

Day 5: Inflatable Kayaks, the Hood and Columbia Rivers, the Former Powerdale Dam Site, Salmon Bake, Putting It All Together

Our final day of the trip proved to be the most refreshing and adrenaline-producing. Ben, Zack, and Sylus taught us how to safely navigate in inflatable kayaks, and we set off down the Hood River just below Tucker Park like a line of baby ducks. Students quickly adapted to paddling and adeptly maneuvered around rocks and rapids like veterans.

About two miles downstream, we pulled out to meet with Jeremy from the Department of Fish and Wildlife and Steve Stampfli, who’s helping to manage the habitat restoration process after the local power company decided to tear down the Powerdale Dam last year. We saw photos of the habitat restoration process and learned about the complications of providing power for local residents while also paying attention to fish habitat, air quality, farming needs, forest health, water quality, and cost.

“There are complications behind complications—for example, the decision to let a forest fire burn out or to put it out. Also, taking out the [Powerdale] dam means that more people’s energy might come from coal, but if you leave it there the fish can’t get through. There are a lot of trade-offs.” –Siobhan

We ended our day and trip at the mouth of the Hood River as it meets the Columbia, where we cleaned up and loaded the kayaks, and then enjoyed a delicious meal of grilled salmon caught that morning by a local Native American, local greens, and watermelon. We invited all the stakeholders we met throughout the week, and though most were too busy with work obligations to come out, Alan and his wife, Sharon, joined our group for our final meal.

We spent several minutes reflecting on the week’s experiences:

“I learned so much…everything from the meaning of the word turbidity to the best way to get a kayak off a rock. There’s so much middle ground we covered…There’s a lot to think about.” –Walker

 “I’ll take away how connected everything is—much more so than I’d imagined. Every action has a reaction…If you take some fish out of a stream, that has a big impact.” –Alex

Siobhan and Genevieve ended with a closing poem that expressed our gratitude toward the salmon, our guests, and our experience of the week:

Once upon a time,

the sun swept slowly over Timberline.

The glacier slowly melted down in size,

As earth’s temperatures began to rise.

Extreme weather events increased

And glacial freezing began to cease.

Boulders and debris came down

Causing salmon to frown.

Thought the rivers’ health declined

And many forgot to keep fish in mind

People such as those gathered here

Worked hard to improve the earth’s atmosphere.

So hey there smoky salmon!

You have a future that’s worth saving.

We’re grateful for this meal we’ll take.

And thankful for all the fish for heaven’s sake.


The Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute plans to take local Hood River County students through a similar exploration next summer, and Catlin Gabel students may be back as well. Thanks to all the students, special guests, and leaders that took a risk and went for it this year--you are true ecological pioneers!


Catlin Gabel named 1st Water Hero in Tualatin Valley district

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Catlin Gabel has been awarded Tualatin Valley Water District’s (TVWD) first Water Hero Award. They were recognized for their significant water use reductions, which has also resulted in significant monetary savings.
In 2000, Catlin Gabel’s water use peaked at 7.3 million gallons per year. By 2010, the school used just 1.5 million gallons, which at current rates values equates to a savings of $19,313. In the last six years, Catlin Gabel has sustained an average 44% less water use than their 2002-2004 average. This is in addition to significant reduction in consumption in ‘02-’04 compared to the five years prior.
“Catlin Gabel should be very proud of their water use reduction,” said TVWD Conservation Technician Steve Carper. “This amount goes far above and beyond what would be seen at typical non-residential sites. However, their experience provides a great blueprint about what many companies can do to reduce their water use.”
Catlin Gabel Plant Manager Eric Shawn and Grounds Supervisor Mike Wilson worked closely with the grounds crew to develop and implement a plan for reducing water use. The most significant reduction occurred when they converted most of their irrigation from domestic water to a well, and installed a weather-based irrigation system. Replacing aging water lines, using a water catchment system for drip irrigation, new high-efficiency toilets and installation of on-demand hot water units has also contributed to the overall water use reduction.
For more information about what companies can do to reduce their water use, they should contact their water provider.


Catlin Gabel News Fall 2010

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From the Fall 2010 Caller


The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality named Catlin Gabel a five-star member of Fleet Forward, DEQ’s diesel recognition program. . . . . Upper School science teacher Becky Wynne won the University of Oregon High School Teacher Award in appreciation of the fine teaching that has prepared students for the university. . . . Upper School English teacher Art Leo was recognized by Stanford University’s School of Earth Sciences as a “Most Influential Teacher and Mentor.” He was nominated by Kate Johnson ’06 when she received a dean’s award for undergraduate academic achievement.


Congratulations to everyone for an inspiring fiscal year wrap-up on June 30. We reached our Annual Fund goal with 80 percent of parents, 92 percent of staff, and 100 percent of faculty participating in giving to the fund.


Upper School students earned a prestigious 10 gold, 12 silver, and 16 bronze medals along with 46 honorable mentions in the National Spanish Exams. In the “Grand Concours” national French exam, eight Upper School students placed among the top 10 nationally in three proficiency levels. For a full list of winners, visit the June 2010 All- School News page.


Ted Case ’10 toured this summer as pianist for the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, one of the premier high school bands in the country. . . . Eli Coon ’10 was awarded the Judge Nicholas A. Cipriani Outstanding Performance Award at the national mock trial competition in Philadelphia. . . . Professional musicians in the 13th annual “Hearing the Future” Young Composers Concert at Lewis & Clark College performed an original composition by 4th grader Aditya Sivakumar ’18. . . . .Larissa Banitt ’15 took second place in the Kay Snow Writing Contest for grades 6 through 8 for her short story “They Save the Worst for Last at Ol’ Dogwood,” competing against writers from around the country and abroad.


The 2009–10 spring season was a great one for the Eagles, with three state team wins.
The boys golf team won the state championship, and Matt McCarron ’10 was 1st in state, with a new school record.
The girls track and field team won state, and the 4 x 100m relay team came in 1st— Eloise Miller ’11, Mariah Morton ’12, Linnea Hurst ’11, Cammy Edwards ’12, and Fiona Noonan ’13. The 4x400m relay team won 2nd—Eloise, Mariah, Linnea, and Cammy. Leah Thompson ’11 was state champion in 3000m and 1500m, Eloise was 1st in triple jump and long jump, Mariah came in 2nd at long jump and triple jump, and Cammy was 2nd in 300m hurdles. In boys track and field, Nauvin Ghorashian ’10 was 3rd at state in 110m hurdles.
The boys tennis team won gold at state, and Peter Beatty ’13 came in 1st, Andrew Salvador ’12 was 4th, and Rohan Borkar ’10 was 3rd in state, with Reid Goodman ’11 and Will Caplan ’11 taking 3rd in doubles. The girls tennis team was 4th at state, with Kate Rubinstein ’12 winning 2nd.
Katy Wiita ’12 and her MAC Synchro trio team won gold at the U.S. Open Synchronized Swimming Championships in Irving, Texas, in July, competing against top national and international synchronized swimmers. . . . McKensie Mickler ’10 and her club volleyball team finished 2nd at the Emerald City Classic tournament in Seattle. She was one of six players out of about 360 girls in her age division selected for the All Tournament Team. . . . Miguel Gachupin ’17 won the bronze medal in the 12 and under foil fencing competition at the State Games of Oregon.


Catlin Gabel School receives Fleet Forward Award

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On July 13 the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality named Catlin Gabel a five-star member of Fleet Forward, DEQ's diesel recognition program. Five Catlin Gabel School buses now carry decals showing this award. Catlin Gabel will be formally recognized during the Fleet Forward launch event at noon on August 24, 2010, in Pioneer Courthouse Square.

In September 2008, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality identified Catlin Gabel as the first fleet in the area to use ultra low sulfur fuel and the first platinum level partcipant in Oregon DEQ's diesel recognition program. This program has evolved from silver, gold, and platinum levels to three, four, and five stars.

Fulbright Japan Visit to Catlin Gabel

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Teachers come to learn about our sustainability program

On November 3 Catlin Gabel welcomed a group of about 45 Japanese and American K-12 teachers, university professors, and dignitaries to our campus. They were interested in learning about our efforts toward becoming more sustainable. They had been meeting in Portland for several days and were interested in curriculum in various schools that focuses on sustainability. The tour began with a delicious, organic, locally grown lunch created by our own Hen Truong. At the stop at the Beginning School, Sue Henry described the thinking, learning, planning, and model-building that went into designing Little Eagle Creek, which harvests rain water from our roof. Kindergartners sang our guests a welcome song and another about the water cycle. Jordan Heintz, 5th grade teacher, presented a video about the class’s sustainability curriculum, and the Upper school environmental class did an impressive job of talking about what they are learning. Last, our guests visited the Middle School garden project, which grows food for our kitchen. Eric Shawn, our facilities director, who has been instrumental in the school’s progress toward a greener future, organized the successful half-day tour for our guests. Congratulations, Eric!


Empty the Lot Day video

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How did people get to school on October 15, 2009? Video by Rose Perrone '10

DEQ Profiles Catlin Gabel School

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Employee Commute Options Plan

Oregon DEQ profiles Catlin Gabel School on the DEQ web site.  The school employee commute options plan and four bus routes have reduced the number of vehicles coming to campus by more than 15,000 vehicles.

Energy Use 2008/2009

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End of Year Report


Catlin Gabel used less electricity in 2008/2009, the lowest amount in ten years.  Although the utility rate increased 3.45%, consumption and costs for 2008/2009 were less than in 2007/2008:

  • The school used 9.46% fewer kilowatt hours.  Kilowatt hours per square foot dropped 7% below the previous lowest benchmark.
  • The school spent $7,469 less, a savings of 6.33%.
  • The school avoided costs of $11,708 by reducing consumption.

Natural Gas

Catlin Gabel School used less natural gas in 2008/2009.  Although the utility rate increased 13%, consumption and costs for 2008/2009 were less than in 2007/2008:

  • The school used 20% fewer therms of natural gas.  Therms per square foot dropped 3% below the previous lowest benchmark.
  • The school spent $5,823 less, a savings of 10%.
  • The school avoided costs of $6,281 by reducing consumption.

Zero Waste: 2008/2009 Report

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Landfill: the lowest amount in ten years!

Our goal is zero waste by 2012.

  • Over the past ten years, Catlin Gabel School reduced landfill waste 54% from a peak of 71 tons in 2001/2002 to 32 tons in 2008/2009.
  • Landfill rates and hauling fees increased 33.5% during the same period.

Year One: 2007/2008: 2nd lowest amount in ten years

  • In 2007/2008 Catlin Gabel School focused on removing recyclables from the landfill waste stream. 
  • Landfill dropped from 65.22 tons to 46.35 tons, 2.65 tons below the first year goal.
  • The school spent 18% less than in 2006/2007, a savings of $1,752 and avoided $3,081 in costs related to the year's 14% rate increase.

 Year Two: 2008/2009: lowest amount in ten years

  • In 2008/2009 Catlin Gabel School focused on removing food from the landfill waste stream. 
  • The Grounds staff designed and constructed a hot compost system for the campus.  Post-consumer cafeteria food waste is composted using this process. Kitchen trimmings are fed to goats and chickens.  Lower School food waste is placed in worm farms or composted at the Lower School Garden.
  • Landfill dropped from 46.35 tons to 32.49 tons, 0.51 tons below the second year goal.  The school spent 33% less than in 2007/2008, a savings of $2,481.

Year Three: 2009/2010

  • The  focus for year three is on purchasing with end of use in mind.
  • Identify sources that use less packaging and vendors whose packaging is 100% recyclable.
  • Give preference to longer life cycles and the highest percentage of content that can be recycled at end of use.


Catlin Gabel environmental restoration project on TV

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OPB's "Oregon Field Guide," February 09