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PLACE program announces new public-private partnership

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Catlin Gabel's civic engagement program getting storefront space in North Portland

Catlin Gabel’s PLACE (Planning and Leadership Across City Environments) urban civic leadership program and One North, a Portland development and neighborhood project, have created an innovative new partnership. This partnership gives PLACE a storefront space in North Portland to continue operations and expand its mission of student and community engagement. The new location is set to open in the winter of 2015.

“Catlin Gabel is an integral part of this public-private endeavor,” said Catlin Gabel head Tim Bazemore. “Being part of this pilot project will create more experiential learning opportunities for our students, and PLACE will be a catalyst for local youth to engage and lead.”

The development group behind One North, Eric Lemelson and Ben Kaiser, generously donated storefront space to PLACE for five years. “Catlin Gabel aligns with One North’s commitment to community involvement, sustainability, and sharing resources. We are excited to create authentic partnerships in the neighborhood, and have a public purpose impact,” said development team member Owen Gabbert ’02.

This month, the unique nature of this public-private development was recognized by Metro, the regional governing body, which granted the project $420,000. The grant will support the development of the project’s outdoor courtyard, which will become an asset available for use by the community.

PLACE uses urban planning as a tool to teach students from Catlin Gabel and other schools in the region how to become active and engaged citizens working toward positive change in their communities and the world. For example, students have completed projects for clients such as Zenger Farm in outer southeast Portland and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability in north Portland. For Zenger Farm, students surveyed nearly 900 youth in the David Douglas school district about food insecurity. Not only did Zenger Farm implement some of the PLACE student design recommendations, but its board of directors still uses that survey data to make organizational decisions.

Since its inception in 2008, PLACE has grown into a three-part program with an international following.

• PLACE courses are offered to Upper School students at Catlin Gabel and worldwide through the Global Online Academy during the school year.
• The PLACE summer program has enrolled students from 15 high schools in the Portland area. About 50 percent of summer students receive financial aid.
• In keeping with Catlin Gabel’s mission to model for others, the PLACE curriculum is offered for free to other schools, and is replicated by educators in 40 cities around the world.

PLACE director George Zaninovich shared his excitement about the increased opportunities provided through this public-private-educational partnership: “Expanding the PLACE program into a permanent home in the community provides more opportunities to use the city as a classroom. This will allow our students to develop closer working relationships with people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds. This permanent home and authentic community partnerships in a vibrant urban and multicultural environment will better prepare PLACE students for collaborating in an increasingly global world.”

During the 2014-15 school year, George will continue teaching in the Upper School while also taking the lead on planning for the PLACE program’s expansion. He will work in consultation with two advisory committees—one made up of community stakeholders, civic leaders, and North/Northeast neighborhood advocates, and one composed of youth from North/Northeast Portland, PLACE, and Catlin Gabel.

One North consists of three office/retail buildings opening up to a large courtyard that will serve as a place for sustainability education and for neighbors to meet formally and informally. The project developers are working to realize a vision focused on maximizing energy efficiency, reducing waste and consumption, and sharing resources with the community. Tenants include Instrument, a digital creative agency, and the Kartini Clinic for Children & Families. 

Ten students complete 500-mile walk from Switzerland through Italy

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This week 10 current and former Catlin Gabel students completed a 500-mile month-long walk on a pilgrimage route from Switzerland through Italy. Palma Scholars director and trip co-leader Dave Whitson said: "From Lake Geneva, we crossed the Alps, descending into Italy through the Aosta Valley. We picked up the trail at the start of the Apennine Mountains and crossed those, too. Then we walked across Tuscany before ultimately arriving in Rome. For a month, they walked every day, despite tendonitis, shin splints, blisters, and other ailments. This is the third time my co-leader and I have taken students on this route, and the first that all students completed every step of the walk." Kudos to the group!

PLACE urban studies students presenting at City Hall

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You're invited!

PLACE students will present their recommendations for improving SE Powell Blvd. to the Portland City Council on Wednesday, July 16, at 9:30 a.m.

Come to City Hall to hear the presentation.

City Council Chambers
1221 SW 4th Ave
Portland, OR 97204

Link to Google Map

They are making the same presentation at the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability on Thursday, Juy 17, at noon.

Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
1900 SW 4th Ave
Portland, OR 97201

Link to Google Map

About the PLACE recommendations

PLACE students have created design concepts for the Oregon Department of Transportation parcels on Powell Boulevard between 50th and 82nd to assist with the implementation of high-capacity transit. Specifically, they hope to improve the aesthetics and functionality of the ODOT parcels on Powell, while prioritizing the needs and desires of the community.

Check out the PLACE blog for more information

Senior Alex Lam wins two bronze medals at the 2014 Fencing Summer Nationals

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We salute you!

Alex was 3rd out of 67 in the Division 1A Men's Saber and 3rd out of 262 in the Junior Men's Saber (U19) events in Columbus, Ohio.

His national ranking in the Junior Men's Saber (U19) category moved from 34th to 22nd in the country. He is currently in the top 10 of U19 high school fencers.

Alex was also named to the first team of the 2014 USA Fencing All-Academic Team.

Video: Reflections on Lark Palma's 19 years as head of school

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Please consider making a gift in honor of Lark Palma's extraordinary leadership 

Commencement 2014 photo gallery

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Congratulations to the newest members of the Alumni Association!


Focus on Giving: a generous gift for Catlin Gabel's trees

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From the Spring 2014 Caller

Phyllis Cantrell Reynolds ’47 recently made a generous gift to the Catlin Gabel endowment to preserve the trees on campus. Phyllis has a special love for tree preservation and works actively to preserve and promote urban landscapes, forests, and gardens. This fall Macrophyllum Press published a new edition of her classic work, Trees of Greater Portland. Phyllis has also done an outstanding service to Catlin Gabel by cataloguing every important tree on campus.
“The older I get, the more I identify with trees and their destiny,” says Phyllis. “Catlin Gabel has some very, very nice trees that over the years have become special to me. If I can see that they have healthy happy lives, then I’m happy.”
Phyllis, a Portland native, received her BA and PhD from the University of Minnesota. A retired clinical psychologist, she was also a faculty member at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine. She also received an education in art from the Portland Art Museum School, Mills College, and Oregon School of Arts and Crafts and has exhibited her etchings and monoprints throughout the West.
Phyllis’s other books include The Complete Book of Meat (1963) and A History of Arlington Heights (2013). Among numerous awards, Phyllis has received the Catlin Gabel Distinguished Alumna Award and the Mayor’s Spirit of Portland Award. In addition to her work on Catlin Gabel’s trees, Phyllis has inventoried trees or plants for Reed College, OHSU, Laurelhurst Park, and the Japanese Garden.
Endowment gifts help distinguish Catlin Gabel from other schools and create an enriching experience for our students. Your leadership inspires others to participate in this important effort. For more information, please call development director Joset Grenon at 503-297-1894 ext. 307 or email  

Photo by Molly Jones

Focus on Giving: Successful Auction and Tuition on the Track

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From the Spring 2014 Caller

2014 auction an enormous success

This year’s auction, Celebrate: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, drew a crowd of 350 people to Pure Space in the Pearl on March 15. With a silent and live auction grossing $504,000, this was our highest-earning event on record. The funds raised by this annual event make it possible for Catlin Gabel to provide a low student-teacher ratio, exceptional teachers, outstanding academic programs, and a strong commitment to financial aid.
Talented circus artists from Pendulum opened the auction for a lively audience, and the festivities included a special presentation from senior Will Rosenfeld, who spoke from the heart about giving back to the school. The evening’s emcee, parent Patrick O’Neill, provided a warm and energetic presence. The evening culminated with a special dedication to retiring head of school Lark Palma with a moving visual tribute, created by parents Judd and Natali Girard, to her 19 years of leadership. “I so appreciate all the parents, alumni, and faculty-staff who came together in support of the school in this fun and fabulous way,” said Lark Palma. “I was truly humbled by your show of support for me during the live auction.”
A special thank you goes to our auction chairs, current parents Craig Hartzman, Indira Nallakrishnan, and Sheryl Rosenfeld, for their tireless dedication to making this a successful event, and presenting sponsor Cedar Hills Crossing for their generous support. We are grateful for the many volunteers who spent countless hours procuring items, selling tickets, decorating, and managing every detail of this event so that everyone had a wonderful time celebrating Catlin Gabel’s yesterdays, today, and tomorrow.

Tuition on the Track: a senior class tradition continues

On Friday, April 18, students of all ages, faculty, staff, parents, and friends came together for a sunny afternoon of walking, skipping, sprinting, and joining together as a community to support financial aid. This year marked the third annual TTT student-led walkathon held at Catlin Gabel, which raised an amazing $68,000.
Tuition on the Track brings in valuable pledges that help Catlin Gabel provide scholarships for over 26% of our students. Each year, we ask our generous community to join together and support our students with a donation to the Catlin Gabel Fund.
Thank you to our co-chairs, Will Rosenfeld ’14 and Katie Zechnich ’14. And a special thank you to our presenting sponsor, Washington Trust Bank.

Alumni News, Spring 2014

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From the Spring 2014 Caller


My inspirational Catlin Gabel moment
I was lucky enough to be a student when esteemed author and lecturer Mark Mathabane was a faculty member. He was a soft-spoken man with intense eyes, a gracious spirit, and somber intensity about him. He was a true kindred spirit. He led a trip to New York hosted by the student group SPEED/UJIMA, during which I realized my eagerness to learn more about the enigma of race, diversity, class, and social injustice not just in America but worldwide. He influenced my love of African history and African American literature and inspired me to obtain a degree in African American studies from Oberlin College.
What is most different about Catlin Gabel 12 years later?
This is a tough question, but if I had to choose one thing it would be the food. I remember having sandwiches in the Barn, and bagels, lots of bagels. Yesterday for lunch I had an amazingly flavorful Vietnamese pork sandwich, and last week a delicious patty melt with locally raised beef. Hen Truong brings traditional and international flavors to the Barn menu. By doing so he is planting the seed for appreciation of the global diversity of food, which is truly Portland.
The future of alumni engagement
I envision a unique model for alumni relations built around the pillars of Catlin Gabel: focus on bold thinking, embracing innovation, and service to the community at large. I believe the future of alumni engagement includes the use of technology to provide access, bringing our community and our network closer while underscoring the value of personal connections. It’s also in recognizing our past challenges and facing them head on. My goal is to achieve Catlin Gabel’s unique alumni model with intentionality in programming, events, and engagement opportunities. Please stay tuned to further developments!
It’s all about relationships
The alumni relations office would love to hear from you! Please send us an email with your up-to-date address, phone number, and email, and let us know if you have changed jobs or career fields, got married, moved, or had children. Stay in touch by following us on Facebook @ CatlinGabelAlums, joining our Linkedin group, and signing up for the e-news.
If you want to go one step further, then consider joining the alumni board or regional chapters. As part of the alumni board you can help plan service opportunities and events, take part in the oral history program, plan alumni weekend, and much more. Please contact Owen Gabbert ’02, alumni board president, at or Sprinavasa Bell Brown ’02, alumni program director, at for more details.
Office of Alumni Relations,, 503-297-1894 ext. 424

Critically acclaimed author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore ’94 reading at Powell’s on July 1

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Alumna Miranda Beverly-Whittemore’s third novel, Bittersweet, is a suspenseful and cinematic beach read. Join her at Powell’s on Burnside for a reading on Tuesday, July 1, at 7:30 p.m.

About Bittersweet: Secrets unfold when a scholarship student at a prestigious East Coast college visits her roommate’s pedigreed New England family.

“A page-turner riddled with stubborn clues, a twisty plot and beguiling characters.” —Kirkus, starred review

“Beverly-Whittemore’s novel is suspenseful and intriguing… Her short chapters, with their cliff-hanger endings, will keep readers turning pages late into the night.” —Booklist

“The theme of Paradise Lost courses through this coming-of-age tale tinged with mystery.” —Publishers Weekly

“A suspenseful tale of corruption and bad behavior among wealthy New Englanders.” —Library Journal

“Evokes Gone Girl with its exploration of dark secrets and edge-of-your-seat twists.” —Entertainment Weekly, A- review

“Like a Downton-in-Vermont, Bittersweet takes swift, implausible plot turns, and its family secrets flow like a bottomless magnum of champagne, but Beverly¬Whittemore succeeds in shining a light into the dark, brutal flaws of the human heart.” —New York Times Book Review

Lark's farewell BBQ photo gallery

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The sun always shines on the righteous!


Video: 2014 seniors talk about their college choices

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Catlin Gabel seniors are about to embark on an exciting new chapter in their lives. Five seniors speak here about their college choices, and how they found a good fit for them.

»Link to list of where all seniors are going to college
»Link to article by college counselors about the admission year and college trends

Thomas is going to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago!

Emmarose is going to the University of Southern California!

Chris is going to Princeton University!

Liban's going to Swarthmore College!

Sadie is going to Barnard College!