2008-09 Annual Report

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Loyalty to Catlin Gabel
From the Fall 2009 Caller and 2008-09 Annual Report

I am grateful for the generosity of Catlin Gabel community members in a financially precarious year—specifically to donors who have remained consistent supporters of our school, year after year. We remain focused on the vision of providing long-term fiscal strength for the school, investing in our teachers and programs, and making sure that a Catlin Gabel education is available to a great variety of students. Thank you for your commitment.
—Lark Palma, Head of School

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"My two years at the Catlin School in the early 1950s were key to my growth and happiness then, and throughout my lifetime of learning. I’d been the youngest kid in my class for years, having been “skipped” in public school—a common practice then. Catlin’s small classes, skilled and caring teachers, and wonderful classmates stimulated a yearning to learn and take new steps. I am loyal to Catlin Gabel because of a long-lasting awareness of how important the school was to me as a student for two years, and further, over the course of my lifetime." 



“Catlin Gabel is a very special place that empowers its graduates with a wonderful set of skills and ideals that last a lifetime. While the national debate over the quality of K-12 education focuses increasingly on measureable outcomes (test scores and college admissions), the qualitative aspects of education continue to fade in most circles. This is where Catlin Gabel’s strengths have always been and continue to set an exemplary standard—balancing of self and community, finding one’s innate intellectual curiosity, learning for learning’s sake, combining competitive spirit with humility, developing sophisticated oral and written communication skills, cultivating creative minds, fostering exceptional interpersonal skills . . . the list goes on, but the theme stays the same.
"Catlin Gabel has always approached education by emphasizing long-term life skills, with a bold assumption that such a focus would allow for short-term success as measured by others. For generations, this axiom has proven true and is the quality of Catlin Gabel that I cherish most. And it is for this reason that I have supported Catlin Gabel, with my wife, Tiina’s, blessing. Living on the other side of the country allows me only occasional points of contact with the school, but not a day goes by that I don’t reach into my tool bag and pull out something special and invaluable that I trace directly to my six years at Catlin Gabel.”



“Having grown up in rural Oregon, in Cottage Grove, just south of Eugene, I went off to Catlin Gabel in 1975 to spend my junior and senior years there. It was the great educational experience of my life, a place where academics (especially history and literature) were balanced by the arts (theater, music, and folk dancing) as well as the sciences.
“In addition to the great teachers I had there, I also had great friends, and I can truly say that Catlin Gabel was the first place where I felt that I belonged. Despite other educational experiences at the college and university levels, still Catlin Gabel remains the school of which I am fondest.
“Now that I am moderately successful—both as a librarian and as a historian—I have made it a point to give modest sums of money every three months or so, year after year, in the hopes that Catlin Gabel will continue to inspire a lifelong love of learning, however it manifests itself, in young people of all ages.”



Parents, volunteers, donors

“We support Catlin Gabel because we have grown to cherish and love the members of the Catlin Gabel community—teachers, parents, staff, and students— who are so special and create a unique education and community environment. We are inspired to participate because we know that anything outstanding does not come easily; it requires intellectual, physical, and financial support.
"We are inspired by the school’s fantastic children and the teachers who open their minds, making school and the discovery of learning a lifelong passion for our kids. Oh, and that big smile as they run off to campus each morning.
"Our favorite Catlin Gabel experience is “It’s Not as Easy as It Looks” Meadow Mouse circus, a Cirque du Soleil for preschoolers. This is a favorite for so many reasons. The circus acts integrate creativity, teamwork, and physical challenge (especially for the physically challenged) into something that is just plain fun. It has also become an Apolloni family saying, when someone seems a bit overconfident in a task and it doesn’t quite work out. So many things are really not as easy as they look.
"We volunteer because we believe that the school and community benefit from our volunteering efforts and by association our children. But if we hope for our children to value, appreciate, and dedicate themselves to education, we as parents must demonstrate to them the same dedication and value in the efforts we make to support the Catlin Gabel community.
"Catlin Gabel provides our children a rich, nurturing, and supportive environment that focuses on each individual student’s needs, both strengths and weaknesses. Catlin Gabel’s community of great staff, talented kids, and open structure provides a fantastic learning and growing environment.”