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What Happens When the Bullets Stop?

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From the Spring 2014 Caller

In their own words: Dave Whitson and his Transitional Justice students on examining hard questions of genocide and reconciliation


FROM DAVE WHITSON’S CLASS SYLLABUS

How can a country, scarred by genocide, ever recover and regain a sense of normalcy? How can two rival factions, guilty of committing horrible atrocities against the other, ever learn to live together in peace again? How can victims of torture rebuild their internal worlds while their external circumstances remain equally fractured?

What is transitional justice?

Countries and the international community endeavoring to move from chaos to stability, punish the guilty, document the historical truth, and help victims heal.

Three central concepts

Truth. How do you establish historical truth? Why is truth critical for peace and healing? How can the pursuit of truth compromise peace?
Justice. What is justice and who is justice for? Is justice possible following mass atrocities?
Reconciliation. Is this an external or internal process? How can one heal and forgive? Is reconciliation predicated upon forgiveness or punishment? International cases: Canada and South Africa, international tribunals devoted to the Yugoslav Wars and Rwandan genocide, the aftermath of the military dictatorships in Chile and Argentina, the civil wars in Liberia, and the Holocaust.
 

DAVE WHITSON: “THIS CLASS LIVES VERY MUCH IN THE GRAY”

The ideal history class feels highly relevant to students’ lives, speaks to important contemporary issues, challenges students emotionally and intellectually, and defies simplistic black-and-white thinking. This class lives very much in the gray, with no easy answers or definite routes to success. The hope offered here is not Pollyanna-ish. It’s a hope that twists in your gut and yet also uplifts. That’s the realm I want students to inhabit in class.
 

JULIANNE JOHNSON ’12: “A TRULY FORMATIVE EXPERIENCE”

Transitional Justice was a truly formative high school experience for me. It introduced me to the critical thinking that I have employed at Vassar College and the areas of study that I am continuing as a women’s studies major and Native American studies minor. Dave Whitson’s class was the first academic experience at Catlin Gabel where there was never one “right” answer to the question at hand (whether it be about the ethically complex conditions of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the morally ambiguous actions of Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, or the reparations feasible for survivors of Canada’s Indian Residential School system).
 
Frequently Dave didn’t have a set answer either, and the whole class was able to cooperatively puzzle through the moral gray areas of the implementation of transitional justice. This ideological structure of the course, where students and teacher are on even footing and all trying to make sense of the complex nature of transitional justice, is the same as many of my classes in college. In these classes, students are expected to respectfully assert their opinions while also listening to and truly considering the differing beliefs of others. In this way, Transitional Justice gave me the tools to quickly adapt to and succeed.
 

DAVE WHITSON: SERVING AS WITNESSES AT CANADA’S TRUTH & RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

We attended the BC national event for Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The TRC is devoted to Canada’s Indian Residential Schools, which carried out a sort of cultural genocide (a loaded and controversial term, but many support the notion in this case) on Canada’s First Nations youth, with the intent being to “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.” Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their homes and relocated to boarding schools where they were physically, psychologically, and sexually abused. Upon being released, many took up alcohol and drugs as a form of self-medication; tragically, many repeated the violent acts that had been perpetrated against them on other indigenous people living on their reserves. The result is a cycle of violence and a complete destabilizing of First Nations populations across Canada. The last residential schools closed in the 1990s, so this is still a relatively fresh wound.
 
The TRC is part of a nationwide initiative to acknowledge the historical wrongs and begin to pursue healing. At the commission, survivors of the schools testify about their experiences. Thus, for three days we sat and listened, serving as witnesses to the events. All students were also asked to initiate a one-on-one conversation with someone attending the event. In some cases, those conversations lasted for more than an hour.
 

JONATHAN BRAY ’14: “A LIFE-CHANGING EVENT”

Transitional Justice, especially when coupled with the experience of attending the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada, was a highlight of my academic career so far. The class simultaneously exposed me to riveting historical events and stimulating intellectual and ethical dialogue with my classmates. We strove to answer the question that is consistently posed to the modern world: how to achieve reconciliation and recovery following widespread tragedy, initiating conversation that stretched beyond the challenging readings and into our own morals and views of right and wrong.
 
Our visit to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was truly a life-changing event. To witness the survivors of Indian Residential Schools tearfully recount their heartwrenching experiences brought the classwork to life. I was able to extensively converse with a particular survivor, coming face to face with the effect nationwide tragedy has on the individual, and how far it can extend past those directly affected.
 
Transitional Justice was an unforgettable class, and the knowledge I acquired through it has aided me in my everyday thoughts on modern events.
 

DAVE WHITSON: SHIFTING FOCUS TO HOW PEACE CAN BE WON

Growing up, my perception of history was that of a succession of wars with only brief flashes of peace. It’s a discouraging narrative, one in which we humans continually screw things up and display a consistent incapacity to get along. I think it spreads a fatalistic way of thinking, in which students develop a cynical view of human nature, one in which we are all inherently greedy, intolerant, and doomed to conflict. To make things worse, when I first developed a course on the modern world, I found myself falling into the same pattern, constructing units around the Napoleonic Wars, the Latin American Revolutions, the Age of Imperialism, the World Wars, and the Cold War! It’s hard to break out of that dominant narrative.
 
And yet, that narrative misses a critical piece of the picture. All history classes emphasize the tragedy of the Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I. However, that treaty is reflective of many that came before it, promoting victor’s justice and the absolute punishment of the enemy. There is no attention paid to rehabilitation, to recovery, or to reconciliation. It’s small wonder that another war developed within the next two decades.
 
Instead of focusing on how wars are won, I think it’s more instructive—and probably more useful—to focus on how the peace can be won. Not many students will have a practical application for the lesson of not invading Russia in the winter. However, they’ll all benefit from some consideration of how former enemies can overcome their animosity and the legacy of violence in pursuit of healing and a constructive relationship. It’s also just generally more life affirming to think about forgiveness and justice than the optimal methods for killing off the enemy.
 
It also happens that this is a major point of emphasis in the contemporary world. While the Nuremberg trials were an early attempt at international justice, only after the Cold War ended did the international community begin to take this seriously. Over the last two decades, many states have recognized the importance of these issues and academic circles have followed suit. This is an issue of immediate relevance in the world today
 

JEMMA PRITCHARD ’12: “THAT CLASS CHANGED ME”

When I was in Dave’s class as a senior, something clicked for me. Though I had studied history throughout my time at Catlin Gabel and knew what kinds of wonderful and awful things people were capable of, it was in that classroom that I really started to be able to comprehend just how deep human hatred and compassion can run, and what that means for nations politically and socially. I became so passionately interested in the subject, and my classmates and I spent all kinds of time both in and outside of class discussing our emotional reactions to the material that we had covered and our opinions on the mechanisms and politics we learned about. The trip to Canada then really solidified that feeling.
 
Experiencing a transitional justice mechanism first-hand and being able to interview survivors was an experience that I find myself returning to almost every day. At the moment I am actually pursuing a career in comparative politics, focusing on transitional justice. That class changed me as a student and as a person and I will never stop being thankful for it.
 

DAVE WHITSON: “WE ARE NOT CONDEMNED TO AN ENDLESS CYCLE OF VIOLENCE”

Genocide is depressing. War is depressing. Oppressive political regimes are depressing. Often, though, our study of the material ends there. In this class, we start there, and then examine how people have endeavored to move beyond those tragedies. This is not a fairy tale. Everybody doesn’t live happily ever after. The first reading in the class acknowledges the bitter truth: when someone you love is killed in an act of injustice, closure is not possible. However, when you see stories of forgiveness, of reconciliation, of acknowledgment by a government of past wrongs, you start to believe that we are not condemned to an endless cycle of violence. In South Africa, we met a man named Thulani Mabaso. He had been imprisoned in Robben Island with Nelson Mandela. Today, he leads tours of the island with his former warden. The men have reconciled and today they are colleagues. It’s a small, isolated case, but it speaks to what is possible.
 

DAVE WHITSON: THE SATISFACTION OF TEACHING

When I decided to do this, I thought that the big draw was a life devoted to learning. And that has certainly happened—my understanding of history and the world has deepened a great deal over the last ten years. I am also a performer at heart, and there’s something invigorating about “performing” every day, even on the smaller scale. As a young, aspiring teacher, I didn’t fully appreciate how meaningful working with students would become. I derive a great deal of meaning from seeing my students in all of their different activities and seeing their growth over the course of a year, and over the course of their four years in the Upper School. Being an active, invested part of a community has become my overriding priority.
 
Dave Whitson has been teaching Upper School history at Catlin Gabel since 2011, and spent spring break with students on a trip to Argentina and Chile to study pursuits of justice there. He is also the director of the Palma Scholars Program. Jonathan Bray graduated from Catlin Gabel in June. Julianne Johnson ’12 is a women’s studies major at Vassar College. Jemma Pritchard ’12 is studying comparative politics at the University of Oregon.

Economics Like It Matters

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Meredith Goddard teaches hard-hitting economics with conviction and verve

From the Spring 2014 Caller

By Nadine Fiedler

It’s early in the day, first class of the day, the time you think high schoolers would be sleepy and taciturn. But these eight students in this Catlin Gabel classroom are bright eyed and engaged, right in there with their whip-smart economics teacher, Meredith Goddard. And what’s more, they’re grappling with one of the thorniest issues right now in economics—the U.S. health care system and reforms.
 
Focused and intense, Meredith shoots off the first of the many rapid-fire queries she’ll ask during this session: “I’d like you to investigate how much it costs to get an appendix out.”
 
Her students turn to their laptops, and the room is filled with the tapping of keys. “$1,530,” answers one boy. “Is that a good price?” asks Meredith. “Is it in the U.S?” “Hmm, might not be,” he answers. More tapping, and students start yelling out prices: $1,500, $9,000, $55,000, $186,000. It turns out the $1,530 price came from a Washington Post article. “But in which hospital can you get the operation? The Washington Post doesn’t say,” says Meredith. Several minutes go by. No one can find the answer.
 
By investigating the question themselves, her students have come around to the point Meredith hoped to make by doing this exercise. “So it’s an impossible question. You can find a $5 candy bar, but you all are stellar researchers, and you can’t find affordable surgery,” she says. And again, she prods them to think further: “Why?”
 
“We’re not the customers, Medicaid and Medicare are,” says one student. “The insurance companies are the customers,” says another. “There are no easy answers,” she replies. “We’re going to be dealing throughout our lives with a very messy healthcare situation.”
 
Meredith’s aims for this elective class are ambitious. She would like students to develop fluency in the language of economics, to be able to read and understand articles in the Economist and tune in to economics news in the media instead of tuning right out. She says, “Once they have this vocabulary and this new language they seem more confident and able to engage as citizens in conversations they hear adults having. They can engage in powerful conversations because they’re not jaded, and they have unique ideas and solutions that are powerful and need to be heard.”
 
She ends this course’s journey through key issues such as college costs, supply and demand, problems of cheapness, minimum wage, the moral limits of markets, unemployment, the causes of the Great Recession, monetary policy tools, the environmental marketplace, and global markets with a week of discussions with students about their own personal financial futures. Most of all, though, she wants to teach an economics that is live, relevant, and meaningful. “I try to think about not just cultivating economic fluency among my students, but cultivating social justice in thinking about economics,” she says. “A huge focus of my class is thinking about solutions to economic crises and issues of increasing economic inequality, one of the most dire crises of our time. Those at the bottom don’t have the power or the money to advocate for themselves, so if we don’t start talking about it more widely and about creating an economy that works for most people systemically, then people are going to fall further and further behind.”
 
Meredith comes to her convictions about how to teach economics well armed by her own Economics 101 learning experiences. She had always been fascinated by economics, was a model student, and wanted to know more—but felt that her economics education was inauthentic and lacking. Originally a teacher of U.S. history and a voracious learner, when Meredith transitioned into teaching economics she worked with fierce determination to figure out how to right those wrongs for her students. Along the way she found herself among a groundswell of students who felt that the way Economics 101 had always been taught was not applicable to their lives. “We were given this blind faith that markets were working—then along came the Great Recession. And there were no good solutions from economists for the crisis,” she says. Being part of this movement gave her the tools to become the strong and committed teacher she is now, creating classes in which her students are fully engaged and on their way to a useful and lifelong understanding of economics.
 
Her own journey to Catlin Gabel was also intensely personal for Meredith. She had been teaching in Chicago public schools, but felt stifled by the overwhelming burden of continual preparation for testing. She traveled to Walden, Massachusetts, to study Henry David Thoreau, whom she had long admired, and whose theories she deeply identified with. “I was swimming in Walden Pond and thought to myself, ‘I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be in this place thinking about Thoreau. This is my one life. This is my chance to do something really meaningful. I decided at that moment to find a way to live a freer life, with more choices.” She found her way to Catlin Gabel—and the school is now lucky to have this talented teacher who has added immeasurably to our school.

»Read about Startup Camp, which Meredith brought to Catlin Gabel to encourage student entrepreneurs

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

As History Changes, So Must the Teaching of History

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From the Spring 2014 Caller

By Peter Shulman

In 2003, when I became the first new history teacher at Catlin Gabel in decades, I worked alongside titans. John Wiser, Harriet Wiser, and John Keyes emanated academic rigor and challenged students to think critically, write incisively, and wrestle with defining moral quandaries. In addition, I was fortunate enough to become friends with the just-retired Dave Corkran, and quickly came to know his legendary intellectual intensity and fierce moral integrity. The eloquence, industry, and ethical consideration of our alumni are a living legacy of their teaching.
 
As the last departmental link between this revered generation and a new, dynamic cadre of colleagues, I often find myself considering a central problem identified by students of change: excelling in one context often diminishes adaptation to new circumstances. After all, why change what’s been working extremely well? Qing China is a classic governmental example of decline in spite of strength, while Western Union’s strategic error of protecting its telegraph monopoly by giving away mastery over the telephone wires speaks volumes about the perils that accompany success. Education is of course rife with strategic decisions, fueled by prognosticators of decline and evangelists for the latest workshops promoting “education for the 21st century.” Suffice to say that there is a lot of hype about transformational education, but it would be equally foolish to ignore that the times, they are a-changin’.
 
The 21st century’s dizzying pace of change has turned old realities upside down. The U.S. is now a net exporter of petroleum products, the Blackberry phone teeters on extinction, and marriage equality, decisively defeated at polls in the century’s first decade, seems an unstoppable force in its second. Karl Rove predicted, with apparent justification in 2004, a “permanent Republican majority,” only to find a Democratic congress by 2007. Meanwhile, a century that began with Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi firmly in power is a distant memory in a roiling Middle East, and the giddy optimism of Tahrir Square has chilled into an Orwellian winter. The speed of change should give any pundit pause.
 
These heady transformations are joined by a communications revolution whose scale rivals the Gutenberg press. The increasing power of the individual to publish text, imagery, and music is collapsing massive hierarchies, while the merging of the human mind with computer databases forces a central question: what must students “know” when so many answers are a click away? As such, the department confronts its own version of the “innovator’s dilemma”: how to keep the best aspects of an esteemed program while adjusting to an increasingly globalized, digital society.
 
Our goal is to maintain the core, non-negotiable assets of our predecessors. Effective writing, careful reading, measured analysis, and the strong teacher-student relationship must always be central to our work, and each of these requires one element that isn’t changing: the finite nature of available time. But we have launched several new initiatives to adapt to a changing world:
 
Greater focus on contemporary issues and problem-solving: Historians focus on great cataclysms that we should never forget, but a diet of man’s inhumanity to man can demoralize students. Hence, instructors have built solution-oriented explorations into the curriculum. Freshmen tackle family-planning strategies to address overpopulation, while sophomores use historical case studies of Poland and Yugoslavia to offer prescriptions for mitigating conflict in multi-ethnic states. Recent electives in Public Health, Race and Class in Portland, Economics, and Environmental Politics are all built around getting a better understanding of key challenges confronting the 21st century. Patrick Walsh changed the Globalization curriculum to include an imperative for students to propose and enact solutions to climate change.

Experiential education

Experiences” are easy enough to create, but truly meaningful experiential education takes genuine savvy and keen intentionality. Freshmen engage contemporary businesses on the nature of global production, and supplement their study of religion with visits to unfamiliar houses of worship. Sophomores had the opportunity to meet with Bosnian refugee and Jonske speaker Ismet Prcic in the context of studying the disintegration of Yugoslavia. George Zaninovich’s PLACE electives have long pioneered experiential forays, as students produce plans for a variety of real-world clients, including the Portland Parks Department, Zenger Farm, and Lincoln High School. This year, Dave Whitson led his Transitional Justice students to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools in Vancouver, B.C., where his class sat in on hearings and interviewed indigenous participants. Dave also brought students to Chile and Argentina to directly engage transitional justice issues in the aftermath of military rule. Finally, Meredith Goddard’s new Economics of Innovation elective, coming on the heels of her wildly successful Startup Camp, has students champing at the bit to try out their entrepreneurial chops.

Increased global perspective

The first two years of the Upper School core curriculum have been totally reconstructed in the past two years, with greater focus on India, Japan, China, and sub-Saharan Africa. New classes over the past three years include 9/11 in a Global Context (cited as exemplary innovation by Bill Gates in his 2012 NAIS keynote), Modern China, and Revolution in the Middle East. Research: Given the transformative access of the internet, efficiently finding and carefully evaluating online materials are crucial skills. As such, teachers have opened up space in the curriculum for greater research opportunities. Sophomores interrogate the invention of nationalism in distinct countries through research, while U.S. History has traded in an exam on the Cold War in favor of student research projects that evaluate the impact of U.S. foreign policy in countries such as South Korea, El Salvador, Angola, and Pakistan. In Revolution in the Middle East, students assess the stability of the Saudi monarchy and the economic clout of the Egyptian military, while Economics students research the impact of the Affordable Care Act. Transitional Justice students have posted their research on Wikipedia, and have found that editing the historical record can elicit contentious resistance from those with a great investment in a particular version of the past.

Public speaking

Catlin Gabel’s small classes are uniquely positioned to provide robust speaking experience. A given day might find students teaching about the Japanese response to Western encroachment, debating U.S. military intervention in Syria, or running an Upper School assembly on contemporary income inequality. Patrick and George’s Journalism students have staged two Portland mayoral debates; on the latter, the Oregonian’s Steve Duin wrote that “the student organizers at Catlin— who moderated the forum, asked the questions and publicized the event—were at the top of their game.”

Current events colloquium

Recently, thanks to librarian Sue Phillips, two dozen students spent their free period with history faculty to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. The students’ intellectual hunger and sophistication was great evidence of their ability to use history to understand, and, indeed, to teach. What hasn’t changed is the importance of having a historical context. It helps us to ask the right questions, identify true outliers, and fact-check the scurrilous and misleading uses for which history is too often deployed. It gives us practice in the art of multi-variable analysis, for unlike a science lab, human interaction has too many variables to control. It will always be a way to understand the diversity of human experience, and at Catlin Gabel, it strives to be an essential aspect of the credo “inspired learning leading to responsible action.”
 
Peter Shulman has been teaching history at Catlin Gabel since 2003.

The Mandate for Teaching History Well: A Farewell From Outgoing Head of School Lark Palma

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From the Spring 2014 Caller

By Lark P. Palma

If taught well and thoughtfully, history helps a student develop a unique capacity for comprehending human situations. It fuels a conversation about the importance of action from the lessons of history. It’s meaningful to me that my last article for the Caller is about history and social studies, as I believe history is the single most powerful discipline for analyzing the past, living the present, and predicting the future. Most importantly, studying history well helps us become thoughtful, informed, and committed to exercising our rights as citizens, especially our right and privilege to vote. This issue is a testament to how well our superb faculty teaches history, and their eagerness to fine-tune the curriculum, create experiences that make history immediate and important, and seek connections to social, political, artistic, and economic situations.
 
Recently, when packing boxes to move back to South Carolina, I came across my 8th grade required history text, The History of South Carolina by Mary C. Sims Oliphant. She found it adequate to talk about slavery for one and a half pages, and the glorious generals of the “War Between the States” for several chapters. The economic justifications for slavery were never connected to the immorality of the war. What if I hadn’t come from a progressive family that had lively debates at the dinner table? What if I had not been exposed to any other points of view? My ability to participate in our fundamental right to express our citizenship would be severely compromised.
 
Catlin Gabel and the teachers who teach history and social studies understand well the mandate of their work.
 
• Students learn how the past shapes the present and probably informs the future. The Transitional Justice course clearly shows the direct effect of a law, its enactment, and the success of social change as a result.
 
• Students learn to develop empathy by reading original texts written by the people experiencing the events. For instance, 6th graders study the context of the Civil War and write a first-person journal.
 
• They learn to read critically to distinguish between evidence and assertion and understand competing points of view. In doing so, they learn to interrogate the text and artifacts, make hypotheses, and draw conclusions so that they extract every bit of meaning. Through these interrogations, students come up with real questions. Who is not represented in the study of history, and why? Why is the history of real lives of the poor, women, minority groups, or children so sparse in relationship to the history of political leaders, wars, politics, treaties, and policies? Why isn’t there more work published by women and minorities? In a sense students are calling for a wider exposure and deeper content to intensify their understanding of the course of history.
 
The study of history reveals its evolving narrative. Students learn that what happened in the past is not the final truth, so what they study and how they study it has to change. Courses that have been added to the Catlin Gabel curriculum include Middle Eastern studies, the Sixties, 9-11, Islam, gender studies, and other courses that emphasize social history and bring in more interdisciplinary learning.
 
I leave Catlin Gabel this summer to contemplate a curriculum for another school, in Charleston, South Carolina. The first plaque acknowledging that city’s role in the slave trade was erected in the 1990s. It is clear how the teaching of history should develop there, with the city itself as the curriculum. If any of you travel there, I will be a willing and proud guide. I will miss Catlin Gabel deeply. I will miss writing for the Caller, but there are books and blogs inside me ready to emerge.

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!

College list for Catlin Gabel 2014 seniors

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Here's where the class of 2014 is going to college!

(as of 5/22/14)
 
Amherst College
Barnard College
Bates College
Berklee College of Music
University of British Columbia, Okanagan
Brown University
Case Western Reserve University
Chapman University
University of Chicago
Claremont McKenna College
Colorado College (2)
Colby College
University of Denver (2)
DePaul University
Dickinson College
Hamilton College, NY
Harvey Mudd College
University of La Verne
Lewis & Clark College
Macalester College
McGill University
Montana State University, Bozeman
Mount Holyoke College (2)
New York University (2)
University of Notre Dame
Oberlin College
Occidental College
Oregon State University
University of Oregon (2)
Portland State University
University of Portland (2)
Princeton University (2)
University of Puget Sound (3)
University of Redlands
Reed College
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rice University
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2)
Scripps College (3)
Smith College
University of Southern California (2)
Southern Oregon University (2)
Stanford University
Swarthmore College (3)
Tufts University
Tulane University (2)
Union College
Whitman College (5)
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
 

8th grade films win awards at Middle School Media Festival

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Three films by Catlin Gabel 8th graders received awards at the Middle School Media Festival at Bush School in Seattle:

"Free Yourself" by Andrei Stoica and Katie Truong: Honorable Mention

"Welcome To The Hood" by Stuart Ryan, Mason Snider, and Elliott White: Audience Award

"One Fish Two Fish Dead Fish Chewed Fish" by Piper Kizziar, Kathryn Putz and Rachael Underwood: Audience Award & Teacher’s Choice Award

Congratulations to the filmmakers and their teacher, Brendan Gill.

Nic Bergen '16 wins Grand Prize at International Silent Film Festival

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Sophomore Nic Bergen's film "Continuous Quest" won the Grand Prix--first place, best film--last night at the selective International Youth Silent Film Festival, competing against films from the U.S., Canada, and China. Nic received a generous cash prize and time on the set of "Grimm," and will be featured in the Rose Festival. Watch for news of a public screening on June 4. Congrats to Nic and our other finalists, Søren Anderson, Becca Dunn, Gus Edelen O'Brien, Zulema Young-Toledo & Elena Lee, Ben Waitches-Eubanks & Javin Dana, and Vikram Nallakrishnan & Reuben Schafir!

Valerie Ding & Nikhil Murthy win awards at Int'l Science Fair

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Catlin Gabel sent two finalists this year to the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair held the week of May 11 in Los Angeles. Both Nikhil Murthy ’17 and Valerie Ding ’15 came home with awards.
 
Valerie Ding won four awards:
1.      4th Place Grand Award in Physics & Astronomy
2.      3rd Place Internationally & 1st Place Nationally (USA), SPIE International Society for Optics and Photonics
3.      Top 6 Nationally, from American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Physical Society
4.      New American University Provost Scholarship, Arizona State University (awarded to 22 projects nationally).
 
Nikhil Murthy won 2nd Place Grand Award in the category of Chemistry.

Congratulations, Nikhil and Valerie!

»Link to Oregonian article

CommuniCare Club donates $11,000 to nonprofits serving youth in Portland

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Student philanthropy supports community

Catlin Gabel's CommuniCare Club strives to enable youth in the Portland area to expand and increase their opportunities in education. This year, they made grants to LifeWorks, Minds Matter, New Avenues for YouthShadow Project, and SMART.

The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer Care Foundation established the CommuniCare program in 1998 to help teens learn about philanthropy and the needs of their community through grant making.