Eighth grade students in Glenn Etter's English class wrote poetry that connects to the missions of local businesses and organizations. Each student sent three poems to an organization and asked to have their poems displayed on a wall, thereby making the students “published” poets.
The response has been extraordinary! Two students are poets of the week at Powell’s Books. (Last week’s poets were W.B. Yeats and e.e. cummings!) Another student’s poem was forwarded and posted at flower shops in Paris and London. Several businesses have asked permission to frame and permanently display the poems.
I run the poetry section here at Powells, Cedar Hills. Recently, I received poems submitted by two of your students, Sarah Norris and Emma Marcus. I thought they were both terrific and well worth sharing with our customers.
I have posted them on the wall by the poetry section for people to enjoy. Each Monday, I also print up several copies of a "poem of the week" that customers are encouraged to take with them. I have printed copies of Sarah and Emma's poems to feature as our poems for this week. Most recently, we've featured W. B. Yeats and e.e. cummings, so they can be assured of being in good company.
Thank you for forwarding them to us.
Powells, Cedar Hills Crossing
My name is Frank Blanchard and I am a designer and Director of Business Development and Event Design here in Portland at Flowers Tommy Luke.
One of your students, Lauren Fogelstrom, sent us a poem she had written and I must say it couldn’t have come at a better time. Just wanted to let you know that we have not only shared it with Portland, but Lauren has officially gone “Global”. I posted her poem entitled “Daffodil” today on our Flowers Tommy Luke facebook page, my personal facebook page, and several of my floral industry friends pages in Boston, Georgia, Florida, California, and New York City as well as London and Paris. I think it was a bright spot a lot of us could use about now.
Thank You Lauren!
Frank Blanchard, Director
Business Development/Event Design
Flowers Tommy Luke
Hello Mr. Etter. I am the manager of Everyday Music. I am writing to let you know we have received the poems by your students, and have proudly displayed them in our windows facing Burnside Street. Please let the students know that we thoroughly enjoyed reading them, and are so excited to have them up. So far, the staff favorite seems to be Johns! Thank you so much for thinking of us and sending them our way. If the kids ever want to come in and introduce themselves I will be happy to give them 10 percent off anything they purchase. Thanks again!
Hello Mr. Etter/Glenn/Teacher!
Our optometry clinic received two poems today from Jillian Rix & Maddy Prunnenberg-Ross and we thought they were very well written. Our office specializes in primary care optometry catering to patents of all ages. These poems would be a perfect fit for our office and we were wondering if it would be possible to have both Jillian & Maddy hand wright the poems so that we can have them framed and displayed in our office for the public to enjoy? A 4X6 or 5X7 piece of paper would be perfect.
Please let me know when you have a chance. Thank you and have a great weekend!
Dear Mr. Etter,
Today we received a cover letter and a most wonderful and sensitive poem
from your student, Dylan Gaus. I will proudly display it in my flower shop studio and discuss it with
clients who come into the store. What a valuable experience you present to your students by encouraging them to share their art with the community. As a business owner and community activist, I am delighted to see creativity both supported and displayed as part of the learning process.
Thank you both.
Pat Hutchins and Mary Anne Huseby
Flowers In Flight
308 SW 1st Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97204
Greetings Glenn Etter,
I am the Sections Manager for the Blue Room (which contains our main Poetry sections) and I received a couple of poems and letters from two of your 8th Grade students. I was very pleased to see that you have created such a great class project around National Poetry month and that your students thought of us here at Powell's to share them with!
We have posted the poems of Garet Neal and Ashley Tam in a display case in the Pearl Room Gallery where we are also showcasing some of our customer's favorite lines of poetry this month.
Kudos to yourself and your team and good luck in the competition!
Sincerely yours in the appreciation of books, reading, and poetry,
Sections Manager, Literature and Humanities
Powell's City of Books
503-228-4651 x 1333
Hello, I will be posting the poem of Hanna Sheikh in our golf shop and I went one step past that. Her poem is also published on our website. You can find it here
Please let me know if she prefers to have it removed from the site.
Claremont Golf Club
Golf Shop Manager
Hello Catlin Gabel,
I received a poem from Raina Morris about "My Grandmother". I am the activity director at Beaverton Hills, I read the poem to my residents they all enjoyed it and we post it up in our community. Will you please tell Raina thank you for sharing her loving poem.
Dear Mr. Etter;
We have posted the poems that we received from the following students: Lauren Fogelstrom, Dylan Gaus, Sarah Norris, Kallan Dana, Mary Gilleland and Nikki Nelson. I admire their work, there is some real imagination and creativity there. I think they are fortunate to be learning from you.
704 S.W. Jefferson
Portland, Oregon 97201
Dear Mr. Glenn Etter-
I am writing to inform you that we have put on the wall 2 poems sent to us by students in your 8th grade class. Kallisti Kenaley-Lundberg and Max Armstrong can be proud "published" poets. I hope they get a chance to see their poems: If I Were A Watter Bottle and Snow on the wall at the store. They made us smile!
Thanks for thinking of us, Julie Watson, Next Adventure
My name is Alta Fleming and I'm the manager for Ben & Jerry's on Hawthorne - just wanted you to know that I received Simon's poem and we've posted it on our wall. He did a great job!!
Ben & Jerry's
Hawthorne and Clackamas Town Center Stores
I liked very much the christmas poem by nicholas destephano.
we will post it somewhere in the shop.
best, ron rich
oblation papers & press
516 northwest 12th avenue
portland, oregon 97209
Hello Mr. Etter,
We received a kind letter from your student, Maya Banitt, along with a very beautiful poem. At her request, I just wanted to let you know that we would be happy to post her poem in our offices. This poem is most appropriate for our business in designing fireplaces.
Please pass on our appreciation to her for sharing her work with us.
Debbie J. Webb, Office Manager
Moberg Fireplaces, Inc.
Cellar Building, Suite 300
1124 NW Couch St., Portland, OR 97209
Dear Glenn Etter,
We received the poem written by your student Jillian Rix today. We are posting it in the front area of our shop for customers to enjoy. Thank you for teaching, encouraging our youth and celebrating creativity!
Lavonne Heacock, office manager
Ed Geesman, violin maker, owner
Geesman Fine Violins
Hi Mr. Etter,
I am Robyn Stumpf owner of Wild Iris Flowers & Gifts in Molalla Oregon.
I received a great poem from your student Daniel Chang and am writing to inform you we have posted it on our wall by our candy retail area! Title of the poem was fitting! CANDY
Wild Iris flowers & Gifts
Mr. Etter, I am writing on behalf of the Petco in Albany, OR. We received Aaron Shapira's poem, we thought it was wonderful and have it posted on our bulletin board out front and in the back room for our employees! Please pass on our admiration to Aaron, the poem is great! Thank you,
Keri Capen, Salon Manager Petco
Dear Mr. Etter,
I received a beautiful poem today from one of your students, Jarod. He did an excellent job writing it and I will hang it up in our store with pride. We are a seasonal farm store and will open up the end of August. Jarod's poem will be able to be viewed by all our customers this fall season. Please tell him thank you from all of us.
Oregon Heritage Farms
Dear Mr. Etter,
On Saturday April 16th, 2011, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue’s Station 65 received a letter and poem from a student of yours by the name of Jarod. As requested in his letter, the poem has been placed where all can read it and I just wanted to thank him and yourself for the poem. We will all enjoy the poem, “Jumping, Leaping”, and invite you and your class to come by the station sometime for a tour.
Recently, our station along with Station 60 located off Cornell Rd in Forest Heights, visited your facilities and had our own tour. Thank you again for including us as part of your community and thank you for the wonderful poetry project conducted by your students.
Jerry Freeman II
Lt/Pm E-65 “C”
Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue
Dear Maddy's teacher (Mr. Glenn Etter),
It was a pleasure to receive Maddy's sweet poem "Window". We posted it in our office and all our staff read it adn really enjoyed it. Thank you very much! Please say thank you to Maddy (we don't have her address or email).
Zuzana B. Friberg, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Uptown EyeCare & Optical, P.C.
Your student Evan Chapman has his poem "crayon" on our wall at Gossamer.
Thank you, Rose Sabel-Dodge-owner of Gossamer
"The desire to create and craft is the antidote to alienation"
Be Creative & Crafty
I received Conner's poem today. What a wonderful poem. I put it up on the counter for all to see. You may tell Conner he is published.
thank you very much
Hello Mr. Etter - My name is Kristi Erlich and I am the owner of Owls Nest North Therapy Collaboration. I received a letter and poem from your student, Hanna Sheikh, and am writing to acknowledge receipt of them. Please convey my sincerest thanks to Hanna for choosing our organization to be the lucky recipients of her poem and let her know that we are, indeed, most honored to post/publish it for our clients to be inspired by. Our clients come from all walks of life and are touched in many ways by the connections they make. Hanna's poem speaks to our intention to provide healing experiences through art and connection. Please thank her for sharing herself with our community.
Dear Mr. Etter,
We recently received a letter from Victoria Michalowsky. She requested the opportunity to share her poem with our school. Victoria also wondered if we could post it at our school.
We would like to invite Victoria to read her poem to our kindergartners and then we would enjoy posting it so that others can read it.
Your name was given as the contact person. Please forward our invitation to Victoria.
Our office number is (503) 644-8407.
A Child’s Way
I am the owner and operator of the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Store in the Uptown Shopping Center. Hanna Sheikh was kind enough to send to us her recent "Ice Cream Poem ". Please ask her if it's ok to post this on our Community Board for all to see ? She did a great job and I thought that you should know. Please tell her that she is officially "published!" Please provide me with an address to send her a Free Ice Cream Cone Coupon for the good work.
Peace, Love, and Ice Cream
Chief Euphoria Officer
Ben and Jerry's Portland
The highlight of the April 2 auction at the Governor Hotel was a moving speech by Rachel Cohen ’90, who talked about being a Catlin Gabel "lifer." She spoke emotionally about how fortunate she was to attend Catlin Gabel thanks to financial aid. Rachel has spent the past 15 years working in international health and humanitarian aid, primarily with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Rachel joined Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) as the Regional Executive Director of DNDi North America in January. A great video about Rachel was produced for the Gambol.
Thank you to all the bidders, donors, volunteers, and supporters who made the Gambol festive and fruitful. We are pleased to share with you that the Gambol grossed $415,000 – a 20 percent increase over last year – for faculty professional development and the nearly 200 students on financial aid. We'll know net figures in late April when we finish accounting for expenses.
Congrats to freshman Lawrence Sun, who has qualified to take the national USAMO Math Olympics exam! He'll join 270 students from across the nation at the end of the month for this two-day exam. The winners will fly to the Netherlands to compete for the U.S.
From the Winter 2010-11 Caller
ALUMNI BOARD LEADERSHIP 2010–11
Portland: Anna Campbell ’96, Bill Crawford ’97, Drew Fletcher ’02, Owen Gabbert ’02, David Reich ’80. San Francisco representatives: Sarah Arzt ’02, Peter Bromka ’00. New York representatives: Alex Bellos ’02, Emily Carr Bellos ’02. Seattle representatives: Jim Bilbao ’79, Alan Cantlin ’95, John Chun ’87. Los Angeles representative: Nick Toren ’91.
ALUMNI WEEKEND JUNE 17–19
Friday, June 17
Annual alumni awards presentation with alumni associationhosted welcome back to campus dinner and lively music to follow in the Barn.
Saturday, June 18
Annual soccer game, retirement celebration for athletic director and coach Mike Davis with lunch in the Paddock, campus tours, family activities, challenge course, and class reunion parties.
Sunday, June 19
Brunch for all alumni in classes of 1941–61. Special anniversary celebration for classes of ’41, ’46, ’51, ’56, and ’61.
WE WANT YOUR NOTES
From the Winter 2010-11 Caller
NEWS FROM AROUND HONEY HOLLOW
OUR GREAT TEACHERS
OUR AMAZING STUDENTS
ATH LETICS and SPORTS KUDOS
The 28th annual Intel Northwest Science Expo (the statewide science fair) was held at Portland State University on April 1. Four Catlin Gabel students had qualified to attend the state fair based on results from the earlier regional science fairs. All four students won awards in their categories, and one was selected to continue to the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).
From the Winter 2010-11 Caller
By Sarah Lowenstein ’11
Some aspects of Catlin Gabel will never change
By Kate Posner ’11
From the Winter 2010-11 Caller
Jenn Stallard ’92
Ritual creates a sense of familiarity. The term “familiarity” is closely associated with “family,” so it’s not surprising that Catlin Gabel’s many traditions are what help create a sense of community and history—in other words, family. It was my home. I always loved the Blue vs. White team competition around the Rummage Sale—what a great way to promote school spirit and community, for a very good cause! I also thought the class trips (8th, 9th, 12th) were fun, not to mention extremely valuable. My class (1992) was the first to take our 8th grade musical (Pirates of Penzance) on the road. I will never forget it! It would be an understatement to say I’m a creature of habit, and I’ve often wondered whether Catlin Gabel had a part in that. It may also be why I appreciated all the tradition as much as I did. After graduation, I attended a small private college and have generally lived in smaller towns that foster a sense of community and closeness.
Jim Bilbao ’79
Some of the ideas about why St. George is important:
* It’s fun. This works for everybody.
* It’s a charade. This works for the maturity of the kids.
* It’s easy: there’s no pretense of quality about the acting, sets, or costumes.
* The audience is easily satisfied.
* 8th graders get to try on acting in broad range of adult roles from mythic (Santa, George, devil, angel) to vocational (photographer, nurse, doctor).
* 8th graders get to touch real ethical issues, without any of the tough reading.
Jamie Bell ’92
Debbie Kaye ’73
I believe that “the child as the unit of consideration” is one of the most important elements of our founders’ vision. It moves me still. Just how we act on that principle has changed as pedagogy, technology, and the culture have changed. Yet putting each child at the center of the reason Catlin Gabel offers its particular type of education has remained constant. Our alumni love ritual because it connects us to the community, over years and space. St. George and the Gilbert and Sullivan musical are classic examples of shared experience. In more recent years, the Elana Gold ’93 Memorial Environmental Restoration Project and the senior trip, whose purposes and activities are constant, fill the same role. Years later, alumni can and do recall how they participated and with whom, the games and fun and food, the camaraderie. Shared experience and ties that bind. We look back fondly, smoothing the difficult edges of fatigue and any frustration, recalling the overall experience, lessons, and skills learned and yes, carried forward into other elements of our lives. Lifelong learning through community effort. Fabulous!
Peter Bromka ’00
Mason Kaye ’04
From the Winter 2010-11 Caller
By Tom Tucker '66
Tom Tucker ’66 teaches Middle and Upper School woodshop.
From the Winter 2010-11 Caller
Why I Like Change
David Ellenberg, 8th grade history
The Traditional and the New in Art
Laurie Carlyon-Ward, Upper School visual art
Growing as a Teacher
Maggie Bendicksen, 5th grade
Language Teaching Demands Evolution
Roberto Villa, Upper School Spanish
A New Teaching Experience
Joanne Dreier, kindergarten
PE and Sports Change, too
John Hamilton, Upper School coach and PE/ health teacher
Keeping Up with Technology
Bob Sauer, Upper School science
Building on the Basics
Mark Pritchard, Middle School music
From the Winter 2010-11 Caller
The Catlin Gabel Service Corps debuted in October with three community-wide days of working together for the greater good. The Service Corps emerged from our community process to figure out “What’s Next” after the Rummage Sale. As we examined what we would miss most about Rummage, we came to consensus around several essential ingredients for developing a new tradition: multigenerations working side by side and having fun together, serving the greater Portland community, student leadership, and demonstrating who we are at Catlin Gabel. The Service Corps was developed with these elements in mind. You can find out more on our website. Since those fall service days, the Service Corps has also gathered 50 boxes of books from our community for children at Bienestar, a migrant worker housing complex in Hillsboro where our students help with their Homework Club. More events and projects are in the works—and we encourage all our community members, past and present, to come and pitch in, work together, and have fun.
The Energy and Fun of Volunteering
By Qiddist Hammerly ’12
As a Catlin Gabel student, I’ve participated in many activities at the Oregon Food Bank. In Lower School, we collected food during the fall harvest festival. In 8th grade, we participated in monthly service at the Food Bank, and in high school we often ask the students for food donations. These ordinary and expected contributions have made the Oregon Food Bank a familiar name to all Catlin Gabel students, yet I have never experienced it in the way I did with the Catlin Gabel Service Corps in November. As part of this year’s initiative to provide cross generational, community-building service opportunities, more than 75 students, parents, alumni, and faculty-staff joined together for a day of packing pasta— and it was anything but ordinary.
If one thing was exceptionally exciting about this service activity, it was the palpable energy of the kids. Eagerly running back and forth and lifting boxes almost bigger than themselves, the kids probably worked the hardest of anyone. For close to three hours, we packed boxes of various kinds of pasta in two-pound bags. At any given table, students, parents, teachers, and siblings worked side by side. Some kids eagerly scurried back and forth, providing each table with more empty boxes, and taking the full boxes to the growing tower of pasta.
The tangibility of our work made it appealing and rewarding for everyone; at the end of the day, we could look over and see just how many pounds we packed, and how many families we were feeding. One Lower School student checked the weight of each bag meticulously to make sure no one family would receive more food than another. Some of the adults, who seemed apprehensive about letting the kids handle tape guns and carry heavy boxes, grew impressed with their unfaltering persistence. Everyone joked and laughed while scooping bag after bag, and we even participated in some friendly competition, betting on whose table team could pack their boxes of pasta the fastest.
After we were done packing, we enjoyed a group lunch at McMenamin’s. It was only then that I realized how rare it is to see so many different Catlin Gabel constituencies in one place. I had the chance to catch up with one of my 1st grade teachers, make a new friend, and chat with parents. Enjoying lunch together wrapped up the day in the perfect way. Too often when we engage in service, we simply break off and return to our daily work without any processing or reflection. Having a relaxed meal together allowed everyone to reflect on the day, catch up, and enjoy each other’s company.
What made this day so successful was the connection we felt as we volunteered. We weren’t simply packing boxes of pasta: we were engaging with each other and observing the product of our work. I think this service experience provides a glimpse into the future possibilities of multigenerational service at Catlin Gabel, both on our own campus and in the greater community. Despite the occasionally excessive use of the word “community” in our, well, community, engaging in service as a community truly is a unique experience that exceeds the benefits of individual volunteerism. Looking back over my 12 years at the school, some of the memories that stand out most to me are the engaging service projects I participated in with my Catlin Gabel family. At the Food Bank that day I could clearly see in our students’ eyes that very same engagement and motivation.
Qiddist Hammerly is a junior at Catlin Gabel and a Malone Scholar. She has been involved for years in community service.
Connecting Through Tree-planting
By Markus Hutchins ’02
Markus Hutchins ’02 is the alumni board president and a member of the school’s board of trustees.
By Zalika Gardner '90 and Herb Jahncke
From the Winter 2010-11 Caller
See 16-minute video below for more
From the Winter 2010-11 Caller
It is a pilot program for the Upper School faculty to explore a new model for high school education and attract outstanding new high school students. The gift funds an endowed faculty member to direct the program and teach in the Upper School. In the anticipated inaugural year, 2012–13, we hope to enroll about four Knight Family Scholars as fully integrated members of the Upper School student body who benefit from our exceptional curriculum. The Knight Family Scholars Program is similar in concept to the Rhodes Scholar program in terms of the caliber of students who will qualify.
The current generation of students is far more sophisticated than previous generations. Their educational needs are evolving quickly. Educators must ask, what more can we do to prepare them? How can we ensure that they have a great liberal arts and sciences foundation for success in college, plus the experience and skills to thrive in a workforce and world that will change in ways we cannot imagine? Catlin Gabel teachers have envisioned a high school that is more real world, project based, experiential, and interdisciplinary—but limited resources have stymied our progress toward this goal. Now we can take some big steps in building on our curricular innovations and evolve more quickly. As a new Catlin Gabel faculty member, the Knight Family Scholars Program director will collaborate with our high school teachers and students to develop methods of teaching and learning that respond to the changing educational environment.
The genesis for the program stems from the Imagine 2020 conference held in the spring of 2006. A lasting idea that emerged from the conference was to enrich Catlin Gabel’s educational offerings by taking advantage of what our great city and region have to offer— using Portland as a learning laboratory. Bringing students together with creative, analytical, medical, political, entrepreneurial, and science leaders would further our experiential and progressive education goals. The intent is to get our students “off the hill,” as one alumnus put it in 2006. Our global education and PLACE programs, and the urban studies class in the Upper School, also stem from the Imagine 2020 conference.
As I got to know Phil, our shared interest in improving education emerged as a vitally important theme. Phil and Penny Knight are long-range visionaries and Oregon’s most generous individual education philanthropists, which is humbling and exciting. We talked about Ruth Catlin’s vision of modeling for others and how, because of our relatively small size, our success, and our focus on progressive education, we are the ideal school for innovation. I described some of the seminal ideas that emerged from the Imagine 2020 conference and how hard our teachers work to implement those ideas.
The faculty and the program director will have the opportunity to advance the exchange of ideas in seminars taught by a network of community experts, including some of our talented and notable parents, alumni, and grandparents. The seminars, both on and off campus, will examine topics that emerge from the shared interests of the students and the director as they move through the program together. The seminars will also respond to the availability of influential mentors, speakers, and guest instructors. Upper School students, not just Knight Family Scholars, will be able to attend seminars. It is vitally important that this is open and inclusive, and that we prevent any kind of “us and them” dynamic. We also expect that as the program grows, it will include opportunities for the Knight Scholars to travel nationally and abroad for summer learning.
The research is clear: high caliber students raise the level of learning for everyone. The positive peer effect is evident throughout our school. Students in our supportive, noncompetitive environment engage more deeply when their classmates are excited about the lab, discussion, problem solving, or literary analysis at hand. And, naturally, teachers are at their best when their students are highly engaged.
Prospective Knight Family Scholars Program participants will stand out in four key areas: academics, community service, athletics, and leadership. As Knight Scholars they will receive tuition assistance funded by the program’s endowment. The amount of assistance will depend on their families’ need. The program will attract well-rounded students who will inspire their peers, take advantage of everything Catlin Gabel has to offer, and go on to serve their communities.
Current and former Catlin Gabel students are ineligible to become Knight Scholars because one objective of the program is to attract new students and deepen our pool of admitted students. The Knight Scholars Program will raise the profile of our excellent Upper School and entice students who will be wonderful additions to our community.
The faculty, admission office, and a new program director will decide whom we accept.
Typically, when donors make large gifts to institutions they fund a position to oversee the program. We will launch a national search for a Knight Family Scholars Program director to fully realize the vision of this program. The director will be Catlin Gabel’s first endowed faculty member. This turning point for Catlin Gabel could very well lead to additional endowed faculty positions.
First and foremost, the director will find the right students for the program. A big part of the job is outreach and making a wide range of communities aware of the program and our school. As the program spokesperson, the director will bolster the Knight Family Scholars Program and our overall admission program. The director will also lead the scholars’ seminar and teach other Upper School classes so he or she is fully integrated into our faculty. We will hire a dynamic educator who becomes a vital member of our school community.
When we laid out strategic directions in 2003, one of our top three goals was to strengthen our identity and visibility in the community. We set out to identify and attract qualified, informed, and diverse applicants and to increase our applicant pool, particularly in the Upper School. The Knight Family Scholars Program will move us quickly and decisively towards these goals.
In 1987, the school received a $3.6 million bequest from the estate of Howard Vollum that allowed Catlin Gabel to establish an endowment fund. His foresight and generosity moved the school beyond a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle.
The Knight Family Scholars Program raises our visibility as one of the leading independent schools in the country. On a purely financial and pragmatic level, the program releases financial aid dollars for students in all divisions. On a more philosophical and curricular level, the Knight Family Scholars Program will stretch us to take some risks about how we teach. All Catlin Gabel students will benefit from the innovations we pilot through the program. On a grander scale, my dream is to model innovations that can benefit students nationwide. We cannot underestimate the value of raising our profile, too. What’s good for Catlin Gabel’s reputation is good for Catlin Gabel’s students and teachers. As far as fundraising goes, this is the tip of the iceberg for all programs and needs of the school. I know Phil and Penny Knight’s generosity and confidence in Catlin Gabel will inspire others to give. In fact, two other donors are planning to contribute to this program. We anticipate a positive overall effect on admissions and on our ability to attract phenomenal student applicants. Some great young people, who perhaps don’t qualify as Knight Family Scholars, will still apply to our Upper School when they learn about Catlin Gabel’s curriculum, meet our faculty and students, and hear about our generous financial assistance program.
In the past three years, the Knights have quietly and generously funded other immediate needs that I identified. They were instrumental in our ability to provide financial aid for families who have struggled through the recession. I am so honored that they have put their trust in me and in Catlin Gabel.
By Lark P. Palma, PhD, Head of School
From the Winter 2010-11 Caller
Scenes from Experiential Week 2011 on the Catlin Gabel campus
From April 2011 Headlines
By Lark Palma, head of school
What kind of crazy school is this? Sometimes this question comes up when people meet our students and teachers during Winterim, Breakaway, and Experiential Days. And it’s a question we love to answer!
Catlin Gabel is a school that prizes deep, hands-on learning and innovation. We integrate experiential learning into our daily classes—and we dedicate one special week for alternative schooling that is totally experiential.
Our experiential week courses and affiliated trips offer between four days and two weeks of focused study, and a healthy break from routine. In the Upper School, students design the courses, and in the process they learn about planning and leadership. Course offerings for 1st through 12th graders this year ranged widely, from pirates exploring the Peter Iredale shipwreck at the Oregon coast to investigating Portland through photography, studying literary satire, and learning about coastal biology.
Perhaps you heard about the Middle School group traveling to Taiwan and their encounter with the aftermath of the massive earthquake in Japan. Their flight from the U.S. had been scheduled for a layover in Tokyo. After a long but uneventful flight across the Pacific, they learned of the earthquake when their plane began circling the Tokyo airport. The flight was diverted to a military base and the group was later flown to Osaka, where they were grounded for two days.
Despite exhaustion, hunger, and a night on the airport floor, spirits were high. The 10 students were philosophical about their circumstances. They knew a bit of discomfort and inconvenience paled in comparison to the horrors and sorrow facing the people of Japan. They passed the time playing cards and telling stories. Once flight arrangements were made for their continuation to Taipei, everyone’s thoughts turned to practicing the Mandarin language skills they would need during homestays in Taiwan.
I share this story with you to illustrate how experiential learning teaches self-reliance, resilience, and perspective. No other experiential week adventure could claim high drama, but during a week of miserable Oregon weather, I saw cheerful students and teachers return from adventures at Mt. Hood, the Oregon coast, Ashland, and downtown Portland. The cold and rain might have dampened anyone’s spirits, but our students and teachers carried on with joy and a sense of accomplishment.
When we ask alumni about their favorite Catlin Gabel traditions, Experiential Days, Breakaway, and Winterim top the list. Among the reasons they give for valuing this particular Catlin Gabel tradition are interacting with students and teachers they had not previously known and discovering they have a passion for something they had never tried before. Learning happens in so many ways, and discovering how to do new things, work together with new people, and brave the unknown is valuable for all our students. During experiential week, Catlin Gabel really walks its talk.
Experiential Days, Breakaway, and Winterim course sampler
Lower School: Walk Like an Egyptian, Super Sleuths, Hip Home Ec, Forts, Pets and Vets
Middle School: SeARTle, The River Wild, Shakespearience, Glass Fusion, Salmon Nation
Upper School: Urban Adventures, The Art of Movement: Parkour, Sailing in the San Juans, Cylinders, Pistons, and Crankshafts: Driving, Fixing, and Learning About Cars
Upper School head Michael Heath accepted the award given for Catlin Gabel's support of Bienestar, a nonprofit community development corporation serving migrant families in the Hillsboro area. Catlin Gabel students serve as volunteer tutors, have made donations of clothing and household items, and the entire school recently held a book drive that collected more than 3,000 books for Bienestar children. Former teacher Mark Lawton and Spanish teacher Roberto Villa were honored for their three years of support and dedication to the partnership between Catlin Gabel and Bienestar.
Read the Oregonian article.