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A New Creative Arts Center– Now is the Time

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By Lark P. Palma, head of school

From the Summer 2011 Caller

Our alumni will tell you: Catlin Gabel taught them habits of thinking and new ways to question their world—and new ways to practice and develop their innate creativity. These skills of thinking and creating serve them well as the basis for fulfilling careers and satisfying lives. And in fact these days, as the world quickly changes, creativity is fast becoming the skill that colleges, graduate schools, and employers look for first. In a time of rapid change, those who adapt and flourish best are those flexible thinkers who are not afraid of innovation.
 
There is no discipline better than the arts to encourage and develop creativity. Our classes in music, theater, visual art, media art, and woodshop call upon our students to stretch themselves, take enormous leaps, and learn to express themselves through mediums that are often unfamiliar, and scary at times. A blank canvas, a role in a play, an assignment to make a music video, an instrument they’ve never played before—all demand courage and a connection between brain, hand, and heart.
 
We’ve done amazingly well at Catlin Gabel over the years in providing places for creativity to take hold. But we can do better. You’ll read in this issue about our plans to build a new creative arts center. And I couldn’t be more thrilled to present these plans to you. I believe that this is what Catlin Gabel needs most right now, and I hope that my conviction and enthusiasm for this project will grab you, too.
 
As you walk our campus, you see students of all ages benefiting from the facilities we’ve built, such as our light-filled Miller Library, our Warren Middle School with its wonderful gathering space, the well-loved Lower School Art Barn, and Upper School science labs where authentic, original research is taking place. But our Middle and Upper School arts programs sorely lack the facilities they need to best help our students expand their creative skills.
 
We all gladly do what we can with what we have on campus. But it makes my heart sink to see our Middle Schoolers performing in the tiny, dilapidated Chipmunk Hollow, or watch Upper School students painting, printmaking, and drawing in a room that can’t accommodate a large work of art. It’s time for us to provide something more in keeping with our ambitions for our students.
 
By providing a center for creativity, we will send our students out in the world prepared to navigate a new landscape. Last year Newsweek published a feature story about the creativity crisis, noting that the U.S. is losing its status as the nation of ideas that others imitate. Fortune 500 companies must know it, because many now administer creativity tests to future employees. Colleges and universities realize this: among others, Princeton, Brown, Pomona, and Stanford are also building creative arts centers. Important discoveries in science, exceptional business models, and successes of all kinds are born from the wellspring of creativity—the new, the great idea.
 
In our new creative arts center, the free flow of thought, creative energy, and mixture of all the arts in true collaboration will help forge the kinds of minds that generate big ideas. Our students will build on those habits of creativity and confidence to be poised for innovation—in fields that include science, math, technology, and engineering. We have to make sure that our children can create jobs for themselves that don’t even exist yet, and that they have the fire and drive, fueled by creative thinking, to make a difference in this world. Let’s give our students the creative boost they need to succeed.

 

 

Summer Programs has a few spaces available

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Classes begin Tuesday, July 5

Classes for kids of all ages!

Review our catalog (below) for course descriptions. 

Enroll today! Tell your friends!

Contact Len Carr, program director, for additional information.

Summer Programs ~ our difference is learning

Catlin Gabel students help Michelle Obama fight AIDS in Botswana

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Catlin Gabel students helped paint a mural to welcome First Lady Michelle Obama to Botswana. The First Lady visited the Botswana-Baylor Centre for Children’s Excellence to highlight the organization’s efforts to develop a new treatment and counseling facility for HIV+ teens.

Thirteen students assisted local artist Lesedi to sketch and paint traditional Botswana figures, designs and backgrounds on a 30m concrete wall. The group also developed educational play activities for HIV+ youth awaiting treatment and counseling appointments.

In addition to the Baylor Centre, Catlin Gabel students provided support to the Maru-a-Pula Orphans and Vulnerable Children Fund, SOS Children’s Village, a health clinic in Thabala, and high school students in Gumare. Students met with Dr. Ava Avalos of the Ministry of Health and Thobo Mogojwe of PING (Positive Innovation for the Next Generation).

The Botswana-Baylor Centre is one of many partnerships between the Ministry of Health and international organizations, part of a coordinated, national effort to combat AIDS. Approximately 30% of all adults in Botswana are infected with HIV.

Each year, Catlin Gabel welcomes one Maru-a-Pula exchange student to Oregon. Catlin Gabel students are currently traveling through Botswana as part of the school’s global education program.

Further information:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13910916
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/24/us-obama-botswana-idUSTRE75N6DA20110624
http://www.bipai.org/
http://botswanateenclub.wordpress.com/
http://maruapula.org/support-map/orphans-vulnerable-children-bursary-fund
 

Alumni Weekend 2011 Photo Gallery

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June, 17, 18, 19

On Friday evening we honored award recipients Brenda Miller Olson, David Shipley '81, Roz Nelson Babener '68, and Angel Foster '91 followed by a festive dinner in the Barn. Unfortunately, Angel Foster was unable to attend the event, but she accepted her award via audio recording sent from Tunisia.

Despite steady rain on Saturday, the alumni soccer game in honor of retiring coach Mike Davis drew a crowd of players and fans. Lunch in the Barn was a drier affair.

Members of the class of 1946 came together for Sunday brunch in the Dant House.

Click on thumbnail to view images at larger size and download pictures.

Video: student-faculty Frisbee game in the Paddock

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Teachers and students challenged one another to a lively Frisbee game on the day before school ended in June 2011.

Kindergarten Olympics 2011 in 1 minute

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At the end of the school year annually, our kindergarteners enjoy their own Olympics with many fun events. The sun shone on them in 2011, and they had a great time.

 

Life After Catlin Gabel: alumni and student panel video

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Present by the alumni and college counseling programs

Student panelists: seniors Henry Gordon, Rebecca Kropp, and Josh Langfus.

Alumni panelists: Leslie Nelson ’10, attending Pitzer College; Rivfka Shenoy ’09, attending Washington University St. Louis; Riley Gibson ’04, BS in business management from Babson College and co-founder and CEO of Napkin Labs; and Peter Bromka ’00, BA in anthropology from Tufts University and a design researcher at IDEO, a global design firm.

Moderator: Rukaiyah Adams ’91, BA from Carleton College, JD and MBA from Stanford University, consultant for Plum District and Regence Blue Cross/ Blue Shield.

Catlin Gabel co-founds online academy

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New initiative expands student opportunity

Catlin Gabel has helped found a new nonprofit organization called the Global Online Academy (GOA), a consortium of ten leading independent day schools that will offer online high school courses beginning this fall. We are honored that our own PLACE urban studies class, taught by George Zaninovich, has been selected as one of the five inaugural courses. Lakeside School in Seattle led the effort to found the academy and will hire the director.

Students may choose to take an online class to pursue academic study in a subject that we do not offer, to study with students from other parts of the country and the world, or to experience a format of instruction that they are likely to encounter in the future.

We will explore the potential for online learning in a Catlin Gabel education, while investing modest resources and enrolling only a handful of students at first. Upper School department chairs will determine student eligibility requirements and course credit policies. We expect the academy to grow quickly, as new member schools join and more students enroll in classes.

Catlin Gabel will play a special role in the online academy by demonstrating our brand of experiential education, which we have honed over decades. “Learning through experience” may form the foundation of the best quality of online instruction.

Founding schools
Albuquerque Academy | Albuquerque, NM
Catlin Gabel School | Portland, Oregon
Cranbrook Schools | Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
The Dalton School | New York, New York
Germantown Friends School | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Head-Royce School | Oakland, California
King's Academy | Madaba-Manja, Jordan
Lakeside School | Seattle, Washington
Punahou School | Honolulu, Hawaii
Sidwell Friends School | Washington, D.C.

Thanks go to our faculty and staff who are leading the way
Lark Palma, head of school: GOA director search committee
Michael Heath, Upper School head: academic policy committee
Richard Kassissieh, IT director: GOA board member and Catlin Gabel liaison to GOA
Dan Griffiths, science teacher: curriculum and accreditation committee
Jim Wysocki, math teacher: technology and professional development committee
George Zaninovich, PLACE director: instructor of an inaugural GOA course
Lauren Reggero-Toledano, Spanish teacher: attended the academy conference
Paul Andrichuk, Middle School head: attended the academy conference

The mission of the Global Online Academy is to translate into online classrooms the intellectually rigorous programs and excellent teaching that are hallmarks of its members schools to foster new and effective ways, through best practices in online education, for all student to learn; and to promote students’ global awareness and understanding
by creating truly diverse, worldwide, online schoolroom communities.

http://globalonlineacademy.org

 

 

 

Senior Vighnesh Shiv named a finalist in international Google Science Fair

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Congratulations, Vighnesh!

Google has narrowed down their search out of more than 7,500 entries from around the world. Vighnesh is one of five finalists in the 17-18 age category. Vighnesh and the other finalists will be flown to Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters in July for the final judging round. The panel of judges includes “Nobel Laureates, tech visionaries, and household names.” Vighnesh's project is titled Foundational Algorithms for Music Analysis with Wide Applicability in Signal Processing.

» Information about the Google Science Fair and Vighnesh’s project

More news about Vighnesh: his paper titled Improved Frequency Estimation in Sinusoidal Models Through Iterative Linear Programming Schemes has been accepted for publication and presentation at the international Sound and Music Computing Conference in July. The Department of Information Engineering at the University of Padova and the Conservatory "Cesare Pollini" of Padova, Italy, jointly organize the conference.

 

8th graders Matthew Bernstein & Larissa Banitt win 1st & 2nd place in national poetry competition

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8th graders Matthew Bernstein and Larissa Banitt just won 1st and 2nd place, respectively, in the national poetry contest sponsored by the Manningham Trust. Their poems came in 1st and 2nd in the Oregon State Poetry Association (OSPA) contest in the middle school category. The OSPA submitted them to the national contest, to which 12 states sent their top poems in the junior division. Congratulations to Matthew and Larissa for this very nice honor! Their poems are below.

My Great-Grandfather’s Letter
by Matthew Bernstein

Tradition dictated that I receive my great-grandfather’s letter at 13
On the brink of adulthood I teetered
and the aged letter
winter’s bone
colored my future
it crackled under my dry fingertips
unfolding its creases
slowly
revealing a present from my past
thin blue veins holding such promise
A 13 year-old immigrant from the Island of Rhodes arrives in America with nothing
but words
his story my history
loops in perfect ruler-rapped scroll
I thought of the worn hands that folded the letter precisely
in sharp thirds
But age consumed its words
And so it closed again
an oyster shell

A Day at the Beach
by Larissa Banitt

Charcoal washes down the beach like ink
The blackened logs carried out from their pits to the tide
Prints of animals write fables in the sand
Gulls screech as they pirouette across the sky
Diving between kites
Silhouetted like a shadow show
Of masterful carving
Iridescent kelp lies floating in
The tide’s current
Mermaid hair attached to a sandy scalp
And just adjacent to the rock
With the myriad of anemones and sea stars
A child screams with delight
For she has just found
The perfect sand dollar
Completely round
Not even chipped at the edges
And in a chubby fist she raises it for all to see
Though her parents are the only spectators around
Until the sun peeks out from its cotton curtains
Smiling down at the giggling toddler
And lays a diamond kiss on the dollar
And weaves gold into the girl’s hair
And binds the fables of the shore creature’s prints
Into a charcoal ink volume
In a cover the color of warmth and summer breezes
Just for a moment
Then it slips back like the tide
Receding from the shoreline
Its beaming light playing the water like a harp
Plucking out dolphin song
 

 

8th graders' films to be shown at middle school media festival in Seattle

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The films of 15 8th grade filmmakers from Catlin Gabel's media arts class were selected to screen on May 13 at the Middle School Media Festival at Seattle Country Day School. Congratulations to all!

Jarod Gowgiel & Zach Alan
Lily Burns & Elayna Caron
Chloe Smith & Sophie Paek
Larissa Banitt & Jillian Rix
Raina Morris & Nikki Nelson
Evan Chapman & Andrew Lee
Nicolas DeStephano, Joseph Endler & Nico Hamacher

Upside Down
By Jarod & Zach
http://blip.tv/file/4485860

Runaway
By Lily & Elayna
http://blip.tv/file/4485397

The Grey Cat’s Song
By Chloe & Sophie
http://blip.tv/file/4485780

I Love Talking
By Larissa & Jillian
http://blip.tv/file/4345016

Red Runs Away
By Raina & Nikki
http://blip.tv/file/4345076

Untitled
By Evan & Andrew
http://blip.tv/file/4345015

The Prank
By Joseph, Nico, and Nicolas
http://blip.tv/file/4854812

 

Four tennis players advance to state finals

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Junior Andrew Salvador won the district boys singles championship, seniors Will Caplan and Reid Goodman took the boys doubles title, and junior Kate Rubinstein finished as district runner up in girls singles. They will compete for state titles on May 20 and 21 in Eugene.

Senior Vighnesh Shiv is a semifinalist in the Google Science Fair. Cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award by May 20.

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More than 7,500 students from 90 countries entered the competition. Vighnesh is one of 20 semifinalists in his age group. A panel of judges will select five finalists in each age group to visit Google headquarters for final judging and the opportunity to win a generous college scholarship.

In addition, with your votes Vighnesh could win the People’s Choice Award.

Vote for Vighnesh now!

Japanese language students selected for Living Language Experience Program

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All the fourth and fifth year Japanese language students in Yoko Iwasaki’s classes were selected for the Living Language Experience (LLE) Program, which builds bridges between classrooms and the Japanese business world. The 19 students were accepted into the program based on their outstanding Japanese language proficiency — the largest group of qualifying students in Oregon. Students had to pass the Oregon Benchmark Level 4 exam to qualify.

Few outsiders are given the opportunity to visit U.S.-based Japanese companies and observe their inner workings. The students interacted in Japanese with native Japanese business professionals to arrange their visits, tour the facilities, and engage in conversation about the products or services.

Rohan Jhunjhunwala, Gene Yamamoto, and Cole Williamson visited JAE Oregon, Inc., a manufacturer of electrical connectors.

Lizzie Medford, Danielle Shapira, Megan Stater, and Ramtin Rahmani visited Pacific Nutritional Foods Inc., a tofu processing and packaging plant.

Jackson Morawski, Anthony Eden, Will Jolley, and Koichi Omara visited Tokyo Ohka Kogyo America, Inc., manufacturers of photoresists and auxiliary chemicals.

Jesse Kimsey-Bennett, Cameron Boyd, Emrys Dennison, and Lauren Spiegel visited Pasco Corporation of America, a bakery, deli, and food service products manufacturer.

Alex Foster, Sabin Ray, Qiddist Hammerly, and Andrew Hungate visited Nippon Express U.S.A. Inc., a division of Nippon Express Group, the world's largest full-service freight forwarder.

Members of Shokookai, a Japanese business alliance in Portland, are interested in how the LLE program works at the high school level (colleges participate, too), and are eager to know what effect the experience has on students. To that end, Yoshio Oda from Epson Portland, Inc., and a board member of Shokookai, and Miwa Pierce, a Shokookai staff member, came to Catlin Gabel to attend student presentations about their visits to Japanese businesses. Yoko will speak at an upcoming Shokookai meeting.
 

Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge names Catlin Gabel team state winners

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The Siemens competition challenges students to create sustainable, reproducible, energy-related environmental improvements that can be replicated around the globe. Catlin Gabel’s Team Turbine, advised by Veronica Ledoux and composed of sophomores Marina Dimitrov and Mark Van Bergen, and senior Sarah Ellis, were winners for the state of Oregon. They had realized that the water arriving at Catlin Gabel travels downhill and thus arrives at the school under higher pressure than necessary. They determined that installing a microturbine in the school’s water line could harvest usable energy from this pressure difference. Sophomore Cody Hoyt produced this video that explains the possibilities of the project, and posted it on YouTube to share with others around the world. The team plans to present at the Oregon School Facilities Management Association annual conference and hopes to use the school’s international connections to expand the project further. National winners will be announced in mid-May.

 

Catlin Gabel named 1st Water Hero in Tualatin Valley district

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Oregonlive.com blog article, April '11

From Oregonlive.com blog article

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.