By Lark P. Palma, head of school
From the Summer 2011 Caller
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.
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.
Teachers and students challenged one another to a lively Frisbee game on the day before school ended in June 2011.
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 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.
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
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.
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 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
colored my future
it crackled under my dry fingertips
unfolding its creases
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
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
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
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
By Jarod & Zach
By Lily & Elayna
The Grey Cat’s Song
By Chloe & Sophie
I Love Talking
By Larissa & Jillian
Red Runs Away
By Raina & Nikki
By Evan & Andrew
By Joseph, Nico, and Nicolas
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.
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.
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.
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.