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Financial Aid is Absolutely Critical to Catlin Gabel's Health

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The Campaign for Arts & Minds supports increased endowment, which directly increases the school’s financial aid budget

From the Summer 2013 Caller

By Sara Nordhoff, admission and financial aid director

“An effort shall be made to have students of the school represent a cross-section of American life, having various economic backgrounds and religious beliefs, and chosen for their promise in qualities of character, intelligence, responsibility, and purpose.” —founder Ruth Catlin, 1928  

Catlin Gabel has funds right now to offer financial aid to 26 percent of our students. If we had $250,000 more each year for financial aid, we would have had enough funds to admit the following students—but we could not: Kids from schools in neighborhoods that would add more diversity to Catlin Gabel’s community, kids at the top of their classes with passions they pursue in meaningful ways, competitive athletes, excellent artists and writers, scores of siblings and legacies, kids devoted to service, and many more deserving, wonderful students who would have an enormous impact here and beyond—kids for whom a Catlin Gabel education would change their lives.

Faculty feedback on students we could not admit: “this is one of the best candidates I’ve ever seen,” “I would love to have this student in my classroom,” “admit this incredible student!”

Some examples of students we had to turn away:
A published author at the age of 10
An athlete who would have been a game-changer in our Upper School girls basketball program
A competitive chess player and violinist with one of the highest SSAT scores of the pool
An accomplished ballet dancer
A Parkour champion
A young martial arts master
A brother and sister, both at the top of their class
A three-sport athlete completely devoted to community service
A top gymnast with international living experiences
 
Catlin Gabel is affordable to only about three to five percent of the greater Portland population. In order to attract the very best and brightest students and live out our mission, we must sustain our commitment to a strong financial aid program. Our goal is to make a Catlin Gabel education accessible to as many qualified students as possible, regardless of socioeconomic status. Our discussion- and team-based learning environment is successful only when disparate voices and viewpoints are heard. We devote a greater percentage of our budget to financial aid than many of our peer schools. Catlin Gabel grows as our commitment to financial aid grows. Reaching out and enrolling a diverse population is a high priority for our enrollment strategy. We think of diversity as having a broad definition, including socioeconomic, ethnic, and geographic diversity. We’ve made strides towards broadening our reach to a larger population of families, in large part due to our stronger commitment to financial aid. Catlin Gabel will flourish, along with its students, with a financial aid budget that allows us to admit all the students we’d like to admit—with mitigated concern for their ability to pay tuition. A successful finish to the Campaign for Arts & Minds will supply the $250,000 per year we need to make this happen and keep Catlin Gabel healthy and relevant.
 
• The average financial aid award has increased from $14,430 in 2010–11 to $16,200 in 2013-14
• In 2013–14 CG allocated $3.3 million in tuition assistance, out of an entire budget of $17 million
• Families who received awards had annual household incomes ranging from $8,400 to $168,000 (CG uses a national formula to determine aid awards that takes into account income and variables such as the number of children in tuition-charging schools, including colleges. Awards at the higher income levels are smaller and do not include books and laptops.)
• Average grant: $16,200
• Awards range from $1,800 to $25,750
• Tuition ranges from $19,200 to $25,850
• Our ultimate goal is to admit all students without regard for their family’s financial situation, but that would require more than $50 million in new endowment funds. The steps we take today are important in moving us toward that future.
 
% OF FAMILY NEED THAT CATLIN GABEL MET
2009–10 (92%)
2010–11 (93%)
2011–12 (92%)
2012–13 (90%)
 
% OF STUDENTS RECEIVING ASSISTANCE
2009–10 (26.25)
2010–11 (27.8%)
2011–12 (25.7%)
2012–13 (25.8%)
2013–14 (27.4%)
GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR FINANCIAL AID
• We create classes that lead to diverse viewpoints in the classroom
• We grow financial aid responsibly, meeting need in a sustainable way
• Relevant independent schools keep financial aid at the forefront
 

"My story, like the stories of many others who have received financial assistance at Catlin Gabel, is a testament to the power of philanthropy. . . . Without a Catlin Gabel education, my life would have looked drastically different. The growth each student experiences here is indescribable. In fact, without the financial assistance that allowed me to receive such an enriching education, I’d probably still be the same shy child I was seven years ago. But today I can tell you with all sincerity that Catlin Gabel has changed me. It’s given me the opportunity and support to redefine myself in ways I never thought possible. Catlin Gabel equips its students with everything we need to face the future."
—Anthony Lin ’09, graduate of Duke University in neuroscience and computer science

"Running a high-quality, progressive, independent school is an expensive proposition, and thus tuition remains beyond the reach of many. To match reality and idealism, Catlin Gabel must have a robust endowment for financial aid, to open our doors to every deserving, qualified student regardless of her family’s means. Without this, our school’s expressed commitment to our ideals and our community becomes hollow and less meaningful. Catlin Gabel without generous financial aid would not be the Catlin Gabel we chose as the right school for our children. It would become a more homogeneous community, less interesting and vibrant. It would ignore the reality of economic diversity that all of our children must understand and appreciate. It would shield our children from the “real world” in which they will all live and work as adults. It would deny the value and contribution of children from all walks of life, from a wide range of circumstances."
— Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, trustee, parent, donor

Video: Creative Arts Center from the Ground Up

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Thank you, Ian McClanan '16 for producing the video. Photos by Kitty Katz and Eric Shawn.

On October 4, 2012, we broke ground on a new Creative Arts Center for Middle and Upper School students. Less than one year later, 6th through 12th grade students started the 2013-14 school year with a brand new facility. » Link to more information about the Creative Arts Center.

Carter Latendresse named an NAIS Teacher of the Future

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Carter Latendresse, 6th grade English teacher at Catlin Gabel, was selected by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) as part of the 2013-14 Teachers of the Future program. The NAIS Teachers of the Future were selected from a large pool of nominees who inspire academic excellence in students and serve as opinion leaders among their colleagues and peers. The Teachers of the Future were also chosen for their expertise in particular areas—environmental sustainability, globalism, equity and justice, or the use of technology in their teaching—that NAIS believes are hallmarks of a high-quality education for the 21st century. As one of only 25 teachers nationwide chosen for the program, Latendresse will lead an online discussion forum designed to share innovative ideas and teaching techniques, and he will create a demonstration video to inspire others.
 
ABOUT CARTER LATENDRESSE
Latendresse earned an MA and a BA in English at the University of Washington. He has been teaching at Catlin Gabel since 2007, and he is also the school’s garden coordinator. His classes explore themes of empathy and social responsibility through ancient and contemporary literature that is chosen with an eye toward gender, ethnicity, and cultural diversity. He was nominated as a Teacher of the Future by Catlin Gabel Middle School head Barbara Ostos, who had this to say about him:
 
“Carter’s presence in our school community embodies a teacher leader working collaboratively towards educating conscientious, critically thinking students whose responsibilities will be to mold a more equitable and sustainable world through creativity and innovation. Through his classroom instruction Carter challenges 6th grade students to see the world beyond themselves. . . .
 
“I see his teaching and community membership as innovative because he is not only willing to try new techniques in the classroom, but is constantly re-evaluating and thinking about content and delivery, and most importantly how he and his purpose help student connect to deeper meaning. To my mind, truly innovative teachers are the ones who continually look to improve what they do, and especially how they do it. . . . .His thinking is vast and deep, and his potential to share this in a leadership role through Teachers of the Future Program would benefit his own professional development, and certainly others.”
 
ABOUT NAIS AND THE TEACHERS OF THE FUTURE PROGRAM
The National Association of Independent Schools, based in Washington, DC, is a voluntary membership organization for over 1,400 independent schools and associations in the United States and abroad. Click here for more information about the Teachers of the Future program.

»Read the Oregonian article about Carter's honor

Junior Valerie Ding featured in Washington Post and White House blog

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Executives from Amazon, Google, Facebook and other major technology companies will meet with female students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics Wednesday morning, as one of a series of roundtables hosted by the House Republican Conference and its chairwoman, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) …

» Read the Washington Post article


Today, at a private meeting in the West Wing of the White House, US Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, Deputy US Chief Technology Officer Jen Pahlka, and other senior Obama Administration officials specializing in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), met with five inspiring young women to discuss academic and career pathways in STEM—and barriers to the involvement of girls in those fields. The students were past winners and current finalists of the annual Google Science Fair—an online science competition open to high-school-aged students that solicits “ideas that will change the world.” …

» Read the White House blog

Read the PLACE urban studies student blog

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Students in PLACE, Catlin Gabel's urban studies program, are now blogging about their experiences as they learn about how our city works. One of their summer projects for these 19 students from six area high schools is designing a neighborhood greenway for the Pearl District for their clients, Portland's Bureaus of Planning and Sustainability, and Transportation. They are also studying Portland's Cully district. The students have written thoughful reflections about the program and their discoveries so far and will continue throughout the project. A fun read!

The principal of an urban design firm, Terra Fluxus, also wrote about his time with PLACE students on their blog.

Rising sophomore Anirudh Jain wins national Stockholm Junior Water Prize

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We are proud!

Anirudh received a $10,000 college scholarship and an all-expense paid trip to Stockholm, Sweden, in September to represent the United States and compete with students from around the globe for the international Junior Stockholm Water Prize.

He was selected for the prize based on his science project “Sulfidation as a Novel Method for Reducing Toxicity of Silver Nanoparticle Pollution.”

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize is the world's most prestigious youth award for a water-related science project. The prize taps into the potential of today's high school students as they seek to address current and future water challenges. 

» Link to Oregonian article about Anirudh

» Link to Portland Tribune article about Anirudh

Logan Smesrud '12 receives outstanding student award at OSU

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Congratulations, Logan!

Logan Smesrud '12 was one of six freshmen at Oregon State University to receive the Waldo Cummings Freshman Outstanding Student Award. She is a pre-environmental engineering major.

Sophomore Valerie Ding a finalist in Google Science Fair

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Congratulations, Valerie! We are so proud of you.

Valerie Ding is among the 90 regional finalists for the 2013 Google Science Fair for her project Rapid Quantum Dot Solar Cell Optimization: Integrating Quantum Mechanical Modeling and Novel Solar Absorption Algorithm. As a finalist, she is also in the running for the Scientific American Science in Action Award, which honors a student whose project makes a practical difference in the world by addressing an environmental, health, or resources problem.

Google will announce the 15 global winners and Science in Action award winner later this month. 

Valerie wrote, "This is a huge honor for me, and I really want to thank the entire Catlin community for its constant support and incredibly nurturing and encouraging environment. Genuine interest from faculty members and fellow students has not only bolstered confidence in my own work, but also has reminded me of how instrumental Catlin, its science, math, and computer science departments, and especially its science research program have been these last two years. I’m really looking forward to another two."

Iolanthe photo gallery

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The class of 2017 performed Gilbert and Sullivan's "Iolanthe"

Many thanks to Tom Wynne for the photos!

Video: 2013 seniors talk about their college choices

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Our seniors are stoked to be going off to college! Several seniors discuss their college choices, and why they've found a good fit for them.

» Link to all colleges and universities accepting Catlin Gabel seniors this year.

» Link to Lark's "Headlines" article about the college counseling program.

» Link to video of senior panel speaking at April PFA Parent Community Meeting

Ben's going to Tulane!

Marina's going to Stanford!

Terrance is going to Brown!

Kanaiza's going to Wesleyan!

Hannah's going to Plan II at the University of Texas-Austin!

 

Freshman Lara Rakocevic wins state tennis championship

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Way to go, Lara!

From the Oregonian: "With the past three girls singles champions from the Class 4A/3A/2A/1A tennis state tournament in this year’s field, it could have been a daunting situation for a freshman.

"But Catlin Gabel freshman Lara Rakocevic showed uncommon cool for someone of her age, easily winning the girls singles title Saturday with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Valley Catholic’s Kaitlyn Lomartire at the University of Oregon.

"Rakocevic didn’t lose a set in four matches during a tournament that included two-time defending champion Rachael Nedrow of Oregon Episcopal and Lomartire, the 2010 winner."

» Link to the Oregonian's full coverage of the tournament
 

Preschool circus photo gallery

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It's Not As Easy As It Looks

Thank you, Sue Spooner, for taking these gorgeous photos!

Oregon MathCounts team, including 8th grader Andrew Park, places 4th in nation

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Eighth grader Andrew Park made the four-member Oregon MathCounts team after his excellent finish at the state competition. The Oregon team came in 4th out of 56 teams competing at the national contest in Washington, D.C. Andrew was the third highest Oregon finisher at the national competition.

In addition to Andrew, the Catlin Gabel team members included 7th grader Sarah Daniels, and 6th graders Avi Gupta and Alexander Yu. They were coached by sophomore Valerie Ding, and juniors Joseph Hungate and Lawrence Sun. Math teachers Lauren Shareshian, Carol Ponganis, and Lynda Douglas served as faculty managers.

Student-produced math video in Dartmouth contest

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Sophomore Valerie Ding, junior Joseph Hungage, and seniors Casey Currey-Wilson and Lianne Siegel are finalists in Dartmouth's Math-O-Vision video contest with their video, "Math Addiction." You can view  the video under FINALISTS at the Math-O-Vision website.

Winning videos are selected by a combination of votes and judging. The panel of judges includes actor and director Alan Alda!

Caution: Voting requires sharing Facebook information.