From the China.org website: “The 800-member CWI Children's Palace Little Companion Art Troupe is the first of its kind in Shanghai, and is also China's most famous children's art troupe. Founded in 1955 by Soong Ching Ling (Mme. Sun Yat-sen), honorary president of the People's Republic of China, it includes seven companies where children are trained in singing, dancing, musical instruments, acting, folk theatrical arts, calligraphy, painting and handicrafts.”
Valerie Ding was named a winner in the Young Artists Debut! Concerto Competition. She was also named a winner in 2010. Valerie and the other winning soloists will perform with a combined orchestra of professional musicians from Oregon Symphony and the Oregon Ballet Theatre, conducted by Niel DePonte, on April 10 at the Newmark Theatre. Valerie will perform Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, first movement.
Carl's poetry collection, Curses and Wishes (Louisiana State University Press), has been recognized by Literary Arts' annual book award in the Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry category. Winners will be announced April 23.
Carl already won the Walt Whitman Award, one of the most prestigious poetry prizes in the country, for Curses and Wishes.
Athletic director Sandy Luu came to Catlin Gabel this year from Liberty High School in Hillsboro, where she was AD of their large 5A program. An Oregon native, Sandy previously served as athletic director at Morrison Academy International School in Taichung, Taiwan. Originally a 6th grade language arts and math teacher, she has also taught in Vietnam and China. We caught up with Sandy to find our how things are going for her at Catlin Gabel.
How’s Catlin Gabel treating you?
I have really enjoyed my first few months here. The people are amazing—just as advertised. The faculty and staff really care about the students, and about their colleagues. Everyone is so complimentary of each other’s strengths. They feed off each other in a very positive way. People here told me before I was hired that they love coming to work each and every day. I fully agree.
Tell us about your background and how you became an athletic director.
Sports have shaped my life. Growing up I played as much as I could, even persuading the middle school athletic director to let me participate on the 7th grade team as a 5th grader. In college I played varsity fast pitch softball, basketball, and volleyball, but I love all sports. I have coached basketball, softball, and volleyball. I studied education in college and taught for many years, but started moving toward athletic administration when I was in Taiwan. Coaching coaches and organizing sports really appeals to me. I took classes at Ohio University during summer vacations and earned a master’s in athletics administration.
What is your general philosophy about the role of athletics in schools?
I believe in character-based athletics. Catlin Gabel has a great tradition of winning the right way, and I want to continue this. The character development is paramount; the wins are icing on the cake. Sports are an extension of the classroom and teach lessons about how to be a good teammate and the value of hard work. Athletics builds confidence and self esteem. The skills you learn through sports will help you now and serve you well later in life. Employers look for people who know how to lead as well as people who can be good teammates. They want people who have handled loss and experienced success.
What advice would you offer athletes and their parents who think CG’s high school athletic program is too small for colleges to take notice of a star athlete?
College coaches are looking for one thing: talented athletes. They are not as interested in the size of the school or how well the school team did in recent seasons. They are really looking for potential. Being a talented student-athlete at Catlin Gabel can have a lot of advantages. You can assume a leadership role and have a great chance to earn a starting position. One of the greatest benefits here is personal attention from coaches and teachers.
Is it a disadvantage for outstanding athletes to compete at a small school if they hope for an athletic scholarship?
The advantage you gain at Catlin Gabel is the level of academics. The education you receive here is unmatched. The benefit you will have is in the transcript you provide, along with your athletic résumé. I don’t think people understand how few scholarships are available for Division I and II sports. A fully financed Division I soccer program can offer 9.9 full rides, but they split these up among all of their players (as many as 25 or 30), which leaves some players with very small scholarships. Often, Division III schools are the best places to receive scholarships. These schools don’t offer athletic scholarships, but they routinely give merit awards for academic and other accomplishments. The merit scholarships that private colleges award can be a significant percentage of tuition.
What are some of the differences between being AD at a large school like Liberty HS in Hillsboro and a small school like CG?
Going from nearly 1,400 students to 300 is a big transition. CG’s smaller program is one of the main reasons I applied for this job. I love to work with kids and build relationships with them. In a large school, the athletic director is mainly a scheduler, and most of my time was spent making sure everyone was where they needed to be. At Catlin Gabel, I can get to know the students and make sure all of the coaches are contributing to students’ lives in positive ways. I can have more of an impact.
What have you found most challenging in your new job?
In my past school, I only had high school sports. Here at CG, there are more sports teams at different levels, so have many more balls in the air. Everyone in the PE department and the coaches have been incredibly helpful and supportive. I couldn’t ask for a better group to work with.
How are your sons Trevor (a junior) and Max (a freshman) adjusting?
Catlin Gabel is a great fit for Trevor and Max. They love it here; it reminds them of the school they attended for seven years in Taiwan. They will probably hate me talking about them, but CG has been a huge blessing for my boys. The individualized instruction is unmatched. I just attended my first parent-teacher conferences and was blown away. After just two-and-a-half months their teachers have my boys figured out. I also attended a couple of senior athletes’ conferences, and the general theme from parents was thankfulness. They appreciate the time teachers put into the kids. They know that CG has shaped the people their children have become. I couldn’t ask for more for my own boys.
What have you liked most about Catlin Gabel so far?
The school transforms lives. I have been most impressed by how the faculty treats each student as an individual and how well they know each child’s strengths and weaknesses. Teachers and staff work hard at building relationships with their students daily. I have never seen anything like this at any of the other schools I have worked at. Teachers are interested in many aspects of their student’s lives. It’s impressive to see so many faculty and staff members out watching extracurricular activities. I have also been impressed with the students. They are refreshingly polite, friendly, and selfless. They are always ready to lend a hand and pitch in, whether for service day, or just to help put away sports gear.
From the Fall 2011 Caller
NEWS FROM AROUND HONEY HOLLOW
CGS STUDENTS IN THE NEWS
The Oregonian profiled Valerie Ding ’15 and her physics project. The project earned her a spot as one of 30 national finalist in the Broadcom Masters middle school competition for science, technology, engineering, and math. . . . Julien Leitner ’16 was featured in an Oregonian op-ed piece about his Archimedes Alliance project, which promotes philanthropy though large numbers of small donations. . . . The Oregonian profiled the Upper School’s PLACE urban studies class partnership with the Alberta Street Main Street project.
ATHLETICS AND SPORTS
From the Fall 2011 Caller
Admission and financial aid director Sara Nordhoff and Knight Family Scholars director Chad Faber chat about admissions, financial aid, and what brought them to their careers. Chad came to CGS from admissions work at Harvard, and Sara’s work in admissions included the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Mt. Holyoke, and Bennington.
FINANCIAL AID FACTS
We had record-breaking attendance at our preschool through 12th grade open house on November 13. More than 700 visitors sampled classes, toured our beautiful campus, and talked with students, teachers, and current parents.
Don't worry if you missed open house. We offer an information evening on Thursday, January 19, for families applying to all divisions. More information including times and speakers available soon.
Watch the video clip of school head Lark Palma addressing guests before their tours and classroom visits.
Overheard at open house
“Thank you so much for putting on such a wonderful event today. We were able to spend time talking with the kindergarten and first grade teachers and continue to be very impressed by how the arts and music are integrated into the Catlin Gabel experience. We had a great time. We are excited to continue the application process with our son.” — parents visiting the Beginning and Lower Schools
“My wife and I have been to several open houses and yours did the best at evoking the character of the school. The students were approachable, and the teachers did an excellent job of conveying the philosophy and goals of the curriculum. My daughter went in with an open mind yet had a bias towards another school. Now in her mind Catlin is head-and-shoulders above the others, and we agree.” — parents visiting the Upper School
"Our friends were surprised when we chose Catlin Gabel for our scientist daughter. We examined programs carefully and agreed that Catlin Gabel was the best choice because the school offers a broad background in scientific skills and ideas. She is a happy freshman, and we are very happy we made the right choice." — current parent and volunteer open house tour guide
Highlights from the student panel presentation on academics in the Upper School
“There’s no busy work. Coming from another school I was used to doing 20 problems of the same thing over and over again. Coming into Catlin all the homework is purposeful. And because of the homework policy if you come to 45 minutes on a math assignment and don’t have time to finish, you can talk to the teacher. The teacher will meet you during office hours and not penalize you for not finishing it."
“The older you get the more choice you have on classes. As a senior I do have a lot of homework but I really enjoy learning about all the class topics because I chose them.”
“The focus is on the learning. Even if you are getting straight A's you still have constructive criticism in your narrative [written] evaluations.”
“When I take a biology test I’m not asked to just throw out information that I learned from a textbook. I’m supposed to analyze it in a different way. And then the teacher will look at that – can you take the information you learned and think about it in a new way? I came from a very academically challenging middle school and after we got back tests we’d ask, "How'd you do?" – we compared ourselves to each other. For some people that’s not a good thing because if they are not doing well they’re just going to give up. Here at Catlin Gabel there is a focus on self progress and improving yourself.
Girls Soccer Final
Saturday, November 19
Liberty High School
Join us for this exciting match as the varsity girls soccer team faces their friendly rivals for the state title.
Every CG voice is needed.
Admission: Cash or VISA/MasterCard only | Adult $8 | Student $5
Can't attend the game? » Check out the webcast on OSAA.tv
Peter Lind ’08, a senior at the Air Force Academy, has won a prestigious Marshall Scholarship. He was one of 14 candidates advanced by the academy for the Marshall process.
The British government offers Marshall Scholarships to no more than 40 U.S. citizens each year. The scholarship program is named after General George C. Marshall, who helped engineer the Marshall Plan in Europe following the World War II. Scholarship winners, selected from about 1,000 applicants, study towards a master's degree at any university in the United Kingdom.
Peter plans to pursue an MLitt in international security studies and a second MLitt in Middle Eastern and Asian security studies.
After graduating from the Air Force Academy and receiving his commission as a lieutenant this coming May, he will most likely return to the Air Force Academy for a short time to teach younger cadets about the competitive scholarship process. In the summer between his two years in the UK, he will work with the British Air Force. After finishing his degree, Peter will enter directly into pilot training, likely in Texas, to become trained as a fighter pilot for his active duty service. Later he plans to become a military attaché or foreign area officer in the Middle East or Asia.
Peter was very gracious in attributing part of his successful pursuit of the Marshall Scholarship to the preparation he received at Catlin Gabel. He told science teacher Paul Dickinson (Mr. D) he was way ahead of most other Air Force Academy students in his writing skills and work ethic.
Peter added in an email, “Mr. D wrote a letter of recommendation for this scholarship and has played an incredible role throughout my education. I would also like to note that my time in Cuba [during a Catlin Gabel global education trip] was highlighted in paperwork and during my interview at the British Consulate-General – a big thanks to [Spanish teacher] Roberto Villa.”