Admission News

Syndicate content

Flaming Chickens robotics team on KGW-TV

Send by email
KGW-TV news story, September 2012

Members of our Upper School robotics team, 1540 the Flaming Chickens, spent all weekend at OMSI's Mini Maker Faire September 15-16 talking to people about FIRST Robotics and Catlin Gabel. They also got up for a early 4:30 a.m. video shoot at OMSI to promote the faire.  Check it out.

Catlin Gabel receives $200,000 grant from M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Send by email
Funds bolster instructional technology in the planned Creative Arts Center

Catlin Gabel School has received a grant of $200,000 from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. The grant will support instructional technology in the school’s planned Creative Arts Center.

Groundbreaking for the new building will be held October 4. Students in grades 6–12 will experience an innovative use of space for interdisciplinary work in visual and media arts, theater, and music when the Creative Arts Center opens in the fall of 2013. Funds from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust grant will be used for computers and recording equipment for the music laboratory, theater sound systems, and state-of-the-art LED stage lighting that will greatly reduce the building’s energy consumption. Additionally, the grant will support servers, networking, classroom projectors, and advanced theater projection.

The $6.9 million Creative Arts Center was designed by renowned architect Brad Cloepfil, of Allied Works Architecture. Funds for the building’s construction have come primarily from donors to the project, as well as grants. Cloepfil has designed notable museum and creative spaces worldwide, from the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis to the adaptive reuse of Manhattan’s Museum of Arts and Design on Columbus Circle. “Catlin Gabel’s project for the new arts building means a tremendous amount to me,” said Cloepfil. “To build on that beautiful campus, with the legacy of great architecture by John Storrs and Thomas Hacker, is a true gift. We have worked with faculty and students to create a building that will be a beautiful catalyst for creativity, not only in the visual and performing arts, but for the entire curriculum of the school. It truly is a laboratory, one that will encourage the students to develop new ideas and forms of expression.”

CREATIVITY IS CENTRAL TO CATLIN GABEL’S PHILOSOPHY
“The arts are a core of Catlin Gabel’s philosophy and are key to a well-rounded education. In no other discipline do critical thinking, problem-solving, predicting outcomes, analyzing, re-assessing, and creativity come together as they do in the arts. The intellectual challenges posed by visual art, music, and theater facilitate learning in all other disciplines. These vital pursuits help make our children more thoughtful, interesting, and well-rounded—and create a life of more profundity and beauty for all of us.” –Lark Palma, head of school

THE M.J. MURDOCK CHARITABLE TRUST
The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, based in Vancouver, Washington, was created by the will of Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, a co-founder of Tektronix, Inc., and established in 1975. The trust aims to enrich the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest by providing grants and enrichment programs to organizations seeking to strengthen the region’s educational, spiritual, and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways.

Join a team!

Send by email

We encourage all students to join a Catlin Gabel team. Each year a number of students, particularly freshmen and sophomores, hesitate to come out for sports, believing they are too inexperienced to participate. Our no-cut policy allows for everyone to participate. We provide great opportunities for students to give new sports a try. You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. We hope to see you!

Upper School Athletics 2012-13 Preseason Schedule

Soccer, volleyball, and cross-country preseason practice begins on Monday, August 20.

For conditioning, skill development, and team organization, athletes planning to participate in the first fall contests are required to attend preseason practices. Athletes missing prac¬tices or arriving after the starting date will be withheld from competitions until they have completed nine practices. If teams are filled after preseason is completed, we will not add another team to accommodate late arriving athletes.

Games begin on August 30. Coaches will notify athletes in advance of any practice time changes after this point.

Once classes begin on September 6, practices are after school from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. There is no practice on Labor Day.

» Link to game and meet schedules

BOYS SOCCER

Optional camp – $100
August 13 – 17, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Required practice and team selection
Monday, August 20 – September 5, 3 – 6 p.m. (laptop orientation is on Wednesday, September 5, at 6 p.m., so practice will be earlier)
Head Coach: Roger Gantz, 503-780-3312

GIRLS SOCCER

Optional camp – $175
August 13 – 16, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Required practice and team selection
Monday, August 20 – September 5, 9 – 11 a.m.
Head Coach: Lisa Unsworth, 503-593-1173

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Optional conditioning – free
August 6 – 9, 9 – 10:30 a.m. and 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Optional camp – $100
August 13 – 16, 4 – 7pm

Required practice and team selection
August 20 – 23, 3 – 7:30 p.m.
August 24, 3 – 6 p.m.
August 27 – 29, 4 – 6p.m.
August 30, first game at home vs. Astoria
Head Coach Sanjay Bedi, 503-348-0380

CROSS-COUNTRY

Optional practices
Wednesdays from 7 to 8 p.m. for interval session. Meet at the gym.
Saturdays at 9 a.m. for 3-6 mile run. Meet at the bottom of the Leif Erickson Trail on NW Thurman Street
Monday August 13 - 24th annual Oak Hills pre-season run, swim, and ice cream social 7 – 9 p.m.

Required practice
August 20 – September 5
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9:30 – 11 a.m.
Head Coach: John Hamilton, 503-645-7198

Notes for All Athletes

Students should have their own footwear properly broken in by the opening day of practice to avoid blisters. Wear athletic clothes suitable for the weather. Soccer players should bring water bottles to carry with them to the field. It is wise to start some conditioning well before August 20 in order to build fitness gradually. This will help avoid muscle soreness and injuries.

Family medical and emergency contact forms must be submitted online before the first day of practice. Update or approve your forms online. Also, all 9th and 11th graders must complete the pre-participation physical examination with their physicians and turn in the required paperwork before the first day of practice. State law requires the school to have the forms on file before students may practice. The forms are available in PDF format at the bottom of this page. Please call the Upper School office at ext. 315 if you have any questions about the forms.

For questions or clarification about the athletics program please email or call Sandy Luu, athletic director, at luus@catlin.edu or 971-404-7253.

 

Science teacher Veronica Ledoux's work with Teachers Across Borders South Africa

Send by email

Upper School science teacher Veronica Ledoux volunteered this summer for Teachers Across Borders South Africa, working for three weeks with 200 South African math and science teachers from rural schools to help update their skills. South Africa has identified the teaching and learning of math and science as national priorities.

Project founder Yunus Peer praised Veronica for her contributions, noting that she is personable, professional, and passionate about her work. "She made a positive difference for teachers who did not have the same academic experience that we are privileged to in the United States," he wrote to Catlin Gabel head Lark Palma.

"As institutions of higher learning, with such talented faculty, I believe the least we can do is share the knowledge we have about our profession with colleagues in the developing world who so desperately need help with content, methodology and the pedagogy of the subjects they teach, under the most challenging conditions," wrote Yunus. "I know that Veronica's presentation will inspire your faculty with the possibilities of service that advantaged private schools like ours can undertake, and by example, will highlight the values we want our students to embrace, too."

Environmental Science and Policy: Real-World Learning

Send by email
Students in this interdisciplinary class learn facts--and how to cope with complexity and ambiguity

From the Summer 2012 Caller

By Andrea Michalowsky '12

Catlin Gabel prides itself on being green. We recycle, compost, and emphasize environmentalism in the elementary and middle school curricula. We even have goats roaming the campus to help with landscaping. Surrounded by all this sustainability, I considered myself environmentally conscious and aware of ecological concerns. However, my Environmental Science and Policy classes reminded me of just how little I know and how much there is for me to still learn. More importantly, they showed me the nuances, the importance of understanding issues fully, and how to gather the information necessary to form my own opinion.
 
Peter Shulman and Dan Griffiths began this interdisciplinary class in 2007. Peter, an experienced history teacher who had previously founded the PLACE urban studies program, presented the idea to Dan as an opportunity for students to understand both the politics and facts behind current affairs. Dan, a science teacher and biologist, saw the material as an opportunity for students to better understand the importance of science in current affairs.
 
Originally, the classes were linked, and the teachers sat in on each other’s classes. This year, however, they were separated for the first time, allowing students to take one of the classes without the other. Moreover, the Environmental Policy class ran for only one semester, complemented by a class on oil in the Middle East. These alterations not only gave the students more freedom in choosing classes, but also gave the teachers more freedom in choosing specific topics. Dan included a unit on truth and recognizing biases in articles. Peter further explored oil, currently a particularly pressing issue in regards to the environment. Even as the program evolved, it maintained its founding ideals and emphasis on experiential learning.
 
On the first day of Environmental Science, Dan told us that he intended to run the class as he would a college class. He expected us to lead our own learning. As such, one of the major projects of the year was a plant lab that was formulated by the students. Dan provided the plants and the nutrient formulas (we were studying the effects of nutrient deficiencies), but we had to create the procedures. We spent several class periods sitting around the U of desks discussing what should and should not be measured on the plants. The conversation went back and forth among the 17-person class. We often ended with the sense that nothing had been accomplished. The process was slow. In retrospect, I realize just how much I learned during those debates. They taught me the importance of listening, how to work with a group, and the necessity for patience. Moving forward with the lab and editing the procedure as it progressed, I also learned the evolutionary nature of experiments. This was a new aspect of science for me, a transition away from the traditional classroom labs. It provided a real-world applicability that had been lacking before.
 
This real-world applicability was matched by a real-world foundation. Both classes took field trips, seeing the issues in action. Environmental Policy took a tour of New Seasons Market as a model of a business that emphasizes local and sustainable products. During the genetically modified plant unit, Environmental Science visited Oregon Tilth and a genetic modification lab at Oregon State University. At OSU, one of the professors presented his argument for the necessity and naturalness of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The farmers working at Oregon Tilth objected to the superficiality of this solution and called for natural processes. Visiting the lab and the farm, we were able to see both sides of the debate in the real world. We then used this information, along with an extensive list of resources provided by Dan, to craft scientific essays for or against GMOs. However, the essays meant little compared to the field trips. Seeing the issues out in the world provided a grounding that could never be attained in the classroom.
 
We not only saw current issues in action, but also did projects to address them. We spent the last month of Environmental Science helping the rest of the school community with various environmental issues. The class divided into groups that addressed anything from curriculum for the Lower or Middle School to the best way to improve the greenhouse at the school in Ecuador that students will visit this summer. These projects required communication both within the groups and with the adult clients. Working with the adults to achieve a mutual goal made our projects more immediate. It was also like working for someone, further preparing us for the outside world.
 
In addition to teaching us life skills, these experiences provided the foundation for a full understanding of issues—and the recognition of the necessity for this understanding. Another project in Environmental Science consisted of a formal debate about nuclear power. We were split into a pro team and a con team and then did the research to support our arguments. We presented these arguments to the class and a panel of judges (Dan, outdoor education director Peter Green, and science teacher Aline Garcia-Rubio). Aside from the public speaking experience, we learned the nuances of the argument. In the end, the debate was tied; neither team came out as the obvious victor. This reflected my sentiment and that of most of my classmates: we don’t know definitively if nuclear power is good or bad. Although we remain unsure about the conclusion, we now better understand the issue. This understanding of the gray area revealed more than a decisive conclusion ever could. Not only did we see both sides, but we also recognized the importance of seeing both sides: the information became more important than the conclusion.
 
This full understanding and so many other aspects of this program left a lasting impact on students. On the first day of class, Dan had us each say why we were in the class and what we hoped to learn. On the final day, we discussed what we had learned, and if our opinions had changed. The vast majority of students agreed that we were now less sure of our standing on issues such as nuclear power but valued our greater understanding of the issues. We felt prepared to talk about the issues as informed citizens.
 
As Dan had promised, the class also prepared us for college. Sabin Ray ’11, who took the class last year and subsequently enrolled in an environmental studies class at Brown University, said that she arrived at college already informed about many of the issues that came up. The big, open-ended papers and labs Dan and Peter assigned prepared her and all of us for college-level courses. Beyond college, the classes taught us about learning in any capacity and working on projects and in groups. They provided life lessons that will be useful whether or not we go into environmentalism.
 
Catlin Gabel teaches us to be green, but more importantly it teaches us to be active learners and thinkers. Likewise, Environmental Science and Policy informed us about current issues, but more importantly taught us how to learn and form our own opinions.
 
Andrea Michalowsky ’12 will attend the writing seminars program at Johns Hopkins University this fall. She was the chief editor of the Catlin Gabel literary magazine, Pegasus.  

 

The Big Green Center of Campus

Send by email
The Barn keeps everyone happy and nourished

From the Summer 2012 Caller

By Nadine Fiedler

Enter Catlin Gabel’s big green Barn at the start of lunchtime, and here’s what you’ll see. Hundreds of students line up, talking and laughing, to order the day’s hot entrée—which might be Phnom Penh rice noodle soup, vegetable or ham panini, quesadillas, grilled fish or tofu, stuffed poblano peppers, or a host of other tasty and healthful dishes. Others rush for the salad bar, stocked with brilliant greens from a local farm, veggies picked just hours before from the school garden, and beautifully prepared grain and vegetable salads. Teachers and staff members sit together at one of the many round tables, eating their lunches and catching up on what’s going on around campus, surrounded by tables of students. It’s a loud and lively place, centered on the Barn’s fresh, local, nutritious, irresistible offerings.
 

It’s A Whole New World of Food at Catlin Gabel.

The revolution began in the summer of 2006, when Hen Truong joined the staff as food services director. The food service until then had been loving and attentive, but it was time for Catlin Gabel to catch up with advances in food and nutrition to best serve its 740 students and their growing bodies and brains. Hen’s background as a member of a restaurant family, a graduate of the Western Culinary Institute, and a fast-rising young manager of food services at colleges and universities made him a perfect candidate to renovate the Barn’s approach.
 

A Necessary Diversion: Who’s Hen?

It’s almost impossible to talk about how the Barn has changed without talking about Hen Truong, and what motivates him so strongly. His determination has driven all the changes the school has made over the past six years, and will continue as he fulfills his vision.
 
Hen lived in Cambodia until age 3, the son of a Chinese restaurateur father and a Chinese-Cambodian mother. When the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia began their relentless genocide in the country’s “Killing Fields,” Hen’s family escaped to Vietnam amidst great hardship, starvation, and chaos. They were rescued by a boat captain whom his father had adopted as an orphan years earlier, but had not seen for a long time. The family lived in Vietnam until Hen was 7, when they had to flee again because Hen’s brother and sister were about to be conscripted into the army— which meant a life expectancy of a few months at best. After secretly arranging transit, paid with gold, they walked right out of his father’s restaurant during lunchtime into a rainy afternoon with nothing but what they had on. They lived in a crawl space in a safe house in Saigon for three weeks, then boarded a boat that took them to Thailand—and to three years of refugee camps there and in the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
 
Hen’s father made and sold steamed buns in the camps. “Life there made me realize what not having material wealth feels like, and what hunger feels like,” says Hen. He was surrounded by people from many Southeast Asian cultures, and remembers playing with kids speaking a bewildering number of languages. Finally they located an aunt in San Antonio, Texas, who sponsored their immigration. Hen began his life in the U.S. at age 10 in cold, wintry Texas, speaking no English, in a new school. He learned the language quickly, thanks to an ESL teacher who devoted extra time to his education.
 
After two years in Texas, the family moved to Oklahoma City for another two years, then moved to Portland. Hen’s father opened the East Restaurant in north Portland, and the whole family chipped in and worked. Hen yearned to be a cook there, propelled by his admiration of Pat Transue, his 9th grade home economics teacher at Jefferson High School. “I did a lot of whining before my dad let me cook at East Restaurant. He wanted me to be more than a cook,” says Hen. Mrs. Transue, touched by Hen’s desire to become a chef, helped Hen enroll at the culinary institute.
 
After receiving a thorough grounding in the culinary arts, Hen decided to go to college to learn more about business, so he could run a restaurant. He enrolled in Concordia University and met another influential mentor: Robert Bjorngriebe, the head of the food service. Robert was doing what Hen was later charged with at Catlin Gabel: revving up a food service that had stayed the same for many years. Robert took Hen under his wing, hired him to work in the dining hall and kitchen, and taught him everything from catering to how to conduct oneself as a chef. Hen was also attending classes full time, and working at East Restaurant on weekends. Although Hen was set on going to a big city to become “the next Wolfgang Puck or something,” Robert convinced him that school food service was a sane career that would allow him to have a family life. After graduating from Concordia and completing several internships, Hen stumbled into a food service job at Oregon State University in Corvallis—by commenting about the food when he was visiting a friend there.
 
With OSU’s director, Richard Turnbull, Hen oversaw a huge project: the complete renovation of OSU’s dining services and construction of a new dining hall. As general manager he learned how to motivate staff people, and how to have them take pride in their food. He managed a new concept in food service, with seven restaurants for different food concepts, such as deli, coffee shop, grill, and Italian food. It was a huge success.
 
After 10 years there, Hen yearned to direct a dining program and move back to Portland to be nearer to his parents. He worked briefly for a food contract service at a small college in Portland, but didn’t like the politics of serving two masters, the contract service and the school, and their vastly different goals.
 
Hen and his brother set out to open their own restaurant, and that was the plan—until the summer of 2006, when a friend told him about the job at Catlin Gabel, which was similar to what Hen had done so well at OSU. Hen interviewed, just to keep his skills sharp, but says the unexpected happened: “The minute I stepped on the beautiful campus I felt great. I met with the committee, and I went from ‘I’m not in’ to ‘Please hire me. I can do a lot for you!’” And he has, in these six years since.
 

Hen’s Philosophy

“My philosophy is simple. I want to create good, fresh, seasonal, and thoughtful food, so that customers find value in it. Food service is my passion. Every hour of the day I plot and plan how to improve it and make it better. I feel vested in Catlin Gabel. I save us money wherever I can and do things as economically as possible. It’s very powerful for me to know I get support from the faculty-staff, students, and parents. It drives me to do more personally. I want to do everything.”
 

Changing the Status Quo

After meeting with retired food service director Terry Turcotte, Hen spent the summer of 2006 figuring out what he could do to make the system more efficient. In a whirlwind of activity, he met with vendors to find the most healthful food and consolidated them to keep traffic down and the quality high, centralized the ordering of coffee for all offices, and created a regulation commercial kitchen. He rewrote the menu to do as much seasonal, from scratch, local, and fresh cooking as possible. He met with staff members, divided up responsibilities, and hired more people. By the time school started that fall, the Barn was already radically changed. “Although there’s still a lot more to do,” says Hen.
 

The Barn’s Daily Work

Hen’s core crew is made up of kitchen supervisor Sara Gallagher; Robin Grimm, in charge of front of house; Chris Sommer, salads; Yuri Newton, deli and grab-and-go; kitchen help Woming Chen; and dishwasher Jonathan Sarenana-Belten. Hen is always interested in furthering their skills with cross-training and classes. “The way the staff works so hard drives me to work harder,” he says.
 
Every day the Barn feeds 400 to 450 kids, with about 350 eating hot lunches, plus around 50 adults. The students’ dietary restrictions are a big focus for the Barn crew. Every meal includes gluten-free foods and vegetarian or vegan options. They accommodate children with nut and dairy allergies, and they try to use less sodium and as much organic food as possible.
 
When Hen first came to Catlin Gabel, every office did outside catering, which meant paying premium prices. Hen offered to do all the school’s catering, reducing costs significantly. Anyone on campus can place a catering order, from two to hundreds of eaters, and the Barn now does 99 percent of the school’s catering. The cost for food is much less, and the food is much fresher.
 
The Barn crew produces food for special events, such as commencement, Spring Festival, and alumni Homecoming weekend. They’ve taken on providing food for field trips, to relieve teachers and parent volunteers, packing food and supplies for cooking. Hen also does on-campus cooking demos, and offers special dinners as school auction items.
 

The Sustainability Loop

Hen works with teacher Carter Latendresse, head of the school garden, to figure out what to grow that can be used in Barn meals. Carter sends email to Hen when a vegetable crop is ripe, and they go up the hill, harvest the vegetables, and use them quickly in the Barn. All food scraps, including those from diners’ plates, go into buckets, which go right back into the garden, when they’re ready, as compost. “You can’t get more sustainable than that,” says Hen.
 

The Future

In the drive to use as much local and seasonal food as possible, the Barn received a grant to buy dehydrators, a greenhouse, and a juicer, all of which will extend the usable life of produce into the cold-weather months. Hen is excited about being able to offer fresh fruit and vegetable juice blends. Given Hen’s motivation and drive, we can expect the Barn to improve and keep surprising its happy customers. “I want to continue sourcing new products and support other departmental programs. I want to continue to provide a place where people can come to collaborate, a social place, a place to talk over food or coffee,” says Hen. “Mostly, I want to continue to encourage and excite people about food.”
 
 

A Recipe from Hen

Quinoa, Roasted Beet, and Walnut Salad 

Ingredients for 4 servings
3–4 medium beets, washed
1 C. dry quinoa
2 C. water
1/2 C. toasted walnuts
2–3 cloves crushed garlic
Zest and juice of one lemon
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. sugar
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
 
Procedures
Preheat oven to 425 F. Wrap beets in foil and bake until tender, about 45 min. to an hour. Let cool, then peel off the skins and cut into 3/4 inch cubes. Set aside
 
Bring water to boil in a small heavy saucepan. Rinse quinoa well and add to water. Return to boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Allow to simmer for at least 25 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Uncover pan, allow to cool.
 
For dressing, heat oil in a nonstick frypan. Add garlic and lemon rind. Cook and stir for 2 minutes, then add balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar. Remove from heat.
 
Add beets to cooled quinoa. Break walnuts into pieces and add to the bowl. Pour dressing over, add cilantro, and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  

 "Market" curtain backdrop in photo of Hen Truong was painted by Claire Stewart '07.

Nadine Fiedler is Catlin Gabel’s publications and public relations director and the editor of the Caller.

 

Graduation 2012 Photo Gallery

Send by email

After a week of steady – sometimes torrential – rain, the weather brightened on the class of 2012. The sun came out just in time to catch photos of a great group of seniors just before they became alumni.

Click on any thumbnail to start the slide show, and see larger and downloadable images.