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Our Inspired Teachers: Veronica Ledoux

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Every day Catlin Gabel teachers inspire their students. 16 faculty members talk about how they came to teaching—and what they love about their craft

 From the Autumn 2012 Caller

 Veronica Ledoux, US science

Bachelor’s in biochemistry, Mercyhurst College. Doctorate in neurobiology, Northwestern University. At CGS since 2008. 

When I initially began studying science, I imagined a finish line of sorts, a distant future in which I’d Understand Everything. Naïve, right? Now, I know better. As the years passed and my education continued, I learned a great deal, but each insight uncovered new parts of the scientific puzzle. The more I understood, the more I wondered. This complex spiral can go on forever. I now realize that one of the most exciting parts of studying science is the limitlessness of it.
 
In my previous life as a science researcher, I used complicated equipment to ask very minute questions in tremendous depth. While I was fascinated by my work, I had only a relatively small community of fellow scientists with whom I could share my discoveries. The taxpayers funding my work didn’t know what I was doing with their money, as my findings were published in expensive scientific journals with limited circulation and dense, jargon-filled text. There was no easy way for me to share my scientific excitement with the public at large.
 
At times I miss the research lab, but now, as a teacher, I constantly have opportunities to share my curiosity and love of learning with others. Many teachers are the sort of people who would be happy to be eternal students, and our profession lets us get away with this, to a degree. At Catlin Gabel, we have the freedom to innovate, update curriculum, create new courses, and follow the interests of students. This is both exciting and daunting. My colleagues set a high bar for constantly honing their craft, paying attention to individual students, and adapting their approach to better suit the needs of those students. I am privileged to be part of this place, as my own scientific understanding is constantly being challenged, which keeps my enthusiasm high. 

 

Flaming Chickens robotics team on KGW-TV

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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

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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!

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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

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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."