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Soccer semifinals on Tuesday.

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Go Eagles!

The boys and girls varsity soccer teams play in the state soccer semifinals on Tuesday, November 16.

The boys play at home against Boardman's Riverside School at 7 p.m. on our home field. This is Coach Mike Davis's final home game. He retires in June.

The girls play Rogue River High School at 3:30 p.m. The game will be played at Grants Pass High School.

OSAA admission fee $7 adults, $5 students.


Watch the Eagles score and soar

Thanks go to parent of alumni Jennifer Davies for posting exciting videos of Catlin Gabel goals made in the quarterfinal games.

Girls quarterfinals (final 2 goals v Blanchet)

Boys quarterfinals (winning goal v OES)
 

 

Girls cross country team state championship in the news

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Portland Tribune and Oregonian articles, November '10

Portland Tribune article, November 6, 2010

Oregonian article, November 6, 2010

Phil and Penny Knight honor CG with largest gift in school's history

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Introducing the Knight Family Scholars Program

Q&A with Lark P. Palma, PhD, head of school

Interview by Karen Katz '74, communications director

Phil and Penny Knight have honored Catlin Gabel with the largest gift in the school’s history. Their multimillion-dollar gift for the new endowed Knight Family Scholars Program is a rare opportunity for Catlin Gabel to reach our full potential as a model school as outlined in Ruth Catlin’s philosophy. Phil and Penny Knight’s unprecedented generosity is a tremendous vote of confidence in our school from world leaders in philanthropy.

What is the Knight Family Scholars Program?
It is a pilot program for the Upper School faculty to explore a new model for high school education and attract outstanding new high school students. The gift funds an endowed faculty member to direct the program and teach in the Upper School. In the anticipated inaugural year, 2012-13, we hope to enroll about four Knight Family Scholars as fully integrated members of the Upper School student body who benefit from our exceptional curriculum. The Knight Family Scholars Program is similar in concept to the Rhodes Scholar program in terms of the caliber of students who will qualify.

What is your vision for how this program will affect Catlin Gabel?
The current generation of students is far more sophisticated than previous generations. Their educational needs are evolving quickly. Educators must ask, what more can we do to prepare them? How can we ensure that they have a great liberal arts and sciences foundation for success in college plus the experience and skills to thrive in a workforce and world that will change in ways we cannot imagine?

Catlin Gabel teachers have envisioned a high school that is more real world, project-based, experiential, and interdisciplinary — but limited resources have stymied our progress toward this goal. Now we can take some big steps in building on our curricular innovations and evolve more quickly. As a new Catlin Gabel faculty member, the Knight Family Scholars Program director will collaborate with our high school teachers and students to develop methods of teaching and learning that respond to the changing educational environment.

Where did the idea for the program originate?
The genesis for the program stems from the Imagine 2020 conference held in the spring of 2006. A lasting idea that emerged from the conference was to enrich Catlin Gabel’s educational offerings by taking advantage of what our great city and region have to offer— using Portland as a learning laboratory. Bringing students together with creative, analytical, medical, political, entrepreneurial, and science leaders would further our experiential and progressive education goals. The intent is to get our students “off the hill,” as one alumnus put it in 2006. Our global education and PLACE programs, and the urban studies class in the Upper School, also stem from the Imagine 2020 conference.

How did this gift come about?
As I got to know Phil, our shared interest in improving education emerged as a vitally important theme. Phil and Penny Knight are long-range visionaries and Oregon’s most generous individual education philanthropists, which is humbling and exciting. We talked about Ruth Catlin’s vision of modeling for others and how, because of our relatively small size, our success, and our focus on progressive education, we are the ideal school for innovation. I described some of the seminal ideas that emerged from the Imagine 2020 conference and how hard our teachers work to implement those ideas.

Can you give us an example of a program feature from Imagine 2020 that this gift allows us to implement?
The faculty and program director will have the opportunity to advance the exchange of ideas in seminars taught by a network of community experts, including some of our talented and notable parents, alumni, and grandparents. The seminars, both on and off campus, will examine topics that emerge from the shared interests of the students and the director as they move through the program together. The seminars will also respond to the availability of influential mentors, speakers, and guest instructors. Upper School students, not just Knight Family Scholars, will be able to attend seminars. It is vitally important that this is open and inclusive, and that we prevent any kind of “us and them” dynamic.

We also expect that as the program grows, it will include opportunities for the Knight Scholars to travel nationally and abroad for summer learning.

How else does the program benefit current students?
The research is clear: high caliber students raise the level of learning for everyone. The positive peer effect is evident throughout our school. Students in our supportive, non-competitive environment engage more deeply when their classmates are excited about the lab, discussion, problem solving, or literary analysis at hand. And, naturally, teachers are their best selves when their students are highly engaged.

What are the student qualifications for the program?
Prospective Knight Family Scholars Program will stand out in four key areas: academics, community service, athletics, and leadership. As Knight Scholars they will receive tuition assistance funded by the program’s endowment. The amount of assistance will depend on their family’s need. The program will attract well-rounded students who will inspire their peers, take advantage of everything Catlin Gabel has to offer, and go on to serve their communities.

Can current Catlin Gabel students apply for Knight scholarships?
Current and former Catlin Gabel students are ineligible to become Knight Scholars because one objective of the program is to attract new students and deepen our pool of admitted students. The Knight Scholars Program will raise the profile of our excellent Upper School and entice students who will be wonderful additions to our community.

Who determines who qualifies for the program?
The faculty, admission office, and a new program director will decide whom we accept.

Who is the Knight Family Scholars Program director and how is the position funded?
Typically, when donors make large gifts to institutions they fund a position to oversee the program. We will launch a national search for a Knight Family Scholars Program director to fully realize the vision of this program. The director will be Catlin Gabel’s first endowed faculty member. This turning point for Catlin Gabel could very well lead to additional endowed faculty positions.

What are the director’s responsibilities?
First and foremost, the director will find the right students for the program. A big part of the job is outreach and making a wide range of communities aware of the program and our school. As the program spokesperson, the director will bolster the Knight Family Scholars Program and our overall admission program. The director will also lead the scholars’ seminar and teach other Upper School classes so he or she is fully integrated into our faculty. We will hire a dynamic educator who becomes a vital member of our school community.

How will this historic gift change the school?
When we laid out strategic directions in 2003 one of our top three goals was to strengthen our identity and visibility in the community. We set out to identify and attract qualified, informed, and diverse applicants and to increase our applicant pool, particularly in the Upper School. The Knight Family Scholars Program will move us quickly and decisively towards these goals.

Has Catlin Gabel ever received a gift of this magnitude?
In 1987, the school received a $3.6 million bequest from the estate of Howard Vollum that allowed Catlin Gabel to establish an endowment fund. His foresight and generosity moved the school beyond a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle.

What other benefits does the Knights’ gift offer?
The Knight Family Scholars Program raises our visibility as one of the leading independent schools in the country.

On a purely financial and pragmatic level, the program releases financial aid dollars for students in all divisions.

On a more philosophical and curricular level, the Knight Family Scholars Program will stretch us to take some risks about how we teach. All Catlin Gabel students will benefit from the innovations we pilot through the program. On a grander scale, my dream is to model innovations that can benefit students nationwide.

We cannot underestimate the value of raising our profile, too. What’s good for Catlin Gabel’s reputation is good for Catlin Gabel’s students and teachers. As far as fundraising, this is the tip of the iceberg for all programs and needs of the school. I know Phil and Penny Knight’s generosity and confidence in Catlin Gabel will inspire others to give. In fact, two other donors are planning to give to this program.

We anticipate a positive overall effect on admissions and on our ability to attract phenomenal student applicants. Some great young people, who perhaps don’t qualify as Knight Family Scholars, will still apply to our Upper School when they learn about Catlin Gabel’s curriculum, meet our faculty and students, and hear about our generous financial assistance program.

Is this Phil and Penny Knight’s first gift to Catlin Gabel?
In the past three years, the Knights have quietly and generously funded other immediate needs that I identified. They were instrumental in our ability to provide financial aid for families who have struggled through the recession. I am so honored that they have put their trust in me and in Catlin Gabel.

“To maintain a school with the most enlightened ideals of education, content of work and methods of teaching. . . . To contribute to the community and its schools an educational laboratory, free to utilize the knowledge and wisdom of leading educators.” (excerpt from Ruth Catlin’s 1928 philosophy statement)

 

 

Senior McKensie Mickler named an Oregonian athlete of the week

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Oregonian article, October 10

John Hamilton nominated for national coach of the year award

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The Oregon Athletic Coaches Association (OACA) named John Hamilton the Oregon nominee for the National Federation of High Schools “Coach of the Year” award for boys golf.

Each year the OACA selects one coach from each of the 10 boys and nine girls sports offered in our state. Each state award winner then becomes eligible for Section 8 awards competing against coaches in their respective sports from Washington, Montana, Idaho, Alaska, and Wyoming. Section 8 winners will compete for National Coach of the Year against representatives from the other seven sections of the United States. Oregon has won numerous sectional and national awards over the past 10 years.

Nominees must exemplify the highest standards of sportsmanship, ethical conduct, and moral character, and carry the endorsement of their respective state high school associations. The OACA looks for coaches with winning records who contribute to their schools and communities. Longevity in coaching is also an important consideration. They must be members of the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association.

Upper School soccer, volleyball, and cross-country practices begin August 22

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Join an Upper School Athletic Team!

We encourage all students to join Catlin Gabel teams. Our no-cut policy allows everyone to participate, and we provide great opportunities for students to give new sports a try. We hope to see you on August 22, when preseason practice begins for soccer, volleyball, and cross-country.
 
If you have questions about Catlin Gabel athletics, please contact Sandy Luu, athletic director, at 971-404-7253 or luus@catlin.edu.
 

Upper School Athletics 2011-12 Preseason Schedule

Soccer, volleyball, and cross-country preseason practice begins on Monday, August 22. For conditioning, skill development, and team organization, athletes planning to participate in the first fall contests are required to attend preseason practices. Athletes missing prac­tices or arriving after the starting date will be withheld from competitions until they have completed nine practices.
 
Once classes begin on September 2, practices are after school from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. There is no practice on Labor Day.
 
 

Boys' Soccer
Monday, August 22 – Friday, August 26, 9:30 am – noon
Monday, August 29 – Thursday, September 1, 4 – 6:30 pm
Head Coach: Roger Gantz, 503-780-3312

Girls' Soccer
Monday, August 22 – Thursday, September 1, 5 – 7:30 pm
Head Coach: Mark Lawton, 503-860-5164

Soccer Finishing Camp (optional through Catlin Gabel Summer Programs)
Monday, August 15 – Friday, August 19, 5:30 – 8 pm; $175
Instructor: Lisa Unsworth, with Catlin Gabel soccer coaching staff
Enrollment: Contact Chris Bell at bellc@catlin.edu or 503-297-1894, ext. 403

Girls' Volleyball
Monday, August 15 – Friday, August 19, 4 – 8 pm (optional)
Monday, August 22 – Friday, August 26, 4 – 8 pm
Monday, August 29 – Wednesday, August 31, 4 – 8 pm
Head Coach: Chris Snelling, 503-841-8956

Cross-Country
August 22 – August 26
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9:30 –11 am
Head Coach: John Hamilton, 503-645-7198

Students should have their own footwear properly bro­ken in by the opening day of practice to avoid blisters, and should 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 22 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. Click here to update or approve your forms. Also, all 9th- and 11th-graders must have a pre-participation physical examination 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 or compete. The forms were emailed in May and are available in PDF format in the documents for download on the Upper School web page.  Please call the Upper School office at ext. 316 if you have any questions about the forms. 

Catlin Gabel News Spring 2010

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From the Spring 2010 Caller

AMAZING AWARDS IN SCIENCE

Yale Fan ’10 and Kevin Ellis ’10 both won top honors and $50,000 each by coming in second place with all-around prizes in the recent Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. This was the first time ever that two winners have come from the same school. Yale has also won a place on the 20-member 2010 U.S. Physics Team, and he placed ninth at the Intel Science Talent Search in Washington, D.C., earning him a $20,000 award for his research on the advantages of quantum computing in performing difficult computations. Kevin was also one of the 40 Intel STS finalists in Washington, D.C. and won a $7,500 award. At this year’s international Northwest Science Expo, Kevin Ellis ’10, Rose Perrone ’10, and Vighnesh Shiv ’11 each won special awards from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Rose also came in second place in electrical and mechanical engineering. Yale won first place in physics and astronomy and several other awards. Brynmor Chapman ’10 won statewide second place in biochemistry, and Lucy Feldman ’10 won statewide honorable mention in animal sciences. Kudos to all!

NEWS FROM AROUND HONEY HOLLOW

Catlin Gabel was selected by Oregon Business magazine as one of the 100 Best Green Companies to Work For in Oregon, honoring the school’s variety of green policies and the high value its employees places on sustainable practices. . . . An article by facilities director Eric Shawn, “Catlin Gabel School—a Focus on Food,” was published in the May 2010 inaugural edition of the Journal of Sustainability Education. . . . PLACE director and urban studies teacher George Zaninovich was nominated by the Coalition for a Livable Future for the Robert L. Liberty Regional Leadership Award for his significant contributions to Portland’s livability. . . . . The Oregon Athletic Coaches Association named Lerry Baker the girls track coach of the year and John Hamilton the golf coach of the year for 2009. . . . This year’s diversity conference in April offered a wide variety of workshops on issues that included homeless youth, blindness, race and American popular music, Southern African cultures, immigration, political diversity, masculinity, worldwide access to technology, and contemporary religious practice. The day was capped with performances by the Jefferson Dancers and the Maru-a-Pula Marimba Band from Botswana.
 

FESTIVE GAMBOL BRINGS IN GREAT SUPPORT FOR FINANCIAL AID

Thanks to enthusiastic bidders, donors, volunteers, and supporters, the celebratory 2010 Gambol auction at The Nines hotel raised $345,000. Derrick Butler, M.D. ’86 brought the crowd to its feet when he spoke at a special appeal for financial aid. Many thanks to co-chairs Gina Wand and Heather Gaudry Blackburn ’90 (right).
 

OUTSTANDING SERVICE WORK

Middle School students, staff, and families contributed 1,152 pounds of food to the Oregon Food Bank for Project Second Wind. . . . The Upper School Environmental Club raised enough funds through sales of smoothies and baked goods to help provide 641 Iraqi students with clean, safe drinking water through Water for Peace.
 

KUDOS TO OUR STUDENTS

Mariah Morton ’12 jumped 18 feet at track and field districts to break the school long jump record set by Wendy Miller Johnson ’68 in 1968. . . . The Upper School mock trial team won its third state championship competing against high schools many times our size. . . . Cody Hoyt ’13 won an Oregon Driver Education Center video contest about safe driving with a spoof of the Old Spice commercial. . . . The Flaming Chickens robotics team won the regional Chairman’s Award this year, the highest honor. They also won the Innovations in Controls award at the Colorado regional competition.
 
 
For their senior prank, the community-minded class of 2010 converted the Upper School quad to a petting zoo for the young ones
 

 

The Little Things and the Big Thing About Baseball

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By Chris Potts

From the Spring 2010 Caller

The argument that “baseball is a game of little things” is, to me, unassailable, as is the philosophy that high school sports should be used as vehicles to teach students lessons that can carry them through the rest of their lives. Holding these truths in tandem, you quickly realize that the avenue to reach these larger lessons is to build a cohesive team, a community of ballplayers. Unfortunately, there’s no handbook for this, there’s no one way to do it. Just like baseball, it’s putting all of the little things together in the right way.

When I interviewed for this job, I was told, “Baseball at Catlin Gabel is on life support.” But when I first met the team, I realized that they were a great group of young players who needed somebody to give them some discipline, some foundation.

We’re not a winning program. In my five years at Catlin Gabel, we’ve lost many more games than we’ve won. It’s not even close. I would argue, however, that we’re an extremely successful program. Each year, this group of students comes together. We’ve grown in numbers every year. Our baseball team is an inclusive and incredible, albeit unique, community.

What follows isn’t that elusive handbook for team-building. It’s a look at a few of the little things that we’ve done together.

Each year I choose a theme around which to build our team mentality. The theme for our first year was “Building Something We Can Be Proud Of.”
 When we won our first game, I worried that our players were so excited that they’d offend the other team. Then again, when you haven’t won a baseball game your entire high school career, wouldn’t you jump up and down and scream when you got your first “W?”
 
February 26—Manhood—Outside the gym, after practice, I pull one of the new players aside. He’s been struggling this week. He’s a good player (we’d say, “he’s got a lot of upside”), but we need to rebuild some of his fundamentals. He’s also never had to work this hard, physically, ever.
 
There’s a big transition between middle school sports and high school varsity athletics. We’ll be playing against 200-pound gorillas looking to play in college. Wrestlers. Linebackers. The kid I’m talking to is 14 and could probably make the scale hit 140 if I handed him a 20-pound dumbbell.
 
We do a lot of physical conditioning. The younger players typically take some time to adjust. During this physical adjustment period, the boy I’m talking with has lost all accuracy with his throwing. We’d say “he couldn’t hit the ground if he dropped the ball.” I’ve been playing catch with him during warm-ups to protect the other players. I’ve seen tears well up in his eyes during three of these first four practices. Time for a chat.
 
At one point in the conversation, I say, “This is why I love baseball, because you can learn lessons through the sport that you can apply to the rest of your life. Right now you need to learn to make the adjustment from 8th grade baseball to high school baseball. Just like how you’re making the transition from 8th grade academics to high school academics. In both things you’re going to have to get tough, you’re going to have to work harder than you’ve ever had to before and you’re going to have to learn to control your emotions. I think you can do it.”
 
I do think he can do it. I need a #3 starter.
During my second year, the theme was “Playing the Game with Class.”
March 1—Playing in the Mud—It’s still a little wet to be using the whole field, but we need to put in defense and relays as soon as possible. The first game is two weeks away. The field is still holding too much water.
 
The players circle around the third base cutout, and we talk about the geography of our field. There are three layers. First, there’s the soil underneath everything. That’s what the grass grows out of. Surrounding the bases, there’s a layer of clay that builds the foundation for the cutouts. On top of that is a top-dressing. I explain to the players that this stuff is baked at like 5,000 degrees so that it becomes porous and can absorb three times its weight in water. This, I believe, is the science portion of baseball.
 
We squat around the perimeter of the cutout, grabbing chunks of clay that we’ve churned up during defense and conditioning, and rolling them into balls. When we’ve grabbed the biggest chucks, I have the players throw them so that I can lay them out for one of my captains to tamp back into the clay foundation.
 
One of the sophomores says, “I get to throw mud at my baseball coach.” I’m not too fond of how this sounds, but I don’t think I can argue with him.
The theme of my third year was “Learning to be Competitive.”
We drive a long way to get to some of the games. To the Pacific Ocean, literally. The team was shocked when I instituted the no-headphones, noelectronics, human-interaction-only rule. “Why can’t we listen to our iPods?” The answer was no.
 
In deference to my totalitarianism, a group of students began singing on the bus rides home. They got very into it, going so far as to print out lyrics.
 
It was awful: adolescent boys screeching the lyrics to Britney Spears, NSYNC, the Backstreet Boys. It was an assault on human musical aesthetics. It was the sound of my group of boys coming together. It was music to my ears.
 
The dynamics always change after our first road trip.
During my fourth year, our theme was “Working as a Team.”
Close to the deadline for this article, I get an email from a former player. He’s hoping to be in town and catch the end of a Friday double-header. I want him to come to the game, to cheer us on, and for the younger players to realize that they’re a part of something bigger than the second game of a double-header.
This year’s theme is “Respect for the Game.”
April 26—Heart—An unusually large wet-weather system has rolled in. We’re in the gym, hitting practice balls, tennis balls, softies, and whiffles. We’re looking ahead at the season: 8 tough games in 11 days. The arms are ready. Though we’re having difficulty getting on base, I’m fielding the best defense in my time at Catlin Gabel. We’ve seen each of the teams in our league. We know we’re the underdogs, but there’s a palpable sense that we can put it all together and make a run at the playoffs. I’d say our biggest asset is our cohesiveness. This team is all heart.
Chris Potts is an outdoor education teacher at Catlin Gabel and is in his fifth year as the head baseball coach.

 

Boys golf team wins state title

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Senior Matt McCarron wins individual medalist honors

Boys golf team advances to state after winning sixth consecutive district title

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Congratulations, Eagles!

Catlin Gabel won the district title at a two-day tournament at Quail Valley in Banks. Individual honors include league MVP for senior Matt McCarron, first-team all league honors for junior Philip Paek and freshman Conor Oliver, and second team all-league honors for sophomore James Furnary, and co-coach of the year for John Hamilton.

The Eagles established several records on their way to state. In round two the team recorded Catlin Gabel’s lowest 18-hole score of 311 breaking last year’s 315. Combined with the day one score of 330 the team achieved a new 36-hole record of 641, eclipsing last year’s 658 record. Matt McCarron shot a sizzling 69 on day two beating the previous record held by Gary Coover ’00, who shot a 71 at the 2000 state tournament.
 

Sophomore Mariah Morton breaks CG's longest standing track and field record

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Mariah  jumped a whopping 17 feet, 2 ½ inches at the Lake Oswego Classic to break the school record set by Wendy Miller Johnson '68 in 1968. Mariah came in second at the meet.

Watch Mariah's jump on YouTube
 

An Eye on the Goal

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Longtime soccer player Eric Watson '93 is now an award-winning coach
From the Winter 2010 Caller
By all accounts Eric Watson ’93 was a superb athlete at Catlin Gabel. But he knows he didn’t just go it alone, and that great coaches make great players. Now it’s his turn. A teacher and soccer coach since his college days, Eric loves working with his student athletes to realize their potential to become better players—and better people.
 
Eric had some fine role models at Catlin Gabel. “Mike Davis, Brian Gant, and John Hamilton were always there to inspire, instruct, and occasionally discipline me if my competitive desire got the better of me,” he says.
 
Eric concentrated on mathematics for his undergraduate degree from Williams College, and earned his master’s in leadership and sports administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. During summers he coached at Mike Davis’s soccer camps, which led to a job teaching and coaching at a private boy’s school in Connecticut. After a year there, Eric got an invitation from his coach at Williams: would he consider coaching there, at an 85 percent pay cut, with no benefits? “I jumped at the opportunity,” he says.
 
That opportunity paid off for Eric. He moved on from Williams to a coaching job at the University of Richmond, then finally got his big break: the position of head men’s and women’s soccer coach at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. “I was fortunate enough to have a very talented and dedicated group of players,” he says. The team advanced to the NCA tournament twice during his five years there, and Eric was voted Coach of the Year in 2005.
 
Another great chance came his way, and although he had loved being back in Oregon, Eric moved to New Paltz, New York, where he is now the men’s soccer coach at SUNY New Paltz. He lives there with his wife, Paola Gentry, and their children, Aracely, 7, and Oliver, 4. He also serves as assistant coach with the United States Under-23 Women’s National Team.
 
Eric says it’s never felt like a job to him to make a living in soccer, a game that has always been his great passion. “I feel that I can show my players how to best approach a passion of theirs, whether it is athletic or academic, and then use my position as a coach to help them reach their goals,” he says.
 
“The challenge of trying to make my players, my team, and the overall program better keeps me going back, day after day. Certainly there are days, especially after a loss, that make going back more difficult, but as long as there are still games to be played the team can improve and we go back to work. In the end the real job I have done won’t be measured in the four years I have direct contact with my players, but in 5, 10, or 15 years after they leave the school and forge their lives out in the world.”

Interests, Passions, Magnificent Obsessions: Soccer player & scientist, 5th grade

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

Passions: soccer, science

“Soccer’s great because you can socialize and make new friends. It relieves stress and helps you to not burn out and get tired in the rest of your life. I started playing classic soccer late this summer. It’s a more competitive form of soccer that’s played mostly year round, and all outdoors in all seasons. We do two practices a week after school. We have a game on Saturday, and sometimes on Sunday. I really, really love it.
 
Two friends and I were playing recreational soccer and we switched to classic soccer. It’s more physical and more demanding. The coaches train us hard on all the skills, like shooting, passing, and defense.
 
I also love science. When I grow up, I want to be a brain surgeon and fix things when people have problems. I’m interested in the brain because it uses up the most energy in the body, and it controls everything.
 
At home my mom is teaching me Japanese, and it’s hard. I’ve also been taking Chinese for four years. Learning Japanese makes Chinese easier because the characters came from Chinese, and the sounds are similar. We visit Japan most summers, and it’s fun. I speak Japanese with my relatives, and I’m pretty comfortable with it. By being with relatives I get to see the whole culture.

Having something you like is good for you. It makes life easier and more enjoyable.”

Interests, Passions, Magnificent Obsessions: Math & puzzle problem solver, 5th grade

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

Passions: math, puzzles, soccer
Interests: acting, music

“I’ve loved math since 2nd grade. I do a lot of Sudoku, and now I’m working on the harder ones. I like all kinds of puzzles, and math and logic games.
 
I like the mindset of having to figure out where to put something. You can really feel it when you’ve accomplished something. I like logic puzzles. I like following a train of thought.
 
We’re doing multiplication and division in 5th grade, and I like the problems. I go for the challenge math in my homework, which has percents or fractions or logic.
 
I play classic soccer year round, and it’s really fun. It’s one sport where your size doesn’t matter and you have to work as a team. Where you are when you don’t have the ball is as important as when you do. It’s a thinking game: where should I be? Where’s my mark?

I also take some acting classes and did improv classes over the summer. I enjoy memorizing the script line by line, and it sticks in my head. I work to project, stay in character, and not make nervous gestures. Acting can help in life. It helps you get confidence in speaking in front of an audience. I’ve learned to focus on myself and what I’m doing. Then I’m not so nervous.”

Interests, Passions, Magnificent Obsessions: Synchronized swimmers, 10th grade & 7th grade

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

Passions: Synchronized swimming
Interests: rock & mountain climbing, dance, gymnastics

K: “When I was 7, I took a synchronized swimming class and they asked me to be on the team. When my sister was 6 she came to watch me practice and by the end, the coach had her in the water. Synchronized swimming became a passion for both of us. Competition is really fun. We both make friends from all over the country and sometimes the world.
 
E: “Synchronized swimming is the ultimate team sport. We have to work together, and we depend on each other. It’s a ten-month- a-year sport, but has a lot of rewards. In the end it all pays off. We travel a lot for training and competitions with our family or our coaches, and we don’t always go to the same place. It’s crazy. We spend a lot of time in airports.
 
K: I’m trying out for the junior national team and hope to make it in the next couple of years. You need a lot of strength to be a good competitor. Training includes weightlifting, dance, Pilates, gymnastics, and yoga. Core strength is everything. My sister and I do lots of cross-training on weekends.
 
E: I’ve learned how to make a group effort and cooperate with others, and that’s helping right now in our collaborations in 7th grade world cultures class.”

K: Catlin Gabel’s arts program, especially theater, has helped me realize how I can better get across emotions, which is important in our sport. I’ve learned dedication, focus, and good time management from synchronized swimming, and that really helps me here in school, too.”

Interests, Passions, Magnificent Obsessions: Installation artist, senior

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

Passions: creating art installations, outdoor exploration
Interest: track & field

“For my first art project I hung an old picture frame with a picture of a galaxy set into it on the big, inviting blank wall of the science building, hung to appear like a window of the building itself. Another time I set up a spider’s web of wires, with tin can phones on the ends, connecting six trees in the campus forest. You could hear the sounds of the trees groaning in the wind through the wires.
 
I have two projects right now of trees wrapped in string. There’s almost nothing more stereotypically organic than a tree, and the strings contrast as a straight line you don’t often see in nature.
 
Art is a key facet of how I see myself. I enjoy the outdoor program just as much. I’ve been to truly amazing places not many people know of, and seen many wonderful things. These trips are a source of inspiration, and I think about these places every day.
 
My art is a product of wanting to explore methods, tools, and ideas—and wanting to do something different for the first time. It’s realizing my daydreams and not always about other people seeing it. It’s very personal.

Sometimes something clicks and I think about an idea a lot. The vast majority of ideas I come up with are things I’ll never do, but that’s not an unfortunate thing. Is that art? Thinking about it, for me, is as important as the actual creation.”

Interests, Passions, Magnificent Obsessions: Fencer, 8th grade

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From the Winter 2010 Caller

Passion: fencing
Interests: music, visual arts

“Fencing is my great passion. It’s a good sport for me because I’m meticulous, I like moving around, and I’m pretty coordinated.
 
I love to compete all around the country. I hope that if I rank high enough in the next couple of years in the 16-and-under division that I’ll be able to travel around the world for competitions.
 
I’m not as nervous these days as at my first competition, but I do get more so when the stakes are high. When it’s going well I’m thinking clearly, and I’m focused, and things are not distracting me. When you wake up and everything’s too loud and is distracting, then it’s hard to fence. When you’re on top, and you’re prepared, and you have great focus, you can do whatever you’re capable of.
 
Fencing is a thinking game. Before every touch you have to know your plans, and you have to be able to change them depending on how your opponent reacts. The key to good fencing is to be one step ahead of your opponents so you can outsmart and outfence them.

Fencing is not the only thing in life I think about. I want to go to the Olympics, but right now it’s not my whole life. In a few years, maybe it will be, but not now. My life is about school, friends, music, fencing, and family. It’s a good life when you go to a really good school and love everything you do.”