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Kindergarten Olympics 2011 in 1 minute

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At the end of the school year annually, our kindergarteners enjoy their own Olympics with many fun events. The sun shone on them in 2011, and they had a great time.

 

Life After Catlin Gabel: alumni and student panel video

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Present by the alumni and college counseling programs

Student panelists: seniors Henry Gordon, Rebecca Kropp, and Josh Langfus.

Alumni panelists: Leslie Nelson ’10, attending Pitzer College; Rivfka Shenoy ’09, attending Washington University St. Louis; Riley Gibson ’04, BS in business management from Babson College and co-founder and CEO of Napkin Labs; and Peter Bromka ’00, BA in anthropology from Tufts University and a design researcher at IDEO, a global design firm.

Moderator: Rukaiyah Adams ’91, BA from Carleton College, JD and MBA from Stanford University, consultant for Plum District and Regence Blue Cross/ Blue Shield.

Lifers 2011 Photo Gallery

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Twenty-three members of the class of 2011 have attended Catlin Gabel since preschool, kindergarten, or first grade. They joined Beginning School students, teachers, and family members for a special Friday Sing and tribute to retiring kindergarten teachers Sue Henry and Betsy McCormick. The seniors shared memories, gave advice, and sang along to favorite Beehive songs such as "Old Dan Tucker," "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," and our favorite tear-jerker "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You."

Preschool Circus 2011 photo gallery

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It's Not As Easy As It Looks

Many thanks to photographer Sue Spooner

Senior Vighnesh Shiv is a semifinalist in the Google Science Fair. Cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award by May 20.

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More than 7,500 students from 90 countries entered the competition. Vighnesh is one of 20 semifinalists in his age group. A panel of judges will select five finalists in each age group to visit Google headquarters for final judging and the opportunity to win a generous college scholarship.

In addition, with your votes Vighnesh could win the People’s Choice Award.

Vote for Vighnesh now!

Spring break 2012 finalized

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Spring break is March 24 – April 1

Catlin Gabel’s spring break next year is the last week in March—not the previous week, which was published as tentative.

We had been waiting for the Portland Public Schools to schedule their spring break before finalizing our schedule, so our break aligns with theirs.

In addition to syncing with PPS, the later break provides improved odds for decent weather for experiential week just prior to spring break. Experiential week will run March 19–23.

 

Spring Festival 2011 photo gallery

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Photos by Nadine Fiedler

Catlin Gabel named 1st Water Hero in Tualatin Valley district

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Oregonlive.com blog article, April '11

From Oregonlive.com blog article

Catlin Gabel has been awarded Tualatin Valley Water District’s (TVWD) first Water Hero Award. They were recognized for their significant water use reductions, which has also resulted in significant monetary savings.
 
In 2000, Catlin Gabel’s water use peaked at 7.3 million gallons per year. By 2010, the school used just 1.5 million gallons, which at current rates values equates to a savings of $19,313. In the last six years, Catlin Gabel has sustained an average 44% less water use than their 2002-2004 average. This is in addition to significant reduction in consumption in ‘02-’04 compared to the five years prior.
 
“Catlin Gabel should be very proud of their water use reduction,” said TVWD Conservation Technician Steve Carper. “This amount goes far above and beyond what would be seen at typical non-residential sites. However, their experience provides a great blueprint about what many companies can do to reduce their water use.”
Catlin Gabel Plant Manager Eric Shawn and Grounds Supervisor Mike Wilson worked closely with the grounds crew to develop and implement a plan for reducing water use. The most significant reduction occurred when they converted most of their irrigation from domestic water to a well, and installed a weather-based irrigation system. Replacing aging water lines, using a water catchment system for drip irrigation, new high-efficiency toilets and installation of on-demand hot water units has also contributed to the overall water use reduction.
 
For more information about what companies can do to reduce their water use, they should contact their water provider.

 

Alumnus Ian McCluskey's short film recommended by Wall Street Journal

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Ian McCluskey '91's film Summer Snapshot is one of eight shorts the Wall Street Journal recommends viewers see at the Tribeca Film Festival. The WSJ calls the film an "Instagram-esque look at the summer day you wish you had had growing up. Nostalgic, wistful, perfect." Ian's film was selected for the festival, along with 60 others, from a pool of 2,800 submissions.

Eighth graders praised for their published poetry

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Experiential learning in the core curriculum

Eighth grade students in Glenn Etter's English class wrote poetry that connects to the missions of local businesses and organizations. Each student sent three poems to an organization and asked to have their poems displayed on a wall, thereby making the students “published” poets.

The response has been extraordinary! Two students are poets of the week at Powell’s Books. (Last week’s poets were W.B. Yeats and e.e. cummings!) Another student’s poem was forwarded and posted at flower shops in Paris and London. Several businesses have asked permission to frame and permanently display the poems.

Some replies

Hi Glenn,

I run the poetry section here at Powells, Cedar Hills. Recently, I received poems submitted by two of your students, Sarah Norris and Emma Marcus. I thought they were both terrific and well worth sharing with our customers.

I have posted them on the wall by the poetry section for people to enjoy. Each Monday, I also print up several copies of a "poem of the week" that customers are encouraged to take with them. I have printed copies of Sarah and Emma's poems to feature as our poems for this week. Most recently, we've featured W. B. Yeats and e.e. cummings, so they can be assured of being in good company.

Thank you for forwarding them to us.

Sincerely,
John Cabral
Powells, Cedar Hills Crossing


Dear Glenn,
My name is Frank Blanchard and I am a designer and Director of Business Development and Event Design here in Portland at Flowers Tommy Luke.
One of your students, Lauren Fogelstrom, sent us a poem she had written and I must say it couldn’t have come at a better time. Just wanted to let you know that we have not only shared it with Portland, but Lauren has officially gone “Global”. I posted her poem entitled “Daffodil” today on our Flowers Tommy Luke facebook page, my personal facebook page, and several of my floral industry friends pages in Boston, Georgia, Florida, California, and New York City as well as London and Paris. I think it was a bright spot a lot of us could use about now.
 

Thank You Lauren!
 

Sincerely,
Frank Blanchard, Director
Business Development/Event Design
Flowers Tommy Luke


Hello Mr. Etter. I am the manager of Everyday Music. I am writing to let you know we have received the poems by your students, and have proudly displayed them in our windows facing Burnside Street. Please let the students know that we thoroughly enjoyed reading them, and are so excited to have them up. So far, the staff favorite seems to be Johns! Thank you so much for thinking of us and sending them our way. If the kids ever want to come in and introduce themselves I will be happy to give them 10 percent off anything they purchase. Thanks again!

Auggie Rebelo
Store Manager
Everyday Music


Hello Mr. Etter/Glenn/Teacher!

Our optometry clinic received two poems today from Jillian Rix & Maddy Prunnenberg-Ross and we thought they were very well written. Our office specializes in primary care optometry catering to patents of all ages. These poems would be a perfect fit for our office and we were wondering if it would be possible to have both Jillian & Maddy hand wright the poems so that we can have them framed and displayed in our office for the public to enjoy? A 4X6 or 5X7 piece of paper would be perfect.
Please let me know when you have a chance. Thank you and have a great weekend!

Rob Phillips


Dear Mr. Etter,

Today we received a cover letter and a most wonderful and sensitive poem
from your student, Dylan Gaus. I will proudly display it in my flower shop studio and discuss it with
clients who come into the store. What a valuable experience you present to your students by encouraging them to share their art with the community. As a business owner and community activist, I am delighted to see creativity both supported and displayed as part of the learning process.

Thank you both.

Most sincerely,
Pat Hutchins and Mary Anne Huseby
Flowers In Flight
308 SW 1st Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97204


Greetings Glenn Etter,

I am the Sections Manager for the Blue Room (which contains our main Poetry sections) and I received a couple of poems and letters from two of your 8th Grade students. I was very pleased to see that you have created such a great class project around National Poetry month and that your students thought of us here at Powell's to share them with!
We have posted the poems of Garet Neal and Ashley Tam in a display case in the Pearl Room Gallery where we are also showcasing some of our customer's favorite lines of poetry this month.

Kudos to yourself and your team and good luck in the competition!

Sincerely yours in the appreciation of books, reading, and poetry,

Liz Vogan
Sections Manager, Literature and Humanities
Powell's City of Books
503-228-4651 x 1333


 

Hello, I will be posting the poem of Hanna Sheikh in our golf shop and I went one step past that. Her poem is also published on our website. You can find it here
http://claremontgolfclub.com/sites/courses/supersite.asp?id=908&page=63035

Please let me know if she prefers to have it removed from the site.
Thank you,
Kathy Wentworth
Claremont Golf Club
Golf Shop Manager
503-690-4589


Hello Catlin Gabel,

I received a poem from Raina Morris about "My Grandmother". I am the activity director at Beaverton Hills, I read the poem to my residents they all enjoyed it and we post it up in our community. Will you please tell Raina thank you for sharing her loving poem.
 

May Huff
Activity Director
Beaverton Hills


Dear Mr. Etter;

We have posted the poems that we received from the following students: Lauren Fogelstrom, Dylan Gaus, Sarah Norris, Kallan Dana, Mary Gilleland and Nikki Nelson. I admire their work, there is some real imagination and creativity there. I think they are fortunate to be learning from you.

Sincerely,

Bill Gifford
Gifford’s Flowers
704 S.W. Jefferson
Portland, Oregon 97201


Dear Mr. Glenn Etter-

I am writing to inform you that we have put on the wall 2 poems sent to us by students in your 8th grade class. Kallisti Kenaley-Lundberg and Max Armstrong can be proud "published" poets. I hope they get a chance to see their poems: If I Were A Watter Bottle and Snow on the wall at the store. They made us smile!

Thanks for thinking of us, Julie Watson, Next Adventure


Hello -
My name is Alta Fleming and I'm the manager for Ben & Jerry's on Hawthorne - just wanted you to know that I received Simon's poem and we've posted it on our wall. He did a great job!!

Thanks --
Alta Fleming
Ben & Jerry's
Hawthorne and Clackamas Town Center Stores


I liked very much the christmas poem by nicholas destephano.
we will post it somewhere in the shop.

best, ron rich
owner
oblation papers & press
516 northwest 12th avenue
portland, oregon 97209


Hello Mr. Etter,
We received a kind letter from your student, Maya Banitt, along with a very beautiful poem. At her request, I just wanted to let you know that we would be happy to post her poem in our offices. This poem is most appropriate for our business in designing fireplaces.

Please pass on our appreciation to her for sharing her work with us.

Warm regards,

Debbie

Debbie J. Webb, Office Manager
Moberg Fireplaces, Inc.
Cellar Building, Suite 300
1124 NW Couch St., Portland, OR 97209


Dear Glenn Etter,

We received the poem written by your student Jillian Rix today. We are posting it in the front area of our shop for customers to enjoy. Thank you for teaching, encouraging our youth and celebrating creativity!

Sincerely,

Lavonne Heacock, office manager
Ed Geesman, violin maker, owner
Geesman Fine Violins


Hi Mr. Etter,

I am Robyn Stumpf owner of Wild Iris Flowers & Gifts in Molalla Oregon.
I received a great poem from your student Daniel Chang and am writing to inform you we have posted it on our wall by our candy retail area! Title of the poem was fitting! CANDY

Thank You
Robyn Stumpf
Wild Iris flowers & Gifts
503-829-4747


Mr. Etter, I am writing on behalf of the Petco in Albany, OR. We received Aaron Shapira's poem, we thought it was wonderful and have it posted on our bulletin board out front and in the back room for our employees! Please pass on our admiration to Aaron, the poem is great! Thank you,
Keri Capen, Salon Manager Petco


Dear Mr. Etter,
I received a beautiful poem today from one of your students, Jarod. He did an excellent job writing it and I will hang it up in our store with pride. We are a seasonal farm store and will open up the end of August. Jarod's poem will be able to be viewed by all our customers this fall season. Please tell him thank you from all of us.

Kim
Oregon Heritage Farms


Dear Mr. Etter,

On Saturday April 16th, 2011, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue’s Station 65 received a letter and poem from a student of yours by the name of Jarod. As requested in his letter, the poem has been placed where all can read it and I just wanted to thank him and yourself for the poem. We will all enjoy the poem, “Jumping, Leaping”, and invite you and your class to come by the station sometime for a tour.
Recently, our station along with Station 60 located off Cornell Rd in Forest Heights, visited your facilities and had our own tour. Thank you again for including us as part of your community and thank you for the wonderful poetry project conducted by your students.

Respectfully,

Jerry Freeman II
Lt/Pm E-65 “C”
Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue


Dear Maddy's teacher (Mr. Glenn Etter),

It was a pleasure to receive Maddy's sweet poem "Window". We posted it in our office and all our staff read it adn really enjoyed it. Thank you very much! Please say thank you to Maddy (we don't have her address or email).
Sincerely,

Dr. Friberg
--
Zuzana B. Friberg, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Uptown EyeCare & Optical, P.C.


Dear Glenn,
Your student Evan Chapman has his poem "crayon" on our wall at Gossamer.
Thank you, Rose Sabel-Dodge-owner of Gossamer

"The desire to create and craft is the antidote to alienation"
Be Creative & Crafty


I received Conner's poem today. What a wonderful poem. I put it up on the counter for all to see. You may tell Conner he is published.
thank you very much
Heather-Halloween warehouse


Hello Mr. Etter - My name is Kristi Erlich and I am the owner of Owls Nest North Therapy Collaboration. I received a letter and poem from your student, Hanna Sheikh, and am writing to acknowledge receipt of them. Please convey my sincerest thanks to Hanna for choosing our organization to be the lucky recipients of her poem and let her know that we are, indeed, most honored to post/publish it for our clients to be inspired by. Our clients come from all walks of life and are touched in many ways by the connections they make. Hanna's poem speaks to our intention to provide healing experiences through art and connection. Please thank her for sharing herself with our community.

Warmly,
Kristi


Dear Mr. Etter,

We recently received a letter from Victoria Michalowsky. She requested the opportunity to share her poem with our school. Victoria also wondered if we could post it at our school.

We would like to invite Victoria to read her poem to our kindergartners and then we would enjoy posting it so that others can read it.

Your name was given as the contact person. Please forward our invitation to Victoria.

Our office number is (503) 644-8407.

Sincerely,

Sarah Harris
Kathy Phillips
Co-Directors
A Child’s Way


Hi Glenn,
I am the owner and operator of the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Store in the Uptown Shopping Center. Hanna Sheikh was kind enough to send to us her recent "Ice Cream Poem ". Please ask her if it's ok to post this on our Community Board for all to see ? She did a great job and I thought that you should know. Please tell her that she is officially "published!" Please provide me with an address to send her a Free Ice Cream Cone Coupon for the good work.

Regards.
Peace, Love, and Ice Cream
Bruce Kaplan
Chief Euphoria Officer
Ben and Jerry's Portland
503 913-3094

 

Gambol a grand success, gross revenue up 20%

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Oh, What A Night it was!

The highlight of the April 2 auction at the Governor Hotel was a moving speech by Rachel Cohen ’90, who talked about being a Catlin Gabel "lifer." She spoke emotionally about how fortunate she was to attend Catlin Gabel thanks to financial aid. Rachel has spent the past 15 years working in international health and humanitarian aid, primarily with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Rachel joined Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) as the Regional Executive Director of DNDi North America in January. A great video about Rachel was produced for the Gambol.

» Watch the brief video about Rachel Cohen '90

Thank you to all the bidders, donors, volunteers, and supporters who made the Gambol festive and fruitful. We are pleased to share with you that the Gambol grossed $415,000 – a 20 percent increase over last year – for faculty professional development and the nearly 200 students on financial aid. We'll know net figures in late April when we finish accounting for expenses.

» Photo galleries of the party and the warm-up slide show of students of all ages

» Check out the online clearance auction — April 15 – 29
 

Catlin Gabel News Winter 2010-11

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From the Winter 2010-11 Caller

NEWS FROM AROUND HONEY HOLLOW

Nobel laureate poet Billy Collins visited this fall as the 2010–11 Karl Jonske Memorial Lecturer, surprising an English class with a visit before reading his poetry to all. . . . Students and teachers from Martinique and Gifu Kita, Japan, visited campus this winter. . . . Upper and Middle School students performed at Portland’s Winningstad Theatre during the Fall Festival of Shakespeare, a collaboration between Portland Playhouse and area high schools.
 

OUR GREAT TEACHERS

Upper School science teacher Bob Sauer was named an Outstanding Classroom Teacher in his region by the Oregon Science Teachers Association. The citation noted his ability to engender enthusiasm about science in his students and his international efforts for science education and experiential travel. . . . A paper co-authored by Upper School math teacher Lauren Sharesian on oscillators will be published by the prestigious journal Physical Review E . . . Woodshop teacher Michael deForest was this year’s Esther Dayman Strong lecturer and spoke on his apprenticeship to Ghana’s fantasy coffin-makers. . . . 4th grade teacher Mariam Higgins traveled to Haiti with a team of doctors to assist with surgical care and deliver medical and school supplies
 

ROBOTICS NEWS

The TechStart Education Foundation named robotics program director Dale Yocum Oregon’s technology educator of the year for inspiring passion and commitment and making technology accessible to all students; the award came with a $1,000 donation to the robotics program. . . . Catlin Gabel’s Flaming Chickens robotics team hosted the first annual Girl’s Generation robotics competition, and our girls team picked up the win. . . . Eighth grade Team Delta won the 1st place champion’s runner-up award at the state Lego robotics competition with an innovative research project on lower leg prosthetics for developing countries.
 

OUR AMAZING STUDENTS

Vighnesh Shiv ’11 earned the AP Scholar with Distinction Award for receiving and average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. Rohisha Adke ’11 earned the AP Scholars Award. . . . Samme Sheikh ’11 was named an outstanding participant in the National Achievement Program, an academic competition that recognizes African American high schoolers. . . . 768 pounds of produce gleaned by 3rd and 4th graders at Kruger’s Farm was donated to the Oregon Food Bank. . . . Casey Currey- Wilson ’13 won first prize in the teen category of the nationwide Canon Photography in the Parks contest. . . . Aditya Sivakumar ’18 came in 3rd nationally in the elementary division of the Music Teachers National Association music competition. Lauren Mei Calora ’20 and Megan Stater ’12 won their age group at the Oregon Music Teachers Association classical piano competition. Holly Kim ’12 was selected for the All-State and All-Northwest Honors Orchestras.
 

ATH LETICS and SPORTS KUDOS

Catlin Gabel won three state championships this fall: the boys and girls soccer teams, and the girls cross country team. McKensie Mickler ’11 was named volleyball league player of the year, and Joseph Oberholtzer ’11 was voted state soccer player of the year. Joseph and teammate Ian Agrimis ’11 made first team all-state. Boys golf coach John Hamilton was the Oregon nominee for the National Federation of High Schools “Coach of the Year” award. . . . Portland Tribune named three students athlete of the week: Zoë Schlanger ’13 and Ian Agrimis ’11 for soccer, and Esichang McGautha ’12 for basketball. McKensie Mickler ’11 was recognized as athlete of the week by the Oregonian. USA Synchro named Katy Wiita ’12 to the 2011 National Synchronized Swimming Team, which will compete in Shanghai, China. . . . Alex Foster ’11 was one of 150 students nationwide named to the 2011 McDonald’s All American games for basketball.  

 

Come to the arts building presentation for all parents

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Friday, April 8, from 7 to 8 p.m.

Join Lark Palma and board members in the Middle School commons for a casual conversation about the vision behind the proposed Middle and Upper School arts center.

Middle School parents are encouraged to swing by after dropping off their children at the dance.

Some Remarkable People Are Retiring

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From the Winter 2010-11 Caller

JOHN WISER

John Wiser has taught at Catlin Gabel for 40 years in history, English, theater, and science, and he also coached basketball and soccer. John is humble about his retirement: “People and institutions live, breathe, and go on. I don’t believe much in legacies, and so much of what I’ve done has been an act of faith. If it mattered, it will be in the occasional memory of the students and colleagues I had the pleasure to work with. What is important to me is that others realize that I did the best I could with what I have, and that I had enough respect for my students to set the bar high.”
 
His colleagues are more willing to laud John. Science teacher Paul Dickinson had this to say: “This is truly the end of an era. John leaves a legacy of principles he clarified and championed for the benefit of us all. For one, he taught me the important concept of a student’s engagement with ideas, rather than just moving their eyes over the words as they try to complete their reading. Helping them realize the difference helps them to improve their skills as readers, their gathering of facts for knowledge of the subject, and their sophistication as literary analysts.
 
“John was one of the major producers of Catlin Gabel’s reputation as a school where students learn to write exceptionally well. He will be gone next year, wandering about Europe taking in many of the sites of the famous events in European history about which he taught for years, accompanied by his multilingual guide (and wife) Harriet. The skills he taught and his attitude toward intellectual endeavor will remain with many of us, young and old, his students.”
 

MIKE DAVIS

Mike Davis has become an unforgettable and beloved figure in his 24 years at Catlin Gabel as soccer coach, PE teacher, and athletic director. He came to the school with an extensive background in coaching and education, including a PhD in physical education, beginning in his native England and extending into local colleges and universities. His students speak best about the lasting effect he had on their lives:
 
Roger Gantz ’89 wrote, “On behalf of all your players, thank you for fostering the best and purest sporting experiences in which we will ever participate.” Peter Gail ’96 says, “I still play and coach soccer. It’s a huge part of my life, but I just can’t seem to get enough. In many ways, I still feel like that 16-year-old kid, the ‘junkie for the game’ sprinting through the Catlin forest to get to those majestic fields below. And I owe this passion for the game, in many ways, to Mike Davis. He fostered a love of the game, and my development both as a soccer player and a young man. I wish to thank him for that.”
 
And Greg Bates ’96 wrote, “Unequivocally, I can say Mike was one of the great influences in my life. He was a fantastic coach and mentor. Mike brought out the best in his players. (Sadly, very few coaches actually do that.) Mike had a way of getting his teams to play as one, to make the last player on the team feel just as important as the MVP. The life lessons we learned running hills, playing keep away, of beating OES, stay with me today. Mike is one of a kind. Cheers, Gaffer.”
 
 

KATHY QUALMAN

Kathy Qualman, director of Catlin Gabel’s learning center, is retiring after 20 years at the school. Kathy has special thanks for one way Catlin Gabel provides for faculty-staff: “What has kept me up to date meeting the needs of today’s students has been my professional development education, particularly conferences on learning and the brain. I’ve learned from these how to explain to students what’s happening with their brain circuitry. Professional development keeps teachers on top of their game.”
 
She wrote to her faculty-staff colleagues, “Thank you for the intellectual richness and joy that I have experienced with you these past 20 years. We have shared a precious vision of how children can be nurtured, challenged, and encouraged as they grow into capable active and moral citizens of the world. What a mission we are living. Some people retire from a joyless job. I am retiring from a joyful one.”
 

 

BETSY McCORMICK & SUE HENRY

Kindergarten teachers Betsy McCormick and Sue Henry are retiring, Betsy after 28 years and Sue after 17 years with Catlin Gabel. They sent a joint note about their transition: “We met when our sons were in the Middle School here at Catlin Gabel and we’ve taught together ever since. . . . . As we looked around on Grandparents’ Day, we realized that we were older than many of the grandparents, and that it truly was time to pass the kindergarten program on to a new generation of teachers.”
 
Betsy McCormick came to Catlin Gabel, with experience teaching in public schools, when her youngest child was a kindergartner. “Five- and six-year-old children have such a wonderful perspective on life in general—their desire to make and be friends, understand their world, and spend part of each day with a sense of laughter and creativity has always inspired me,” she says. “I also feel blessed to have had my two sons be CGS lifers.”
 
Sue Henry taught kindergarten at several schools before starting at CGS. “An important reason I love teaching here is having the autonomy (which includes the challenge to ‘think out of the box’ and the vital collaboration of my colleagues) to design and implement a curriculum that supports the many ways young children develop and learn. Catlin Gabel is a school where children are given many gifts by caring teachers and staff, and I am so grateful that my youngest son, Travis ’95, was able to attend Catlin Gabel from the seventh grade until he graduated. The education he received helped him become the capable and caring adult he is today.”
 

EVIE WALTENBAUGH

Director of human resources Evie Waltenbaugh is retiring after 30 years at the school to travel with her husband and spend time with her family. Her positions have included Upper School administrative assistant, receptionist, and assistant to past headmaster Jim Scott. She was the school’s first dedicated human resources professional. “Catlin Gabel will always occupy a large place in my heart, the quality of education provided for my children, the wonderful colleagues I have had the privilege to know and work alongside, and a very special place to work,” she writes. “It has truly been a great journey!”
 
If you would like to make a gift in honor of any of these retirees, please call annual giving program director Sara Case at 503-297-1894 ext. 423.  

 

What Does Tradition Mean at Catlin Gabel? Alumni Respond.

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From the Winter 2010-11 Caller

Jenn Stallard ’92

Ritual creates a sense of familiarity. The term “familiarity” is closely associated with “family,” so it’s not surprising that Catlin Gabel’s many traditions are what help create a sense of community and history—in other words, family. It was my home. I always loved the Blue vs. White team competition around the Rummage Sale—what a great way to promote school spirit and community, for a very good cause! I also thought the class trips (8th, 9th, 12th) were fun, not to mention extremely valuable. My class (1992) was the first to take our 8th grade musical (Pirates of Penzance) on the road. I will never forget it! It would be an understatement to say I’m a creature of habit, and I’ve often wondered whether Catlin Gabel had a part in that. It may also be why I appreciated all the tradition as much as I did. After graduation, I attended a small private college and have generally lived in smaller towns that foster a sense of community and closeness.

 

 

Jim Bilbao ’79

Some of the ideas about why St. George is important:
* It’s fun. This works for everybody.
* It’s a charade. This works for the maturity of the kids.
* It’s easy: there’s no pretense of quality about the acting, sets, or costumes.
* The audience is easily satisfied.
* 8th graders get to try on acting in broad range of adult roles from mythic (Santa, George, devil, angel) to vocational (photographer, nurse, doctor).
* 8th graders get to touch real ethical issues, without any of the tough reading.  

Jamie Bell ’92

I think Catlin-ites love a tradition because the school has tradition and ritual written all over it. I remember loathing the sophomore year position paper. We all knew it was coming, and we all knew how long it had to be, but once it was over it was sort of an accomplishment, and something that we could talk about later on to upcoming sophomores. Tradition also helps us as alumni reconnect with other students, past, present, and future. I can tell a 5th grader, a senior, or a 50-year-old that I was giant Blunderbore in St. George—those people will know what I am referring to. Traditions as I see them: writing the epic in iambic pentameter. I remember the Lower School awards assembly: I got the messiest desk award and the coveted “golden foot” award (was that its name?). Lower School Pet and Field day was a good one. Obvious ones are St. George, Rummage tonnage (student contest Blue vs White), Maypole, gingerbread men with the primary, Pumpkin Patch as a 1st and 12th grader. Random traditions: the Can Car (Sid Eaton started for Candowment), Scarlet letter day, Chaucer day, Corinthian day, playing foursquare, ringing the bell at Lower School recess, ordering lunch at the Barn, school dances in the Barn. The fact that we have places named the Barn, Toad Hall, Fir Grove, Zot Room, and Nutshell.
 

Debbie Kaye ’73

I believe that “the child as the unit of consideration” is one of the most important elements of our founders’ vision. It moves me still. Just how we act on that principle has changed as pedagogy, technology, and the culture have changed. Yet putting each child at the center of the reason Catlin Gabel offers its particular type of education has remained constant. Our alumni love ritual because it connects us to the community, over years and space. St. George and the Gilbert and Sullivan musical are classic examples of shared experience. In more recent years, the Elana Gold ’93 Memorial Environmental Restoration Project and the senior trip, whose purposes and activities are constant, fill the same role. Years later, alumni can and do recall how they participated and with whom, the games and fun and food, the camaraderie. Shared experience and ties that bind. We look back fondly, smoothing the difficult edges of fatigue and any frustration, recalling the overall experience, lessons, and skills learned and yes, carried forward into other elements of our lives. Lifelong learning through community effort. Fabulous!

Peter Bromka ’00

I think that Catlin Gabel people love rituals because they are the experiences through which we learn about the world. Plays teach us to have confidence. Rummage used to teach us how to reuse and recycle, how to see further value in an object. Epic papers, like the poet paper juniors used to have to write, teach us how to write. The 6th grade go-carts teach us about mechanical systems. Camping trips teach us how to be outdoorsy. When everyone in a community buys into an experience it becomes emotionally rewarding and cohesive. We feel a part of something and less exposed to failure, which is important when we’re trying something so new! I have not carried any of the specific traditions on in my life, but I point to those that I’ve mentioned as early examples of my confidence with public speaking, writing, mechanics, outdoorsmanship, and more. I also hold them closely as the events that taught me I could succeed at something new that I’d never tried before. That said, I believe the traditions can and should evolve. The Poet Paper died off while I was still in high school because the English teachers decided that it wasn’t the best way for us to learn how to tackle a large academic endeavor. C’est la vie. And, as someone who works in the world of design and creativity, I’m inspired by rituals that are intended for nothing more than pure fun and entertainment. It’s important to remember that life is worth laughing at, that it’s all right to laugh at ourselves and enjoy it.
 

Mason Kaye ’04

Initially, I remember being excited about go-carts due to the mythology surrounding the experience. Seeing the 6th graders driving them when I was in the Lower School was quite an experience. I was on a team with my two best friends at the time, Patrick Santa and Deni Ponganis. I’m not sure if this is still going on, but the amount of unsupervised use of power tools during that project was exhilarating. We played with the go-cart all summer.