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New Middle School head hired

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Letter from Lark Palma

I am excited to announce that Barbara Ostos will be our new Middle School head starting July 1.

(Editor's note: Current MS head Paul Andrichuk will lead our Teaching and Learning Center starting this summer.)

After an extensive search, including appraisal of many résumés and Skype interviews with several top candidates, we brought three superb finalists to campus. All three finalists could have served our Middle School and the community well. After careful review, consideration of community feedback, and thoughtful discussion, the search committee members and I were unanimous in our support of Barbara’s appointment.

Barbara is currently the middle school dean at her own alma mater, the Francis Parker School in San Diego, a school with many similarities to Catlin Gabel. She has been a teacher and administrator for 10 years, as 7th and 8th grade history teacher and as diversity coordinator, among other responsibilities. She developed a character education curriculum and led a board committee that did a positioning study for the school. Francis Parker School has more than 1,000 students in kindergarten through high school housed on two campuses. The middle school has more than 300 students.

Barbara expects to complete an EdD in educational leadership at the University of California, San Diego, by December. She earned an MA in nonprofit leadership and management from the University of San Diego, and an AB in government from Harvard University. Barbara’s family came to the U.S. from Cuba, and she is the first person in her family to attend college. She speaks fluent Spanish and French. Barbara will move to Portland with her husband, Carlos, and their infant daughter, Lydia.

Extensive references were consistent in their praise of Barbara as an educator, administrator, and colleague. Her current school head said, “Her interaction with the students is fair, balanced, and very appropriate. Her work with faculty is collegial, and her commitment to the job unyielding. She is bright, engaging, determined, and respected by her peers and parents alike. Barbara is a professional, a dedicated leader, and a committed member of the Francis Parker community. I could not be more impressed.” Others said, “killer sense of humor,” “seeks and values advice before making a decision,” “works hard to get to know students and parents,” and “not afraid to draw the line and make a difficult decision.”

Barbara will be in Portland with her family the week of April 6. If you have not met her, there will be opportunities to do so during that week. Stay tuned for her schedule.

My sincere appreciation goes to the search committee for an inclusive process and their thorough examination of feedback from all constituencies. I thank Chris Bell, Ann Fyfield, Erin Goodling ’99, Kristin Ogard, Tom Tucker ’66, Becky Wynne, and especially David Ellenberg, who chaired the committee. It is rewarding to see such a remarkable process yield the right person for this time in Catlin Gabel’s and the Middle School’s history.

Best,
Lark
 

Arts campaign update

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Interview with Lark Palma, head of school

by Karen Katz '74, communications director

Catlin Gabel plans to build a new Middle and Upper School arts facility, something the school has needed for a long time. So far architect Brad Cloepfil and his Allied Works team have developed preliminary designs, and we are in the leadership stage of fundraising. Here Lark answers some important questions about the project.

Why we are building an arts center

What are the educational benefits of studying art, especially if you aren’t an artsy person?
Beginning School parent, noted artist, and Rhode Island School of Design alumnus Michael Lazarus explained it beautifully when he said, “We are developing one of the most important tools: a creative, problem-solving mind. The process of art making is great practice for life!”

We know that art education strengthens overall academic achievement and school success. Studies show that young people who participate in the arts are:

  • Four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
  • Four times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
  • Four times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem

And, compared with their peers who do not take art classes they:

  • Read for pleasure nearly twice as often
  •  Perform community service more than four times as often

In a still challenging economy, can we afford to invest resources in the arts?
One hallmark of a Catlin Gabel education is innovation. Another is our dedication to a comprehensive liberal arts and sciences curriculum. The arts are central to innovation and a well-rounded education. We cannot afford to ignore the arts. Can you imagine Stanford or MIT neglecting the arts? That would be unthinkable! In fact, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and Pomona are raising money for arts facilities. We’re in fine company. Don’t think of this as investing in a building; we’re investing in our students.

What are the arts requirements at Catlin Gabel?
The arts are integral to our program schoolwide. Creative study is central to our mission. We require all students to be involved in the arts throughout their time at the school. Beginning and Lower School students take art, music, and woodshop. Middle School students rotate through a full complement of arts classes in drama, music, woodshop, fine art, and media arts. Upper School students are required to take at least two years of art — many take three or four years — and choose from a wide array of classes.

What does the future of the arts look like at Catlin Gabel?
Lower School head Vicki Roscoe is leading a two-year curriculum review of the arts. Arts teachers are working with Vicki to investigate best practice in arts education, examine the role of technology in the arts, and explore the role arts play in cross-disciplinary studies. We are excited that the curriculum review coincides with the arts center project, because it allows our teachers to think big.

Project nuts and bolts

I thought the arts center was going to be built two years ago. Why was the project delayed?
The economy! While a handful of generous families stepped forward, the downturn in the economy delayed the larger fundraising effort.

Where are we in the process?
We have selected an architect, approved a preliminary schematic design, formed a volunteer campaign committee, and secured some important lead gifts. Fundraising is one of my top priorities this year.

When will shovels go in the ground?
The board of trustees determined that we would only break ground when 80 percent of the funds are raised. The facility will cost $6.9 million total. We need about $4.1 million more to proceed. We hope to break ground next year; construction will take about 15 months.

Tell us more about the architect.
Brad Cloepfil and his team at Allied Works Architecture are known nationwide and are becoming internationally known for designing facilities that fuel creativity. An early local project example is the Wieden + Kennedy Agency headquarters in Portland. Current parent Renny Gleeson, global director of digital strategies at Wieden + Kennedy, describes their building as a spa for the soul. Allied Works also designed the Seattle Art Museum expansion, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, and the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas.

Brad Cloepfil studied with Thomas Hacker, who created Catlin Gabel’s master plan in 1996, designed most of the Upper School buildings and grounds, and remodeled the Beginning School. It is fitting that Tom and Brad’s teacher-student relationship will be reflected on our campus.

How would you describe the early schematic design?
Brad Cloepfil and Allied Works has sketched out an elegant yet simple, open facility that will attract spectators, art dabblers, and serious artists alike. We’ve joked about naming the building the Magnet! The design includes an outdoor courtyard that mirrors the Upper School quad and an indoor gallery, both of which will serve as community gathering spots.

What will the new arts center house?
Middle and Upper School classrooms, including fine arts and media arts studios, vocal and instrumental classrooms, a computer music lab and music rehearsal rooms, a gallery, and an intimate black box theater with a spring floor for classes, rehearsals, and performances. The facility will be a great venue for interdisciplinary studies, collaborative project work, and independent study.

How will the building accommodate changes in the arts curriculum?
Allied Works is especially thoughtful about how arts education has changed and will change in ways we cannot even predict. Their design emphasizes flexibility so that different disciplines can be accommodated. The plans call for raw studio space that is like an artists’ retreat. The students and teachers who use the spaces will influence how they are used. A studio might house a filmmaking class one year and a painting class the next. The black box will be a haven for drama, dance, and music. For the first time students will be able to collaborate across disciplines on a single project, in the same space.

The Cabell Center is in great shape. Why do we need a black box theater?
The Cabell Center is in high demand for performances, classes, lectures, formal presentations, meetings, assemblies, rehearsals, and community events. It doesn’t accommodate our needs the way it did when it was built in 1973. For example, the Cabell Center is not available for the 19 performances produced by Middle School students each year. They make do in Chipmunk Hollow, a cramped and inadequate “temporary” building that was put up 42 years ago. The Middle School drama program will move to classrooms in the new arts center. Upper School students will also take classes in the new classrooms. Students in grades 6 – 12 will perform in the black box. The intimate size and flexibility of a black box is something we’ve needed for a long time, and will open up possibilities in our theater curriculum.

What is the location for the new arts center?
The building site is west of the Dant House and adjacent to the Middle and Upper School areas of campus. The building will link the Middle and Upper Schools, benefiting older and younger students academically, artistically, and socially. For the first time, Catlin Gabel will have a building that allows the arts faculty to work together in a central location. (Scroll down to see PDF of current arts facilities across campus.)

Will the new building free up space for other programs?
Most immediately, our computer science classes will no longer share space with media arts classes in the lower level of the library. It’s premature to make plans for the other 4,200 square feet of classroom space that will be vacated. We need to carefully consider what the greatest needs are before determining what programs move into current spaces such as Chipmunk Hollow, the Middle School art classroom, and the choir room.

Are we going to increase the size of the school when the arts center is built?
No, we are not planning to increase enrollment.

Funding the arts center

Is the new arts center a real need or a luxury?
Upper School students cannot paint on large canvases or do large three-dimensional works, because the art studio is too small. Film editors and composers collaborating on a project, for one example, must work separately in classrooms that are across campus from each other. Bringing the arts together in one facility will provide proximity, stimulating collaboration and increasing creativity.

During the past 17 years, the school has grown, but the square footage per student that is dedicated to the arts has decreased. The lack of adequate space for teaching the arts has been singled out in our last two accreditation reports as an important area for improvement. This project is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. We owe it to our students.

Have we secured any lead gifts?
Being in the leadership phase of fundraising means we are seeking families who are willing to be the first, and in some cases the largest, donors to the project. I am happy to say that several donors have stepped up with lead gifts. Campaign volunteers, trustees, the development team, and I are working hard to secure the 80 percent of funding we need to break ground.

Will everyone be asked to give?
In due course, we will ask all parents, alumni, faculty-staff, and friends to participate in supporting the arts campaign. I love how campaign co-chair Craig Hartzman talks about the responsibility shared by all community members to invest in our school’s future, just as others have done before us. People who cared about the future funded every building on this campus. That is what community responsibility is all about.

Does this mean the Annual Fund and the Gambol auction will ease up?
Absolutely not. Our first priority is to fund the operating budget, which includes $1.5 million in essential annual gifts. Historically, capital campaigns strengthen overall giving to programs like the Annual Fund and the auction.

Find out more

How can people see for themselves what our arts program is about?
The arts faculty welcomes drop-in visitors. They are very proud of the program and are eager for parents and friends to see why our students deserve better facilities. We want parents, especially of younger students, to see the amazing array of talent and artistic pursuit in our upper grades. Please e-mail or call arts department chair Laurie Carlyon-Ward to arrange for a tour, carlyon-wardl@catlin.edu or 503-297-1894 ext. 402.

A lot of information about the arts program is available on our website, including an overview and the Upper School course catalog, which is a great resource for class descriptions.

Can you share the architect’s schematics?
We are not posting the current schematic design on the website because it is a preliminary plan, and building plans tend to evolve. We don’t want people to become wedded to something that could change significantly. But we are presenting the designs at a Lower School coffee on Monday, March 7, at 8:30 a.m.; at a Beginning School coffee on Friday, March 18, at 9:15 after Friday Sing; and at a yet-to-be-scheduled PFA meeting in the spring. Join us!

Captivating speaker Rachel Cohen '90 confirmed for Gambol auction

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We are delighted to announce that alumna Rachel Cohen ’90 will speak on behalf of the special appeal for financial aid at this year’s Gambol. Rachel brought down the house when she accepted the Distinguished Younger Alumni Award during last June’s alumni weekend. We knew then that Rachel’s story and voice should be shared more widely. “Rachel’s not just changing lives, she’s saving lives,” says Lark Palma. “Gambol attendees will be inspired not only by this alumna’s many accomplishments at a young age, but also by her engaging style and wit.”

About Rachel Cohen

Rachel Cohen joined Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) as the regional executive director of DNDi North America in January 2011.

Rachel has been working in the global health and humanitarian field for more than 15 years, primarily with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Most recently, she served as head of mission for MSF in South Africa and Lesotho, where she oversaw numerous medical programs, primarily focused on HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis treatment in rural and peri-urban settings; primary health care for Zimbabwean refugees, asylum-seekers, and migrants; and emergency care for survivors of sexual violence.

Before working for MSF in the field, Rachel was the U.S. director for MSF’s Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines in New York, directing policy advocacy activities related to drug pricing, intellectual property, and medical innovation for neglected diseases.

Prior to joining MSF, she was the director of foundation and corporate giving at Housing Works, the largest minority-controlled AIDS service organization in the U.S., and before that served as the program coordinator for the US+Cuba Medical Project, where she directed medical aid programs and carried out educational and advocacy initiatives about the impact of U.S. foreign policy on the health of the Cuban population.

Rachel now serves on the board of directors of MSF’s operational center in Brussels.

Rachel earned a master's degree in public policy with a certificate in health and health policy from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Join Rachel in supporting the special appeal for financial assistance!

Eagles basketball in the news »

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Oregonian article, February '11

»

PFA seeking volunteer leadership for the 2011-12 school year

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Family involvement and communication are critical to the overall success of the school

All parents and guardians interested in a leadership position with the PFA can put their names forward. Go ahead, nominate yourself! Serving in a leadership capacity with the PFA is a great way to get to know fellow parents, work with the faculty, and feel connected to Catlin Gabel.

The PFA welcomes parents who are new to the school and parents who have not considered leadership involvement before. We also value experience and try to put together class teams of parents who are new to volunteering at the school and those with prior experience. Generally, we recommend starting out by volunteering as a grade representative before serving on the executive council. Nominating yourself is strongly encouraged.

Please e-mail pfa@catlin.edu to nominate a candidate (including yourself) for any of the following positions

  • Grade representatives (preschool through twelfth)

Executive Council

  • Volunteer coordinator
  • Spring Festival coordinator
  • Advisor to council
  • Beginning School coordinator
  • Lower School coordinator
  • Middle School coordinator
  • Upper School coordinator
  • Treasurer
  • Vice president

Nominations will be accepted until April 15. The PFA nominating committee – PFA president, advisor, vice-president, and two parents from the community – will review the applications and generate a slate of officers for the executive council. The executive council election takes place at the May general meeting, Thursday, May 19, at 8:30 a.m. in Gerlinger Multimedia Auditorium. All nominees for executive council and grade reps will be contacted by May 1.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact anyone on the current PFA council, or e-mail pfa@catlin.edu

 

Eagles play in first round of state basketball playoffs on Friday

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Catlin Gabel Eagles vs. Dayton Pirates

Our #15 ranked boys basketball team faces the #2 ranked Pirates of Dayton in the first round of the state finals playoffs.

Friday, February 25
7 p.m.
Dayton High School

Admission $4

Please do not bring balloons, banners bigger than 8” x 11” or any form of noisemakers, and please make sure all cheers and chants are in support of our own team and in no way negatively directed at our opponents. » Learn the Catlin Gabel sprit song.

Go eagles!

Boys basketball team wins League playoffs. Next stop: state!

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On Thursday, February 17, the the Eagles stunned the Lewis and Clark boys basketball league when they won their third playoff game to advance to the first round of the state playoffs on Friday, February 25.

You think the Blazers have had it tough this season? How about three Eagles sitting on the bench wearing plaster casts around their wrists? How about defeating three teams that had swept the Eagles home and away during the regular season? How about three road games in four nights as the #6 Eagles defeated the #5 Cardinals at Corbett on Monday, the #4 Warriors at Warrenton on Wednesday, and the #3 Cougars at Portland Adventist last night?

Mark your calendar for Feburary 25. Don't miss the Eagles first state playoff game in 28 years when they turn the statewide basketball scene upside-down. We don’t yet know where they will play or which team they will play, but right now nobody wants to play the Eagles!

Summer Programs set for July 5 – August 5

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Summer Programs 

Our 2011 course catalog will be available in early March.

Class offerings range from arts and music, to sports, modern languages, writing, SAT prep, outdoor education, service and more.

The dates for most 2011 summer classes are July 5 – August 5 and serve preschool through high school students.

» For information, e-mail or call Len Carr, Summer Programs director, carrl@catlin.edu, 503-297-1894 ext. 406


PLACE — Planning & Leadership Across City Environments

June 20 – Juy 15
Grades 10 – 12 and recent high school graduates

PLACE is a unique program, run by Catlin Gabel School in partnership with the greater Portland community, that focuses on how we relate to our urban environment through smart planning and effective leadership.

» Learn more about PLACE


Outdoor Program Summer Trips

Rafting, hiking, camping, climbing, backpacking, biking and exploring.  A great way to meet other kids and challenge yourself in NEW ways
Ages 11-18

Catlin Gabel offers a number of outdoor adventures.

» Learn more about the dates, age requirements, and destinations on the Outdoor Program trips web page.


Elana Gold '93 Memorial Environmental Restoration Project

June 17 – 22
Grades 9 – 12

Established in 1993 to carry out land restoration projects in the Barlow Ranger District on Mt. Hood National Forest.

» Learn more about the Elana Gold '93 Memorial Environmental Restoration Project.

 

 

A Challenge, You Say?

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Exciting news!

Two anonymous donors have generously established the 2011 Annual Fund Challenge. They will match gifts up to $35,000 to generate new dollars to the Annual Fund and increase participation from community members.

$15,000 to go!

You have the opportunity to DOUBLE YOUR DONATION and DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT. What a remarkable way to make a difference now for our current students! It’s easy!

Make your tax-deductible gift online, by telephone to 503-297-1894 ext 310, or by mail to 8825 SW Barnes Rd, Portland OR 97225.

You also can help by spreading the word. Tell five friends or family members how important Catlin Gabel has been to you and how they too can double their dollars by making a donation. Learn more about the challenge. Thank you!

Great schools don’t just happen. We make them so.
The Catlin Gabel 2010-11 Annual Fund
Will you rise to the Challenge?

Services, sales, and trades posted on our Bulletin Board

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Check out Catlin Gabel's Craigslist

Find a babysitter! Buy, sell, and trade anything from tickets to cars!

Login required to gain access to the Bulletin Board.

Help the Bulletin Board catch on — the more people use it, the better.

The Bulletin Board is just a click away from the Quick Links menu on the home page.

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Welcome to our guests from Martinique

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Bienvenue!

Nineteen students and three chaperones from Martinique are hosted by the Middle School. French language students provide the homestays.

Service Corps donates books to working poor families

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Bienestar thanks the Catlin Gabel community

The Service Corps book drive for Bienestar was a great success. Executive director Karen Shawcross writes, "Thank you for the awesome donation of 50 boxes of books to the children of Bienestar! These are going to our community rooms where children of farmworkers and working poor families will enjoy them in four homework clubs and our Summer Reading Safari  and Born to Learn programs. We are touched by this generous outpouring of gifts from Catlin Gabel families, and want you to know how much they will be enjoyed by children who have no books at home!"

Read more (Kids Helping Kids) on the Bienestar website.

Annual Fund makes headway toward goal – Thank You!

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Thank you to everyone who has participated in the 2010-11 Annual Fund so far this year. To date, we have raised 72% of our $935,000 goal.

We are grateful to community members for their committed support and invaluable investment. One-hundred percent of the Alumni Board has participated in the Annual Fund as well as 72% of faculty-staff and 48% of parents.

Early gifts to the Annual Fund are important for planning purposes. However, it is not too late for you to give or pledge to the 2010-11 Annual Fund. We have a ways to go to reach our goal! Make your gift online, by telephone – 503-297-1894 ext 310, or by mail – 8825 SW Barnes Rd, Portland, OR 97225.

Many thanks for your support!

Great schools don’t just happen. We make them so.

Annual Fund parking space winners announced

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Congratulations to the Dodson-Grayzel family!

Thank you to everyone who has participated in the Annual Fund so far this year.

Early gifts to the Annual Fund are important for planning purposes. However, it is not too late for you to give or pledge to the Annual Fund. We have a ways to go to reach our goal!

Make your gift online,
by telephone – 503-297-1894 ext 374,
or by mail – 8825 SW Barnes Rd, Portland, OR 97225.

Many thanks for your support!

 

 

Welcome to our guests from Gifu Kita School in Japan!

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Fourteen students and two teachers from the Gifu Kita School visit Catlin Gabel and stay with school families from January 3 through 10. This is the 20th anniversary year of our exchange program with our sister school in Japan. Be sure to say hello, or, rather, konichiwa!

Service Corps book drive, January 10 – 21

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Community-wide sorting party on January 22

January 15 sorting party canceled

Please collect children's and youth books to contribute

We are excited to announce the next CG Service Corps activity: a book drive benefiting Bienestar, a nonprofit housing and service organization serving Washington County’s Hispanic community.

Upper School students have been volunteering at the Bienestar homework club for three years. Our book drive will further cement a wonderful partnership and boost Bienestar’s mission to educate the migrant labor population they serve.

Cross-divisional teams of Catlin Gabel students and faculty-staff will collect and presort donated books between January 10 and 21.

Parents, students, faculty-staff, and alumni are invited to two sorting parties in the barn on Saturday, January 22.

We will load books onto the retired Rummage truck for delivery to Bienestar.

Details about book drop locations to follow.

“If there’s one thing Catlin Gabel families have in abundance, it’s books!”
—Service Corps Core Steering Committee