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Our Inspired Teachers: Isaac Enloe

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

 From the Autumn 2012 Caller

Isaac Enloe, kindergarten

Bachelor's in religious studies, Carleton College. Master's in early childhood and elementary education, Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. At CGS since 2011.


In 1985, while I was a 2nd grader at the Hiroshima International School, people from around the world converged on Hiroshima to mark the 40th anniversary of the atomic bombing. In response to provocative questions from reporters and inspired by the story of Sadako Sasaki, a group of my older schoolmates formed the Thousand Cranes Club with the goal of galvanizing young people around the world to work together for peace. The Thousand Cranes Club wrote a book about Sadako that included a call to become peacemakers and instructions on how to fold a paper crane. It was translated into several languages and sent out to schools around the globe; each one contained a paper crane folded by children at our school. Months later, the first box of a thousand cranes arrived from a school in Europe, followed by others from around the world. As a school, we would take the garlands of cranes down to the Peace Park in Hiroshima to be placed at the Children’s Peace Monument, a tradition that continues to this day.
The Thousand Cranes Club experience has stuck with me through all of my years in schools. As a student and then as a teacher, I have always held it as an example of what schooling can be: projects and curricula that engage students of all ages in meaningful inquiry and civic responsibility as they reach across cultures. I will never forget the feeling of knowing that my learning and work at school was truly meaningful.
Whether I am working with young children in the Beehive or with middle school students in Leaf Academy, the environmental leadership program I co-founded, I am called to education out of a desire to work alongside young people as they engage in deeply meaningful experiences.  



Our Inspired Teachers: Lisa Ellenberg

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

 From the Autumn 2012 Caller

Lisa Ellenberg, BS & LS librarian

Bachelor's and master's in education, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. At CGS since 1991.

During storytime at the library, the satisfying language and structure of folktales can create an enchanting bond between the children and me, lingering deliciously in the air at a story’s close. During such a moment, a kindergartener once remarked, “You’re really old, aren’t you.” At that point, I was actually a relatively young teacher. Curious, I responded, “Well, I’m a lot older than you are. How old do you think I am?” After a studied pause, she ventured a guess, “Seven?” This would be one of many opportunities over the years for the words of a child to swiftly transmit unexpected perspective, surprise, and delight.
Teaching requires grappling with questions, both crafting and responding thoughtfully to them. The process keeps me fascinated with my work. Every day children come to the library with questions that require me to listen and interview to discover what is really being asked. “Lisa, where is the robbing section?” I say, “Tell me more about that.” Response: “You know, like a sneak-around book, that would help you find things.” Further investigation revealed some possibilities, including that the child has an interest in techniques of espionage, or is looking to design a recess game involving capture.
Back to the folktales. The text of one traditional tale includes the refrain, “and the dog leaped that hedge in a single bound!” A 2nd grader with wrinkled brow quipped dryly, “Well, how else could you do it?,” instantly illuminating the truth that either you get over the hedge in a single bound or crash into it. For me, it was impossible to not add that question to the refrain as we completed the story. As their fresh eyes and minds absorb experiences, children’s questions fill me with wonder about their potential for invention. I recently heard it said, “Creation is evolution.” I am grateful to witness this every day.  



Photo gallery posted: seniors and 1st graders carve pumpkins

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So fun – and it didn't rain!

 Click on any photo to enlarge image and start the slide show.

Athletics history video

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Celebrating our athletes on the pitch, in the field, and around the gym

Homecoming photo gallery

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What could be better than Friday night under the lights? The Murphy Athletic Complex's Gant-Davis field is a thing of beauty when the sun sets on an autumn evening, our athletes play their hearts out, and fans flock together to cheer. Go Eagles!

Click on any photo to enlarge image and start a slide show. Thanks go to Cody Hoyt '13 for the game photos.

Creative Arts Center groundbreaking photo gallery

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A grand celebration!

On a beautiful afternoon in early October, we broke ground for the Creative Arts Center for Middle and Upper School students. The building will open fall 2013. For more information about the project, please visit

Click on any photo below to enlarge image and view pictures as a slide show.

Carpool, bus, walk, or bike October 8 – 11

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Empty the Lot Week

As part of our sustainability effort and with the specific goal of decreasing traffic, the school has designated October 8 – 11 as Empty the Lot Week. We encourage you to try a different way of getting to campus on this four-day school week.


  • Help reduce the number of vehicles on Barnes Road and entering campus during peak drop-off and pick-up times
  • Barnes Road rush hour traffic exceeds capacity. Washington County and Metro studies indicate that traffic congestion will continue to increase in coming years

How can you help?

  • Arrive on campus before 7:45 a.m. for drop-off
  • Arrive on campus after 3:35 p.m. for pick-up
  • Use the Catlin Gabel student bus service (NO COST to ride October 8 –11. Sign-up required.
  • Carpool (form lasting bonds with your neighbors)
  • Bike, walk, take TriMet

» Links to Bus Sign-Up | Routes and Schedule | Carpool Map

Creative Arts Center Groundbreaking

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RSVP for Creative Arts Center groundbreaking

October 4, 2012 | 4:30 - 6 p.m.

Upper School Quad

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

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Funds bolster instructional technology in the planned Creative Arts Center

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

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

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

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

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

Access the mobile website for smart phones and tablets

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Desktop computers
On desktop computers, pull down the Quick Links menu on the home page; select Directory. If you are not already logged in, you will be prompted to type in your user name and password. 


Smart phones and tablets
Smart phone and tablet users will see that the mobile website features immediate access to the directory. Once you access the mobile website, you’ll have the Catlin Gabel app icon on your phone or tablet. (This could look different on different types of phones or tablets.)

This is what the app icon looks like on iPhones.

This is what the website looks like on smart phones and tablets



Apple iPhones

Go to your browser and type “” into the URL bar.

The mobile version of our website will automatically appear.

Use the arrow sign to select the website.

Select “bookmark” from the menu.


Android Phones

Go to your browser and search for Catlin Gabel.

The mobile version of our website will automatically appear.

Select “bookmark” from the menu.


Accessing the directory from your phone

Log in to use the directory. If you don’t log out, you can access the directory without logging in next time.



Why don't we have a printed directory anymore?
By discontinuing the printed directory we save trees and cease publishing a document that is out of date the moment it goes to print. The online directory and class lists are always accurate. New students, families, and faculty-staff are added right away. Moves and contact information changes are reflected immediately.

Where is the handbook?
The handbook is posted as a flip book in the parent section of the website. Please review this important document before school begins.

But I want a printed directory! Can I get one?
Don’t despair if you simply cannot manage without a print version of the directory. You can print the entire school directory, or limit your printout to a single division or single class. Click on “Printable View.” 

What else is on the mobile version of the website?
The most frequently accessed information is right up front. Click on Today at Catlin Gabel for calendar information, the lunch menu, and athletic schedules. A pull-down menu and search tool allow you to access all other areas of the website.

Have other independent schools gone to paperless directories?
Yes, schools in Silicon Valley led the way. Others are following suit. Our colleagues at schools that have made the switch say that everyone adjusts quickly.

How was this decision made?
We’ve been talking about the disadvantages of the print directory for several years. Last year, our website user statistics indicated that most Catlin Gabel families have smart phones and all families have computer access. That gave us the confidence to make the decision. Several staff members experimented with going paperless and didn’t miss the print directory after the initial adjustment period. We checked in with last year’s PFA leadership to see what they thought. They fully endorsed the paperless plan. To quote, “It’s time!”

Who should I call if I need help?
Catlin Gabel’s IT team is available to answer questions. Email However, you might want to ask a kid first. They like being smarter than grown-ups.

The contents of this article were taken from a letter emailed to all families and faculty-staff on August 21, 2013.