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MLK community meeting photo gallery

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The Lower School community celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with songs, poetry, and powerful lessons about courage, American history, and our hopes and dreams for a better world.

China’s Little Companion Art Troupe photo gallery

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Our guests gave a memorable performance!

From the website: “The 800-member CWI Children's Palace Little Companion Art Troupe is the first of its kind in Shanghai, and is also China's most famous children's art troupe. Founded in 1955 by Soong Ching Ling (Mme. Sun Yat-sen), honorary president of the People's Republic of China, it includes seven companies where children are trained in singing, dancing, musical instruments, acting, folk theatrical arts, calligraphy, painting and handicrafts.”

» Learn more about the troupe 

Two alumni businesses featured in New York Times

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Read the New York Times story about Gary Coover '00's company, Modify Watches, contracting with Riley Gibson '04's company, Napkin Labs, to turn Facebook followers into online communities and focus groups. Catlin Gabel connects!


Freshman Valerie Ding wins music competition

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Congratulations, Valerie!

Valerie Ding was named a winner in the Young Artists Debut! Concerto Competition. She was also named a winner in 2010. Valerie and the other winning soloists will perform with a combined orchestra of professional musicians from Oregon Symphony and the Oregon Ballet Theatre, conducted by Niel DePonte, on April 10 at the Newmark Theatre. Valerie will perform Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, first movement.

» Link to MetroArts website and more information about the competition

English teacher Carl Adamshick named Oregon Book Award finalist

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Carl's poetry collection, Curses and Wishes (Louisiana State University Press), has been recognized by Literary Arts' annual book award in the Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry category. Winners will be announced April 23.

Carl already won the Walt Whitman Award, one of the most prestigious poetry prizes in the country, for Curses and Wishes.

Link to June Oregonian article about Carl


Catlin Gabel Video Conversations #4

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Lark Palma asks James Furnary '12 about the college counseling support he's received at Catlin Gabel

Catlin Gabel video conversations #3

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Lark Palma asks James Furnary '12 about the leadership skills he has honed at Catlin Gabel in this one-minute segment.

Interview with new athletic director

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Meet Sandy Luu

Athletic director Sandy Luu came to Catlin Gabel this year from Liberty High School in Hillsboro, where she was AD of their large 5A program. An Oregon native, Sandy previously served as athletic director at Morrison Academy International School in Taichung, Taiwan. Originally a 6th grade language arts and math teacher, she has also taught in Vietnam and China. We caught up with Sandy to find our how things are going for her at Catlin Gabel.

How’s Catlin Gabel treating you?

I have really enjoyed my first few months here. The people are amazing—just as advertised. The faculty and staff really care about the students, and about their colleagues. Everyone is so complimentary of each other’s strengths. They feed off each other in a very positive way. People here told me before I was hired that they love coming to work each and every day. I fully agree.

Tell us about your background and how you became an athletic director.

Sports have shaped my life. Growing up I played as much as I could, even persuading the middle school athletic director to let me participate on the 7th grade team as a 5th grader. In college I played varsity fast pitch softball, basketball, and volleyball, but I love all sports. I have coached basketball, softball, and volleyball. I studied education in college and taught for many years, but started moving toward athletic administration when I was in Taiwan. Coaching coaches and organizing sports really appeals to me. I took classes at Ohio University during summer vacations and earned a master’s in athletics administration.

What is your general philosophy about the role of athletics in schools?

I believe in character-based athletics. Catlin Gabel has a great tradition of winning the right way, and I want to continue this. The character development is paramount; the wins are icing on the cake. Sports are an extension of the classroom and teach lessons about how to be a good teammate and the value of hard work. Athletics builds confidence and self esteem. The skills you learn through sports will help you now and serve you well later in life. Employers look for people who know how to lead as well as people who can be good teammates. They want people who have handled loss and experienced success.

What advice would you offer athletes and their parents who think CG’s high school athletic program is too small for colleges to take notice of a star athlete?

College coaches are looking for one thing: talented athletes. They are not as interested in the size of the school or how well the school team did in recent seasons. They are really looking for potential. Being a talented student-athlete at Catlin Gabel can have a lot of advantages. You can assume a leadership role and have a great chance to earn a starting position. One of the greatest benefits here is personal attention from coaches and teachers.

Is it a disadvantage for outstanding athletes to compete at a small school if they hope for an athletic scholarship?

The advantage you gain at Catlin Gabel is the level of academics. The education you receive here is unmatched. The benefit you will have is in the transcript you provide, along with your athletic résumé. I don’t think people understand how few scholarships are available for Division I and II sports. A fully financed Division I soccer program can offer 9.9 full rides, but they split these up among all of their players (as many as 25 or 30), which leaves some players with very small scholarships. Often, Division III schools are the best places to receive scholarships. These schools don’t offer athletic scholarships, but they routinely give merit awards for academic and other accomplishments. The merit scholarships that private colleges award can be a significant percentage of tuition.

What are some of the differences between being AD at a large school like Liberty HS in Hillsboro and a small school like CG?

Going from nearly 1,400 students to 300 is a big transition. CG’s smaller program is one of the main reasons I applied for this job. I love to work with kids and build relationships with them. In a large school, the athletic director is mainly a scheduler, and most of my time was spent making sure everyone was where they needed to be. At Catlin Gabel, I can get to know the students and make sure all of the coaches are contributing to students’ lives in positive ways. I can have more of an impact.

What have you found most challenging in your new job?

In my past school, I only had high school sports. Here at CG, there are more sports teams at different levels, so have many more balls in the air. Everyone in the PE department and the coaches have been incredibly helpful and supportive. I couldn’t ask for a better group to work with.

How are your sons Trevor (a junior) and Max (a freshman) adjusting?

Catlin Gabel is a great fit for Trevor and Max. They love it here; it reminds them of the school they attended for seven years in Taiwan. They will probably hate me talking about them, but CG has been a huge blessing for my boys. The individualized instruction is unmatched. I just attended my first parent-teacher conferences and was blown away. After just two-and-a-half months their teachers have my boys figured out. I also attended a couple of senior athletes’ conferences, and the general theme from parents was thankfulness. They appreciate the time teachers put into the kids. They know that CG has shaped the people their children have become. I couldn’t ask for more for my own boys.

What have you liked most about Catlin Gabel so far?

The school transforms lives. I have been most impressed by how the faculty treats each student as an individual and how well they know each child’s strengths and weaknesses. Teachers and staff work hard at building relationships with their students daily. I have never seen anything like this at any of the other schools I have worked at. Teachers are interested in many aspects of their student’s lives. It’s impressive to see so many faculty and staff members out watching extracurricular activities. I have also been impressed with the students. They are refreshingly polite, friendly, and selfless. They are always ready to lend a hand and pitch in, whether for service day, or just to help put away sports gear.

» Return to December 2011 All-School News

Focus on Giving: The Power of the Catlin Gabel Endowment

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Through a strong endowment, Catlin Gabel is empowered to admit the best and brightest students throughout the region. The other half of the Campaign for Arts and Minds is an effort to increase the Catlin Gabel endowment, especially those funds designated to support our financial aid program. The value of ensuring that qualified students are able to enroll regardless of financial means goes beyond the obvious. As this issue of the Caller so thoroughly reports, the tremendous, often times life-changing impact that financial aid has on an individual student is reason enough to inspire support for this effort; however, it’s also what that student gives back to the school that seals the deal. Inclusivity brings to campus increased potential for leaders to evolve, for differing perspectives to be debated, and for learning to be truly experiential. With students attending from all corners of the Portland metro area, we ensure the richest possible body of inquiry and exploration that would otherwise be lost from the school if we were not able to fulfill our commitment to financial aid.
We have a long-term vision that Catlin Gabel may one day be in the position of having its entire financial aid budget funded by endowment income. With the amount we historically take from the endowment each year ranging from 3% to 4.5%, this would require up to $50 million in endowed financial aid funds. As of June 30, our endowed financial aid funds are valued at $7 million. This is a tall order, but we will not lose sight of this goal. Our work to increase endowed financial aid funds continues, one donor at a time.
Many donors are pleased to learn that a named fund can be established at Catlin Gabel with a gift of $25,000. Existing fund holders often decide to continue contributions, adding to their fund’s value. Over time, these funds can grow to a point where they provide significant income for financial aid. A mature $250,000 endowed fund could provide $7,500 to $11,250 per year in perpetuity—which will positively affect the lives of deserving students and ultimately enrich the Catlin Gabel experience.
Clare Hamill, trustee and co-chair of the Campaign for Arts and Minds, puts it best:

I have been a staunch advocate for the financial aid program at Catlin Gabel ever since my daughter Ann Pyne ’07 enrolled as a 9th grader in 2003. In both my personal and professional lives, I have witnessed the incredible outcomes reached when diverse minds come together. Working internationally and collaborating with colleagues on every major continent requires one to adapt to a variety of different perspectives, and quickly. Our children are stepping into a workforce that is increasingly on a world stage, and we only do them justice by ensuring they have the working knowledge and life experiences that will allow them to thrive. I believe that increasing access to Catlin Gabel is the foundation of this commitment.

If you are interested in learning more about Catlin Gabel’s endowment and endowed funds, visit or contact Eileen Andersen, director of development, at or 503-297-1894 ext. 306.


Focus on Giving: Creative Arts Center Fundraising Reaches 50%

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From the Fall 2011 Caller

By Craig Hartzman

You learned about the future Creative Arts Center and the accompanying fundraising campaign in the summer issue of the Caller. We have progressed since then! As co-chair of the Campaign for Arts and Minds alongside Clare Hamill, trustee and parent of an alumna, I’m so happy to report that fundraising for the Creative Arts Center has crossed the 50% mark. As of November 3, we have raised $3.48 million and are $2.04 million from being able to break ground on this most important project. This outpouring of generosity is a testament to the enormous value our community puts on fostering creativity in our children.
But we are not there yet! The Campaign Committee and I are continuing to work hard to finish what we call the leadership phase of the fundraising effort, in which we are seeking gifts in the $25,000 to $500,000 range that form the corpus of the project. I look forward to a point when gifts at every level will be welcomed. As always, we encourage everyone in the community to continue supporting the Annual Fund, which should always be your first gift to Catlin Gabel in any given school year.
A quick personal note: my children started in the Beehive and are now in the Upper School. Having been at Catlin Gabel for the better part of the last decade, I consider myself to be a lifer alongside my daughter and son. Over these years I have been hard at work serving on the Annual Fund volunteer committee; chairing the Gambol; folding endless rows of shirts and bundling 1s, 5s, and 10s at Rummage; and supporting past campaigns for the Beehive, Miller Library, and Hillman Modern Languages buildings. You would think that I would find a way to enjoy my final four Catlin Gabel years in retirement. But when Lark Palma, head of school, and Miranda Wellman ’91, director of advancement, came knocking on my door last year to talk about leading the effort for the Creative Arts Center, I listened to the case they put forth, and I simply could not say no. The need for this building is very apparent once you tour the Middle and Upper School art facilities. While functional and safe, the word “inspiration” certainly escapes you. The vision and the need for this building have been well documented for over 20 years—the time for this is now!
To learn more about the Creative Arts Center project, visit or contact Eileen Andersen, director of development, at or 503-297-1894 ext. 306.


Annual Report 2010-11: Michael Lazarus and Jo Whitsell

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From the Fall 2011 Caller

Jo Whitsell and Michael Lazarus, parents of Greyson Lazarus ’23, were new to Catlin Gabel but not new to Portland. When it was time for them to move back from New York to Jo’s Portland hometown in 2010, Catlin Gabel was a clear choice.
Coming from the Packard Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn Heights, New York, Jo and Michael wanted to find a suitable fit for their son, Greyson, then entering kindergarten. They found in Catlin Gabel a balance of academic rigor and intellectual freedom for Greyson and a tight-knit, caring, and involved community of parents.
Trained as artists, Jo and Michael jumped headlong into the Campaign for Arts and Minds. They understand the importance of nurturing creativity—not only for the purpose of aesthetics, but to help our children to better compete in the job market. Michael, a Rhode Island School of Design alumnus and a Pacific Northwest College of Art faculty member, explains:
“The foremost tool that artists use in making their work is the many-faceted act of decision making. Study in the creative arts provides a foundation of critical thinking and creative problem solving. This skill applies to any career path, and gives us thoughtful and often innovative ways of looking at our world. I can’t think of any one thing more important than this to give our children as they prepare for the future.”
Having heard the vision for the project from Lark, the two decided to host an event for the Creative Arts Center at their home in the spring. They continued to carry the message among their peers and at other campaign events. Ultimately, Jo and Michael made the decision to support the Creative Arts Center at the leadership level, putting their lasting mark on the project. And all of this happened in their first year at Catlin Gabel, a testament to putting passion to work in philanthropy.  


Annual Report 2011: Case Study in Volunteerism

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The Campaign for Arts and Minds Committee

From the Fall 2011 Caller

 A great illustration of the enormous impact that a volunteer committee of fundraisers can have on an institution can be found right here at Catlin Gabel in the Campaign for Arts and Minds Committee. Currently numbering nine members, the group reconstituted over the summer of 2010 when the board of trustees voted to re-launch the capital campaign for endowment and the Creative Arts Center.

The committee meets monthly and receives weekly updates from the development office on the progress of solicitations. The group also serves as a sounding board for the path and vision of the overall campaign strategy. A mixture of trustees, alumni, parents, and parents of alumni, the committee members keep an ear to the ground for many of Catlin Gabel’s different groups of constituents.
“Ours isn’t the kind of work that people may think of when they hear volunteer fundraising,” says Alix Meier Goodman ’71, who is an alumna, a parent of two alumni, and a current trustee. “We’re not dialing for dollars, per se. Our work with this campaign entails meaningful conversations with people and foundations, listening to their interests and successfully matching those with Catlin Gabel’s need to improve its arts programs. Giving is joyful! It’s enormously rewarding to connect donors so there is both maximum impact for the school and satisfaction on their part. I could not think of any other institution or project that I’d rather dedicate my time to than Catlin Gabel’s Campaign for Arts and Minds.”
Campaign for Arts and Minds Committee

Clare Hamill
Craig Hartzman
John Gilleland
Al Glowasky
Alix Meier Goodman ’71
Elizabeth Steiner Hayward
Mark Holliday
Bill Lazar
Walter McMonies, Jr. ’65