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Science research class publishes scientific journal

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The Upper School science research class has launched Elements, an annual publication showcasing student research. The publication's mission is to increase awareness about what a scientific research project entails, and to create a hub where our community’s researchers can learn, ask questions, collaborate, and see their hard work in a formal science journal format. The inaugural edition features the work of students in the classes of 2013 through 2016.

Open the PDF below.

More Room to Make Art!

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A student's view of the new Creative Arts Center

From the Summer 2013 Caller

 
Every week last year I watched as the new Creative Arts Center evolved from a hole in the ground to a beautiful building I cannot wait to explore. I like to do artwork involving found materials and fashion. This year, I made a dress out of plastic bags, as well as a vest out of pencils in my 3D arts class. Although working in the 3D studio in the science building this year has been great, I look forward to being able to spread out a bit more on larger surfaces. I wanted to bring my dress form and sewing machine into the studio this year while I was working on the pencil vest, but I didn’t think there would be enough space. I am excited for the new facilities, because I think the spacious building will inspire students to bounce around ideas and create.

One aspect of the Creative Arts Center that excites me is that different art types will all be together in one building. This close proximity opens up a chance for crossover between the arts. I got a little taste of what this might be like as the 3D class worked on natural outdoor sculptures inspired by Andy Goldsworthy. We worked with media arts teacher Nance Leonhardt to combine sculpture and photography by photographing our works and keeping the pictures as our final product. Photography and sculpture is just one combination, and I am eager to see how other arts can overlap in the CAC.

 
Art is a fundamental piece of who I am, and I know that other Catlin Gabel students feel the same passion. With all the highway bustle of academics, art for me is a garden pathway urging me to slow down and appreciate.  

New Opportunities for Learning: Charles Walsh, music

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Creating Art Defines Our Souls

From the Summer 2013 Caller

Serendipity. My first year at Catlin Gabel has been amazing, and I am thrilled to return this fall to work in a brand-new arts building. I have been overwhelmed by the welcome and support of the people here. It feels like a home.
 
The story of my path to Catlin Gabel reveals some of the many reasons why I am so happy to be here. My college roommate at Kenyon College in Ohio in the late 1990s was a CG alumnus, Trace Hancock ’96, and from him I endured numerous stories about this wonderful place. I was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and had never been west of the Mississippi, so I really could not picture what would be so great about a school on a farm in Portland, Oregon. But I went west after graduating from Kenyon and found myself in a teaching program at Western Washington University. My mentor, Kate Wayne, also attended Catlin Gabel. At our last meeting together she told me: “If you ever get a chance to look into teaching at Catlin Gabel, I think you would really like it.”
 
When I interviewed at Catlin Gabel last summer I had spent five years in Portland trying to find fulltime employment teaching high school music. I had given up and taken a job in Bellingham, Washington, to teach math, when the Catlin Gabel job opened up. I came to the campus with a sense of destiny, and to discover that a new arts building would be built made things nearly surreal.
 
I worked on the Campaign for Arts Funding that ultimately instituted the Portland citywide arts tax, an awesome statement by this community to support arts when funds are tight. As the victim of cuts in arts funding in public schools, I was heartened to see that the arts are important to people here, and they are willing to give the arts the role I think they deserve. As much as anything we do as humans, I think creating art defines our souls and makes us amazing.
 
This year my colleagues and I will be able to collaborate in the same building and create our curriculums in a more organic way. We’ll have the spaces to serve our students’ needs, in contrast with the situation now, where they must compete for insufficient practice spaces. Arts at Catlin Gabel will move from the periphery to the center. Our students are so talented in so many ways, and it has been exciting to be able to give them the opportunities to shine in music. The new building will be a hub, and I believe it will absolutely blossom the arts programs. Students create thoughtful and beautiful art at the school every day. Now all the arts will be seen as they should, which is a necessity for the entire artistic process. The school is at a turning point, and the new possibilities are as endless as multiple spring sunny days in a row.   

New Opportunities for Learning: Elizabeth Gibbs '04, theater

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Come Together: The new arts building will be a boon for collaboration

From the Summer 2013 Caller

Theater is a collaborative art form. It is not made by a single person alone in a studio: it is forged through personal interaction, group experimentation, and the collective expertise of innumerable individuals. Visual artists conceptualize the setting, costume, and media elements, technical artists wire the electrics and create the lighting and soundscapes, performing artists embody characters and employ their vocal and physical talents to bring a show alive. This variety of artistic talent can be found at Catlin Gabel, both in its students and its faculty, and with the new performing arts center the possibilities for meaningful collaboration will be hugely increased.
 
Arts classrooms are currently spread across the campus, with students trekking from Choir class by the barn, to Acting in the Cabell Center, to 3D Art in the science building. Visual artists are geographically separated from performing artists, and opportunities to hold casual conversations and informally experience each other’s work are therefore reduced. The new arts building will centralize all of these classrooms, bringing the different art forms under one roof. Not only will the students be able to more seamlessly connect their work in media arts to their work in theater and music, but the arts faculty will be more connected to each other and more aware of the possibilities for collaboration and joint exploration.
 
This past year, my Acting II students have each spent time in residency with drama teacher Deirdre Atkinson’s 7th grade class, working as assistant directors and helping mentor these up-and-coming performers. This experiment in cross-divisional learning is a small taste of the possibilities that will become available when Middle and Upper School students are sharing space in the arts building. Middle schoolers will have a clearer picture of what goes on in Upper School art classes, and high schoolers will have the opportunity to share their knowledge and skill with younger students.
 
As I picture the new arts center this year, my ideal is that it will exist as a fertile ground for expansion of ideas and imaginations. I hope that it will provide the opportunity to expand the boundaries of all our disciplines, encompassing new ways to teach art, as well as broadening the possibilities for collaboration between students and faculty. In this beautiful and warm building, I imagine that students will be inspired to create innovative and exciting art, in any and all disciplines.  

New Opportunities for Learning: Chris Mateer, visual arts

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It Just Blew Me Away

From the Summer 2013 Caller

The fact that Catlin Gabel was building a new center for the arts absolutely influenced my decision to join the faculty. Learning that the community was coming together and undertaking such a sizeable expansion for the arts just blew me away. It seemed like it would be a pivotal time, with lots of possibilities. For teachers (and students) these kinds of opportunities are rare, and when they do come along, it is usually once in a lifetime. I feel very fortunate to be a part of it all.
 
I came to Catlin Gabel this past year to teach both 2-D and 3-D art. My 2-D art classes were held in the current art building, behind the Dant House. But since there wasn’t a 3-D studio, the science department offered me a classroom to use. Working there really helped expose art projects and the curriculum to many students. When the new building is complete, the current 2-D art building will become a 3-D art studio. The redesign will bring an assortment of new tools and materials, as well as independent studio spaces for students. I am excited to expand the curricular program in new directions, and am eager to design the studio so students can explore a wealth of materials and processes.
 
In between the Upper and Middle School art studios will be a printmaking shop! By having a designated print shop, we’ll be able to elevate the awareness of just how great making prints can be (and why it is one of my favorite processes).
 
The Creative Arts Center will also bring a much more connected sense of community. I am looking forward to being neighbors with Middle School art teacher Dale Rawls. It will be great for all the students in grades 6 to 12 to see what everyone else is making. That kind of artistic and communal interaction is going to be something very special. Oh, and we’re going to have an art gallery too!
 
Starting this year, the arts programming is going to open up so students can experiment and develop skills in a variety of areas. By having so many different modes of creativity under one roof, students are going to be exposed to so many new ways of thinking and expression. Filmmaking, photography, dance, music, theater, painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and so much more will be happening in and around the building. It is going to be amazing.
 
I want students in the new space to have fun, work hard, learn a lot, and bring their friends and families into the art studios to share the incredible work being made. The more we can connect as a community, come together to participate in creative processes, and develop our modes of self-expression, the better we can all communicate as people in the world and increase inclusivity.  

Campaign for Arts & Minds timeline

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From the Summer 2013 Caller

2008

Architect’s first drawing.

 

2008–09

Entire board of trustees pledges to campaign. Campaign committee seeks lead gifts.
 

2013

March 7, all arts teachers donate to the project.
June 4, Beginning Schoolers visit.
September 26, ribbon cutting, CAC doors open.



Creativity—The Commerce of the 21st Century

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From the Summer 2013 Caller

By Nance Leonhardt

When people ask me what my best subject was in school, they don’t expect me to say science. Although I’d always loved making art, when I grew up I’d planned to be a veterinarian or a zoologist. My high school offered an amazing science curriculum that was rich in experiential learning. From raising and training a baby goat in biology to using ballet to explore physics principles, science inspired my imagination.
 
Later when I began studying art intensively in college, it was the scientific aspects of the field, observation and engineering, that drew me down the rabbit hole. Watching chemistry transform the surface of silver gelatin-laced paper, soldering brass and copper fittings, devising a way to project video inside the pouch of a kangaroo—I love the problem-solving that artmaking requires.
 
Arts & Sciences: Blame it on Sputnik
In truth, art and science were inextricably linked for eons (#DaVinci). And yet somewhere between the Renaissance and modern times, the two fields diverged—at least in the United States. The sciences became the bailiwick of tomorrow, and the arts were relegated to an indulgent pastime.
 
I blame it on Sputnik. A lot happened to our country during the period between the industrial revolution and the space race. We outlawed child labor, we created a middle class, we mandated a free public education for all our nation’s children, and our national identity and economic welfare became tied to the outcome of our educational system.
 
In taking that penultimate step, we opened the dialogue about what the goal of our education should be. Late 19thcentury philosopher John Dewey maintained that schools should prepare students for participation in community and society. Curriculum and pedagogy should be emergent in that the school evolves and innovates around the climate of society. Dewey-based schools are often places where art and science coexist symbiotically and still occupy important real estate in the core curricula. Many independent schools, including Catlin Gabel, are deeply informed by Dewey’s original goals.
 
By contrast, public schools latched onto educational psychologist Edward Thorndike’s “law of effect.” A contemporary of Dewey with diametrically opposed views regarding the function of schooling, Thorndike believed skills and concepts must be laid out incrementally and mastered over a prescribed timeframe. Thorndike further posited that the function of schooling should be preparation for the workforce and that people should be trained along vocational tracks. Imagination had no place in Thorndike’s mechanized system—how could innovation be standardized or assessed?
 
STEM, STEAM, and the Teaching of Arts
We’ve all heard of STEM, a movement to improve the teaching of science, technology, engineering, and math. One of the core pieces of STEM philosophy is that 21st-century thinking will best be done by people who can engineer and research problems in order to develop solutions.
 
John Maeda, the president of the Rhode Island School of Design, has been a fervent advocate of converting STEM to STEAM—adding arts into the equation. The central tenets of his argument are that any advance is useless unless it can be communicated, and that flexible thinking, risk taking, and problem solving are essential to any kind of innovation. Those attributes are exactly what is nurtured in a rich and rigorous arts curriculum. In essence, Madea’s argument is that creativity will become the commerce of the 21st century.
 
The mechanics of art production are the methods for expressing ideas. Just as in organic chemistry or calculus, the greater your fluency is with the methods, the more you can bend it to explore ideas and concepts. As a society we have failed to take the fluency and methodology of the arts as seriously as literacy or numeracy. Students have not been given equal time to develop their arts skills so they can feel in command of those skills.
 
Building Skills, Drawing on Creativity
One of our jobs as arts educators is to give students command of the medium, whether that is playing an instrument, working in theater, controlling lenses and apertures in photography, or drawing. With continued scaffolding and building relationships with students, we can help them build skills over time, so that we see kids who can dig deep and explore huge ideas through these mediums.
 
A good arts education will help kids unpack the messaging that the culture gives them about societal norms and values. The work of Matt Junn ’13 is a shining example of that. He learned to render early on, but it took nurturing in the studio to get him to apply those skills to analyze a bigger idea (see his self-portrait at left). He’s now digging into his identity as a Korean American, learning to control and appropriate images to unpack what they mean to him and what is expected of him.
 
Elliot Eisner, a leading researcher in arts education at Stanford, gives strong arguments for the value of arts education that are relevant to our teaching—and the reasons why Catlin Gabel has just built a new Creative Arts Center.
 
• In the arts you can put together your work in an infinite variety of ways. The artist must make sense of these choices.
 
• In the arts, you can head in a direction, but when things happen along the way you have to make judgments to adapt. It can send you in a whole new direction. That’s innovation. It’s where you make a discovery (#breadmoldpenicillin).
 
• How something is said is part and parcel of what it says.
 
• We can experience things in art that go beyond what we can articulate. It helps us live in a bigger place. A recent exhibit at Mercy Corps featured a mural project where the faces of abused women in Rio de Janiero were phototransferred in giant scale on the buildings of the steeply terraced city by French artist JR. The images bore witness to the atrocities faced by women who had been formerly voiceless in that region, and change began to unfold.
 
• The arts are a special form of experience because of the intense engagement of the creator with the work. People think this is all art is, but it is just what makes it unique. The material resists you, and you have to get it to perform a task or deliver a message.
• Art must explore through the constraints of its mediums. If we don’t create possibilities for fluency in the range of mediums, we are preventing ourselves from living fully in the realm of big ideas and being able to solve problems creatively.
 
The Arts are Transformative
Just as babies are born with a scientist’s hunger for inquiry, so too are people are born to be creative. Equipping our students with a rigorous education in the arts teaches them about methodology, purpose, understanding their audience, and communicating that message. We arm them with guitars and hammers, poetry and cameras. We help them give form to ideas, to innovate and to connect. Our students will be the change in the 21st century.
 
Nance Leonhardt is Catlin Gabel’s Upper School media arts teacher and the head of the arts department.  

The Power of Creativity: Catlin Gabel's New Creative Arts Center

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From the Summer 2013 Caller

The new Creative Arts Center will foster interdisciplinary work in the arts and collaboration among disciplines, teachers, and students in grades 6 through 12. We hope that, ultimately, the creative practices engendered in this building lead to innovative thinking in all disciplines, and our students’ ability to make their way in the world in whatever career they choose, armed by the creative thinking habits they’ve honed here.

The space to create

US visual art, US choir,
US media arts, MS drama,
MS music, MS visual art
Current arts square footage: 6,786
CAC square footage: 20,000
 
Creative Arts Center Upper Level
Gallery
Outdoor plaza
Media arts
Theater control room
MS visual arts
US visual arts
Shared print room
3D studio
Art Walk
 
Lower Level
Black box theater (two levels)
Theater tech space
Drama classroom
Instrumental room
Choir room
Music laboratory
Practice rooms
Instrument storage
 

“A truly outstanding school excels in all areas of curriculum. A well-balanced course of study allows students to develop the wide variety of skills needed to succeed once they leave school. A robust arts curriculum is crucial in fostering those creative skills that are increasingly in demand in the 21st century workplace.” —Dan Griffiths, Upper School head
 
“We have often said that we have the teachers, we have the program, but we just have never had the facility to help our children become leaders who can think abstractly and outside the box. Now we will have a first-class building to house this exciting program. It has been a joy to be part of a team that is finally seeing a vision come to life for an amazing school.”—Craig Hartzman, campaign co-chair, parent & donor
 

“It’s only in retrospect that I truly appreciate how definitive my exposure to the arts at Catlin Gabel was for my career and myself. Honing my artistic side made me more explorative, creative, imaginative, and probably a super-spoiled brat.”—Megan Amram ’06, Harvard College graduate & professional comedy writer

 

ARTS CLASSES & SAT SCORES: A POSITIVE LINK

Math teacher Kenny Nguyen and two of his statistics students, Siobhan Furnary ’13 and Lianne Siegel ’13, analyzed data for 422 Upper School students from 2005 to 2013. They found that taking more Upper School arts classes was correlated with higher SAT scores—an expectation of 22 points for every arts class taken.


Did you know?

“John Maeda, the president of the Rhode Island School of Design, has been a fervent advocate of converting STEM to STEAM—adding arts into the equation. The central tenets of his argument are that any advance is useless unless it can be communicated, and that flexible thinking, risk taking, and problem solving are essential to any kind of innovation. Those attributes are exactly what is nurtured in a rich and rigorous arts curriculum. In essence, Maeda’s argument is that creativity will become the commerce of the 21st century.”—Nance Leonhardt, arts department chair  

Good Teachers Are the Core of a Good Education

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Prue Miller's gift of $600,000 established an endowed fund for faculty salaries

From the Summer 2013 Caller

"I gave to Catlin Gabel to support faculty salaries because it makes sense to me,” says Prue Miller ’52. “At the core of all learning is the teacher. Universities raise money for faculty salaries and establish chairs, so why not do something similar for Catlin Gabel?”
 
“Prue’s gift is unique to most independent school campaigns and yet so thoughtfully placed. Her fund will increase the school’s ability to offer competitive salaries for our teachers and attract new talent as openings occur,” says Miranda Wellman ’91, director of advancement.
 
Prue admired principal Esther Dayman Strong and many of her teachers at Miss Catlin’s School. In college she studied education, and after graduating from Sarah Lawrence she came back to Portland and taught 1st grade for a year. Her fellow teachers served as role models for her: “They were so great, and so in control of the 30 students in their classrooms,” she says. Prue’s classroom experience further underscored for her the vital role of the teacher at the center of the educational process.
 
When Prue started her family, she sent two daughters— Catherine ’76 and Sarah ’79—to Catlin Gabel. Her son Andrew’s children—Harry ’05, Maddie ’07, Isabelle ’09, Eloise ’11—were all CG lifers. “My children and grandchildren flourished, and I had the fun of cheering from the sidelines,” says Prue.
 
“I hope my gift is compelling,” she says. “Teachers make such a difference in children’s lives.”


Supporting the endowment campaign is an incredible way to fund important new initiatives and sustain them over time. The most mature, forward-thinking independent schools maintain endowments that provide critical annual funding for program excellence. Healthy endowments allow great schools to seize new opportunities at the best moment to launch them—and act on their dreams. —Miranda Wellman ’91, director of advancement

• Pledge payments can be made over a period of time up to five years
• Depending on a donor’s age, planned gifts such as bequests, charitable trusts, and annuities can be part of helping the school reach this campaign goal
• Endowed funds (a minimum gift of $25,000) can be a wonderful way to tell your story about what Catlin Gabel means to you and have your hopes represented in future students and their learning opportunities    

"The Learning is in My Hands"

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The Catlin Gabel journey of lifer Qiddist Hammerly '12, now at Northwestern University, was made possible through financial aid

From the Summer 2013 Caller

Catlin Gabel helped me develop skills in organizing, fundraising, and creating projects that were my own, because it gave me the freedom to take an idea and run with it. My projects in Lower School included an Environmental Friends club, a huge potluck and tree planting, and a tsunami relief fund and walkathon—I even had an opportunity to go on the local news to talk about that. I’ve continued to use those skills.
 
In the Catlin Gabel community there’s a lot of trust and respect, both among peers and between peers and teachers, that inform how students learn and give them the ability to succeed both in school and out in the real world. Teachers hold you accountable for your own learning and give you a lot of responsibility, whether that’s teaching a class or creating a class discussion that engages your peers. The level of trust allows students to take safe risks in the classroom and when they leave the school. I always think back to what my 1st grade teacher Zalika always said: “Your worth is not bound in your performance.” You learn that you’re not always going to do perfectly, but you’ll push yourself to strive for something. You learn that it’s more about the learning and not about the grade.
 
Going through Catlin Gabel has helped me to not be afraid to try something new at Northwestern University, or tackle something that might be really hard. Catlin Gabel has taught me that if I’m interested in something, I should put my all into it, and that it’s worth the challenge. I’m majoring in social policy; I’m interested in education and education policy, and working with youth in the criminal justice system. I have a job working in a 1st grade classroom, teaching reading and writing skills. I’m also doing a mentorship at a youth detention center in Chicago, with its music program.
 
Talking to students from other schools, I’ve found that it’s a uniquely Catlin Gabel thing to have such a close and personal relationship with your teachers. That’s something that the school does really well. That connection outside of the classroom has been really beneficial to me.

Catlin Gabel teachers and the school push you and encourage you to make your learning your own, and they give you the ability and the freedom to create your own experiences. If you have an idea, you have the power to turn that idea into a reality. As a kid, for me that was the coolest thing. I have the power to create what I want to do? The learning is in my hands? That’s what made Catlin fun for me, whether it was volunteering in Middle School at Albina Head Start, or a research project as an intern at OHSU, or going on a trip to Botswana.

My parents didn’t really expect to send me to Catlin Gabel: financially, it didn’t seem like an option. Through the combination of the sacrifices that they made throughout my time here and the generous scholarships I received, I was able to stay all the way through. I am grateful to everyone who made it possible for me to stay here, both to the donors and to my parents. I’m also grateful to my teachers, because I was here from such a young age. Catlin Gabel made me who I am.
 
Excerpts from an interview with Qiddist conducted in February 2013.

The Allen Neill Schauffler Financial Aid Fund

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Fundraising has begun to honor this longtime teacher

From the Summer 2013 Caller

Allen Schauffler retired this summer after 45 years at Catlin Gabel. Her dedicated service to the school included positions as preschool and kindergarten teacher, Beginning School head, and director of multicultural affairs. She also worked in financial aid, and it holds great meaning for her.

 
“Those of you who know me well know how passionate I am about the importance of financial aid at Catlin Gabel,” she says. “The Beginning School is unique because the whole Catlin Gabel community trusts us to build the core group of a class that we hope remains together for 14 years. One of the most important pieces we think about when we enter this process is how to make the class as diverse and inclusive as possible.
 
“Financial aid dollars provide a key ingredient in helping to build a group of students who bring with them a world of culture, race, gender difference, socioeconomic strata, and physical difference. My dream for financial aid at Catlin Gabel is that any child who qualifies for admission in any division be granted the full amount of demonstrated need,” she says.
 
A new fund for financial aid has been established to honor this beloved teacher, parent, and longtime member of the Catlin Gabel community. For more information or to participate in the fund, please email Marianne Falk.

The Campaign for Arts & Minds

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What sets Catlin Gabel apart?
Campaign Components
Creative Arts Center
This new building fosters the ability to create and provides the encouragement to be original. It brings multiple disciplines inside one facility for intense, collaborative teaching and learning. Students will experiment in the black box theater, hear each other play instruments, view and critique each other’s work in the school’s first proper gallery, and learn from guest artists.
 Expanding Our Endowment
Launching new programs, admitting more students with financial need, and compensating outstanding teachers requires stable and robust funding. We must pursue these initiatives with the confidence that they can be sustained. The campaign for the endowment is how we’re doing it.

 

CHRIS PARK ’14
Senior, student body president

"Catlin Gabel gave me confidence in my own thoughts, while not completely blocking out those of others. It taught me that there are often more perspectives to every situation than what one might initially think. The confidence I gained from our small class discussions encouraged me to take part in our school’s student government. This school has given and taught me more than I could possibly repay."

MIRA HAYWARD ’13
Entering Harvard College

"As my class prepares to leave for college, the mark that Catlin Gabel’s holistic approach to education has left on us shows clearly: our strong academic skills are matched by our strong characters; our passion for learning matched by our passion for life."

BRIAN GANT
MS life skills and PE teacher

"Catlin Gabel takes pride in supplying students with a quality, well-rounded education. Students learn to take ownership of the direction of their passions, as well as to respect and appreciate individual differences." 

ALLEN SCHAUFFLER
Longtime preschool teacher

"Do you wish that you had attended a school where you were asked to examine 60 acres, be stretched to discomfort, navigate the idea of community, have fun with the basics, and use what you know to serve? Imagine a place children come each day, where what they bring with them is treated as the fertile ground of possibility rather than something to correct or change."  


 

ALINE GARCIA-RUBIO ’93
US science teacher and assistant head

"At Catlin Gabel we teach how to sing, how to talk to a crowd, welcome others, disagree, advocate for ourselves, talk to adults, write our congressional representatives, read between the lines, learn what’s not in front of us, include others in play, weave and intersect with other cultures, and find balance in our lives. We learn from our students every day. We educate whole children. We educate ourselves. Every day.

TONY STOCKS
US English teacher

"Whenever visiting writers come to share their work with our students, or parents attend Back-to-School Night, or folks new to the school come to Open House, they always say: ‘Wow!! I wish I could have gone to high school here.’ They see the school’s serious, but freewheeling, intellectual atmosphere, the strong bonds it forges between teachers and students, its deep commitment to building a community of trust and mutual support, and realize what a special place this is to be a teacher or a teenager."

NADYA OKAMOTO ’16
Sophomore, Malone Scholar

"I love Catlin Gabel not only for the friends I have made and the resources it can provide, but also for the atmosphere of support, in-depth curiosity to learn, and a rigorous and beneficial learning experience. It also served me as a second home and support system as my family went through a major move." 

RIVFKA SHENOY ’09
Student at New York University Medical School

"After Catlin Gabel college seemed easy. At Catlin Gabel I didn’t just learn the facts, I learned how to learn and use those facts in novel and creative ways. The biggest lesson I learned, which I always carry with me, is that education and ambition are not accessed passively, but instead actively.

Join Me in This Campaign

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From the Summer 2013 Caller

By Lark P. Palma PhD, Head of School

Launching a campaign is an exhilarating moment! I still remember that 2008 board meeting when we all debated the troubled economic environment versus the school’s opportunities and greatest needs. We ended with a unanimous vote to unapologetically go for it and raise $20 million for two purposes. Catlin Gabel’s “Campaign for Arts & Minds” is a reflection of those highest priorities.

The power of creativity! Our students must hone their ability to think creatively, to problem solve when there isn’t a formula, and to venture forward where there is no path. Learning and practicing the arts translate into these skills, and will make a lifelong difference for our students. We are building a creative hub for Middle and Upper School students that will inspire people the second they walk into the building, thanks to architect Brad Cloepfil and the Allied Works team. When dreaming of this space, the faculty were asked “How do you want students to feel when they walk through the front doors?” and I’ve never forgotten the answer I heard: “Like they’re entering a creative cathedral.” The 20,000-square-foot “cathedral” will open this fall— and I will be standing in front of those doors, watching the students’ faces light up as they walk through.

Imagine more! A school’s endowment is really about just that: imagining what more we could do and be. A healthy endowment means the difference between incremental change and being able to take leaps and bounds. It means saying yes to more incredibly talented students who cannot pay full tuition. It means a source of income to launch new programs and hire the country’s best faculty with relevant specialties and the desire to experiment in teaching in order to inspire every student. In short, endowment is the freedom to act on dreams.
Today, we face the final stretch of this incredibly successful campaign but we have yet to cross the finish line. We welcome you to join this chapter in Catlin Gabel’s history. Stand with me in honoring the impact our alumni have on the world, and the efforts to prepare our current students for a world that needs them, too.
 

Junior Valerie Ding featured in Washington Post and White House blog

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Executives from Amazon, Google, Facebook and other major technology companies will meet with female students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics Wednesday morning, as one of a series of roundtables hosted by the House Republican Conference and its chairwoman, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) …

» Read the Washington Post article


Today, at a private meeting in the West Wing of the White House, US Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, Deputy US Chief Technology Officer Jen Pahlka, and other senior Obama Administration officials specializing in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), met with five inspiring young women to discuss academic and career pathways in STEM—and barriers to the involvement of girls in those fields. The students were past winners and current finalists of the annual Google Science Fair—an online science competition open to high-school-aged students that solicits “ideas that will change the world.” …

» Read the White House blog