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19 students receive a record-breaking 45 awards from the Portland Metro Scholastic Art Competition

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Students were honored in photography, sculpture, drawing, painting, and mixed media

Congratulations to the following Upper School students who helped Catlin Gabel sweep the competition! Several students won more than one award.

Xander Balwit, Matt Junn, Fiona Noonan, Maya Rait, and Zoe Schlanger earned Gold Key honors.

Matt Junn won Silver Key honors for his entire portfolio and for individual pieces.

Other Silver Key honors were awarded to works by Katie Fournier, Max Luu, Hayle Meyerhoff, Nadya Okamoto, Kristin Qian, Craig Robbins, Hannah Rotwein, Zoe Schlanger, Alexandra van Alebeek.

Honorable mention recipients are Violeta Alvarez, Anna Dodson, Adele English, Kelsey Hurst, Matt Junn, Kallisti Kenaley-Lundberg, Thomas Newlands, Fiona Noonan, Craig Robbins, Hannah Rotwein, Zoe Schlanger, and Alexandra van Alebeek.

Next stop regionals, followed by the national competition.

Beloved former headmaster Manvel (Schauff) Schauffler has died

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Letter from Lark Palma, head of school

Dear Catlin Gabel community member:

I am writing with the heartbreaking news that Manvel Schauffler (known to everyone as Schauff), beloved headmaster of Catlin Gabel from 1967 to 1980, has died. He was 88.

Along with the legions of students, faculty-staff, parents, and friends who adored Schauff, I am ever grateful that I had the privilege of knowing him. When I least expected it, and sometimes when I most needed it, I would receive a letter from Schauff cheering me on and letting me know he understood the challenges and joys of leading the school. His support and guidance have meant so much to me. I will always treasure my collection of Schauff's letters, which are tied together with a blue ribbon in my top desk drawer.

Schauff began working at Catlin Gabel School (then called Catlin Hillside) in 1951. In his years at Catlin Gabel he taught 8th grade U.S. history and social studies; coached basketball, track and field, and soccer; led ski trips and camping trips; directed plays; helped to run the famous Catlin Gabel Rummage Sale; taught countless students to make a wooden boat or light a Coleman camp stove; and reminded young people over and over to leave a place cleaner than they found it, to shake hands with a firm grip, and to exercise their right to vote. He brought Catlin Gabel to national prominence with his work on the board of the National Association of Independent Schools. Schauff celebrated Catlin Gabel's progressive, creative, experiential approach in and out of the classroom.

Schauff's mark on Catlin Gabel included a de-emphasis on grades. Drawing on his philosophy that students are at the center of education and their voices should be heard, he made the student body president an ex officio member of the board of trustees and brought each year's president to the NAIS annual conference. Working with students, he established a dress code for the Upper School ("Clothing shall be neat and clean and appropriate to the day and the task at hand") in 1967-68, a time of great tension over what young people wore.

Everyone who knew Schauff will remember these favorite expressions: "I'll take three volunteers - you, you, and you," "Be sure to take care of each other," "Never put a hot pancake on a cold plate," "Lady with a baby," and "The sun always shines on the righteous."

Schauff Circle, at the crossroads of our campus, was dedicated on June 14, 2003, and serves as a reminder of Schauff's ability to bring together people of all ages and all walks of life.

You may read Schauff's full bio on the Catlin Gabel website.

Schauff is survived by his wife, Verna; his daughters, Robin '68 (Peter) and Deborah '70; his son, Allen '73 (Cyndy); and his grandchildren Robin Macartney '01 and Alex Macartney '06.

Mail cards to:
Verna Schauffler
7539 SW Esther Ct
Portland, OR 97223

The family asks that gifts in Schauff's memory be designated to financial aid at Catlin Gabel, Bush, Hyla, or Explorer West schools, or to any school or program that nurtures and supports young people in their middle school years.

The family suggests some good ways to honor Schauff: cook a pancake, chop some wood, ride a ferry, sail a boat, register to vote.


Lark Palma
Head of School

Welcome to our friends from Gifu Kita School in Japan!

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Fourteen students and two teachers from Gifu Kita Senior High School in Japan are visiting Catlin Gabel from January 4 to 11.

Catlin Gabel and Gifu Kita have had a sister school relationship since 1992. We value our shared history of hosting students in homestays and classrooms, and introducing each other to our respective cultures. We have learned so much from each other!

For a real treat, come to the Upper School assembly on Monday, January 7, from 11:25 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. Our guests from Japan always put on an amazing performance at this highlight event.

More about Gifu Kita High School 

Gifu Kita Senior High School is located in the north end of Gifu City in Gifu Prefecture, Japan. For more than 70 years, Gifu Kita High School has prided itself on academic excellence and its ability to provide a wide range of extracurricular activities to its more than 1,000 students.

As one of the top-ranked schools in Gifu Prefecture, almost all of their students apply to go to university following graduation, with the vast majority attending private or national universities.

Gifu Kita also offers a wide range of sports and cultural clubs. A number of these clubs have participated in National and Tokai District Competitions over the last few years.


Middle School robotics teams take 1st and 2nd place at regionals, qualify for state

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Way to go!

Congratulations to the RoboSNAILS for their 1st place win in a tough competition against 20 teams. The team members are 8th graders Robin Attey, Matt Maynard, Grace Wong, Liam Wynne, and Sage Yamamoto. They are coached by senior Tucker Gordon. The RoboSNAILS’ research project was designing a website and iOS app to help senior citizens prepare nutritious meals and build community.

Team Sigma came in 2nd with 8th grade members Adolfo Apolloni, Ian Hoyt, Ryan Selden, and 7th grader Roy Stracovsky. Team Sigma had an over-the-top research project with a working model of a walker that senses the user’s location helps guide them. Junior Elyssa Kiva is their coach for the second year in a row.

Our two rookie teams also competed at regionals. Starstruck won the rising star award for the new team with the most promise. They are 6th graders Sujala Chittor, Natalie Dodson, and Amber Merrill. Their research project featured a puppet show presentation of a device that changes light bulbs. Senior Martina Dimitrov was their coach.

Sophomore Rushdi Abualhaija coached team Delta with 6th graders Avi Gupta, Tyler Nguyen, Quinn Okabayashi, Kian Palmer, and Spencer Shoemaker. Their research project was a working model of an Internet-programmed medication dispenser.

The state competition is on January 20. Good luck to the RoboSNAILS and Team Sigma!

Focus on Giving: Make an Impact, Leave a Legacy

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From the Autumn 2012 Caller

"My family has been associated with Catlin Gabel for three generations. Each generation has experienced a different school but one that kept faithful to the ideals set forth by Ruth Catlin and Priscilla Gabel.

"We need schools where students learn about honor, community, and an appreciation of working to achieve goals. Such a school will produce the leaders of tomorrow, leaders in all aspects of life.

"Making a legacy gift to Catlin Gabel is one way to continue giving in the future to something you believe in and support." —Nancy Johnsrud Dudley ’59 (left, with husband Stephen Dudley)

To learn more about making a gift of your own, call Joan Gardner in the Catlin Gabel development office at 503-297-1984 ext. 308.

The Ruth Catlin and Priscilla Gabel Legacy Society


Focus on Giving: Catlin Gabel Fund

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From the Autumn 2012 Caller

Philanthropy is the distinguishing factor in advancing the school’s mission and work. Each year the school invites all parents, alumni, and friends of Catlin Gabel to participate at any level of support. 

What is the Catlin Gabel Fund, and how does it benefit each student?

The Catlin Gabel Fund enhances the school’s budget with gifts that support our low 7:1 student teacher ratio, our exceptional teachers, and outstanding academic programs. The fund allows us to grow and innovate by adding programs that are right for our students such as robotics, outdoor education, the garden, and Chinese language studies.

Why do we need the Catlin Gabel Fund?

Gifts to the fund are the distinguishing factor that makes Catlin Gabel an enriching experience for students. Tuition and fees do not cover the total cost of educating our students: they cover only 85 percent of the school’s budget. The remaining 15 percent, equivalent to $2,162 per student, is funded by individual donations made to the Catlin Gabel Fund and endowment earnings.

Every gift makes a difference. Make your gift online:

Your donation can be made in monthly gifts throughout the year. Monthly giving is simple with automatic credit card or debit card payments. If you have any questions, please contact Catlin Gabel Fund officer Marianne Falk at 503-297-1894 ext. 374,  

2011-12 Annual Report: Making a Difference

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From the Autumn 2012 Caller & Annual Report 


Planned Giving Creates a Legacy

Eva Mae Chamberlin, 1915–2011 (left)
Eva was a longtime employee of the Dant family and a beloved first grade teacher at Catlin Gabel. After her retirement in 1981, an endowed fund for the school’s libraries was founded in her honor. Her bequest ensures that Catlin Gabel’s tradition of academic excellence will continue for future generations. All planned giving gifts become part of our endowment; they help improve the quality of our students’ education and the access we can provide. To view a list of the Ruth Catlin and Priscilla Gabel Legacy Society members, go to

Class of 2012 Graduation Gift to School

Tuition on the Track leaders Kate Rubinstein ’12 and Brooke Edelson ’12 rallied their classmates to organize the first student-led walkathon benefiting financial aid. Students in the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools walked, ran, skipped, boogied, and jumped around the track to surpass a $25,000 goal, raising $50,000. Alumni rallied in support of this effort, rising to a $15,000 matching challenge, bringing the total raised to $80,000. The impact of this gift is tremendous, providing tuition assistance to more than two talented students and making it possible for the school to achieve our fundraising goal this year.  



Auction: Fantastic Voyage. Saturday, March 16, 2013, Tiger Woods Center at Nike WHQ 
Tuition on the Track: April 12, 2013, Murphy Athletic Complex  

Take a moment to view the 2011-12 donor list.


2011-12 Annual Report: Progress on the Campaign for Arts & Minds

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From the Autumn 2012 Caller & Annual Report


Imagine More

A robust endowment is the most powerful way to fund the heart of an institution like ours: its student and teachers. Endowment helps ensure that our high-quality, experiential education continues for generations to come. Imagine more . . . new program offerings, financial aid, diversity, and faculty funding.

The Power of Creativity

The ability to think and work creatively is one of the most important skills our students learn and our alumni demonstrate. On October 4, a community celebration and ceremonial groundbreaking took place, and construction has begun on the Creative Arts Center. Doors will open to Middle and Upper School students one year from now!
Foundation endorsement for the Creative Arts Center
Two grants received this year were essential to breaking ground for the new Creative Arts Center. The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, of Vancouver, Washington, and the Collins Foundation, of Portland, Oregon granted $200,000 each. This is a tremendous endorsement for our innovative hub for creativity. 

Please take a moment to view the 2011-12 donor list.


2011-12 Annual Report: Letter from Lark Palma

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From the Autumn 2012 Caller & Annual Report

Dear Catlin Gabel friends and families,

A hearty thank you to our donors and their tremendous commitment to Catlin Gabel’s future! We celebrate our donors who appreciate the opportunity to make a difference in the life of our school and share a passion for Catlin Gabel. Places like this don’t just happen overnight. Special places like Catlin Gabel require dedication from our entire school community, with generous longtime donors who have helped lay a solid foundation for the good work we do each day, as well as our new families whose impressive giving has strengthened our school.
Our ambitious effort to raise significant funds for the school was achieved this year because of dedicated students, alumni, parents, grandparents, employees, and friends who have donated in unprecedented ways. We met our annual fundraising goals for both annual support and the Campaign for Arts and Minds!
We are thrilled to share with you that we have raised $15 million, which is 75 percent of the $20 million goal, for the Campaign for Arts and Minds. This transformative campaign will bolster the school’s endowment and add 20,000 square feet of space for the Middle and Upper School arts programs in what will be the new Creative Arts Center.
When we are finished with our campaign work, the school will deliver on its mission to provide an enlightened education rich in the arts and grant access to a wide array of students – with an increasingly solid financial foundation.

Lark Palma, Head of School   

 Please take a moment to view our 2011-12 donor list.

Our Inspired Teachers: Veronica Ledoux

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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

 Veronica Ledoux, US science

Bachelor’s in biochemistry, Mercyhurst College. Doctorate in neurobiology, Northwestern University. At CGS since 2008. 

When I initially began studying science, I imagined a finish line of sorts, a distant future in which I’d Understand Everything. Naïve, right? Now, I know better. As the years passed and my education continued, I learned a great deal, but each insight uncovered new parts of the scientific puzzle. The more I understood, the more I wondered. This complex spiral can go on forever. I now realize that one of the most exciting parts of studying science is the limitlessness of it.
In my previous life as a science researcher, I used complicated equipment to ask very minute questions in tremendous depth. While I was fascinated by my work, I had only a relatively small community of fellow scientists with whom I could share my discoveries. The taxpayers funding my work didn’t know what I was doing with their money, as my findings were published in expensive scientific journals with limited circulation and dense, jargon-filled text. There was no easy way for me to share my scientific excitement with the public at large.
At times I miss the research lab, but now, as a teacher, I constantly have opportunities to share my curiosity and love of learning with others. Many teachers are the sort of people who would be happy to be eternal students, and our profession lets us get away with this, to a degree. At Catlin Gabel, we have the freedom to innovate, update curriculum, create new courses, and follow the interests of students. This is both exciting and daunting. My colleagues set a high bar for constantly honing their craft, paying attention to individual students, and adapting their approach to better suit the needs of those students. I am privileged to be part of this place, as my own scientific understanding is constantly being challenged, which keeps my enthusiasm high. 


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.