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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 www.catlin.edu/artscenter.

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

LS Back-to-School Night PE Video

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See what 1st through 5th graders are up to in PE

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 “catlin.edu” 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 helpdesk@catlin.edu. 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.

Science teacher Veronica Ledoux's work with Teachers Across Borders South Africa

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Upper School science teacher Veronica Ledoux volunteered this summer for Teachers Across Borders South Africa, working for three weeks with 200 South African math and science teachers from rural schools to help update their skills. South Africa has identified the teaching and learning of math and science as national priorities.

Project founder Yunus Peer praised Veronica for her contributions, noting that she is personable, professional, and passionate about her work. "She made a positive difference for teachers who did not have the same academic experience that we are privileged to in the United States," he wrote to Catlin Gabel head Lark Palma.

"As institutions of higher learning, with such talented faculty, I believe the least we can do is share the knowledge we have about our profession with colleagues in the developing world who so desperately need help with content, methodology and the pedagogy of the subjects they teach, under the most challenging conditions," wrote Yunus. "I know that Veronica's presentation will inspire your faculty with the possibilities of service that advantaged private schools like ours can undertake, and by example, will highlight the values we want our students to embrace, too."

We Bid Farewell to Michael Heath and Our Retiring Teachers

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From the Summer 2012 Caller

Michael Heath

After five years at the helm of the Upper School and as assistant head for co-curriculars, Michael Heath has accepted the position of head of Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia, South Carolina.
During his time at Catlin Gabel, Michael was the thoughtful overseer of many changes in the academic program. Advances made under Michael’s leadership include the realignment of the grading structure, the adjustment of the homework load, and greater emphasis on cross-disciplinary teaching.
Michael drew upon his background in philosophy, and his great sense of personal and community ethics, to insist that the moral and ethical lives of students are central to the school’s mission. He was a key figure in the establishment of the Knight Family Scholars Program, and in the growth to prominence of the PLACE and Global Online Academy programs.
With his move to South Carolina, Michael and wife Dido, and children Harry, Annie, and Sophie, will be closer to their families in Virginia and in England. Michael has been succeeded as Upper School head by Daniel Griffiths, who has served as assistant head of the Upper School, science teacher, and head of the science department.
Michael spoke at the Upper School year-end assembly about leaving Catlin Gabel, and his remarks are excerpted below.
I came to Catlin Gabel and found this community that fought for the underlying meaning of knowledge and goodness in a way that decried reputation and the flashiness of plastic accolades.
Because of you I know what the real pursuit of knowledge and virtue can look like. I know what it looks like to have students carried away with an idea, and how different that looks from a 5 on an AP exam.
So I guess I’m saying that I’m going to miss this and I’m going to miss you. I really am. But I’m also imploring you NOT to lose sight of these ideals. Guard them because there will be those who will challenge them. There will be those reputation-mongers who think that getting into this or that college, becoming a doctor or lawyer or whatever, is an intrinsically valuable thing simply because of appearances.
Two final pleas—be KIND to these people. Don’t be mean. Love them but convince them of their folly. And secondly, don’t be fooled. We all know what lasts, we all know that being an idealist isn’t easy, but we also know how much this world needs idealists!
For you, my beloved students, I would say, I’m so proud of you. I will miss you. Thanks very much. It’s been an honor to be a part of this school.


Monique Bessette

Monique Bessette has been Middle and Upper School French teacher at Catlin Gabel since 1997. She’s embarking upon the “Umpqua chapter” of her life, setting up a water turbine and learning to use a chainsaw lumber mill, and plans to travel spontaneously and be more of an activist.
This community has been a great model for me: I felt supported in whatever endeavors I attempted and challenged intellectually. I felt at home with my colleagues who take their profession seriously, but who don’t take themselves too seriously. I have truly enjoyed all my years here at Catlin Gabel!

Laurie Carlyon-Ward

Upper School art teacher Laurie Carlyon-Ward has taught Draw/ Paint, Honors Art Seminar, 3D Design, and Ceramics since 1985. After retirement, Laurie plans to spend more time doing her art work, traveling, volunteering with nonprofits, and enjoying her family. She will invoke two rules about time during retirement: no meetings before 10 a.m. and no firm commitments for one year.
I hope I gave students the opportunity to explore ways to express themselves visually, yet in a safe environment. Our society is so left brained, and I hoped the curriculum in the art department gave the school a place for the right brain to flourish.

Véronique de la Poterie

Véronique de la Poterie has been teaching French at Catlin Gabel for 25 years. Her plans for her retirement include an 800 km bike challenge trip through Europe, world travel, kayaking, nurturing relationships, and getting involved in the political scene.
I am grateful to this community for having helped me raise my two wonderful daughters with both a heart and a mind, for its academic freedom that allowed me to unleash my creativity and show all of my passions, and for the devotion of its teachers and the commitment of its students. Most of all I will miss the intellectual dialogs I have had (in French) with my amazing honors students, who have been such a source of sustenance and inspiration.

Joanne Dreier

Joanne Dreier was part of the Beginning School for the past 25 years. She is inspired in retirement to become as involved with her family as she has been with her work at school.
Being a part of this place has been more than a career to me. As I accepted a position as kindergarten teacher, then-head Jim Scott said, ‘Welcome to Catlin Gabel. May you stay forever.’ I was profoundly touched. I still want to experience ‘forever’ at Catlin Gabel. It will just be in a new way. Thank you to everyone for everything.

Susan Lazareck

A Catlin Gabel teacher since 1994, Susan Lazareck taught 1st grade for “11 joyful and creative years” before moving to 3rd grade. She is looking forward to a mountain of books, travels to Hawaii and back East, and volunteering for CASA (court appointed special advocates) and the new Randall Children’s Hospital.
I will miss the Fir Grove, Experiential Days, digging deeply into topics with kids and working with my amazing colleagues. And I look forward to finding good things to do in the future.

Karen Talus

Upper School history teacher Karen Talus came to Catlin Gabel in 2008 after teaching since 1968. She taught 9th grade Early World History and 10th grade Modern Europe and the World. In retirement she’s interested in serving as a docent at the art museum and volunteering in adult literacy.
I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to teach just a few more years, and I think it’s great to be ‘graduating’ with the class I came in with!

Dave Tash

Dave Tash has taught Upper School math, from Algebra One to Calculus One, for eight years.
I have enjoyed teaching at Catlin Gabel more than anything I’ve done since I left the Navy. I’ll miss Catlin Gabel, but I believe I will enjoy retirement and traveling with my wife, Karen, a great deal.

Wally Wilson

Wally Wilson has retired after 32 years teaching Spanish in Middle and Upper School. He hopes to travel and read many books in retirement.

Like Middle Schoolers, I prefer to be actively engaged with something real, something I like. And that’s why I have thrived at Catlin Gabel and why I can’t help but think back with fondness on the 22 trips and some 300 students who have traipsed through the pyramids of Mexico and the cloud forests of Costa Rica with me.


The Big Green Center of Campus

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The Barn keeps everyone happy and nourished

From the Summer 2012 Caller

By Nadine Fiedler

Enter Catlin Gabel’s big green Barn at the start of lunchtime, and here’s what you’ll see. Hundreds of students line up, talking and laughing, to order the day’s hot entrée—which might be Phnom Penh rice noodle soup, vegetable or ham panini, quesadillas, grilled fish or tofu, stuffed poblano peppers, or a host of other tasty and healthful dishes. Others rush for the salad bar, stocked with brilliant greens from a local farm, veggies picked just hours before from the school garden, and beautifully prepared grain and vegetable salads. Teachers and staff members sit together at one of the many round tables, eating their lunches and catching up on what’s going on around campus, surrounded by tables of students. It’s a loud and lively place, centered on the Barn’s fresh, local, nutritious, irresistible offerings.

It’s A Whole New World of Food at Catlin Gabel.

The revolution began in the summer of 2006, when Hen Truong joined the staff as food services director. The food service until then had been loving and attentive, but it was time for Catlin Gabel to catch up with advances in food and nutrition to best serve its 740 students and their growing bodies and brains. Hen’s background as a member of a restaurant family, a graduate of the Western Culinary Institute, and a fast-rising young manager of food services at colleges and universities made him a perfect candidate to renovate the Barn’s approach.

A Necessary Diversion: Who’s Hen?

It’s almost impossible to talk about how the Barn has changed without talking about Hen Truong, and what motivates him so strongly. His determination has driven all the changes the school has made over the past six years, and will continue as he fulfills his vision.
Hen lived in Cambodia until age 3, the son of a Chinese restaurateur father and a Chinese-Cambodian mother. When the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia began their relentless genocide in the country’s “Killing Fields,” Hen’s family escaped to Vietnam amidst great hardship, starvation, and chaos. They were rescued by a boat captain whom his father had adopted as an orphan years earlier, but had not seen for a long time. The family lived in Vietnam until Hen was 7, when they had to flee again because Hen’s brother and sister were about to be conscripted into the army— which meant a life expectancy of a few months at best. After secretly arranging transit, paid with gold, they walked right out of his father’s restaurant during lunchtime into a rainy afternoon with nothing but what they had on. They lived in a crawl space in a safe house in Saigon for three weeks, then boarded a boat that took them to Thailand—and to three years of refugee camps there and in the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Hen’s father made and sold steamed buns in the camps. “Life there made me realize what not having material wealth feels like, and what hunger feels like,” says Hen. He was surrounded by people from many Southeast Asian cultures, and remembers playing with kids speaking a bewildering number of languages. Finally they located an aunt in San Antonio, Texas, who sponsored their immigration. Hen began his life in the U.S. at age 10 in cold, wintry Texas, speaking no English, in a new school. He learned the language quickly, thanks to an ESL teacher who devoted extra time to his education.
After two years in Texas, the family moved to Oklahoma City for another two years, then moved to Portland. Hen’s father opened the East Restaurant in north Portland, and the whole family chipped in and worked. Hen yearned to be a cook there, propelled by his admiration of Pat Transue, his 9th grade home economics teacher at Jefferson High School. “I did a lot of whining before my dad let me cook at East Restaurant. He wanted me to be more than a cook,” says Hen. Mrs. Transue, touched by Hen’s desire to become a chef, helped Hen enroll at the culinary institute.
After receiving a thorough grounding in the culinary arts, Hen decided to go to college to learn more about business, so he could run a restaurant. He enrolled in Concordia University and met another influential mentor: Robert Bjorngriebe, the head of the food service. Robert was doing what Hen was later charged with at Catlin Gabel: revving up a food service that had stayed the same for many years. Robert took Hen under his wing, hired him to work in the dining hall and kitchen, and taught him everything from catering to how to conduct oneself as a chef. Hen was also attending classes full time, and working at East Restaurant on weekends. Although Hen was set on going to a big city to become “the next Wolfgang Puck or something,” Robert convinced him that school food service was a sane career that would allow him to have a family life. After graduating from Concordia and completing several internships, Hen stumbled into a food service job at Oregon State University in Corvallis—by commenting about the food when he was visiting a friend there.
With OSU’s director, Richard Turnbull, Hen oversaw a huge project: the complete renovation of OSU’s dining services and construction of a new dining hall. As general manager he learned how to motivate staff people, and how to have them take pride in their food. He managed a new concept in food service, with seven restaurants for different food concepts, such as deli, coffee shop, grill, and Italian food. It was a huge success.
After 10 years there, Hen yearned to direct a dining program and move back to Portland to be nearer to his parents. He worked briefly for a food contract service at a small college in Portland, but didn’t like the politics of serving two masters, the contract service and the school, and their vastly different goals.
Hen and his brother set out to open their own restaurant, and that was the plan—until the summer of 2006, when a friend told him about the job at Catlin Gabel, which was similar to what Hen had done so well at OSU. Hen interviewed, just to keep his skills sharp, but says the unexpected happened: “The minute I stepped on the beautiful campus I felt great. I met with the committee, and I went from ‘I’m not in’ to ‘Please hire me. I can do a lot for you!’” And he has, in these six years since.

Hen’s Philosophy

“My philosophy is simple. I want to create good, fresh, seasonal, and thoughtful food, so that customers find value in it. Food service is my passion. Every hour of the day I plot and plan how to improve it and make it better. I feel vested in Catlin Gabel. I save us money wherever I can and do things as economically as possible. It’s very powerful for me to know I get support from the faculty-staff, students, and parents. It drives me to do more personally. I want to do everything.”

Changing the Status Quo

After meeting with retired food service director Terry Turcotte, Hen spent the summer of 2006 figuring out what he could do to make the system more efficient. In a whirlwind of activity, he met with vendors to find the most healthful food and consolidated them to keep traffic down and the quality high, centralized the ordering of coffee for all offices, and created a regulation commercial kitchen. He rewrote the menu to do as much seasonal, from scratch, local, and fresh cooking as possible. He met with staff members, divided up responsibilities, and hired more people. By the time school started that fall, the Barn was already radically changed. “Although there’s still a lot more to do,” says Hen.

The Barn’s Daily Work

Hen’s core crew is made up of kitchen supervisor Sara Gallagher; Robin Grimm, in charge of front of house; Chris Sommer, salads; Yuri Newton, deli and grab-and-go; kitchen help Woming Chen; and dishwasher Jonathan Sarenana-Belten. Hen is always interested in furthering their skills with cross-training and classes. “The way the staff works so hard drives me to work harder,” he says.
Every day the Barn feeds 400 to 450 kids, with about 350 eating hot lunches, plus around 50 adults. The students’ dietary restrictions are a big focus for the Barn crew. Every meal includes gluten-free foods and vegetarian or vegan options. They accommodate children with nut and dairy allergies, and they try to use less sodium and as much organic food as possible.
When Hen first came to Catlin Gabel, every office did outside catering, which meant paying premium prices. Hen offered to do all the school’s catering, reducing costs significantly. Anyone on campus can place a catering order, from two to hundreds of eaters, and the Barn now does 99 percent of the school’s catering. The cost for food is much less, and the food is much fresher.
The Barn crew produces food for special events, such as commencement, Spring Festival, and alumni Homecoming weekend. They’ve taken on providing food for field trips, to relieve teachers and parent volunteers, packing food and supplies for cooking. Hen also does on-campus cooking demos, and offers special dinners as school auction items.

The Sustainability Loop

Hen works with teacher Carter Latendresse, head of the school garden, to figure out what to grow that can be used in Barn meals. Carter sends email to Hen when a vegetable crop is ripe, and they go up the hill, harvest the vegetables, and use them quickly in the Barn. All food scraps, including those from diners’ plates, go into buckets, which go right back into the garden, when they’re ready, as compost. “You can’t get more sustainable than that,” says Hen.

The Future

In the drive to use as much local and seasonal food as possible, the Barn received a grant to buy dehydrators, a greenhouse, and a juicer, all of which will extend the usable life of produce into the cold-weather months. Hen is excited about being able to offer fresh fruit and vegetable juice blends. Given Hen’s motivation and drive, we can expect the Barn to improve and keep surprising its happy customers. “I want to continue sourcing new products and support other departmental programs. I want to continue to provide a place where people can come to collaborate, a social place, a place to talk over food or coffee,” says Hen. “Mostly, I want to continue to encourage and excite people about food.”

A Recipe from Hen

Quinoa, Roasted Beet, and Walnut Salad 

Ingredients for 4 servings
3–4 medium beets, washed
1 C. dry quinoa
2 C. water
1/2 C. toasted walnuts
2–3 cloves crushed garlic
Zest and juice of one lemon
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. sugar
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 F. Wrap beets in foil and bake until tender, about 45 min. to an hour. Let cool, then peel off the skins and cut into 3/4 inch cubes. Set aside
Bring water to boil in a small heavy saucepan. Rinse quinoa well and add to water. Return to boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Allow to simmer for at least 25 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Uncover pan, allow to cool.
For dressing, heat oil in a nonstick frypan. Add garlic and lemon rind. Cook and stir for 2 minutes, then add balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar. Remove from heat.
Add beets to cooled quinoa. Break walnuts into pieces and add to the bowl. Pour dressing over, add cilantro, and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  

 "Market" curtain backdrop in photo of Hen Truong was painted by Claire Stewart '07.

Nadine Fiedler is Catlin Gabel’s publications and public relations director and the editor of the Caller.