From the Winter 2010-11 Caller
NEWS FROM AROUND HONEY HOLLOW
OUR GREAT TEACHERS
OUR AMAZING STUDENTS
ATH LETICS and SPORTS KUDOS
Join Lark Palma and board members in the Middle School commons for a casual conversation about the vision behind the proposed Middle and Upper School arts center.
Middle School parents are encouraged to swing by after dropping off their children at the dance.
From the Winter 2010-11 Caller
Jenn Stallard ’92
Ritual creates a sense of familiarity. The term “familiarity” is closely associated with “family,” so it’s not surprising that Catlin Gabel’s many traditions are what help create a sense of community and history—in other words, family. It was my home. I always loved the Blue vs. White team competition around the Rummage Sale—what a great way to promote school spirit and community, for a very good cause! I also thought the class trips (8th, 9th, 12th) were fun, not to mention extremely valuable. My class (1992) was the first to take our 8th grade musical (Pirates of Penzance) on the road. I will never forget it! It would be an understatement to say I’m a creature of habit, and I’ve often wondered whether Catlin Gabel had a part in that. It may also be why I appreciated all the tradition as much as I did. After graduation, I attended a small private college and have generally lived in smaller towns that foster a sense of community and closeness.
Jim Bilbao ’79
Some of the ideas about why St. George is important:
* It’s fun. This works for everybody.
* It’s a charade. This works for the maturity of the kids.
* It’s easy: there’s no pretense of quality about the acting, sets, or costumes.
* The audience is easily satisfied.
* 8th graders get to try on acting in broad range of adult roles from mythic (Santa, George, devil, angel) to vocational (photographer, nurse, doctor).
* 8th graders get to touch real ethical issues, without any of the tough reading.
Jamie Bell ’92
Debbie Kaye ’73
I believe that “the child as the unit of consideration” is one of the most important elements of our founders’ vision. It moves me still. Just how we act on that principle has changed as pedagogy, technology, and the culture have changed. Yet putting each child at the center of the reason Catlin Gabel offers its particular type of education has remained constant. Our alumni love ritual because it connects us to the community, over years and space. St. George and the Gilbert and Sullivan musical are classic examples of shared experience. In more recent years, the Elana Gold ’93 Memorial Environmental Restoration Project and the senior trip, whose purposes and activities are constant, fill the same role. Years later, alumni can and do recall how they participated and with whom, the games and fun and food, the camaraderie. Shared experience and ties that bind. We look back fondly, smoothing the difficult edges of fatigue and any frustration, recalling the overall experience, lessons, and skills learned and yes, carried forward into other elements of our lives. Lifelong learning through community effort. Fabulous!
Peter Bromka ’00
Mason Kaye ’04
From the Winter 2010-11 Caller
By Tom Tucker '66
Tom Tucker ’66 teaches Middle and Upper School woodshop.
From the Winter 2010-11 Caller
Why I Like Change
David Ellenberg, 8th grade history
The Traditional and the New in Art
Laurie Carlyon-Ward, Upper School visual art
Growing as a Teacher
Maggie Bendicksen, 5th grade
Language Teaching Demands Evolution
Roberto Villa, Upper School Spanish
A New Teaching Experience
Joanne Dreier, kindergarten
PE and Sports Change, too
John Hamilton, Upper School coach and PE/ health teacher
Keeping Up with Technology
Bob Sauer, Upper School science
Building on the Basics
Mark Pritchard, Middle School music
From the Winter 2010-11 Caller
The Catlin Gabel Service Corps debuted in October with three community-wide days of working together for the greater good. The Service Corps emerged from our community process to figure out “What’s Next” after the Rummage Sale. As we examined what we would miss most about Rummage, we came to consensus around several essential ingredients for developing a new tradition: multigenerations working side by side and having fun together, serving the greater Portland community, student leadership, and demonstrating who we are at Catlin Gabel. The Service Corps was developed with these elements in mind. You can find out more on our website. Since those fall service days, the Service Corps has also gathered 50 boxes of books from our community for children at Bienestar, a migrant worker housing complex in Hillsboro where our students help with their Homework Club. More events and projects are in the works—and we encourage all our community members, past and present, to come and pitch in, work together, and have fun.
The Energy and Fun of Volunteering
By Qiddist Hammerly ’12
As a Catlin Gabel student, I’ve participated in many activities at the Oregon Food Bank. In Lower School, we collected food during the fall harvest festival. In 8th grade, we participated in monthly service at the Food Bank, and in high school we often ask the students for food donations. These ordinary and expected contributions have made the Oregon Food Bank a familiar name to all Catlin Gabel students, yet I have never experienced it in the way I did with the Catlin Gabel Service Corps in November. As part of this year’s initiative to provide cross generational, community-building service opportunities, more than 75 students, parents, alumni, and faculty-staff joined together for a day of packing pasta— and it was anything but ordinary.
If one thing was exceptionally exciting about this service activity, it was the palpable energy of the kids. Eagerly running back and forth and lifting boxes almost bigger than themselves, the kids probably worked the hardest of anyone. For close to three hours, we packed boxes of various kinds of pasta in two-pound bags. At any given table, students, parents, teachers, and siblings worked side by side. Some kids eagerly scurried back and forth, providing each table with more empty boxes, and taking the full boxes to the growing tower of pasta.
The tangibility of our work made it appealing and rewarding for everyone; at the end of the day, we could look over and see just how many pounds we packed, and how many families we were feeding. One Lower School student checked the weight of each bag meticulously to make sure no one family would receive more food than another. Some of the adults, who seemed apprehensive about letting the kids handle tape guns and carry heavy boxes, grew impressed with their unfaltering persistence. Everyone joked and laughed while scooping bag after bag, and we even participated in some friendly competition, betting on whose table team could pack their boxes of pasta the fastest.
After we were done packing, we enjoyed a group lunch at McMenamin’s. It was only then that I realized how rare it is to see so many different Catlin Gabel constituencies in one place. I had the chance to catch up with one of my 1st grade teachers, make a new friend, and chat with parents. Enjoying lunch together wrapped up the day in the perfect way. Too often when we engage in service, we simply break off and return to our daily work without any processing or reflection. Having a relaxed meal together allowed everyone to reflect on the day, catch up, and enjoy each other’s company.
What made this day so successful was the connection we felt as we volunteered. We weren’t simply packing boxes of pasta: we were engaging with each other and observing the product of our work. I think this service experience provides a glimpse into the future possibilities of multigenerational service at Catlin Gabel, both on our own campus and in the greater community. Despite the occasionally excessive use of the word “community” in our, well, community, engaging in service as a community truly is a unique experience that exceeds the benefits of individual volunteerism. Looking back over my 12 years at the school, some of the memories that stand out most to me are the engaging service projects I participated in with my Catlin Gabel family. At the Food Bank that day I could clearly see in our students’ eyes that very same engagement and motivation.
Qiddist Hammerly is a junior at Catlin Gabel and a Malone Scholar. She has been involved for years in community service.
Connecting Through Tree-planting
By Markus Hutchins ’02
Markus Hutchins ’02 is the alumni board president and a member of the school’s board of trustees.
By Zalika Gardner '90 and Herb Jahncke
From the Winter 2010-11 Caller
See 16-minute video below for more
By Lark P. Palma, PhD, Head of School
From the Winter 2010-11 Caller
Scenes from Experiential Week 2011 on the Catlin Gabel campus
From April 2011 Headlines
By Lark Palma, head of school
What kind of crazy school is this? Sometimes this question comes up when people meet our students and teachers during Winterim, Breakaway, and Experiential Days. And it’s a question we love to answer!
Catlin Gabel is a school that prizes deep, hands-on learning and innovation. We integrate experiential learning into our daily classes—and we dedicate one special week for alternative schooling that is totally experiential.
Our experiential week courses and affiliated trips offer between four days and two weeks of focused study, and a healthy break from routine. In the Upper School, students design the courses, and in the process they learn about planning and leadership. Course offerings for 1st through 12th graders this year ranged widely, from pirates exploring the Peter Iredale shipwreck at the Oregon coast to investigating Portland through photography, studying literary satire, and learning about coastal biology.
Perhaps you heard about the Middle School group traveling to Taiwan and their encounter with the aftermath of the massive earthquake in Japan. Their flight from the U.S. had been scheduled for a layover in Tokyo. After a long but uneventful flight across the Pacific, they learned of the earthquake when their plane began circling the Tokyo airport. The flight was diverted to a military base and the group was later flown to Osaka, where they were grounded for two days.
Despite exhaustion, hunger, and a night on the airport floor, spirits were high. The 10 students were philosophical about their circumstances. They knew a bit of discomfort and inconvenience paled in comparison to the horrors and sorrow facing the people of Japan. They passed the time playing cards and telling stories. Once flight arrangements were made for their continuation to Taipei, everyone’s thoughts turned to practicing the Mandarin language skills they would need during homestays in Taiwan.
I share this story with you to illustrate how experiential learning teaches self-reliance, resilience, and perspective. No other experiential week adventure could claim high drama, but during a week of miserable Oregon weather, I saw cheerful students and teachers return from adventures at Mt. Hood, the Oregon coast, Ashland, and downtown Portland. The cold and rain might have dampened anyone’s spirits, but our students and teachers carried on with joy and a sense of accomplishment.
When we ask alumni about their favorite Catlin Gabel traditions, Experiential Days, Breakaway, and Winterim top the list. Among the reasons they give for valuing this particular Catlin Gabel tradition are interacting with students and teachers they had not previously known and discovering they have a passion for something they had never tried before. Learning happens in so many ways, and discovering how to do new things, work together with new people, and brave the unknown is valuable for all our students. During experiential week, Catlin Gabel really walks its talk.
Experiential Days, Breakaway, and Winterim course sampler
Lower School: Walk Like an Egyptian, Super Sleuths, Hip Home Ec, Forts, Pets and Vets
Middle School: SeARTle, The River Wild, Shakespearience, Glass Fusion, Salmon Nation
Upper School: Urban Adventures, The Art of Movement: Parkour, Sailing in the San Juans, Cylinders, Pistons, and Crankshafts: Driving, Fixing, and Learning About Cars
Upper School head Michael Heath accepted the award given for Catlin Gabel's support of Bienestar, a nonprofit community development corporation serving migrant families in the Hillsboro area. Catlin Gabel students serve as volunteer tutors, have made donations of clothing and household items, and the entire school recently held a book drive that collected more than 3,000 books for Bienestar children. Former teacher Mark Lawton and Spanish teacher Roberto Villa were honored for their three years of support and dedication to the partnership between Catlin Gabel and Bienestar.
Read the Oregonian article.
The Oregon Regional FIRST Robotics competition engages high school teams from around the northwest in a competition that's a blend of rock concert, sporting event, and science fair. Catlin Gabel's Upper School robotics team, 1540 the "Flaming Chickens" will compete along with 60 other high school teams. Each team spends six weeks designing and building 120-pound robots for the competition. Catlin Gabel's robot is completely student designed, programmed, and built by students.
This is our homecoming, senior night and rivalry game all rolled into one! If you're there, be sure to come down to the pit to say hello, we always love visits from our supporters!
Rock trio Search Party is recording a concert CD and Catlin Gabel's own Jazz Band is the opening act!
Don't miss this night of rockin' good music sponsored by Slipknot Productions.
Friday, April 22
7:30 pm. (doors open at 7 p.m.)
Cabell Center Theater
Advance tickets $5 (available through division offices)
Tickets at the door $10
Proceeds benefit the Catlin Gabel Jazz Band
Check out the video of Search Party in concert. Scroll down to sample their CD.
Congratulations to team members Leah Thompson, co-captain, Grace McMurchie, co-captain, Talbot Andrews, Rachel Caron, Lauren Ellis, Mira Hayward, Andrew Hungate, Josh Langfus, Eli Wilson Pelton, Megan Stater, and Karuna Tirumala.
Special thanks to adviser Lauren Shareshian and coaches Bob '73 and Nell Bonaparte, Jim Coon, and Scott Thompson.
Both the blue and white mock trial teams had a great day at the 2011 regional competition. The Blue Team advanced to the state finals on March 11 and 12 to compete against the best teams in Oregon. This year’s case, State v. Freeman, is a criminal case where the defendant, a chef, is charged with murder by locking her business partner into the restaurant’s walk-in cooler.
Congratulations to Catlin Gabel Blue Team members Talbot Andrews, Rachel Caron, Lauren Ellis, Mira Hayward, Andrew Hungate, Josh Langfus, Grace McMurchie (co-captain), Megan Stater, Leah Thompson (co-captain), Karuna Tirumala, and Eli Wilson Pelton.
White Team members include Audrey Davis, Layla Entrikin, Brian Farci (co-captain), Ian Fyfield, Andrea Michalowsky, Fiona Noonan, Chris Park, Nick Petty, Nama Rosas, Henry Shulevitz, Emily Siegel, Curtis Stahl, Lynne Stracovsky (co-captain), Terrance Sun, and Mary Whitsell.
I am excited to announce that Barbara Ostos will be our new Middle School head starting July 1.
(Editor's note: Current MS head Paul Andrichuk will lead our Teaching and Learning Center starting this summer.)
After an extensive search, including appraisal of many résumés and Skype interviews with several top candidates, we brought three superb finalists to campus. All three finalists could have served our Middle School and the community well. After careful review, consideration of community feedback, and thoughtful discussion, the search committee members and I were unanimous in our support of Barbara’s appointment.
Barbara is currently the middle school dean at her own alma mater, the Francis Parker School in San Diego, a school with many similarities to Catlin Gabel. She has been a teacher and administrator for 10 years, as 7th and 8th grade history teacher and as diversity coordinator, among other responsibilities. She developed a character education curriculum and led a board committee that did a positioning study for the school. Francis Parker School has more than 1,000 students in kindergarten through high school housed on two campuses. The middle school has more than 300 students.
Barbara expects to complete an EdD in educational leadership at the University of California, San Diego, by December. She earned an MA in nonprofit leadership and management from the University of San Diego, and an AB in government from Harvard University. Barbara’s family came to the U.S. from Cuba, and she is the first person in her family to attend college. She speaks fluent Spanish and French. Barbara will move to Portland with her husband, Carlos, and their infant daughter, Lydia.
Extensive references were consistent in their praise of Barbara as an educator, administrator, and colleague. Her current school head said, “Her interaction with the students is fair, balanced, and very appropriate. Her work with faculty is collegial, and her commitment to the job unyielding. She is bright, engaging, determined, and respected by her peers and parents alike. Barbara is a professional, a dedicated leader, and a committed member of the Francis Parker community. I could not be more impressed.” Others said, “killer sense of humor,” “seeks and values advice before making a decision,” “works hard to get to know students and parents,” and “not afraid to draw the line and make a difficult decision.”
Barbara will be in Portland with her family the week of April 6. If you have not met her, there will be opportunities to do so during that week. Stay tuned for her schedule.
My sincere appreciation goes to the search committee for an inclusive process and their thorough examination of feedback from all constituencies. I thank Chris Bell, Ann Fyfield, Erin Goodling ’99, Kristin Ogard, Tom Tucker ’66, Becky Wynne, and especially David Ellenberg, who chaired the committee. It is rewarding to see such a remarkable process yield the right person for this time in Catlin Gabel’s and the Middle School’s history.