Dear Catlin Gabel community members,
On behalf of the Head of School Search Committee, and even as the search process is just getting under way, I am writing to the entire Catlin Gabel community to describe where we are and how we intend to proceed.
I should say at the outset that the members of the committee are all honored and delighted to participate in this important process. Of course, the responsibility is daunting. We have very large shoes to fill, and it will be a challenge for all of us. Nonetheless, the committee is confident that we will find a terrific Head of School who will build wonderfully on the many great accomplishments under Lark’s leadership.
Let me also say that you should not hesitate to contact me if you have any suggestions, concerns, questions or comments. This is an honest invitation. The committee is committed to a process that is open, inclusive and, to the greatest degree possible, transparent; and we frankly seek your advice and counsel. As the process unfolds, formal opportunities will exist for a great many members of the Catlin Gabel community—teachers, staff, trustees, students, parents, alumni and friends—to provide input. But in the meantime, and indeed throughout the search, you should feel free to share your thoughts; and certainly could include thoughts about who, in your opinion, might be a strong candidate for Head of School. For convenience sake, the best way to communicate would be by email at email@example.com, or by phone (503-777-7231). I would be delighted to hear from you, and I can assure you that I will act as a faithful messenger to the search committee.
I am extremely pleased to report that we have retained the services of Bob Fricker and his associate Sherry Coleman—both representing the nationally prominent firm of Carney, Sandoe and Associates—to serve as our search consultants. The process of selecting a consultant was intensive and highly competitive, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Bob and Sherry. Together, they bring to the search not only a wealth of experience and insight, but also a deep understanding of all things that make Catlin Gabel such a special place.
As a first step, our consultants will work with the search committee to write a profile. This central document serves to introduce the school to prospective candidates, describes our goals and ambitions, and effectively functions as a job description. Toward this end, Bob and Sherry will visit campus in early March for a whirlwind series of meetings with members of the Catlin Gabel community. Details will be worked out shortly, but it is certain that all constituencies will be well represented, and we hope to have one or more open forums that will allow all lovers of Catlin Gabel to participate.
From there, the process is apt to be relatively straightforward. The spring will largely be devoted to building the applicant pool. During the summer, our consultants, along with the search committee, will work to construct a short list of preferred candidates and, from there, a small set of semi-finalists for the search committee to interview face to face. On the basis of these interviews, and if all goes according to plan, we hope to have perhaps two or three finalists on campus for open, public interviews, possibly as early as mid-to late-September. We would like to be able to announce our new Head of School sometime in October.
Of course, the most rigorous and well-conceived plan rarely unfolds exactly as anticipated. We are searching in a complex environment, and this may indeed require us to be flexible. As contingencies arise, we will endeavor to keep you posted. Be assured, in any case, that we are strongly committed to finding just the right person for Catlin Gabel, and to do so in a way that is fully faithful to the spirit and tradition of the school.
On behalf of the search committee, I can say that we very much look forward to working with the entire Catlin Gabel community. And again, I would be delighted to learn of any thoughts you might have regarding this very important project.
Peter Steinberger, Chair
Head of School Search Committee
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.
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.
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:
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.
Head of School
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.
Parents schoolwide are encouraged to read Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World by Tony Wagner. In this book, education expert Tony Wagner explores how schools and parents can cultivate the next generation of creative thinkers and doers who will drive our economy.
Lark will lead a discussion on February 13 at 8:30 a.m. (stay tuned for location). Lark highly recommends this book, even if you are unable to attend the discussion.
Limited copies of the book are available in our bookstore in the lower level of the Barn. It is also readily available at Amazon.
Link to Tony Wagner TED talk
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!
Proud and grateful: the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund has awarded us $75,000 for the Creative Arts Center
From time to time a child – or two or three – are sent to chat with either Genevieve or me. We have a “Conflict Resolution” plan that all of our teachers use with children that has been extremely effective in helping to resolve most of the day-to-day conflicts that arise when you have children learning to live and work cooperatively with one another. Conflict is normal and healthy when it is leveraged as a tool to help children as they internalize the skills needed to cooperate with, and respect, one another. We know that the better our children are at this, the more successful they will be throughout the rest of their education and lives.
Sometimes there are situations that need adult intervention. And occasionally the incident involves a child who physically hurt another. In these situations their teacher will ask the child/children involved to come and chat with me. Stealing or cheating might also result in a talk with Vicki. Interestingly enough, sometimes I have students come straight to see me when they know they’ve done something wrong. I find these “self-referrals” to be a tribute to the honesty we have in our school community.
Each situation is handled differently, based on what happened, the age of the children involved, and their perception of what happened. For example, repeated behaviors are dealt with differently than “first time offenses”. But always Genevieve or I ask the children involved to tell their parents what happened before I phone them. (They usually aren’t very excited about this part.) Yes, as parents, you always get an e-mail contact from one of us.
We always start by listening to each person as to what happened. Everyone has a unique “perception” and it is often an eye-opener for children to see that their actions or words can often be misinterpreted as hurtful or offensive. Know that your children are wonderfully honest – but again, there can be many different perspectives about the same incident. Because of this reality, we try not to make judgments ourselves. I thank you parents for being careful to suspend certainty when you hear “one of many” perspectives as well.
Often we coach the students to use “I messages” as a way to communicate how they are feeling directly with the other child, and to ask for what they want – i.e. “It hurts when you stomp on my foot and I want you to stop.” Although we will not force an insincere apology, usually apologies are given. Sometimes I write up an “agreement” with a child that includes what happened, and their plan for a change of behavior. The child, their parent, and I might sign it. Sometimes the child writes up his/her own plan for a change of behavior. A younger child may draw a picture of how they will behave. Always we go over several options of “what they might have done differently” – and we might even role-play a “do over” of the whole incident. Occasionally we’ll have a student follow-up by “giving back to the community” since they have “taken away from the community.” This may be in the form of picking up trash, shelving books in the library, etc. And yes, sometimes a child is sent home in order to have a fresh start the next day.
Whenever I chat with other principal colleagues in other schools, I am grateful to be reminded that being a disciplinarian takes up only a small percentage of my work time. In fact, I can go for days without anything being sent my way. People have asked me why I think this is so. I give credit to your fabulous parenting and to our teachers’ amazing teaching. It is difficult for children to misbehave when they are deeply engaged in learning!