October, 16, 2013
Dear parents, faculty, staff, trustees, Middle and Upper School students, and recent graduates,
For Catlin Gabel to continue as a vibrant and relevant school we must get to the heart of diversity and inclusivity. Assessing how we’re doing with respect to diversity and inclusivity is not merely a navel-gazing exercise. This is essential work that, if we do it right, will prevent our school from going the way of the dinosaur.
AIM is a year-long project to Assess Inclusivity and Multiculturalism. It supports one of the school’s strategic initiatives and addresses a key recommendation from our accreditation process. Frankly, we were dinged for our lackluster progress in this regard.
AIM is a serious and comprehensive undertaking. The first part is an online survey that launches October 23. We are eager to hear from all Catlin Gabel community members. The survey results will be carefully examined to identify future goals and plans, to ensure we are the most inclusive school community we can be. The second part involves numerous focus groups in the spring.
Next week I will send you a link to the online survey.
I would personally appreciate it if you could take 15–20 minutes to let us know what you think and how you feel about diversity and inclusivity at Catlin Gabel. The survey is absolutely anonymous. We hope this allows for your full participation; we want every voice heard.
Lark Palma, PhD, head of school
Catlin Gabel’s Global Community Engineering Club is one of 15 teams across the country that was awarded $10,000 through the Lemelson-MIT 2013-14 InvenTeam initiative. Thanks to the grant, the team now takes the new name, Catlin Gabel InvenTeam.
The Catlin Gabel project, ScumBot, addresses the real-world problem of duckweed infestation in Aspen Lake in Sunriver, Oregon. ScumBot is an autonomous robot that propels itself around inland bodies of water collecting algae and duckweed and depositing that cargo in designated areas. With the grant money, the team will work to build the Scumbot under the leadership of Alexandra Crew '16, president; Anna Dodson ‘16, communications manager; Max Armstrong '15, mechanical manager; Jacob Bendicksen '16, control systems manager; and Vincent Miller '15, software manager. For more about the project visit the Catlin Gabel InvenTeam website.
A respected panel of invention and academic leaders from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Lemelson-MIT Program, industry, and InvenTeam student alumni selected the InvenTeams from a national pool of applicants.
Members of Catlin Gabel’s InvenTeam will travel to MIT’s EurekaFest in June to present their project, meet other teams, get behind-the-scenes tours of MIT labs, and engage in hands-on challenges.
Dale Yocum is the dedicated faculty advisor of Catlin Gabel’s InvenTeam. “InvenTeams isn't a competition, it's more of a celebration of the creative spirit,” said Dale.
“Our team is thankful for the support of Lemelson-MIT in bettering our local Oregon community through invention,” said CG InvenTeam president Alexandra Crew. “We are proud to be doing our part to help the environment.”
Students enjoyed a snapshot of farm life, from playing with the animals to harvesting their own food for dinner. Click on any photo to view a larger image, download the picture, or start the slide show.
Dear Catlin Gabel community members,
At the recommendation of the head search committee and on behalf of the board of trustees, I am delighted to announce that we have appointed Timothy Bazemore the next head of Catlin Gabel School.
Tim is currently the head of school at New Canaan Country School, a preschool–grade 9 coed school for 630 students in Connecticut. He is a proven leader with invaluable experience as both a classroom teacher and an administrator in independent schools. He brings to Catlin Gabel an exceptional background in progressive education and commitment to our lasting values: diversity, sustainability, and innovation in the classroom. During his interactions with the search committee, board, students, parents, faculty-staff, and alumni Tim demonstrated outstanding communication and interpersonal skills with wisdom and humanity. We are confident that Catlin Gabel will continue to serve as a national model for progressive education and to flourish in ways that are right for our school under Tim’s leadership.
Tim will begin his tenure as head of school on July 1, 2014. We look forward to a seamless transition, thanks to Lark Palma’s continuing leadership, our strong and seasoned administrative team, and our world-class faculty and staff.
“I am tremendously excited and honored to join the Catlin Gabel community next year,” wrote Tim. “During the search process, I was impressed by the energy, joy, and sense of purpose shared by everyone I met on campus. Under Lark Palma’s inspired leadership, the faculty and staff have created an extraordinary learning environment. I look forward to working in partnership with teachers and parents to ensure that every Catlin Gabel student benefits from a dynamic progressive education in the years ahead.”
Tim has been the head of New Canaan Country School since 2000. Through his work as vice chair of the Independent School Data Exchange (INDEX), Tim is leading the national conversation about progressive education and student skills assessment. Born and raised in Lewiston, New York, Tim graduated from Hotchkiss School in 1978. He earned a BA in history from Middlebury College and an MA in history from the University of Pennsylvania. He began his career as a 6th–12th grade humanities teacher at Chestnut Hill Academy, a K–12 school of 550 students in Philadelphia. During his 13 years with Chestnut Hill, Tim assumed increasing responsibility, moving from classroom teacher to director of middle and upper school admission, and then to head of the middle school. He and his wife, Lisa, have two sons, Luke, 15, and Tyler, 23.
The board and I are extremely grateful to the head search committee, chaired by Peter Steinberger, for leading a meticulous and inclusive process in which all voices were heard.
Thank you to the many parents, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends who participated by attending presentations and providing feedback. Community devotion to Catlin Gabel’s future was fully evidenced by your more than 1,000 survey responses, all of which the search committee read thoroughly.
We look forward to welcoming Tim and his family to Portland and Catlin Gabel.
Steve Gordon, MD, board chair
From the Summer 2013 Caller
By Nance Leonhardt
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
“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
Did you know?
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.
From the Summer 2013 Caller
By Sara Nordhoff, admission and financial aid director
Faculty feedback on students we could not admit: “this is one of the best candidates I’ve ever seen,” “I would love to have this student in my classroom,” “admit this incredible student!”
Some examples of students we had to turn away:
% OF FAMILY NEED THAT CATLIN GABEL MET
% OF STUDENTS RECEIVING ASSISTANCE
GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR FINANCIAL AID
"My story, like the stories of many others who have received financial assistance at Catlin Gabel, is a testament to the power of philanthropy. . . . Without a Catlin Gabel education, my life would have looked drastically different. The growth each student experiences here is indescribable. In fact, without the financial assistance that allowed me to receive such an enriching education, I’d probably still be the same shy child I was seven years ago. But today I can tell you with all sincerity that Catlin Gabel has changed me. It’s given me the opportunity and support to redefine myself in ways I never thought possible. Catlin Gabel equips its students with everything we need to face the future."
—Anthony Lin ’09, graduate of Duke University in neuroscience and computer science
"Running a high-quality, progressive, independent school is an expensive proposition, and thus tuition remains beyond the reach of many. To match reality and idealism, Catlin Gabel must have a robust endowment for financial aid, to open our doors to every deserving, qualified student regardless of her family’s means. Without this, our school’s expressed commitment to our ideals and our community becomes hollow and less meaningful. Catlin Gabel without generous financial aid would not be the Catlin Gabel we chose as the right school for our children. It would become a more homogeneous community, less interesting and vibrant. It would ignore the reality of economic diversity that all of our children must understand and appreciate. It would shield our children from the “real world” in which they will all live and work as adults. It would deny the value and contribution of children from all walks of life, from a wide range of circumstances."
— Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, trustee, parent, donor
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
MS life skills and PE teacher
Longtime preschool teacher
ALINE GARCIA-RUBIO ’93
US science teacher and assistant head
US English teacher
NADYA OKAMOTO ’16
Sophomore, Malone Scholar
RIVFKA SHENOY ’09
Student at New York University Medical School
On October 4, 2012, we broke ground on a new Creative Arts Center for Middle and Upper School students. Less than one year later, 6th through 12th grade students started the 2013-14 school year with a brand new facility. » Link to more information about the Creative Arts Center.