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Gabby Bishop '14 on her experiences as CatlinSpeak co-editor

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From the Spring 2014 Caller

I came to Catlin Gabel in my sophomore year from Grant HS. . . . I had never done any journalistic writing before.
 
One of the favorite stories I wrote came about because I heard that a friend was involved in a protest against austerity measures in November 2012 with the Portland Student Union. There was no permit to walk in the street, but they walked near Lloyd Center, and the police pepper-sprayed them. Researching it was a very long process of asking for and being denied access to public records. . . . It was a fun article to write, but I found the process to be the most interesting part.
 
Editors Simon McMurchie, Nico Hamacher, and I each lead groups of three to four people, and each group publishes every third week. It keeps the workload lower but allows for more in-depth articles. The editors lead the groups, create schedules, help students come up with ideas, and edit the articles.
 
Our advisers Pat Walsh and George Zaninovich review the ideas and content to see if we are on the right track with angles and help facilitate class discussions. We talk about current events and about possible articles. We talk about how to pump an article up or offer angles so a student can choose a direction if they are having trouble writing.
 
CatlinSpeak is a creative outlet for me. Catlin Gabel has an open curriculum, but CatlinSpeak is astronomically more open. Writing about what I’m interested in is very rewarding, especially when I think I’ve done a good job or learned from it. As editors, it’s gratifying to see other students fulfill their full potential. The education offered here is amazing, and students accomplish wonderful things. CatlinSpeak is just one way.
 
I guess I just have an open mind. I’m very determined about things and have opinions, but they’re not set, and I want to learn more. If people ask me for my opinion and I’m not educated enough, that drives me to find out more.
From an interview in March 2014

»Read about her co-editor Simon McMurchie '15

What Does it Mean to Thrive?

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Third graders go beyond the tap, studying water from local to global

From the Spring 2014 Caller

By Katie Boehnlein

The aim of the social studies curriculum in the Lower School has long been to engage students in the world through meaningful questioning and research. In 1st grade, students are introduced to big ideas such as community, family, and courage, moving on to study forests in 2nd grade, discover the depth of water issues in 3rd grade, simulate immigration in 4th grade, and research the food system in 5th grade. Social studies, by nature an interdisciplinary subject, teaches students writing and research skills as well as how to ask good questions about the world. And at Catlin Gabel, students are curious, Herb Jahncke and Marcelle Donehower’s 3rd grade classrooms being no exception. At the beginning of the school year, Herb and Marcelle pose an over– arching question to their students that guides much of their studies all year: “What does it mean to thrive?”
 
Throughout the year, the students identify what helps them succeed as learners as well as study what is essential for their communities to flourish. They anchor this study through the lens of our greatest resource: water. Over the course of their 3rd grade year, Herb and Marcelle’s students will discover the origins of their drinking water and expand their awareness of how water is used around the world. Walking into their classroom reveals an excited buzz of activity and learning. Some students are hard at work on individual computers editing stories, some meet in small groups with teachers, others sit in quiet corners, reading. The walls are lined with class projects, from math conjectures, to a map of Oregon showing its watersheds, to reports about marine animals, to class guidelines written inside rain drops. From the soft cushions overlooking the Catlin Gabel woods to a poster recording daily campus temperature, the classroom is a laboratory, rich with discovery.
 
Herb Jahncke has taught at CG since 2007 and was joined by Marcelle Donehower in 2012. They both have backgrounds in environmental education: Herb as an outdoor educator in Jamaica, Virginia, and on Catalina Island, and Marcelle in the West Linn/Wilsonville School District and at Springwater Environmental School in Oregon City. Their backgrounds make them perfectly suited to their task of teaching their students about local and global water issues. Both teachers say that they love teaching 3rd grade because the students are energetic and excited about learning. At this age, students are feeling more empowered and confident in claiming independence with their learning. They demonstrate an adept ability to grasp complex ideas, such as how maps are visual representations of our physical environment. Both Marcelle and Herb relish the opportunity of actively engaging their students in meaningful, interdisciplinary experiences, particularly in social studies.
 
Third grade social studies would be incomplete without expanding the classroom to the diverse ecosystems of Oregon itself. Students begin by visiting the city’s water source, the Bull Run Watershed; Eagle Creek to study salmon migration; and Bonneville Dam to investigate how water is used for power. They also visit a wastewater treatment facility to see what happens to water after it goes down the drain. During this first phase of field study, the students identify a water question that deserves more research and embark on their own inquiry project, where they independently research a topic and teach their new knowledge to the class. The entire Lower School social studies curriculum has embraced the “inquiry cycle,” where students ask questions rooted in prior knowledge or experiences, research these questions, present their knowledge, and then ask more questions. It is a cycle that is never complete.
 
Marcelle says, “If I do my job well, I expect that my students will not only be asking more questions, but craving more answers. To make this type of curriculum work the classroom community has to embrace the idea that every person in the classroom is both a student and a teacher.” Herb reflects that when both teachers and students enter into a practice of asking rich questions, a trusting community of learners develops, which allows students to take charge of what they are learning. Some examples of this year’s inquiry projects include researching the Port of Portland, looking at the use of water in agriculture, researching water in recreational activities, reading about bridges, studying salmon, and finding out how to build a dam.
 
As the year progresses, 3rd graders revisit the question, “What does it mean to thrive?”—but turn to the global community for answers. They investigate how people in other parts of the world get their water and what kids around the world need to thrive. These questions lead to a study of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, in which the 3rd graders examine similarities and differences in what children throughout the world deserve in their lives. Focusing on personal identity leads these students to understand more deeply their role as global citizens.
 
Marcelle and Herb also talk about how learning about differences can teach students about important qualities such as empathy and perseverance. In the classroom, students watch videos of how kids around the world help their families collect water (sometimes carrying several gallons for miles at a time!). During PE class, the students try this themselves by each carrying around the track milk cartons or buckets filled with water. One student said, “Today when I carried water, I got sooo wet. It was much harder than it looked. I can’t imagine doing that every day.” Students synthesize all this learning by picking a country that they want to know more about. After researching their country, they write realistic fiction stories about a child in their country and include a piece on water access.
 
Though Marcelle and Herb observe their students learning and growing immensely during their 3rd grade year, they recognize that creating effective curriculum is always a work in progress. They continually evaluate each unit, keeping what works and revising what doesn’t. Marcelle says that she is grateful to work in a place that values evolution of curriculum and student experiences. “We are always pushing the boundaries of what we can do,” she says. Both teachers already have ideas for improvement. This spring, they hope to add a service learning component to their study of marine ecosystems by picking up garbage at the beach. They also hope to build on this year’s excitement with global studies by working more on letter writing and civic engagement and evolve their use of technology in the classroom, perhaps Skyping with students from other countries. The 3rd grade year is one of discovery, with students learning about the civic and natural world through hands-on field experiences and studies of other cultures. At Catlin Gabel, water is used to illuminate so much more than just what we drink.
 
Katie Boehnlein has been the 5th grade teaching assistant at Catlin Gabel since 2012. She is an environmental educator and active writer about place-based education and experiential learning. Read her blog at kboehnlein.wordpress.com.

The Mandate for Teaching History Well: A Farewell From Outgoing Head of School Lark Palma

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From the Spring 2014 Caller

By Lark P. Palma

If taught well and thoughtfully, history helps a student develop a unique capacity for comprehending human situations. It fuels a conversation about the importance of action from the lessons of history. It’s meaningful to me that my last article for the Caller is about history and social studies, as I believe history is the single most powerful discipline for analyzing the past, living the present, and predicting the future. Most importantly, studying history well helps us become thoughtful, informed, and committed to exercising our rights as citizens, especially our right and privilege to vote. This issue is a testament to how well our superb faculty teaches history, and their eagerness to fine-tune the curriculum, create experiences that make history immediate and important, and seek connections to social, political, artistic, and economic situations.
 
Recently, when packing boxes to move back to South Carolina, I came across my 8th grade required history text, The History of South Carolina by Mary C. Sims Oliphant. She found it adequate to talk about slavery for one and a half pages, and the glorious generals of the “War Between the States” for several chapters. The economic justifications for slavery were never connected to the immorality of the war. What if I hadn’t come from a progressive family that had lively debates at the dinner table? What if I had not been exposed to any other points of view? My ability to participate in our fundamental right to express our citizenship would be severely compromised.
 
Catlin Gabel and the teachers who teach history and social studies understand well the mandate of their work.
 
• Students learn how the past shapes the present and probably informs the future. The Transitional Justice course clearly shows the direct effect of a law, its enactment, and the success of social change as a result.
 
• Students learn to develop empathy by reading original texts written by the people experiencing the events. For instance, 6th graders study the context of the Civil War and write a first-person journal.
 
• They learn to read critically to distinguish between evidence and assertion and understand competing points of view. In doing so, they learn to interrogate the text and artifacts, make hypotheses, and draw conclusions so that they extract every bit of meaning. Through these interrogations, students come up with real questions. Who is not represented in the study of history, and why? Why is the history of real lives of the poor, women, minority groups, or children so sparse in relationship to the history of political leaders, wars, politics, treaties, and policies? Why isn’t there more work published by women and minorities? In a sense students are calling for a wider exposure and deeper content to intensify their understanding of the course of history.
 
The study of history reveals its evolving narrative. Students learn that what happened in the past is not the final truth, so what they study and how they study it has to change. Courses that have been added to the Catlin Gabel curriculum include Middle Eastern studies, the Sixties, 9-11, Islam, gender studies, and other courses that emphasize social history and bring in more interdisciplinary learning.
 
I leave Catlin Gabel this summer to contemplate a curriculum for another school, in Charleston, South Carolina. The first plaque acknowledging that city’s role in the slave trade was erected in the 1990s. It is clear how the teaching of history should develop there, with the city itself as the curriculum. If any of you travel there, I will be a willing and proud guide. I will miss Catlin Gabel deeply. I will miss writing for the Caller, but there are books and blogs inside me ready to emerge.

Video: 2014 seniors talk about their college choices

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Catlin Gabel seniors are about to embark on an exciting new chapter in their lives. Five seniors speak here about their college choices, and how they found a good fit for them.

»Link to list of where all seniors are going to college
»Link to article by college counselors about the admission year and college trends

Thomas is going to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago!

Emmarose is going to the University of Southern California!

Chris is going to Princeton University!

Liban's going to Swarthmore College!

Sadie is going to Barnard College!

College list for Catlin Gabel 2014 seniors

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Here's where the class of 2014 is going to college!

(as of 5/22/14)
 
Amherst College
Barnard College
Bates College
Berklee College of Music
University of British Columbia, Okanagan
Brown University
Case Western Reserve University
Chapman University
University of Chicago
Claremont McKenna College
Colorado College (2)
Colby College
University of Denver (2)
DePaul University
Dickinson College
Hamilton College, NY
Harvey Mudd College
University of La Verne
Lewis & Clark College
Macalester College
McGill University
Montana State University, Bozeman
Mount Holyoke College (2)
New York University (2)
University of Notre Dame
Oberlin College
Occidental College
Oregon State University
University of Oregon (2)
Portland State University
University of Portland (2)
Princeton University (2)
University of Puget Sound (3)
University of Redlands
Reed College
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rice University
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2)
Scripps College (3)
Smith College
University of Southern California (2)
Southern Oregon University (2)
Stanford University
Swarthmore College (3)
Tufts University
Tulane University (2)
Union College
Whitman College (5)
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
 

8th grade films win awards at Middle School Media Festival

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Three films by Catlin Gabel 8th graders received awards at the Middle School Media Festival at Bush School in Seattle:

"Free Yourself" by Andrei Stoica and Katie Truong: Honorable Mention

"Welcome To The Hood" by Stuart Ryan, Mason Snider, and Elliott White: Audience Award

"One Fish Two Fish Dead Fish Chewed Fish" by Piper Kizziar, Kathryn Putz and Rachael Underwood: Audience Award & Teacher’s Choice Award

Congratulations to the filmmakers and their teacher, Brendan Gill.

Nic Bergen '16 wins Grand Prize at International Silent Film Festival

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Sophomore Nic Bergen's film "Continuous Quest" won the Grand Prix--first place, best film--last night at the selective International Youth Silent Film Festival, competing against films from the U.S., Canada, and China. Nic received a generous cash prize and time on the set of "Grimm," and will be featured in the Rose Festival. Watch for news of a public screening on June 4. Congrats to Nic and our other finalists, Søren Anderson, Becca Dunn, Gus Edelen O'Brien, Zulema Young-Toledo & Elena Lee, Ben Waitches-Eubanks & Javin Dana, and Vikram Nallakrishnan & Reuben Schafir!

Valerie Ding & Nikhil Murthy win awards at Int'l Science Fair

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Catlin Gabel sent two finalists this year to the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair held the week of May 11 in Los Angeles. Both Nikhil Murthy ’17 and Valerie Ding ’15 came home with awards.
 
Valerie Ding won four awards:
1.      4th Place Grand Award in Physics & Astronomy
2.      3rd Place Internationally & 1st Place Nationally (USA), SPIE International Society for Optics and Photonics
3.      Top 6 Nationally, from American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Physical Society
4.      New American University Provost Scholarship, Arizona State University (awarded to 22 projects nationally).
 
Nikhil Murthy won 2nd Place Grand Award in the category of Chemistry.

Congratulations, Nikhil and Valerie!

»Link to Oregonian article

Catlin Gabel News, Winter 2014

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From the Winter 2014 Caller

NEWS FROM AROUND HONEY HOLLOW

The Oregonian published an opinion piece by Vicki Roscoe, head of the Lower School, about the importance of teaching and learning handwriting. . . . Officials from the U.S. Department of Education came to campus (left) as a result of Catlin Gabel’s recognition as a Green Ribbon School. They saw how the school excels in wellness, environmental education and impact, and STEM education. . . . Catlin Gabel hosted two regional robotics events, the Girls’ Generation and the Rookie Rumble, designed to raise awareness of and student confidence in science and engineering.
 

OUR REMARKABLE TEACHERS

Stanford University’s Teacher Tribute Initiative recognized three Upper School teachers for their positive impact on Stanford first-year students: English teachers Leanne Moll and Ginia King, and history teacher and PLACE director George Zaninovich. . . . MS Mandarin teacher Li-Ling Cheng is co-author of Language through Culture, Culture through Language: A Framework for K-8 Mandarin Curriculum published by Peking University Press. . . . US math teacher Kenny Nguyen is a reviewer for the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education and also reviews manuscripts and conference proposals for the Journal for Mathematical Behavior, Cognition and Instruction; the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics; and the International Conference of the Learning Sciences. . . . US history teacher and PLACE director George Zaninovich was selected for the Portland Art Museum’s education department teacher advisory council. . . . US English teacher Leanne Moll was an adjunct professor of education at Portland State University last summer and teaches online graduate-level curriculum, instruction, and reading courses for Read Oregon. . . . US history teacher Meredith Goddard presented at the Center for Geographic Education’s annual conference at PSU on student-centered strategies for teaching the geography of Afghanistan. . . . Fifth grade teaching assistant Katie Boehnlein published an article about 6th grade English teacher Carter Latendresse and Catlin Gabel’s beekeeping program in Clearing magazine.
 

“SCUMBOT” SOARS

A team of Upper School students won a $10,000 Lemelson-MIT grant, awarded to innovative student engineering projects nationwide. Their robotics project, “ScumBot,” addresses the realworld problem of algae and duckweed infestation in a central Oregon lake. They will travel to MIT’s EurekaFest in June.
 

ATHLETICS & SPORTS

The US cross country coaching team of Chris Skrapits, Dave Corkran, Anna Connor, and John Hamilton was collectively named district Coach of the Year. . . . Sandy Luu was named to the Oregon Athletic Directors Association executive committee and serves on committees of the National Athletic Directors Association.
 
Several students have won national recognition in their sports: Mahala Lambert ’24, taekwondo; Connor White ’21, Mo Duk Pai Kung Fu; Omeed Azari ’21, taekwondo; Adrienne Tam, swimming; Miguel Gachupin ’16, fencing; Luke Selliken ’16, kart racing; Ethan Hanson ’15, triathlon; and Elli Wiita ’15, synchronized swimming.
 

Oregon Book Award winner Willy Vlautin, author of The Motel Life, worked with US students in English and music

The Class of 2013

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Their college destinations & awards
From the Winter 2014 Caller

Perla Alvarez
University of Oregon
Community service & Spanish awards
 
Valerie Balog
Colgate University
 
Mady Bennink
Linfield College
 
Will Bishop
University of Denver
Ceramics award
 
Ella Bohn
Brown University
English & French awards
 
Jamie Bonaparte
Clark Honors College, University of Oregon
 
Rahul Borkar
Oregon State University
Music award
 
Mpho Bowie-Molefe
Lehigh University
 
Maggie Boyd
New York University
 
Evan Brandaw
Gap year, College of Wooster
 
Kassi Carter-Howard
Santa Clara University
 
Brandon Chang
Boston University
 
Owen Chapman
Pomona College
 
Gabri Chodosh
Clark Honors College, University of Oregon
 
Casey Currey-Wilson
University of California, Berkeley
Spanish award
 
Audrey Davis
Tulane University
 
Marina Dimitrov
Stanford University
Science award
 
Abby Doctor
Smith College
 
Nicholas Elliott
Gap year
Jazz band award
 
Layla Entrikin
Tulane University
 
Flora Field
Scripps College
 
Allison Foltyn
Simon Fraser University
Technical theater & modern languages awards
 
Margaret Fossand
Occidental College
 
Emi Foster
Colgate University
 
Siobhan Furnary
Oberlin College
 
Anne Gilleland
Southern Methodist University
 
Tucker Gordon
Bowdoin College
 
Evan Hallmark
University of Southern California
 
Hannah Hay-Smith
Brown University
 
Mira Hayward
Harvard College
 
Jeremy Howard
Chapman University
Jazz band award
 
Cody Hoyt
Ithaca College
Pat Ehrman & media arts awards
 
Kanaiza Imbuye
Wesleyan University
 
Naomi Iverson
University of Colorado, Boulder
Science award
 
Ian Jones
Portland State University
 
Matthew Junn
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Visual arts award
 
Maya Kinley-Hanlon
American University
 
Ben Kiyasu
Tulane University
Thespis award
 
Zach Lewis
Gap year, New York University
 
Ellie Lezak
Oberlin College
 
Benji Lin
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 
Ruth Lind
University of St. Andrews
 
David Lovitz
University of Puget Sound
Athletics award
 
Eve Lowenstein
Lewis & Clark College
Community service award
 
Trevor Luu
Illinois Wesleyan University
 
Alan Mayhew
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Japanese National Honor Society
 
Mairead McCarron
New York University
 
Keegan McCarthy
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, AZ
 
Max Meyerhoff
Macalester College
School ring, Pat Ehrman & theater awards
 
Elizabeth Moore
Saint Louis University, Madrid
Modern languages award
 
Fiona Noonan
Stanford University
 
Conor Oliver
Colgate University
 
Tyler Quatraro
Whittier College
 
Christopher Reimann
Whitman College
Community service & outdoor leadership awards
 
Emma Ronai-Durning
Gap year, Middlebury College
Chinese award
 
Hannah Rotwein
Plan II Honors Program, University of Texas, Austin
Athletics & English awards
 
Rachel Savage
Wesleyan University
Creative writing award
 
Zoe Schlanger
Oberlin College
 
Will Schneiger
Gap Year, Colorado College
 
Ben Shmulevsky
University of Southern California
 
Lianne Siegel
Carleton College
 
Eli Skeggs
Oregon State University
Computer science award
 
Rachel Spiegel
Pitzer College
Japanese award
 
Curtis Stahl
George Washington University
 
Lawrence Sun
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 
Terrance Sun
Brown University
 
Devon Utter
George Washington University
 
Alexandra van Alebeek
Stanford University
 
Mark Van Bergen
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, AZ
Thespis & science awards
 
Maggie Weirich
Gap year, Stanford University
 
Allison Weston
George Washington University
 
Kenny Woods
University of Portland
 
Lauren Wu
University of Washington
 
Gene Yamamoto
University of Oregon
 
Jaime Yu
Whittier College
 
Koby Yudkin
Bates College
 
Not pictured: Spencer Immel, Portland State University, Japanese award