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Summer Programs has a few spaces available

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Classes begin Tuesday, July 5

Classes for kids of all ages!

Review our catalog (below) for course descriptions. 

Enroll today! Tell your friends!

Contact Len Carr, program director, for additional information.

Summer Programs ~ our difference is learning

Thanks to all: Annual Fund reaches goal

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We did it! The Annual Fund reached its $935,000 goal!
Thank you to everyone who participated and gave so generously this year.

For additional information about annual giving, please contact:
Sara Case
Annual giving program director
8825 SW Barnes Road
Portland OR 97225
503-297-1894 ext. 423

Catlin Gabel students help Michelle Obama fight AIDS in Botswana

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Catlin Gabel students helped paint a mural to welcome First Lady Michelle Obama to Botswana. The First Lady visited the Botswana-Baylor Centre for Children’s Excellence to highlight the organization’s efforts to develop a new treatment and counseling facility for HIV+ teens.

Thirteen students assisted local artist Lesedi to sketch and paint traditional Botswana figures, designs and backgrounds on a 30m concrete wall. The group also developed educational play activities for HIV+ youth awaiting treatment and counseling appointments.

In addition to the Baylor Centre, Catlin Gabel students provided support to the Maru-a-Pula Orphans and Vulnerable Children Fund, SOS Children’s Village, a health clinic in Thabala, and high school students in Gumare. Students met with Dr. Ava Avalos of the Ministry of Health and Thobo Mogojwe of PING (Positive Innovation for the Next Generation).

The Botswana-Baylor Centre is one of many partnerships between the Ministry of Health and international organizations, part of a coordinated, national effort to combat AIDS. Approximately 30% of all adults in Botswana are infected with HIV.

Each year, Catlin Gabel welcomes one Maru-a-Pula exchange student to Oregon. Catlin Gabel students are currently traveling through Botswana as part of the school’s global education program.

Further information:

Our Life, Our Love, Our Lady: the Sea

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Tales of a San Juans Sea Kayaking Adventure

This fantastic week began with a 7:30 meeting time at Catlin on Sunday morning. We loaded the bus and drove up to Alder Creek’s Jantzen Beach shop where we met up with Chris and Paul to try out various kayaks and dry suits for fit on land. Once we all found our dream Michelin-man suits, booties, and vessels, we drove north across the Columbia for our Basic Skills Class on benign Vancouver Lake.

Though perfectly placid, within ten minutes on the lake at least four of us succumbed to the difficulties of balancing and maneuvering barely eighteen-inch wide boats across water, and capsized! Thankfully, our dry suits kept us warm and toasty. After learning the basic strokes and practicing our edging and turning (and a few more capsizes), we all dove in the water in order to practice rescuing each other. Students adapted quickly to the importance of good communication, emptying teammates’ boats of water after flipping, and “rafting up” in order to increase stability and make for easier re-entries. After a game of Sharks and Minnows, we pulled ashore, loaded boats on the trailer, and enjoyed a quick brown bag lunch in the park before moving further north toward Seattle.


As soon as the Space Needle emerged on the horizon, we knew that Chris Potts and the Seattle Bouldering Project loomed nearby. “If you want to start a business, expect that it will take roughly six times more time and seven times more money to get going than you think,” Chris warned as he gave us a tour of the sprawling complex that he and a buddy opened a month ago, just east of I-5. His time and investment clearly paid off, and we enjoyed two hours of world-class indoor bouldering—the next best thing to an actual trip to Squamish or the Valley. Though most of us reveled in the creative route-setting and steep walls, Ian, Hannah, and Henry spent most of their time wrestling with Chris on the pole-vault-landing-style padded floor. Chris won, hands down. Visiting and playing with Chris definitely makes the highlight list for this trip, and future Catlin groups should not hesitate to go out of their way for a stop at SBP!


We then continued our journey northward, and finally met up with Chris and Dave at Washington Park in Anacortes for our first night. After a hearty taco dinner in the dark, we settled into a night of sleep on soft pine needles under a thick canopy and clear skies.


After an early Monday breakfast of peanut butter, Nutella, honey, and banana sandwiches, we loaded the bus and caught the 8:30 am ferry to Guemes Island. We drove to our launch site at the far north end of the island and began the tedious process of packing gear into dry bags and cramming it into our long skinny hulls for our sea voyage to Cypress Island. We learned to pay attention to the balance of weight not only from the front to the back, but also side to side while packing our kayaks.



Once fully locked and loaded, the previous day’s Basic Skills Class proved to be a valuable learning experience that enabled our entire group to confidently and immediately hit the open-ish sea. A two-hour paddle on calm water propelled us past dramatic wildlife such as porpoises, seals, eagles, oyster catchers, and more to Pelican Beach on the north end of Cypress Island—our new home for the next three nights. And…everyone stayed dry! We set up camp, explored the woods and beach, napped, went for short hikes and runs through the trees, skipped rocks, threw rocks and logs, built forts and fires, ate delicious Pad Thai for dinner, read our fortunes to one another (at six cents a piece, you can’t beat WinCo’s fortune cookies for the ultimate conversation starters), and went to sleep to the sound of pebbles echoing against one another at the edge of the water.


On Tuesday, we paddled our longest stretch of the week along the cliffs of the west side of Cypress Island, down through Rosario Strait to Strawberry Island. Though somewhat of a misnomer (we found many more wild strawberries on Cypress than on Strawberry), the 200-yard long island became the perfect spot to stop for lunch and an afternoon siesta. Students explored the island’s rocks and meadows and consulted a field guide for information on wildflowers such as wild roses and yarrow. Three students decided to join Erin and Dave for a short paddle to the south side of Cypress Island and a three-mile hike, and the rest of the group sunned for another hour on Strawberry before heading back north to our base camp.


Highlights of the remaining days include rafting seven boats together and creating a makeshift sailboat with a hammock and paddles (it worked!); finding dozens of bones, shells, pebbles, feathers, and other treasures; hiking seven and a half miles up and down the highest peak on Cypress Island; Dutch oven apple pie and polenta lasagna; learning about the incredibly complex currents, tides, topography, ebb and flood patterns, and weather variables of the San Juans; building drift wood fires and roasting marshmallows; playing silly games such as “hit the stick” and “launch each other off the log” on the beach; a nighttime paddle amongst billions of phytoplankton all lit up; sunny, clear skies and temps in the 60s and 70s; sleeping under the stars; a mixed-age group of students working extremely well together; and a windy and rough but exciting and satisfying paddle on our return to Guemes Island at the end.


The drive home went smoothly thanks to a late lunch stop at Burgerville in Centralia. We listened to our theme song, “Brandy is a Fine Girl” by Looking Glass at LEAST six times on the way home, belting the lyrics out the windows. Our life, our love, and our lady, indeed, was the sea—at least for the last five days. Most students agreed that leaving the islands proved to be their principal “low” of the week. All agreed that they’d do this trip again, ideally for at least a full week. We will be back!


Graduation 2011 Photo Gallery

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Congratulations, graduates!

Click on thumbnail to enlarge image

Extreme Ironing on the Summit of Mount St. Helens!

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Thirteen newly-graduated 8th Graders, one 7th grader, and one ironing board reach the top of a NW landmark.

"I've never been this tired in my life...not even when I stayed up to watch Harry Potter 7 on opening night!"

The words of this wise student summed up how we all felt after the nearly 12 hours of hiking that went into the powerful experience of standing on top of a Cascade volcano and peering down into the smoking crater.  All of us here in Portland orient ourselves by looking North to the snow-covered rise of Mount St. Helens, but few of us can claim to have been lucky enough to see the world from on top.  Thirteen excited and newly-graduated 8th graders joined the company of one dedicated 7th grader, four adult climb leaders, and an increasingly heavy ironing board to try their hand at reaching the summit.

As most of the group was new to the wonders of mountaineering, the greater portion of Saturday was spent in the sun, learning about the fundamentals of a safe and successful climb.  We talked about the essential clothing and personal equipment that one needs for an outing, as well as the importance of food, water, rest and paying attention to ones breathing and body.  We learned the basic skills needed on a mountain climb at a short Snow School (on a less than impressive snow slope!)  These techniques included the rest step, plunge step, walking with an ice axe, putting on and walking with crampons, and the theory behind a self-arrest.

Back at camp, we explored the edge of the lake, played some ridiculous games, and feasted on a "make-your-own burrito" spread.  There is nothing like chorizo to power you up a mountain.  We all went to bed early knowing that we would be awake again in only a few hours to start the climb.

By 4am everyone in the group was up and putting the final touches on their gear, and we were at the Marble Mountain trailhead and moving toward the mountain by 6:15.  Our first break all together came at timberline where the sun greeted us in full force.  The trail through the "Worm Flows" soon met up with Monitor Ridge, and the group worked its way up this prominent feature on the mountain.  The shortest route to the top of the mountain starts at a trailhead known as the "Climber's Bivouac," but due to the heavy snow this year, the bivouac had not yet melted out, forcing our group to take the longer approach from Marble Mountain.  The extra distance didn't slow us down, as our group easily kept pace with another Mazama party that was on the mountain that day.  

The group tired as we neared the top, and a bit of fog covered the summit, but everyone pushed on.  The first in our party reached the top at 1:11pm, and the rest of us trickled up to the rim before we all started the incredible glissade back to the forest.  As the fog cleared, we had unbelievable views north to Mt. Rainier, and down to the impressive, and smoking lava dome.  

The ironing board made it all the way up to the summit only for us to realize that somebody had forgotten the iron!  Please enjoy these photos from this incredible weekend.  It was an experience that we all will be able to draw from in many ways for years to come.

"Who forgot the iron?"


Video: student-faculty Frisbee game in the Paddock

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Teachers and students challenged one another to a lively Frisbee game on the day before school ended in June 2011.

Life After Catlin Gabel: alumni and student panel video

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Present by the alumni and college counseling programs

Student panelists: seniors Henry Gordon, Rebecca Kropp, and Josh Langfus.

Alumni panelists: Leslie Nelson ’10, attending Pitzer College; Rivfka Shenoy ’09, attending Washington University St. Louis; Riley Gibson ’04, BS in business management from Babson College and co-founder and CEO of Napkin Labs; and Peter Bromka ’00, BA in anthropology from Tufts University and a design researcher at IDEO, a global design firm.

Moderator: Rukaiyah Adams ’91, BA from Carleton College, JD and MBA from Stanford University, consultant for Plum District and Regence Blue Cross/ Blue Shield.

Upper School used book return

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Schedule and list of books

Thursday, June 9
3 – 4:30 p.m.

Friday, June 10
12:45 – 1:45 p.m. and 3 – 4:30 p.m.

Monday, June 13
1 – 2:30 p.m.

Location: The Cottage (lower level of the Barn)


Lifers 2011 Photo Gallery

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Twenty-three members of the class of 2011 have attended Catlin Gabel since preschool, kindergarten, or first grade. They joined Beginning School students, teachers, and family members for a special Friday Sing and tribute to retiring kindergarten teachers Sue Henry and Betsy McCormick. The seniors shared memories, gave advice, and sang along to favorite Beehive songs such as "Old Dan Tucker," "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," and our favorite tear-jerker "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You."

Outdoor Program Hike Up Dog Mountain

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The day dawned gray, with the promise of dampness ahead.  Nevertheless, the intrepid hikers, 11 students and 2 leaders, gathered at Catlin to set off to climb Dog Mountain.  All were present before the hour for departure, so the expedition left 5 minutes ahead of schedule.  Driving through the Gorge the clouds thickened, the moisture condensed, and the wipers came on.  In the distance much brighter clouds over Dog Mountain enticed us onwards.


As we approached the trailhead, the summit of our climb was shrouded in cloud.  The trail at the base was clear and dry, so after introductions all around, we set off up the first steep pitch in high spirits.  True to tradition, some students charged ahead, while others (and one leader) plodded up in the rear.  With stops at each junction to ensure that everyone went the same way, the group was never overly stretched out.  Despite the chilly, damp season we’ve had so far in the Northwest, the wildflowers were emerging colorfully.  Yellow Balsamroot, red Indian Paintbrush, and, higher up, lilac Phlox were to be seen, along with many others.

The wind rose and the temperature dropped as we neared the summit.  We were very glad of the extra layers and warm hats and gloves we’d brought along.  As we huddled in the flower fields at the top, a light rain began to fall as the view alternated between the damp inside of a cloud, fleeting views of snowy slopes on the Oregon side of the Gorge, and spectacular panoramas westward over Wind Mountain and down the Gorge towards Portland.  Living up to its name there were many dogs of all sizes on the trail.  One even sported a doggy rain poncho. 

The wet, windy and chilly weather didn’t dispose us to linger on the top, so we soon packed up our things and set off down the alternate route towards the base.  The lower we descended the warmer it got.  By the time we reached the trailhead the sun was out and it was a beautiful day.


The group came for many reasons: conditioning to climb Mt Hood or Mt St Helens, to build towards a summer of hiking, or just to have fun outdoors.  Since all made it to the summit, the goals were achieved.  We returned to Portland and Catlin 6 minutes ahead of schedule, tired but well satisfied with our efforts of the day.


Summer Borrowing is Underway in the Upper School Library!

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Think outside the classroom this summer!  Take home an armload of good books to read.  Whether you’ll be lounging in a hammock, working as a camp counselor and reading after lights out, or flying on a plane to distant parts of the world, reading for pleasure would surely enhance your summer.

Summer Borrowing is Underway!

Now through June 10th @ 4pm

All returning Upper School students, and all returning faculty and staff may participate!

Here are some titles to tempt you.  If you prefer, just browse the catalog at http://catalog.catlin.edu

Southern Fiction
Mama Day, by G. Naylor
Kate Vaiden, by R. Price
The Help, by K. Stockett
Delta Wedding, by E. Welty
Sound and the Fury, by W. Faulkner
Thirteen Moons, by C. Frazier

Glorious Geekdom
Foundations of Python Network Programming, by J. Goerzen
Beginning game development with Python and Pygame, by W. McGugan
Letters to a Young Mathematician, by I. Stewart
Feynman’s Lost Lecture:  The Motion of Planets around the Sun, by D. Goodstein
Beyond Measure:  Modern physics, Philosophy, and the Meaning of Quantum Theory, by JE Baggott

Tasty Fiction
Clear Light of Day, by A. Desai
Notes from Underground, by F. Dostoevsky
Moscow Sting, by A. Dryden
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by M. Haddon
Maltese Falcon, by D. Hammett
A Most Wanted Man, by J. Le Carré
Small Island, by A. Levy
Kalahari Typing School for Men, by RA McCall Smith
Blood Meridian, by C. McCarthy
Master and Commander, by P. O’Brian

Graphic Novels
Saga of the Swamp Thing, by A. Moore
A Drifting Life, by Y. Tatsumi
Complete Persepolis, by M. Satrapi
Black Hole, by C. Burns
Palestine, by J. Sacco

Fantasy Fiction
Brisingr, by C. Paolini
The Hobbit, by JRR Tolkien
Powers, by U. LeGuin
The Wood Wife, by T. Windling
Memory & Dream, by C. DeLint

Far From Here
Iberian Worlds, by G. McDonogh
Almost French:  Love and a New Life in Paris, by S. Turnbull
Oracle Bones:  A Journey Between China’s Past and Present, by P. Hessler
Under the Tuscan Sun, by F. Mayes

Artsy Stuff
The Art and Craft of Handmade Books, by S. LaPlantz
Letters to a Young Artist, by A. Deavere Smith
Conversations with Frank Gehry, by B. Isenberg
Chuck Close:  A Life, by C. Finch
Origami Paper Animals, by D. Boursin

Bite-Sized Fiction
In the Garden of the North American Martyrs, by T. Wolff
The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, by A. Bender
The Runner’s Literary Companion, Ed. G. Battista
Nine Stories, by JD Salinger
Nick Adams Stories, by E. Hemingway

Stop by soon.  

With good wishes,

Sue, Upper School Librarian


Catlin Gabel co-founds online academy

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New initiative expands student opportunity

Catlin Gabel has helped found a new nonprofit organization called the Global Online Academy (GOA), a consortium of ten leading independent day schools that will offer online high school courses beginning this fall. We are honored that our own PLACE urban studies class, taught by George Zaninovich, has been selected as one of the five inaugural courses. Lakeside School in Seattle led the effort to found the academy and will hire the director.

Students may choose to take an online class to pursue academic study in a subject that we do not offer, to study with students from other parts of the country and the world, or to experience a format of instruction that they are likely to encounter in the future.

We will explore the potential for online learning in a Catlin Gabel education, while investing modest resources and enrolling only a handful of students at first. Upper School department chairs will determine student eligibility requirements and course credit policies. We expect the academy to grow quickly, as new member schools join and more students enroll in classes.

Catlin Gabel will play a special role in the online academy by demonstrating our brand of experiential education, which we have honed over decades. “Learning through experience” may form the foundation of the best quality of online instruction.

Founding schools
Albuquerque Academy | Albuquerque, NM
Catlin Gabel School | Portland, Oregon
Cranbrook Schools | Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
The Dalton School | New York, New York
Germantown Friends School | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Head-Royce School | Oakland, California
King's Academy | Madaba-Manja, Jordan
Lakeside School | Seattle, Washington
Punahou School | Honolulu, Hawaii
Sidwell Friends School | Washington, D.C.

Thanks go to our faculty and staff who are leading the way
Lark Palma, head of school: GOA director search committee
Michael Heath, Upper School head: academic policy committee
Richard Kassissieh, IT director: GOA board member and Catlin Gabel liaison to GOA
Dan Griffiths, science teacher: curriculum and accreditation committee
Jim Wysocki, math teacher: technology and professional development committee
George Zaninovich, PLACE director: instructor of an inaugural GOA course
Lauren Reggero-Toledano, Spanish teacher: attended the academy conference
Paul Andrichuk, Middle School head: attended the academy conference

The mission of the Global Online Academy is to translate into online classrooms the intellectually rigorous programs and excellent teaching that are hallmarks of its members schools to foster new and effective ways, through best practices in online education, for all student to learn; and to promote students’ global awareness and understanding
by creating truly diverse, worldwide, online schoolroom communities.





Perla Alvarez and Ramtin Rahmani elected to top civic youth advisory jobs

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Student leaders in the community

Sophomore Perla Alvarez has been elected co-chair of the Multnomah Youth Commission. She has volunteered more than 300 hours serving on the commission for two years, is a member of the youth gang violence task force, and works closely with Mayor Sam Adams and city commissioners. Junior Ramtin Rahmani has been elected co-chair of the Mayor's Youth Advisory Board of Beaverton. The board promotes youth involvement in civic affairs such as volunteering and participating in government-sponsored actions.


Spanish Exam Results

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Middle School

Level 1EighthGrade
Eva Jahanshir, 1st in state, silver nationally
Annika Carfagno, 2nd in state, silver nationally
Garet Neal, 2nd in state, silver nationally
Maya Banitt, bronze
Ford Brown, bronze
Lauren Fogelstrom, bronze
Zach Allen, honors
Max Armstrong, honors
Brendan Attey, honors
Lily Burns, honors
Nico Hamacher, honors
Arielle Schnitzer, honors
Walter Sherry, honors
Lauren Shoemaker, honors

Level 2 – Eighth Grade
Kellie Takahashi, 1st in state, gold nationally
Matthew Bernstein, 3rd in state, gold nationally
Larissa Banitt, gold
Sarah Norris, silver
Daniel Chang, bronze
Evan Chapman, bronze
Conner Hansen, bronze
Andrew Lee, bronze
Nick Miller, honors
Dylan Gaus, honors
Emma Marcus, honors
Collin Moore, honors
Ally Rossi, honors
Simon Schiller, honors
Elli Wiita, honors

Upper School

Level 1
Walker Andrews, bronze
Peter Smith, bronze
Camille Fairbairne, honors
Spencer Hotchkiss, honors
Liban Sheikh, honors

Level 2
Samara Michaelson, 2nd in state, gold nationally
Michael Elliott, gold
Kyra Finley, gold
Libby Grant, silver
Tess Michaelson, silver
Alexis Shoemaker, silver
Anisha Adke, honors
Qiddist Hammerly, honors
Rachel Caron, honors
Ali Corwin, honors
Ellie Lezak, honors
Maya Rait, honors
Jordan Riddle, honors
Lukas Stracovsky, honors
Elise Thompson, honors

Level 3
Katie Zechnich, 2nd in state, silver nationally
Rahul Borkar, 3rd in state, bronze nationally
Allyson Foltyn, bronze
Ramtin Rahmani, bronze
Curtis Stahl, bronze
Kenny Woods, bronze
Ben Shmulevsky, honors
Kenny Yu, honors
Lurana Crowley, honors
Margaret Fossand, honors
Mira Hayward, honors
Will Schneiger, honors
Mckenzie Spooner, honors
Will Bishop, honors
Naomi Iverson, honors

Level 4
Zoe Frank, 2nd in state, gold nationally
Casey Currey-Wilson, gold
Owen Chapman, bronze
Jackson Morawski, bronze
Andrew Salvador, bronze
Brooke Edelson, honors
Kanaiza Imbuye, honors
Grace McMurchie, honors
Grant Phillips, honors
Hannah Rotwein, honors
Maggie Weirich, honors
Jeremy Wood, honors
Koby Yudkin, honors

Level 5
Lauren Ellis, gold
Jade Chen, silver
Jenna Rolle, silver
Taylor Smith, silver
Jenny Faber, bronze
Rebecca Garner, honors
Nina Greenebaum, honors
Julianne Johnson, honors
Esichang McGautha, honors
Logan Smesrud, honors
Cydney Smith, honors
Holly Kim, honors
Andrea Michalowsky, honors

Kudos to our Spanish language department: Enrique Escalona Fuentes, Spencer White, Wally Wilson, Ron Sobel, Lauren Reggero-Toledano, and Roberto Villa.