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Video: college admission expert Robin Mamlet

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The college counseling department presents the second annual State of College Admission event

Robin Mamlet, co-author of College Admission from Application to Acceptance and former dean of admission at Stanford University, Swarthmore College, and Sarah Lawrence College spoke with parents at an all-school college evening on Monday, September 7, 2013. Our second annual State of College Admission event covered many of the issues on the minds of students and families as they consider their plans beyond Catlin Gabel.

 

"The Tempest" photo gallery

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Thank you to Thomas Newlands '14 for the photos.

Shakespeare's  "The Tempest," performed by Middle and Upper School students, was the inaugural play in the Creative Arts Center's black box theater.

Varsity cross-country teams qualify for state

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Congratulations to the boys and girls teams!

Freshman Samantha Slusher won the district championship with a season best time of 19:34.

The top 10 placers at districts were

Girls: #1 Samantha Slusher, #3 Grace Masback, and #5 Kelsey Hurst

Boys: #5 Max Fogelstrom, #7 Garet Neal, and #10 Luca Ostertag-Hill

The state championships are on Saturday, November 2. For more information, go to http://www.osaa.org/docs/bxc/xcspecinfo.pdf

Seniors and 1st graders pumpkin carving photo gallery

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The classes of 2014 and 2025 lucked out with plenty of sunshine for their trip to the pumpkin patch

Click on any photo to enlarge it, download it, or start the slide show.

Science research class publishes scientific journal

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The Upper School science research class has launched Elements, an annual publication showcasing student research. The publication's mission is to increase awareness about what a scientific research project entails, and to create a hub where our community’s researchers can learn, ask questions, collaborate, and see their hard work in a formal science journal format. The inaugural edition features the work of students in the classes of 2013 through 2016.

Open the PDF below.

Students part of citywide Shakespeare collaboration with “The Tempest”

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Catlin Gabel Middle and Upper School students are taking part in Portland Playhouse’s Fall Festival of Shakespeare, a series of plays produced by eight area high schools and two middle schools. The plays will be performed first at each individual school, and then all schools will bring their plays to Portland’s Winningstad Theatre on November 2 and 3.
 
The Catlin Gabel cast will perform Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” on Friday, October 25, and Saturday, October 26, at 7 p.m. in the black box theater in Catlin Gabel’s Creative Arts Center. They will perform again at the Winningstad Theatre on Saturday, November 2, at 2 p.m. Tickets for the Catlin Gabel performances are available at the door: $9 general admission, $7 for students and seniors. Tickets for the Winningstad performance are available online through Portland’5 Ticketing. Tickets are $15, with a $7.95 fee per transaction.
 
“The Tempest” is the first mainstage production in Catlin Gabel’s new black box theater. The building was designed to bring Middle and Upper School students together, and they have collaborated on every aspect of the production. Students designed the set, costumes, makeup, lighting, publicity materials, sound, and music. The Catlin Gabel rock band will accompany the play with both originals and covers. See the video below for a preview of the play.
 
“The process has been so deeply driven by our students,” said Upper School theater teacher Elizabeth Gibbs. “A lot of what you see will come from their minds and imaginations.”
 
“Our students have built a creative community between Middle and Upper School students, as well as with students from other schools,” said Middle School drama teacher Deirdre Atkinson. “Our students’ insatiable curiosity and infectious enthusiasm has inspired the adults who have helped shape what they create. In turn, we teachers have collaborated with our peers at the other schools to read and engage with Shakepeare’s texts.” Both Elizabeth and Deirdre trained last summer with Shakespeare and Company, funded by a summer innovation grant from the school.
 
Deirdre and Elizabeth chose “The Tempest” because its compelling roles would be inviting to a wide variety of students and audiences, and they accepted all students who were interested. Deirdre remarked on the relationship between “The Tempest” and the new Creative Arts Center: “We are such stuff as dreams are made on. . . . How wonderful to reflect on Prospero’s words as we gather together in our beautiful theatre in the Creative Arts Center. In the theatre, so many people—actors, designers, dancers, and musicians—come together to bring a story to life ‘out of thin air.’ The building was once merely a dream; as in the theatre, so many members of the Catlin Gabel community came together to bring the dream to life. It has been a delight to watch our students build creative community while exploring Shakespeare’s text and coming to realize the possibilities of this brilliant new creative space.”
 
From the Portland Playhouse website: The Fall Festival of Shakespeare is a non-competitive region-wide collaboration between Portland Playhouse and area high schools. The Festival is a spectacular theatrical event, in part because student actors connect well to Shakespeare; they understand the passion, the large stakes, and the disaster. High school is not unlike an Elizabethan Tragedy.
 
The students are not only performers in the festival, but a large and vocal component of the audience. They are most active and vibrant theatre patrons you will ever encounter. They “oooh” and “ahhh”; call out “Oh no she didn’t”; scream and laugh. It’s the closest thing we have to how an Elizabethan audience at Shakespeare’s Globe might have reacted. It’s an unforgettable experience for the students involved, and an engaging cultural phenomenon for everyone to witness.
 
The collaborating high schools are Catlin Gabel, Ridgefield, Trillium, Roosevelt, Franklin, Ft. Vancouver, Hockinson, and De La Salle; middle schools taking part are St. Andrew’s and King.
 

Lemelson-MIT program announces $10,000 grant to student engineering project

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Congratulations, engineers!

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.”


Writing Lab Meets in the US Library!

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Catlin Gabel names Timothy Bazemore new head of school

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Board chair Steve Gordon's letter to the community

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.

Sincerely,
Steve Gordon, MD, board chair

>Link to Oregonian article

Video about Drawing Together Day and installation in Creative Arts Ctr.

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Inspired by former arts faculty members, Drawing Together Day on September 9, 2013, brought back a tradition to campus: a time when people of all ages take time to draw. When the drawings were done, they were assembled into a chandelier-like structure and installed in Catlin Gabel's new Creative Arts Center. Visitors to the building are inspired by the demonstration of creativity, and the school's commitment to the arts. And the students love to find their drawing hanging there!

US Library Celebrates Banned Books Week!

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Farewell to our Retirees

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From the Summer 2013 Caller

Ron Sobel retired after 42 years at the school. Although most recently he has taught Upper School Spanish, he has taught several other subjects in both Upper and Middle School; served as head of the Middle School; directed admission and financial aid, international programs, and summer programs; and coached several sports. For many students and alumni, Ron was a huge part of Catlin Gabel.
 
“Catlin Gabel has been a very large part of my life both personal and professional. I began here as a young enthusiastic recent college graduate and spent much of my life on this campus. I have always loved it here, and am so appreciative of what the school has given my family and me. I shall miss the daily inspiration and laughter of my colleagues and students, and of course this amazing piece of land, which I have had the privilege of calling home for much more than half my life,” he says.
 
As for his retirement plans, Ron thinks he may become active in the National Association on Mental Illness’s program that supports families who struggle with adult mentally ill loved ones. “All kinds of things are flying through my head as great possibilities,” he says.
 
Michael de Forest retired after 17 years of teaching Lower School wood shop. “Wow!” wrote Michael. “Seventeen years at Catlin Gabel! I never imagined I would teach my craft in such an exceptional place. I have found eager girls and boys coming into our space enthusiastic about learning and making things. Almost every child I have met in our woodshop couldn’t wait to create! What a great setup for a teacher.”
 
Allen Schauffler retired after 45 years at Catlin Gabel. Since coming to the school in 1968 she has taught preschool and kindergarten as well as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades, and served in many positions, including acting Beginning School head and director of multicultural affairs.
 
“I have loved being so well supported professionally. I have loved spending my days with so many good, kind, sharp, funny, generous, flexible, professional, sometimes off-the-wall kids and adults who are embarked on a journey that I find endlessly fascinating—with all its twists and turns. And when in need, I have loved knowing that the wagons were circled,” she says.
 
“I have helped to launch, formally, something over 880 kids and who knows how many others around the edges,” she says. “I have written at least twice that many reports. I have held the hands of parents through naughty child moments, great highs, great lows, births, deaths of pets and close family, divorces, and, yes, even in vitro fertilizations. With the help of fabulous colleagues with whom I have disagreed, agreed, fought, and danced, I raised my children here. So, thanks for a most enlightening experience. It has played a huge role in shaping who I am.”
 

More Room to Make Art!

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A student's view of the new Creative Arts Center

From the Summer 2013 Caller

 
Every week last year I watched as the new Creative Arts Center evolved from a hole in the ground to a beautiful building I cannot wait to explore. I like to do artwork involving found materials and fashion. This year, I made a dress out of plastic bags, as well as a vest out of pencils in my 3D arts class. Although working in the 3D studio in the science building this year has been great, I look forward to being able to spread out a bit more on larger surfaces. I wanted to bring my dress form and sewing machine into the studio this year while I was working on the pencil vest, but I didn’t think there would be enough space. I am excited for the new facilities, because I think the spacious building will inspire students to bounce around ideas and create.

One aspect of the Creative Arts Center that excites me is that different art types will all be together in one building. This close proximity opens up a chance for crossover between the arts. I got a little taste of what this might be like as the 3D class worked on natural outdoor sculptures inspired by Andy Goldsworthy. We worked with media arts teacher Nance Leonhardt to combine sculpture and photography by photographing our works and keeping the pictures as our final product. Photography and sculpture is just one combination, and I am eager to see how other arts can overlap in the CAC.

 
Art is a fundamental piece of who I am, and I know that other Catlin Gabel students feel the same passion. With all the highway bustle of academics, art for me is a garden pathway urging me to slow down and appreciate.  

New Opportunities for Learning: Charles Walsh, music

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Creating Art Defines Our Souls

From the Summer 2013 Caller

Serendipity. My first year at Catlin Gabel has been amazing, and I am thrilled to return this fall to work in a brand-new arts building. I have been overwhelmed by the welcome and support of the people here. It feels like a home.
 
The story of my path to Catlin Gabel reveals some of the many reasons why I am so happy to be here. My college roommate at Kenyon College in Ohio in the late 1990s was a CG alumnus, Trace Hancock ’96, and from him I endured numerous stories about this wonderful place. I was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and had never been west of the Mississippi, so I really could not picture what would be so great about a school on a farm in Portland, Oregon. But I went west after graduating from Kenyon and found myself in a teaching program at Western Washington University. My mentor, Kate Wayne, also attended Catlin Gabel. At our last meeting together she told me: “If you ever get a chance to look into teaching at Catlin Gabel, I think you would really like it.”
 
When I interviewed at Catlin Gabel last summer I had spent five years in Portland trying to find fulltime employment teaching high school music. I had given up and taken a job in Bellingham, Washington, to teach math, when the Catlin Gabel job opened up. I came to the campus with a sense of destiny, and to discover that a new arts building would be built made things nearly surreal.
 
I worked on the Campaign for Arts Funding that ultimately instituted the Portland citywide arts tax, an awesome statement by this community to support arts when funds are tight. As the victim of cuts in arts funding in public schools, I was heartened to see that the arts are important to people here, and they are willing to give the arts the role I think they deserve. As much as anything we do as humans, I think creating art defines our souls and makes us amazing.
 
This year my colleagues and I will be able to collaborate in the same building and create our curriculums in a more organic way. We’ll have the spaces to serve our students’ needs, in contrast with the situation now, where they must compete for insufficient practice spaces. Arts at Catlin Gabel will move from the periphery to the center. Our students are so talented in so many ways, and it has been exciting to be able to give them the opportunities to shine in music. The new building will be a hub, and I believe it will absolutely blossom the arts programs. Students create thoughtful and beautiful art at the school every day. Now all the arts will be seen as they should, which is a necessity for the entire artistic process. The school is at a turning point, and the new possibilities are as endless as multiple spring sunny days in a row.   

New Opportunities for Learning: Elizabeth Gibbs '04, theater

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Come Together: The new arts building will be a boon for collaboration

From the Summer 2013 Caller

Theater is a collaborative art form. It is not made by a single person alone in a studio: it is forged through personal interaction, group experimentation, and the collective expertise of innumerable individuals. Visual artists conceptualize the setting, costume, and media elements, technical artists wire the electrics and create the lighting and soundscapes, performing artists embody characters and employ their vocal and physical talents to bring a show alive. This variety of artistic talent can be found at Catlin Gabel, both in its students and its faculty, and with the new performing arts center the possibilities for meaningful collaboration will be hugely increased.
 
Arts classrooms are currently spread across the campus, with students trekking from Choir class by the barn, to Acting in the Cabell Center, to 3D Art in the science building. Visual artists are geographically separated from performing artists, and opportunities to hold casual conversations and informally experience each other’s work are therefore reduced. The new arts building will centralize all of these classrooms, bringing the different art forms under one roof. Not only will the students be able to more seamlessly connect their work in media arts to their work in theater and music, but the arts faculty will be more connected to each other and more aware of the possibilities for collaboration and joint exploration.
 
This past year, my Acting II students have each spent time in residency with drama teacher Deirdre Atkinson’s 7th grade class, working as assistant directors and helping mentor these up-and-coming performers. This experiment in cross-divisional learning is a small taste of the possibilities that will become available when Middle and Upper School students are sharing space in the arts building. Middle schoolers will have a clearer picture of what goes on in Upper School art classes, and high schoolers will have the opportunity to share their knowledge and skill with younger students.
 
As I picture the new arts center this year, my ideal is that it will exist as a fertile ground for expansion of ideas and imaginations. I hope that it will provide the opportunity to expand the boundaries of all our disciplines, encompassing new ways to teach art, as well as broadening the possibilities for collaboration between students and faculty. In this beautiful and warm building, I imagine that students will be inspired to create innovative and exciting art, in any and all disciplines.