From the Fall 2011 Caller
Botswana 2011: An Education About Education
By Fiona Noonan '12
Catlin Gabel now makes it possible, through financial aid funds, for every Middle and Upper School student to participate in at least one global education trip abroad during their years at Catlin Gabel.
From the Fall 2011 Caller
Admission and financial aid director Sara Nordhoff and Knight Family Scholars director Chad Faber chat about admissions, financial aid, and what brought them to their careers. Chad came to CGS from admissions work at Harvard, and Sara’s work in admissions included the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Mt. Holyoke, and Bennington.
FINANCIAL AID FACTS
Girls Soccer Final
Saturday, November 19
Liberty High School
Join us for this exciting match as the varsity girls soccer team faces their friendly rivals for the state title.
Every CG voice is needed.
Admission: Cash or VISA/MasterCard only | Adult $8 | Student $5
Can't attend the game? » Check out the webcast on OSAA.tv
Peter Lind ’08, a senior at the Air Force Academy, has won a prestigious Marshall Scholarship. He was one of 14 candidates advanced by the academy for the Marshall process.
The British government offers Marshall Scholarships to no more than 40 U.S. citizens each year. The scholarship program is named after General George C. Marshall, who helped engineer the Marshall Plan in Europe following the World War II. Scholarship winners, selected from about 1,000 applicants, study towards a master's degree at any university in the United Kingdom.
Peter plans to pursue an MLitt in international security studies and a second MLitt in Middle Eastern and Asian security studies.
After graduating from the Air Force Academy and receiving his commission as a lieutenant this coming May, he will most likely return to the Air Force Academy for a short time to teach younger cadets about the competitive scholarship process. In the summer between his two years in the UK, he will work with the British Air Force. After finishing his degree, Peter will enter directly into pilot training, likely in Texas, to become trained as a fighter pilot for his active duty service. Later he plans to become a military attaché or foreign area officer in the Middle East or Asia.
Peter was very gracious in attributing part of his successful pursuit of the Marshall Scholarship to the preparation he received at Catlin Gabel. He told science teacher Paul Dickinson (Mr. D) he was way ahead of most other Air Force Academy students in his writing skills and work ethic.
Peter added in an email, “Mr. D wrote a letter of recommendation for this scholarship and has played an incredible role throughout my education. I would also like to note that my time in Cuba [during a Catlin Gabel global education trip] was highlighted in paperwork and during my interview at the British Consulate-General – a big thanks to [Spanish teacher] Roberto Villa.”
Eric Adjetey Anang Slide Lecture
Monday, November 7
Eric Adjetey Anang, a Ga fantasy coffin sculptor from Ghana, is an artist in residence at Catlin Gabel from November 7 to November 11. We have invited him here to demonstrate his amazing art of sculpting a coffin out of wood in whatever shape a family feels best represents their deceased elder. He will be sculpting a woodworker’s hand plane, approximately 7’ long, 3’ wide, and 4’ high, on the front deck of the Barn. Please come ask him questions, watch him work, and feel free to participate in the building of the hand plane.
Two years ago, Michael de Forest, the LS woodshop teacher, traveled to Ghana for a summer and studied with Eric in his carpentry shop in Teshie, near Accra. There is also a US trip planned for Ghana from July 29 to August 19, 2012, where students will be working in the Kane Kwei Carpentry Shop with Eric.
Maggie's film, Someone That the World Forgot, received the Heart Award in the NW Film Center's Young People's Film Festival. Professional filmmakers selected the winning films from 150 entries.
Maggie made the movie last year during a collaboration project with students at Maru-a-Pula, our sister school in Botswana. The film is set to a poem by Lulwama K. Mulau, a Maru-a-Pula student.
You may have heard: Catlin Gabel will formally seek re-accreditation next fall. What is the school accreditation process, and what does it mean for Catlin Gabel?
Like other PNAIS* schools, Catlin Gabel renews its accreditation status every seven years. This winter, each department, division, and program in the school will contribute to a self-study report, summarizing key program aspects and identifying opportunities for improvement. We will validate the school’s mission and explain how we organize the program to embody the mission every day. We should emerge from this work with a more coherent sense of who we are and specific directions for the future.
Next fall, Catlin Gabel will host a visiting team of a dozen or more education professionals from the Northwest and across the country. They will spend three days on campus, observing classes and speaking with teachers, staff, parents, and students. The visiting team will write a report that responds to each section of the self-study, commends the school for exemplary practices, and recommends further study in specific areas that may need improvement. The visiting team will seek evidence that we are actually doing what we report in the self-study.
The accreditation process serves as valuable professional development for both the members of the visiting team and the faculty and staff of the school itself. I recently returned from a school accreditation visit in Seattle. I read a school’s thoughtful, 200-page self-study, visited classes, interviewed teachers, discussed observations, and co-wrote the visiting team report with 10 colleagues from different schools. Within three days, I had gained a pretty detailed understanding of the internal workings of another school. How else can one do that?
Certain school traits are nearly universal. High schools generally follow a liberal arts curriculum. The teacher-student relationship is highly valued. At the same time, no two schools are identical. Schools differ in the lengths of their terms, administrative positions, block schedules, academic departments, advisory structures, and so on. One school may consider athletics or community service their showcase program, while another emphasizes urban studies, outdoor programs, and global trips. Program execution is more important than structural configuration alone. Understanding many different schools helps one learn that there is no “one best system” (Tyack, http://www.amazon.com/One-Best-System-American-Education/dp/0674637828).
Accreditation also provides one of the few formal accountability measures of an independent school. Of course, independent schools are ultimately accountable to their families, who can express satisfaction or displeasure with their feet. A board of trustees also provides high-level accountability in the form of school governance. Accreditation is more comprehensive and direct in its observations than either of these. While no chance exists that a high-performing school like Catlin Gabel will lose its accreditation, the school welcomes the opportunity to formally present its program to an external body for review and reflect in a manner that will inform future decisions.
* PNAIS is the Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools, a regional section of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).