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Video: 2013 seniors talk about their college choices

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Our seniors are stoked to be going off to college! Several seniors discuss their college choices, and why they've found a good fit for them.

» Link to all colleges and universities accepting Catlin Gabel seniors this year.

» Link to Lark's "Headlines" article about the college counseling program.

» Link to video of senior panel speaking at April PFA Parent Community Meeting

Ben's going to Tulane!

Marina's going to Stanford!

Terrance is going to Brown!

Kanaiza's going to Wesleyan!

Hannah's going to Plan II at the University of Texas-Austin!


Middle School Opal Creek Ancient Forest Adventure Trip Report

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Hiking, Mines, Rivers, Gold, and Tire Rolling!

Saturday morning we rolled out of the city and into the woods of Opal Creek. The three mile hike in was an adventure of mine exploration, cold water dips, lunch picnics, and games as we walked deeper into the largest contiguous area of low elevation old growth in Oregon. We took the slightly longer single track path along the river where we got to peer over an edge and down into the wild chasm of Opal Pool! Strolling into Jawbone Flats we were immediately transported back in time to Oregon’s mining heydays. Our cabin, one of the oldest in the camp, was the perfect home for our weekend. We moved into the upstairs bunk room and went to the meadow to play before dinner.

Then the BEST thing happened! We found a giant tractor tire! Though this may seem like a mundane event at first it was far from it. We learned we could get into the tire and roll one another around, we discovered the thrill of huge tire leap frog and we discovered the best toy of 2013. We snuck in a few rounds of woodsy camouflage. Dizzy and happy we returned to our cabin for a fiesta dinner of tacos and chips and dips.

The sun went down and we returned to the meadow for star gazing and night games under the moon and under the watch of the ancient forest. Morning found us slowly waking up, making breakfast, enjoying hot drinks on the porch by the stream, and slowly coming to life. We ate fresh fruits and cereals and embarked on our hike up to Ruth Mine where we mined for Pyrite and snacked before heading back to the meadow for a farewell to our beloved tire and a picnic lunch. On the hike out we played frisbee continuously and stopped for a final camouflage showdown before arriving at our bus, loading up, and sleeping and laughing with new friends all the way home.

Canoeing on a Cascade Lake

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Lewis and Clark explore Clear Lake

The adventure started the moment we pushed off from the forested north shore of Clear Lake.  Fourteen students and four leaders carefully balanced their canoes as they took heir initial, tentative, strokes on the placid lake. 

The clouds were low and threatening to rain, but the lake was not all too wide and soon enough we were at our camping spot.  We set up our tents and built a nice fire.  The afternoon was spent exploring the peninsula by foot and by canoe before we enjoyed a burrito dinner.  That evening showers passed through, but we were warm and dry in our tents.  Following a pancake breakfast we made a much longer foray on the water around the peninsula and up to the head of the lake.  By 12:30 we were back in camp, packing up our supplies before we canoed back to the bus and made the drive back to Portland.

Freshman Lara Rakocevic wins state tennis championship

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Way to go, Lara!

From the Oregonian: "With the past three girls singles champions from the Class 4A/3A/2A/1A tennis state tournament in this year’s field, it could have been a daunting situation for a freshman.

"But Catlin Gabel freshman Lara Rakocevic showed uncommon cool for someone of her age, easily winning the girls singles title Saturday with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Valley Catholic’s Kaitlyn Lomartire at the University of Oregon.

"Rakocevic didn’t lose a set in four matches during a tournament that included two-time defending champion Rachael Nedrow of Oregon Episcopal and Lomartire, the 2010 winner."

» Link to the Oregonian's full coverage of the tournament

Summer Borrowing in the US Library Begins on May 28th!

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 All returning Upper School students, and all faculty and staff are welcome to participate.  Each year, we send a great number of books out on fabulous vacations.  Won't you help give a great book (or two or ten) a wonderful summer?  See you soon!

Preschool circus photo gallery

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It's Not As Easy As It Looks

Thank you, Sue Spooner, for taking these gorgeous photos!

Oregon MathCounts team, including 8th grader Andrew Park, places 4th in nation

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Eighth grader Andrew Park made the four-member Oregon MathCounts team after his excellent finish at the state competition. The Oregon team came in 4th out of 56 teams competing at the national contest in Washington, D.C. Andrew was the third highest Oregon finisher at the national competition.

In addition to Andrew, the Catlin Gabel team members included 7th grader Sarah Daniels, and 6th graders Avi Gupta and Alexander Yu. They were coached by sophomore Valerie Ding, and juniors Joseph Hungate and Lawrence Sun. Math teachers Lauren Shareshian, Carol Ponganis, and Lynda Douglas served as faculty managers.

Student-produced math video in Dartmouth contest

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Sophomore Valerie Ding, junior Joseph Hungage, and seniors Casey Currey-Wilson and Lianne Siegel are finalists in Dartmouth's Math-O-Vision video contest with their video, "Math Addiction." You can view  the video under FINALISTS at the Math-O-Vision website.

Winning videos are selected by a combination of votes and judging. The panel of judges includes actor and director Alan Alda!

Caution: Voting requires sharing Facebook information.

Four student films named finalists

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Four student films made it to the finals in the International Youth Silent Film Festival. Three cheers for the filmmakers!

You can see the films at the Hollywood Theatre 

Wednesday, May 22, at 7 pm
Tucker Gordon '13 (Fetch)
Sadie Yudkin '14 (Picnic)
Tapwe Sandaine '14 (Jealousy)

Thursday, May 23, at 7 p.m.
Casey Currey-Wilson '13 & Terrance Sun '13 (Top Secret)

In a day and age when we are all using computers – is handwriting still relevant?

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by Vicki Swartz Roscoe
I have been asked this in recent months and must admit, it has really made me pause. Over the years I have seen the shift from daily handwriting instruction and practice to a more lukewarm emphasis in most schools. Keyboarding instruction often begins in about the third grade and students begin using the computer for more and more of their writing – certainly for their projects and reports -- by their middle school years. So is there still a place for handwriting in the curriculum? As a veteran elementary school teacher, I have had to candidly ask myself, “Is this the wave of the future?” Is this one of the areas of our curriculum that needs to flex in order to prepare our students more directly enter the world of technology? Lord knows we are constantly being asked to squeeze more into our already full curriculums, rarely with the luxury of nixing some content. Could handwriting perhaps be something that could be TAKEN OFF the overly full educational plate?
There is no doubt in my mind that children need to learn to write before they learn to keyboard. We are robbing children of an extremely important part of their development if we bypass handwriting and go straight to the computer. A stroke of a key by a five-year-old composing a sentence “I lost a tooth” will NEVER hold a candle next to that same child simultaneously sounding out the “t” utterance and forming the letter “T” on a piece of paper with a pencil. There is something so utterly delicious, so empowering, and so dynamic when oral language and written language converge!
Perhaps I’m old-fashioned, but I feel our kids don’t need more screen time – they need less of it. How many hours a day should children spend on the computer, texting, e-mailing, and watching TV? Don’t they already have enough screen time? An increasing number of high schools now require laptops and this makes sense to me. But is this what we want for our youngsters? Just because it may be what we are doing with the older students does not make it right for our elementary age learners.
Kids need to FEEL the letter “t”, which is distinctly different from a “S” or a “D”. No matter what letter or symbol you press on the computer keyboard, the “feel” is exactly the same. Read any book on child development, or spend time with any child, and you will be reminded that children are in a concrete stage of development at least through the age of eight. Their fine-motor coordination is developing and their early handwriting attempts move from scrawls on blank pages to letter likenesses (we call it “approximations”) on widely lined paper, to beautifully formed letters on paper with the width of the guiding lines at their stage of development.
Handwriting is also a symbol of our individuality. One’s personal “style” comes through as part of our uniqueness (think signature!) in a day and age when I daresay we are flooded in a world of word processing that will always conform to the limitations and sameness of keyboard writing. Even with the fancy graphics that computers can create, there is still a place for a handwritten note of apology, birthday card, expression of sympathy for a parent or friend grieving the death of a loved one, or a poem for someone special. The element of personalization that handwriting provides cannot be replaced – someone cared enough about me to write a sentiment by hand. (Which card will you save as a keepsake?)
In my job as an elementary principal I write a LOT and most of it happens on the computer. But as I composed this piece, I actually drafted the first few paragraphs with a pen and blank paper. I’m not sure I can explain it – and I doubt there is a body of research on it – but sometimes the sheer act of physically writing helps me to clarify my thinking and work through my ideas in a way that is more satisfying than whipping it off on a keyboard (and I type over 80 words per minute). Journaling can be a powerful process of reflection. Faster is not always better. In fact, I have come to realize that “slowing down” to squeeze all of the juices out of an experience, to take time to enjoy, smell the roses, explore and “be present” has come to be a focus for myself and in my work with others. Handwriting is only one small example of a much larger picture of a culture obsessed with efficiency and quantity. Indeed, a society that is in such a hurry may forget to savor.
Being a teacher in four states and overseas, I’ve taught all of the handwriting systems (Zaner Bloser, D’Nealian, “Commercial Cursive”, and Italic) to my elementary students. I must admit Italic is my favorite, which is what we teach here. I’ve learned that legibility is key. Italic cleverly eliminates the “loops” that cause illegibility; it is also a system where you learn only one set of letters, and then simply “connect” them for cursive rather than to learn a whole separate set of letter forms, requiring more instructional time and practice. Italic is also aesthetically beautiful, having come out of the Renaissance, with the eliptical letter shapes fashioned for natural hand movements.
Let’s face it, the goal is communication, whatever the means we use to get there. If we only learn to use computers, we won’t have an alternative strategy during a power outage or mechanical failure, or when we are sitting on top of a mountain, inspired to record our thoughts.
Computers are not always available when we need to write so we still need to be able to write ourselves. What about compiling your last-minute grocery list, writing a note to the painter, recording a phone message, or sending a note of encouragement to your child in her lunchbox? Imagine a CEO of an international company unable to write a thought when his/her Blackberry malfunctioned? Computers are a means to an end. Do we really want to rely on them as our only vehicle?
Handwriting still has a place in our lower school curriculum.

Sophomore Elli Wiita earns spot on junior national synchro swim team

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Well done!

Elli is one of 12 synchronized swimmers in the country who qualified for the 2013 U.S. Junior (13-15) National Team following the final stage of trials.

Seniors Marina Dimitrov, Ella Bohn and Casey Currey-Wilson win National Merit Scholarships

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The primary determining factor for winning the $2,500 scholarships was scoring very high on the PSAT, which they took in the fall of their junior year.

Parent Report - Class Placement 2013-14

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When creating class lists we spend a great deal of time considering the best placement for each child. We take into consideration the balance of gender, personality, friendships, learning style and special needs.

Please fill out this optional survey to provide information about your child that helps us make the final placement. It is due by Friday, June 7.

Keep in mind this is not a request for a specific teacher. Instead, you are giving us information that keeps us informed about your child as we go about creating two balanced classroom groupings.

Derrick Butler '86 noted in LA Times for his community clinic work

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LA Times article, May 2013

Governor appoints alumna Rukaiyah Adams '91 to Oregon Investment Council

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We are proud!

The Senate confirmed the appointment on April 30. Rukaiyah manages the capital markets investment group at The Standard. Formerly, she was the chief operating officer and director of investments at IAM Asset Management. Rukaiyah was involved in the 2008 presidential election as a voter rights lawyer for Counsel for Change, the Obama campaign's legal team. She serves on the board of Portland Center Stage and the finance committee of Planned Parenthood, Columbia-Willamette Valley. Rukaiyah holds a BA from Carleton College, a JD from Stanford University, and an MBA from Stanford University.

Tuition on the Track noted in the Oregonian

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Oregonian "Scene and Heard" article, May 2013

Anthony Lin '09, now a senior at Duke, receives NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

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From the Duke University announcement

Lin is a native of Portland, Ore., and has been a key member of the Duke fencing team over his four years. A three-time NCAA qualifier, Lin posted a career record of 181-56 as a member of Duke’s saber squad. He served as team captain as a senior, helping the Duke men post a 15-9 overall record and the sabers a 16-8 mark.

Lin is a three-time member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll and appeared on the Capital One Academic All-District III Team in 2011-12. A double major in neuroscience and computer science, he currently owns a grade point average of 3.855 and will graduate from Duke in May.

The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship was created in 1964 to promote and encourage postgraduate education by rewarding the Association's most accomplished student-athletes through their participation in NCAA championship and/or emerging sports. Athletics and academic achievements, as well as campus involvement, community service, volunteer activities and demonstrated leadership, are evaluated.