As of April 29, 2013.
Updated May 15, 2013.
Once final decisions are made, we will publish a list of which colleges our seniors are attending.
Dear Catlin Gabel community members,
Thank you so much for your enthusiastic participation in Tuition on the Track. It was such a pleasure to see the entire community uniting to support financial aid. With your help we exceeded our goal of $50,000 and raised a whopping $65,000! We couldn’t have done this without our many sponsors and individual supporters — we really couldn’t be more grateful!
Having gone to Catlin Gabel for our entire lives, we have experienced firsthand the benefits of bringing together students from many different backgrounds. We are thrilled that the money raised will go to further this important school initiative.
With great appreciation for your support,
Max Meyerhoff ’13 and Mira Hayward ’13, Tuition on the Track co-leaders
KATU Channel 2 News came to campus to film a story on Blessing Makwera, a young man from Zimbabwe who is volunteering in our Middle School. Blessing was severely injured five years ago, when a land mine exploded near his mouth, and he has been in the U.S. for reconstructive surgery. MS counselor Kristin Ogard and her daughter Hayden have been involved in helping Blessing since 2009, when Kristin visited Zimbabwe with the nonprofit Operation of Hope and met Blessing, and Hayden's class (now juniors) raised money for one of Blessing's operations. Blessing is volunteering at Catlin Gabel as a way of acknowledging the kindness he has received from our community
Dear Catlin Gabel community members,
Thank you so much for your participation and enthusiasm at Tuition on the Track. It was such a pleasure to see the entire community uniting to support financial aid. With your help we exceeded our goal of $50,000 and raised a whopping $65,000!
With great appreciation for your support,
Max Meyerhoff ’13 and Mira Hayward ’13, Tuition on the Track co-leaders
With a nod to the east and a wave of the hand to the rain in Portland, a bus load of eager students departed Portland for the Central Oregon climbing Mecca of Smith Rock State Park. Twenty- four students and ten leaders spread themselves over the 3000+ climbs of the Park over the two days. A group of eight kids learned how to lead on rock, focusing on placing protection in cracks, while another group learned the basics of rapelling, belaying and climbing. A third group went right out and tried their hands at the most challenging climbs in the area. That evening we all had dinner at a legendary Mexican restaurant in the berg of Redmond. By ten p.m. we were setting up our tents in the sagebrush near Skull Hollow Campground for a night on the stars. More climbing and fun characterized a sunny Sunday before we drove the big yellow school bus back to Portland.
College consultant and author Bruce Hammond's observations and advice about college admission
This year, college counseling is one of the areas we are reviewing in a regular cycle of assessing what we do. This vitally important aspect of our program deserves careful examination, so we invited internationally acclaimed expert Bruce Hammond to campus. He is the co-author of the Fiske Guide to Getting Into the Right College and an independent college counselor and consultant.
During his two-day visit at Catlin Gabel, Bruce Hammond met with parents, faculty-staff, students, and trustees. Here are some of the big takeaways from the conversations he had with us.
The college admission environment
The 20-year admission climate has changed dramatically at the colleges and universities that Hammond referred to as “famous” and “name brand.” The top schools have seen a 200 to 300 percent increase in applications. The quality of those applications is up significantly and there are many more international applicants, especially from India and China.
20-year acceptance rate comparison at "famous" colleges and universities
Bruce Hammond as an example
To further his point about how competitive college admissions have become, Hammond used himself as an example. A graduate of Yale University, he compared his own college admission results from 1982 with how he thinks he would have done in today’s market.
Bruce graduated from Blacksburg High School in Virginia, which is a good "college town" high school. He was ranked in the top 5 percent of the class, which translates into being among the top 10 students in a class of 250. His SAT scores were 610 verbal and 730 math. He was captain of the
basketball team and a newspaper editor. He was a legacy at Yale and Washington and Lee.
Bruce Hammond’s college admission results in 1982
Yale University – Admit
Williams College – Waitlist
Dartmouth College – Admit
Cornell University – Admit
Wesleyan University – Admit
Oberlin College – Admit
Washington & Lee University – Admit, Scholarship
Bruce Hammond’s projected results were he applying in 2012
Yale University – Deny
Williams College -- Deny
Dartmouth College – Deny
Cornell University – Deny
Wesleyan University – Waitlist
Oberlin College – Admit
Washington & Lee University – Admit, No Scholarship
The role of college admission officers
College admission officers have two main responsibilities: reading applications and learning about the high schools in their regions. If they are doing their job at all, they know that Catlin Gabel and other independent schools have a harder grading curve than other schools, that the curricula are more rigorous, and the students on the whole are academically stronger and better prepared.
Most colleges calculate their own GPA, especially larger universities like Michigan, Wisconsin, or Washington. They control for grade inflation given their knowledge of each high school and the school’s grade distribution.
Catlin Gabel’s role
Catlin Gabel’s responsibility is to nail its school profile so colleges understand us at a glance.
Teacher recommendations and college counselor letters must be well written and genuine.
Catlin Gabel is well known. But we can’t rest on your laurels. Our college counselors need to continue visiting colleges, attending conferences, and getting the Catlin Gabel name out there.
A 30- or 40-to-1 to student to college counselor ratio is not unusual for a school of Catlin Gabel’s caliber.
Discussion about the college application process should begin no later than 9th grade, and students should be assigned to a college counselor in 11th grade.
When two or more students from Catlin Gabel apply to the same college, they don’t necessarily reduce each other’s chances of getting in. Colleges are looking for a diverse class of men, women, athletes, scholars, musicians, scientists, and so on.
The students’ role
Students should apply to seven or eight colleges and they should mean it when they apply. After that, the applications start to look incomplete and the essays sloppy, and the student does not put himself or herself in the best light.
Colleges do read every application. The question is how to get a second, deeper read. To get past the first 10- to 15-minute round of reading, the student’s personal statement must present a clear sense of self, point of view in life, and a demonstrated and deep interest.
It is more important for students to find a passion and do one or two things well than to pad their résumés with too many extracurricular activities.
Students who have been groomed to speak their minds and take ownership of their work, and are interesting people, fare best in the college process, meaning they have a high admittance rate and are happy with their choices.
Sports can be an incredible asset, but only for a select few students. It is not a realistic recruiting tool for most students unless they compete at an exceptionally high level. That recruiting process begins very early, and families should not place much hope on this.
Advice for students
➢ Know yourself. Really know who you are.
➢ Know your priorities for college and why.
➢ Make college choices that makes sense in the context of who you say you are (not to please others).
➢ Trim your sails after 9th grade and before senior year; demonstrate deep interests.
➢ Focus on your big ideas and true loves.
➢ Set yourself apart, be different in a genuine way.
➢ If you can get a college interview with an admission officer, nail it. Come prepared with questions, show interest.
Red flags for colleges about students
➢ Lack of student involvement and initiative.
➢ Overly deferent to parents and passive in the process.
➢ Lack of control over application process.
➢ Multiple recommendations from VIPs who don’t actually know you in an academic setting.
Bruce Hammond’s general advice and insights
High anxiety about college admission happens during a small window of time. Give it perspective. Most students, even those who don’t go to what they thought was their first choice college, are happy when they get to college.
All students should look at a wider variety of colleges. Look beyond the “big names.”
Students do not get a better education at the “famous” colleges or universities than at many small liberal arts colleges.
Big name institutions that can charge any amount and still have people clamoring to get in may not work as hard as lesser known institutuions at innovating and serving undergraduates.
Why is U.S. New and World Report taken seriously? It is a failed publication that no longer has a print edition. Their main feature is the online annual college rankings, which are based on dubious statistics, such as the more applicants a school turns down, the higher their ranking. So, the more "famous" schools are ranked higher in a perpetual loop.
Alumni interviews tend to carry very little weight. Colleges engage alumni interviewers as a way to involve their alumni, not so much as a decision-making factor for new admits.
Any good admission officer would say there is no quota for admitting certain ethnicities or children of alumni. However, more crowded categories will face steeper competition. For instance, full pay, white girls applying to small liberal arts colleges had a very tough year last year.
Advanced Placement classes were developed decades ago to counteract the creep in importance of SAT results and to raise the bar for less competitive urban schools. It is well known nationally that independent schools have moved beyond AP classes. Hammond cited our PLACE urban studies program as a great example of how Catlin Gabel has moved well beyond AP curriculum.
Dear parents and guardians, Upper School students, board members, and faculty-staff,
I’m writing to let you know that the head of school search committee and our search consultants, working in close collaboration, have now completed the school profile. This is the document that the consultants will use – indeed are using already – to introduce Catlin Gabel to prospective candidates. The profile has been posted on the school website, and we invite you to take a look at it. This document was the product of a great deal of careful thought. We feel it provides an honest and comprehensive picture of our school, and believe it will indeed be helpful in producing a terrific pool of applicants. We hope you agree.
The preliminary stages of the search have now been completed. To remind you of the steps so far:
• In various settings, the search committee engaged in lengthy and serious discussions about our ambitions for Catlin Gabel and for a new head of school.
• On the basis of an intensive and very competitive process, we selected outstanding search consultants.
• We solicited opinions and recommendations from the entire community regarding the search process and possible candidates.
• The consultants formally surveyed the community and also conducted a series of meetings on campus with a wide range of constituents.
• On the basis of all this information, we were able to develop a systematic view of community-wide opinion on a large variety of issues that resulted in, among other things, the profile.
The search is now entering what might be called its silent stage. For the next several months we will build the applicant pool. Our consultants will evaluate recommendations from any number of sources, both from within and outside the Catlin Gabel community, and will work with potential candidates to ascertain and, in many cases, encourage their interest. Much of this is, of course, behind-the-scenes work. It will be conducted largely in confidence, which is why there will be little if anything to report for several months. During the summer the search committee will identify and meet in person with a small number of especially promising candidates from which we hope to select our finalists. The plan is to bring finalists – perhaps three in number – to campus for interviews in mid to late September. At that point the silent phase will suddenly end. On-campus interviews will be public, and we intend to make them as inclusive as possible.
All of this means that – barring the unforeseen – you will next hear from me in late August or early September, at which time I will inform the entire community of the identities of our finalists and provide detailed information about the interview process itself. The search committee has worked together closely, very effectively, and, I must say, in a spirit of wonderful collegiality. We remain extremely optimistic and excited, and are already aware of a number of highly qualified people who are likely to become active and very strong candidates. On behalf of the committee, I can say that expressions of support and enthusiasm from the community have been most encouraging, and we greatly look forward to your participation in September as the final stages of the search unfold. In the meantime, and as always, thoughts, suggestions, recommendations, and the like will always be welcome and can be communicated to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter Steinberger, trustee, parent of alumna, search committee chair
Search committee members
Dave Cannard, Jr. ’76, trustee (1997-07), board chair (2004-07), current parent, parent of alumnus, alumnus
Li-Ling Cheng, Middle School Mandarin teacher, parent of alumna
Clint Darling, interim head of school (1982-83), Upper School head (1973-86), retired Upper School English and French teacher, parent of alumnae
Isaac Enloe, kindergarten teacher
Aline Garcia-Rubio ’93, Upper School assistant head, dean of students, science teacher, current parent, alumna
John Gilleland, trustee, board chair (2009-12), current parent
Alix Meier Goodman ’71, trustee, endowment committee member, board chair (2007-10), parent of alumni, alumna
Vicki Roscoe, assistant head of school and Lower School head
Eric Rosenfeld ’83, vice-chair and treasurer board of trustees, current parent, alumnus
Miranda Wellman ’91, director of advancement, alumna
Jim Wysocki, Upper School math teacher and department chair
During Catlin Gabel's Experiential Week, a group of students spent four days at Portland's AWOL (Aerial Without Limits) Dance Collective, learning to fly on trapeze, lyra, and cloth. They also became airborne during the week in other fun ways, including parkour and trampoline. Thanks to student leaders Riley and Adele, adult leaders Jessica and Joan, and the enthusiastic and generous teachers at AWOL.
Adam Johnson has visited Catlin Gabel three times, twice as a visiting writer and once to deliver the commencement address. This photo was taken last spring in an English 11 class. During that visit, he gave a memorable reading from his novel The Orphan Master's Son at an Upper School assembly; this is the same novel that won the Pulitzer.
Saturday morning we loaded up and hit the road for the two hour drive to Opal Creek. Our destination: Jawbone Flats, an old mining town in the middle of Oregon’s largest contiguous low elevation old growth forest. When we got there we began the three mile hike into Jawbone with our day packs. On the way in we explored an old mine where you could see the tracks, we reassembled a mini railroad with wheels that would follow the rails, we played optical illusion games with the crystal clear waterfall and picnicked among gigantic trees and sang. At last we rounded a bend and came upon a little village of old buildings where among an old general store and ancient cars we found our cabin for the night. We took a breather with a game of cards and some fire building before heading out for some more hiking.
This time we explored more old mining artifacts, the glorious Opal Creek, executed surprise snow ball sieges, and honed our stone skipping and target throwing skills. When we got back to our cabin we set about making ourselves a delicious Thai feast which we enjoyed before a fun evening of games, making cookies and laughing into the night.
Morning came with a little dusting of snow and after our breakfast of berry quesadillas. We packed up and headed out on our final hike. We headed up to Ruth Mine and were rewarded with a glorious snowy trail above the creek where we threw snowballs, learned the names of plants, and took in the majesty around us. Too soon it was time to head back to the bus and the drive to Catlin. We rolled in around 4 refreshed, bonded, and smiling. Another Outdoor trip success!
Students and faculty-staff from every part of the school came down to the track on April 12 to walk, run, skip, and jump for the financial aid walkathon. This was year two for the student-run fundraiser. Bravo to Max and Mira for organizing and for arranging for dry weather. We raised $65,000!
The Chris Allen Memorial Advisor’s Award was presented to Upper School Spanish teacher Ron Sobel at the closing ceremonies of the Oregon Model UN conference in Eugene. The award is given annually to an adult involved with MUN based on service to an individual club or the model as a whole. Ron has served as treasurer of the Oregon High School International Relations League and served as advisor to Catlin Gabel’s MUN program for many years. Every Catlin Gabel student participant at this year’s conference submitted a nominating letter in support of Ron. The letters spoke to Ron’s leadership, sense of humor, passion for cultivating a sense of global citizenship in youth, and the kind and loving way in which he has fostered relationships with his students and colleagues.
Valerie Ding took 1st place in physics and astronomy at the Regional Northwest Science Fair. Three other CG students competing at the regional competition placed 2nd in their categories: freshman Anirudh Jain in environmental management, freshman Lara Rakocevic in environmental analysis and effects, and senior Valerie Balog in cellular and molecular biology. Congratulations to all!