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Mock trial team advances to state competition for fifth consecutive year

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The Catlin Gabel White Team emerged as one of the top teams at the vigorous Multnomah County Regional Mock Trial competition on March 1. They are among five teams out of 22 who will compete at the Federal Courthouse in Portland on March 14 and 15.

State competition schedule

Friday, March 14

2 p.m.  Round I  

Saturday, March 15

8:30 a.m
11 a.m
1:45 p.m.
2 p.m.
Round II 
Round III
Top four teams announced
Playoff round between top two teams 

White Team (going to state)
Theo Knights - captain
Chris Park - captain
Namaste Rosas - captain
Jonathan Bray
Javin Dana
Lewis Fitzgerald Holland
Annie Loduca
Grace Masback
Nick Petty
Tyler Perzik
Liv Phillips
Nick Rhodes
Will Rosenfeld

Blue Team
Luca Ostertag-Hill - captain
Hanna Sheikh - captain
Katarina van Alebeek - captain
Annie Barnicle
Zachary Feldman
Katie Fournier
Marco Holman
Anirudh Jain
Angela Liu
Jack Malsin
Neil Natarajan
Nadya Okamoto
Reuben Schafir
Grace Wong
Sage Yamamoto

During the regional competition, at the end of each of three rounds, all teams awarded a member of the opposing team with the Hands Up most valuable participant award. White Team members Namaste Rosas received the MVP award after two rounds, and Lewis Fitzgerald Holland received the MVP award for the third round. On Catlin Gabel's Blue Team, Reuben Schafir, Katarina vanAlebeek, and Hanna Sheikh received MVP awards.

PFA leadership positions open for 2014-15

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Have fun, meet other parents, help the school you love

The Parent-Faculty Association (PFA) encourages parents to participate in the life of the school. Parent involvement and leadership strengthens our community. Acting as a grade-level PFA representative or serving on the executive council provides great opportunity to get to know fellow parents and faculty-staff members. The PFA welcomes parents who are new to the school and parents who have not previously considered leadership involvement. We hope to have a diverse group of parents to best represent all Catlin Gabel families and our inclusive culture.

Open positions

Grade-level PFA representatives
We seek two parents for each grade to serve as PFA representatives. Responsibilities vary by grade, but include:

  • Provides direct support to the teachers for activities ranging from field trips to classroom events
  • Enlists other parents for volunteer opportunities such as class parties, auction projects, Spring Festival, graduation, food at parent-teacher conferences, and more
  • Serves as a resource for new parents
  • Plans summer activities to help integrate new families into the community
  • Facilitates communication between parents, teachers, and administration
  • Attends the all-school parent community meetings on the third Thursday of every month from 8:30 to 10 a.m. and meetings with the division head and PFA division coordinator

PFA executive council positions

All executive council members must attend a meeting on the second Tuesday of every month from 8:30 to 10 a.m. and are encouraged to attend the parent community meetings on the third Thursday of every month from 8:30 to 10 a.m.

**NEW POSTION** Inclusivity Coordinator

  • Partners with school to foster inclusion at community events and activities such as book clubs, film nights, Spring Festival, and performances 
  • Represents the PFA executive council on all-school diversity committee and serves as liaison between the two
  • Provides counsel and support for all PFA members and works with new family integration team

Beginning School coordinator

  • Coordinates PFA events within the Beginning School
  • Schedules meetings with the preschool and kindergarten class PFA reps and Beginning School head and attends coffees to hear parent concerns and ideas
  • Parents who have served as grade-level representatives in the past are encouraged to apply

Questions? Contact Maya Wells, current BS coordinator, for more information.

Spring Festival coordinator

  • Coordinates outside vendors to provide entertainment (bouncy houses, balloon artist, bands, audio, and more)
  • Collaborates with Hen, who provides food and organizes a mini farmers market
  • Works with Upper School students to set up fundraisers (snow cones, cotton candy, popcorn, and more)
  • Coordinates with BS and LS grade-level PFA reps to solicit parent volunteers for activities, games, booths, Honey Hollow plant exchange, and more

Questions? Contact Scott Cooley, current Spring Festival coordinator, for more information.


  • Manages the PFA budget (the fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30)
  • Provides monthly updates at the executive council meetings

Questions? Contact Adrienne Hill, current treasurer, for more information.

Vice President

  • Acts as the president-elect (incoming president the following year), manages the parent community meeting agenda and guest speakers
  • Parents who are current or past members of the PFA executive council are encouraged to apply

Questions? Contact Liz McClanan, current vice president, for more information.

Parents interested in any of the above open positions should email the PFA at by April 1. Faculty members are also encouraged to nominate parents.

Key dates for 2014-15

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Lower School open house
Tuesday, September 2, 10 a.m. – noon

Middle School classes begin
Upper School classes begin
Tuesday, September 2

Kindergarten orientation
Preschool classes begin for half the class

Wednesday, September 3

Lower School classes begin
Wednesday, September 3

Preschool classes begin for half the class
Kindergarten classes begin

Thursday, September 4

Beginning School – all classes in session
Friday, September 5

No classes – teacher professional development day
Friday, October 17

No Beginning and Lower School classes – teacher planning day
Monday, October 20

Middle and Upper School Grandparents and Special Friends Day
Friday, October 24

No Beginning and Lower School classes – parent-teacher conferences
Thursday, November 6 and Friday, November 7

No Middle and Upper School classes – parent-teacher conferences
Thursday, November 6,  Friday, November 7, Monday, November 10, and Tuesday, November 11

Beginning and Lower School in session
Monday, November 10, and Tuesday, November 11 (Veterans Day)

Beginning and Lower School Grandparents and Special Friends Day
Friday, November 21

No classes - Thanksgiving break
Monday, November 24 – Friday, November 28

No classes - Winter break (Note: Friday is a no-school day)
Friday, December 19 – Sunday, January 4

Classes resume
Monday, January 5

No classes - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday, January 19

No Upper School classes – teacher report writing days
Friday, January 23, and Monday, January 26

Middle School ERB testing (teacher report writing day)
Friday, January 23

No Middle School classes – teacher report writing day
Monday, January 26

No preschool classes – admission visits
Friday, January 30

No Lower School classes – admission visits
Friday, February 6

No Beginning and Lower School classes – teacher planning day
Thursday, February 12

No classes – teacher professional development day
Friday, February 13

No classes – Presidents’ Day
Monday, February 16

No Kindergarten classes – admission visits
Friday, February 20

No Beginning and Lower School classes – parent-teacher conferences
Thursday, March 5, and Friday, March 6

Beginning School Wonder Week
Lower School Experiential Days
Middle School Breakaway
Upper School Winterim

Monday, March 16 – Thursday, March 19

No classes – Spring Break (Note: Friday is a no-school day)
Friday, March 20 – Sunday, March 29

No Middle and Upper School classes – teacher report writing day
Monday, March 30

No Beginning and Lower School classes – teacher report writing day
Friday, May 22

No classes – Memorial Day
Monday, May 25

Last day of classes
Friday, June 12

Graduation for class of 2015
Saturday, June 13

Reserved days for closure make-up (if we have three or more unplanned closures)
Monday, June 15 – Wednesday, June 17

Catlin Community Coding Evening

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Thursday, April 3, 5 – 7:30 p.m.

Come collaborate and create! The PFA invites you to join other Catlin Gabel families, students, and staff  for an evening of innovative collaboration where you take center stage as a digital creator. Learn about coding applications that developers use and then build an application or game of your own. All ages are encouraged to attend. If possible, please bring a device (ipad, iphone, laptop) for each person attending. Thank you for completing the RSVP form below. It will help us with event planning.

Ski team qualifies for state

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The boys ski team has qualified for the state 2014 alpine championships on March 6 and 7. Senior Jeremy Wood, juniors Zac Torng and Max Armstrong, and freshman Liam Wynne will compete in the slalom and giant slalom events. Sophomore Nina Miller also qualified as an individual to compete in the girls slalom race on March 7.

Best of luck!

Facing Facts: Achieving Balance in High School Mathematics

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Download the article by Lynn Arthur Steen, St. Olaf College


Sophomore Tristan Furnary swims to state championship

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Swimming for 6A Sunset High School, Tristan Furnary won the 100 yard relay and came in 2nd place in the 100 yard backstroke. His 200 yard medley relay team and 400 yard freestyle medley relay team also won state championships. The Sunset boys won their fourth straight state title. 

Students who participate in a sport not offered at Catlin Gabel can compete for their neighborhood school. 

Experiential Days 101

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Are you new to “Experiential Days?” If so, read on – this may answer some of your questions.

What are “Experiential Days?” Experiential days involve mixing up our students into small groups focused on a topic of interest with caring adults with whom they may not otherwise get to know. Deep learning that is experiential in nature is the goal, with long uninterrupted blocks of time over the course of four days. The groups are intentionally small and mixed age.
When are Experiential Days? This year they are Mar. 17-20. We schedule them for the four school days prior to spring break.
What is the student/teacher ratio? We strive for an average of 7 students per adult and value this amazing ratio.
When do the students find out which group they’ll be in? Fri. Feb. 28 the students find out their groupings (yes, there is palpable excitement in the air that afternoon) and meet for 40 minutes with their group leaders for a preview of the week. At that time the students will receive parent letters with a daily detailed itinerary of their 4 days together.
What about safety/behavioral expectations? Safety is of paramount importance and students are given explicit instruction in safe behaviors such as listening when in new places, staying close to the group, etc. Our teaching staff establish relationships quickly with children and are astute in making sure everyone is where they should be. Fortunately this is a part of the culture of the whole lower school; our children have already practiced safe behaviors on their many field trips. Every employee at Catlin Gabel is trained in first aid and CPR. We are also trained to drive the mini-vans and other rental vehicles that we use for transportation. The adults keep your child’s medical/emergency forms with them on all trips.
How should parents prepare for Experiential Days? Read the parent communication from your trip leaders carefully so that you know which days to pack lunches/snacks, what clothing is needed for certain trips, etc. Show interest in your child’s Experiential Days class and help him/her to develop independence by participating in the preparation for each day.

Do the students always get one of their four choices? Yes! Learning that you don’t always get your first choice, or the choice you were hoping to get to be with a close friend, is part of learning resiliency and parents can model/guide this along with the teachers. What we have learned is that no matter which Experiential Days class a child is in, s/he somehow “loves” it by the end of the week – it’s the magic of this type of learning experience. In fact, whenever we interview upper school students and alumni of Catlin Gabel, it is clear that their Experiential Days classes are something burned into their memories forever.
What if my child has an allergy or special need? Just talk with your child’s group leaders; you will find them to be sensitive, helpful and flexible.


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We welcome 18 students and two chaperones from Sainte Catherine School in Villeneuve-sur-Lot, France. They will be with us February 17 – 24. Last March, students and teachers from Catlin Gabel lived with French families in this small town in southwest France ,and we are thrilled to return the favor.

Violinist Kristin Qian '14 performing Sunday, Feb 16

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Celebrated musician Kristin Qian will solo with the Portland Youth Conservatory Orchestra, performing Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.

The concert is at 4 p.m. at the Skyview Concert Hall in Vancouver, Washington.

» Link to more information

Campus snow photo gallery

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February 10, 2014

Thank you, Kitty Schainman and Eric Shawn, for sending in these photos. And thanks for going to campus when no one else dared!

Students Ski in Glacier National Park

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Nordic skiing adventure in the Montana wilderness

Our interpid group of 12 students and two leaders boarded the eastbound Amtrak on Wednesday afternoon, minutes after taking their last final exam.  Although the train ran a little behind its posted schedule that was more than made up for by the amazingly kind and attentive service provided by the staff at the stations and especially on board the train.  The respect with which the students were treated was something they will remember for many years.  We travelled through the darkness for 14 hours or more before detraining onto a lovely siding in the windswept and snowbound reaches of the Flathead River bordering Glacier National Park.   We made the 100 yard walk to our hotel: the Izaak Walton Inn where we deposited our bags into our own separate house apart from the main lodge.  We spent that first afternoon skiing the many miles of groomed trails in the nearby hills.  For about half of he students this was their first experience using Nordic skis, but everyone took to it like a Powells employee to a tattoo parlor.  The snow was excellent- a foot of fresh powder had fallen the day before, and the temperatures were cold.  It dropped to 0 degrees on our last day.  The students learned the value of chemical hand warmers.  That evening the group played some intense group games that separated the clever from the thoughtful.

On Friday we made the drive down to McDonald Lake in Glacier Park- one the great features of this spectacular park.  We skied down some roads and then managed to ski up the foot trail to Johns Lake.  We also made an excursion across McDonald Creek and to the head of the lake. 

Our last day was Saturday and we were greeted by sunshine though with even colder temperatures.  This day was devoted to challenging adventures, which included lots of off-trail skiing through the woods, crossing creeks, falling down, climbing trees, capture the flag and glorious skiing in the sunshine.   That evening we boarded the train at the lovely siding once again and made the long trip back to Portland.

Startup Camp open to high school students. Sign up today!

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Creative Writing and Outdoor Program Team Up for a Trip!

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 Last weekend Creative Writing teacher Ginia King and Outdoor Program teacher Renee Jenkinson teamed up and took a group of Upper School Students on a creative writing retreat on the Oregon Coast.  It was one of those magical 65 degree and sunny winter beach weekends.  We spent time doing writing exercises, hiking, exploring, cooking great food, and sharing.  In it's second year, the creative writing trip continues to grow as a creative, relaxing, beautiful co curricular adventure!