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Alumni News, Winter 2014

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From the Winter 2014 Caller

Alumni & Homecoming Weekend was a great success this year, well attended by alumni of all generations who returned to campus to reconnect with each other and current and past faculty-staff. The torrential downpours throughout the weekend did not stop alumni from enjoying the celebratory events.
The weekend kicked off Friday when alumni award honorees Wick Rowland ’62 and Amani Reed ’93 joined alumni from the classes of ’43–’58 for lunch in the gallery of the Creative Arts Center. Director of advancement Miranda Wellman ’91 led the enthusiastic group of 40 on a tour of the new space. Attendees enjoyed a delicious lunch prepared by Catlin Gabel food service director Hen Truong and listened attentively as Wick and Amani spoke. Alumni mingled long after lunch was finished, poring over an archives display, thanks to the work of committed volunteer Meg Patten Eaton ’58.
On Friday evening, alumni joined the greater Catlin Gabel community at Davis-Gant field for the boys’ and girls’ homecoming soccer matches versus Oregon Episcopal School. The rain held off until the last whistle was blown. Following the matches, Catlin Gabel fans joined the alumni association under a tent near the Barn for a festive celebration.
By Saturday morning alumni from near and far had arrived on campus for the Celebration of Leadership and Service. The James F. Miller Library quickly filled to capacity with alumni who were pleased to recognize the 2012–13 honorees:
  • Dave Corkran, Joey Day Pope ’54 Volunteer Award
  • Gretchen Corbett ’63, Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
  • Wick Rowland ’62, Distinguished Alumni Service Award
  • Amani Reed ’93, Distinguished Younger Alumni Award
On Saturday evening, classes ending in 3 and 8 reunited to celebrate their reunions with parties hosted on campus and all over Portland. The class of ’83 even took a Catlin Gabel school bus to Utopia Vineyard in Newberg for an event hosted by classmate Bob Ward.

Farewell to Susie Greenebaum ’05, who has left Catlin Gabel’s alumni office to work at Nike. We all wish her the best!

—Owen Gabbert ’02 alumni board president 

Save the date!

Alumni & Homecoming Weekend 2014 will be celebrated October 10–11. Reunions will be held honoring classes ending in 4 and 9. If you would like to get involved with planning your reunion, please email

Alumni mingle at Blake clothing store in NW Portland during an event sponsored by owner Blake Neiman-Davis ’88 & the local alumni association. L to R: Blake Neiman-Davis ’88, Yvette Beaumont, Ben Schoenberg ’88

L to R: Sarah Shoemaker ’74, Trace Hancock ’96, Anna Campbell ’96 at Blake

Karen Vedvei Atiyeh ’43 and Julie Taylor Harnar ’58 greet each other at the reunion luncheon for classes of ’43–’58  

Catlin Gabel News, Winter 2014

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From the Winter 2014 Caller


The Oregonian published an opinion piece by Vicki Roscoe, head of the Lower School, about the importance of teaching and learning handwriting. . . . Officials from the U.S. Department of Education came to campus (left) as a result of Catlin Gabel’s recognition as a Green Ribbon School. They saw how the school excels in wellness, environmental education and impact, and STEM education. . . . Catlin Gabel hosted two regional robotics events, the Girls’ Generation and the Rookie Rumble, designed to raise awareness of and student confidence in science and engineering.


Stanford University’s Teacher Tribute Initiative recognized three Upper School teachers for their positive impact on Stanford first-year students: English teachers Leanne Moll and Ginia King, and history teacher and PLACE director George Zaninovich. . . . MS Mandarin teacher Li-Ling Cheng is co-author of Language through Culture, Culture through Language: A Framework for K-8 Mandarin Curriculum published by Peking University Press. . . . US math teacher Kenny Nguyen is a reviewer for the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education and also reviews manuscripts and conference proposals for the Journal for Mathematical Behavior, Cognition and Instruction; the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics; and the International Conference of the Learning Sciences. . . . US history teacher and PLACE director George Zaninovich was selected for the Portland Art Museum’s education department teacher advisory council. . . . US English teacher Leanne Moll was an adjunct professor of education at Portland State University last summer and teaches online graduate-level curriculum, instruction, and reading courses for Read Oregon. . . . US history teacher Meredith Goddard presented at the Center for Geographic Education’s annual conference at PSU on student-centered strategies for teaching the geography of Afghanistan. . . . Fifth grade teaching assistant Katie Boehnlein published an article about 6th grade English teacher Carter Latendresse and Catlin Gabel’s beekeeping program in Clearing magazine.


A team of Upper School students won a $10,000 Lemelson-MIT grant, awarded to innovative student engineering projects nationwide. Their robotics project, “ScumBot,” addresses the realworld problem of algae and duckweed infestation in a central Oregon lake. They will travel to MIT’s EurekaFest in June.


The US cross country coaching team of Chris Skrapits, Dave Corkran, Anna Connor, and John Hamilton was collectively named district Coach of the Year. . . . Sandy Luu was named to the Oregon Athletic Directors Association executive committee and serves on committees of the National Athletic Directors Association.
Several students have won national recognition in their sports: Mahala Lambert ’24, taekwondo; Connor White ’21, Mo Duk Pai Kung Fu; Omeed Azari ’21, taekwondo; Adrienne Tam, swimming; Miguel Gachupin ’16, fencing; Luke Selliken ’16, kart racing; Ethan Hanson ’15, triathlon; and Elli Wiita ’15, synchronized swimming.

Oregon Book Award winner Willy Vlautin, author of The Motel Life, worked with US students in English and music

Annual Alumni Awards

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From the Winter 2014 Caller

Every year the Catlin Gabel alumni board recognizes former students for their life work and accomplishments. Through their unique contributions, these alumni embody the school philosophy “in qualities of character, intelligence, responsibility, and purpose.” The 2012–13 honorees were recognized during Alumni Weekend in September. 

Gretchen Corbett ’63

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award

The Catlin Gabel alumni board honored Gretchen Corbett ’63 with the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award for significant accomplishments in business or professional life. Gretchen is a well-known actress who has appeared in prominent roles in theater, film, and television.
Gretchen’s theater background includes major roles on and off Broadway, in Shakespeare festivals, and in notable regional theaters across the nation. Her career has been punctuated by her work in many iconic roles including Jeri in Kojak, Jessica Conroy in Columbo, Arlene in Gunsmoke, Glynis in Hawaii Five-O, and Beth Davenport in The Rockford Files.
Locally, Gretchen has performed for Portland Center Stage, Portland Playhouse, Third Rail Rep, and Sojourn Theatre, receiving numerous lead actress awards. Gretchen is also an award-winning director for her work with Reasons to be Pretty and Anse and Bhule, and acted as resident director for the ASK Theatre in Los Angeles. Gretchen founded and ran the Haven Project, a local nonprofit focused on pairing underserved children with professional actors to create original theater, for 10 years.
During Gretchen’s acceptance speech she spoke of English and theater teacher “Mrs. Jo,” Vivian Johannes: “She expected you to come in with a burning appetite to work on some scene or play or monologue. And these were not plays of light fare—these were Euripedes and Ugo Betti and some odd playwright named Constant Connaught, who, I found out later in my adult years, was Vivian herself. . . . I was taught that my passion was not only appreciated, it was a requirement for my success.”

Wick Rowland ’62

Distinguished Alumni Service Award

The Catlin Gabel alumni board honored Wick Rowland ’62 with the Distinguished Alumni Service Award for extraordinary service to the community, state, nation, or the world.
Wick is a leader in public broadcasting and communications studies. Wick is longtime president and CEO emeritus of Colorado Public Television and has played many key roles in the development of public broadcasting and its stations and policies. He is also dean and professor emeritus of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Colorado–Boulder, and served as president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication. Wick’s published works have focused on communications policy, public media, television violence debates, and the history of journalism and communication education. He received a BA in history from Stanford, an MA in communication from the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD from the Institute of Communication Research at the University of Illinois.
When asked to speak to Upper School students on life after Catlin Gabel and the path he took, Wick spoke of Manvel “Schauff” Schauffler’s enduring legacy and said, “After you graduate and over the years as you move on to other things, I hope you will remember this heritage and always celebrate it, just as those of us returning this weekend are doing.”

Amani Reed ’93

Distinguished Younger Alumni Award

The Catlin Gabel alumni board honored Amani Reed ’93 with the Distinguished Younger Alumni Award, for high achievement in a profession or social service before the age of 40.
Amani is a leader in independent schools and progressive curriculum development. After Catlin Gabel, Amani attended Howard University and the University of Portland. He began his career in education at Sewickley Academy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where his former Catlin Gabel mentor Roy Parker hired him as Summerbridge director. Amani worked at the school for six years, teaching, coaching soccer, working in admissions, and serving as diversity director. He went on to serve as assistant middle school head at Lakeside School in Seattle.
After completing his master’s in educational leadership from the Teachers College at Columbia University, Amani was hired as middle school principal at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. In 2012 Amani was appointed head of the School at Columbia University, leading 500 students and 130 faculty and staff members. Most recently, Amani successfully led the school through a major facilities renovation.
In accepting the award, Amani said, “As I thought about today, I focused on the time I spent at Catlin Gabel, and how this school has influenced my life as an educator. Important lessons were learned here about perseverance and belonging. . . . I rely on the leadership lessons learned from mentors like Roy Parker and Jim Scott and Lark Palma, who helped me understand what it means to truly care. I think about the community that found such strength in itself to bring a class together, that truly survived it all, and I think about what I might have become had I not had the opportunity to come to Catlin.”

Dave Corkran

Joey Day Pope ’54 Volunteer Award

The Catlin Gabel alumni board honored retired 35-year Upper School history teacher Dave Corkran with the Joey Day Pope ’54 Volunteer Award for a Catlin Gabel community member who personifies volunteerism within the community. The awardee is selected by a committee of alumni and faculty-staff. Dave is a leader in many arenas in the Catlin Gabel community, continuing to dedicate his time as a committed volunteer.
Dave graduated from Middlebury College and received his MA and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the Catlin Gabel faculty in 1968, and began coaching cross country and track in 1971. Ten years into retirement, Dave is still an enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteer coach, and a vocal soccer fan. Coaches, players, and spectators often hear him imparting words of encouragement from the hill above Davis-Gant field.
In presenting the award, Len Carr ’75 said, “Dave has given generously and selflessly to the athletic program for 45 years. He has traveled thousands of miles across the state by school bus and has left his indelible mark on hundreds of athletes and students.” Dave has led 16 senior class environmental restoration trips to Mount Hood and 16 other senior trips around Oregon, and continues to go on freshman trips. He has been committed to the Elana Gold ’93 Memorial Environmental Restoration Project since its inception in 1991, leading Catlin Gabel students and alumni in more than 15,000 hours of volunteer work restoring degraded land and protecting sensitive riparian zones. In 2010 Dave accepted a Regional Forester’s Award from the Mt. Hood National Forest for the successful restoration work that has been done through the project.
Dave ended his acceptance speech noting, “The Colombian environmentalist and reformer Paolo Lugari says that if you are not dreaming you must be asleep. Thanks everyone, for helping me stay awake.”

The Class of 2013

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Their college destinations & awards
From the Winter 2014 Caller

Perla Alvarez
University of Oregon
Community service & Spanish awards
Valerie Balog
Colgate University
Mady Bennink
Linfield College
Will Bishop
University of Denver
Ceramics award
Ella Bohn
Brown University
English & French awards
Jamie Bonaparte
Clark Honors College, University of Oregon
Rahul Borkar
Oregon State University
Music award
Mpho Bowie-Molefe
Lehigh University
Maggie Boyd
New York University
Evan Brandaw
Gap year, College of Wooster
Kassi Carter-Howard
Santa Clara University
Brandon Chang
Boston University
Owen Chapman
Pomona College
Gabri Chodosh
Clark Honors College, University of Oregon
Casey Currey-Wilson
University of California, Berkeley
Spanish award
Audrey Davis
Tulane University
Marina Dimitrov
Stanford University
Science award
Abby Doctor
Smith College
Nicholas Elliott
Gap year
Jazz band award
Layla Entrikin
Tulane University
Flora Field
Scripps College
Allison Foltyn
Simon Fraser University
Technical theater & modern languages awards
Margaret Fossand
Occidental College
Emi Foster
Colgate University
Siobhan Furnary
Oberlin College
Anne Gilleland
Southern Methodist University
Tucker Gordon
Bowdoin College
Evan Hallmark
University of Southern California
Hannah Hay-Smith
Brown University
Mira Hayward
Harvard College
Jeremy Howard
Chapman University
Jazz band award
Cody Hoyt
Ithaca College
Pat Ehrman & media arts awards
Kanaiza Imbuye
Wesleyan University
Naomi Iverson
University of Colorado, Boulder
Science award
Ian Jones
Portland State University
Matthew Junn
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Visual arts award
Maya Kinley-Hanlon
American University
Ben Kiyasu
Tulane University
Thespis award
Zach Lewis
Gap year, New York University
Ellie Lezak
Oberlin College
Benji Lin
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ruth Lind
University of St. Andrews
David Lovitz
University of Puget Sound
Athletics award
Eve Lowenstein
Lewis & Clark College
Community service award
Trevor Luu
Illinois Wesleyan University
Alan Mayhew
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Japanese National Honor Society
Mairead McCarron
New York University
Keegan McCarthy
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, AZ
Max Meyerhoff
Macalester College
School ring, Pat Ehrman & theater awards
Elizabeth Moore
Saint Louis University, Madrid
Modern languages award
Fiona Noonan
Stanford University
Conor Oliver
Colgate University
Tyler Quatraro
Whittier College
Christopher Reimann
Whitman College
Community service & outdoor leadership awards
Emma Ronai-Durning
Gap year, Middlebury College
Chinese award
Hannah Rotwein
Plan II Honors Program, University of Texas, Austin
Athletics & English awards
Rachel Savage
Wesleyan University
Creative writing award
Zoe Schlanger
Oberlin College
Will Schneiger
Gap Year, Colorado College
Ben Shmulevsky
University of Southern California
Lianne Siegel
Carleton College
Eli Skeggs
Oregon State University
Computer science award
Rachel Spiegel
Pitzer College
Japanese award
Curtis Stahl
George Washington University
Lawrence Sun
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Terrance Sun
Brown University
Devon Utter
George Washington University
Alexandra van Alebeek
Stanford University
Mark Van Bergen
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, AZ
Thespis & science awards
Maggie Weirich
Gap year, Stanford University
Allison Weston
George Washington University
Kenny Woods
University of Portland
Lauren Wu
University of Washington
Gene Yamamoto
University of Oregon
Jaime Yu
Whittier College
Koby Yudkin
Bates College
Not pictured: Spencer Immel, Portland State University, Japanese award

Creative Arts Center Opens With a Splash

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From the Winter 2014 Caller

The new Creative Arts Center opened officially in September with a celebration for the entire Catlin Gabel community. Alumni, students, parents, faculty-staff, and more came together to admire the beautiful new creative space and explore all its dimensions. The evening was capped by energetic student performances in the flexible black box theater, from Broadway song-and-dance numbers to classical violin music. Middle and Upper School students and teachers report that they are still thrilled every time they walk into this building and excited by the prospects it offers for collaboration.

Meet Catlin Gabel's New Head, Timothy Bazemore

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From the Winter 2014 Caller

By Steve Gordon, chair of the board of trustees
Lark Palma leaves Catlin Gabel this summer with an outstanding legacy and the respect and affection of a generation of students. I will miss Lark and wish her the best as she moves to the next chapter in her life—leaving mighty big shoes to fill.
On the recommendation of the diligent and hardworking search committee, the board in October appointed Timothy Bazemore as Catlin Gabel’s next head. We have complete confidence that Tim is precisely the right leader for the school. In all our talks with him, he has shown us without a doubt that he will continue Lark’s work establishing Catlin Gabel as one of the country’s premier independent, progressive schools, and that the school will flourish with him at the helm. The board and I are excited to work with Tim, and committed to promoting a seamless transition in the school’s leadership. Tim will begin his journey at Catlin Gabel on July 1, and I hope that all of you will welcome him to our extended community.
Tim has been the head of school at New Canaan Country School, a preschool–grade 9 coeducational school for 630 students in Connecticut, since 2000. He is a proven leader with invaluable experience as both a classroom teacher and an administrator in independent schools. He brings to Catlin Gabel wisdom, humanity, and an exceptional background in progressive education and commitment to our lasting values: diversity, sustainability, and innovation in the classroom.
“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.” Lark and Tim have instituted monthly “leadership chats” that will continue all this year.
Tim wrote about his educational philosophy: “We believe that all children are competent and capable. We communicate confidence in their thinking and build relationships based on trust and encouragement. We design experiences that incorporate the information and skills students need with opportunities to develop resilience, creativity, and curiosity. We introduce students to new phenomena, situations, and concepts and ask them to think critically and take risks. We seek to create a wonderful tension, a dissonance between the known and unknown that leads to understanding. . . . “The best schools commit to creating a healthy and inclusive school community. They teach students how to collaborate with others in meaningful ways. They are explicit and intentional in fostering character skills and core values. I firmly believe that progressive education provides the most effective preparation for a future of innovation and opportunity. It is plausible, and essential, for education to be creative and experiential and rigorous and practical. I did not know this when I began my teaching career, but I do now. That is the future of education.”
Born and raised in Lewiston, New York, Tim 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, and moved from classroom teacher to director of middle and upper school admissions, then to head of the middle school. He and his wife, Lisa, have two sons, Luke, 15, and Tyler, 23.

An Exaltation of Lark

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Catlin Gabel community members express their apprecation of Catlin Gabel's longtime leader

From the Winter 2014 Caller

Jesse Lowes, Middle School science teacher

I’ll always remember how excited I was to join the Catlin Gabel faculty following Lark’s address during school in-service, when she pushed us all to think big, to take risks, and to make connections with people across the school. It was then when I first saw clearly Lark’s bold spirit, deep convictions, and steadfast heart.

Sophie Fyfield ’10, senior at Mt. Holyoke College

Lark has always been at the forefront of my Catlin Gabel experience. Whether we were munching on fresh crabs on the coast of Turkey or discussing Jane Eyre and Lolita in her office for a Feminism seminar, she has been a remarkable source of inspiration, encouragement, and generosity.

Hannah Whitehead, head of Beginning School

Lark has made Catlin Gabel great by supporting the faculty in their investigating and trying new ideas. The school is a much more collegial place now than it was when she arrived, with a better articulated curriculum and a clearer mission.

Karen Katz ’74, communications director

The best thing Lark ever did for Catlin Gabel was commit 19 years of her life to our school. Our programs and campus have blossomed because of her enduring leadership.

Charles Walsh, choral music teacher, Upper & Middle School

On the day I interviewed at Catlin Gabel I sat with Lark for about 15 minutes. We talked about how important is is for young people to be exposed to arts education and about how lacking arts were in the daily lives of American youth. I fought back tears only because I thought, “I’m meeting my potential boss, I can’t cry!” That moment will never leave me because I knew then I had found what I had been looking for.

Courtney Mersereau ’99, financial advisor, RBC Wealth Management

Lark’s passion for empowering women is something I admire and have now adopted in my own profession. I can’t help but think that she planted the seed when she helped me through a tough time in the Upper School. She was present, listened, and made a point of instilling in me that I was okay just as I was.

Len Carr ’75, assistant head of Middle School

I will miss Lark’s eternal optimism, can-do approach, and her giving us permission and urging us to push the educational envelope. And I’ll always remember Lark taking the entire faculty to Eagle Crest for our August retreat—it was an incredible community builder.

Holly Walsh, Middle School English

No matter the time, date, or weather, Lark was always excited to hear what we were up to in 8th grade English. Over the years, I’ve found her passion for literature and feminism to be as strong as her ability to “cut the rug.” My relationship with Lark changed the very moment our Upper School jazz band began to play Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” I quickly learned how our distinguished head of school was a dancing machine! It’s indisputable that Lark Palma is a woman with soul.

Chris Bell, Middle School administrative assistant

Lark has made Catlin Gabel great by providing the leadership and support for all adults at this school to try something new, educationally and personally.

Miranda Wellman ’91, director of advancement

I love learning about different leadership styles. What I’ve come to know about Lark’s is that she only tolerates incremental change for so long. When she’s sees an opportunity that will spark innovation, she goes for it. In this way, I think of her as a “lightning bolt” leader. She is bold and unafraid to jump into the new.

Photo: Lark Palma building the playground with former head Manvel "Schauff" Schauffler
, 1995

Think You Know Lark Palma?

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Take this quiz and find out1

From the Winter 2014 Caller

By Karen Katz '74, communications director

1. Lark once taught 5th graders
A. Shag dancing
B. Swing dancing
C. Tap dancing
2. Lark’s first capital project at Catlin Gabel was
A. The track and field
B. The Beehive remodel
C. The community-built playground
3. Lark made her debut as head of Catlin Gabel School at
A. The first day of school 1995–96
B. The past trustees dinner, June 1995
C. Alumni weekend, June 1995
4. The first person Lark hired at Catlin Gabel was
A. Paul Monheimer, 7th grade world cultures
B. Pam McComas, Beginning School head
C. Lynn Silbernagel, Middle School librarian
5. Lark dressed as which character for Halloween 1999?
A. Snow White’s evil stepmother
B. The Queen of Hearts
C. Raggedy Ann
6. Lark’s PhD is in
A. English literature and western drama
B. Twentieth-century British literature and women’s studies
C. Education and gender studies
7. The P in Lark P. Palma stands for
A. Patricia
B. Perkins
C. Pickett
8. A group of larks is
A. A charm
B. An aerie
C. An exaltation
9. Lark is phobic about
A. Velcro
B. Spiders
C. Buttons
10. One of Lark’s favorite expressions is
A. That dog don’t hunt
B. Busy as a cat on a hot tin roof
C. He could start an argument in an empty house
11. Lark Palma is
A. Catlin Gabel’s longest serving head of school
B. The first female head of school since Catlin and Gabel merged
C. The only head of school to teach English
1–A. 2–C. 3–B. 4–B. 5–A. 6–B. 7–C. 8–C. 9–C. 10–A. 11–A.

Lark Leaves a Legacy

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From the Winter 2014 Caller

Catlin Gabel experienced great and well-considered growth during Lark Palma’s 19 years as head of school. Here are just some of the advances the school made, thanks to her leadership and the work and commitment of students, faculty-staff, alumni, families, friends, and supporters.


“There is philosophical grounding for this school that is precious and important to preserve and develop: the experiential nature of our curriculum, the commitment to being a learning laboratory, the emphasis on respect and self-reliance, the intellectual challenge of the program, the value of this natural setting, and the willingness to be different from those around us when we feel it is in the best interest of the children. . . . My vision is an exceptional experience for every child and parent, and a lively teaching environment for faculty.” (2002)


  • Encouraged growth in educational technology and campus infrastructure
  • Created the curriculum map to begin the conversation to unify education across divisions and disciplines
  • Worked with the community to develop a school mission statement
  • Enhanced professional development opportunities for faculty-staff
  • Intensified emphasis on community service, college counseling, and learning center
  • Increased the budget for financial aid, from about $600,000 to more than $3 million
  • Connected Catlin Gabel more strongly with the wider community
  • Led development of strategic plan and crucial guiding directions
  • Oversaw three fundraising campaigns and countless initiatives, which contributed $60 million to the school
  • Encouraged education about brain research and its relation to teaching and learning
  • Oversaw the rise of the school’s endowment, from $9 million in 1995 to $26 million today, with $38 million projected at campaign end
  • Increased emphasis on diversity, sustainability, and financial security
  • Worked with the faculty to re-imagine the future of the US curriculum, undertaking research on advances in education
  • Revitalized the outdoor and global education programs, and was a founding member of the Global Online Academy
  • Introduced and supported new programs such as Mandarin language, robotics, Palma Scholars Program, PLACE urban studies, and the Global Online Academy
  • Taught literature and women’s studies classes to a generation of students


Creative Arts Center
Long-held dream achieved in this new 2013 building, bringing together US and MS arts
Lark brought the community together in 1995 to build this center of young student life
US science and math buildings
New construction in 1998 and lab additions in 2008 to unite these subjects and take advantage of technology
Murphy Athletic Complex track and field facilities
Rebuilt and re-engineered in 1999 with state-of-the-art materials and features
Dant House
Remodeled in 2007 to better serve students and faculty
Jean Vollum Humanities Center
Former library renovated in 2007 for humanities classrooms
Beginning School
Beehive remodeled in 2000 to reunite preschool and kindergarten
James F. Miller Library
Newly built in 2003 to accommodate technology and scope of US student use, added multimedia auditorium and meeting space
Hillman Modern Languages Building
Built in 2003 to give a home to language classrooms
Facilities building
Built in 2001 as temporary US classrooms

Lark's Profound Influence

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From the Winter 2014 Caller

Pamela Gibson

Past trustee and parent of alumni
A leader is best when people barely know she exists. When her work is done, her aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves. —Lao Tzu
I have to remind myself that I was asked to write about Lark from the perspective of a board member, because the outcome of her work that is visible to me every day comes from my perspective as a parent. It is this very work, though, that was going on in the boardroom. One of the strengths of Lark’s leadership has been her laser focus in making certain that all work that took place at Catlin Gabel, whether at the board level or in the classroom, must have as its result a profound benefit to the student, as well as an impact on the common good.
I was there at the beginning, when Lark brought the world to Catlin Gabel. Diversity was a sadly overused word at the time, but she had a deep understanding of what that word meant. She set about teaching us all—faculty-staff, parents, children, and donors—the critical importance of having a truly diverse community. She envisioned the world our children would ultimately live in, and configured their education to prepare them to thrive and contribute.
Consistent, visionary leadership is Lark’s legacy. It is manifested in the core values that have remained constant throughout her tenure. It is reflected in the new spaces that have been built as tools that serve and nourish learning. It will live on in the accomplishments of the thousands of students who learned and grew on her watch.
And yes, we did it ourselves. Stellar faculty, dedicated staff, industrious students, caring parents, alumni, donors, and board members did it. Employing her charming, quiet strength, she challenged us to make it so.

Kate Grant

Director of college counseling
I met Lark 15 years ago when I came to Catlin Gabel for my job interview. Imagine my surprise when I found she was from the same small town in South Carolina where my mother had grown up. Immediately I felt a connection that has lasted through the years, and I hope will continue through many more.
What struck me about Lark that day holds true today: a steadfast love of Catlin Gabel and a commitment to keep its well-being first and foremost in her mind; a focus on the school as a whole and, at the same time, an appreciation for the uniqueness of each student, teacher, and staff member; an appreciation of the importance of the stories each student tells and needs to hear to develop the confidence to enter the world beyond Catlin Gabel. Lark is a respected leader on campus and off—an innovator in education. Lark’s view of education as a social and moral issue strengthens her—and our—commitment to becoming a more inclusive community. Her English and Feminism courses help students appreciate their own experiences and backgrounds. I remember a student telling me that the first time the literary canon reflected her own experiences was in one of Lark’s classes.
On a personal note, Lark has been a mentor and supporter for many of us. I am grateful to her for giving me opportunities to expand my role in the school, supporting my professional and personal development, and listening with an open heart to all that I say. I know others feel the same way and, like me, will miss her vibrant and innovative approach to education, learning, teaching, and being. She is a brave woman. In the words of Mona Eltahawy, last year’s commencement speaker, “I wish I could have gone to a school where Lark was the head.”

Christopher Reimann ’13

First-year student at Whitman College
I spent six years of school watching Lark lead meetings with high-powered members of the Catlin Gabel community, reading her letters to the school, and watching her whiz around campus on her golf cart. In my senior year of high school I finally got to know Lark through her Feminism class. I distinctly remember walking into the class for the first time, feeling more intimidated than any other time before. What awaited me was a year of simple enlightenments I had never imagined. On the first day of class we spent the majority of the time talking about the importance of names, what they mean, and how our names defined us. Little bits of knowledge like this show Lark’s power as a teacher. Until that point I had never really thought of my name as more than a superficial piece of my identity, a classification with which others easily refer to me. I left class that day realizing that my name had a story and identity, separate from me. It takes a special type of teacher to take something as simple as a name, and help students realize the profound weight of it.
Aspects of Lark’s unique style of teaching have found their way into every classroom on campus. While she is moving on to the next page in her life, if you pay close attention, little quirks of Lark will come out in every classroom for years to come. Catlin Gabel and its students have been so lucky to have a teacher and head of school like Lark, and wherever she goes next is sure to know that soon enough.

Dave Cannard ’76

Past trustee and board chair, parent of alumni
I first encountered Lark’s generous mentoring as a fledgling trustee as she introduced me to my new responsibilities, in a role I’d haphazardly fallen into when the preceding alumni board chair had a sudden job transfer out of state. Little did I know then that it would lead to almost 20 years of friendship anchored in our shared passion for Catlin Gabel.
Not the sharpest tool in the shed, I’ve spent hundreds of hours in the head’s office being gently schooled. As I took on different roles, Lark adjusted the lessons, showed how I could be more effective, how I could remain true to my core and reach for the next step in realizing the potential of the school for students.
It’s in Lark’s nature to mentor, to pass on her wisdom, her vast learning, her enthusiasm and dedication for great student learning. She always has an encouraging word, an ever-more challenging lesson, a gentle reminder about priority—the students—and often a suggestion for me for an article, book, or workshop so I could gain more depth.
It is inherent in her everyday activities and interactions; there is constant encouragement, a fond nudging towards her driving vision. It all ties back to the vision, an inclusive, challenging, and relentless vision of what Catlin Gabel can and should be. Rooted in the progressive tradition, great teachers applying cutting-edge pedagogy, developing students who are compassionate, who think, and who act to change the world. She never loses sight of the vision, even when mired in the details. She mentors all of us—students, parents, faculty, staff, administrators, and friends—to be champions of that vision. The outstanding team she has developed around her attests to the compelling success of Lark’s approach.
The school stands ready for its next leader, confident in who we are, excited about what we can be, champing at the bit to stretch towards the vision. We can do this! We can do it because Lark showed us how.   

Looking Back with Lark Palma

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An interview with Lark about her 19 years at Catlin Gabel and what it means to her

From the Winter 2014 Caller

By Nadine Fiedler

What will you miss most about students and colleagues?
I cherish the inventive conversations I have with kids, when they dream about their futures. I’ll miss the teachers and my conversations with them, which always left me entertained and edified. Catlin Gabel has excelled in the fundamentals about getting it right for kids and getting it right for faculty, which has so many nuances and so many opportunities. Every day I have come to work feeling excited, and feeling that what’s happening matters. The years galloped past!
What do you think Catlin Gabel’s place is right now, and how has it evolved since you’ve been here?
When I sit around a table with other school heads from around the country, all eyes turn and ears perk up about some of the programs we have and the things we are doing. I’m struck by how unique and respected we seem to be in the sea of schools. We distinguish ourselves by always surveying our mission, and then examining the cultural, economic, and political landscape around us in Portland and in the Northwest. We’re widely known. Just a few examples: We have one of the leading Orff music educators in the world. Our math specialists have written books and spoken at numerous conferences. Our urban studies program has had national attention. The Palma Scholars seminar has gone on the road as an example of how you foster innovative curriculum in a school. We’re nationally known for sustainability and how a school can turn its curriculum and all its practices, including finances, into a sustainability model. Many of our service programs put students directly into the community working cooperatively with social groups, as well as city government. We’re making a difference in our city by designing parks, by developing the transit mall, by working with the Water Bureau for clean water. Our program of overseas trips has become more refined and meaningful. All of our programs are important when you’re trying to be a progressive school that considers all the dimensions of a child’s development.
What were some of your happiest moments of your years at Catlin Gabel?
Groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings always filled me with pride for the school. Every time it meant that people understood what the school needs.
It was a great day when my women’s studies students started a blog and there were many, many hits on it, because it meant that what we were talking about went to a wide audience.
I had a lot of fun seeing the Palma Scholars Program develop, and seeing the successful teamwork develop behind it.
It’s been a thrill each time the community’s gotten together some way or other to talk about the future of the school. I remember being excited by the hopes and dreams of these groups—and we’ve accomplished so much of them. The Vision 2020 planning conference helped the school define future needs—and out of that came increased emphasis on urban and global studies.
I was pleased when the board ratified the five-year plan to set strategic directions for the school, and how as a school we’ve really tried to stick to them.
The head search process gave me a lot of pride and happiness.
My first Rummage Sale was amazing. You really can’t believe it!
I’ll never forget tap dancing at the Gambol.

The four years my grandson Liam was at the school were joyful for me.

I’ll never forget the day that then-development director Johanna Thoeresz and I picked up a million-dollar check from Jimmy Miller, and we gave him a ride home. He wanted to stop and get strawberries and cream to take home, and tried to give Johanna some money. She said, “You know, today we’ll buy you the strawberries and cream.”
The day that I announced to the Upper School faculty that Dan Griffiths would be their head was amazing. I never heard such thunderous adulation. I felt so good because lots of people were happy, and we had used a good process.
I was so tickled the first week of this school year to overhear students’ reactions to the new Creative Arts Center. “Omigod! Have you been over there yet?” And I loved it when the preschoolers were sitting in the CAC courtyard having their snack in early September.
I had such a good time having late-night conversations at retreats, and antics around the campfire at Camp Cody with seniors and with faculty at Eagle Creek.
When I see students in the Miller Library, or running around, or engaged in sports, I think it’s just what a school should be.
I love the excitement for special traditions, whether it’s the preschool or kindergarten parades, or rolling the oatcake. And I love every year watching the 5th, 8th, and 12th graders move forward, and seeing what the seniors will give me during graduation.
Why did you choose Catlin Gabel?
I was at the progressive Heathwood Hall in South Carolina for 18 years, beginning as a teacher and ending as associate head, running the school’s operations and academic programs. I came to realize that I was ready to do the work of a school head. I knew I wanted to continue working in progressive education, and Catlin Gabel was the right fit for me. A school like Catlin Gabel works because we have the independence to make choices for our kids. There are truly wonderful champions of progressive education here who understand how to take their subjects and make it work for the appropriate needs of the kids. I think progressive education is going to prevail.
What was your mission when you took the reins at Catlin Gabel?
My mission was to create a stronger Upper School program, and the buildings and annual support to keep it going. I was charged with setting up a realistic evaluation system for faculty, and providing requisite professional development. I came into a school with a good infrastructure and finances, with a mature board. After going through charettes led by architect Tom Hacker, we came up with the village concept for the architecture of the Upper School. Over the years, in both the Upper School and the rest of campus, we completed the playground, beautiful science labs, track and field facilities, and a new math building. We worked on the Beginning School to get the kindergarten out from under the Barn and built the beautiful, inspirational library and modern languages building.
Where would you like to see the school continue to grow?
Our challenges will always be connected to resources. This is why a dedicated push for endowment and the Catlin Gabel Fund every year is so important. It’s a challenge to create a conduit for alumni to continue to know each other, and for us to know them as adults. It’s a challenge for parents and the students who are going on to college or some other meaningful next step to remember the importance of what they got at Catlin Gabel, and that it all happened because of alumni and parents. If the school does not become more diverse, we will cease to be relevant. We need to look seriously at the spectrum of our learners and make sure that every learner that we invite into the school has a level playing field.
What would you like to reflect on for posterity?
Don’t take any of this for granted. Come to school every day knowing that you’re coming to a special place. Whether there are annoyances, or fatigue, or problems to be solved, just take a breath, step back, and look at the trees, smell the air, stand in the middle of any of these beautiful quads, and say, “I’m so damned lucky to be here.” I’ve done that every single day for almost 19 years.
Love and respect what the other does. Honor the staffers who make the lives of teachers and students the best they can be. Everybody should thank everybody every day. Get to know each other!
I want alumni to stay close to their school and reflect often on what they got out of Catlin Gabel. Think about the friends, the teachers, a day in class when you had a breakthrough, the talks around the campfire, and the many bus trips. Think about where you got your ability to speak, your ability to communicate and analyze and develop strong argumentation; where you got all your baseline abilities in science and math and then some; your ability to now go out into the world and speak a language and be understood; and where you may have for the only time in your life played a varsity sport or painted a painting that you still have. Close your eyes and smell and hear the Paddock, watch the sunset down on the athletic fields and the crows in the winter and the geese on the pathways in the spring. That will make you remember why it’s important that the school’s in your mind and heart all the time.
What kept you here at Catlin Gabel so long, and what’s next for you?
I am returning to my home state to help found a new progressive school in Charleston, South Carolina. All of my family now lives on the East Coast. I always knew I would return there; I did not predict I would be here so long. But the beauty of the school gets in your blood, the beauty of the city and the state get under your skin, and I’ve stayed at Catlin Gabel these many years for the very same reasons that I came. Without pretense or excessive fanfare, Catlin Gabel gets it right for kids—a lively, stimulating, challenging curriculum in and out of the classroom, on the athletic fields, and in the community. It gets it right for faculty—in encouraging them to grow and create a culture of collegiality and high professionalism, to be the best in their fields and the best in understanding what unlocks young, flexible minds within a framework that allows for great independence and creativity. I wish our new head Tim Bazemore the same wonderful journey that I have had, and that he stays true to the progressive mission of our school, deepening our position in the community, extending truly progressive programs and policies and keeping financial aid endowment in front of the school community. I know he will.
Nadine Fiedler is editor of the Caller and Catlin Gabel’s director of publications and public relations.

Winter assembly photo gallery

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Happy holidays!

The whole school came together for the annual winter assembly. This year's celebration was dedicated to Lark Palma. After a wonderful and joyous mix of singing, dancing, and storytelling, Lark said for the 19th and final time, "Let the winter break begin!"

Ski program information 2014

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Let's hit the slopes!

Carefully review this article, download the emergency medical and behavior agreement form posted at the bottom of the page, register online with Mt. Hood Meadows, and turn in forms and payment to Kathy Sloan, ski program coordinator.

The Catlin Gabel ski bus runs on six Saturdays: February 8, 15, 22, and March 1, 8, and 15.

The Catlin Gabel ski program is supervised by faculty members from all divisions. Mt. Hood Meadows ski and snowboard instructors teach the lessons. The program is open only to Catlin Gabel students in 5th through 12th grades. The transportation and chaperone fee for the six-week program is $150, payable by check to Catlin Gabel. Lift, lesson, and rental fees are payable to Mt. Hood Meadows through their online registration.

Transportation and supervision

Catlin Gabel buses transport participating students to and from Mt. Hood Meadows. The bus drivers are Catlin Gabel employees. Chaperones ride each bus and are available in the lodge at most but not all times.

Buses leave Catlin Gabel at 6:30 a.m. sharp. At the end of the ski day, the buses leave Mt. Hood Meadows at 3:30 p.m., returning to Catlin Gabel by 5:30 p.m.

All students must return via the Catlin Gabel bus unless parents or guardians prearrange alternative transportation. Chaperones must receive a note signed by a parent or guardian detailing the alternative transportation arrangements.


There are two separate components to registration: Mt. Hood Meadows registration and Catlin Gabel registration.

Mt. Hood Meadows Registration 

♦ Go to Mt. Hood Meadows' registration website

♦ Enter the GO code for Catlin Gabel in the GO code Box. Our GO Code is: 1024713 

♦ Select the package you wish to purchase.

• Grades 5-8 are “Trailblazers,” grades 9-12 are “High School.”
• Trailblazers MUST sign up for lessons. This is a Catlin Gabel requirement.
• Note: there is a Beginner Special for first-time skiers and snowboarders that is significantly less expensive. 

♦ After registering, you will receive a confirmation email from Mt. Hood Meadows and required forms.

Catlin Gabel Registration

Four forms in hard copy and payment are due to Kathy Sloan in the Upper School by Wednesday, January 22

♦ Catlin Gabel medical release and behavior agreement form posted below

♦ Mt. Hood Meadows release form 

♦ Mt. Hood Meadows medical form

♦ Mt. Hood Meadows rental form (if renting equipment)

♦ Check for $150 made payable to Catlin Gabel.

Financial aid is available directly through the ski bus program for students who need it and are committed to attending all six weeks. It is available for Catlin Gabel’s transportation and chaperone fee, as well as a portion of the Mt. Hood Meadows packages. Please contact Kathy Sloan directly to inquire about financial aid.

Drop-in skier information

Transportation and supervision are available to skiers who can only attend one or two Saturdays. However, we recommend signing up for the full program if you plan to ski more than twice because the unused days on the tickets are good until the end of the ski season.

The drop-in fee is $30 payable in cash or check on the day of attendance. Drop-in skiers must purchase their own lift and/or lesson tickets. Please rent equipment in advance in the Portland area. Beginning and first-season skiers are not permitted to use the drop-in system.

The Catlin Gabel emergency medical and behavior form is required for all drop-in skiers. Extra forms are available in each of the division offices and posted at the bottom of this page. The form may be filled out ahead of time or brought with the skier on the day of attendance. We cannot accept phoned in permission.

Program guidelines – read these carefully!

Both students and parents are responsible for reading this information.

Be on time. Please arrive at 6:15 a.m. to load skis and get seated on the bus. The bus leaves campus promptly at 6:30 a.m. and returns to Catlin Gabel by 5:30 p.m. Parents/guardians, please be on time to pick up your skier(s) at the end of the day.

Lessons are required for all participants in 5th through 8th grades. They are optional for high school participants. Lessons are approximately two hours and happen on each of the first four Saturdays, but not the last two. Prior to and after lessons, participants are “free skiing.” Although program rules require skiing with a partner, participants are not supervised by chaperones while on the slopes.

Skiers are required to travel both directions on the same bus. There will be chaperones on each bus and in the lodge at most but not all times. In the morning, buses drop students at the lodge, and at the end of the ski day students walk to the buses parked in the parking lot by 3:15 p.m. Failure to return to the bus on time causes worry and delay for everyone. Late skiers could be dropped from the ski program the following week.

All skiers are expected to honor the rules and regulations governing the use of lifts, slopes, and lodges as posted by Mt. Hood Meadows. Failure to comply will result in dismissal from the program. All skiers are expected to honor Catlin drug and alcohol policy. Failure to comply will result in dismissal from the program and disciplinary action taken at school.

We strongly encourage all skiers and snowboarders to wear helmets although this is not mandatory. Helmets come with the Trailblazer rental package.

Loading and unloading equipment and cleaning the bus at the end of the day is everyone’s responsibility. No one should leave the campus until the buses are empty and cleaned.

Concern for others is an essential part of the ski program while on our way to and from Mt Hood Meadows and while at the ski area. We have been justifiably proud of the Catlin Gabel students in the past and have had numerous great seasons. We hope you can be a part of the best season yet!

We ask all students and parents to join in our commitment for the safest and most enjoyable ski program possible.

Ski program leaders: Kathy Sloan, Len Carr, Chris Bell, Peggy McDonnell, Bob Sauer, Larry Hurst, Paul Monheimer, Aline Garcia-Rubio, and Spencer White


Two Middle School robotics teams qualify for state

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Congratulations to Team Starstruck and Team Quantum!

Team Starstruck won both the Core Values Award and an ACE Award for all around performance. Starstruck is coached by sophomore Jacob Bendicksen '16. The members are 7th graders Amber Merrill, Sujala Chittor, Natalie Dodson, and Hannah Fisher, and 6th graders Ava Pritchard and Aarushi Phalke.  "Their software is some of the most sophisticated ever developed by a Catlin team," said robotics program director Dale Yocum. "They're going places."

Team Quantum entered the competition with something to prove as they didn't have a terribly successful season last year. They won both the Project Award for their proposal of a natural disaster warning and survival app, and an ACE Award. "A fantastic turnaround for a team of very talented guys," said Dale. The members are 7th graders Avi Gupta, Matt Leungpathomaram, Tyler Nguyen, Quinn Okabayashi, and Kian Palmer. They are coached by sophomore Jake Hansen.

Our rookie 6th grade team, the Teeny Beanie Burritos, had a great season. Though they didn't make it to state (that's tough to do for a first year team) they won the Core Values award for their superb work as a team and respect for one another.  Of this rookie team Dale said, "They'll be a force to be reckoned with next year!" Coached by sophomore David Vollum, the team members are Liam Wang, Maansi Singh, Jimmy Maslen, Emma Latendresse, Lauren Mei Calora, aMadeleine Herbst.  

Mock trial coach's letter printed in Oregonian

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Oregonian article, December 2013

"St. George and the Dragon" photo gallery

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The class of 2018 dedicated their performance to Lark Palma

A hero, a dragon, girls acting dippy, and boys in tutus. This decidedly 8th grade show is a perennial favorite that has been performed to the delight (and horror) of Catlin Gabel audiences since the 1940s. Borrowing from the same basic plot (we use the term loosely), each class reflects its own personality in St. George and the Dragon. Highlights this year included a feminist Egyptian princess, the re-branding of Miley Cyrus, a unicorn dancing to "What Does the Fox Say," jugglers, and, of course, a suave Turkish Knight, a noble St. George, a fearsome dragon, and a guest appearance after the show by our next school head, Tim Bazemore. 

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