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PFA leadership for 2014-15 announced

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Thank you for your volunteer service to our community

Executive Council

President – Pam Lloyd
Vice President – Sarah Stascausky
Advisor – Zoe Edelen Hare
Communications Coordinator – Ingeborg Holliday
New Family Intergration Coordinator – Marjorie Dial
Inclusivity Coordinator – Mimi Sei
Treasurer – Kevin Reedy
Upper School Coordinator – Azin van Alebeek
Middle School Coordinator – Kirsten Brady
Lower School Coordinator – Indira Nallakrishan
Beginning School Coordinator – Arah Erickson
Spring Fest Coordinator – pending

Grade Representatives

Preschool – Janina Malone and Lisa Levy
Kindergarten – Alayna Luria and Genie Kaady
1st grade – Lara Sales and Katy Swaim
2nd grade – Robin Skarstad and Diane Malhotra
3rd Grade – Heather Billups and Christine Wolahan
4th grade – Julie Proksch and Maran Sheils
5th Grade – Nicole Lee, Judy Cheng, and Reg Hamlett
6th grade – Teri Simpson and Tracy Stout
7th grade – Sarah Vogel Masback and Dina Meier
8th grade – Aruna Chittor and Becky Edington
9th grade – Patrick O'Neill and Elaine Underwood
10th grade – Nicoya Hecht and Molly Newcomer
11th grade – Beth Cavanaugh and Laura Ford
12th grade – Julie McMurchie and Emma Gilleland

Tuition on the Track 2014 photo gallery

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April 18, 2014

Thank you to co-chairs Will Rosenfeld '14 and Katie Zechnich '14 for their commitment to financial aid fundraising and community spirit. Special thanks to Mother Nature for the great weather!

Seniors talk about their Catlin Gabel experience

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Six seniors answered questions from parents in a Q&A format.

Thank you to the PFA for organizing this favorite parent community meeting of the year. Standing room only! Thanks also to the senior panelists: Katie Fournier, Theo Knights, Liban Sheikh, Alexis Shoemaker, Lewis Holland, and Erin Wynne. College counselor Kate Grant did a great job of setting the stage and moderating. Here are a few highlights.

What advice do you have for students coming into the Upper School?

  • The preseason sport team practices start in August, so joining a team is a great way to get to know other upper classmen and ease the transition.
  • Try something you have never done before or are afraid to do!
  • There are many opportunities so it is easy to overbook yourself. Choose one or two things that you really want to focus on.

What do you see as the strengths of the Upper School?

  • There are so many connections you make with your teachers both inside and outside of the classroom. "My teachers are some of the best grown-ups I have ever met!"
  • Since many faculty members are involved in extracurricular activities themselves, they understand if you need an extension because of a mock trial competition or a late soccer game.
  • The new schedule has allowed students to get some work done during the school day. Getting credit for working on the school newspaper has also helped balance the workload.

What are some of the weaknesses of the Upper School?

  • Communication and coordination between teachers regarding major assignment deadlines could be improved, particularly in humanities.
  • The homework policy is not followed by many teachers and not enforced even though this issue is brought up every year.
  • "The homework is challenging but that's good."
  • Catlin Gabel students should show gratitude for all the opportunities that are given to them. It’s important to find ways to learn resilience and fight for something you care about in an environment where everything is available to you.
  • We need more interaction with the outside world.

What are your senior internship projects?

  • Projects range from fixing typewriters to working with a photojournalist with the Oregonian to helping a fashion designer with her first show.

What were your best moments at Catlin Gabel?

  • Interacting with the teachers.
  • Getting positive feedback and learning what you are good at.
  • The last day of junior year and the “I did it!” feeling.
  • Getting the college acceptance letter.
  • Working with other students to achieve something together, for example designing all of the costumes in a production.

What about some of your worst moments?

  • Failing at something: but that’s a learning experience.
  • Freshman English.
  • Arriving as a new freshman and not knowing anyone.
  • Being slammed with schoolwork.

Tell us about your global trips.

  • Taking trips during sophomore year works well. There is a trip for everyone.
  • Nepal was amazing. It was a very different trip from the France trip, which was designed around learning the language. In France, we had homestays and went to school with the French students.
  • This summer, one panelist is walking 500 miles from Geneva to Rome. The group is doing training hikes together now.
  • “After every trip, I come back with a new best friend.”

How did you spend your summers?

  • Answers ranged from getting a job or internship to taking a college class to traveling with family to chilling out and having a good time.

How would you rank the degree of difficulty of the four years in the US?
The consensus from easiest to most difficult seemed to be: (1) sophomore year– because we have figured out the workload, (2) junior year, (3) first semester of senior year because of the added pressure of college applications, (4) freshman year.

What advice do you have for parents?

  • Let your child fail on his or her own and learn from mistakes. Trust that they will mature as they move through the US.
  • Let your child do what they want to do when it comes to extracurricular activities and don’t interfere. Let them figure out their passions.
  • Continue to support your child if his or her interests change.
  • Don’t panic if your child does not do well. Be supportive. Your child will come around.
  • Do encourage your child to communicate with his or her teacher.
  • Don’t hound your child about homework unless it’s a huge issue. If they want to take the night off, then it is his or her decision.
  • Let them grow up and figure it out on their own. Give them space.

College counseling materials presented at parent community meeting with senior panel

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College counseling was not the main focus of the meeting. This was part of a 15-minute discussion.

The PFA parent community meeting on April 17 featured a panel of seniors talking about their Catlin Gabel experiences. Following their Q&A with parents, college counseling director Kate Grant talked briefly about the college counseling process and the state of college admission this year.

Kate showed three slides, which are posted below as a PDF and outlined here

  • What parents can do to help their children early on
  • College counseling calendar for 2013-14
  • List of colleges that have accepted CG students this year. ( Note: Many students are undecided as of this date. Decisions are due May 1.)

» Here is a link to a page with recommended reading that Kate mentioned.



Lower School Campus Day photo gallery

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Thank you 1st – 5th graders for your help keeping our campus beautiful

Third grade teacher Marcelle Donehower took these photos. She and groundskeepers Jesse Selman and Mike Wilson organized the day. 

Robotics team heading to world championships

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Bravo!

The Flaming Chickens won the Chairman's Award at the Pacific Northwest District Championships, just as they had done at the Oregon State District competition. They will compete in St. Louis against the best teams in the world. Only three other teams from Oregon qualified for the world championships. The Chairman's Award recognizes the team that has done the most to increase the appreciation and expansion of STEM education in their communities. The Chairman's Award team of sophomores Iris Ellenberg and Jacob Bendicksen, and freshman Robin Attey did a fabulous job of presenting.

Freshman Daniel Chiu qualifies for USA Jr Math Olympiad exam

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Way to go, Daniel!

Daniel is one of three Oregonians and one of fewer that 200 students nationwide to make it to this level of competition. He placed in the 98th percentile—worldwide—of 9th grade students who took the qualifying test. All the best on your next set of exams, Daniel.


Robotics team wins prestigious Chairman’s Award, advances to district championship

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Catlin’s robotics team, the Flaming Chickens, won the Chairman’s Award at the Oregon State University district competition. This most prestigious honor is given to the team that "best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST,” the nonprofit that organizes the competitions.

Teams that win the Chairman’s Award run the best engineering outreach programs in the world, and the Flaming Chickens are no different. They run three offseason competitions each year in the Catlin Gabel gym, demo their robots at events around Portland, and give back to the community through projects like ScumBot, which is funded by the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams grant. They also contribute to the community – high school members coach Middle School LEGO robotics teams, and they’ll be showcasing their program at Spring Festival on May 4.

Pacific Northwest District Championship 

Thursday, April 10 — Saturday, April 12
8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Memorial Coliseum

Admission is free

Come cheer on the Flaming Chickens as they compete against 64 teams for a spot at the World Championships in St. Louis. The prime time to come is Saturday at 1:15 p.m. for the final rounds. If you come, be sure to check out the pit area in the basement where teams feverishly repair their robots between matches.

See schedules and live streaming links at http://oregonfirst.org/events/pnw-frc-championship/

Game animation video (sorry about the advertising at the start -- it's worth the wait)

Lower School Experiential Days slide show

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Four days of learning by doing in mixed grade groupings. Fun!

Community code event wows the crowd

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The PFA’s Catlin Community Coding event was a great success, with more than 220 participants learning basic programming and processing skills. After an overview of what coding is all about and a shared meal, students from Honeybees to teens and their parents gathered around iPads and laptops to engage in a variety of online coding challenges. It was a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together to explore the creative and inspiring world of programming through applications such as Lightbot, Scratch, App Inventor, and Flappy Bird.

Parent instructor Suresh Srinivas noted the tremendous energy in the room as children and adults engaged fully in grasping the concepts. A 1st grader got to the final level of LightBot. An adult exclaimed, "Yes, I got it!" Participants reflected on the evening with words like awesome, great, educational, and humbling.

The evening's agenda, which provides some great resources for learning about coding, is posted below.

The PFA extends a special thank you to the volunteer instructors and presenters: parents Suresh Srinivas, Matthew Galaher, Drew Bernard, Maggie Kean, Tim Rayle, and Adrienne Hill; faculty-staff members Robert Medley, Andrew Thomas, Johny Nguyen, José Ruiz, Meredith Goddard, and Rob van Nood; and students Aidan Bernard, Nate Sale, Soha Ahmed, Andrew Hill, Anaga Srinivas, Lukas Stracovsky, Roy Stracovsky, and Iman Wahle. We were thrilled to support an event that included families from all four divisions, food, and exploratory experiential learning. Thank you all for a fun evening.

Watch this cool video about the importance of learning to code. Two great handouts from the evening are posted below the video and below that is a photo gallery of images provided by Adrienne Hill. 

Freshman Nikhil Murthy advances to International Science and Engineering Fair

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Six CG students presented their science research at the invitation-only Northwest Science Expo at PSU: seniors Nick Petty and Kristin Qian; junior Valerie Ding; sophomores Nic Bergen and Anirudh Jain; and freshman Nikhil Murthy,

Nikhil placed 1st in chemistry and received the Outstanding Chemistry Project Award from the American Chemical Society. Nikhil's project was chosen to advance to the International Science and Engineering Fair. 

Valerie placed 1st in physics and astronomy, won Best of Fair, and these awards: Outstanding Geoscience Award from the Association of Women Geoscientists; Outstanding Applied Chemistry Project Award from the American Chemical Society; Outstanding Chemistry Project Award from Iota Sigma Pi; the National Honor Society for Women in Chemistry; the Sustainable Development Award from the Ricoh Corporation, and an OSU Engineering College scholarship. She qualified for the International Science and Engineering Fair at an earlier competition.

Anirudh placed 2nd in chemistry and received the Naval Excellence in Science and Engineering Award from the Office of Naval Research, US Navy and Marine Corps

Middle School Science Olympiad team places 2nd at state, Upper School team places 3rd

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The Upper School Science Olympiad team took home four gold, one silver, and five bronze medals! Congratulations to seniors Katie Zechnich, Dina Zaslovsky, Erin Wynne, Jonathan Yau, Lewis Fitzgerald-Holland juniors Valerie Ding, Forrest Kwong, Brendan Edelson, Eric Wang; sophomore Iman Wahle; and freshmen Maria Chang and Adolfo Apolloni.

The Middle School team earned four gold, six silver, and four bronze medals in 23 events. Congratulations to 6th grader Jimmy Maslen; 7th graders Alexander Yu, Andrei Stoica, Arman Asgharzadeh, Avi Gupta, Harry Popowich, Matt Leungpathomaram, Nicholas Springer, Noor Wahle, Robbie McMonies, Spencer Shoemaker, Sydney Nagy, Tyler Nguyen; and 8th graders Sarah Daniels and Roy Stracovsky.


Sailing through the San Juan Islands

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Eighteen bold students set sale from Anacortes, Washington as part of their Winterim adventure.  Over the five days the group sailed to Matia, Sucia, Jones, Orcas and Lopez islands.  The group even managed to sail up into the Canadian Gulf islands for an afternoon, and also saw some porpoises.  There were lots of man overboard drills, cards played and hiking adventures on land.

Canyoneering in Utah

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Spectacular scenery and big adventure

A group of twelve Catlin Gabel students and leaders spent a week exploring the red rock canyons of southern Utah over spring break this year.  The group flew to Las Vegas and exited the place as fast as possible for the glorious wilderness not far from America's most unnatural city.  At the end of the five hour journey they found a pristine paradise of canyons, rocks, Indian dwellings and hidden rivers.  The first half of the trip was spent in Coyoto Gulch in the Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument.  Four days of hiking along the gorgeous stream in its deep canyon home created lasting memories for the young crew.  The last three days were spent exploring slot canyons, some of them requiring technical climbing gear.  Each night the group camped out under the brilliant stars, made brighter by the moonless night. 

Junior Eric Wang and freshman Nikhil Murthy heading to robotics world championships

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Eric and Nikhil are members of 11-person Bethany team Batteries in Black, which won top honors at the FTC West Super-Regional Championships in California. Eric is team co-captain. They will fly to St. Louis for the world championships April 23–26. The team is a Washington County 4-H team composed of students from five high schools. Last year, they placed second at the World Championships. Best of luck to Batteries in Black!

Upper School team places 3rd in statewide computer programming contest

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 A team of four Upper School students took 3rd place out of 20 teams in the 28th annual statewide computer programming contest sponsored by the Technology Association of Oregon Foundation and hosted by Willamette University. Bravo to sophomores Evë Maquelin and Gregor Peach, and juniors Kellie Takahashi and Y Yen Gallup. Working together, they successfully wrote eight challenging programs during the five-hour contest. This year's problems involved such topics as detecting possible collusion among Olympic judges and planning for an asteroid rover based on tomographic sensor data.

Auction video and photo gallery

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CELEBRATE: yesterday, today, and tomorrow

Thank you, volunteers, donors and guests! We'll have final numbers soon. 

"I so appreciate all the parents, alumni, and faculty-staff who came together in support of the school in this fun and fabulous way," said Lark Palma. "I was truly humbled by your show of support for me during the live auction." 

Special gratitude to auction co-chairs Craig Hartzman, Indira Nallakrishnan, and Sheryl Rosenfeld, and our presenting sponsor, Cedar Hills Crossing.

We are also indebted to emcee Patrick O'Neil, guest speaker Will Rosenfeld '14, and Judd and Natali Girard for this terrific video that reminds us why we love Catlin Gabel.

Scroll down to see the auction photo gallery. 

 

New Family Host Match Survey

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All new families are invited to participate in our host family program, which matches each new family with a current Catlin Gabel family as an initial connection for both parents and children. A host family can be a valuable resource for questions about the school. It can also provide advice on navigating all the opportunities and responsibilities throughout your child's first year at Catlin Gabel.

Please complete this form to help us make a good match! Though there are no guarantees on a perfect match, knowing your preferences helps!

 

Nordic Skiing on Mount Hood

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a fine challenge

Once a year the Glade Trail is groomed from Timberline down to Government Camp and a dozen Catlin students took advantage of the opportunity to try some brand new skills on for size.