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"The Tempest" photo gallery

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Thank you to Thomas Newlands '14 for the photos.

Shakespeare's  "The Tempest," performed by Middle and Upper School students, was the inaugural play in the Creative Arts Center's black box theater.

Outdoor Program and Arts UNITE at Ekone Ranch

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Horseback Arts Trip a Success for it's Second Year!

After a relaxing no school Friday, students met up at 2:00 for a 2:30pm sharp departure East to Goldendale WA.  On the bus we sang, got acquainted, and chatted and arrived at Ekone Ranch in the beautiful slanted evening light.  The bus filled with smiles as the bus wove down the driveway into the valley filled with horses, little smoking chimneys, pigs, goats, and golden leaves. 
 Shonie met us and we got the lay of the land before moving into the longhouse where we set ourselves up in bunks and lofts.  We stretched our legs on a walk around the ranch and some pig feeding before heading over to the kitchen where we were greeted by a warm stove and delicious dinner.  Students all gathered around a table chatting, eating, and enjoying the company. Just as we were finishing, Nance and Ailie arrived and joined the group! After dinner we helped clean up, bundled up, and headed over to the lodge where we lit a fire beneath the watch of Monarch the buffalo head.  Half the group had planned activities for the evening and we played “hot seat,” a question game where the bonding was sweet and the group got a lot closer.  Just after 10 we headed back to the longhouse where we stoked the wood stove and settled into the chilly evening under the full moon. 
 7:30 came early with the calling of wild turkeys through the morning mist and the breakfast crew bundled up and headed down to the kitchen to help get breakfast ready.  Everyone joined them at 8 and we enjoyed a delicious warm breakfast before cleaning up, getting ready for the day and meeting up for some stretching and plan making.  1/3 of the group went riding while the other 2/3s did encaustic wax painting, photography, and horse charcoal drawings with Nance.  The riders returned from their riding lesson and glorious autumn loop along the canyon rim in time for lunch  and we all ate in the sunshine under the fall leaves.  After lunch we moved wood in the forest and had some quiet solo time where students napped, read, and enjoyed the peace of the valley. In the afternoon the groups rotated.  Art was made, horses were ridden, and adventure was had!
 The evening found us gathered together enjoying a delicious dinner before another evening of games around the fire.
 Our final morning was spent with the remainder of students riding while the rest of us hiked to the bottom of the canyon to a beautiful oasis! After lunch the bus arrived.  We had a talent show on the bus ride back  which included yodeling and songs! We got back to Catlin at 4pm dusty, relaxed, and happy.

Varsity cross-country teams qualify for state

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Congratulations to the boys and girls teams!

Freshman Samantha Slusher won the district championship with a season best time of 19:34.

The top 10 placers at districts were

Girls: #1 Samantha Slusher, #3 Grace Masback, and #5 Kelsey Hurst

Boys: #5 Max Fogelstrom, #7 Garet Neal, and #10 Luca Ostertag-Hill

The state championships are on Saturday, November 2. For more information, go to

Seniors and 1st graders pumpkin carving photo gallery

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The classes of 2014 and 2025 lucked out with plenty of sunshine for their trip to the pumpkin patch

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

Science research class publishes scientific journal

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The Upper School science research class has launched Elements, an annual publication showcasing student research. The publication's mission is to increase awareness about what a scientific research project entails, and to create a hub where our community’s researchers can learn, ask questions, collaborate, and see their hard work in a formal science journal format. The inaugural edition features the work of students in the classes of 2013 through 2016.

Open the PDF below.

Students part of citywide Shakespeare collaboration with “The Tempest”

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Catlin Gabel Middle and Upper School students are taking part in Portland Playhouse’s Fall Festival of Shakespeare, a series of plays produced by eight area high schools and two middle schools. The plays will be performed first at each individual school, and then all schools will bring their plays to Portland’s Winningstad Theatre on November 2 and 3.
The Catlin Gabel cast will perform Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” on Friday, October 25, and Saturday, October 26, at 7 p.m. in the black box theater in Catlin Gabel’s Creative Arts Center. They will perform again at the Winningstad Theatre on Saturday, November 2, at 2 p.m. Tickets for the Catlin Gabel performances are available at the door: $9 general admission, $7 for students and seniors. Tickets for the Winningstad performance are available online through Portland’5 Ticketing. Tickets are $15, with a $7.95 fee per transaction.
“The Tempest” is the first mainstage production in Catlin Gabel’s new black box theater. The building was designed to bring Middle and Upper School students together, and they have collaborated on every aspect of the production. Students designed the set, costumes, makeup, lighting, publicity materials, sound, and music. The Catlin Gabel rock band will accompany the play with both originals and covers. See the video below for a preview of the play.
“The process has been so deeply driven by our students,” said Upper School theater teacher Elizabeth Gibbs. “A lot of what you see will come from their minds and imaginations.”
“Our students have built a creative community between Middle and Upper School students, as well as with students from other schools,” said Middle School drama teacher Deirdre Atkinson. “Our students’ insatiable curiosity and infectious enthusiasm has inspired the adults who have helped shape what they create. In turn, we teachers have collaborated with our peers at the other schools to read and engage with Shakepeare’s texts.” Both Elizabeth and Deirdre trained last summer with Shakespeare and Company, funded by a summer innovation grant from the school.
Deirdre and Elizabeth chose “The Tempest” because its compelling roles would be inviting to a wide variety of students and audiences, and they accepted all students who were interested. Deirdre remarked on the relationship between “The Tempest” and the new Creative Arts Center: “We are such stuff as dreams are made on. . . . How wonderful to reflect on Prospero’s words as we gather together in our beautiful theatre in the Creative Arts Center. In the theatre, so many people—actors, designers, dancers, and musicians—come together to bring a story to life ‘out of thin air.’ The building was once merely a dream; as in the theatre, so many members of the Catlin Gabel community came together to bring the dream to life. It has been a delight to watch our students build creative community while exploring Shakespeare’s text and coming to realize the possibilities of this brilliant new creative space.”
From the Portland Playhouse website: The Fall Festival of Shakespeare is a non-competitive region-wide collaboration between Portland Playhouse and area high schools. The Festival is a spectacular theatrical event, in part because student actors connect well to Shakespeare; they understand the passion, the large stakes, and the disaster. High school is not unlike an Elizabethan Tragedy.
The students are not only performers in the festival, but a large and vocal component of the audience. They are most active and vibrant theatre patrons you will ever encounter. They “oooh” and “ahhh”; call out “Oh no she didn’t”; scream and laugh. It’s the closest thing we have to how an Elizabethan audience at Shakespeare’s Globe might have reacted. It’s an unforgettable experience for the students involved, and an engaging cultural phenomenon for everyone to witness.
The collaborating high schools are Catlin Gabel, Ridgefield, Trillium, Roosevelt, Franklin, Ft. Vancouver, Hockinson, and De La Salle; middle schools taking part are St. Andrew’s and King.

AIM survey letter from Lark Palma

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Assess Inclusivity and Multiculturalism

October, 16, 2013

Dear parents, faculty, staff, trustees, Middle and Upper School students, and recent graduates,

For Catlin Gabel to continue as a vibrant and relevant school we must get to the heart of diversity and inclusivity. Assessing how we’re doing with respect to diversity and inclusivity is not merely a navel-gazing exercise. This is essential work that, if we do it right, will prevent our school from going the way of the dinosaur.

AIM is a year-long project to Assess Inclusivity and Multiculturalism. It supports one of the school’s strategic initiatives and addresses a key recommendation from our accreditation process. Frankly, we were dinged for our lackluster progress in this regard.

AIM is a serious and comprehensive undertaking. The first part is an online survey that launches October 23. We are eager to hear from all Catlin Gabel community members. The survey results will be carefully examined to identify future goals and plans, to ensure we are the most inclusive school community we can be. The second part involves numerous focus groups in the spring.

Next week I will send you a link to the online survey.

I would personally appreciate it if you could take 15–20 minutes to let us know what you think and how you feel about diversity and inclusivity at Catlin Gabel. The survey is absolutely anonymous. We hope this allows for your full participation; we want every voice heard.

With gratitude,
Lark Palma, PhD, head of school

Lemelson-MIT program announces $10,000 grant to student engineering project

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Congratulations, engineers!

Catlin Gabel’s Global Community Engineering Club is one of 15 teams across the country that was awarded $10,000 through the Lemelson-MIT 2013-14 InvenTeam initiative. Thanks to the grant, the team now takes the new name, Catlin Gabel InvenTeam.

The Catlin Gabel project, ScumBot, addresses the real-world problem of duckweed infestation in Aspen Lake in Sunriver, Oregon. ScumBot is an autonomous robot that propels itself around inland bodies of water collecting algae and duckweed and depositing that cargo in designated areas. With the grant money, the team will work to build the Scumbot under the leadership of Alexandra Crew '16, president; Anna Dodson ‘16, communications manager; Max Armstrong '15, mechanical manager; Jacob Bendicksen '16, control systems manager; and Vincent Miller '15, software manager. For more about the project visit the Catlin Gabel InvenTeam website

A respected panel of invention and academic leaders from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Lemelson-MIT Program, industry, and InvenTeam student alumni selected the InvenTeams from a national pool of applicants.

Members of Catlin Gabel’s InvenTeam will travel to MIT’s EurekaFest  in June to present their project, meet other teams, get behind-the-scenes tours of MIT labs, and engage in hands-on challenges.

Dale Yocum is the dedicated faculty advisor of Catlin Gabel’s InvenTeam. “InvenTeams isn't a competition, it's more of a celebration of the creative spirit,” said Dale.

“Our team is thankful for the support of Lemelson-MIT in bettering our local Oregon community through invention,” said CG InvenTeam president Alexandra Crew. “We are proud to be doing our part to help the environment.”

Rafting the Mighty Deschutes River

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Upper School students spend three days on Oregon's great river

This fall we had so many students sign up for the annual fall rafting trip that we created two trips as a way to assure everyone a quality experience. 

The first and second groups were both guided by the able oarsmen of All-Star Rafting, from Maupin.  Bob Sauer was the Admiral of the first team and Paul Monheimer was the Admiral of the second group.  We were favored by great weather all weekend, and the students had the funnest time.  The first day was spent navigating fairly straightforward rapids from the put in at Warm Springs to a camp near Whiskey Dick.  Most of the time was occupied getting to know each other. learning various paddling techniques and getting to know our guides.  Dinner that night was prepared by the students under the watchful and hungry eyes of the guides and school faculty.  The students and leaders slept out under the stars or in tents.

Day two included the challenge of White Horse Rapids, a class III-IV rapid that is long and somewhat complex.  Everyone made it through unscathed and on they travelled after a brief stop for some swimming and jumping into the river.  That night was spent near the old townsite of Dant.

On the third and final day the group faced up to the challenge of the toughest rapids on the lower river.  These rapids include Boxcar, Wapinitia and Oak Springs.  We stopped to scout some of these and used the expertise of the guides on others.  Everyone got wet- and those who were not wet were invited into he river on the sunny day.  The trip ended about noon on Sunday and the bus was filled with smiling and happy faces on the return trip to Portland.

Rafting the Mighty Deschutes River

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A sunny October weekend on the water

A yellow bus towing a tightly packed trailer pulled out of the gravel lot of Catlin Gabel School at 8:00am on Saturday October 12th. It cut its way through the rain and the basaltic cliffs of the Columbia River Gorge in search of chilly rapids, starlit skies and one particularly epic camp breakfast. In the two days to follow the fifteen adventurers would get their fill of churning whitewater, bacon, and chocolate chip-enriched pancakes…but they would not see a single star  (had they not brought a thirty pound telescope perhaps the skies would have cleared)


Below is an account of this trip brought to you by those students who lived to tell the tale (which fortunately included everyone who signed up).

We woke up to the sun rising to climb on the bus to the Deschutes River. After a couple hours of driving, we arrived at White River BLM campground and set up our camp before continuing on to Maupin City Park for a delicious BBQ lunch prepared by our guides at All Star Rafting. From there we got suited up in wet suits, booties, spray jackets and life jackets. Then we got back on the bus and reviewed safety protocols before hopping in our rafts and heading down the river.


People on the right side of the raft got SOAKED while the people on the left only got splashed a bit. Some people rode the bull, which means they sat on the front of the raft. Jesse broke his paddle (likely because he’s so strong…this was added later by Jesse).


We got to swim through one rapid (Elevator rapid) with one of our guides but only after being bombarded with safety info. Still, eight of us jumped in one after the other and were swept away. We paddled to shore smiling from ear to ear but a little sad that the rafting was almost over. We then went back to the All Star Rafting headquarters and peeled off our soaking wetsuits and outfitted ourselves with warm clothes for our drive back to camp.


Half the group prepared dinner while the other half walked up a beautiful viewpoint. When we got back to camp, night had descended and a chill was in the air. We scarfed down some food (burritos!) and feasted on sweets (s’mores…and gummy worms!).


The day had worn everyone out and the camp began to grow quiet. One-by-one people headed their tents to talk until they nodded off.


The next day…

The sun rose on the sleepy campground and brought light to the zombie-like kids. We ate a breakfast of bacon, eggs and chocolate chip pancakes and began to open our eyes. Later we walked up into the hills as a group and looked back as the light glistened off the flowing river and the camp and breathed in the beauty.


All that is left to say is that we after a two and a half hour drive and a lunch stop in the Columbia Gorge we arrived back at Catlin Gabel at 3:00 on Sunday. Everyone was happy. It was a great trip

Sixth grade farm overnight photo gallery

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An outdoor education adventure

Students enjoyed a snapshot of farm life, from playing with the animals to harvesting their own food for dinner. Click on any photo to view a larger image, download the picture, or start the slide show.

Biking through Oregon's Old Growth Forests

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Three days on Mount Hood amid the Autumn Colors
Bicycling along paved mountain roads, surrounded by the colors of the fall, seventeen Catlin Gabel students and four leaders made a 60 mile tour of the high Cascades of Oregon during a  flawless October weekend. 

The trip began on a Friday morning at a snow park about six miles south of Government Camp just past Clear Lake.  The group unloaded its belogings from the bus and strapped some of them on to their trusty two-wheelers while putting the rest in a friendly van that would help transport the gear from one forest campsite to the next.  The trip was planned so as to be entirely on paved roads through the Mt. Hood National Forest and Willamette National Forest.
The first day featured some ups and some downs as far as elevation gain went.  We had a nice lunch near Little Crater Lake, a little visited gem of this great state, and made a visit to the nearby Pacific Crest Trail.  From here we biked back up to Forest Service Road 42, our main artery of travel and proceeded to Timothy Lake.  A few students roused the courage to wade in its chilly waters.  That evening we camped at Summit Lake and feasted on a lengthy spaghetti dinner.
Day two provided glorious downhill biking along narrow and winding forest roads, all the way down to the Clackamas River.  We ate our lunch right beside the river while some hearty souls tested the icy waters.  From here we biked south along FS 46 to an obscure campsite along Sisi Creek.  The students spent the afternoon playing capture the flag and a memorable game of Ultimate Frisbee on the narrow and nearly deserted forest road.
Our final day started with a challenging climb up to the pass that seperates the Clackamas River drainage from that of the Santiam River.  Once on top, and with little or no warning, we embarked on an unending downhill ride of 14 miles that took us right into the town of Detroit.  The smiles wouldn't stop. Most fun ever.

Alumni Weekend 2013 Photo Gallery

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Alumni Lunch and Celebration of Leadership and Service

On Friday, September 27, alumni from the classses of 1933 – 1958 came to campus to have lunch in the new Creative Artst Center and to celebrate our school's history.

On Saturday, September 28, we presented Distinguished Alumni Awards to Gretchen Corbett '63, Willard "Wick" Rowland '62, and Amani Reed '93. We also honored retired teacher Dave Corkran, recipient of the Joey Day Pope '54 Volunteer Award.

Click on any photo to enlarge it, download it, or start a slide show.

Writing Lab Meets in the US Library!

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St Helen's Blast Team Fortitude!

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Attitudes rise as raindrops fall

The wild weekend weather forecast and perniciously persistent illness conspired to whittle away at the participant list over the course of the week leading up to our departure on this adventure.  From what had originally been a nearly full activity-bus-load of 11 students and 2 leaders, timidity and sickness diminished our number to a mere 4 students and 2 leaders standing in the parking lot by the bus on Saturday morning at departure time.  The gray skies and forbidding forecast notwithstanding, there was great enthusiasm and energy throughout this small but intrepid group as we loaded the bus and left Catlin on time.

On the two hour drive to the mountain the skies grew darker and the rain showers more frequent.  The multi setting speed control on the windshield wipers had to be adjusted to ever faster rates the closer we got to our destination.  At the turnoff to Ape Cave, we paused to discuss our options.  A brief, transitory lessening of the deluge deluded us into carrying on to the Lava Canyon Trailhead, following the planned itinerary.  We were the only vehicle in the parking lot.  After suiting up in our rain gear, we set off down the paved trail to the canyon floor as the rain intensity picked up again.  The impervious pavement provided a wide channel for the water to flow down, switchback after switchback.  Artistically placed logs that made distinct natural borders for the path in fine weather now were dams keeping the water on the path and creating deep pools that spanned the pavement forcing us to teeter along the logs in a futile effort to keep our feet dry.  The creek at the bottom of the canyon, impressive at any time as it winds its way over old lava flows and cascades over their edges, was even more spectacular now, swollen with rainwater, opaquely brown with silt, and raging through its whirlpools and over its waterfalls.  We passed safely over it on a high steel bridge, and then back on an even higher, satisfyingly swaying suspension bridge.  In the river below the next rampaging waterfall we could hear large boulders shifting in the current, moved along by the unusually high volume of water. 

We left the paved portion of the trail and followed the narrow and steep path cut into the precipitous cliffs along the dramatic canyon uncovered by the lahar flow from the 1980 eruption and made more striking by the years of erosion by the creek in just such weather as this.  Even the trail was being reworked by the rainfall, as runoff made its way down the steep incline of the narrow path, carrying small loose pebbles along with it before finally cascading over the cliffside to join the brown torrent below.  Side creeks that normally would be an easy crossing required careful footwork and adroit jumping to cross their full-spate cascades splashing over the trail.  We paused to admire the distinct contacts between different lava flows, and to notice the unusual cooling in one flow that resulted in laminar cracks rather than the more common columns.  We were finally turned back by a creek too wide to jump and with no convenient logs to serve as bridges or stepping stones.

We climbed aboard the bus, and some made the first of many changes of clothing in a futile effort to keep dry-clad – an effort that soon exhausted the dry clothes supply.  The interior of the bus was quickly festooned with dripping clothing.  In betweenst the drips we ate our lunches – not dry, but at least out of the rain.

On the drive back towards Ape Cave, the streams running off the upper lahar and across low places in the road were noticeably deeper than they had been on the way out.  The water reached up at least to the hubcaps of the bus as we dipped through en route to higher (but not much drier) ground.  Despite the by now continuous heavy rainfall, the large parking lot at Ape Cave was ¾ full of vehicles.  Many people seemed to be seeking a drier outing underground on this soggy day.  This turned out to be a vain hope.  While there’s often a bit of dripping from the roof overhead at the entrance to the cave, the great volume of rain from this storm meant that the permeable basalt flow above dripped through the entire length of the tube.  There was a stream of water running along the floor of the lava tube from entrance to end, a distance of ¾ mile.  In the narrower and steeper sections the sound of the rushing water echoed off the damp stone walls and made the unusual underground stream sound even larger.  The drips underground were larger and heavier than the raindrops above, so there was no doffing of raincoats or ponchos as we had hoped to be able to do.  At the bottom end of the tube, a lake had formed on the sand floor that now blocks the lower exit to the tube.  Presumably the water will slowly seep through the sand and return the cave to its more usual damp but waterless state once this storm has abated.  We took advantage of a lull between other visitors to turn off all our lights to appreciate just how dark the inside of a cave is.  (It’s REALLY dark.)  The experience was novel this time, though, due to the extra noises.  Usually it’s very quiet during this experiment, only the shuffling of our own group disturbing the silence.  This time we heard the distant noises of other groups farther up the tube and the continual rush of the running water flowing down to meet us at the lake.

We drove down the road to the Trail of Two Forests parking lot.  The lot was almost completely filled with sheriff’s vehicles, so we had to park our bus and trailer in the turnout outside.  (The trailer had been arranged back when the trip roster was much larger.  It now contained only the drinking water containers and fuel canisters.  With the smaller group size that we now actually had, all gear fit inside the bus, out of the rain, although not necessarily dry.)  Talking to two of the strapping, large men in the lot, we found that they were part of a search and rescue operation looking for a lost mushroom picker in the wet woods.  We were on a quest to find Lake Cave, another lava tube, unmarked, that I had learned of the existence of only the day before from Peter.  The friendly searchers in the lot confirmed that the entrance was hard to find.  One of them only was only able to find it with the aid of his GPS unit and by knowing its exact coordinates.  The searcher-in-chief at the parking lot was not thrilled at our plan of heading off into the woods to find a location that we didn’t know.  We promised not to go far, and to not become another search project for him.  In the event, we found the entrance to the cave easily and quite quickly.  Peter’s scant, but accurate, directions enabled us to walk almost directly to it.  This cave we had to ourselves.  There was a metal ladder to descend into the main part of the lava tube, and then a lot of scrambling over large rock falls to proceed to the lower sections.  Although some of the party was able to descend a short but steep wall into a large, open chamber, others of us were not, so the entire group turned around at this point, satisfied at having found and explored the cave exclusively, but a little disappointed at not having encountered its eponymous lake.  We returned safely and entirely to the parking lot, where we checked back in with the search director.  Then, as long as we were there, we took the Trail of Two Forests loop hike.  It’s all paved and boardwalked, so there’s little chance of getting lost.  The volcanic features on display here were new to many of the group.  Several also did The Crawl, wriggling through two tree casts in the lava flow that now make a rough, hard, narrow tunnel that was today rather damp.  Just as we loaded the bus, one of the searchers came over to tell us the rescue effort had just made voice contact with the missing mushroom hunter.

We headed east on FR 90 towards our campground.  The weather continued extremely wet.  Even though it was only mid-afternoon, the skies were so thickly beclouded that it seemed more like evening.  The winding road was littered with leaves and branches.  Although the conditions were now windless, so that the rain came straight down, it must have been very windy earlier.  The obstacles meant extreme attention was needed for driving safely.  We reached the campground about 4:30.  There were three other hardy parties, with well-established camp setups amidst the general sogginess.  We found a site with sufficient open, puddle-free ground for our tents and a table with trees around for the tying up of a sheltering tarp.  In the continuous rainfall, the tents were quickly erected, and with three long lengths of rope, the tarp was carefully hung, centered over the table.  It proved to have an unexpected, but very convenient feature – it was self-bailing.  As the rain water collected into an ever deeper pool on the top, causing the whole affair to sag closer to the table, the center of mass shifted, and the pool moved towards the edge of the tarp.  At a critical time, the whole pool poured itself over the edge, and the lightened tarp rose above our heads. Then the whole process started over again.  Once we’d gotten over our amazement and astonishment at this phenomenon, we turned it even further to our advantage and started catching the water dumps in our dishpans to use as dishwashing water.  As the water pump was quite a distance from our campsite, this was a much more convenient way to obtain the wash water.

By staying under the continually falling and rising tarp, we were able to stay fairly dry (and in close conversation) while dinner was prepared: Caesar salads, French bread, and tortellini in cream sauce with peas.  This was sandwiched in between (even though it was much more than sandwiches!) endless rounds of hot drinks, the consumption of all of which did much to buoy our dampened spirits.  As darkness fell, however, the rainfall increased rather than tapering off.  The puddles between the tents continued to grow and started to encroach on the tents themselves.  The time between auto-dumps on the tarp (Vince was timing them) shortened from nearly 6 minutes to 3 minutes and then to 2 minutes.  A walk to the outhouse, away from the shelter of the tarp, resulted in saturation of bits of clothing that to this point in the day had remained dry, despite the continuous deluge.  Part of the wetness was brought on by a detour to see the lower falls of the Lewis River, which were just beyond the outhouse.  The falls were a spectacular sight – a luminous curtain of white in the deep gloom of the drenched evening, rushing loudly over a wide swath of rock.  The overabundance of the recent additions to the water supply undoubtedly added to the magnificence, and promoted lingering to appreciate the spectacle, while contributing to the sogginess of the trip personnel.

Throughout the adventure to this point the attitude and enthusiasm of the intrepid few who were partaking in the expedition had been exemplary.  There was continuous conversation keeping things lively and interesting, and consistent excitement about the excessively wet but still enthralling escapades that kept bobbing up before us.  As the rainfall rate seemed set to keep increasing, the tents (along with just about everything else we had) were saturated and sodden, and the prospect was now to head to a wet bed at 7 pm, for a long and soggy night, with the forecast for tomorrow’s weather no better, it seemed best to end the trip at this point, with spirits and enthusiasm still high.  So, by general agreement, we packed up the soggy tents and dishes and stuffed everything in the bus.  Despite the darkness and the drenching downpour, we had everything packed and tucked in the bus within half an hour, helped along by dessert brownies.

The adventure was not yet over, however.  The deserted roads were still littered with leaves, branches, and occasionally rocks that had to be avoided.  We proceeded slowly and cautiously along the interminable windings of the shortcut down to Carson and the straighter, more main roads along the Columbia that we hoped would speed our return to Portland.  It was a good thing that the proceeding was cautious, as rounding one sharp turn on the descent to the Wind River Valley, the high-beam headlights revealed, through the curtain of falling rain, an entire tree fallen across the road, blocking it completely.   Further (wet) investigation up close showed that the tree, while certainly too substantial to be simply heaved aside, was small enough to be susceptible to sawing.  Fortunately we HAD a saw, brought in the expectation that we might find firewood to supplement the supply we had brought for a fire for our smores.  The sodden nature of the firepit and all local potential firewood meant that the saw hadn’t been brought out until now.  It proved up to the task, with enough effort from many of the party, of clearing half of the roadway.  Comparisons were made by those who had been on the Elana Gold Project this past June to the trail clearing efforts we (successful and more drily) made then using the same saw.   We threw the cut and broken tree pieces over the embankment, reboarded the bus, and continued on our wet way.  10 miles farther on, red and blue flashing lights erupted behind the bus, so we pulled over at the first turnout, and they pulled in behind us.  What Now?  It was another sheriff, looking for a search and rescue training (not the actual rescue that we had seen, we soon established,) that no one had thought to tell him the location of.  Seeing our bus, he thought we might be transporting searchers-in-training.  We had to inform him otherwise, and he set off on his continuing search effort, while we resumed our continuously eventful progress towards Portland.   The roads were now more main and frequented and less nature-littered, although not any less wet.  We passed through Carson, and headed west on Washington 14.  We crossed the river at Bridge of the Gods, thinking that a quick hour’s drive on I-84 would return us to Catlin.  Ha!  The toll taker on the Oregon side, hearing that we were heading west, told us that I-84 was closed, due to an accident, and he couldn’t say when it might open again.  He allowed us to make U turn and return to the Washington side of the river toll-free.  We continued west on WA 14. As we approached Vancouver, the rainfall slackened enough that I could finally turn the windshield wipers off completely for the last half hour.  It was the first time they’d been off for more than two minutes at a stretch all day.  We arrived back at Catlin about 10:30, just as the Homecoming Dance was winding up, and where parents soon retrieved their soggy, but contented offspring, who now had so many tales to relate.

The adventure was not yet ended, however, as after cleaning and securing our steady, reliable bus, I drove home, over leaf and tree-bit strewn roads (it must have been very stormy in Portland, too,) to find my street even darker than usual in stormy weather.  When the garage door failed to open despite repeated pressings of the opener, I realized that the power must be out.  Not only was my house dark (which I had expected) but all the neighbors’ were too.  So I ended up going to bed by flashlight after all.  At least the bed was totally dry.  And by the time I got up the next morning (not very early) the power had been restored.  (It has been raining almost all day today – conducive to the writing up of our adventure and confirming the wisdom of having called an ending to the trip at a highpoint last night.  Chilly, wet hiking in saturated woods today, with no views of the volcanic crater would have been quite poor ending after all of yesterday’s exciting events.)

Although the account of these exploits may seem incredible, they are all true.  (And they all happened in a single day.)  What is even more amazing, and for which I am exceedingly grateful, is that the natural winnowing process described the opening paragraph of this account yielded a superb expeditionary force, whose enthusiasm and spirits remained high throughout, who were excited about ALL the activities we did, the challenges we faced and overcame, and changes we had to implement.  Despite the excessive moisture component (far exceeding even rafting trips) we were subjected to, the attitudes, positive participation, continued cheerfulness, and appreciation of the adventure of every single member of the expedition made a very successful and exciting excursion out of what very easily could have been a soggy mess.  I would eagerly lead another (ideally drier) adventure anywhere with this exemplary team.

Catlin Gabel names Timothy Bazemore to replace Lark Palma as head of school

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Oregonian article, September 2013

Catlin Gabel names Timothy Bazemore new head of school

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Board chair Steve Gordon's letter to the community

Dear Catlin Gabel community members,

At the recommendation of the head search committee and on behalf of the board of trustees, I am delighted to announce that we have appointed Timothy Bazemore the next head of Catlin Gabel School.

Tim is currently the head of school at New Canaan Country School, a preschool–grade 9 coed school for 630 students in Connecticut. He is a proven leader with invaluable experience as both a classroom teacher and an administrator in independent schools. He brings to Catlin Gabel an exceptional background in progressive education and commitment to our lasting values: diversity, sustainability, and innovation in the classroom. During his interactions with the search committee, board, students, parents, faculty-staff, and alumni Tim demonstrated outstanding communication and interpersonal skills with wisdom and humanity. We are confident that Catlin Gabel will continue to serve as a national model for progressive education and to flourish in ways that are right for our school under Tim’s leadership.

Tim will begin his tenure as head of school on July 1, 2014. We look forward to a seamless transition, thanks to Lark Palma’s continuing leadership, our strong and seasoned administrative team, and our world-class faculty and staff.

“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.”

Tim has been the head of New Canaan Country School since 2000. Through his work as vice chair of the Independent School Data Exchange (INDEX), Tim is leading the national conversation about progressive education and student skills assessment. Born and raised in Lewiston, New York, Tim graduated from Hotchkiss School in 1978. He 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. During his 13 years with Chestnut Hill, Tim assumed increasing responsibility, moving from classroom teacher to director of middle and upper school admission, and then to head of the middle school. He and his wife, Lisa, have two sons, Luke, 15, and Tyler, 23.

The board and I are extremely grateful to the head search committee, chaired by Peter Steinberger, for leading a meticulous and inclusive process in which all voices were heard.

Thank you to the many parents, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends who participated by attending presentations and providing feedback. Community devotion to Catlin Gabel’s future was fully evidenced by your more than 1,000 survey responses, all of which the search committee read thoroughly.

We look forward to welcoming Tim and his family to Portland and Catlin Gabel.

Steve Gordon, MD, board chair

>Link to Oregonian article