Portland area public & private schools to collaborate on August symposium

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Press Release

Jul 12, 2006

For Immediate Release

Contact: Nadine Fielder

503-297-1894, ext. 301


Portland area public & private schools to collaborate on August symposium

100 students from 8 schools will attend unique event on “the pursuit of happiness”

PORTLAND, ORE. On August 7 and 8, 100 of the brightest and most inquisitive students from eight area public and private high schools will gather together for a two-day symposium that will offer a unique, intellectually challenging experience. The students, led by teachers from these schools, will explore “the Pursuit of Happiness” on the campus of Catlin Gabel School. This unprecedented opportunity is a cooperative effort of the public school districts of Beaverton, Tigard-Tualatin, Riverdale, and Hillsboro; the private schools Oregon Episcopal School, Valley Catholic School, Jesuit High School, and Catlin Gabel School; and the Oregon Council for the Humanities. The superintendents and heads of the participating schools have been meeting for more than two years to share their experiences, and the symposium is an outgrowth of that rare collaborative spirit among very diverse schools and a mark of the leaders’ commitment to their work together. The symposium will be free of charge for attending students.

“The Pursuit of Happiness” offers a chance to explore different philosophies and aspects of happiness: as a state of being for individuals and an inalienable right of citizens, the ways we pursue it, and its relationship to economic opportunity and consumerism. This topic should be of great interest to high schoolers as they begin to shape their adult lives.

Each district and school has chosen their student participants from among their most engaged and accomplished students. The supervisors and heads from the eight schools and districts developed the symposium as a way to provide these students with additional challenges and opportunities to expand their intellectual horizons. This additional attention has become increasingly important as classrooms focus on meeting NCLB standards, with less time and resources available to support these bright students.

Two keynote speakers will set the tone for the symposium, and 18 faculty members--two teachers from each of the participating schools and districts--will lead the morning and afternoon workshops. The two-day symposium will include meals and social activities for the students.

This will be a great opportunity for teachers from public and private schools to work closely together, and to get to teach the many diverse students from the very different schools and districts participating in this extraordinary learning experience.


Catlin Gabel School is an independent, coeducational day school dedicated to academic excellence, individualized attention, multiculturalism, and lifelong learning. Situated on a 54-acre wooded campus in Portland, Oregon, Catlin Gabel offers its 700 students an enriched curriculum blending science, math, humanities, the arts, athletics, and a strong sense of community to students in preschool through twelfth grade. The school is fully accredited, and is independently governed by a board of trustees as a nonprofit institution without tax support or religious affiliation.