Head of School Blog

tim bazemore dant house

Welcome to my blog, a way to present ideas, reflections, and observations with the school community and beyond. I blog on thought-provoking experiences, significant developments in education, and news of student and teacher work here at Catlin Gabel. My goal is to make you think, provoke a reaction, elicit diverse points of view, and affirm your faith in our school’s mission. I hope you’ll share with me and other readers any reactions you may have to my posts.

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Catlin Gabel students take math seriously – and do well. While standardized measures are inherently flawed, outcomes here are impressive. Our students scored in the top quartile on the SAT and ACT math sections compared to students in 38 independent schools in last year’s nationwide INDEX benchmark report. 

Read More about The Math Phenomenon

On a recent sunny morning in Schauff Circle, students and teachers kicked off the school year with song, laughter, and not one, but two Eagle mascots. Inspired by my predecessor Lark Palma’s annual reminder to “take risks,” I challenged students and adults to be fearless. We all fear failure and the judgment of others, and it’s tempting to avoid change. 

Read More about Forging Ahead, Fearlessly

Last month, I attended a heads of school meeting at a national conference in Baltimore. Around the table sat school leaders from almost every state. When the conversation turned to how national political events are affecting our schools, I was struck by how many schools are struggling to stand up for their school values in response to incidents of prejudice, and be places where diverse points of view and voices are truly valued.

Read More about Hearing Different Voices

In 1892, ten college presidents, high school principals, and headmasters met to standardize education for students intending to attend college. The goal of the “Committee of Ten” was to democratize education for America’s growing immigrant population and to provide a trained work force for the world’s dominant industrial nation.

Read More about Challenging the System

One of the reasons I joined Catlin Gabel School last year was the opportunity to build on the work of previous years in the areas of diversity and inclusion. In 2013-14 we conducted the Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM), which helped us to set goals related to leadership, community, employment, and professional development.

Read More about Why Diversity and Inclusion?

Progressive educators John Dewey and Ruth Catlin believed that the best learning happens through experience, an interaction between an individual and the environment. In schools, the interaction and environment are designed by the teacher, who selects materials, methods, subject matter, and surroundings that will engage students and inspire them to learn.

Read More about Ma ka hana ka ike

My predecessors at Catlin Gabel School had the vision and courage to ask teachers to dream big. And they do – with energy and purpose. The result is a school that is successful by any measure: student and faculty achievements, college success, alumni lives, enrollment, and fundraising.

Read More about Innovation and Strategy

The first week of school is exciting at Catlin Gabel. Children arrive full of energy (and some anxiety); parents and guardians beam as they cross the campus; and teachers wait eagerly in well-prepared classrooms. Familiar rituals of setting expectations and explaining schedules signal the next school chapter has begun.

Read More about Sharing Stories

On Saturday I joined over 300 parents, colleagues, and friends of Catlin Gabel at our annual auction, held this year at the Portland Art Museum. It was a festive gathering, focused on fundraising for the school’s financial aid program, which currently supports 27% of the student body and accounts for $3.5 million or 19% of our total budget.

Read More about Community and Philanthropy

Every moment of a Catlin Gabel education has value. Together those moments form a remarkable journey of self-discovery and mastery, which itself is an end as much as a means. Still, the journey does lead somewhere. Every year our seniors head to college, after navigating an admission process both revealing and challenging.

Read More about College and Catlin Gabel

What is the future of education? What trends, tools, and concepts will challenge traditional notions of teaching and learning? Last Saturday, academically trained futurist Garry Golden led the board of trustees and administrative team in a compelling discussion of what might lie ahead—and what that might mean to Catlin Gabel.

Read More about Teachers and the Future

Last week I joined eight students and five colleagues from Catlin Gabel in a memorable journey to Indianapolis. Along with 3,600 adults and teenagers, we attended the 28th annual People of Color Conference, held by the National Association of Independent Schools. The event aims to create a safe and inclusive gathering where educators of color and white allies can leverage racial, ethnic, and cultural differences for educational excellence in our schools.

Read More about Equity and Justice

I felt very fortunate to be at the Open House student panel last month. Over thirty minutes, I listened with pride as Catlin Gabel seniors interacted with the audience of hopeful and attentive prospective families. The questions touched on school culture, courses, friendships, time management, extracurricular interests, and college.

Read More about Measuring Success

Meet Head of School

Tim Bazemore

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Meet Assistant Head of School

Barbara Ostos

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