Alumni News

Of Leading and Learning

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By Lark P. Palma, PhD, Head of School

In January I was heartbroken to learn of the death of former headmaster Manvel “Schauff” Schauffler, one of the school’smost distinctive and important leaders. He established many practices that continue to this day, about caring for and respecting one other and the school, and about learning through experience. When teachers load students into a bus to go learn firsthand about their community and the world around them—that’s Schauff. I have heard so many stories about the many ways he supported students, moved them towards an understanding of how to act gracefully and compassionately, and made them feel like useful members of the community.
 
Schauff did that for me, too. He would write me unexpected and encouraging letters about leading Catlin Gabel, knowing that we shared many of the same joys and challenges. I’ve saved all those letters, which are a treasure to me. I hope that we all strive to be as generous as he was, and learn how to make others believe in themselves the way he did.
 

Ruth Catlin, one of Catlin Gabel’s founders, established her school with the intent “to contribute to the community and its schools an educational laboratory, free to utilize the knowledge and wisdom of leading educators.” This issue of the Caller celebrates Ruth Catlin’s devotion to continued education, and examination of what it means to teach and learn, by featuring the educational research of some of our faculty members and division heads.
 
Catlin Gabel’s philosophy and practices emphasize equipping educators with the tools they need to provide the best possible education for our students. In practical terms, this means that we offer professional development funds for every teacher and staff member. With this freedom, they can immerse themselves in the latest thinking about their chosen field, learn about best practices in independent schools, meet with their peers to learn how to put new concepts into use, and engage in their own research.
 
The articles that follow demonstrate the fruits of Catlin Gabel’s commitment to teaching and learning, for both adults and children, and the quest to discover more about how education works best in an independent school. From gender to mathematics to technology, you’ll read about just a very few of the current issues in education that will continue to evolve.  
 


 

Where in the world are CG students?

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Mid-March is go time for Catlin Gabel’s global education program. Five groups, three from the Upper School and two from the Middle School, are spread across three continents.

Upper School students are traveling to Guatemala, France, and China.

Middle School students are traveling to Costa Rica and Taiwan.

» Visit the global education section of the website for trip details and to follow student blog posts 

 

Robotics team wins top regional award, qualifies for world championships

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Congratulations!

The Catlin Gabel Flaming Chickens won the Chairman’s award for the fourth time! The team will go to the world championships in St. Louis, April 24–28. They've qualified for the world competition five out of six years, more than any other team in Oregon.

» Check out the Flaming Chicken's website for details

Celebration of Schauff videos

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Thank you to the producers and presenters for making these images available to the CG community

 Lowell Herr's video

 

Mark Petersen's video

 

Cody Hoyt '13's video

 

Video of the program (scroll down to get the video)

Science Bowl team places 2nd in regionals

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Congratulations!

Terrance Sun, Valerie Ding, Lawrence Sun, Ben Hutchings, and Nick Petty beat out 64 other teams from Oregon and Washington to earn the 2nd place trophy in the BPA Regional Science Bowl. The competition was fierce.

We congratulate our scientists and the scientists from Mountain View High School for their 1st place finish.  

Head search committee chair invites community participation, announces search firm

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A letter from Peter Steinberger

Dear Catlin Gabel community members,

On behalf of the Head of School Search Committee, and even as the search process is just getting under way, I am writing to the entire Catlin Gabel community to describe where we are and how we intend to proceed.

I should say at the outset that the members of the committee are all honored and delighted to participate in this important process. Of course, the responsibility is daunting. We have very large shoes to fill, and it will be a challenge for all of us. Nonetheless, the committee is confident that we will find a terrific Head of School who will build wonderfully on the many great accomplishments under Lark’s leadership.

Let me also say that you should not hesitate to contact me if you have any suggestions, concerns, questions or comments. This is an honest invitation. The committee is committed to a process that is open, inclusive and, to the greatest degree possible, transparent; and we frankly seek your advice and counsel. As the process unfolds, formal opportunities will exist for a great many members of the Catlin Gabel community—teachers, staff, trustees, students, parents, alumni and friends—to provide input. But in the meantime, and indeed throughout the search, you should feel free to share your thoughts; and certainly could include thoughts about who, in your opinion, might be a strong candidate for Head of School. For convenience sake, the best way to communicate would be by email at searchchair@catlin.edu, or by phone (503-777-7231). I would be delighted to hear from you, and I can assure you that I will act as a faithful messenger to the search committee.

I am extremely pleased to report that we have retained the services of Bob Fricker and his associate Sherry Coleman—both representing the nationally prominent firm of Carney, Sandoe and Associates—to serve as our search consultants. The process of selecting a consultant was intensive and highly competitive, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Bob and Sherry. Together, they bring to the search not only a wealth of experience and insight, but also a deep understanding of all things that make Catlin Gabel such a special place.

As a first step, our consultants will work with the search committee to write a profile. This central document serves to introduce the school to prospective candidates, describes our goals and ambitions, and effectively functions as a job description. Toward this end, Bob and Sherry will visit campus in early March for a whirlwind series of meetings with members of the Catlin Gabel community. Details will be worked out shortly, but it is certain that all constituencies will be well represented, and we hope to have one or more open forums that will allow all lovers of Catlin Gabel to participate.

From there, the process is apt to be relatively straightforward. The spring will largely be devoted to building the applicant pool. During the summer, our consultants, along with the search committee, will work to construct a short list of preferred candidates and, from there, a small set of semi-finalists for the search committee to interview face to face. On the basis of these interviews, and if all goes according to plan, we hope to have perhaps two or three finalists on campus for open, public interviews, possibly as early as mid-to late-September. We would like to be able to announce our new Head of School sometime in October.

Of course, the most rigorous and well-conceived plan rarely unfolds exactly as anticipated. We are searching in a complex environment, and this may indeed require us to be flexible. As contingencies arise, we will endeavor to keep you posted. Be assured, in any case, that we are strongly committed to finding just the right person for Catlin Gabel, and to do so in a way that is fully faithful to the spirit and tradition of the school.

On behalf of the search committee, I can say that we very much look forward to working with the entire Catlin Gabel community. And again, I would be delighted to learn of any thoughts you might have regarding this very important project.

Peter Steinberger, Chair
Head of School Search Committee

19 students receive a record-breaking 45 awards from the Portland Metro Scholastic Art Competition

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Students were honored in photography, sculpture, drawing, painting, and mixed media

Congratulations to the following Upper School students who helped Catlin Gabel sweep the competition! Several students won more than one award.

Xander Balwit, Matt Junn, Fiona Noonan, Maya Rait, and Zoe Schlanger earned Gold Key honors.

Matt Junn won Silver Key honors for his entire portfolio and for individual pieces.

Other Silver Key honors were awarded to works by Katie Fournier, Max Luu, Hayle Meyerhoff, Nadya Okamoto, Kristin Qian, Craig Robbins, Hannah Rotwein, Zoe Schlanger, Alexandra van Alebeek.

Honorable mention recipients are Violeta Alvarez, Anna Dodson, Adele English, Kelsey Hurst, Matt Junn, Kallisti Kenaley-Lundberg, Thomas Newlands, Fiona Noonan, Craig Robbins, Hannah Rotwein, Zoe Schlanger, and Alexandra van Alebeek.

Next stop regionals, followed by the national competition.

Gus Van Sant: Portland's greatest filmmaker & his controversial new movie

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Willamette Week article, December 2012

Beloved former headmaster Manvel (Schauff) Schauffler has died

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Letter from Lark Palma, head of school

Dear Catlin Gabel community member:

I am writing with the heartbreaking news that Manvel Schauffler (known to everyone as Schauff), beloved headmaster of Catlin Gabel from 1967 to 1980, has died. He was 88.

Along with the legions of students, faculty-staff, parents, and friends who adored Schauff, I am ever grateful that I had the privilege of knowing him. When I least expected it, and sometimes when I most needed it, I would receive a letter from Schauff cheering me on and letting me know he understood the challenges and joys of leading the school. His support and guidance have meant so much to me. I will always treasure my collection of Schauff's letters, which are tied together with a blue ribbon in my top desk drawer.

Schauff began working at Catlin Gabel School (then called Catlin Hillside) in 1951. In his years at Catlin Gabel he taught 8th grade U.S. history and social studies; coached basketball, track and field, and soccer; led ski trips and camping trips; directed plays; helped to run the famous Catlin Gabel Rummage Sale; taught countless students to make a wooden boat or light a Coleman camp stove; and reminded young people over and over to leave a place cleaner than they found it, to shake hands with a firm grip, and to exercise their right to vote. He brought Catlin Gabel to national prominence with his work on the board of the National Association of Independent Schools. Schauff celebrated Catlin Gabel's progressive, creative, experiential approach in and out of the classroom.

Schauff's mark on Catlin Gabel included a de-emphasis on grades. Drawing on his philosophy that students are at the center of education and their voices should be heard, he made the student body president an ex officio member of the board of trustees and brought each year's president to the NAIS annual conference. Working with students, he established a dress code for the Upper School ("Clothing shall be neat and clean and appropriate to the day and the task at hand") in 1967-68, a time of great tension over what young people wore.

Everyone who knew Schauff will remember these favorite expressions: "I'll take three volunteers - you, you, and you," "Be sure to take care of each other," "Never put a hot pancake on a cold plate," "Lady with a baby," and "The sun always shines on the righteous."

Schauff Circle, at the crossroads of our campus, was dedicated on June 14, 2003, and serves as a reminder of Schauff's ability to bring together people of all ages and all walks of life.

You may read Schauff's full bio on the Catlin Gabel website.

Schauff is survived by his wife, Verna; his daughters, Robin '68 (Peter) and Deborah '70; his son, Allen '73 (Cyndy); and his grandchildren Robin Macartney '01 and Alex Macartney '06.

Mail cards to:
Verna Schauffler
7539 SW Esther Ct
Portland, OR 97223

The family asks that gifts in Schauff's memory be designated to financial aid at Catlin Gabel, Bush, Hyla, or Explorer West schools, or to any school or program that nurtures and supports young people in their middle school years.

The family suggests some good ways to honor Schauff: cook a pancake, chop some wood, ride a ferry, sail a boat, register to vote.

Sincerely,

Lark Palma
Head of School

Tom Cramer '78 artwork named best painting of the year in Portland

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Willamette Week article, January 2013

Welcome to our friends from Gifu Kita School in Japan!

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Fourteen students and two teachers from Gifu Kita Senior High School in Japan are visiting Catlin Gabel from January 4 to 11.

Catlin Gabel and Gifu Kita have had a sister school relationship since 1992. We value our shared history of hosting students in homestays and classrooms, and introducing each other to our respective cultures. We have learned so much from each other!

For a real treat, come to the Upper School assembly on Monday, January 7, from 11:25 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. Our guests from Japan always put on an amazing performance at this highlight event.

More about Gifu Kita High School 

Gifu Kita Senior High School is located in the north end of Gifu City in Gifu Prefecture, Japan. For more than 70 years, Gifu Kita High School has prided itself on academic excellence and its ability to provide a wide range of extracurricular activities to its more than 1,000 students.

As one of the top-ranked schools in Gifu Prefecture, almost all of their students apply to go to university following graduation, with the vast majority attending private or national universities.

Gifu Kita also offers a wide range of sports and cultural clubs. A number of these clubs have participated in National and Tokai District Competitions over the last few years.

 

Middle School robotics teams take 1st and 2nd place at regionals, qualify for state

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Way to go!

Congratulations to the RoboSNAILS for their 1st place win in a tough competition against 20 teams. The team members are 8th graders Robin Attey, Matt Maynard, Grace Wong, Liam Wynne, and Sage Yamamoto. They are coached by senior Tucker Gordon. The RoboSNAILS’ research project was designing a website and iOS app to help senior citizens prepare nutritious meals and build community.

Team Sigma came in 2nd with 8th grade members Adolfo Apolloni, Ian Hoyt, Ryan Selden, and 7th grader Roy Stracovsky. Team Sigma had an over-the-top research project with a working model of a walker that senses the user’s location helps guide them. Junior Elyssa Kiva is their coach for the second year in a row.

Our two rookie teams also competed at regionals. Starstruck won the rising star award for the new team with the most promise. They are 6th graders Sujala Chittor, Natalie Dodson, and Amber Merrill. Their research project featured a puppet show presentation of a device that changes light bulbs. Senior Martina Dimitrov was their coach.

Sophomore Rushdi Abualhaija coached team Delta with 6th graders Avi Gupta, Tyler Nguyen, Quinn Okabayashi, Kian Palmer, and Spencer Shoemaker. Their research project was a working model of an Internet-programmed medication dispenser.

The state competition is on January 20. Good luck to the RoboSNAILS and Team Sigma!

St. George and Dragon 2012 Photo & Video Gallery

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The class of 2017 tore it up!

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