Alumni News

Sophomore Valerie Ding advances to International Science and Engineering Fair

Send by email

Valerie Ding took 1st place in physics and astronomy at the Regional Northwest Science Fair. Three other CG students competing at the regional competition placed 2nd in their categories: freshman Anirudh Jain in environmental management, freshman Lara Rakocevic in environmental analysis and effects, and senior Valerie Balog in cellular and molecular biology. Congratulations to all!

Alumna Erica Berry ’10, now a junior at Bowdoin College, named a 2013 Udall Scholar

Send by email

Erica is one of just 50 college sophomores and juniors selected from 488 candidates nominated by 230 colleges and universities. One of the criteria for students receiving the $5,000 Udall scholarship is a commitment to the environment.

Erica is an English and environmental studies major who strives to “write narrative nonfiction about the intersections between the ever-shifting environment and humanity.” The Udall Foundation is an independent federal agency.


Alumnus Yale Fan ’10, now a junior at Harvard, named one of the nation’s top undergrads in math, science, and engineering

Send by email

Yale is among 271 college sophomores and juniors, from a field of 1,107, selected for a Goldwater Scholarship. Faculties of colleges and universities nominate Goldwater Scholars. The one and two year scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency that honors Senator Barry Goldwater and was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.

Yale is a physics and mathematics major. He plans to earn a PhD in theoretical high-energy physics.

Senior Perla Alvarez quoted on OPB radio news

Send by email
Perla co-chairs the Multnomah County Youth Commission

Listen to the 45-second sound clip

Fantastic Voyage auction raises $450,000

Send by email
Letter from Lark Palma, head of school

From first fold to flight, and at every stage in between, the Catlin Gabel experience is one Fantastic Voyage. Thanks to enthusiastic bidders, donors, supporters, volunteers, and staff, we set some records this year! The sold out event at Nike's Tiger Woods Center and the online auction raised $450,000.

Auction contributions make it possible for the school to provide a low student-teacher ratio, exceptional teachers, outstanding academic programs, and a strong commitment to financial aid. The funds we raise are essential for the school to thrive and enrich the student experience.

Thank you to the many, many wonderful people who spent countless hours preparing for the event during the last eight months. Special gratitude to fantastic co-chairs Karen Hoke and Kirsten Brady. Their vision, commitment, and creative direction guided the entire voyage.

»Enjoy the Fantastic Voyage video and photo gallery. The video is about Catlin Gabel alumna Qiddist Hammerly's voyage from the Beginning School through the Upper School and her successful launch from our nest to Northwestern University. 

Thank you for making this year one to remember!

With appreciation,
Lark Palma, head of school


Fantastic Voyage video and photos

Send by email
2013 auction at Nike World Headquarters

Guests at the 2013 auction were treated to this video featuring Catlin Gabel lifer Qiddist Hammerly '13, a student at Northwestern University. Following the video, Qiddist, her first grade buddy from last year, and her senior buddy from when she was a first grader took the stage. There was not a dry eye in the house!

Scroll down to see the photo gallery.

Thank you to our co-chairs Kirsten Brady and Karen Hoke.
Click on any image in the gallery below to enlarge it, download it, or start the slide show.

Focus on Philanthropy: A Love of Learning that Lasts a Lifetime

Send by email

 From the Winter 2012-13 Caller

John Chun ’87 & Elizabeth Baldwin ’89

John and Elizabeth married in 2003 and live in Seattle with their children, Naomi, 6, and Hugo, 4. John is a member of the Catlin Gabel alumni association board. 


John: BA Columbia University; JD Cornell Law School
Elizabeth: BA Robert D. Clark Honors College, University of Oregon; MA Columbia University Teachers College; JD Seattle University School of Law


John: Trial lawyer and partner at Summit Law Group in Seattle. Practice areas include litigation, labor & employment, corporate, and environmental. I enjoy working with brilliant and funny colleagues and outstanding clients, being in court, and helping find solutions to complex problems. I’ve never had a boring day.
Elizabeth: Part-time lecturer at the UW School of Law, teaching legal research and writing to LL.M. students— international legal professionals, including lawyers, judges, magistrates, and academics. I love that I get to work closely with professionals from all over the world, and I have made particularly meaningful professional friendships with lawyers and academics in Afghanistan, and Indonesia and have learned from their global perspective.

How a Catlin Gabel education helped you succeed

John: Catlin Gabel worked wonders for my confidence. The substance of what I learned was important. But at least equally so was the process, in which hard work, creativity, and passion were encouraged. I felt like, “If I try really hard, I can figure this out. I can do this.” Much credit must go to my teachers, coaches, and schoolmates who helped me along the way.
Elizabeth: The writing instruction I received at Catlin Gabel, like Dave Corkran’s emphatic reminders to limit our papers to the call of “the question,” has been invaluable to my education and work. Small classes allow teachers to give students real feedback and concrete instruction on their writing, which continues to inform my approach to writing and teaching.

Favorite causes?

John: Catlin Gabel alumni association, board of Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, and a trustee of the King County Bar Association.
Elizabeth: Legal Voice works for women’s rights through legislation, self-help resources, and litigation; volunteer grant writing at our daughter’s language immersion public school, McDonald International.

Guiding principle?

John: I have many, including the Golden Rule. I also like what the Buffetts told their grandkids: show up, tell the truth, pay attention, do your best, and don’t be overly attached to outcome. Catlin Gabel emphasized hard work, integrity, and respect. And it strongly encouraged community service.
Elizabeth: Do what you know is right. Catlin Gabel helped me develop this sense of “right.” One of my favorite ideals that CG stressed is “Always leave a place cleaner than you found it.”

Why do you support Catlin Gabel?

John: Catlin Gabel had a huge impact on my life. My three siblings and I received an excellent education, and I cherish memories from the school. I believe deeply in Catlin Gabel and its mission.
Elizabeth: I was sad to hear about the passing of former head of school Manvel Schauffler. His commitment to financial aid will continue to inspire my own giving. People like Schauff had the vision to keep CG relevant to our community—to make sure that kids of all backgrounds would have the opportunity to benefit from its unique approach to educating the whole child. Financial aid is one of the main reasons that Catlin Gabel continues to be such a special place.

Catlin Gabel flourishes because alumni care to invest in it.

Support what you love.

Support the Catlin Gabel Fund. Make a contribution at  


Alumni news

Send by email

 From the Winter 2012-13 Caller

Momentum from Alumni & Homecoming Weekend has continued through the fall and winter. The alumni association board’s four subcommittees are doing great work, thanks to 13 local members, 10 regional members, and 2 ex-officio staff members. We are grateful for their dedication and enthusiasm. We welcome your suggestions and feedback as we continue to do our best to keep Catlin Gabel alumni around the world connected to each other, our students and teachers, and former faculty-staff.
Service opportunities in Portland have bloomed. In early December, 27 alumni and 3 faculty members worked together to unload and sort more than 11,000 pounds of food at the Oregon Food Bank. In early March the alumni service committee hosted a productive morning of tree planting with Friends of Trees.
Events in New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Portland have connected us and provided opportunities for social and business networking. There are additional events planned for spring, so be sure to join us!
Recording school history moves forward. Community and alumni board members are rejuvenating the oral history program with motivation and excitement. Together we are also working toward a streamlined approach for maintaining the school archives long-term. Additional participants are welcome.
Distinguished alumni award recipients are honored in the fall, and the alumni board is currently accepting nominations. Please celebrate the accomplishments of our alumni by submitting an online nomination form: Deadline is April 15.
Alumni Weekend 2013 is set for September 27–28. We expect another fun-filled weekend celebrating reunions for classes ending in 3 and 8. If you are interested in helping plan your reunion, please contact Susie Greenebaum ’05.
Catlin Gabel flourishes because alumni care enough to invest in it. Alumni invest in our students and their alma mater through their expertise, time, and resources. Please keep in touch, visit campus, and get involved.

Alumni Association Board, Portland members

Front row L to R: Susie Greenebaum ’05, Debbie Ehrman Kaye ’73, Owen Gabbert ’02, Courtney Mersereau ’99, Bobby Bonaparte ’06. Back row L to R: Peter Bromka ’00, Len Carr ’75, Ashley Tibbs ’92, Molly Kitchel Honoré ’02, Sarah Lowenstein ’11, Lauren Dully ’91. Not pictured: Bill Crawford ’97, Katey Jessen Flack ’97, Drew Fletcher ’03, Duncan McDonnell ’99, David Reich ’80

Reunions: What the class of 1998 is reading!

Will Decherd: Bruce by Peter Carlin, an inspiring biography of Bruce Springsteen
Winslow Corbett: Cheryl Strayed’s outstanding memoir Wild
Brenden Schaefer: The Responsible Company by Yvon Chouinard & Vincent Stanley
Libby Kottkamp: Here if You Need Me by Kate Braestrup
Peter Chaillé: Under the Sea-Wind by Rachel Carson
Xan Young: Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
James McDonald (beachside): Belize Lonely Planet
Andrew McCartor: Michael Lewis’s Home Game
Katie Sharff has given up reading to spend more time sleeping and taking care of her new baby boy.  
Lauren Dully '91, associate director of development
Susie Greenebaum '05, alumni relations officer


The Rise of Online Teaching & Learning

Send by email
In what ways does it work best?

 From the Winter 2012-13 Caller

By Dan Griffiths

We adults tend to evaluate current classroom techniques through the lens of our own educational experience. None of us had access or exposure to the wide variety of technology that is commonplace in the 21st-century classroom, and attitudes toward educational innovation often tend to be conservative—if traditional teaching methods have been successfully educating our children for generations, why risk introducing distracting gadgets in place of “proper” teaching? Information technology also has its champions, who see the internet, social media, and ubiquitous access to the required hardware as tools that are capable of driving an educational revolution.
My feelings fall somewhere between these two extremes. In his book The Shallows Nicholas Carr cites TV and radio pioneer David Sarnoff: “We are too prone to make technological instruments the scapegoats for the sins of those who wield them. The products of modern science are not in themselves good or bad; it is the way they are used that determine their value.” This quote neatly encapsulates my thoughts about the role of technology and online learning in a 21st-century school. As a direct replacement for a classroom teacher, online learning is of limited value. But in the hands of a skilled educator, it is an incredible tool that can enhance the educational experience of our students.
One of the major concerns about online learning is the absence of interpersonal relationships that are crucial in both social and intellectual development. This fear arises from a vision of children downloading information into their brain and then demonstrating via some kind of automated test that this information has been saved on their mental “hard drive.” In this model, the computer is merely a substitute for a lecture-style class with a standardized test at the end of the course (which is a model that we accepted for many years both in schools and colleges, but when put in these terms it sounds sinister). This concern was more valid in the early years of online learning due to limitations in both software and hardware. With the advent of social media, Voicethread and Skype for example, it is much easier to develop a course that requires interaction between both student and teacher and groups of students. Online courses that are thoughtfully developed by skilled teachers are no longer a lonely pursuit of factual knowledge.
The central role of the teacher in an effective online course cannot be overstated. In his review of the integration of learning theories and technology, Norbert Pachler identified the need for teachers to “identify appropriate learning outcomes, choosing appropriate software and activities and structuring and sequencing the learning process.” To see online classes as simply a new way to deliver information limits its potential to just another transmission model of education, where the student is an empty vessel to be filled with information. If the full potential of online learning is met, it can be a highly progressive teaching method in which each student can have an individualized, discovery-based experience consisting of a wide variety of interactions with students and teachers from different backgrounds. Such an online experience can develop essential skills such as creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration as effectively as any physical classroom, arguably in a way more easily translated to the world outside academia.
Online learning is not a new concept, particularly in higher education. Providers such as the University of Phoenix have been operating an online program since 1989, and more recently the University of Texas launched an online and blended learning school, Western Governors University. Both of these seek to make education in high-demand fields more accessible and affordable to working adults. Many colleges now give access to their courses in a variety of formats such as podcast series and videos of lectures with accompanying course notes that allow public access to educational content. Massive open online courses (MOOCs), with offerings from providers such as Coursera, EdX, and Udacity (with content provided by professors at colleges such as Stanford, Princeton, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania) attract millions of users from hundreds of countries. The completion rate of their courses, however, is reported to be less than 10 percent. These MOOCs were founded with the noble goal of providing access to high-level education for all, with the only limitation being access to a computer and an internet connection. Peer reviews and assessments, discussion boards for posting questions, and enrollment in global study groups provide the social element of learning.
One of the most interesting outcomes of these courses is that they are challenging how we assess learning and raise questions about how we measure success. Critics point to the ease with which students can plagiarize and cheat on assessments, but for now the age-old adage of “you are only cheating yourself” holds true because completion of the course comes with a certificate that has limited currency in terms of gaining qualifications from established schools or an advantage in the job market. The stakes, however, will be raised if and when MOOCs gain credibility with employers and possibly even qualify for academic credit (the University of Washington is now giving credit for a Coursera course).
Most early online-only courses were aimed at students in higher education, but information technology has been integrated into the classroom since the turn of the century. Virtual learning environments (VLEs) have been widely used in schools, often making use of learning management systems such as Moodle and Haiku. They give students access to course notes, quizzes, and other resources and allow interactivity through discussion forums and wikis. As these platforms mature, they are becoming more intuitive and can take advantage of an increasing number of multimedia applications.
Catlin Gabel has been at the forefront of digital innovation in schools, adopting a one-to-one laptop program in the Upper School in 2002. Many courses use Moodle as a content management system, student and faculty laptops come preloaded with a wide variety of software, and our classrooms are well equipped with IT hardware. In 2011 Catlin Gabel was a founding member of a consortium of highly academic independent schools that formed the Global Online Academy (GOA).
Faculty from member schools teach all online GOA classes. A rigorous selection process requires applicant teachers to show that their class will be innovative and well structured, and will take full advantage of the tools made uniquely available by both an online environment and access to a diverse group of students. The classes are designed for collaboration, with a blend of individual and group assignments. Students are required to have regular Skype conversations with their teacher, and the workload is equivalent to a full class in a bricks-and-mortar school. GOA classes follow an asynchronous schedule, which means the students work in their own time and set up virtual meetings with teachers and classmates at mutually convenient times. GOA has plans to expand in number and geographical diversity over the next six years from its current 24 member schools in the U.S., Japan, China, Jordan, and Indonesia.
In the GOA’s first year, Catlin Gabel teacher George Zaninovich taught an urban studies class, and four CG students enrolled in a variety of classes. This year, three Catlin Gabel teachers offer GOA classes, and 19 students are enrolled in classes such as Medical Problem Solving, Bioethics, and Global Health.
The many benefits GOA offers our students include the ability to interact with students and teachers who bring a wide variety of perspectives to the class. For example, George’s urban studies class had students researching and discussing community issues in Jordan and in New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Honolulu. It also allows them to take classes Catlin Gabel can’t offer due to staffing and scheduling limitations. Students enrolled in online classes are challenged in different ways than in a physical classroom. They need to learn efficient time management skills and take ownership of their learning in a more explicit way than at their home school (a skill that will be invaluable in college). Finally, asynchronous online classes allow those involved with activities such as high-level athletics, dance, or drama to balance classes with the time demands of training or rehearsal schedules that clash with the traditional school day.
Teachers also benefit from involvement with online education. In preparation for teaching her Hispanic Experience class for the GOA, Lauren Reggero-Toledano attended a weeklong workshop that she considers the best professional development experience of her career. She came back brimming with ideas not only for her online class but for her current Spanish courses at Catlin Gabel. Teachers who think about how to teach a class online must also reexamine how they teach in general. It exposes teachers to a whole other set of tools with which to engage their students.
The Global Online Academy is just one example of how online learning can enhance the educational experience of our students. “Flipping” the classroom, another idea, is receiving a great deal of attention, and this teaching technique certainly has its merits. The basic concept is that students read or listen to lectures and presentations at home, either prepared by the teacher or from online services such as the Khan Academy. Their time with the teacher is then spent discussing and analyzing what they learned. When reading about such innovations, I am always struck by how familiar they sound. Classes in the Upper School regularly involve students reading and researching, then presenting and discussing in a student-centered classroom environment. The chalk-and-talk delivery model of teaching is discouraged, and student engagement is a central theme in our classrooms, be it in a problem-based math class or a senior English elective where students often take the lead in teaching. The flipped classroom helps public schools with large classes by allowing students to control the pace of content delivery. It is a less novel concept at Catlin Gabel, where small class sizes, differentiated curricula, and availability of teachers to meet with students individually are commonplace.
Although information technology can be a highly effective tool in the hands of skilled educators and has the potential to enhance the experience of students at all levels, it is not a panacea for our educational challenges. Any ill-conceived and poorly executed use of technology in any field will lead to poor results—and online learning is no exception. When the Catlin Gabel faculty and staff discussed joining the GOA, some felt that “if we don’t get on this train, we will be left behind.” We can extend this metaphor by saying that it is foolish to get on a train that might be going somewhere you don’t want to go. I am confident, however, that in this case we are going in the right direction, and the journey will be an exciting one. My hope is that in the next few years all students at Catlin Gabel will take advantage of the opportunity to sample an online class, and that our faculty will blend the best of online learning with the exemplary methods already used in our physical classrooms.
Dan Griffiths, Upper School head, has been at CG since 2007. He holds an MA in biological sciences from the University of Oxford and a PhD in zoology from the University of Cambridge. He was formerly the IT director at St. Columba’s College in Ireland.   


Carr, Nicholas. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010.
Lewin, Tamar. "One Course, 150,000 Students." New York Times online article. July 8, 2012. Accessed January 2013.
Long, Katherine. “UW to offer fee-based courses through Coursera.” Seattle Times online article. Accessed January 2013.
Pachler, Norbert. “Theories of Learning and ICT.” In Leask, Marilyn & Norbert Pachler, editors: Learning to Teach Using ICT in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience. London: Routledge, 1999.
Pereira. Eva. "Coursera: Opening Ivy League Universities to the Masses." Forbes online article. June 28, 2012. Accessed January 2013.
Sloan Consortium. Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States. Online survey report. Accessed January 2013.
Wukman, Alex. "Coursera Battered with Accusations of Plagiarism and High Drop-Out Rates." Online Colleges online article. August 22, 2012. Accessed January 2013. 


Schauff's Great, Unbroken Circle

Send by email
Farewell to longtime headmaster Manvel Schauffler

 From the Winter 2012-13 Caller


Catlin Gabel lost one of its most beloved, formative, and charismatic community members when Manvel Schauffler, headmaster from 1967 to 1980, died on January 8 at age 88. He was known to everyone as Schauff.

Schauff led Catlin Gabel with good humor, optimism, and gusto, by his example fostering civility, cooperation, and involvement. Among his many accomplishments—an open meeting policy, establishment of the senior trip, mentoring teachers and leaders of other schools—he above all set the tone for a strong, warm sense of community and humanity.
A New York City native, Schauff attended Williams College before joining the U.S. Navy in 1943. He then attended Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where he met many of the people who would be his friends for life—including his wife, Verna Raattama. For several years they and others from Black Mountain lived on a farm in Estacada, Oregon, with the goal of cooperative living and contributing to a small town. Schauff taught at Estacada High School and led a Boy Scout troop, while earning his BA and MA at Lewis & Clark College.
Schauff began working at Catlin Hillside in 1951; he became Catlin Gabel’s headmaster in 1967 and held that position until 1980. 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 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. Schauff celebrated Catlin Gabel’s progressive, creative, experiential approach in and out of the classroom. He made each student feel respected and recognized.
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.
After leaving Catlin Gabel Schauff taught middle school at the Bush School in Seattle for many years, and founded the Zushi Kaisei summer program for students from Japan. He was active in the Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools and the National Association of Independent Schools. After he finished his career at Bush Schauff helped to found two more schools: Hyla Middle School on Bainbridge Island and Explorer West in West Seattle. Throughout his long career in education he was an inspiration to scores of students and colleagues who remember him vividly today.
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, serves as a reminder of Schauff’s ability to bring together people of all ages and all walks of life.
Schauff is survived by his wife, Verna; his daughters, Robin ’68 and Deborah ’70; his son, Allen ’73; and his grandchildren, Robin ’01 and Alex ’06 Macartney. He was the uncle of Will Neill ’71 and cousin of former CG teacher Dave Schauffler, Allen Schauffler ’42 (dec.), Julia Schauffler Bernard ’44, and Christine Schauffer Weitzer ’47 (dec.). The family suggests some good ways to honor Schauff: cook a pancake, chop some wood, ride a ferry, sail a boat, register to vote.  


Many alumni came together to talk about Schauff on a Facebook page, “Schauff’s Circle,” just before and after his death. Here are some excerpts.
Sharla Settlemier ’82
In 7th grade a friend and I thought it would be a good idea to draw a funny picture on a porch post at the back of the Middle School. Schauff walked up to us at that moment, looked us each in the eye and said, “Meet me back here at noon.” We were terrified as to what the punishment might mean for us. We arrived at the appointed hour and Schauff proceeded to happily take us on a tour of the school, pointing out to us the original farmhouse wallpaper in the classrooms of the upper school, the beautiful apple trees from the original orchard, and the cared-for books in the library. He asked us if we thought the school would be such a beautiful and special place if the students and teachers didn’t respect it over all those years of the school’s history. His gentle, caring, respectful tour humbled us and taught us more than any punishment ever could have. He was an amazing man!
John Stilwell ’80
My most vivid memory of Schauff was a sleepy Saturday morning in the early phase of the Rummage Sale. I was in a group of roustabouts over on Thurman, staring incredulously at endless piles of unsorted rummage on several floors, wondering where to even begin. In came Schauff. He gave us a Rummage strategy and tactics pep talk. His engaging, deliberate, eye-to-eye talk motivated us to go about our business with a sense of purpose. . . . That to me sums up the Schauff phenomenon: in just a few words, he made order out of chaos, embraced others with dignity and a human touch that always made them want to be better human beings and allowed them to feel part of a larger, worthwhile cause. It was a deep privilege to know him and be a small part of the Catlin experience he shaped.
Kenneth Morris ’75
Schauff on a camping trip near Three Sisters taught me how to sail a boat. I didn’t know how to come back. I ended up on the other side of the lake, but Schauff stayed with me yelling instructions from the other end on how to get back (I thought I was in trouble, it took a while). When I made it back (expecting the worst) he took my hand, grabbed me around the shoulders, smiled and said “good job,” then walked, talked, and laughed with me back to camp.
Paul Folkestad ’82
I visited Catlin in the middle of 8th grade. At the end of a long day Sid Eaton asked me what I thought. I pointed out that all the people who worked here looked the same: the guy driving the bus looked like the guy directing traffic and the guy at the track picking up hurdles, and he looks just like the history teacher, Mr. Schauffler.
Bo Neill ’71
Schauff always had a plan . . . always, and he made you as an individual feel that you were truly the linchpin, that the plan would not work without your participation. Such amazing empowerment for young people.
Wick Rowland ’62
By example and without ever preaching, Schauff somehow helped us come to see what was best. How many of us still ask ourselves, “What would Schauff do?” There can be no greater measure of a legacy than that. He still speaks to each of us, and when we stand up for or lend a hand to others he is there. He lives on within the best of us as individuals and in the best of what we do together.  



Of Leading and Learning

Send by email

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?

Send by email

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

Send by email

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

Send by email
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

Send by email

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

Send by email
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, 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

Send by email
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.