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the WINTER 2010

Interests, Passions, and Magnificent Obsessions


Catlin Gabel seeks to form bold learners who become insightful questioners, responsible thinkers, and inspired action takers for life. Catlin Gabel is an independent, non-sectarian, progressive coeducational day school serving 730 students from preschool through twelfth grade. Its roots go back to the Portland Academy, founded in 1859. The school occupies 54 acres on Barnes Road, five miles west of downtown Portland.



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Nadine Fiedler Editor Karen L. Katz ’74 Communications Director Chris Michel Design Lark P. Palma Head of School

T a b l e o f C o ntents Follow Your Passions! by Lark P. Palma, Ph.D. Interests, Passions, and Magnificent Obsessions Chronicle of a Senior Project “Dreams are Powerful” A Tribute to Rummage, A Look Ahead Catlin Gabel News News from the Alumni Office Class Notes Support the Catlin Gabel Difference

Miranda Wellman ’91 Director of Development Lauren Dully Hubbard ’91 Alumni & Community Relations Program Director

Letter to the Editor: Thank you, Clint

Catlin Gabel School 8825 SW Barnes Road Portland OR 97225 503-297-1894

o n t h e c o v er

An Upper School student up in the air doing aerial dance. To read about her and other students following amazing pursuits, turn to page 4. Photo by Nick Dawes

Come join the conversation! Catlin Gabel is on Twitter and Facebook. Visit our new website at

from Marea Palmer-Loh ’95

I was very excited to read the edition of the Caller that came out last summer, especially because I knew it would have a tribute to Clint Darling. . . . The different viewpoints mentioned some of his amazing qualities, along with his commitment to teaching, but I felt a large number of very important points were left out. . . . Clint was my role model, not because he was infallible, but because his stories showed us how to laugh and learn from our past experiences and still continue to seek out new experiences, despite how daunting they might seem at first. When I was in high school, Clint was one of my models of adult behavior, interaction, and experience. Now, many years after I have left his classroom, he has become my professional model. Clint was instrumental in influencing my decision to go on and become a teacher myself. When I teach my students today, I remind myself to tell personal stories and to let them take me off topic now and again. I use humor along with discipline and do my best to accept only the very best my students can give me. I never realized how difficult it is to be strict and hard-nosed until I started teaching. If there is even one student that I can help and shape the same way that Clint influenced me, I would consider myself a true success. Thank you, Clint.


follow your passions! by Lark P. Palma PhD, Head of School

Five o’clock on a South Carolina summer morning. My rounds started early, for a young girl. First I took care of my horse, Cricket—feeding, mucking, a ride on the beach, then out to pasture. Then I attended to my 35 rabbits, gathered eggs from the six red hens that scratched around the house, and released the ducks to the creek. Finally I wrangled Thistle the collie and Ginger the lamb for walks on their leashes. Animals were my first great passion—and my parents allowed me to have them if I cared for them well and showed responsibility. I was filled with the same passion when I first played school in my room, lining up all of my stuffed animals and dolls, assigning arbitrary grades from A to F and relegating some to smart status, some not so smart. At school I watched with rapt attention how my teachers would teach us. At home I would either try to do it the same way or try to modify the techniques that didn’t work for my little class. It was not until I became a teacher myself that I understood that, as someone with a passion for teaching, I could go beyond what’s expected and work with students to realize their own personal goals and passions. I finally saw that the very best model for teaching and learning centers on the relationship between the student and the teacher. What happens collectively as a class is important, but the one-on-one time a student and teacher have together is the most critical element. It was a breakthrough for me when I realized that and learned—thanks to Roland Barthes, John Dewey, and others—that children are not receptacles for knowledge from adults, but teeming petri dishes of their own ideas and imaginations. How little my teachers in the fifties and sixties understood that—although teachers in Ruth Catlin and Priscilla Gabel’s schools certainly did get it. Catlin Gabel is a school where teachers are drawn to teach, and we select them to do so, because they understand how children’s minds work, and they want to be surrounded by colleagues who feel the same. This Caller is filled with stories of alumni and students who have pursued interests, passions, and yes, even obsessions. Graduates who fall into this category are legion, and the students and alumni represented here are just a small sample. Why would a school of this size produce so many people who lead with their passions and know themselves well enough to do that? For one, Catlin Gabel provides an unfettered, free-ranging approach to solving problems, approaching assignments, and celebrating process over product. I learned to be a good rider because I studied my horse, paying heed to her temperament and the look in her eye, and treating her in a way that reflects that knowledge. In the same way, the students profiled here, whether involved in a sport, an academic pursuit, or an art, learn the value of deep concentration and focused attention. For example, visual artists, like the ones you’ll read about, see relationships among all disciplines, in color and in shapes, and takes those elements to create an original. But mostly, we at Catlin Gabel encourage students fully and unabashedly to follow their passions. And of course, there is the child herself, who has the gift inside. Parents, teachers, and the overarching ethos of the school only undergird those passions. Alumnus, alumna, or current student, their uniqueness binds us all together and makes for a very, very interesting place to teach. Enjoy these stories.

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Interests | Passions | Magnificent Obsessions Catlin Gabel students are a fascinating and inspiring group of young people who manifest their engagement with the world in equally fascinating ways. We spoke to students from 2nd to 12th grade about the pursuits they really, really love—and here are excerpts from what they said about where their interests take them, and how Catlin Gabel teachers support those interests and help feed their curiosity.

Writer & explorer, senior Passions: writing poetry and prose, outdoor exploration Interest: environmental studies

I’ve always been observational. I was quieter when I was young, and lines of poetry came together naturally. Writing is satisfying, a way for me to sift it all. I write precisely and slowly. Sometimes I’m frustrated because the ideas come but the words don’t, and I just sit there for 45 minutes. But eventually I get where I want to be. Starting in 8th grade I got good feedback on poetry that I’d written and was pointed to entering contests. I got self-motivated from the contests that I won. But mostly I won because I kept on throwing stuff out there, and some of it stuck. I found out that poetry is not just childhood rhymes but is about seeing emotion in the world—and it’s an art form that gets to people.

Sometimes I can’t make sense of a situation until I write it down in poetry. I get the same release through words that I get in mountain climbing or rock climbing. The outdoor program has influenced my poetry. My recent poems have all been about nature and being outdoors. It’s a challenge: loads of people write about nature, so can I as a teenaged girl say anything new about it? My class in environmental science and policy is really important to me now. I’ve changed my second choice of major to environmental studies. I see my role in poetry, but environmental studies is about the physical side of life. It’s affected my decisions about eating, shopping, how you get places. You can’t not pay attention to these things. My general job is to change.”

Computer scientist, junior Passions: computer science, game development Interest: robotics



Last summer I did programming at OHSU in the radiation oncology department, which deals in cancer research and treatment. I worked side by side with a medical physicist from China, Dr. Junan Zhang. I was the main programmer on many small projects that would contribute to cancer research in some way. My main work involved the CT scanner, which produces a series of images of the patient in slices. I wrote a program to help researchers and doctors view this image data, which before was not easy to use. I found a way to convert the files to a picture format they can view, and I developed the user interface design that made it easier to see and use the images.

Among other work, we also wrote a program that made it significantly faster for the image data to compile, because before there was a very long delay before cancer researchers could get the results. It was a meaningful experience for me. I had never had a job before, and at OHSU I was in a professional environment with scientists. I do computer science on my own time. I’ve been working on a 3D game engine, a graphics library for the GameBoy Advance, and a compiler for my own programming language, called Hayaku. I don’t know what the future holds. I may go back to OHSU during breaks to work on my projects some more. I’m still in contact with Dr. Zhang to help with any code I’ve written. I’m interested in math and science, but I’m not as passionate about them. My driving passion is for computer science.”

terns. When we start a unit it jump-starts my brain and I look stuff up on the internet. I follow politics somewhat because I’ll have to vote when I grow up, and I like how complex it is. I watched the Presidential debates last year and looked at polls about the elections. I like my active mind.” Singer-songwriter, artist, senior Passions: guitar, singing, songwriting, visual art

An active mind, 5th grade Passions: science, history, math Interests: family winery, politics

Science is my biggest passion. I like doing tests and calibrating things. You can apply science to winemaking, which is my family business. I learn how to make wine from my dad and help with bottling, cleaning filters, and picking grapes. When I grow up I want to be a winemaker and continue the winery and also be in my dad’s testing lab business. I read a lot of historical books and look at history web pages. Lately I’ve been reading about the Romans and Greeks. I read books about older wars, because during warfare so many new technologies are invented. I have a good memory for facts and like the way things fit together. I like math. I like learning all the formulas for geometric shapes, like Pi and Pi-R squared. I try to figure out on my own what the formulas are for geometric pat-

I like songs that tell or imply stories. It’s a form of communication, a different language. When you’re playing with others or singing together you establish an understanding that’s hard to find anywhere else. Once a week on campus about seven of us eat lunch, talk about music, play, and sing, which I love. I’ve also done some performing locally. When you play something crisp and simple, someone will remember it more than a blazing guitar solo. Last summer I went on a creative binge and wrote and recorded 20 songs that were sort of folk-bluegrass-rock. From the first song I wrote to the last, they got quieter, more delicate. I’ve also become more prolific visually. I’m getting more into sculpture, have done a lot of drawing and painting, and have started throwing pots after school. I consider it a constant experiment. I like working with layers and layers as I figure out the medium. It’s hard to separate visual art and music from each other. They inform each other. If I can’t communicate something on paper, I can turn it into a song. More and more I like working with people. This is my first year as a peer helper, and learning to listen is important. It’ll come to my generation to communicate to people. Whether you’re communicating through music, or learning a language, or interacting with others, there’s so much to be gained and nothing to be lost by making a connection and trusting someone.”



Actor, researcher, senior Passions: theater, scientific research Interests: journalism, teaching & mentoring

I’m co-editor of CatlinSpeak, our student newspaper. Working for the paper is always fun, and I love when we hear from others that our writers are doing something valuable. My hope is to pursue a senior project in journalism. I’d like to work for a college paper someday. Acting is a great challenge. When you’re doing it right—and this has only happened to me a few times—you forget anyone’s watching. In the big triumphs, you walk off stage and feel like

Fencer, 8th grade Passion: fencing Interests: music, visual arts

Fencing is my great passion. It’s a good sport for me because I’m meticulous, I like moving around, and I’m pretty coordinated. I love to compete all around the country. I hope that if I rank high enough in the next couple of years in the 16-and-under division that I’ll be able to travel around the world for competitions. I’m not as nervous these days as at my first competition, but I do get more so when the stakes are high. When it’s going well I’m thinking clearly, and I’m focused, and things are not distracting me. When you wake up and everything’s too loud and is distracting, then it’s hard to fence. When you’re on top, and you’re



you’re still on because you’re still that other person. Acting is a chance to study the life of someone else. I learn something each time I play a role. I have an internship at Shriners Hospital, which is a part of OHSU. I found a niche in a lab that studies structural protein in connective tissue, and its relation to symptoms of Marfan syndrome. I study mice for connections between genetics and physical appearance, and even made a discovery over the summer. The moment I looked at a slide I had made and realized I was seeing something no one had ever seen before was thrilling. It’s wonderful to know I’ve helped with research that has the potential to help people. The science community is full of quirky, intelligent people, and I get to talk with the people I work with about things I couldn’t learn from anyone else.”

prepared, and you have great focus, you can do whatever you’re capable of. Fencing is a thinking game. Before every touch you have to know your plans, and you have to be able to change them depending on how your opponent reacts. The key to good fencing is to be one step ahead of your opponents so you can outsmart and outfence them. Fencing is not the only thing in life I think about. I want to go to the Olympics, but right now it’s not my whole life. In a few years, maybe it will be, but not now. My life is about school, friends, music, fencing, and family. It’s a good life when you go to a really good school and love everything you do.”

Computing researcher, senior Passion: computer science Interests: robotics, Go, mycology

My research in computer science is an evolving project. At the end of my sophomore year I found a book in teacher Andrew Merrill’s office. I devoured it in a few months, and it changed how I thought about computer science and algorithms. So the beginning of my junior year I got interested in starting serious research on functional programming. Andrew let me do an independent study so that I could focus on my research. We meet once a week to talk about my research. He gives great suggestions on new directions. I began to explore the practical applications of functional programming, and this turned into my science fair project. I showed how to use something called effect types to convert a program that doesn’t use parallel processing to one that does. I ended up publishing and presenting my research at the International Symposium on Application and Implementation of Functional Languages. I work a lot on my computer but as much time in my research notebook, doing proofs and sketching ideas. I like working on the robotics team, writing software. I like to play Go for the social aspects of the game. I like to solve problems. The idea of having a machine that can exhibit intelligent behavior was very exciting to me, and it’s the main reason I became interested in computer science. Creating a thing that has creativity, intelligence, and knowledge is like creating life.” Installation artist, senior Passions: creating art installations, outdoor exploration Interest: track & field

“ Great reader, 4th grade Passions: reading, writing Interests: science, art, collecting, music, my cats

Reading is my favorite thing. I love to curl up on the couch with a book. I read fiction mostly, mysteries, and Indian mythology, which I read as books and in graphic novels. In the graphic novels I know the story already, but I can see it unfold before my eyes. I started wanting to write my own poems after the poetry units in 2nd and 3rd grade. All the reading I’ve done has given me a vocabulary that makes it easier to write. I also like writing folktales. One I wrote, ‘The Quest for Light and Water,’ told how light and fresh water were first brought to earth. I’ve been taking piano lessons for two years. I made up a song with my cousin in India, and we recorded ourselves playing a tiny keyboard and maracas. I love Indian classical music and can figure it out on the piano. In 4th grade we do imaginative writing each week. Sometimes it takes me a while to think of an idea, but when I get it, the story just unfolds. I like that we are made to write in class. It’s an opportunity for our interests and talents to develop. I like everything at Catlin Gabel. I like the Fir Grove, my teachers, and my friends.”

For my first art project I hung an old picture frame with a picture of a galaxy set into it on the big, inviting blank wall of the science building, hung to appear like a window of the building itself. Another time I set up a spider’s web of wires, with tin can phones on the ends, connecting six trees in the campus forest. You could hear the sounds of the trees groaning in the wind through the wires. I have two projects right now of trees wrapped in string.

There’s almost nothing more stereotypically organic than a tree, and the strings contrast as a straight line you don’t often see in nature. Art is a key facet of how I see myself. I enjoy the outdoor program just as much. I’ve been to truly amazing places not many people know of, and seen many wonderful things. These trips are a source of inspiration, and I think about these places every day. My art is a product of wanting to explore methods, tools, and ideas—and wanting to do something different for the first time. It’s realizing my daydreams and not always about other people seeing it. It’s very personal. Sometimes something clicks and I think about an idea a lot. The vast majority of ideas I come up with are things I’ll never do, but that’s not an unfortunate thing. Is that art? Thinking about it, for me, is as important as the actual creation.”

1st grade. I mostly like it because of the outings we do, which I learn a lot from. I’ve also made plenty of lasting friendships with other Scouts. As the senior patrol leader, I’m in charge of my troop from this fall until early spring. I’ll stay involved for a couple more years, till I’m 18, which is the age limit for Scouts. Scouting has taught me to do my best in everything I do, and to lead others by example.” Tango & aerial dancer, 10th grade Passions: aerial dance, tango

Scout, community enthusiast, 10th grade Passions: Scouting, campus cross country trail bridge project Interests: piano, cross country, golf, and mock trial

I transferred to Catlin Gabel last year, I love the beautiful campus and the friendly community here. There’s so much here that I enjoy being involved with, including clubs, sports, and extracurriculars in general. I decided to do my Eagle Scout project for the Catlin Gabel campus. Grounds crew supervisor Mike Wilson gave me permission to replace the eroding cross country bridge at the northeast side of campus (uphill from the track and field). The dirt bridge needed work because it was eroding and had no basic structure. Construction of the new bridge took me and 20 fellow Scouts almost eight hours. We replaced the old bridge with boulders, drainage rock, and concrete, which will stop the erosion and provide a flatter surface for the runners. I love so much about Scouting, which I’ve been doing since 8


I started aerial dance classes in 2nd grade and now perform with AWOL, Aerial Without Limits. I love aerial dance because it’s creative, and I love music and combining it with movement in trying to convey a message. I particularly like to choreograph: I listen to music and imagine movements for a long time before I feel ready to put it together and try it out with my peers. I also like that it is a physical form of art— it takes strength and skill, and I have to constantly challenge myself. I see myself doing things I never thought I could. It’s thrilling and a little bit scary. I can be up in the air 30 feet holding on to a piece of fabric without any nets or harnesses. I’m just on my own and have to be able to focus. Oddly, I’m a little bit afraid of heights, but that just makes it more fun! Working in aerial dance has raised my self-esteem. At the beginning I knew nothing, but now I can actually help teach others, which is fun. I also love tango. I’m going to Argentina this summer to study tango. I will also work with an aerial dance company to learn their style of aerial dance, which uses bungee cords. I am interested in how to creatively combine the two kinds of dance. I love both of these arts for similar reasons. Musicality—it’s fun to play with music, and tango is all improvised. You’re silent when you dance in tango or aerial, but there’s a lot of connection.”

Synchronized swimmers, 10th grade & 7th grade Passions: synchronized swimming Interests: rock & mountain climbing, dance, gymnastics

Chess player & chicken steward, 2nd grade Passions: chickens, chess Interests: reading, writing, drawing, soccer

I live in a place my grandpa used to live, where there were different kinds of chickens 55 years ago. Now I have four chickens and a rooster, and I think they’re interesting. I made a movie about them when we were learning about farms in 1st grade. The film had seven chapters, including how to clip a chicken and how to find eggs. It had lots of information. I really like getting eggs in the morning and visiting the chickens. Sometimes they like to listen to you, but sometimes they’re scared. I play ‘Oh Come Little Chickens’ on my violin to them. I play in chess tournaments with my school team. The best players think a lot about all their moves. I love to think and think deeply about chess. I like to think about books I’m reading, too. I make up stories in my head, and sometimes I write them down. I wrote the eighth book in the Harry Potter series, which I called ‘Harry Beats Up Voldemort.’ It’s seven pages long, with eight lines on each page. I draw pictures. I’m not good at drawing Harry Potter but I’m really good at drawing monsters and things I make up. And I play soccer, too.”

K: “When I was 7, I took a synchronized swimming class and they asked me to be on the team. When my sister was 6 she came to watch me practice and by the end, the coach had her in the water. Synchronized swimming became a passion for both of us. Competition is really fun. We both make friends from all over the country and sometimes the world. E: “Synchronized swimming is the ultimate team sport. We have to work together, and we depend on each other. It’s a tenmonth-a-year sport, but has a lot of rewards. In the end it all pays off. We travel a lot for training and competitions with our family or our coaches, and we don’t always go to the same place. It’s crazy. We spend a lot of time in airports. K: I’m trying out for the junior national team and hope to make it in the next couple of years. You need a lot of strength to be a good competitor. Training includes weightlifting, dance, Pilates, gymnastics, and yoga. Core strength is everything. My sister and I do lots of cross-training on weekends. E: I’ve learned how to make a group effort and cooperate with others, and that’s helping right now in our collaborations in 7th grade world cultures class.” K: Catlin Gabel’s arts program, especially theater, has helped me realize how I can better get across emotions, which is important in our sport. I’ve learned dedication, focus, and good time management from synchronized swimming, and that really helps me here in school, too.”

Math & puzzle problem solver, 5th grade Passions: math, puzzles, soccer Interests: acting, music

I’ve loved math since 2nd grade. I do a lot of Sudoku, and now I’m working on the harder ones. I like all kinds of puzzles, and math and logic games. I like the mindset of having to figure out where to put something. You can really feel it when you’ve accomplished something. I like logic puzzles. I like following a train of thought. We’re doing multiplication and division in 5th grade, and I like the problems. I go for the challenge math in my homework, which has percents or fractions or logic. I play classic soccer year round, and it’s really fun. It’s one sport where your size doesn’t matter and you have to work as a team. Where you are when you don’t have the ball is as important as when you do. It’s a thinking game: where should I be? Where’s my mark? I also take some acting classes and did improv classes over the summer. I enjoy memorizing the script line by line, and it sticks in my head. I work to project, stay in character, and not make nervous gestures. Acting can help in life. It helps you get confidence in speaking in front of an audience. I’ve learned to focus on myself and what I’m doing. Then I’m not so nervous.” Ballet dancer, 3rd grade

Robotics engineer, junior Passion: robotics, engineering Interest: oldies music

Robotics is my consuming passion. I’ve taken it upon myself to learn every job on our robotics team to see how they interrelate. Knowing how everything fits together is a huge advantage in figuring out more quickly what part is broken. I learn best when I’m forced into a big situation and have to throw myself into it. I spent 250 hours in six weeks in the robotics lab during build season. I have no regrets. We built that robot according to specifications, and it hardly ever failed. That’s how I know I had done my job right. I did some work last summer with the elephants at the Oregon Zoo. Three seniors had fixed some systems there for their senior projects, but there was still work to do. My mission was to build an apple launcher to help the elephants stay healthy and give the public a spectacle to watch. It was a difficult job, and I ended up building four prototypes. The best thing was that I got to learn in depth the process of engineering, from paper to the final design, including building it and seeing if it works. I thought about every decision in depth. I would like to work in mechanical engineering, and I am interested in the automotive field. But I don’t want to work for a big company. My dream is to work for another company at first and then create my own start-up.” 10


Passion: ballet Interests: reading, piano

I started formal dance training at 4, and started in the Oregon Ballet Theater at age 7. The first time I saw the Nutcracker it grabbed me and it didn’t stop. I auditioned for the Nutcracker, and I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Dance brings out people’s souls. You can express your feelings in ways that don’t hurt other people. You can bring out your emotions in dance. Movement brings you into the dance. It feels like you’re flying, like you’re whirling. It can be colorful and fast, or slow and sad. It’s really about moving, and

Community leader, senior Passions: community leadership, environment Interests: Japan, food, running, Tae Kwon Do

I am a co-leader of three groups: the Japanese Culture Club, the Environmental Club, and the Baking Club. I’ve been taking Japanese since 7th grade and have been to Japan twice. Joining the Environmental Club seemed a natural expression of my interest in environmental issues, especially pertaining to food. I eat less meat, garden, cook for my family, and buy organic or local food. For the International Day of Climate Change, other Environmental Club members joined me on a zero-carbon

then music winds in and brings extra color to the dance. We train really hard, three times a week. The teacher is very strict, which is traditional for ballet. You have to work hard to stay on top of the pack. The fun time in class is when we’re warming up, when we all share with the other dancers and help each other stretch or learn a step. We have to work together as a community, and the teacher doesn’t interfere during the warm-up. No one likes it when the teacher yells, so you want to do well to make her happy. I put my head and shoulders and heart and soul into dancing. It’s a hard life, but rewards come in dancing and performance. The costumes, music, and community come together to make a wonderful experience.” Violinist, 7th grade Passion: playing the violin Interests: robotics, soccer

I’ve been playing violin for six years, and for the past two I’ve been in the Metropolitan Youth Symphony. I started by playing fiddle tunes, then I got more serious and got into classical music. I like having weekly one-on-one lessons from a teacher who focuses on where I need to improve. I love playing really hard classical music. It takes a lot out of you, and I like that. At MYS we perform four concerts a year, and before them we rehearse weekly for six weeks. I get more precise in my performance because I’m playing in a group, and playing for people. Concerts make it all come together for me. I’m a programmer this year in robotics. It’s challenging to take different ideas about how to use pieces of information in a way that is logical, fast, and consistent. I would love to go on in robotics. I also play classic soccer, which I love. Robotics is individual, but you come together at competitions. In soccer you’re with the team the entire time, and you play as a team. I really like challenges. I love to be challenged in every way possible. Music and robotics keep presenting challenges to me.”

outdoor program trip to the Columbia Gorge, traveling on MAX and bicycles. Students can be apathetic, and I wanted to take leadership roles to help counter that. Sometimes young people feel that they don’t matter, and that’s the hardest thing. But people do care. Teachers and school administrators do listen to us if we seize opportunities when we can. I spent spring semester away my junior year, working on an organic farm at a school in Vermont. This renewed my passion about the environment. It also helped me appreciate Catlin Gabel more when I returned, and I became more involved than I had ever been before. I love what I have right now. I love baking, I love Japan, and I love Catlin Gabel. I don’t do what I do just to look good on college applications. People stress too much—I know I will go to college and make it great, wherever I go.” Soccer player & scientist, 5th grade Passions: soccer and science Dedicated to community service, 10th grade Passion: community service Interests: basketball, health care

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Soccer’s great because you can socialize and make new friends. It relieves stress and helps you to not burn out and get tired in the rest of your life. I started playing classic soccer late this summer. It’s a more competitive form of soccer that’s played mostly year round, and all outdoors in all seasons. We do two practices a week after school. We have a game on Saturday, and sometimes on Sunday. I really, really love it. Two friends and I were playing recreational soccer and we switched to classic soccer. It’s more physical and more demanding. The coaches train us hard on all the skills, like shooting, passing, and defense. I also love science. When I grow up, I want to be a brain surgeon and fix things when people have problems. I’m interested in the brain because it uses up the most energy in the body, and it controls everything. At home my mom is teaching me Japanese, and it’s hard. I’ve also been taking Chinese for four years. Learning Japanese makes Chinese easier because the characters came from Chinese, and the sounds are similar. We visit Japan most summers, and it’s fun. I speak Japanese with my relatives, and I’m pretty comfortable with it. By being with relatives I get to see the whole culture. Having something you like is good for you. It makes life easier and more enjoyable.”



I’m really into community service. My mom believes that you should give as much as you can to others who don’t have as much as you do. She’s instilled that into me. Lots of people have more than me, but I have something I can give back to others. I do a lot of different projects, often with my church. As part of the Extreme Makeover Schools program in north and northeast Portland, I helped build a community garden at an elementary school. I volunteer at the library for summer reading. I help kids get signed up, give them prizes, and read to them. I like working with kids. I also volunteer at the Food Bank. Last year I went with a group of African American and Jewish students to New Orleans to rebuild. We went down and did hard physical work in the Ninth Ward, the poorest section of New Orleans. There are almost no houses, and there’s debris everywhere, compared to the wealthier areas, which are almost completely redone. It was hard to see. My godsister and I have done a lot of service work together, and it’s fun to work with someone else. You don’t think about how long it’s taking you. I’d like to be a physician’s assistant. You don’t have to go to medical school, and there are a lot of programs. I want to work in an inner-city hospital and clinic where there’s less access to health care and fewer doctors.”

Photographer & scientist, senior

Since elementary school I’ve dreamed of becoming a pediatrician and working in other countries. I’ve volunteered at a cancer rehabilitation center in India, and I’ve worked with kids as a volunteer. I love kids, and I love science. Two years ago I started experimenting with the camera and Photoshop, and I started doing a lot of portraiture. I posted my work online, and I began getting outside referrals. I’ve done one wedding, and I do portfolios for models and family portraits. I like to shoot in the city or in nature with no fake lighting and no backdrops. I love portraiture. It’s satisfying to take pictures of people and see them in different ways. It’s great to make them feel beautiful and capture their emotional qualities and their uniqueness. I plan to go to medical school. It’s hard to find colleges with strong programs in both medicine and art. I want to be a doctor, but I also love travel and would like to document it in photographs. I’m co-leader of Speed-Ujima, the diversity club. It’s really important to me because I’m part of a minority group in the Upper School. It’s important to let people know that being different is okay and that they shouldn’t hide it. We get the word out that we won’t tolerate racism. Rahee means traveler in Urdu and Hindi. It’s a piece of fate, from the time I was little, and it’s come true.”

Rahee Nerurkar

Passions: science, photography Interests: diversity, dance, writing, languages

Jazz pianist, senior Passion: jazz piano

Music is a big part of my life. I played classical music for many years, but when I learned about jazz at a music camp I went to in the summer before 8th grade, it really excited me. The instructors there told us that if we loved music, we might consider pursuing it as a profession. That planted a seed for me. I didn’t decide to be a professional back then in 8th grade, but eventually I did. I slowly began playing more jazz and learning more about music. I started to practice jazz more diligently in my sophomore year and developed an ambition to be a great musician. The end of that year, I auditioned for the American Music Program, directed by trumpeter Thara Memory. The first time I played for him, he took me outside and told me I didn’t know anything about jazz, and that I would have to catch up a lot to get into music school and get a scholarship. But he let me into the group. It’s a pre-professional program for high school students, and Mr. Memory starts from the assumption that we should be the best high school jazz band in the country. The group has won national competitions, including the Next Generation competition associated with the Monterey Jazz Festival, and Wynton Marsalis’s Essentially Ellington competition in New York. I’m excited to be working on music and aiming for a career as a musician. My hope right now is to get into a good music school and get a scholarship. I want to develop my own musicianship, and I want to play with like-minded musicians who share my ambitions.” WINTER 2010


Ch r o n i c l e o f a S e n i o r P r o j e c t Each year all the members of the senior class do a project of their choice out in the community, and part of their responsibility is reporting back to the school. Last year students worked in venues that included political and doctor’s offices, TV and radio stations, wildlife rehabilitation centers, and many more. Their writings about their experiences revealed how much they had learned—and how much they had taught others about themselves and about Catlin Gabel. Below is one student’s report on her project experience.


Participles Pigs’ Feet: Shadowing an ESL Teacher


By Madeleine Morawski ’09

f you had asked me three weeks ago what a noncount noun was or how American pronunciation differs from written English, I would have offered a blank look or shrugged shoulders at best. If you had asked me whether I ever considered becoming a teacher, I would have voiced a polite but very firm “no.” Though a lack of knowledge concerning English grammar and only minimal interest in teaching seem strange qualifications for three weeks shadowing an ESL teacher, I greatly enjoyed my senior project and learned more than I could have hoped about everything from stressed syllables to Korean idioms. I completed my project at the Portland English Language Academy (PELA), a small language school in downtown Portland. The school consists of a number of classrooms, a computer lab, a study room, and a student lounge. With a total enrollment of 65 students and a teaching staff of three full-time and three parttime teachers, the school offers a small community environment for English students from all over the world. My mentor, Annae Gill, has taught at PELA for two years and previously taught English in Japan and ESL in Seattle. During my project I shadowed her while she taught classes on reading, vocabulary, pronunciation, writing, and grammar to groups of students with different levels of English proficiency. Most of my time was spent observing class. While it may sound boring to sit and watch a class in a subject I am quite familiar with, I was surprised at how interesting I found each lesson. While English is my first language, there are many aspects, particularly of spoken English, that I take for granted. I kept a journal each day and recorded each activity from the lessons and followed along with the handouts and worksheets the students used. I was able to participate in many classroom activities as well. The students frequently completed practice activities and conversation exercises in partners and small groups, allowing me to join in. From practicing dialogues about birthdays, to discussing the weather and playing



language-learning games, I got to take part in many of the classroom exercises with the students. I was also able to offer them help and answer questions about everything from vocabulary to grammar to spelling. The most important way I was able to help the students was by giving them a chance to practice their conversation skills with a native English speaker. Outside of class, the students do not always get enough opportunities to practice their skills in an informal setting with someone who will be patient and willing to help. In addition to time spent conversing with the students in class and during lunchtime, I led a weekly conversation group. I usually started with a topic such as where they were from and why they were studying English or what activities they had done over the weekend. After these initial conversation starters, the discussion usually flowed naturally based on topics the students were interested in. Besides giving them a chance to practice their English, the conversation groups were a great way to get to know the students and learn about their cultures. Our discussions ranged from the ISO system of standardization to Polish pronunciation to favorite television shows, giving each student a chance to speak up and often sparking rather lively debates. One aspect I noticed that made me look forward to my project each day was the unique atmosphere of Annae’s classes. Because the students enroll of their own accord, unlike high school students completing a language requirement, all of the students I met were very motivated to learn English. Even those who did not come to class regularly were eager to ask me questions or learn new slang and idioms. Also, because the objective of each lesson was to improve the students’ English abilities, spontaneous and tangential discussions were encouraged, rather than avoided as in the high school classes I am familiar with. A simple practice sentence about car companies could turn into a discussion of the bailout plan, while another exercise led to a lesson on the slang words “homegirl” and “homie.” Compared to typical high school classes, the lessons are far more focused on what

Tom Vogt ’09 worked at the Audubon Society for his senior project

the students want or need to know, rather than a syllabus full of grammar topics and assigned readings. This type of environment allows for a great deal of interaction both among students and between students and teachers. My favorite aspect of the classroom atmosphere, however, was the wide variety of backgrounds and experiences represented in one room. I met students from Switzerland, France, Russia, Poland, Turkey, Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and Libya, with ages ranging from 18 to almost 50. Everyone was studying for different reasons, some for university, some for their jobs, and others because they had recently settled permanently in the U.S. I met journalists, law students, doctors, and artists, each of whose experiences contributed to the unique classroom dynamic. Any normally boring topic can become interesting when you compare practices and viewpoints from so many different cultures. Sure, talking about birthdays can be boring, but did you know that people in Taiwan celebrate with seaweed soup and pigs’ feet? Because I was able to spend so much class time as well as lunch and after-school time with the students, I got to know many of them quite well. They were all very welcoming and acted just as interested in me as I was in them. My favorite part of each school day was lunchtime because I got to speak with the students in an informal setting, hearing about everything from their weekend trips to their jobs and families. I loved watching students from such different cultures talk and share food. Everyone was eager to have their friends try their native dishes, and during my time at PELA I sampled everything from mole to borscht. Also, one of the bonuses for me was the chance I got to practice some of my own language skills. When not in class, many of the students speak to each other in their own languages, meaning I was able to test my Chinese comprehension and learn some Spanish slang. Though I enjoyed each class and learned quite a bit, it was the students that made my project so enjoyable.


Madeleine Morawski ’09 right, with ESL students

I hoped this project would allow me to interact with people from other cultures and backgrounds, but it went far beyond that. I not only got to know a group of interesting and diverse people, I also learned an incredible amount about teaching English as a second language. I had never considered teaching to be something I would like to do in the future, but my time at PELA has caused me to reconsider. The dynamic classroom atmosphere and community created by such a diverse mix of students made for an environment that makes teaching seem fun and just as educational for the teachers as it is for the students. Madeleine Morawski ’09 attends the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.



dreams are powerful




Owen Carey

Celebrated actress Gretchen Corbett ’63 was destined for a life in the theater, and a Catlin Gabel teacher gave her the background for success.

ne evening at the theater set young Gretchen Corbett’s life on its course. She was in Ashland with her family to see the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, as they had done for many years. They would sit in Lithia Park in the afternoon reading that night’s play, and then they would go to the performance. That night’s play was “Hamlet.” “’Hamlet’ completely blew me away,” says Gretchen. “I could not sleep after seeing it. I was overwhelmed with the possibilities of a life in theater, and how moving and important the story that the play told felt to me.” Her dream was to be onstage at Ashland. She got there, eventually. “Dreams are powerful, as everyone knows,” says Gretchen. But before she got to Ashland, she received theatrical training at Catlin Gabel that she credits with helping her become the powerful, lauded actress she is today. The much-beloved “Mrs. Jo,” Vivien Johannes, taught Gretchen English and theater. Mrs. Jo demanded energy, excitement, and passion from her students, and woe were you if you came to class without something in mind to discuss or debate. “If you didn’t, she’d tell you that you were just a pip on a log, and you should get out,” recalls Gretchen. They worked on scenes in Mrs. Jo’s class for two or three hours a day, performing a play a year. Her eclectic repertoire included some pretty heavy going, like Euripides’ “Trojan Women” and Ugo Betti’s “The Queen and the Rebels.” Mrs. Jo’s space at first was a roped-off section of the Barn, until she and her students designed the Nutshell (the name, incidentally, from a line in “Hamlet”) and the school built it for them. “Mrs. Jo required us to tap into our selfmotivation and passion,” says Gretchen. “This has been essential to my growth as an artist.” Gretchen won entrance to Carnegie Mellon University through an audition. She was almost immediately cast in Euripides’ “Electra” (which she loved: she had spent two years working on Euripides with Mrs.

B y nadine fiedler

Jo). And her dream came true when she finally got to Ashland, performing during the summers. After two years Gretchen left Pittsburgh and returned to Portland, taking English classes at Portland State. That didn’t last long. “This was the sixties, the Kennedy years, when the country believed in the arts,” she says. That fall a representative of a government-sponsored program offered Gretchen roles in “Romeo and Juliet” and “Our Town” in the Repertory Theater of New Orleans, playing to 2,000 high schoolers a day. That phase of her life lasted until she came to New York a year later. Gretchen was in the city on her way to Europe when she met an agent. “I didn’t know about agents. I didn’t even know how to hail a cab,” she says. But he saw her talent and potential, and soon she was cast in a film, an off-Broadway show, and a Broadway show. “Thanks to Mrs. Jo I could handle heavy classical stuff,” she says. “When I first played Broadway I walked on the boards as a very young girl with a lot of stage chops. It was unusual to be so young and hit the back of the house with your voice and personality. It was one of those things that has to be learned,” says Gretchen. She spent 10 years in New York on the stage, in productions with many notable actors, including Alec McCowen, Julie Harris, and Irene Papas, and directors that included Michael Cacoyannis and Abe Burrows. She loved her life in New York theater, so much so that when Universal Studios offered her a contract for film and TV, she refused. The second time they offered, she decided to give it a try and went to Hollywood. Her life became a constant whirl of roles in films and television, most prominently the unforgettable role of lawyer Beth Davenport in The Rockford Files with James Garner. She also appeared in The American Revolution, with Michael Douglas and James Woods, and a long list of TV series and episodes, including Marcus Welby, M.D., Kojak, and Columbo. She worked so incessantly on so many projects that it’s hard for her to recall everything she’s done, she says, explaining that TV filming takes only a couple of weeks at the most for each project. And TV work is particularly crazy and demanding. “You do an astonishing amount of work in a day, shooting 12 hours with a script you may have gotten two days

before if you’re lucky, and then you have to walk and talk so you don’t block anyone’s light and you’re in complete synch with the cameraman and the 150 people behind him, and you have to create a believable character and bring life and truth to the words you’re saying.” She began losing her appetite for TV and film, and felt more pride in her stage work. “I didn’t own a TV and was making a living doing TV. Something was wrong,” she says. When it was time to enroll her daughter Winslow Corbett ’98 in middle school, LA schools were uninviting, and Gretchen looked back to the Catlin Gabel she had loved. She and Winslow moved back to Portland, Winslow entered 7th grade at Catlin Gabel, and Gretchen found herself at a loss. Gretchen wanted to pursue stage acting in Portland, but the local theater community was a hard one to break into. She found other ways to express herself, including learning to throw pots, but that just wasn’t who she was. After serious soul-searching, she found a way to bring theater back into her life. Gretchen had served as resident director in LA at a nonprofit organization that nurtured new plays and playwrights, so she was familiar with nonprofits. She took a deep breath and launched the Haven Project, which paired underserved children with local theater artists to create and perform plays. “I had no idea how to get the Haven Project going, but I like having a steep learning curve. I simply started writing grants,” she says. Thanks to Gretchen’s grace and determination, the Haven Project was a great success for its 10-year duration. In its day the Haven Project produced 90 plays a year, with over 200 Portland theater professionals touching the lives of 700 children. “I liked making a difference in kids’ lives, and I liked giving artists a way to give back, in the way they knew best,” she says. Her nonprofit venture brought Gretchen into the lives of Portland actors and playwrights,

Winslow Corbett ’98 Gretchen’s daughter Winslow has made a name for herself in theater. She’s acted in New York and throughout the country and appeared in a Lifetime TV movie. Gretchen reminisces about Winslow’s first professional acting job, at age 15 in “Arcadia” at ACT in Seattle: “Some people remember seeing their child go into 1st grade. But for me it was walking down the street and stopping a block from the theater, watching Winslow walk down the block alone.” She says that Winslow is quite different from her mother: “She’s good at playing roles I could never touch. She has femininity, humor, and a lightness of spirit. We’re good friends.”

Above, Winslow Corbett ’98 and left, in “Underpants,” by Steve Martin



Places Please By Gretchen Corbett ’63

into the city’s public eye, and onto its stages—where Hamlet pondered she has received continual way out on the apron acclaim. That’s all it took. Gretchen has acted in I moved onto the boards many plays with several met my family out on the ice Portland theater companies, found home in make-believe rooms and is a core member with no walls. of Third Rail Repertory Years collapse. Cities merge. Theatre. She will continue to act, and to awe Portland All over the globe rehearsal halls without windows audiences. When you hear invite unexpected music her talk about what it means I walk down taped-on-the-floor steps to her to act on stage, you into the heart of a stranger. can feel in your own bones the intense physical and Countless nests I’ve built in backstage branches of tumbledown barns intellectual commitment sleek city centers she has to her art. gilt-edged arenas “I’m an intuitive actor each dripping peonies and yet it takes a long time for pink powder the character to set in my each pinned with reminders on mirrors bones and heart, and for me about flying naked to discover the character’s tight rope walking secrets. I’m curious about the fat lady in the front row. people, especially those so Places please. Places. different from myself. I care Move down secret, blue-lit corridors about literature and the past fly rigging and brick way a story is being told. I to the edge of the boards care about the brain that wait has created the words I’m and breathe speaking. and wait “I’ve played characters ‘till a hush falls who have had wonderful and wait then an oboe senses of humor and a inside my body more positive outlook takes over than I have. Recently I the stage erupts played a suicidal woman spills exquisite light. in “A Lesson from Aloes,” and it took me months to I step out into it. Send life out into the darkness get back to myself. Now I consider more carefully. Acting is so internal that it becomes physical, and it can become difficult to stay healthy. “At its heart the experience of acting is like any creative art form. What comes out of me surprises me as much as it surprises an audience. It’s as if I’m not in charge. At its best it feels like a religious experience. That’s the creative process. After you do all the work on a character you come to that place. I imagine the same is true for writers, musicians, and painters. “Some actors are attracted to theater because they like to have fun showing off, like kids. That’s not my impetus. I’m personally shy, an introvert. I open my heart in front of an audience so that we can share and learn together about being human.” Nadine Fiedler is the editor of the Caller.



Senior at What’s Next


A T ri b ute t o R ummage


& a l o o k a h ead

his past November was Catlin Gabel’s final Rummage Sale. Forces that include changes in the way goods are sold in the digital age, the growth of second hand and discount retailers, and the shrinking pool of volunteers eroded the ability of this cherished 65-year tradition to raise the funds Catlin Gabel needs for financial aid. After the sale, it was time to find new ways to bring people of all ages together the way Rummage did, and to teach our students the lessons they could learn outside the classroom from Rummage. The Catlin Gabel community— students, teachers, staffers, parents, alumni, trustees, and friends—began working together to figure out What’s Next? at a meeting on January 23.

basic parameters. The final products were a list of events or activities that all agreed on, a list of what was agreed to be common ground, and a list of ideas that not every one agreed to, but that were important to some. No idea was thrown away, however—all ideas were captured and will be kept for future consideration.

The group of more than 100 met in the Barn for most of the day to figure out what was important to them and to the school and wider communities through self-reflection and a series of group discussions led by past trustee and parent Mindy Clark. In addition, the event was streamed live on the website, and those off campus were able to participate online. Every idea and contribution was given respectful consideration at all times as the group worked towards final consensus at the end of the meeting. From smaller to larger groups, and then to the group as a whole, participants brainstormed ideas for what’s next, given a set of

Projects, activities, or events that drew consensus were something to do with gardens, farms, or growing food (what one called a “Honey Hollow Farm resurrection”); a “Barn Raising” as a metaphor for building and working together on a specific project on or off campus; one specific event; a Catlin Gabel service corps; and an annual Campus Day connected to a worldwide day of service so that those who don’t live nearby can take part.

Teacher David Ellenberg at the brainstorming session on What’s Next

Common ground—values that all thought should undergird what’s next— included attributes of multiple generations, physical activity, a learning component, a local connection to the community, a service component, financial sustainability, ability of students to run or organize the activity, and a way for the school community to bond or connect.

The day’s discussions are available online for everyone to see and to comment on. Members of the What’s Next steering committee will consider

all the input and come back to the entire Catlin Gabel community with proposals for consideration. Whether it be one event, or many, or what shape it will take, remains to be seen. But what’s definite is that the community will decide, and try it out, and see what works. A new tradition may be born, or it may take time, but we will do it together. We’ll never forget Rummage and the memories we have. Two stalwart volunteers reminisce here about what the Sale meant to them, and think about the directions we can go from here.



R um mm m aggee By Debbie Ehrman Kaye ’73

What We Would Have Missed We almost didn’t have it! In 1945 a rummage sale did not appeal to some members of the Catlin-Hillside Mother’s Club. They wondered if they couldn’t just write a check to buy library books and cover other expenses for the school (Rummage would support financial aid exclusively after 1950), never imagining that their efforts would yield $8,864. Thankfully, with their huge success, they were hooked! Think what we would have missed: 65 years of positive connection with the greater Portland community n $8 million in financial aid (2009 value), enabling thousands of students to attend Catlin-Hillside and Catlin Gabel n All that recycling of usable goods n Extracurricular, experiential learning by thousands of students n Community participation in an “all-for-one & one-for-all” experience yielding friendships and connections among the diverse elements of our school n So much FUN! and all those stories about merchandise, customers, trucks, buildings, and each other—shared experiences building community. n

Because my parents were involved with Rummage, so was I (and my siblings). My volunteering began when I was four—my job: separating hangers. By the time I was 10 in the mid-sixties, I got to help in women’s accessories, stapling 2 x 2-inch price tags onto hats, gloves, handkerchiefs, and scarves. Kelly Puziss allowed me to price them; hankies generally cost 5 cents. Althea Williams in women’s sportswear taught her daughters (Leslie ’73 and Terra ’76) and me how to distinguish women’s from men’s shirts and how to display merchandise. Soon after, the Treasures ladies (Mrs. Hammer



and Mrs. Wise) invited me to work with them and even to sell and cashier. I learned the value and power of taking responsibility and doing what I said I would do. These generous people taught me life skills I use to this day, such as leadership and “followership,” organization, interpersonal and intergenerational relations, finding the fun, and how to listen to, respect, and have compassion for colleagues and customers. Many parents and teachers taught all of us that together we could move a lot of rummage, and that the sum of our individual work was huge. I later worked as a buyer and floor manager for a Brazilian department store in Santiago, Chile, using every one of these skills! Recently, it has been a great pleasure to engage with students at Rummage, encouraging them to find their niche, to identify and enhance their skills. That kind of experiential learning must be integral to what we do next as a community. During Rummage season, our family—and our mother, Pat Ehrman, particularly—were at the sorting centers and then the Journal Building all the time. With early November birthdays, my brother and sister did not have timely parties so, as compensation, their special days were announced over the loudspeaker. We were among those legions of children over the years who would see a toy and say, “I have one just like that!” and have their mother reply, “Not anymore, dear.” One year Mom was Mrs. Frank McIntyre sorting Rummage

so busy at Rummage she forgot about Halloween—she called Dad at dinner time and told him to send us out in the oldest white sheets! The Rummage Sale involved students from the beginning. The contest always brought in a lot of rummage, often treasures. Students found many opportunities for cooperative learning and for fun. Team leadership offered additional skill building (Go Blue!). We almost didn’t have it. Recently, with 1,000 volunteers working 12,000 hours serving 11,000 customers every sale, consider how many people have participated in our annual community gathering—a wonderful and immensely beneficial event for 65 years. So “thank you” to those courageous and generous women who chose to have a rummage sale. Without them, think what we would have missed! Debbie Ehrman Kaye ’73 is a member of the alumni board and the wife and mother of alumni (Ted ’73, Mason ’04, and Rob ’07). She served for many years as Rummage volunteer coordinator.

By Sid Eaton

A Rummage Farewell


married into Rummage. When I married Margaret (Meg) Shepard Patten ’58 in 1964, I became son-inlaw to her mother, Elsie Failing Shepard Patten ’29, a 24-year volunteer for the Catlin Gabel Rummage Sale. In fact, during my first fall at both Rummage and Catlin Gabel, I was invited to attend a luncheon in Elsie’s honor, the venue for which was the then sorting center at the corner of NW Thurman and 28th Avenue. It gave me a preview of coming attractions, of the care so many put into the project known as Rummage. My previous hints of what I was getting into were four in number. First there was Schauff, Manvel Schauffler, then headmaster of Catlin Gabel, who spoke so often and warmly of Rummage during his many visits to my previous employer, the Charles Wright Academy, up in Tacoma. He never had to say, “Sid, you have to come and see the Rummage Sale.” So tantalizingly did he speak of the Sale, I wanted to come and see it in action, invited or not. Near the end of my 10 years at Charles Wright, I got the chance to see a bit of the Sale in preparatory action. The Sale was still at the Journal Building down on what is now known as Tom

McCall Waterfront Park, but it was not yet in session. Caravan Day had occurred, and the spoils of that year’s collection were everywhere. Silent though the building was, I could sense the growing excitement. I still recall Elsie and Meg talking about one of the off-duty policemen serving as security who would honor the Sale by serving as a cashier during the early moments. Thus was my second preview of coming attractions. Third was Meg, who had virtually grown up at Rummage, not quite like a waif out of a Dickens novel, but to the manor or manner born, the highlight of her early life being when she was asked to sort buttons or something of that sort all by herself in the sewing department: complete responsibility at an early age, something she did again during Alumni Night on the Tuesday preceding this year’s final sale. She loved it! Fourth was working in the Rummage Truck during my first student contest. I remember Eddie Hartzell, my colleague from a previous teaching life at the Cate School, and I were unloading a load of plywood table tops when the load shifted, just missing Eddie’s head by a non-existent hair. Rummage could be dangerous, exciting, hair-raising. Then came loading week, an entire week committed to loading up some 20 semi trailers; Caravan Day, an entire Sunday devoted to unloading them over at the Coliseum, just days before the Trail Blazers would open their season; Pre-Sale, the nervous time during which parents and alums would eagerly await the arrival of the school’s fleet of buses, loaded to their windows with eager shoppers; finally the sale itself, which opened at 10 a.m. the next day with a swarm of humanity charging through the doors after waiting in line outside for many hours. I had to tend shop my first year at the school (four English classes in the Upper School), so I missed the sight of this human tsunami, but I heard enough about it that I managed to be present thereafter at the official start of each succeeding

sale. Someone had asked me to serve as the Sale’s announcer. It was chaotic, happy madness. No one had warned me of how many shoppers would ask their party to meet them in front of the snack bar, nor that one had to broadcast their requests in the order received or face intimidating stares from the denied populace. There were light moments, to be sure. I remember one of our workers coming over from Housewares to ask me to ask the lady who had bought some bed pans to come pick them up. With all due seriousness I made an announcement about the bed pans, made it several times in fact as the buyer hadn’t shown up yet. The worker then reappeared with the same message, and again it went over the PA system, to the amusement of all in the building. Finally we discovered that the worker, who had a strong Balkan accent, was referring to bread pans. There are many stories, and that’s just one. Come to think of it, maybe we need a Rummage reminiscence reunion, annually perhaps, where and when all associated with Rummage over the years can gather, share their memories, small and large, and say farewell to Rummage as it deserves and as we knew it. Something will be missing when Rummage ends: the bargaining in Hardware, the mental game of knowing what items to sit upon waiting for the next bag sale vs. not holding a bag sale too soon, the sheer pleasure of finding something one wasn’t seeking, and the experience of interacting with the public and the Catlin Gabel family. This was a two-way experience. This is what I hope so deeply the school, via a series of meetings being planned for this winter, will find ways to match. I shall miss the Rummage Sale very much, but I’m sure the school will find a way to extend all of its positives into the next 65 years of Catlin Gabel School’s existence. Sid Eaton retired in 2001 after serving as admission director and teaching Upper School and Middle School English at Catlin Gabel for 30 years.



R um mm m aggee

Rummage Memory Pages We posted giant pages at Rummage for shoppers and volunteers to add their own memories. Here are some of their responses.

“We don’t have a lot of $$, and we were able to get a ton of racks and a display case for our store. Thank you so much!” — Annie and Carlee, Fat Fancy

“Walked through Rummage while starting labor contractions. Continued on and got all shopping accomplished. Daughter born 11/4/01 and now attends 2nd grade at Catlin Gabel.” — Rummage shopper and CGS parent

“I’ve been to most sales and still have treasures from the first one—especially a dress I bought for 50 cents and got lots of compliments on! Sorry to see it end.” — Lou Layko, 82, Brush Prairie, Washington

“The Journal Building—laughing in the paperback book section with Debby Schauffler ’70 and Lynne Cartwright ’69, in 1967 or so.” — Erik Bergman ’69

“There’s nothing like wearing a Catlin Gabel roustabout hat or working here as a cashier with your friends. Thanks for all the memories!” — Esichang McGautha ’12

“My kids are 23 and 31. We’ve been coming here since they were 1 and 7. They have grown up in Catlin Gabel “specials” and learned how to shop carefully here. Thanks to you for the place where they could make mistakes cheaply.” — Rummage shopper “Running with the bulls!” — Luke Mones ’10

“The end of the annual rummage sale will leave a big, gaping hole in my fall events calendar, but as George Harrison taught us so long ago, all things must pass. Goodbye and thanks to all for your hard work and beautiful, friendly spirits.” — Rummage shopper

Best Buys Over the Years Responses from campus community members to “What was the coolest thing you ever bought at Rummage?” Collected by Zanny Allport ’10 and excerpted from CatlinSpeak, the student newspaper. Allen Schauffler Beginning School teacher My engagement ring. There’s a good story to go with it. Kent Hayes ’10 Antique all-brass forest firefighting pump. Len Carr ’75 Middle School dean of students A 1988 VW Jetta that was in perfect condition, donated by former science teacher Lowell Herr, who had kept it up perfectly and meticulously. Nance Leonhardt Upper School teacher Three identical hot-pink and white wooden signs that say “Merry Christmas.” Karen Katz ’74 communications director Hundreds of dollars worth of Brio wooden trains and tracks I bought for about $35 when my sons were little guys. I am saving the Brio for grandchildren. Keenan Jay ’10 Air Jordan 5s circa 1990. Freaking tight! Hannah Whitehead head of the Beginning School A folding kayak we bought in the 1980s. It was in pieces and no one knew if all of them were there, so we got it at a bargain price. It turned out that only the rudder was missing, so we made one, and had many happy hours on the Willamette with it.



NEWS FROM AROUND HONEY HOLLOW All Kinds of Minds named Catlin Gabel a School of Distinction. Among other criteria, the school won the honor for “implementing a wide range of creative learning concepts that take into consideration students’ strengths, affinities, and challenges.” . . . Albina Head Start honored Catlin Gabel for its 16-year commitment to volunteer service at its early childhood education center. . . . Lauren Reggero-Toledano’s Spanish V Honors students presented their research project, “The Hispanic Presence in Oregon: From the Great Depression to Today,” to the Latin American studies program at Lewis & Clark College. . . . Retired teacher Dave Corkran accepted a Regional Forester’s award this fall from the Mt. Hood National Forest for Catlin Gabel’s many years of volunteer work restoring degraded land, through the Elana Gold ’93 Memorial Environmental Restoration Project and other student volunteer work. Since Dave Corkran receiving 1991, Catlin Gabel students have contributed more than award for Catlin 15,000 hours of labor. Gabel’s service FAREWELL! Upper School counselor George Thompson ’66 will retire at the end of the school year. “There is never a good time to leave a vocation that one has loved, but this is as easy a moment as any. I will miss Catlin Gabel and plan to stay in touch with the good friends I have made here,” he says. Also retiring is Bob Kindley, Upper School math teacher. “The teaching of mathematics has always been interesting and exciting for me. I enjoy seeing students understand something for the first time and like hearing their new and interesting questions. I will miss the classroom and Catlin Gabel but feel that it is now time to pursue other things,” he says.

George Thompson ’66

Bob Kindley


news Yale Fan ’10, Bill MacKenzie from Intel, and Kevin Ellis ’10, with checks from Intel

HONORS TO KEVIN ELLIS ’10 AND YALE FAN ’10 Kevin Ellis ’10 and Yale Fan ’10 were named finalists in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search in January, two of 40 students nationally receiving the award. They received an all-expensepaid trip to Washington DC in March to compete for more than $500,000 in scholarships. Kevin and Yale were also national semifinalists in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology, sponsored by the College Board. Kevin also won a Best of Category award in computer science at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2009 in Reno, Nevada, and he presented at the International Symposia on Implementation and Application of Functional Languages IFL 2009 conference at Seton Hall University, along with graduate students and university professors from around the world.

OUR AMAZING STUDENTS An op-ed by Lauren Edelson ’10 on college tours was printed in the New York Times on December 5. . . . Joey Lubitz ’10 won a Golden Key, the highest regional honor in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards program, and his artwork will be part of the national judging. . . . Artworks by Claire Rosenfeld ’17, Layton Rosenfeld ’19, and Will Attig ’20 were selected for the “Super Hero” exhibition in the Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum in Eugene, on display through May. . . . Megan Stater ’12 placed first in the recent Oregon Music Teachers Association Classical Piano Festival. Michael Zhu ’11 took first place in the association’s Piano Romantic Festival, after placing third in their Chris Tapang Scholarship Competition. . . . . Middle School robotics Team Delta won 3rd at state championships, with the Green Dragons winning runner-up Champion’s Award and Team Echo winning second in research. FALL ATHLETICS and SPORTS ROUNDUP Both the boys and girls soccer teams were finalists at state. The girls cross-country team won second at state. . . . . McKensie Mickler ’11 was named an Oregonian athlete of the week in October after she had “27 kills to power the Eagles to a four-game victory over Vernonia” in volleyball . . . Students who recently placed high in state and national competitions in sports outside of CGS included Conner Hansen ’15 in Tae Kwon Do, Anna Byrnes ’11 in competition with her horses, Neil Badawi ’12 in soccer, and Ashley Tam ’15 in swimming.



alumni news We Are Catlin Gabel. More than 4,000 people are Catlin Gabel alumni. Alumni are defined as those who attended or graduated from Catlin Gabel or any of its predecessor schools—Miss Catlin’s School, Gabel Country Day, and Catlin-Hillside. Catlin Gabel alumni are active participants in their communities. As educators, entrepreneurs, professionals, parents, athletes, scientists, artists, and more, our alumni are extraordinary people who live and work around the globe and right here in Oregon.

Lauren Dully Hubbard ’91

The office of alumni and community relations and the Catlin Gabel alumni association work together to “promote the interest and mission of the school, to strengthen loyalty to Catlin Gabel, and to provide opportunities for fellowship among the membership.” Catlin Gabel alumni remain connected to the school and to each other through publications, e-newsletters, the school website, online networking groups, campus visits, the Gambol auction, and a series of special events. We host regional events around the nation, and annual campus events including Homecoming and Alumni Weekend. Alumni Weekend is coming up soon, and alumni have been telling us how much they look forward to seeing their classmates. Class party planning is under way, and preparations for a community celebration party in the Barn on June 18 will start off the weekend festivities. We look forward to seeing you. Our experiences at Catlin Gabel continue to nourish us long after our student years. As always, we welcome hearing your stories and reminiscing about your days at Catlin Gabel. Please call or drop by anytime.

Lesley Sepetoski

Please Join Us! 2010 Alumni Weekend Friday, June 18 All are welcome to attend the community celebration party with a presentation of annual alumni awards and Joey Day Pope ’54 Volunteer of the Year award. Saturday, June 19 Class reunion parties celebrating the classes of ’45, ’50, ’55, ’60, ’65, ’70, ’75, ’80, ’85, ’90, ’95, ’00, ’05



Lauren Dully Hubbard ’91 alumni and community relations program director 503-297-1894 ext. 363,

Lesley Sepetoski alumni and community relations officer 503-297-1894 ext. 423,

Call for Nominations for Joey Day Pope ’54 Volunteer of the Year Award This award is given each year to a Catlin Gabel community member who personifies volunteerism within our community. The person should have longevity of service to the school, bring enthusiasm and commitment, act as an ambassador of Catlin Gabel, provide the gift of talent, and have qualities of character and responsibility. Nominations are open until April 1. Please send nominations to the office of alumni and community relations at or call Lauren Dully Hubbard ’91 at 503-297-1894 ext. 363 for more information.

Past Recipients 2008 Nell and Bob ’73 Bonaparte 2007 Kim Carlson 2006 Sue Spooner 2005 Dale Yocum 2004 Betsy Miller 2003 Peg Watson 2002 Jim Reese 2001 Debbie Ehrman Kaye ’73 2000 David ’76 and Carolyn Cannard 1999 Carole Long 1998 Jane Howard Mersereau ’38 and Jean Poole Hittner ’43 1997 Leah Kemper and Jennifer Sammons 1996 Lois Seed 1995 Rummage Wednesday Club 1994 Sid Eaton 1993 Fletcher Chamberlin 1992 Joey Day Pope ’54

class notes

Classes ending in 0 or 5, your reunion is coming up this summer! If you’d like to serve on your class reunion committee, please get in touch with the alumni office. Don’t see a liaison listed for your class? We could use your help. For more information, email the alumni office at

Class Notes are available to alumni at




Over the Waves Cruise director Don Fluke ’74 keeps the folks happy at sea Singing and dancing was always in Don Fluke’s blood, even when he was growing up on a remote cattle and grain farm in tiny Airlie, Oregon. As he got older he found ways to entertain people, even in places where musical theater was a scarce resource. As a Catlin Gabel student he produced an unforgettable ’40s variety revue, “Fluke’s Follies,” that sparks gleeful memories for faculty and alumni. Now, as cruise director for Celebrity Cruises for almost 30 years—and considered one of the best in the business—Don provides entertainment and joy every day to thousands of shipboard passengers. Don lives and works on a cruise ship seven days a week, for fourmonth stretches. As a high-ranking senior officer of the ship, he’s in charge of all passenger movement, activities, and what he calls “everything except steering, cooking, and cleaning.” The chief communicator on board, he issues a daily bulletin and even hosts a TV talk show featuring the lecturers and entertainers booked for that cruise. It all comes back to Don’s love of performing when he emcees the evening show, sometimes sings, and always acts as the warm and welcoming figurehead of the ship. “In my early days as a cruise director, I was speaking to two ladies off stage, and they said I seemed more homespun than when I was on stage. That bothered me. So I try to carry myself naturally. It’s not so easy to come across as sincere when you’re talking to 1,200 people a day, but that’s who I really want to be,” he says. Don’s talents were honed in many venues over the years. Before, during, and after his time at Catlin Gabel he performed frequently in community musical theater—even during his senior year in Guadalajara, Mexico, where his parents had moved. He went to the School of Performing and Variety Arts at the United States International University in San Diego, then graduated from the

American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles. Besides singing and dancing, he worked as an announcer for a trivia show on Financial News Network, a songwriter and recorded singer, and a jingle writer for and actor in commercials. His life became what it is today when an agent asked if he’d like to perform on a cruise ship. “And I never had a regular job again,” he says. It’s not an ideal life for most people, he says. “The novelty of being on a ship wears off. I can’t wait to get back home so I can read the morning newspaper, make my own coffee, watch David Letterman, and go to the supermarket to see new products. Being on land for me is like being on a cruise ship for others. After I’m back on the ship I’m not so excited to ‘take a cruise.’ But after five days I get an adrenaline rush: ‘I love this! This is so nice!’” “Cruises are a really just a different angle of show business,” he says. “Theaters in cruise ships can seat more than 1,000 people in more professional venues than in many cities and towns. This aspect of entertainment was the role I played in Fluke’s Follies at Catlin Gabel (with many thanks to the tolerance and care of teachers Sid Eaton and Pru Twohy!). I put together a show, handled the technical aspects, and cast the show and performed in it. I didn’t know anything about cruise ships when I was in high school, but I’m essentially doing the same things now.”

Class Notes are available to alumni at



Class Notes are available to alumni at




An Eye on the Goal Longtime soccer player Eric Watson ’93 is now an award-winning coach By all accounts Eric Watson ’93 was a superb athlete at Catlin Gabel. But he knows he didn’t just go it alone, and that great coaches make great players. Now it’s his turn. A teacher and soccer coach since his college days, Eric loves working with his student athletes to realize their potential to become better players—and better people.

coach at SUNY New Paltz. He lives there with his wife, Paola Gentry, and their children, Aracely, 7, and Oliver, 4. He also serves as assistant coach with the United States Under-23 Women’s National Team. Eric says it’s never felt like a job to him to make a living in soccer, a game that has always been his great passion. “I feel that I can show my players how to best approach a passion of theirs, whether it is athletic or academic, and then use my position as a coach to help them reach their goals,” he says.

Eric had some fine role models at Catlin Gabel. “Mike Davis, Brian Gant, and John Hamilton were always there to inspire, instruct, and occasionally discipline me if my competitive desire got the better of me,” he says. Eric concentrated on mathematics for his undergraduate degree from Williams College, and earned his master’s in leadership and sports administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. During summers he coached at Mike Davis’s soccer camps, which led to a job teaching and coaching at a private boy’s school in Connecticut. After a year there, Eric got an invitation from his coach at Williams: would he consider coaching there, at an 85 percent pay cut, with no benefits? “I jumped at the opportunity,” he says. That opportunity paid off for Eric. He moved on from Williams to a coaching job at Oliver, Aracely, and Eric Watson ’93 the University of Richmond, then finally got his big break: “The challenge of trying to make my the position of head men’s and women’s players, my team, and the overall soccer coach at Linfield College in program better keeps me going back, McMinnville, Oregon. “I was fortunate day after day. Certainly there are days, enough to have a very talented and especially after a loss, that make going dedicated group of players,” he says. The back more difficult, but as long as there team advanced to the NCAA tournament twice during his five years there, and Eric are still games to be played the team can improve and we go back to work. In the was voted Coach of the Year in 2005. end the real job I have done won’t be measured in the four years I have direct Another great chance came his way, and contact with my players, but in 5, 10, or although he had loved being back in 15 years after they leave the school and Oregon, Eric moved to New Paltz, New forge their lives out in the world.” York, where he is now the men’s soccer

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Teachers Speak about Our Distinctive Programs The programs on these two pages embody Catlin Gabel’s uniqueness. These important offerings advance the mission of the school by continually reinforcing and refining the notion of progressive education. The teachers quoted here highlight what makes these programs exceptional and what they contribute to a Catlin Gabel education. Robotics By Dale Yocum, Middle & Upper School robotics program director, Catlin Gabel’s robotics program gives students experience with hands-on engineering. More important than that, it is an opportunity to work together as a team accomplishing an impossible goal in a time too short and with a budget too small, just like the real world. Our robotics team is the most decorated in Oregon, advancing to the world championships the last three years in a row. Our membership continues to grow, with 10% of the upper school now taking part. The next phase of work for robotics is to apply our skills earned in competitions towards other problems in the community. Our work to improve the quality of life for the elephants in the zoo is the first example of how we will reach out.

Outdoor Education By Peter Green, outdoor education director & Upper School dean of students, The outdoor education program is the place where students grow in ways that will help them face the challenges of the outside world. It is one of the ways we help prepare them for the unexpected. The program provides leadership opportunities where students are genuinely challenged to lead their peers, make decisions, and confront daunting obstacles. This past year we passed a major milestone with 60% of the current Upper School students having been on an outdoor program trip. January marks the fifth anniversary of the program, and we have offered over 120 trips. Our plan is to involve as many students as possible. We will be offering more trips that are truly adventures, like our trip to Paulina Butte in central Oregon, where the group will hike up in winter conditions and try to construct a pond or tub to warm themselves before camping out. Global Education By Spencer White, global education coordinator & Middle School Spanish teacher, Global education at Catlin Gabel takes full advantage of the international diversity of parents, faculty, and staff to design activities and travel experiences that do not rely on outside contractors or travel agents. Connections to places and cultures far from Catlin Gabel exist in our students’ daily classes and lives rather than as an isolated, future destination. Our students need to be able to communicate and act internationally at every level of their education. Fostering abilities in cross-cultural communication and critical thinking about global issues is at the forefront of our global initiative.

Our global programs are developing exponentially. We have launched the Viewfinder Global Film Series (http://, which showed 23 films this year. We invite families from all divisions to gather monthly to view and discuss films selected by the faculty, connected to curriculum. This series honors the diversity of our families and allows us to expand our perspectives on the world and its cultures. In addition, global trip opportunities for Middle and Upper School students this year include Costa Rica, Martinique, Nepal, Cuba, and Japan. The Learning Center By Kathy Qualman, Middle & Upper School learning specialist, The Learning Center is truly the place where each child is the unit of consideration. We help students from all four divisions understand their unique cognitive abilities and work with them to identify and practice strategies that get them to their academic goals. We facilitate communications between families, students, teachers, and outside resources so that we are coordinated in supporting student learning. For students there is no stigma attached to using the Learning Center. It’s seen as a resource for all, just like the libraries. Our achievements are highly personal to each student and family. We believe they are life changing and life enhancing. It makes us proud to see the transformation in students, culminating with graduation, when we see our students walk across the stage every June. In recent years between 75% and 95% of each graduating class has used our services during their time at Catlin Gabel. We are working on improving our ESL support, strengthening our efforts to help students transition between divisions, integrating new technologies, strengthening support for new students, becoming a more active professional resource for teachers, investigating partnerships with other institutions, and becoming a resource to our greater Portland community. PLACE Planning and Leadership Across City Environments (formerly the Urban Leadership Program) By George Zaninovich, PLACE director, This unique program allows students to gain exposure to local government and learn how engaged citizens can influence the future of their communities. Every PLACE class culminates in a service learning project where students form an urban planning consulting firm and complete a plan for a client. This directly benefits

the community as Catlin Gabel students, working with students from other public and private high schools, tackle a need in our city and find appropriate solutions. Recently, thanks to the work of PLACE’s advisory committee made up of city leaders and Catlin Gabel students and teachers, PLACE was awarded a prestigious grant from the Edward E. Ford Family Foundation. We have added partners in Portland’s Bureau of Planning of Sustainability, Portland State University, and Portland’s public schools. PLACE has come a long way in the last year by adding summer classes at Catlin Gabel, and offering the course at Lincoln and Marshall high schools. We are looking to build a more robust urban studies curriculum at Catlin Gabel, as well as expanding the summer program to include a middle school City Explorers camp and more opportunities for high school students from across the region.

The Arts By Nance Leonhardt, Middle & Upper School art teacher, Active participation in the arts is essential to each student’s understanding and appreciation of humanity. We honor the integrity of each student’s work and aim to create an environment that facilitates creative risk taking, where the process is as important as the product. One example of many vibrant programs in the arts is the Poetry in Motion project, which frees students from traditional media conventions and pushes them to explore cinematography and editing from an experimental and expressionistic angle. It generates cross-divisional connections between filmmakers and poets, and joins the community in a creative process. Each year students in the project produce 45 original films, inspired by works of poetry written by community members ranging in age from 4 to 65 and beyond. To support these, and all of the amazing programs at Catlin Gabel, please visit the giving website at http://www.catlin. edu/giving or contact the development office at 503-297-1894 ext. 302 or



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P AI D Portland, OR Permit No 593

Catlin Gabel School 8825 SW Barnes Road Portland, Oregon 97225 Change Service Requested

Parents: if this is addressed to your child who no longer lives at home, call 503-297-1894 ext. 307 or email to update the address. We thank you!

Celebrate & Connect

Alumni Weekend

Friday, June 18

Community celebration in the Barn Food, beverages, and music with presentation of annual Distinguished Alumni awards and Joey Day Pope ’54 Volunteer of the Year award. Everyone welcome!

Saturday, June 19

Class reunion parties for the class years ending in 0 and 5

Please contact the alumni and community relations office at for more information.

Catlin Gabel Caller Winter 2010  

Catlin Gabel's alumni & community magazine