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Elevate with Spark! @ Catlin Gabel

Elevate with Spark! @ Catlin Gabel

By Rob van Nood
Big ideas, little projects and everything in between from Catlin Gabel teachers, students and administrators. Elevate is hosted by Rob van Nood & Matt Woodard.
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S2-E11 Real-World Collaboration: a Student Run Non-Profit

Elevate with Spark! @ Catlin Gabel

S2-E11 Real-World Collaboration: a Student Run Non-Profit

Elevate with Spark! @ Catlin Gabel

S4-E1 An In-Person Homecoming: a conversation with Kate Williams and Da’Mon Perry
With the approach of Homecoming, Catlin Gabel is transitioning back to the sporting events that are so special to our community. Part of that transition is the new team that is leading the CGS Athletic Program.  Rob and Matt sat down with Athletics Director, Kate Williams, and Associate Director of Athletics, Da’Mon Perry, to chat about their experiences, their beliefs about health and fitness,  and their vision for athletics.  Please enjoy this first episode of Elevate’s 4th season. Every year we pick a theme to help shape the focus of our conversations.  And this year we have chosen one that seems to fit the world we are living in: transitions. We hope you can join us every other week as we explore this theme through the stories, projects, and ideas from throughout the community
September 24, 2021
S3-E16 What Should We Keep? A year-end conversation with students
As this year of remote and socially distanced learning comes to an end we wanted to talk with students about the types of experiences or learning environments they think the school should consider holding on to in the future.  In this two sectioned episode Rob spoke with Lower School students Aayush, Ellery, Peter, Everly, and Diarra as well as Middle School students Tyler, Maya, Abby, Erin, Annika, Ella, and Erik to find out what it was like to work out in tents in the cold, how the cohorts worked out, how remote learning changed them and what they are looking forward to when we start in person next year.  Please enjoy this final episode to Elevate’s 3rd season where we get the last glimpse into the student experience of a very “interesting” year.    And for some bonus summer listening check out what the student's created in Matt's Upper School Podcasting Class:
June 17, 2021
S3-E15 What Will Change? A conversation with Michele Hoang, Kenny Nguyen, Beining Hu & Traci Kiyama
Following our previous podcast where AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) students shared their stories, Rob joined Upper School and Middle School teachers Kenny Nguyen, Beining Hu, Traci Kiyama, and Michele Hoang for a wide-ranging conversation about the experience of being Asian at Catlin Gabel and at this point in history.  With thoughtfulness and passion, they discuss the impact of "model minority" biases, discrimination, and how it feels to speak up for their personal identities.  They explore Buddhism and the misuse of the word Zen. And they shared their ideas on how the school could better provide equity for all employees, students, and families.  Please enjoy this penultimate podcast of the 2020-21 school year.      To learn more about Catlin Gabel’s recent update on steps taken toward anti-racism, read the school’s update from June 2nd: To answer questions or get more information about the topics covered in our antiracism-focused podcasts or the antiracism work that is happening at the school please email
June 11, 2021
S3-E14 How We Fit In: A conversation with 3 Asian and South Asian students
As part of our year-long exploration of anti-racism work here at Catlin Gabel, Matt and Rob sat down with three Upper School students and two Upper School faculty who identify as Asian or South Asian.  Math teacher Traci Kiyama and English teacher Krystal Wu co-host a conversation with Issa, Zia, and Nayan to explore their identities and experiences at Catlin Gabel as well as in their home communities.  They talk about culture, language, the word Asian, and what it means to fit in.  Join in on this insightful conversation.   Explore some of the media that these students and teachers are watching and reading as referenced in the podcast : Movies:  The Farewell & The Half of It  TV:  Never Have I Ever Books: Minor Feelings,  Good Talk & My Grandmother's Hands
May 28, 2021
S3-E13 It's Gonna Take a Minute: A conversation with Damien Geter
When Damien Geter took a leave of absence as the Upper School Music Teacher in June of 2019 to pursue an opportunity at the Metropolitan Opera in New York he never thought that his singing and composition life would take a major leap forward.  But in the two years since he last taught at Catlin Gabel, and following the murder of George Floyd, Brianna Taylor, and Amaud Aubrey, he has become a highly sought-after composer and singer whose works "infuse classical music with various styles from the black diaspora to create music that furthers the cause for social justice."  Matt and Rob had a chance to sit down with Damien to discuss some of the work he has been doing since he chose to step away from teaching, how he develops his compositions, his thoughts about teaching, his musical influences, and what it takes to "play the game" as a BIPOC artist. For more about Damien and his work check out his website: or his Instagram account: 
May 14, 2021
S3-E12 What Do We Want To Hold On To? A conversation with educator Jodie Ricci
Teaching and learning in a pandemic has forced all of us out of our comfort zones and required us to be in a constant state of re-invention.   Jodie Ricci knew a lot about living in that ambiguity even before Covid-19.  As the Performing Arts Chair at Hawken School in Cleveland, a coach with Project Zero, a curriculum trainer, and a practitioner of Agency by Design research she has always been eager to disrupt traditional narratives of creativity to make the world a better place. When she shared her approach with Catlin Gabel faculty at a Forum sponsored event in February Rob and Matt knew they wanted to hear more about what she has been thinking about and doing to help move her school forward. In this episode of Elevate Rob, Matt and Jodie explore activating student voice, sharing curriculum design with students, asking big questions, the importance of play and the arts,  and all the things we want to hold on to as schools consider life in a pandemic-changed-world.   Jodie Ricci's Website: Project Zero Thinking Routines: She Leads Edu: Jodie is reading Work Won't Love You Back by Sarah Jaffe and Taking Beautiful Risks by Ron Beghetto
April 23, 2021
S3-E11. Join the Club: A conversation about a social media platform that connects
Matt and Rob decided to do something a little different for this year’s 11th episode of Elevate.  Rather than covering a story, a project, or a person they held a conversation about the new social media platform called Clubhouse.  They invited Catlin Gabel parents, artists, and Clubhouse users Haleah Blank and Brian Rush to sit down for a conversation to explore the social and educational possibilities of this up and coming app.  With an emphasis on real-time audio, Clubhouse feels like a combination between the radio, a podcast, a large zoom session, and Instagram.  With a huge variety of “rooms” and “clubs” focusing on any topic conceivable, the user can listen in, ask to join a conversation or a performance and even start their own.  This lively conversation focuses on how Clubhouse works, how it has impacted people, and how it could be leveraged for professional development, social connection, and even societal change. At this time only people invited by current Clubhouse users can get onto the platform.  If you are 18 or older and interested in joining we do have invitations that we can share with people.  Just go to this Google Form and let us know you are interested.
April 09, 2021
S3-E10 A Growth Mindset: A conversation with Alison Ward
As the school gears up to return to in-person teaching and learning Matt and Rob thought it would be a good idea to sit down with someone who has been doing on-campus, in-person teaching and learning for quite a while this school.  Alison Ward wears many hats at Catlin Gabel, including as the Administrative Assistant for both the Inclusion and Outreach office and the Learning Center.  But Matt and Rob wanted to chat with her about her role as the Garden Coordinator and the ongoing work she has been doing to cultivate hands-on learning experiences for students through her On-Campus Opportunity this school year.   Contact Alison at  
February 26, 2021
S3-E9 Embracing the Imperfect: A conversation with John Harnetiaux
As John Harnetiaux stepped into the role of Upper School Dean of Students this summer, after 4 years as the Director of Outdoor Education, he began to understand that it required many of the same skillsets that he had acquired over years of supporting students and teachers at Catlin Gabel and other organizations.  Rob and Matt sit down to talk with John about his new position, some of the work he did behind the scenes to help develop the Upper School schedule, how we can approach competing, and often opposite, goals or ideas, and how he is thinking about life with students as we envision a return to campus.
February 05, 2021
S3-E8 8th Grade Independent Art Projects: a conversation with Alex Juarez and Zoe Miner-Winter
Since the 1940s  Catlin Gabel has put on a theatrical production of Not St. George each December.   This Middle School tradition is always accompanied by the rumor that this year it just might not happen.  Well, this year it really didn't happen.  Because of the hurdles remote learning placed in the way of such a large-scale production the 8th-grade team decided to shift gears and at the same time still give the students a chance to let their creativity shine.  In this podcast Rob sits down with Middle School music teacher Alex Juarez and 8th grader Zoe Miner-Winter to chat about the 8th Grade Independent Art Projects that revolved around the themes of justice, personal Identity, "envisioning the future", and "giving a gift". They talk about the project's inception, the creative process, and what was learned along the way.   The collection of work in these projects covers a wide variety of artistic mediums and includes original songs, paintings and drawings, responses to or reinterpretations of popular artistic works, crafts, woodwork,  vision boards, and creative action inspired by nature, sports, and family. Check out the link to the 8th Grade Independent Art Projects online gallery (sorry, only accessible for Catlin Gabel Community)
January 22, 2021
S3-E7 Focus on the Stories & the Big Picture: A conversation with students of the Environmental Action Committee
Malala Yousafzai, the well-known human rights activist and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, said "some people only ask others to do something...Why should I wait for someone else?  Why don't I take a step and move forward."  The four members of Catlin Gabel’s Environmental Action Team (EAT) that you'll hear on this episode embody the heart of this statement.  They are all students who are stepping up to deal with environmental issues that are impacting all of us.  Upper School students Megan Cover, Audrey Hébert, Eva Garzotto, and Chloe Jahncke sit down with Rob and guest host Berkeley Gadbaw to talk about the vision and the projects of this student-led team as well as their thoughts about recycling, the ups and downs of environmental work, the stories of the climate crisis. and the work of environmental writer Elizabeth Rush. Resources and things talked about in the podcast: The Great Recycling Con: See if a fashion brand is sustainable: PDX recycling guide: EAT's Instagram @catlineat
January 08, 2021
S3-E6 A Path Forward: A conversation about anti-racism with Tim Bazemore, Jasmine Love & Aline Garcia-Rubio
In September Catlin Gabel's leadership made a clear and decisive commitment to becoming an anti-racist school.  In this fifth episode focusing on anti-racism Head of School Tim Bazemore, Director of Inclusion and Outreach Jasmine Love, and Head of Upper School Aline Garcia-Rubio give a wide-ranging perspective of what that means at an institutional level.  With Rob and Matt, they explore the history of privilege at independent schools, what changes have occurred over the past decades, how the school is currently engaged in anti-racist work and what the vision for the school is as we move forward.  At a time when all institutions are grappling with issues of race, diversity, inclusion, and equity this episode gives listeners a chance to understand the kind of conversations and thinking that is happening at a high level at Catlin Gabel School.
December 18, 2020
S3-E5 Playful Possibilities: Stories about in-person learning in the preschool
While K-12 students are learning from home and interacting with their teachers through Zoom, preschool students at Catlin Gabel come in each day to learn and play in the Beehive and throughout the school's 67 acres. Classroom teachers Diana Post and Jennifer Pitts and Beginning School Woodshop teacher Steve Davee have a unique perspective on what it’s like to teach in-person during a time of remote learning. Rob and Matt sit down with these three new faculty members to learn a little more about them, hear stories about what the Marigolds and Sunflowers have been up to, explore how they manage the health protocols, and understand why they feel so lucky to be teaching on campus this fall.
November 13, 2020
S3-E4 You Can’t Opt Out: A conversation with the Anti-Racist Collective (ARC)
In this moment of collective reckoning since the death of George Floyd, Catlin Gabel, like many educational institutions, has had to examine the ways in which racism exists within our school. Black students, families, employees, and other People of Color, made clear that the school must do a better job of fostering a truly inclusive and welcoming culture of belonging for everyone. In addition to the steps being taken by the school, which were recently shared by Head of School Tim Bazemore and Board Chair Indira Nallakrishnan, seven Upper School students came together over the summer to ensure their voices were heard. Today, this group has grown to forty students and are now known as the Antiracism Collective, whose mission is to invite the school’s community to “analyze their privilege, focus attention on antiracism, and understand the experiences of BIPOC on campus.” In this episode of Elevate, Rob sits down for a wide ranging conversation with ARC's leadership team to hear about their personal experiences and goals for their work together: (All of the students are seniors, except one) Anuska Gupta, Emma Lindner, Neha Myneni, Catie Macauley, Nayan Murthy (junior), Divine Niyungeko, and Patina Todd.   Article about ARC in CatlinSpeak: ARC Social Media Links: Twitter: Instagram:
October 30, 2020
S3-E3 Having Space To Do Something Else: A conversation with Erica Babino
The Office of Inclusion and Outreach at Catlin Gabel plays a pivotal role in helping the community think about and expand the culture of the school.  In her new full-time role as the Assistant Director of Inclusion and Outreach Erica Babino brings a deep passion for the work of diversity, inclusion, and conflict management.  Rob and Matt sit down with Erica and hear about how she is considering recruitment and retention of people of color at the school, the work she is doing with students, her past legislative actions on adoption, the children’s books she has published, and how finding her birth parents completely altered her life.  Enjoy this third episode of Elevate’s third season. A link to Erica's book:
October 16, 2020
S3-E2 Lift Up The Voices: A conversation with Matt Woodard
Most people know Matt Woodard as a go-to man when dealing with all manner of digital and audio issues.  But as Matt moves into his new role as Media Arts teacher in the Upper School Rob wanted to take the opportunity to chat with him so everyone has a chance to see some of the other great talents and perspectives he has to share with our community.  From his passion for music and art, to his transition from IT staff to teaching faculty,  to his experience of being a Black man at Catlin Gabel and the role and responsibility he sees an art teacher has to support the school's goal of becoming an anti-racist institution, this conversation allows us to get a deeper understanding of this multitalented educator.   
October 02, 2020
S3-E1 Teacher as BLM Activist: A conversation with Marcelle Donehower
In the middle of the literal firestorm that is September 2020, we are all looking for ways to feel hope and ways to feel connected to others and our world. In this first episode of Elevate's third season, Rob van Nood and his new co-host Matt Woodard sit down with second-grade teacher and community activist Marcelle Donehower to explore how her experience in the Black Lives Matter movement has allowed her to grow, develop her voice and make powerful connections. Her commitment to social justice and anti-racism through action can give us all hope. Link to Marcelle's Street Roots article:
September 18, 2020
S2-E20 Una Mirada Global al Coronavirus (a Global Look at the Coronavirus)
Over the past 33 episodes, Elevate has covered a wide variety of topics and people, but there has always been one constant, Rob has always been the voice of the interviewer.  In this 34th episode, we are changing things around by sharing out a student-made podcast.  Not only will this be the first episode with a student interview but it will also be the first podcast that is primarily in  Spanish.  Peter and Cynthia, two Upper School students,  approached me to see if they could use Elevate as a platform to share out their final project from their Spanish 3 class with Jenny Nadaner.  While I figured that many listeners might not be able to understand the episode,  I thought it was a perfect opportunity to share authentic work and support student initiative, and perhaps broaden our listener base.  For those non-Spanish speakers, we have provided an English transcript and we have provided a short explanation in English at the front of the podcast itself.  Enjoy this 20th episode of Season 2.   English transcript of this podcast :
June 19, 2020
S2-E19 A Conversation With 4 Graduating Seniors
What does it feel like to be on the threshold of leaving the nest during a worldwide pandemic, an economic recession, and a large scale revolt against police brutality and centuries of systematic racism?  The four graduating seniors I spoke with for this podcast were wary but shared a heartening level of optimism and positivity.  As the Catlin Gabel class of 2020 prepares to graduate today in a ceremony on campus where they will see each other from the safe distance of their cars, I wanted to share the zoom conversation that I had this week with Aarushi, Sophie, Ezra, and Avery.  We covered a wide range of topics:   Missing friends, loving the little things, appreciating family life, improving remote learning, and how to take action in the world as they move forward.   This is just a glimpse into the lives of 4 thoughtful, caring and insightful young adults but its a dedication to all the extraordinary graduates of this class.  Congratulations class of 2020.  
June 13, 2020
S2-E18 Exchange for Change: Students Bridging Urban & Rural Oregon
What happens when you bring together a group of students from the Portland metro area and a group from Josephine County in Southern Oregon for a two-week cultural exchange?  At a time when our country seems more and more factionalized the Exchange for Change program was devised as a way for urban and rural youth to spend a week in each distinct community to share perspectives, explore differences, understand similarities, and more than anything build connections and friendships.  Rob had the opportunity to share a zoom session with students Maia and Ashley, as well as Southern Oregon Exchange for Change leaders Jann Taylor and Adele Garcia and Portland Exchange for Change leaders George Zaninovich, Lindsay Babbitt & Krystal Wu. They shared what the program is all about and how its impact still reverberates a year later. Info for Exchange for Change on the PLACE website: The College Dreams Facebook page:
May 23, 2020
S2-E17 Supporting Hearts & Minds During Tough Times
We hear over and over how challenging our current situation is.  With work and school disrupted, and all of us feeling isolated in one way or another, issues of mental and emotional health are on everyone's minds.  In this week's two-part episode Rob brings together staff and faculty who play a central role in providing support for kids and families at Catlin Gabel.  In Part 1, Rob speaks with Jasmine Love (Director of Inclusion & Outreach),  George Zaninovich (Director of PLACE), John Harnetiaux (Director of Outdoor and Global Education Programs) and Lindsay Babbitt (Assistant Director of Outdoor Education) about trauma, the support they are offering students and families and what silver linings could come from all of this.  In Part 2 the school's counseling team Stephen Grant (Beginning/Lower School), Kristin Ogard (Middle School), Kate Grant and Casey Mills (Upper School) share how they are helping students and families in need and offer suggestions and tips that we all can take to heart.  
May 15, 2020
S2-E16 Living and Teaching in Flux: A conversation with Sharon Ravitch, PhD.
About a year ago, on May 3rd, 2019,  the inaugural episode of Elevate was launched with a conversation about the treehouse that was built from scratch through the ideas and vision of Beginning School students.  For this 30th episode, Rob wanted to branch out beyond the Catlin Gabel community and talk to an educator whose research, writing, and teaching invites us to think about the current crisis as an opportunity to rebuild learning experiences based on a world in flux and from ideas and visions that put students at the center.  Rob was introduced to the work of Sharon Ravitch, PhD. (Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education) through an article she wrote called FLUX Pedagogy: Transforming Teaching and Leading during Coronavirus.  The idea of Flux Pedagogy and its implications for how we approach learning moving forward takes center stage in this insightful conversation.   While the past 29 episodes have focused on stories from inside the Catlin Gabel community, having a chance to listen to voices beyond our community gives us all the opportunity to step back and remember that we are just a single living branch of a larger educational tree.   The link to Sharon's article:
May 08, 2020
S2-E15 Life and Learning during Quarantine: a conversation with students and parents
As the realities of this long term quarantine set in Rob reached out to students and parents to hear about how they were coping.  In this extended, two chapter episode of Elevate middle school students Erik, Maya, and Mira, upper school students Stella, Lauren Mei, and Benjamin and PFA reps Mimi Sei and Becky Lennon share their thoughts and stories about what it means to be a student and a parent in a world of remote learning and living.   The link to the video that Benjamin mentions in the interview about what students are doing at home.
May 01, 2020
S2-E14 It's Not Just About a Sunday in November: A Heritage Day Retrospective
In the last episode of Elevate, Rob had the chance to interview 3 teachers about their experiences during the quarantine.  This week he interviewed both students and parents for an upcoming episode,  One thing that was very clear from all those conversations is that people are missing and longing for connection to others.  So for this episode, he wanted to share an older interview that reminds us all of how Catlin Gabel brings people together.  On November 3rd Catlin Gabel hosted a celebration of heritage and culture in the Cabel Center.  It was more than just a festival dedicated to performances, traditional & indigenous fashions, art, and food. It was an opportunity to send the message that all are welcome in our community.  During this in-depth conversation with Haleah Blank (parent & Heritage Day Coordinator) and Mimi Sei (parent & PFA President), Rob explores what it means to feel welcome at Catlin Gabel and how the annual Heritage Day mirrors a growing understanding and need for inclusivity and diversity.   As we are all trying to find ways to stay connected in this time of uncertainty this conversation reminds us why Catlin Gabel is such a special place.
April 24, 2020
S2-E13 How Do We Get Through the Dark? An honest conversation with 3 teachers.
As Catlin Gabel ends its second full week of remote learning because of the Covid-19 pandemic Rob was curious about what kind of magic teachers were observing in their Zoom classes.  He really wanted to share some examples that might inspire or motivate the community of teachers?  But when he approached Upper School English teacher Krystal Wu, Middle School science teacher Berkeley Gadbaw and 5th-grade teacher Keli Gump none of them felt up to having that conversation.  The conversation that did happen when they spoke remotely was much more raw and realistic about what it feels like to be a teacher at this unprecedented time.  
April 11, 2020
S2–E12 Keep Calm and Pivot
As Catlin Gabel was making plans on how to react to the Covid-19 crisis the auction committee, headed by Events Director Gen Kady, had a big choice to make.  With the school moving toward remote learning, and the public being advised to do social distancing, should the school's largest fundraising opportunity be moved to another time, potentially the fall?  The decision to move to an online streamed event gave Gen's team less than 72 hours to pivot.  In this episode of Elevate Rob has the chance to sit down with Gen, as well as Director of Technology Daisy Steele and AV &Tech Support Specialist Matt Woodard to hear about how together with a whole team of Catlin staff, students and parents they made the unthinkable possible.   Auction links:  1.  Live Stream of the Event.  2. Catlin Gabel Events Page 3.  Upcoming Auction events & Raffle    Also, Please submit audio files of your experiences of joy, wonder, and delight to or upload them to  Please include your name in the title of the clip.
March 21, 2020
S2-E11 Real-World Collaboration: a Student Run Non-Profit
When Rob started this series on collaboration he was really thinking about the idea in the context of teaching and learning at the school. The amazing thing about Catlin Gabel is that there are so many examples of collaborations that extend beyond the school itself. His guests on this episode demonstrate what real-world collaboration can look like in the hands of motivated and inspired students. Benjamin Olshin and Hazel Walrod tell the story of the non-profit Benjamin started two and a half years ago. Babies With Books has a clear and important mission: get books into the hands of parents whose children are in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) at local hospitals and in doing so help support the kind of intimate connections that parents need to build with their newborns. Babies With Books Website
March 06, 2020
S2-E10 Start-Up Camp Collaboration: A conversation with two Seniors
In their freshman year, Britt Masback and Li Lambert both got involved in Founder's Weekend, a three-day entrepreneurial experience for high school students organized by then Catlin Gabel teacher Meredith Goddard.  It was an experience that allowed them to create a non-profit that four years later is still running and has raised over seventy thousand dollars.  Now seniors, the pair took on the heavy-lift this winter of organizing a similar event called Start-Up Camp.   Rob had the chance to sit down with these two accomplished students and hear all about the event, how it has influenced their work in the world, and the role an entrepreneurial spirit plays across the campus. Enjoy this 10th episode on collaboration.    Some links:  1.  GYE Website  2. Startup Camp Youth Portland 2020 Website 3.  DRAFT Start-Up Guide 
February 28, 2020
S2-E9 What Can the Preschool Teach Us?
Rebecca Wirth & Brendan Clark are in their 6th year of collaboration as Catlin Gabel's Preschool teachers.  Having had a chance to work in their class on a weekly basis for the past 4 months I really wanted to sit down with them and hear what it takes to work so closely year after year.  At the same time, I wanted to explore how we might all learn from the youngest members of our community.  
February 07, 2020
S2-E8 The Crown Project: 3 first graders share insights
After interviewing Sheri, Peter and Peggy for last week's "Light and Shadow" episode, Rob wanted to sit down with some first graders to hear their perspective of the project.  Sitting down to talk with a group of seven-year-olds presents such a great view of what children remember from their experiences.  Enjoy this eighth episode in the "Collaboration Series".
January 24, 2020
S2-E7 Light & Shadow: A collaboration that embraced the unknown
After being inspired by visual artist  Olafur Eliasson  Lower School science teacher Sheri Cocquio had a vision for a project with the first-grade class.  She approached Lower School music teacher Peter Musselman and Lower School art teacher Peggy Schauffler to see if they would join her in a world of light and shadow.  For this 7th episode in the "Collaboration Series," Rob sits down with these three teachers to hear about the project,  how they worked together and what they uncovered along the way.  
January 17, 2020
S2-E 6 “I Love Your Work": 16 years of artistic collaborations
16 years ago, in her first year as the drama teacher in Catlin Gabel's Middle School, Deirdre Atkinson approached Middle School music teacher Mark Pritchard to see if he wanted to join forces on a theatrical production.  After 103 productions Rob had the privilege of sitting down with both of them and hearing how they kept such a successful team together for so long.    This is episode 6 in the ongoing collaboration series.   
January 11, 2020
S2-E5 Outdoor Education: Building connections and skills
The Outdoor Education program at Catlin Gabel gives students and teachers unique opportunities to explore the natural world.   In this 5th episode of the collaboration series, Rob sits down with Director of Outdoor and Global Education, John Harnetiaux, and Assistant Director of Outdoor Education, Lindsay Babbitt, to learn about how their partnership has focused on creating programs and opportunities that expose people to the wonders of our world and just as importantly develop vital skills and outlooks that are increasingly important for engaging in community.  
December 06, 2019
S2-E4 American Studies: An Upper School Interdisciplinary Collaboration
As we head into a week where we celebrate a very American holiday, why not hear about the collaborative work that goes into teaching a very American class.  Upper School teachers Amanda Lighthiser and Maureen Reed sit down with Rob to talk about their interdisciplinary American Studies class which they run together for 35 students. Learn the ins and outs of how they got the class started, how they run it and how their close relationship makes it all happen.
November 22, 2019
S2-E3 Art, Chinese and Wood Shop: A Lower School Collaboration
In this third episode of the "Collaboration Series", Rob chats with 3 Lower School teachers about a project that is seeing its second iteration this school year.  Art teacher Peggy Schauffler,  Chinese teacher Guimin Tang and Wood Shop teacher Ric Fry connected during the 2018-2019 school year to undertake a project that required all three of their specialized skills and passions.  They share the process of their work together, their discoveries and how the school supported their ideas.  
November 15, 2019
S2-E2 Art & Science: An Upper School Collaboration
For episode one of Elevate’s second season, Rob sits down with Upper School science teacher Becky Wynne and Upper School art teacher Chris Mateer to hear about their collaborative and integrated class called Structural Design and Engineering. It’s the first in a multi-episode exploration on the topic of collaboration.
November 09, 2019
S2-E1 Poetry & Ecology: A Middle School Collaboration
In this Episode of Elevate, Rob continues his exploration of collaboration across the campus at Catlin Gabel by sitting down with Middle School English teacher Christa Kaainoa and Middle School Science teacher Jesse Lowes to hear all the ins and outs of how they have developed a successful partnership through poetry and ecology that has spanned many years. For more information about this project check out this link:
October 22, 2019
S1-E13 Predicting the Stock Market: a senior’s project
In this episode of Elevate Rob sits down with senior Sasha Agapiev to explore the details of a year-long investigation he pursued in the Honors Computer Science class with Andrew Merrill.  Sasha's interest in the world of quantitative finance led him to design a project that explored ways to use natural language process algorithms to analyze historical stock market prices, and to potentially find some new market patterns. For more details about Shasha's project check out his website:  For more information about Word2Vec, the neural network software he used check out: If you have questions about this episode, are curious about this podcast in general or have people or topics you think we should cover in coming episodes please email us at
June 12, 2019
S1-E12 Place-Based Science
In this episode of Elevate Rob sits down with science teacher Sheri Cocquio to explore how her passion for place-based education grew from her earliest years of teaching in her native Hawaii and how she translated that to her work with Lower School students here at Catlin Gabel School.    To explore the 3rd grade interactive GIS map of Oregon that Sheri mentions in the podcast follow this link:  This map ( was made by Sheri as a resource for teachers and students on the Wai’anae Coast to learn about the rich stories that live and breathe there.    These are additional resources that Sheri recommends about place based education:  Place-based Education: Connecting Classrooms and Communities by David Sobel  Bringing School to Life: Place-based Education across the Curriculum by Sarah K. Anderson  Place-based Curriculum Design: Exceeding Standards through Local Investigations by Amy Demarest  If you have questions about this episode, are curious about this podcast in general or have people or topics you think we should cover in coming episodes please email us at
June 07, 2019
E1-E11 Can You Really Evaluate Participation?
In this episode Rob sits down with Upper School History Teacher Pat Walsh to talk about his year-long action research project that explored the question "How do students engage in collaborative work and how do we better record and assess it?" Pat was one of four educators who worked with the Catlin Gabel Ed Lab Team this school year to investigate a pedagogical question using action research. To read more about Pat's work and research check out his blog post  If you have questions about this episode, are curious about this podcast in general or have people or topics you think we should cover in coming episodes please email us at
May 31, 2019
S1-E10 Equity is Not a Program: Identity, Code-switching and The Center
In this episode of Elevate Rob sits down with Director of Inclusion and Outreach, Jasmine Love, and Coordinator of Multicultural Programs and Youth Partnerships, Kofi Obeng, to talk about the experience of being black at independent schools, code switching and how The Center has empowered students.    For more information about The Center check out their website  or write to   Also listen to this broadcast from OPB where "students [from The Center], teachers and others in education  talk about how race and racial identity are playing out – in curricula, class discussions and everyday life." If you have questions about this episode, are curious about this podcast in general or have people or topics you think we should cover in coming episodes please email us at
May 25, 2019
S1-E9 Art of Storytelling: Making Space for Refuge Stories
In this episode of Elevate Rob sits down with Middle School teachers Brendan Gill and Deirdre Atkinson to talk about their year-long student teacher experiential project called "Art of Storytelling" and how their original vision turned into something completely different after meeting refuge camp survivor Wilson Kubwayo. For more information about The Refuge Center Online check out their webiste at If you have questions about this episode, are curious about this podcast in general or have people or topics you think we should cover in coming episodes please email us at
May 20, 2019
S1-E8 Genius Hour Part 2: Chess in Equatorial Guinea
In this second episode about the use of Genius Hour in the Upper School  Rob sits down with seniors Avi and Seth  to talk about how they used their time to develop a three year project that ended with a trip to Equatorial Guinea to establish a national chess curriculum and federation there.   More information about this project can be found here:  1.  Blog about trip the students 2018 trip to Equatorial Guinea  2. Seth and Avi on A Fondo (national Equatoguinean morning show) 3.  Chess. com newsletter  If you have questions about this episode, are curious about this podcast in general or have people or topics you think we should cover in coming episodes please email us at
May 17, 2019
S1-E7 Genius Hour Part 1: Letting Students Decide
In this first of a two part series on the use of "Genius Hour"  Rob sits down with Upper School Spanish Teacher Enrique Escalona to discuss how and why he decided to give 20% of  class time over to students to explore anything they want.   For more information about genius hour check out the work by AJ Juliani:   If you have questions about this episode, are curious about this podcast in general or have people or topics you think we should cover in coming episodes please email us at
May 10, 2019
S1-E6 Democratizing Discussions with the Harkness Method
In this episode Rob sits down with Upper School Dean of Students Brandon Woods to talk about his class Rewriting Childhood and the Harkness Method he uses to democratize classroom discussions.  If you have questions about this episode, are curious about this podcast in general or have people or topics you think we should cover in coming episodes please email us at
May 07, 2019
S1-E5 A Peak into the Upper School Learning Center
In this episode Rob sits down with Upper School Learning Specialist (and Elevate host) Jeffrey Silverstein to talk about how the Learning Center is an advocate for students and what Jeffrey wants to improve in the coming year. If you have questions about this episode, are curious about this podcast in general or have people or topics you think we should cover in coming episodes please email us at
May 06, 2019
S1-E4 Reimagining Feedback for Writers
In this episode Rob sits down with 8th grade English teacher Holly Walsh to hear about how she, with the help of the Ed Lab Team and her students, uncovered a more powerful way to get writers to consider and use ongoing feedback.   If you have questions about this episode, are curious about this podcast in general or have people or topics you think we should cover in coming episodes please email us at
May 06, 2019
S1-E3 The 5th Grade Capstone Project Part 2: a student's perspective
In this episode Rob sits down with 5th grade student Mira to hear about her passion for Harry Potter and how it became a driving force for a film she is creating and a lens to look at peace, conflict and change.   If you have questions about this episode, are curious about this podcast in general or have people or topics you think we should cover in coming episodes please email us at
May 03, 2019
S1-E2 The 5th Grade Capstone Project Part I
In this episode Rob sits down with 5th grade teachers Maggie Bendicksen and Keli Gump to learn about a whole new way they are approaching inquiry and student questions through a Capstone Project.   If you have questions about this episode, are curious about this podcast in general or have people or topics you think we should cover in coming episodes please email us at
May 03, 2019
S1-E1 The Tree House Project
In this episode Rob sits down with Jennifer Marcus (the Beginning School wood shop teacher) and Leondra Brackett (the Beginning School art teacher) to talk about a year long project that started from one student's idea and developed into a division wide project that lasted an entire year.   If you have questions about this episode, are curious about this podcast in general or have people or topics you think we should cover in coming episodes please email us at
May 03, 2019