The Gunston School Launches Chesapeake Watershed Semester Program

Share

Last week, Gunston’s Board of Trustees formally approved the launch of a new, ambitious, and important educational endeavor: the Chesapeake Watershed Semester. This fully-accredited, semester-long program for high school juniors and seniors will welcome eight to twelve Gunston students in its inaugural pilot year, and will seek to welcome students from around the region and beyond in future years. Utilizing the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed as the foundation for an immersive, rigorous, and interdisciplinary curriculum, and with a strong focus on the domains of environmental science, public policy, and sustainability, the Chesapeake Watershed Semester (CWS) is the only secondary school program of its kind. The inaugural semester will commence this August.

More than two years in the planning, and borrowing from Gunston’s 20-plus years of innovative Chesapeake Bay Studies programming, CWS will offer students extraordinary learning and life experiences. Within the intensive fifteen-week program, students spend nearly a third of their time on various leadership expeditions and field experiences, ranging from a trip to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, to seminars with public policy leaders in Annapolis and Washington, to an extended tour of the energy-producing regions of Pennsylvania, to a multi-day stay on the ecologically fragile Tangier Island, where the impacts of sea level rise can be observed first-hand.  Meanwhile, rigorous classroom, lab, and research project work will deepen each student’s academic foundation, leading to a capstone action project to be publicly presented at the end of the program. We expect that each cohort of CWS students will emerge as reflective and confident scholars and leaders who can support regional and global environmental sustainability through their understanding of scientific, social, cultural, and political systems.

CWS will be directed by Ms. Emily Beck, Gunston’s current Director of Sustainability and Bay Studies, as well as a Biology and Environmental Science teacher. Under Beck’s leadership the program has engaged a diverse group of formal institutional partners, including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Sultana Education Foundation, The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Horn Point Lab, Washington College’s Center for the Environment and Society, Echo Hill Outdoor School, and the Harry Hughes Center for AgroEcology, among others.  To further support the program, CWS has also established an advisory board that includes key community members and a diversity of Chesapeake watershed subject experts, including several members of Gunston’s Board of Trustees and parent community.  Curriculum development retreats have already been held, and the formal educational program is being developed by an innovative group of Gunston faculty and leadership team members.

As Gunston’s Headmaster John Lewis commented, “Without question, there is tremendous urgency for educational programs like the Chesapeake Watershed Semester, and it is designed to prepare students to meet the complex challenges of our era.” Details about the CWS mission, philosophy, and program, as well as admissions information, is comprehensively articulated on the program’s website: www.chesapeakebaywatershedsemester.org

The Gunston School, a co-ed independent college preparatory school, offers an intellectually rigorous, highly personalized, and nurturing college preparatory educational experience. Valuing a healthy balance between mind and body, a strong sense of community, the creative process, and our connection to the Chesapeake Bay, Gunston strives to educate ethically and environmentally minded scholars, citizens, and leaders for our globalized society. To learn more about Gunston visit gunston.org, email dhenry@gunston.org, or call 410.758.0620 ext. 6.

Gunston Welcomes New Trustee

Share

Patricia Parkhurst

Gunston School is pleased  to announce the addition of Patricia Parkhurst to the 2017-2018 Board of Trustees. Currently Pat teaches Art at Kent School and has served on several area boards including the Kent School Board of Trustees, and the Gunston Century Capital Campaign committee.

An alumna of Gunston, Pat lives in Centreville with her husband Steve and their three children, two of whom currently attend Gunston. She earned her Bachelor’s from Roanoke College and a Certificate in Fundraising from George Washington University.

Headmaster John Lewis said, “Over the past decade, Mrs. Parkhurst has served on a number of key school committees, and has therefore played an important role in helping to shape Gunston’s institutional identity.  As an alumna and current parent, she cares deeply about Gunston, and we will benefit from her wisdom and experience.”

Kent County Public Schools Strategic Planning Committee to Hold Special Meeting, Monday, Nov. 27

Share

The Kent County Public Schools Strategic Planning Committee of the Kent County Board of Education is holding a special meeting for the purpose of discussing long-term facilities planning.  The meeting will be held on Monday, November 27, 2017, at 4:30 pm.  The meeting will be held at the Kent County High School Media Center, 25301 Lambs Meadow Road, Worton, Maryland  21678

Members of the Kent County Board of Education are Trish McGee, president; A. Bryan Williams, vice president; Jeff Reed, member; Dr. Wendy Costa, member; and Joseph Goetz, member. Karen Couch is superintendent of schools.

###

Leadership, Character, Service, and Scholarship: NHS Induction

Share

On Thursday, November 16, thirty-two students were inducted into the National Honor Society at The Gunston School. The National Honor Society (NHS) is a prestigious organization for juniors and seniors, which requires them to hold a grade point average of at least 88 and to meet the society’s rigorous non-academic criteria.

The inductees, their parents, and current NHS members gathered in the Susie Konkel Atrium for breakfast, pictures and celebration before the induction ceremony that was held in the Field House. Welcoming remarks were made by Headmaster John Lewis, who spoke about the importance of pursuing the four key National Honor Society values: leadership, character, service, and scholarship.

Photo: NHS Inductees: front row (l-r): Ellie Merton, Becky DeFino, Shiloh Clark, Camy Kelly, Leah Hellwege, Nellie Stup, Megan Prochaska, Elena Sherman, Anneliese Clair, Caroline Roser, Hope Murphy; middle row (l-r): Si-tong (Vicky) Zhou, Marisa Pisapia, Phin Howell, Nick Lee, Jack Morrison, Sheng Hao (Jack) Xu, Pengyu (Oliver) Wu, Katie Easter, Cora Duncan, Kejing (Karen) Chen; back row (l-r): Cole Evans, Menel Harris, Nick Basham, Mitchel Naumann, Yifan (Michael) Shen, Haorui (Davy) Song, Drew Seaman, James Pratt. Missing: Yuxuan (Ciara) Chen, Paige Murphy, and Claire Johnson.

Following Mr. Lewis’ remarks, the keynote address was delivered by Mr. Lance Richardson, State’s Attorney for Queen Anne’s County (and NHS member). Mr. Richardson spoke to the student body and guests about goal setting, “not only do you have to set goals, but you also need to map out a plan on how you will achieve your goals.”

To highlight the core values of NHS, four candles were lit by current members, as senior and NHS president Henry Parkhurst spoke about the meaning of each value. NHS Secretary Alli Webb read each inductee’s accomplishments as they were called up one-by-one, to receive a certificate, pin, and rose, and to sign their names into the NHS registry. To make them official members of the society, current members pinned the inductees with a pin bearing the NHS logo and the pledge was recited, led by Henry Parkhurst. To conclude the ceremony, Mr. Michael Kaylor, the NHS advisor, shared words of wisdom and high praises to the students for their accomplishments.

We congratulate this year’s NHS Chapter Officers and Inductees.

Officers
President: Henry Parkhurst, Vice President: Susie Fordi, Secretary: Alli Webb, Treasurer: Neel Patel, Historian: Gillian Felton, Parliamentarian: Chris Newberg, Public Relations: Lila Ingersoll

Members
Heidi Barcus, Kangcheng (Max) Cao, Simiao (Grace) Dai, Rongjie (Rose) Fan, Steven Goss, Sam Johnson, Mary Macmillan, Ryleigh Paskoski, Lily Phipps, Joey Smith, Baoyi (Betty) Zhou

Inductees
Grade 12: Yuxuan (Ciara) Chen, Jack Morrison, Hope Murphy, Mitchell Naumann, Pengyu (Oliver) Wu, Sheng Hao (Jack) Xu. Grade 11: Nick Basham, Kejing (Karen) Chen, Anneliese Clair, Shiloh Clark, Becky DeFino, Cora Duncan, Katie Easter, Cole Evans, Menel Harris, Leah Hellwege, Phin Howell, Claire Johnson, Camy Kelly, Nick Lee, Ellie Merton, Paige Murphy, Marisa Pisapia, James Pratt, Megan Prochaska, Caroline Roser, Drew Seaman, Yifan (Michael) Shen, Elena Sherman, Haorui (Davy) Song, Nellie Stup, Vicky Zhou.

The Gunston School Announces First Quarter Academic Honors

Share

Congratulations to the following students for earning High Honors or Honors for the first quarter of the 2017-2018 academic year. To earn a place on the High Honors list, a student must have an A average and effort grades of “S” or above. To earn Honors, a student must achieve a B+/A- average and effort grades of “S” or above.

High Honors: Grade 12—Simon Cawley, Yuxuan (Ciara) Chen, Susie Fordi, Steven Goss, Lila Ingersoll, Sam Johnson, Mary Macmillan, Hope Murphy, Chris Newberg, Alex Papadopolous, Henry Parkhurst, Ryleigh Paskoski, Lily Phipps; Grade 11—Brooks Armstrong, Kejing (Karen) Chen, Katie Easter, Cole Evans, Will Gibson, Phin Howell, Paige Murphy, James Pratt, Megan Prochaska, Caroline Roser, Katie Schizy, Yifan (Michael) Shen, Elena Sherman, Haorui (Davy) Song, Nellie Stup, Yong (George) Yan; Grade 10—Eily Ashley, Yuntian (Areopl) Bai, Emily Gray, Grace Holmes, Wyatt Howell, Katie Moreau, Will Newberg, Yaxuan (Joey) Zhuo; Grade 9—Avy Aubin, Helen Boone, Em Borghardt, Arianna Campi, Julie Ireland, Toni McCluskey, Sydney Nittle, Ethan Nuessle, Adie Parish, Lydia Periconi, Severin Schut, Hannah Worth.

Honors: Grade 12—Heidi Barcus, Kangcheng (Max) Cao, Simiao (Grace) Dai, Rongjiee (Rose) Fan, Gillian Felton, Yohanes Gray, Wenyuan (Nick) Li, Robert Messier, Jack Morrison, Mitchell Naumann, Dutch Nickerson, Neel Patel, Garrett Rudolfs, Charlotte Sheets, Joey Smith, Alli Webb, Pengyu (Oliver) Wu, Baoyi (Betty) Zhou; Grade 11—Dolan Carella, Shiloh Clark, Malachi Graham, Menel Harris, Yanni Harris, Leah Hellwege, Grafton Howard, Claire Johnson, Camy Kelly, Nick Lee, Miao (Suzy) Li, Ellie Merton, Marisa Pisapia, Drew Seaman, Katie Staley, Sam Umidi, Anna Wolf, Fuji (Cynthia) Yang, Sitong (Vicky) Zhou; Grade 10—Andrew Amygdalos, MacCallum Borghardt, Mark Bourdin, Cotter Buckley, Natalie Cockey, Nina De Angelo, Frankie Fisher, Cedar Foster, Lynsey Hildebrand, Lily Judd, Nick Kellogg, Martina Kreienbuehl, Payton Lord, Hunter Mansfield, Michael Nickerson, Mason Rudolfs, Isabella Santobani, Max Scott, Peter Sharpless, Abby Silva, Owen White; Grade 9—Bella Adams, Zack Anderson, Lily Bernsten, Maxmillian Brady, Tiger Christman, Lydia Davis, Kayla Flood, Glynis Gardner, Reagan Gessford, Olivia Hershey, Campbell Parkhurst, Connor Reichardt, Emily Ryon, Joshua Sanford, Owen Santora, Charlie Shifron, Henry Shifron, Christian Walker, Haoying (Grace) Wang, Colin Ward.

Two New Board Members for Gunston

Share

The Gunston School is pleased to announce the appointment of two new members of its Board of Trustee, for the 2017-2018 academic year. Joining the Board of Trustees are Greg Farley and Robert Fordi. “We are fortunate enough to have caring, diverse, and committed individuals with varying strengths to serve on our board.”, said John Lewis, who is entering his eighth year as Headmaster.

As a team, the Board of Trustees and the Head of School work to maintain the vision for the School, consistent with its mission, and to develop and approve long-range and strategic plans.

Greg Farley

Greg Farley is Director of the Center for Leadership in Environmental Education (CLEEn) and Professor of Biological Science at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills. A marine zoologist and evolutionary biologist, he holds an MS from Florida State University and a BS from Duke University.

In 2011, Farley studied at the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui (SLIM), part of the University of Hawaiʻi-Maui Campus. Since his return, he has worked to bring successful ideas home to the Delmarva peninsula. Case studies that illustrate these lessons are captured in his new book, Thinking Like an Island: Navigating a Sustainable Future in Hawaiʻi, co-edited by former SLIM Executive Director Jennifer Chirico.

Robert Fordi

Robert Fordi of Chestertown is CEO & Managing Partner of Realterm Logistics, the surface transportation logistics platform of Realterm, a $4+ billion-in-assets global multi-strategy real estate private equity firm. Since joining the firm in 1998, Fordi has helped the company build the largest third-party-owned real estate platform serving the transportation industry in the U.S. and Canada.

In addition to his professional responsibilities, Fordi serves on the board of Kent School, an independent K – 8th school in Chestertown,, and as a member of Chestertown, Maryland’s Planning Commission.  Fordi received a BS in Economics from Towson University, as well as an MS in Real Estate Development from The Johns Hopkins University.

Gunston Students Sent Balloon to Near Space

Share

Balloon looking down on Gunston launch team

On Friday, Oct. 20, the Gunston Science and Engineering Club launched our fifth mission to “near space”—the region above where aircraft fly, but below the orbits of satellites. The payload included cameras, tracking devices, and instrumentation to measure temperature and pressure. A weather balloon was used to carry the payload to the stratosphere. The balloon then burst as expected and the payload returned gently to Earth by parachute. The balloon was launched from the Gunston campus and landed near Laurel, Del. a little more than 2 hours later.

The balloon reached an altitude of 19.44 miles, a record high altitude from past missions. The lowest pressure measured was less than 1% of the barometric pressure at the Earth’s surface. Preliminary results indicate that the science payload detected the tropopause with a temperature around -70 degrees Fahrenheit. The balloon was approximately 6 ft in diameter when launched and 20+ ft in diameter when it burst.

Dr. Mariah Goodall and Mr. Tom Chafey led two chase cars that beat the payload to its landing site, enabling them to observed the payload descending on its parachute—another Gunston first. Mr. Dale Wegner, father of Gunston alumni Jay Wegner, set up the tracking for the chase cars and several tracking stations for students who were not part of the chase.

The science and engineering club is led by Alli Webb ‘18 President, Jack Morrison ‘18 Vice President, and Garrett Rudolfs ‘18 Secretary. The Mission Commander for the balloon launch is Brynne Kneeland ‘19. In total, 21 students assisted in preparing the payload, launching the balloon, and recovering the balloon. They divided up into seven teams for different jobs: launch, payload, imaging, science, trajectory, tracking, and recovery. The club mentors are Dr. Ken Wilson and Dr. Mariah Goodall.

Centreville as seen by the Gunston balloon

Kent Island viewed from the troposphere

Gunston Sends Balloon into Near Space

Share

On Friday, Oct. 20, the Gunston Science and Engineering Club launched our fifth mission to “near space”—the region above where aircraft fly, but below the orbits of satellites. The payload included cameras, tracking devices, and instrumentation to measure temperature and pressure. A weather balloon was used to carry the payload to the stratosphere. The balloon then burst as expected and the payload returned gently to Earth by parachute. The balloon was launched from the Gunston campus and landed near Laurel, DE a little more than 2 hours later.

Balloon looking down on launch team

The balloon reached an altitude of 19.44 miles, a record high altitude from past missions. The lowest pressure measured was less than 1% of the barometric pressure at the Earth’s surface. Preliminary results indicate that the science payload detected the tropopause with a temperature around -70 degrees Fahrenheit. The balloon was approximately 6 ft in diameter when launched and 20+ ft in diameter when it burst.

Dr. Mariah Goodall and Mr. Tom Chafey led two chase cars that beat the payload to its landing site, enabling them to observed the payload descending on its parachute—another Gunston first. Mr. Dale Wegner, father of Gunston alumni Jay Wegner, set up the tracking for the chase cars and several tracking stations for students who were not part of the chase.

The science and engineering club is led by Alli Webb ‘18 President, Jack Morrison ‘18 Vice President, and Garrett Rudolfs ‘18 Secretary. The Mission Commander for the balloon launch is Brynne Kneeland ‘19. In total, 21 students assisted in preparing the payload, launching the balloon, and recovering the balloon. They divided up into seven teams for different jobs: launch, payload, imaging, science, trajectory, tracking, and recovery. The club mentors are Dr. Ken Wilson and Dr. Mariah Goodall.

Gunston Raises over $80,000 at the Bull & Oyster Roast

Share

Freshman parent Chris Nittle and Headmaster John Lewis.

On Saturday, October 14, The Gunston School held its annual Bull & Oyster Roast & Alumni Reunion. Nearly 270 parents, trustees, alumni and friends gathered on TGS’s campus for this sold-out event to support the school in its largest fundraiser of the year.

The evening began with twelve teams competing in a Cornhole Tournament, while alumni, including the Class of 2007, reunited with their old classmates and teachers. Other guests mingled, enjoyed shucked and steamed oysters, and tried their luck on silent auction items that were generously donated by local businesses and Gunston families.

A new twist was added to the Live Auction this year—prior to the event, raffle tickets were sold for a chance at one of the ten Live Auction items. The items included vacations to Deep Creek, Jamaica, and Orlando, as well as a signed Paul Reed Smith guitar. The lucky winner was alum Cynthia (Rosasco) Latimer ’81. Although not present at this year’s event, Cindi is a long-time supporter of Gunston and regularly contributes to the auction through donations or auction bidding. “As an alumna I have a tender heart for the spirit of Gunston and respect for her past and for her future. Purchasing the raffle was a fun yet creative way to support Gunston.”

In keeping with tradition, the Live Auction was interrupted midway through for “Raise the Paddle.” Headmaster John Lewis announced that this year’s funded item was new sports equipment for the Heron House sports facility, that is currently under renovation.

All in all, the evening was a huge success, raising over $80,000, which will go towards supporting student programs. John Lewis commented, “The generosity of our parents and friends is truly extraordinary, and this generosity translates directly into a stronger educational program for all of our students.”

Local businesses were key to the success of this auction. Over 200 businesses, community members, and families from throughout the Eastern Shore and Annapolis donated items, and made financial contributions to this year’s fundraising event.

Gunston would like to extend a special thanks to our sponsors— The Gunston School Board of Trustees, The Gladwood Foundation, Intown Management (Gigi & Steve Hershey), Ashley Insurance, IT Direct (Bess & Ralph Riddle), Karen & John Morrison, Ty & Dawn Barrett-Kennedy on behalf of the Arnold F. Baggins Foundation, Freestate and Son Insurance, ZIPS Dry Cleaning (Theresa & Bart Casiello), Gillespie and Son, and Gillespie Precast, Dogwood Acres (Audrey & Kurt Reighardt), Kent School, Peggy & John Christie, Mara & Walt Schmittinger, Lundenberg Builders, Peter & Elise Kunkel, John & Laurie Lewis, Atlantic Broadband, Impressive Printing, Trinity Floors, Radcliffe Creek School, Robert & Nancy Shoemaker—and, the Gunston Parents’ Association, Gunston’s faculty and staff, and the 2017 Bull & Oyster Roast Committee Chairs—Trish Rudolfs, Jill Meyerhoff, Colleen & Eric Silva, Karen Morrison, Karen Talbott, Trudy Schiwy, and Greta Umidi who worked tirelessly to create a spectacular evening.

Gunston parents (L-R): Colleen Moran-Silva, Beth Campbell and Trish Lucus.

On Saturday, October 14, The Gunston School held its annual Bull & Oyster Roast & Alumni Reunion. Nearly 270 parents, trustees, alumni and friends gathered on TGS’s campus for this sold-out event to support the school in its largest fundraiser of the year.

The evening began with twelve teams competing in a Cornhole Tournament, while alumni, including the Class of 2007, reunited with their old classmates and teachers. Other guests mingled, enjoyed shucked and steamed oysters, and tried their luck on silent auction items that were generously donated by local businesses and Gunston families.

A new twist was added to the Live Auction this year—prior to the event, raffle tickets were sold for a chance at one of the ten Live Auction items. The items included vacations to Deep Creek, Jamaica, and Orlando, as well as a signed Paul Reed Smith guitar. The lucky winner was alum Cynthia (Rosasco) Latimer ’81. Although not present at this year’s event, Cindi is a long-time supporter of Gunston and regularly contributes to the auction through donations or auction bidding. “As an alumna I have a tender heart for the spirit of Gunston and respect for her past and for her future. Purchasing the raffle was a fun yet creative way to support Gunston.”

In keeping with tradition, the Live Auction was interrupted midway through for “Raise the Paddle.” Headmaster John Lewis announced that this year’s funded item was new sports equipment for the Heron House sports facility, that is currently under renovation.

All in all, the evening was a huge success, raising over $80,000, which will go towards supporting student programs. John Lewis commented, “The generosity of our parents and friends is truly extraordinary, and this generosity translates directly into a stronger educational program for all of our students.”

Local businesses were key to the success of this auction. Over 200 businesses, community members, and families from throughout the Eastern Shore and Annapolis donated items, and made financial contributions to this year’s fundraising event.

Gunston would like to extend a special thanks to our sponsors— The Gunston School Board of Trustees, The Gladwood Foundation, Intown Management (Gigi & Steve Hershey), Ashley Insurance, IT Direct (Bess & Ralph Riddle), Karen & John Morrison, Ty & Dawn Barrett-Kennedy on behalf of the Arnold F. Baggins Foundation, Freestate and Son Insurance, ZIPS Dry Cleaning (Theresa & Bart Casiello), Gillespie and Son & Gillespie Precast, Dogwood Acres (Audrey & Kurt Reighardt), Kent School, Peggy & John Christie, Mara & Walt Schmittinger, Lundenberg Builders, Peter & Elise Kunkel, John & Laurie Lewis, Atlantic Broadband, Impressive Printing, Trinity Floors, Radcliffe Creek School, Robert & Nancy Shoemaker—and, the Gunston Parents’ Association, Gunston’s faculty and staff, and the 2017 Bull & Oyster Roast Committee Chairs—Trish Rudolfs, Jill Meyerhoff, Colleen & Eric Silva, Karen Morrison, Karen Talbott, Trudy Schiwy, and Greta Umidi who worked tirelessly to create a spectacular evening.