Gunston Students Sent Balloon to Near Space

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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

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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

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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.

Gunston to Welcome Mary Evelyn Tucker for In Celebration of Books Program

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On Friday, October 27, Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker, co-author with Brian Swimme of Journey of the Universe (Yale UP, 2011) will be visiting Gunston for the fall installment of the school’s In Celebration of Books program. Journey of the Universe was the 2017 Gunston community summer read and focuses on the story of the universe as seen through the multiple lenses of scientific discovery and human insight.

The book has already been incorporated into Gunston’s tenth grade curriculum as part of its innovative History of Ideas course. “We’re delighted to have Dr. Tucker join us for In Celebration of Books,” says Headmaster John Lewis. “Journey of the Universe asks us to consider questions about our identities as human beings and our relationship with each other. Beyond that, it also asks us to think about our collective role in the development of the universe, which is ever-evolving.”

Lewis says that the integrative approach of Journey of the Universe is reflective of Gunston’s overarching mission, which strives to educate “ethically and environmentally minded scholars, citizens, and leaders for our globalized society.” Tucker’s visit, he notes, “will be an opportunity for the community to engage in deeper conversation about issues that ultimately impact the ways in which we think about sustainability.”

Journey of the Universe is a multimedia project developed by Tucker and evolutionary philosopher Brian Swimme, with whom she has worked for some twenty-five years. In addition to the book, the project includes an Emmy award winning film, which was first broadcast on PBS and is now available on Amazon Prime. There is also a series of Journey Conversations that Tucker did with twenty scientists, historians, and environmentalists discussing the significance of this universe story, especially for ecological issues. For more information about the Journey of the Universe project, visit the website: www.journeyoftheuniverse.org

Dr. Tucker is a Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University where she has appointments in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as well as the Divinity School and the Department of Religious Studies. She teaches in the joint MA program in religion and ecology and directs the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale with her husband, John Grim.

Her keynote speech will be begin at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, October 27. The public is welcome to attend. After the keynote, Tucker will visit with tenth grade students in their History of Ideas classes.

First Day of School – By Boat!

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New students and faculty arrive to campus by boat from the Centreville Wharf and are greeted by the entire Gunston community.

On Tuesday, September 5, Gunston held its annual Embarkation ceremony. As a 107-year old school, Gunston has many traditions, but few are as meaningful as Embarkation—all new students and faculty arrive on their first day to campus by boat. Gunston’s sixty-four new students and seven new faculty and staff members departed from the Centreville Wharf, traveled down the Corsica River, and arrived at the school’s waterfront, where they were greeted by the school’s Headmaster, Mr. John Lewis. After shaking the Headmaster’s hand, each student signed the school’s honor code—Responsibilities of the Community, then climbed the stairs of the embankment and proceeded to shake the hand of every member of the student body, faculty and administration. “This ceremony is meaningful and symbolic” commented Lewis, “as it celebrates our unique connection to the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and also celebrates our strong sense of community.” Many of Gunston’s new parents were on hand to witness the event.

The class of 1921, led by freshman Emma McClary, shakes hand with each of their new classmates.

This year, Gunston—a co-educational college preparatory high school–is opening at a historically high enrollment of 195, and welcomes new students from Queen Anne’s, Kent, Talbot, Cecil, Caroline, and Anne Arundel counties, as well as Delaware. Gunston also welcomes a number of students from overseas, with students arriving this year from Switzerland, Japan, and China. Lewis said, “We’re excited to be welcoming such a large and talented class of new students, and with our largest enrollment, we are looking forward to a great year.”

Gunston School Sept 5, 2017

Gunston School began in 1911.  Originally called the Gunston Farm School, it was founded by Sam and Mary Middleton on their farm along the Corsica River near Centreville in order to provide their daughter Emilie, a polio victim, with the highest quality education. From the beginning, the school had a strong focus on academics, coupled with development of character. Important features of the early curriculum included the performance of plays by Shakespeare and an emphasis on French, the international language of diplomacy. The primary athletic activity was horseback riding, a feature that lasted into the 1960s. Students rode day and were responsible for maintaining the house and the stables.

“Aunt Mary” Middleton – long-time headmistress and founder of the Gunston School

Sam Middleton passed away in 1929, but “Aunt Mary” Middleton continued to oversee the school for another 35 years, building Gunston from a small boarding school to one of the more prestigious college preparatory schools for girls in Maryland. The school’s website quotes one alumna’s comments on “Aunt Mary” saying  “Mary Middleton was not a woman who expected accolades. She was a doer, not a talker. She had character and backbone. She was bold and formidable. She was a fighter and a peacemaker, a diplomat when necessary.”

While there were occasional male students through the years, Gunston remained primarily a girls’ school until 1991.  At the same time, Gunston became a day school only with no boarding facilities.  In recent years, the school has been roughly evenly distributed between male and female students. The total number of faculty, both full and part-time, is 29.  The instructional class size averages 10-12 pupils per class. The emphasis is on a highly academic college preparatory curriculum, though sports and community service are also emphasized. In a typical year, all graduates go on to pursue higher education.

The tradition of new students arriving on campus by boat began in 2010 when John Lewis became headmaster. He saw the school’s waterfront location as an important asset and decided to incorporate it into the students’ first day of school. In addition to the embarkation ceremony, he introduced the tradition of older students lining up to greet the new students with a handshake. In the spring, the seniors leave by boat.

Headmaster John Lewis meets new students at the dock on Gunston’s campus.

In mid-may, all students participate in a week of Chesapeake Bay studies, some with overnight trips and some on day trips.  Following Chesapeake Bay week, qualified seniors may serve a two-week internship with a local business or organization or another project of their choice.  Graduation is in early June.

Senior Lila Ingersoll of Chestertown speaks to the assembled school.

For more information visit the Gunston School website.

See more pictures of Embarkation Day below.  All photos courtesy of Gunston School.

New faculty & staff also arrived by boat.

 

 

 

 

 

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Gunston Students Earned Medals on the National Spanish Exam

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Congratulations to world language students from the Gunston School who recently attained national recognition for excellent performance on the 2017 National Spanish Examinations, earning a total of 1 gold, 3 silver, and 6 bronze medals along with 16 honorable mentions.

“Attaining a medal or honorable mention for any student on the National Spanish Examinations is very prestigious,” said Kevin Cessna-Buscemi, National Director of the Exams, “because the exams are the largest of their kind in the United States with over 157,000 students participating in 2017.”

Front row L-R: Ben Byerly ’17, Isabelle Schmittinger ’19, ​Re​ DeFino ’19, ​Emma​ Johnson ’17, Elyssa Merton ’19, Tyler Judd ’18. Back row L-R: George Bowie ’17, Griffin Hecht ’19, Henry Parkhurst ’18, Davy Song ’19, and Spanish Teacher Ms. Avis Wheatl​e​y.

Gold medalists at level 1: Haorui Song
Silver medalists at level 1: Griffin Hecht, Elyssa Merton
Silver medalists at level 5: George Bowie
Bronze medalists at level 1: Rebecca DeFino, Isabelle Schmittinger
Bronze medalists at level 2: Emma Johnson
Bronze medalists at level 3: Tyler Judd
Bronze medalists at level 4: Ben Byerly, Henry Parkhurst
Students receiving honorable mention at level 1: Rick Archambault, Philip Ashley, Tirza Enriquez, Zack Goss, Brennan Paddy, Garrett Rudolfs; at level 2: Chad Angelini, Simon Cawley, Emma Hottel, Hopewell Murphy, Ryleigh Paskoski, Neel Patel; at level 3: Alice Agee, Alex Papadopoulos, Maddy Romberger; at level 5: Abigail Miller.

The students were taught by Spanish teachers, Juan Angarita and Avis Wheatley. This is the fifth year Gunston has participated in the exams.

The National Spanish Examinations are sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

Horizons Welcomes 160 Students to 2017 Summer Program

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Horizons Students

Chestertown, MD (June 27, 2017)—Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s—a summer academic and enrichment program for local underprivileged students—welcomed 160 students to its three campuses yesterday—at Gunston, Radcliffe Creek, and Washington College—for the beginning of its 2017 #SixWeeksofHappiness. This summer’s program centers on a water-related theme, with both academic lessons and enrichment opportunities that build upon the learning-rich environment of the Chesapeake Bay. Through this coveted summer opportunity, Horizons students gain not only academic achievements but return to school with confidence, preparedness, and a desire to learn. They also receive breakfast and lunch each day.

“Today, we begin a six-week summer transformational journey for 160 low-income students from Kent and Queen Anne’s counties,” explains Executive Director Bob Parks. “Over the summer, disadvantaged children tread water at best, or even fall behind. But through the Horizons summer academic and cultural enrichment program, these children will instead make academic gains—and return to school in the fall armed with confidence and preparedness that will allow them to achieve academic success during the school year and beyond.”

About Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s

Since 1995, the Horizons summer learning program has served hundreds of Kent and Queen Anne’s County children at or below the poverty level, as part of a growing national initiative to reduce the summer slide. The six-week program headquartered at Radcliffe Creek School in Chestertown and The Gunston School in Centreville serves kids from kindergarten through eighth grade.

Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s is one of 51 affiliates of the Horizons National summer learning program. The six-week summer program employs an experiential model of teaching that focuses on reading, writing, and math. Students not only improve academically, but learn to swim and participate in activities that foster creativity, confidence, citizenship, and good health.

To keep up with all the Horizons news, please visit our website and like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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Gunston Crew Completes Season with Milestone at National Championships

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The Gunston School’s Rowing team completed their spring season with invitations to the Scholastic Rowing Association of America’s National Championship Regatta in Cherry Hill, NJ. Competing against the top rowing programs in the country, Gunston was represented in the Boy’s and Girl’s Varsity 4+ categories.

Gunston’s Boy’s Varsity 4+ reached a milestone this year by breaking out of the first round of racing for the first time in this event in program history. Later in the day the crew went on to compete in the Repechage (second chance race) and placed 6th.

“The boys’ performance in their heat was exactly how we had practiced their race plan over the last few weeks. Thanks to their sprint they were able to edge themselves into 3rd place and avoid elimination from the regatta. They eventually reached elimination in the repechage but they were very happy with the way they rowed and left everything they had on the race course,” said Head Coach Nicole Stimpson.

Representing Gunston in the Boy’s Varsity 4+ were Coxswain Lauren Covell ‘17 (Annapolis, MD), Stroke Ben Jones ‘17 (Chestertown, MD), 3 Seat Ethan Boone ‘17 (Centreville, MD), 2 Seat Alex Papadopoulos ‘18 (Townsend, DE), and Bow Garrett Rudolfs ‘18 (Centreville, MD).

Gunston’s Girl’s 4+ placed 6th in their heat eliminating them from the regatta. “With a freshman coxswain, 2 sophomores, and 2 seniors the underclassmen in this crew were able to gain valuable race experience at this regatta,” said Stimpson. “After racing at nationals these younger athletes will be able to pass on their experiences and motivate their teammates this coming fall.”

Representing Gunston in the Girl’s Varsity 4+ were Coxswain Isabella Santoboni ‘20 (Annapolis, MD), Stroke Olivia Sherman ‘17 (Middletown, DE), 3 Seat Elena Sherman ‘19 (Middletown, DE), 2 Seat Katie Easter ‘19 (Grasonville, MD), Bow Maddy Romberger ‘17 (Sudlersville, MD).

A Fond Farewell: The Gunston School’s Class of 2017

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Friday, May 19th marked a special day at The Gunston School. An annual tradition, Senior Transition Day and Disembarkation commemorates seniors’ final day on campus. During the day, the seniors enjoyed a walked down memory lane with a slide show highlighting their high school years, were welcomed into TGS Alumni Association, and with family and friends watching, placed a personalized brick on the Heron Walkway adding to the foundation of Gunston. The day ended with a receiving line of students and faculty wishing them farewell as they disembarked the Gunston campus on the Chester River Packet for a cruise down the Corsica and Chester Rivers. We wish the Class of 2017 the best of luck!