Gunston Partners with Wharton Professor to Develop Student Leadership Program

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As part of an effort to further enhance the school’s student leadership development program, Gunston is partnering with Dr. Stewart D. Friedman to develop an innovative student leadership curriculum. Dr. Friedman is the Practice Professor of Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the founding director of both the Wharton Leadership Program and the Wharton Work/Life Initiative. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including Total Leadership (Harvard Business Review Press, 2014)

Headmaster John Lewis shared, “At Gunston, central to our mission is a belief that all students should cultivate the capacity to serve as leaders in our society, and we also believe that leadership is a skill that can be practiced and learned. We’re excited to partner with Dr. Friedman to develop our currently existing student leadership curriculum.  He is an internationally recognized teacher, and his Total Leadership program is an intensely participant-centered model that fits well with the developmental skills and capacities of adolescents.”

The school has been working throughout the summer to finalize the key elements of the program, and the Gunston/Total Leadership program will be piloted this fall with Gunston’s Chesapeake Watershed Semester students. It will eventually adapted and integrated into the curriculum for all Gunston students. Gunston is profoundly grateful to former board member and Wharton MBA graduate Greg Hagin for helping to forge the relationship between Dr. Friedman and Gunston.

Gunston’s A.D. Mellinger Finished in Top 11% at USA Triathlon Nationals

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On Saturday, August 11th, Gunston’s Athletic Director, Jon Mellinger competed in the 2018 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships in Cleveland, Ohio, in the second largest field in history with over 5000 competitors throughout the weekend.

Athletes swam in Lake Erie and biked and ran along the lake shore overlooking downtown Cleveland. Competitors of both races had the chance to compete for Age Group National Titles as well as spots on Team USA in 2019. The olympic-distance event consisted of a 1500 meter swim, 40km bike, and a 10km run. Athletes who competed at this event have qualified throughout the course of the year for the opportunity to race.

“This race was something special for me” Mellinger said. “Cleveland is basically home. My family is from northeast Ohio and I have so many fond memories there so returning to a place that we all call home to race in a national event meant the world. I’ve had a few podiums this season and I felt like my fitness was in a good place. Overall, it wasn’t the result or time I was hoping to achieve, but I battled all day long after some very challenging swimming conditions.”

Follow him on Instagram as he continues to document the remainder of his season, @ad.mells. Mellinger trains and competes as a member of an elite triathlon team, E3 Training Solutions, out of Boston, MA.

Gunston’s Administrators Led Innovative Environmental Conference

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In mid-July, Gunston’s Headmaster John Lewis, and Chesapeake Bay Studies Coordinator Emily Beck led the 3rd Annual Environmental Leadership for Independent School Leaders conference held at the Smith Island Education Center. This conference is a partnership between the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), The Gunston School, the Association of Independent Maryland and DC Schools, the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington, and the Virginia Association of Independent Schools.

Top administrators from independent schools surrounding the Chesapeake Watershed gathered to collaborate on ways to integrate high­ impact environmental education and sustainability in our schools. This hands-on seminar combined field experiences, curriculum theory, leadership development, and personal reflection.

“It’s exciting to work with colleagues who are inspired to integrate sustainability and environmental education into mission and program of their school,” remarked Gunston’s Headmaster John Lewis. “Each year, the conference has grown and improved, and thanks to experts like our own Emily Beck and CBF, we feel great about the impact this conference is having in our region and beyond.”

Gunston Announces Fourth Quarter Academic Honors

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Congratulations to the following students for earning High Honors or Honors for the fourth 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

Rongjie (Rose) Fan, Steven Goss, Lila Ingersoll, Sam Johnson, Mary Macmillan, Alex Papadopoulos, Henry Parkhurst, Ryleigh Paskoski, Neel Patel, Alli Webb

Grade 11

Kejing (Karen) Chen, Cole Evans, Phin Howell, Claire Johnson, Paige Murphy, James Pratt, Megan Prochaska, Caroline Roser, Katie Schiwy, Haorui (Davy) Song, Nellie Stup, Fuji (Cynthia) Yang, Sitong (Vicky) Zhou

Grade 10

Andrew Amygdalos, Eily Ashley, Yuntian (Areopl) Bai, Cotter Buckley, Nina De Angelo, Frankie Fisher, Emily Gray, Wyatt Howell, Lily Judd, Katie Moreau, Will Newberg, Erica Reece, Isabella Santoboni, Max Scott, Qirui (Allen) Wang

Grade 9

Avy Aubin, Lily Berntsen, Helen Boone, Em Borghardt, Julie Ireland, Rion McCluskey, Sydney Nittle, Ethan Nuessle, Campbell Parkhurst, Lydia Periconi, Sean Riley, Charlie Shifrin, Haoying (Grace) Wang, Hannah Worth

Honors

Grade 12

Simon Cawley, Simiao (Grace) Dai, Tirza Enriquez, Gillian Felton, Susie Fordi, Jack Morrison, Hope Murphy, Chris Newberg, Dutch Nickerson, Lily Phipps, Joey Smith, Tanner Ways

Grade 11

Dolan Carella, Anneliese Clair, Shiloh Clark, Becky DeFino, Katie Easter, Will Gibson, Menel Harris, Yanni Harris, Griffin Hecht, Leah Hellwege, Grafton Howard, Camy Kelly, Nick Lee, Miao (Suzy) Li, Michell Pagan, Marisa Pisapia, Drew Seaman, Yifan (Michael)Shen, Elena Sherman, Morgan Smith, Katie Staley, Anna Wolf, Yong (George) Yan

Grade 10

MacCallum Borghardt, Mark Bourdin, Stephen Brown, Natalie Cockey, Kate Dieterle, Cedar Foster, Lynsey Hildebrand, Grace Holmes, Nick Kellogg, Junlin (Thompson) Leng, Mason Rudolfs, Peter Sharpless, Owen White

Grade 9

Bella Adams, Zack Anderson, Max Brady, Arianna Campi, Lydia Davis, Kayla Flood, James Fordi, Glynis Gardner, Reagan Gessford, Emma McClary, Aiden Myers, Adie Parish, Connor Reichardt, Joshua Sanford, Owen Santora, Severin Schut, Henry Shifrin, Christian Walker, Colin Ward, Lilli Ward

Gunston Students Excel in National Foreign Language Exams

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Congratulations to students from The Gunston School who attained national recognition for excellent performance on the 2018 National Spanish and Latin Examinations earning a total of 7 gold, 10 silver and 13 bronze medals along with 20 honorable mentions.

Latin Exams:

Gold medalist at level 1: Helen Boone

Silver medalist at level 3: James Pratt

Silver medalist at level 2: Sam Umidi

Silver medalist at level 1: Sean Riley

Honorable mention at level 2: Zack Anderson, Isabella Santoboni

Honorable mention at level 1: Hannah Worth

Latin Awards: Left to right, Mr. Angarita, Sean Riley, Sam Umidi, James Pratt, Helen Boone, Ms. Wheatley

Spanish Exams:

Gold medalists at level 5: Henry Parkhurst

Gold medalists at level 2: Avy Aubin, Andrew Amygdalos, Haroui Song

Gold medalist at level 1: Ryan Evans, Charles Shifrin

Silver medalists at level 3: Lila Ingersoll

Silver medalists at level 2: Payton Lord, Lydia Periconi

Silver medalists at level 1: Cedar Foster, Grace Holmes, Orion McCluskey, Henry Shifrin

Bronze medalists at level 3: Michelle Pagan, Marisa Pisapia, Caroline Roser

Bronze medalists at level 2: Shiloh Clark, Annabelle Gillespie, Ellie Merton, Campbell Parkhurst

Bronze medalists at level 1: Mark Bourdin, Will Gibson, Lynsey Hildebrand, Cameryn Kelly, Lillian Ward, Owen White

Honorable mention at level 3: Heidi Barcus, Hopewell Murphy, Paige Murphy, Elena Sherman

Honorable mention at level 2: Rick Archambault, Eileen Ashley, Rose Fan, Griffin Hecht, Claire Johnson, Sydney Nittle, Joey Smith

Honorable mention at level 1: Hannah Beckman, Emerson Borghardt, Stephen Brown, Kayla Flood, Glynis Gardner, Reagan Gessford, Leah Hellwege, Nicholas Kellogg, Colin Ward

Students were taught by Spanish teachers, Juan Angarita and Avis Wheatley, and Latin teacher, Erin Ferguson.

The National Language Examinations are administered each year across the country in grades 6 through 12, and are sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese and the American Classical League and the National Junior Classical League.

Gunston Receives Edward E. Ford Grant

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The Gunston School is pleased to announce that it’s innovative new program, The Chesapeake Watershed Semester, is the recipient of a grant from the Edward E. Ford Foundation. This award of $100,000, matched 1:1 by funds raised, will provide $200,000 in seed money to launch this ground-breaking program that offers aspiring student leaders an educational experience with a joint focus on environmental science and public policy.

The Chesapeake Watershed Semester (CWS) is a semester-length opportunity for highly motivated juniors or seniors to immerse themselves in the study and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. Through dynamic and diverse field-study expeditions, students will travel the region meeting with stakeholders and conducting research. Rigorous classroom, laboratory, and research project work will deepen each student’s academic foundation, leading to a capstone action project to be formally 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.

In a highly competitive grant cycle, The Gunston School is pleased to be one of 13 schools receiving awards from the Foundation. “The Gunston School is grateful for the ongoing support from the Edward E. Ford Foundation,” said John Lewis, “the rigorous, multi-stage application process allowed us to reflect on the school’s growth and success over the past eight years. Such work would not have been possible without the support of our Board of Trustees, families, and staff at the school. The EE Ford Foundation is the preeminent foundation for supporting innovations in high school education making their recognition of our new program particularly impactful.” In a letter to Gunston’s Head of School, John Lewis, announcing the grant award, John C. Gulla, Executive Director of The Edward E. Ford Foundation, said, “…it is a very important and exciting program and I look forward to hearing about it in the years to come.”

The grant from the EE Ford Foundation will help to support the program’s successful launch in the pilot years, and help The Gunston School and CWS build a “bridge” between the pilot program and the fully residential CWS program, which aims to enroll students from across the country and around the globe.

Emily Beck, Director of the Chesapeake Watershed Semester, credits the extensive partnership network around CWS for drawing the attention of the EE Ford Foundation. “Our formal partnerships with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Washington College’s Center for Environment and Society, Sultana Education Foundation, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and the Echo Hill Outdoor School are pivotal to our goals of crafting a program imbued with academic rigor and immersive field experiences for our students” Beck said. “We have designed the program to meet the educational challenges of our time and are eager to begin our first semester in a few short months.”

The Gunston School and the Chesapeake Watershed Semester will raise a matching $100,000 as part of the grant requirements. The cumulative sum will be the rocket fuel that helps to launch the nascent program. The pilot semester, fully enrolled with 13 students, will launch in August of 2018. Students interested in the program can learn more at chesapeakewatershedsemester.org and consider applying for the Fall 2019 cohort. Follow along the adventures of the CWS1 on Facebook and Instagram throughout the fall of 2018.

About the Gunston School

The Gunston 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. The Gunston School, located on the banks of the Corsica River in Centreville, MD, serves 200 students in grades 9-12.

About the Edward E. Ford Foundation

The Edward E. Ford Foundation supports and strengthens independent secondary schools with its mission to “challenge and inspire them to leverage their unique talents, expertise and resources to advance teaching and learning throughout this country by supporting and disseminating best practice, by supporting efforts to develop and implement models of sustainability, and by encouraging collaboration with other institutions.”

The Gunston School Celebrates 107th Commencement

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On the morning of June 9, 2018, The Gunston School celebrated its 107th Commencement, graduating 42 students from the Class of 2018. The longtime tradition of an outdoor ceremony along the banks of the Corsica River was greeted with cloudy skies, but warm smiles. Bagpiper Robert Wallace led the processional, as the girls in white formal dresses carrying flower bouquets and boys in blue blazers and khakis processed.  Class President Neel Patel delivered the opening greeting, followed by each senior presenting a favorite quote.

Photo: Class of 2018: L-R, front row, Lila Ingersoll, Alli Webb, Emma Hottell, Gillian Felton, Ryleigh Paskoski, Joey Smith, Mary Macmillan, Hope Murphy, Betty Zhou, Crystal Liu, Grace Dai; second row, Assistant Headmaster Christie Grabis, Headmaster John Lewis, Oliver Wu, Charlotte Sheets, Brennan Paddy, Lily Phipps, Susie Fordi, Rose Fan, Tirza Enriquez, Heidi Barcus, Steven Goss, Board of Trustee Chairman Jim Wright, President of Washington College Kurt Landgraf; third row, Naix Wang, Tanner Ways, Max Cao, Yohanes Gray, Neel Patel, Jacob Yu, Cubby, Zhou; fourth row, Dutch Nickerson, Mitchell Naumann, Alex Papadopoulos, Sam Johnson, Henry Parkhurst, Robert Messier; back row, Nat Vivian, Kobe Zheng, Simon Cawley, Jack Morrison, Chris Newberg, Garrett Rudolfs

This year’s commencement speaker was Kurt Landgraf, President of Washington College. Born in Newark, New Jersey, Mr. Landgraf earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration from Wagner College, before going on to earn three master’s degrees. Mr. Landgraf earned a master’s of economics from Pennsylvania State, a master’s of educational administration from Rutgers, and a master’s of sociology from Western Michigan University. He is also a graduate of the prestigious Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

“Today is about defining success.” Mr. Landgraf stated in his remarks to the graduates. “Success is about you being happy, it has nothing to do with how much money you make, how big your house is, or what you drive.” He concluded with these words of wisdom, “who you are and what you are, are enough. You don’t have to be more than the person inside you.”

On Friday, June 8, the Green & White Awards Ceremony was held in The Field House. Headmaster John Lewis addressed the class of 2018 praising them for their accomplishments, adding what a privilege it had been to work with such an extraordinary group of young men and women. He wished them all the best in their future endeavors.

Valedictorian Lila Ingersoll addressed her classmates with the metaphor of a layer cake. “I crafted a unique one to represent the senior class’ four years at Gunston. I am sure you have all seen a layer cake before, but the cake I am using in this metaphor has 4 layers of cake and 4 layers of frosting in between (including the icing on top of course). When reflecting back on our high school experience, I found all the layers to be very sweet but each one has a different purpose…”

The awards ceremony was followed by the Brick Laying Ceremony and Senior Disembarkation. Four years ago the Class of 2018 arrived to campus by boat, where they were greeted by outstretched hands and smiling faces of the upperclassmen and faculty. On Friday, the 42 members of the class of 2018 once again walked through the receiving line, but this time they said farewell to their friends as they disembarked from Gunston to start their next journey.

Board of Trustee Chairman Jim Wright, Valedictorian Lila Ingersoll of Chestertown and Headmaster John Lewis

Several faculty members participated in the presentation of awards, which recognized the following students:

Valedictorian—Samuel A. Middleton Award: Lila Ingersoll
The Gunston Award: Henry Parkhurst
Leadership Award: Neel Patel
Diversity Leader Award—Susie Fordi
Community Service—Marguerite Thomas Award: Rose Fan
Moore Award for Improvement: Alli Webb
The Faculty Award: Josephine Smith and Gillian Felton
Environmental Stewardship Award: Sam Johnson
Paul M. Long Award: Caroline Roser
Clare Poussard Award: Katie Staley
Megan V. Batdorf Award: Elena Sherman
The Anita Gruss Athletics Award: Brennan Paddy and Mitchell Naumann
Art Award: Rose Fan
Music Award: Li (Cubby) Zhou
Theatre Award: Simon Cawley
Mathematics Award: Henry Parkhurst
Science Award: Ryleigh Paskoski
Engineering: Jack Morrison
Bay Studies High Honors: Emerson Borghardt, Jianna Casiello, Katherine Chen, Dylan Conner, Cora Duncan, Katie Easter, Cole Evans, Gillian Felton, Francesca Fisher, James Fordi, Yanni Harris, Griffin Hecht, Lindsay Hildebrand, Sam Johnson, Ellie Merton, Will Newberg, Dutch Nickerson, Henry Parkhurst, Ryleigh Paskoski, Neel Patel, Lily Phipps, Isabella Santoboni, Max Scott, Elena Sherman, Charles Shifrin, Abbie Silva, Nellie Stup, Jackson Talbott, Nat Vivian, Alli Webb, Owen White
History—Capt. John P. W. Vest Award: Sam Johnson
Spanish Award: Henry Parkhurst
Latin—Marie W. Whittico Award: Katie Easter
English Language Acquisition: Karen Chen
English—Sandra Slacum Spears Award: Lila Ingersoll
Literature—Hila C. Ferguson Award: Simon Cawley
English Immersion Award: Areopl Bai
Junior Symposium Award: Marisa Pisapia
Senior Paradigm Project Award: Hopewell Murphy

The final award, the coveted Green & White Cup for the 2017-2018 school year, was presented to the Green Team! Twice each year, Gunston declares a “green & white field day” as students, faculty and staff divide into two teams and compete in activities that range from canoe races, tennis matches, a pie eating contest and sack races, to math competitions, creative writing challenges, ultimate Frisbee, photography and more. The team accumulating the most points from both days wins the Green & White Cup.

Gunston’s Academic Team Participates in National Championships

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Photo: Front row L-R: Henry Shifron, Areopl Bai, Andrew Amygdalos; back row L-R: Phin Howell, Headmaster John Lewis, Zack Anderson and Peter Sharpless.

Gunston’s Academic Quiz Bowl team traveled to Chicago during the weekend of April 27-29, to participate in the National Academic Quiz Tournament’s (NAQT) national championships in Chicago. In the two-day, 10-round tournament held at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, Gunston’s “A Team” team finished just out of the playoff rounds, after dropping two close matches in the final preliminary rounds.

Tenth grader Andrew Amygdalos was the 24th leading scorer in a tournament of 300+ contestants, and received a “Rising Star” award for his performance. Gunston’s A team also consisted of 12th grader Henry Parkhurst (Centreville), 11th grader Phin Howell (Chestertown), and 10th grader Peter Sharpless (Centreville). Gunston’s B Team included 9th graders Zack Anderson (Easton) and Henry Shifrin (Chestertown), and 10th grader Areopl Bai (Easton).

This is the second year in a row that Gunston’s team has qualified for the national tournament, and the NAQT quiz bowl format asks students to answer questions from a wide-diversity of knowledge domains: science, math, literature, history, current events, geography, music, art, sports, etc.

Gunston Announces Third Quarter Academic Honors

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Congratulations to the following students for earning High Honors or Honors for the third 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, Gillian Felton, Susie Fordi, Steven Goss, Lila Ingersoll, Sam Johnson, Mary Macmillan, Hope Murphy, Alex Papadopoulos, Henry Parkhurst, Ryleigh Paskoski, Neel Patel, Lily Phipps, Alli Webb

Grade 11

Katie Easter, Cole Evans, Phin Howell, Claire Johnson, Paige Murphy, James Pratt, Megan Prochaska, Caroline Roser, Katie Schiwy, Drew Seaman, Elena Sherman, Haorui (Davy) Song, Nellie Stup, Sam Umidi, Fuji (Cynthia) Yang, Sitong (Vicky) Zhou

Grade 10

Eily Ashley, Yuntian (Areopl) Bai, Natalie Cockey, Nina De Angelo, Emily Gray, Grace Holmes, Junlin (Thompson) Leng, Katie Moreau, Will Newberg, Erica Reece, Isabella Santoboni, Max Scott, Yaxuan (Joey) Zhuo

Grade 9

Avy Aubin, Helen Boone, Em Borghardt, Arianna Campi, Julie Ireland, Rion McCluskey, Sydney Nittle, Ethan Nuessle, Adie Parish, Lydia Periconi, Sean Riley, Severin Schut, Charlie Shifrin, Hannah Worth

Honors

Grade 12

Heidi Barcus, Tirza Enriquez, Rongjie (Rose) Fan, Jack Morrison, Chris Newberg, Joey Smith, Pengyu (Oliver) Wu

Grade 11

Brooks Armstrong, Anneliese Clair, Shiloh Clark, Becky DeFino, Cora Duncan, Will Gibson, Menel Harris, Yanni Harris, Griffin Hecht, Leah Hellwege, Grafton Howard, Camy Kelly, Nick Lee, Miao (Suzy) Li, Marisa Pisapia, Katie Staley, Anna Wolf

Grade 10

Andrew Amygdalos, MacCallum Borghardt, Cotter Buckley, Ni (Katherine) Chen, Frankie Fisher, Cedar Foster, Gabe Hightower, Lynsey Hildebrand, Wyatt Howell, Lily Judd, Nick Kellogg, Mason Rudolfs, Peter Sharpless, Abby Silva, Qirui (Allen) Wang, Owen White

Grade 9

Bella Adams, Zack Anderson, Lily Berntsen, Kenneth Bonuccelli, Max Brady, Lydia Davis, Kayla Flood, Glynis Gardner, Reagan Gessford, Olivia Hershey, Emma McClary, Campbell Parkhurst, Connor Reichardt, Emily Ryon, Joshua Sanford, Henry Shifrin, Christian Walker, Haoying (Grace) Wang, Colin Ward. Lilli Ward, Ellie Wilson