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

Herons Host 5th Annual Gunston Invitational

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On Saturday, April 21, The Gunston School played host to eight visiting rowing programs to host the 5th Annual Gunston Invitational. In a day that would feature 16 different categories of racing, 62 competing crews, and nearly 500 spectators, it proved to be an exciting day on-campus.

Combined, Herons’ boy’s and girl’s crews earned second-place finishes in four out of six events on Saturday.

“Conditions were excellent,” said Director of Rowing Mike Davenport, “There were some great races today with plenty of competitive finishes. I thought our boy’s and girl’s programs rowed well and we were able to support our varsity and novice rowers alike.”

In one of the fastest, closest races of the day, the boys’ varsity eight battled with perennial power Walter Johnson. Gunston, coxed by junior Caroline Roser, jumped out to an early lead off the start and maintained a clean line but the Wildcats would finish with a surge of their own, finishing by a half boat length in front of the Herons.

The Herons’ girl’s varsity four, coxed by sophomore Isabella Santoboni, also had an exciting finish after a second-place battle with Montgomery Blair High School. Gunston faithful held their collective breath as the boats crossed the line, seemingly at the same time. However, when results came through the Lady Herons earned the second place finish by less than one second.

Gunston Students Debate World Issues in Washington D.C.

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Gunston’s Model United Nations Club recently returned from the 20th annual Washington Area Model United Nations Conference (WAMUNC) in Washington D.C. Gunston students Neel Patel ’18, Susie Fordi ’18, Dolan Carella ’19, Nick Lee ’19, Sam Umidi ’19, Drew Seaman ’19, Nick Kellogg ’20, Areopl Bai ’20 and Andrew Amygdalos ’20 were lead by faculty advisors Michael McFarland and Woody Granger.

Neel Patel, Susie Fordi, Nick Kellogg, Dolan Carella, Nick Lee, Sam Umidi represented Brazil in various committees.​

WAMUNC is an internationally-renowned Model United Nations conference sponsored by The George Washington University International Affairs Society. Over 1,300 high school students from across the country and around the world attended this four day exercise in diplomacy and international affairs held from March 1 through March 4.

At Model UN conferences, students participate in simulations of United Nations sessions, debating, negotiating, caucusing, drafting, and voting on resolutions that address world problems. Gunston students represented countries Brazil and Somalia in debates on major issues facing the world today, including international cybersecurity, terrorism, child soldiers, and the status of indigenous communities. In their committees, students worked to pass resolutions to address these issues in the same way the United Nations does today.

Gunston School Musicians Qualify for District and State Choruses

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Clockwise: Jimmy Zhou, Davy Song, Cynthia Yang, Karen Chen (Not pictured: Nina De Angelo)

Congratulations to Gunston students Karen Chen, Nina De Angelo, Davy Song, Cynthia Yang, and Jimmy Zhao, who prepared, auditioned, and recently qualified for the 2018 All Shore Chorus. In addition, Davy Song was selected to the 2018 Maryland State Chorus based on his audition for that group in November. Auditions consist of learning one’s voice part (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) of a challenging choral work and singing that piece alone with recorded accompaniment; singing expressively from memory a short, lyrical folk song; and performing, at sight, unrehearsed rhythmic and melodic examples. The All Shore Chorus consists of the highest scoring singers from approximately 20 public and private high schools on the Eastern Shore, while the Maryland State Chorus is drawn from nearly 1500 high school students registered to audition across the state.

Members of the Maryland State Chorus will prepare their repertoire in the coming month, and spend three days together to rehearse with Dr. Arian Khaefi of Fullerton College, before their culminating public concert at Morgan State University, at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 11.

Members of the All Shore Chorus will similarly prepare to rehearse with their conductor, Dr. John Wesley Wright of Salisbury University, on Thursday and Friday, April 5 and 6. Their public performance will be at Queen Anne’s County High School, at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 6.

The Gunston School Honors Harry “Stoney” Duffey

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On Saturday evening, January 27, members of The Gunston School community gathered to honor Mr. Harry “Stoney” Duffey at the school’s Leadership & Loyalty celebration.  Over a 50-year period, Mr. Duffey has been a student, parent, grandparent, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees.  In his role as Board Chair, the school completed the largest capital campaign in school history, and grew enrollment by nearly 40%.

Pictured from left to right: Jij Duffey, Stoney Duffey and Headmaster John Lewis.

With his wife, Jij, by his side Stoney listened as several guests spoke of the many accomplishments he made during his tenure at Gunston. Speakers included current Chairman of the Board, Jim Wright, Stoney’s daughters Pat Parkhurst and Catherine MacGlashan, and Headmaster John Lewis. Lewis concluded his speech with this parting sentiment that echoes throughout the Gunston community  “I can think of few people in the history of The Gunston School who have given more of themselves or have had greater influence on this school. Stoney’s vision and leadership have been transformative, and he deserves our congratulations and our appreciation. He is a great friend and supporter of The Gunston School.” At the end of the tribute, Parkhurst and MacGlashan made a toast to their father, to resounding applause.

Gunston Competes in First Tech Challenge

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The Gunston School Robotics Team competed in the FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) qualifier at the Bullis School in Montgomery County Sunday, January 14. Against an elite field of competitors, the team finished 14th out the 27 teams present.

The competition was divided into two parts: autonomous (the robot is controlled by a program that senses and reacts to its environment) and driver controlled (students control the robots using gamepads.)

The autonomous program performed flawlessly, batting away their opponent’s jewels. Solving a number of technical glitches, the team worked hard between bouts and eliminated them for the last two bouts. This dogged persistence is a hallmark of the team which, besides daily robotics classes, came into school on 5 weekend and holiday break days to build, program, and practice. “Keep it simple” was their motto as they refined their design and solved unexpected problems over the Fall semester.

Gunston Robotics Team​ Front Row: Michaela Campbell, William Newberg, Jack Morrison, Drew Seaman, Brynne Kneeland, Cedar Foster, Alli Webb. Back Row: Chris Newberg, Garrett Rudolfs.

As a team, they created an engineering notebook that described their strategy, proposed designs, and problems that the team overcame along the way. At the competition the students had to describe and defend their design to a panel of engineers. Real world engineering challenges like FTC teach students to follow the engineering processes that they will use in their future careers.

With the exception of two veterans, the team members were competing for the first time. The team was led by senior Alli Webb. Webb and Brynne Kneeland ‘19 took care of management, finances, spirit, and testing sensors. The build team consisted of Jack Morrison ‘18, Chris Newberg ‘18, and Nick Lee ‘19. During the driver controlled period, Morrison operated the robot’s arm and Drew Seaman ‘19 drove the robot. Garrett Rudolfs ‘18 acted as drive team coach and lead programer. Newberg also wrote code. Seaman and Webb kept the engineering notebook organized and up to date. Cedar Foster ‘20 and Michaela Campbell ‘20 acted as understudies on a second drive team.

The qualifier season is not over and the team is looking forward to their next competition at the Naval Academy on Jan 28.

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.

The Gunston School Launches Chesapeake Watershed Semester Program

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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

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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.”