The Gunnery faculty are a diverse group of educators who bring to our students a wide range of experiences and expertise. We are happy to introduce them and share their stories and voices here.
Originally from: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Why is boarding school good for kids?
There’s a sense of independence that children get from being a little further away from home. It gives them an opportunity to formulate their own ideas, their views on the world. It’s also an opportunity to be around people who are on the same developmental level that they are on. At home, they spend a lot more time with their parents. It’s not a bad thing; it’s just kids want to be kids. Since the boarding school model requires them to be involved in more than just academics there’s value in that; a student might for example play on a sports team, be in Green Club or helping with various fundraisers and passions of their choice, in a way that they otherwise might not have if they went home after the academic day.
Prior to joining The Gunnery, Steve Bailey enjoyed successful careers in the U.S. Navy and at NASA. As a project manager with U.S. Submarine Forces, he commissioned four nuclear-powered fast attack submarines, known as 688s. He taught math for two years at Lafayette High School in Williamsburg, Virginia, before embarking on a career as a safety engineering consultant at NASA’s Langley Research Center.
What advice do you have for new students?
Too much ice cream isn’t good for you. Explore the things that are not in your wheelhouse, the things you might not know or like. You might like music. That’s great! So go ahead and challenge yourself with a science class or a math class – or vice versa. If you’re good at science or math, you might take a class in AP Literature. I also really like the emphasis that Peter Becker has brought to Mr. Gunn beyond the classroom. It’s so much about your character. What does that mean? And what is the right thing to be when no one is looking? We had a founder who had a lot of views on this and was quite contemporary. That connection with him is something a lot of schools don’t have.
Emily Gum is the Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning. In this role, Gum shares responsibility with the Head of School for defining The Gunnery’s vision for academics and intellectual life within the context of the school’s mission and strategic goals.
Prior to her arrival at The Gunnery, Gum served as interim Executive Director of New City Commons, a nonprofit organization in Charlottesville, Virginia, that “seeks to support institutional leaders in the work of reimagining the common good, reinvigorating cultural institutions, and renewing civic life.” She previously held multiple roles at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, including Managing Editor of “The Hedgehog Review,” an academic journal discussing contemporary culture.
A graduate of The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, Gum received an undergraduate degree in international relations and theological studies from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, graduating with joint honors. She received a Master of Philosophy in theology and religion, passing with distinction, from the University of Oxford. Currently, she is working toward a Doctor of Philosophy in ethics from the University of Oxford based on her dissertation, "Neighbors, Virtues, and Schools as Civic Spaces."
Gum is charged primarily with oversight of the school’s Academic Office, including curriculum development and management of the day-to-day details of student scheduling and parental inquiries. She leads the Curriculum Committee, serves as a member of the Campus Life Committee and Core Administrative Council, is a student advisor and teaches the Honors Philosophy Seminar. She and her husband, Wheeler, live on campus with their son, Hezze.
What is something that makes The Gunnery… The Gunnery?
I appreciate that we make time for our community to come together and take risks. We challenge every member of our community to be vulnerable to everyone who is here and we practice that in our community time, whether that is in conversation at meals, or in out-of-class learning, or going to practice with your team or your co-curricular. Everything that we do here is rooted in taking risks and asking students to step outside of themselves and learn from or through a different perspective to increase their understanding. What I think is cool about this school and this place is that we are very intentional about making that happen.
A Connecticut native, Jenn attended Wesleyan University, where she completed a degree in history and played both field hockey and softball, sports that she also coaches here at The Gunnery. When she is not busy working with faculty, teaching or coaching, Jenn enjoys spending time outdoors, running and camping in particular, and of course playing with her black lab named Kali whenever she can. Jenn lives on campus in Teddy House with her husband, Craig, and their three daughters, twins Avery and Maggie, and Brooklyn live in the Cottage.
Class of ’55 Distinguished Teacher Award 2016
A native of Marshfield, MA, Bart attended The Roxbury Latin School in Boston before matriculating at Bowdoin College in Maine. At Bowdoin, he played both varsity soccer and lacrosse and earned an A.B. in Government and Legal Studies. After graduation Bart worked for State Street Corporation and taught IB History and Theory of Knowledge at the Verde Valley School in Sedona, Arizona. In 2016, he received an M.A.L.S. from Wesleyan University. He enjoys coaching soccer, playing golf, backpack trips and supporting Liverpool F.C. Bart teaches Honors U.S. Government, Honors Entrepreneurship Seminar, and leads the Gunn Scholar Program. In the afternoons, he coaches varsity soccer, varsity golf, and Highlander Hockey. He lives in Whittlesey House with his wife, Kate, and their son, Benjamin.
Kori Rimany ’14 received her bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College, where she double majored in English and Gender and Women’s Studies, with a minor in mathematics. She lived in Durban, South Africa, where she studied community health and worked in the postnatal ward of a local health clinic. She also wrote her thesis on women and the criminal justice system. She is teaching English and coaching varsity field hockey and girls crew. In her spare time, she enjoys making crafts and baking, and hosting her family’s dogs, Divot and Bailey, on campus.
In coming to The Gunnery in 2004, Seth returned to his independent school roots. He spent his youth as a faculty child at the Cranbrook School and Blair Academy. Prior to his time at The Gunnery, Seth spent five years working at an environmental engineering and consulting firm located outside of Boston. He holds a BA in geosciences from Williams College and an MALS from Wesleyan University. Seth serves as the Assistant Head of School for Campus Life, the Director of Co-Curricular Programs, the Director of College Counseling, teaches mathematics and coaches lacrosse. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, fly fishing, and loving/hating the Red Sox. Seth lives on campus with his wife Anne, their son, David, and daughter, Sarah.
Dr. Konik has over 20 years of experience working with adolescent and young adult students in varying capacities – counseling, mentoring, and coaching. Dr. Konik received his B.A. in Psychology from The University of Florida, his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The University of Vermont, and completed his predoctoral internship at the Outpatient/Inpatient Neurobehavioral Unit with the Kennedy Krieger Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Konik’s research background focused on the relationship between anxiety and pain in children. Dr. Konik is a well-recognized leader in the field, having presented nationally at the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs and has been published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology.
What faculty or students have influenced you?
Ed’s (Ed Small, long-time faculty member) an easy choice. Ed hired me and has been a great mentor. The way he does things are very deliberate and thoughtful. He’s easy to emulate that way.
What is your favorite Gunnery tradition?
The holiday concert. I enjoy watching the kids perform (they are phenomenal) and the vibe at the school that night with the formal dinner and people are excited to go on holiday.
Christopher Visentin grew up in Rhinebeck, New York, and graduated Kent School. He rowed at Kent and Hamilton College, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English, and lived in Montreal for a year, where he rowed competitively before starting his master’s degree program. In addition to a master’s in English from Boston University, he holds a law degree from BU School of Law. (His area of interest was intellectual property law.) Prior to joining The Gunnery, he was a freelance writer in Philadelphia. He is teaching English and coaching crew. He enjoys photography, painting, reading and writing (mostly) poetry.
LaDarius graduated from Wesleyan University in 2015 with a BA in Government with a concentration in International Politics. While at Wesleyan, he played football, competed in track and field, and was the football and track and field representative in the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC). SAAC coordinated with other NESCAC schools to provide a better space for the community surrounding the schools and the athletes themselves. Before The Gunnery, LaDarius was the track and field graduate assistant at Wesleyan University. At The Gunnery ,LaDarius teaches World History, U.S. History and coaches football, basketball, and tennis. He is also running the Black Student Union (BSU) which is meant to provide a space for all students to discuss, teach, and learn about other cultures from a social justice perspective. In his free time, he likes to play video games, watch movies, make music, and write poetry.