Students from Bart McMann’s Honors U.S. Government and Politics class and members of the school’s Gray Party served as moderators and timekeepers at a candidate forum co-sponsored by the Washington Democratic Town Committee and the Washington Republican Town Committee on October 10 at Bryan Memorial Town Hall.
Get ready for a peek behind the curtain! The Gunnery Drama Society will present its fall play, “Backstage,” a comedy by Pat Cook, November 7, 8 and 9 in the Lemcke Theater of the Emerson Performing Arts Center. All performances are at 7 p.m. The community is welcome to attend. Admission is free and no reservations are required.
Varsity Field Hockey is hosting its 10th annual Play4TheCure game on Saturday, October 27 at 4:30 p.m. at Barnes Field. Once again this year, the school will organize two co-ed teams – Team Gray and Team White – which will play for two, 20-minute halves, with a 10-minute half-time.
All Gunnery parents are welcome on campus for Parents Weekend October 18 and 19. This two-day event offers opportunities for parents to spend time with students, visit a class, meet other parents, connect with teachers, and cheer on their favorite Highlanders! With fall foliage hitting its peak, this is also the perfect time to explore campus and enjoy all that the surrounding area has to offer, whether it’s hiking at Steep Rock, stopping for apples and cider donuts, or taking a scenic drive around Lake Waramaug.
Honoring tradition, and the spirit of school founder and avid outdoorsman Frederick W. Gunn, The Gunnery held its annual All-School Walk on October 10, completing an 8.3-mile loop from campus through Steep Rock Preserve and back again. It turned out to be a perfect day for a walk in the woods with friends.
The Gunnery boys first boat brought home gold and bronze medals and the girls novice boat won bronze in the 21st annual Head of the Riverfront Regatta, held October 6 in Hartford. The regatta was the first rowing competition of the fall season for both the boys and girls varsity rowing teams.
The Girls Varsity Cross Country Team brought home the first-place trophy from the 47th Annual Cross Country Invitational at Canterbury School on September 21. Assistant Coach Ed Small, who is also the Anne S. and Ogden D. Miller Senior Master, said this is the first time The Gunnery has been the top team in the event, which, according to Canterbury, has been an annual tradition since 1972.
Justin Dunn ’13 will make his Major League Baseball debut as the starting pitcher for the Seattle Mariners in a game against the Cincinnati Reds. When the Mariners’ No. 5-ranked prospect takes the mound at 10 p.m. (EST), he will be cheered on by his former coach, Jeff Trundy, along with students and faculty, who filmed their well-wishes in a brief video sent by the school today.
The Gunnery formally marked the beginning of its 170th academic year at Convocation on September 6, 2019, which was also the first full day of classes. Head of School Peter Becker, who is in his eighth year leading the school, acknowledged that this is a time of excitement and anticipation as students, faculty and staff come together to create a new school year.
The Gunnery began its 170th academic year with record enrollment for the second consecutive year, welcoming 310 students to campus for the start of classes on September 6. The school experienced a 10 percent increase in applications during the 2018-19 admissions cycle, and surpassed the record for opening enrollment established last fall. This outcome was supported by an extremely competitive admissions process, which is expected to continue through 2019-20.
MaryAnn Haverstock has joined The Gunnery faculty as Director of the IDEAS Lab. Haverstock brings to the school’s robust STEM curriculum, which is offered in a hands-on lab environment, more than two decades of engineering experience combined with her work in academia at the high school and college levels.
The Cafe on the Green is a popular gathering spot for Gunnery students, who can easily walk there from campus during the school year for cold drinks, burgers and time spent with friends. This summer, “the PO,” as it is affectionately known to students and generations of alumni, is also drawing a steady stream of local residents and visitors, who come for coffee, breakfast and lunch, or perhaps just the opportunity to soak up a little nostalgia in this idyllic New England village.
Elijah Berano ’19 was awarded the highest rank of Eagle Scout from the Boy Scouts of America in June. A resident of Bantam, Berano was recognized for his achievement during a Court of Honor Ceremony at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Litchfield.
This weekend, The Gunnery will welcome the celebrated Litchfield Jazz Festival, one of the longest-running jazz festivals in New England. Now in its 24th year, Litchfield Jazz Festival will bring great music to audiences on campus for the first time, while building on the successful collaboration that brought Litchfield Jazz Camp to the school for a second consecutive summer.
The Gunnery has received a $100,000 grant from the Edward E. Ford Foundation to establish a Center for Ethics, Leadership, and Civic Engagement on campus. The new center will expand upon The Gunnery’s longstanding commitment to character education, which stems from the ideals of school founder Frederick Gunn, while building on the success of The Gunnery’s LEADS Program, a four-year curriculum based on the mission of the school.
Clark McKercher Simms P’76, who was a member of The Gunnery community from 1959 to 1978, serving as Assistant Headmaster, Director of Admissions, Dean of Faculty, and as a member of the English Department faculty, passed away on July 12 in Wells, Maine. He was 87 years old.
The Gunnery has been recognized with an Award for Excellence in the Independent Schools category from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). The Gunnery joins an impressive list of schools that have received this recognition, including The Thacher School in California, Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania, and Phillips Academy in Massachusetts, and earned a place on CASE’s “First-time Winners” list, alongside the University of California, Davis, Fordham University, the University of Arizona, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Alumni returned to campus June 7‒9 for a weekend filled with opportunities to catch up with classmates and faculty, witness the progress of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center, reminisce, share heartfelt memories, and dance the night away under the tent on Wersebe field (here’s looking at you, Class of 2014)!
This spring and summer, several faculty members are pursuing opportunities outside of The Gunnery campus to expand upon their professional knowledge and experience. All hope to bring the expertise they gain back to their Gunnery students, whether in the classroom or on the playing field.
Students who excelled in the sciences were among those recognized at a formal dinner May 21. Ally Madow ’19 was recognized by Science Department Chair Morgen Fisher ’03 for setting a school record by completing seven science courses during her four years at the school. Fisher also recognized John Crabtree ’19 for achieving the highest score on the AP Chemistry exam. He was one of 14 Gunnery students who traveled to the University of Connecticut at Storrs to take the exam this spring.
Ron Castonguay, an innovative music educator and accomplished musician, composer, conductor and performer, has been named Director of the Arts at The Gunnery, effective August 1, 2019. In his new role, Castonguay will be responsible for the leadership and development of the school’s Visual and Performing Arts programs and will champion the growth and integration of the arts and community with the opening of the new Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center in January 2020.
The Gunnery Drama Society won the 2019 Halo Award for Best Classical Play for its fall production of “You Can’t Take It With You” by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. The award was one of three presented to The Gunnery Drama Society at the 16th annual Halo Awards on Tuesday, May 28, at the Palace Theater in Waterbury. The school also brought home Halo Awards for Best Special Effects and Best Comedic Male Performance for “You Can’t Take It With You.”
Graduates Encouraged to “Dream Big and Let Nothing Hold You Back”
The Gunnery graduated 84 students, representing 13 states and nine countries, in the Class of 2019 at its 169th Commencement Exercises, held Sunday, May 26, 2019. The ceremony, held under the tent at Edward Wersebe Memorial Field, was notable for its abundant sunshine, joy, gratitude and a true sense of community inspired by the legacy and spirit of school founder, abolitionist, individualist and outdoorsman Frederick Gunn.
Mike Marich, Director of Athletics and Head Coach, Boys Varsity Lacrosse, has been named the Mike Fuller Head Coach of the Year by the Western New England Secondary School Lacrosse Association (WNESSLA) for 2019. The honor is selected by the coaches in the league.
Students erupted with tremendous enthusiasm and school pride on Tuesday as Jim Stone, Director of Athletics at Canterbury School, presented The Gunnery-Canterbury Cup for the first time to Mike Marich, Director of Athletics, and the Prefects, here on campus.
Jared Rainville ’19 has been named U.S. Lacrosse All-American for the 2019 season. The senior attackman from Watertown, Connecticut, who will attend and play Division III lacrosse at Connecticut College in the fall, was a three-year starter and captain his junior and senior years. He was named First Team in the Western New England Secondary School Lacrosse Association (WNESSLA) in 2018 and 2017. During his career, he led the team in scoring his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons and has totaled 151 goals and 61 assists for a total of 211 points. His efforts helped the Highlanders to a 13-5 record. He scored his 200th point in a game against Pomfret on May 4. The Highlanders won 10-4.
The Gunnery celebrated the accomplishments of students in its athletic and co-curricular programs at an all-school event on May 20. This annual awards ceremony provides an opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of Gunnery students as artists, actors, outdoorsmen and aspiring diplomats as well as athletes.
Every spring since 1970, on the third Saturday of May, The Gunnery boy’s rowing team have raced against Choate on Lake Waramaug for the Beebe Cup. Choate has won the cup every year since 2001, but on Saturday, May 18, The Gunnery broke that winning streak and brought the Beebe Cup home for the first time in 19 years.
On Wednesday it was announced that The Gunnery Drama Society has received a total of 14 nominations for the 2018-2019 Halo Awards, which celebrate the best in Connecticut high school theater. It is the highest number of nominations the school has garnered in recent years.
Paige Moffat ’19 and Cassie Reilly, a senior at Pomperaug High School in Southbury, were awarded second place in the Senior Group Division at Connecticut History Day on May 4 at Central Connecticut State University. The two students, who have been friends since elementary school, will now advance to the National History Day® contest, which will be held June 9‒14 at the University of Maryland, College Park. The pair will present their original research into the history of clinical trials, the culmination of which was an exhibit titled, “Who Plays God? The Tragedy of Medical Drug Trials Using the Placebo Affect.”
Ten students from Honors U.S. Government and Politics visited Bloomberg’s New York City offices on May 2. They were accompanied by History Department Chair Bart McMann, who teaches the senior-level course, and Library Director Ed Surjan.
Alumni, faculty, families and friends are invited to attend a memorial service for longtime Gunnery faculty member and coach Hugh Caldara, who passed away on October 18, 2018. The service will be held as part of Alumni Weekend, on Saturday, June 8, at 2 p.m. in the Meeting House on the Green.
The 11th annual Memorial Run for ALS will be held at The Gunnery on Saturday, May 25 at 1:30 p.m. Over the past decade, this event has helped to raise more than $20,000 in support of The Angel Fund for ALS Research, an independent, non-profit charity dedicated to supporting ALS investigations at the Cecil B. Day Laboratory for Neuromuscular Research at UMass Medical Center.
On Sunday, May 26, 2019, The Gunnery will graduate 84 students, representing 13 states and nine countries, who comprise the Class of 2019. This will be the 169th Commencement of the school, which was founded in 1850 by abolitionist, individualist and outdoorsman Frederick Gunn.
Despite cool, rainy and windy conditions, more than 1,000 student-athletes representing 23 schools and rowing clubs from around the Northeast gathered at Lake Waramaug on Sunday, May 5, to compete in the 60th annual Founder’s Day Regatta.
Sofia Pattillo ’20 was selected as a finalist in the third annual Storm King School Poetry Festival held on the evening of April 27 at the school’s Walter Reade Jr. Theatre in Cornwall-On-Hudson, New York.
When Tim Gaillard ’61 graduated from The Gunnery, he said he and most of his classmates planned to work for a single, large company such as IBM after college, and stay with that company for life “because they would take care of you.”
On a spring day that brought its share of sunshine and rain, two teams of sophomore boys and girls wielded shovels, rakes, wood planks and power tools to build a pair of raised garden beds on the hillside between the Gatehouse and Solley Dining Hall.
This May, as they have for 59 years, schools from around the northeast will once again gather on the waters of Lake Waramaug to compete in the 60th Founder’s Day Regatta. The event will be held Sunday, May 5, 2019, at Lake Waramaug State Park in Kent. Twenty-three high school teams, with more than 1,000 student-athletes, are scheduled to participate.
In early March, when many students were catching up on their sleep, soaking up the sun in a southern climate, or hitting the outfield in anticipation of spring’s arrival, Ksenia Korobov ’21 was competing in the 2019 Connecticut Regional Swimming Championships in Cheshire. She placed first in the 100-yard breaststroke among girls 18 and under with a time of 1:13:50, and swam the anchor leg on a four-person team that won the 400-yard freestyle relay in the same division.
The Gunnery celebrated the arts and honored individual students for their accomplishments at the annual Arts & Letters Luncheon on April 16. The event included the opening of an exhibition of student art, including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and ceramics, in Solley Dining Hall.
Max Boot P’20, a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a columnist for The Washington Post, and a global affairs analyst for CNN, will visit The Gunnery on Friday, April 26, to present at an all-school event as part of the 2018-2019 Speaker Series. Boot will speak to students and faculty about his most recent book, “The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right.” It was described as a “devastating dissection of conservatism’s degeneracy in America” by Andrew Sullivan in New York magazine and as “soul-searching” and “refreshing” by The New York Times.
In celebration of National Poetry Month, students are learning about and writing their own poetry and sharpening their memorization skills in preparation for the school’s annual poetry recitation competition, which will be held April 24 at 7 p.m. in the Bourne Reading Room. Hosted by the English Department, the competition provides an opportunity for students to recite a poem of their choice from memory to an enthusiastic and supportive audience that snaps (rather than claps) in appreciation of each performance.
The Gunnery Troubadours, the musical ensemble on campus, participated in a Broadway musical workshop for high school students on April 3 led by Ian Weinberger, the Associate Musical Director of “Hamilton” on Broadway, and Sara Sheperd, who played Genie Klein in “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” and is the show’s dance captain.
On Sunday, April 28, The Gunnery will sponsor the second annual “Rooted Research Conference” featuring illustrated, place-based and primary-source history papers about the local area. A call for papers was issued in the fall to local schools, museums, and historical entities. This year’s conference will feature presentations by five Gunn Scholars – seniors Rain Ji, Michael Kassis, Paige Moffat, Tony Zhang and Joey Lin – and two guests lecturers.
Original works by 13 student-artists at The Gunnery are featured in the 6th annual Emerging Artists High School Expo, a juried exhibition that opened April 7 in the Henderson Gallery at Hunt Hill Farm in New Milford.
The 27th annual Student Art Show at the Kent Art Association in Kent, Connecticut, featured original work by eight students at The Gunnery. Three students of Visual Arts Chair Andrew Richards P’20 were honored for their work at an awards reception held Sunday, March 24.
Children ages 9 and up can enjoy summer at The Gunnery! This year, the school will offer its own rowing camp, and The Gunnery once again will host Litchfield Jazz Camp in July and Dutch Total Soccer in August. Registration is now open for the following programs:
The community is welcome to attend an opening reception for a new exhibit of photographs, paintings and multimedia work by Lincoln Hale Turner, a Roxbury artist and member of The Gunnery’s Visual Arts faculty, on Friday, April 19, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Tisch Family Library on campus. The event coincides with Spring Family Day. Alumni and families are welcome and encouraged to attend.
The Gunnery and the American Red Cross will host the 8th annual Margaret P. Addicks Memorial Blood Drive on Sunday, April 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Upper Gym of the Ogden D. Miller Memorial Athletic Center on campus.
The Gunnery Gears participated in the FIRST® Robotics Southern New Hampshire District Event, held March 15‒17 at Bedford High School, and placed 13th out of 37 robotics teams. The three-day competition included teams from high schools and robotics programs in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont.
Fifteen students from The Gunnery Model United Nations (MUN) traveled to Boston from January 24 to 27 to participate in the 66th session of the Harvard Model United Nations (HMUN). The four-day international relations simulation drew some 3,300 high school delegates and their faculty advisors, who gathered to “address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”
This May, as they have for 59 years, schools from around the northeast will once again gather on the waters of Lake Waramaug to compete in the 60th Founder’s Day Regatta. The event will be held Sunday, May 5, at Lake Waramaug State Park in Kent.
About 60 alumni and their families, friends and faculty gathered in Linen Rink on February 9 for the annual Alumni Hockey Game and the dedication of a jersey in honor of Hugh B. Caldara, who passed away on October 18, 2018. The jersey bears the number 37 for the 37 years that Caldara served as a teacher, coach, dorm parent, advisor and Athletic Director at the school.
The Gunn Scholar program expanded in the 2018-2019 academic year to include five scholars – seniors Rain Ji, Michael Kassis, Paige Moffat, Tony Zhang and Joey Lin – who have been hard at work researching their specific areas of interest with the aid of School Archivist Misa Giroux. During the spring term, their independent study projects will be completed and they will prepare to present their original place-based and primary-source research at the second annual Rooted Research Conference on Sunday, April 28. The community is welcome to attend to learn more about these topics:
Drew Sutherland ’21 was selected to perform as a tenor in the All-State Chorus at the Connecticut Music Educators Association’s 2019 All-State Festival in Hartford. Auditions were held February 2 at North Haven High School.
On Monday, The Gunnery joined the Washington Business Association in support of “Washington Gives,” a day of service in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The daylong event brought together local residents, business owners and non-profit organizations, who participated in service activities at various locations in Washington Depot as part of a national Day of Service commemorating the life, works and spirit of Dr. King.
Seven members of The Gunnery’s VEX Robotics Club traveled to Middletown High School on January 12 to compete in their first VEX Robotics Competition. The annual event brought together teams representing 60 high schools and robotics programs in Connecticut and Massachusetts, which participated in qualification and elimination rounds throughout the day. The Gunnery’s team qualified for the championship round, placing among the top 16 teams.
Artwork by two Gunnery students, Jean Fang ’19 and Julian Morris ’22, was selected for inclusion in the 28th annual Connecticut Scholastic Art Awards, the largest juried student art exhibition in the state and an affiliate of the National Scholastic Art Awards.
The Gunnery welcomed four members of the Hartford-based Sea Tea Improv Touring Company on January 4 as part of the school’s ongoing Speaker Series. Students got into the act by volunteering suggestions and participating in a series of comedic sketches that were presented during an all-school event in the Ogden D. Miller Memorial Athletic Center that evening.
Founded in 1850 by abolitionist, educator, and outdoorsman Frederick Gunn, The Gunnery is a coeducational college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12/post-graduate. Dedicated teacher-mentor-coaches challenge students to reach their full potential in a home-like setting where character and citizenship are valued as much as intellect and achievement. Individualized attention and high expectations help young learners develop not only the skills and confidence they will need in college, but also the moral compass and love of learning that will serve them well in life. The school attracts ambitious, academically curious students who will both shine as unique individuals and thrive as contributing members of a deeply connected community. By the time they graduate, Gunnery students have become well rounded, grounded young adults with a sharpened sense of who they are and who they want to become.