News Detail

School Opens With Second Consecutive Year of Record Enrollment

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.
The current student body includes residents of 25 states and 17 countries. The majority, 73 percent, are boarding students, and the remaining 27 percent are day students who commute to campus each day from Washington and other Litchfield County towns, and from as far as Prospect, Connecticut, and Dover Plains, New York. International students make up 20 percent of the total enrollment, with notable arrivals from Australia, the Bahamas, Bahrain, Canada, Cameroon, China, Cyprus, the Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Spain, Sweden and Vietnam.

As they did last year, domestic boarding students hail from all four mainland time zones. This year they come from as far as California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin, and as near as five of the six New England states. The freshman class remains intentionally small with a total of 49 students, while this year’s graduating class, which includes 97 students, will be among the largest in recent years.

According to Alexandra Ince P’20 ’23, Director of Enrollment, nearly 700 students were interviewed on campus last year, representing the third consecutive year of growth. “What truly sets us apart is the legacy of our school’s founder, Frederick Gunn. His vision still
guides many of our academic, outdoor, athletic and residential programs. Mr. Gunn believed
that all students benefit from teachers and adult mentors who work with them to promote
growth, both intellectually and in character—in the wisdom to know the right thing to do and the
courage to do it.”

The school’s commitment to character-based education was bolstered by a $100,000 matching grant from the Edward E. Ford Foundation. The funds were awarded in July to establish a Center for Ethics, Leadership, and Civic Engagement on campus that will build on school founder Frederick Gunn’s vision for education in a way that applies to the 21st century. “We are excited to offer students the opportunity to strengthen their leadership skills and put active citizenship into practice, whether that’s in the classroom, on the playing field or in the community,” said Head of School Peter Becker, who is now in his eighth year leading The Gunnery.

“This is going to be an important year for the school,” Becker said. “The Thomas S. Perakos Arts & Community Center will open on time and will quickly and profoundly shape our lives together.”

The 32,000-square-foot center, which will open in January 2020, includes the 415-seat Tisch Family Auditorium, where the entire school will gather for three-times weekly school meetings, guest speakers, performances and events. The Richard C. Colton, Jr. ’60 Art Wing will feature gallery spaces, classrooms and studios. Additionally, the center will offer community and event spaces, choral and instrumental practice spaces, including a drum room, and a technical shop for building and assembling sets.

“We welcomed three new faculty members to our community: MaryAnn Haverstock, who joins our Science Department and will be the Director of the IDEAS Lab; Chris McKhann who joins the History Department and will be teaching in our LEADS Program; and Ron Castonguay, who is our Director of the Arts. We are excited to welcome our new and returning students, and about the opportunities they will have to flourish here in the year ahead,” Becker said.
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gps address: 22 Kirby Road, Washington, CT 06793
mail address: 99 Green Hill Road, Washington, CT 06793
tel: 860-868-7334
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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.