About Us
Dear Prospective Students and Families,

It is my great honor to welcome you to The Gunnery or, at least, to our virtual presence. I hope that you experience from our website what you will certainly understand if and when you visit in person: a vibrant, closely-knit community of scholars, athletes, and artists situated in the gorgeous town of Washington, Connecticut. We hew closely to the vision and example of our founder, Frederick Gunn, because he was a man of courage, wisdom, and creativity who struck the fine balance between being both progressive and traditional in his worldview.  The world today needs leaders like Gunn and we endeavor to reflect his philosophy and life, both in our faculty and in our students.  To learn more about Gunn, please see our school history.

The Gunnery offers many things only possible in a small school: the chance to know and be known by every fellow student; the individualized care for students only possible when every faculty member knows every student by name; multiple early opportunities for leadership and discovery. If you enjoy being known well by your friends and your teachers, if you enjoy developing friendships with peers from around the country and the world, and if you enjoy learning, playing, and creating in an environment in which it is safe to try, fail, and try again, then you'll love our school. We believe that real learning happens best when put into action, whether the topic is the principles of physics, the violin, a zone defense, or leadership. At The Gunnery, you will have more opportunities than at larger schools to put theory into practice and, as a result, will learn exponentially.

As you visit schools, I encourage you to "go with your gut." You will spend anywhere from one to four years living, working, and playing at the school you choose. Your school will be your home away from home and many of your friendships will last a lifetime. The most important thing to consider is the people with whom you will spend those years--the faculty and your fellow students--and the overall feel of campus life. The best metric of a school's success is the people it attracts and the opportunities it affords them. Will you have the chance to put learning into action in "live" situations and receive the meaningful feedback, from people you trust, needed to grow in knowledge, insight, and wisdom? We believe that The Gunnery is unique in its ability to offer just that.

Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't say more about the wonderful town of Washington. Nestled in the Shepaug River Valley, our campus is a ten minute walk and five minute drive from Steep Rock. Frederick Gunn cared deeply about the woods, rocks, and rivers surrounding him and that tradition continues today.  We are deeply blessed to live and learn in a place shaped so distinctly and beautifully by our natural environment.

Come visit and see for yourself. I promise you will be delighted by what you learn.

Sincerely yours,

Peter Becker
Head of School
  • Conversation with The Head of School

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  • About Peter Becker

    Peter Becker became The Gunnery’s 11th head of school in 2012. A native of New Orleans and Manhattan, Peter attended The Taft School (Watertown, Connecticut) and then earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction in religious studies from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in history from Yale University.

    Peter came to The Gunnery from The Lawrenceville School, in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, where he served as a master of history and interdisciplinary studies, housemaster, department chair, and coach. He led the redesign of the Interdisciplinary Program’s curriculum, seeking different ways to instruct, encourage and inspire students to learn and communicate. Peter was also the director of the Humanities Program, coached squash and tennis and held Lawrenceville’s Shutt Faculty chair for four years. Prior to his eight year tenure at The Lawrenceville School, he had a career as an investment banking and venture capital analyst.

    Peter is a board member of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools, the Parents League of New York, and Washington Montessori School. He is also a member of The Headmasters Association and the Executive Committee for the North American Boarding School Initiative started by The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), a committee of national school leaders charged with developing the association’s advocacy for the enduring value of boarding school education. Peter is actively engaged in the study and development of character education and has presented frequently on its importance in the moral formation of students, their long-term success and engagement in civic life.
    Peter and his wife, Amy Julia, an accomplished author and speaker, are the proud parents of three children, Penny, William, and Marilee.

The Gunnery

gps address: 22 Kirby Road, Washington, CT 06793
mail address: 99 Green Hill Road, Washington, CT 06793
tel: 860-868-7334
Contact Us
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.