NASA has awarded a $5,000 grant to the robotics team at The Gunnery, which will be participating in the 2019 FIRST® Robotics Competition. This is the second consecutive year that NASA has awarded a grant to The Gunnery. Its robotics team, known as The Gunnery Gears, was one of just two teams in Connecticut to receive Program Growth Grants from the NASA Robotics Alliance Project for the 2019 season. Two additional teams in the state received Sustaining Grants from NASA.
The Gunnery celebrated the start of the holiday season on Saturday, November 17, by opening its campus to the community for its annual Town Party, featuring the presentation of the 2018 Friend of the Green Award. This year, the school honored local attorney and community leader Denise DeVault Trevenen. The award is presented annually by The Gunnery to honor an individual or group that has contributed to the well-being of the town of Washington through their volunteer efforts.
The Gunnery Drama Society delighted audiences with its presentation of the incredibly comical classic, “You Can’t Take It With You,” by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, in the Lemcke Theater in the Emerson Performing Arts Center, November 8‒10.
A contingent of 11 AP Physics students attended a special lecture at the University of Connecticut in Storrs on October 28, featuring 2017 Nobel Laureate Rainer Weiss, Ph.D., Professor of Physics, Emeritus, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Gunnery students have an opportunity to travel to France, the Mediterranean and Spain in March 2020. The 10-day tour during Spring Break will allow students to explore European art and history, discover the diversity and heritage of different cultures, and immerse themselves in the language and cuisine of France and Spain.
Four Gunnery students, including juniors Vincent Cai, John Feng and Charlotte Xu and senior Tony Zhang, were selected to participate in the ASAP! 8th Annual Celebration of Young Photographers exhibit on November 4 at Bryan Memorial Town Hall in Washington Depot.
The Gunnery Drama Society is proud to present The Gunnery’s fall play, “You Can’t Take It With You,” a comedy by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, on Thursday, November 8, Friday, November 9 and Saturday, November 10 in the Lemcke Theater of the Emerson Performing Arts Center. All performances begin at 7 p.m. The community is welcome to attend and admission is free. No reservations are required.
“Art of the Hills,” a new exhibit opening Sunday, November 4 at Hunt Hill Farm, features works by Andrew Richards P’21, Visual Arts Chair, and Tyler Farmen ’00, Fine Arts Department Chair, Gallery Curator and a member of the Upper School Art faculty at Rumsey Hall School.
Former Gunnery teacher, coach and Athletic Director Hugh B. Caldara, 73, of Stonington, Connecticut, passed away on Thursday, October 18, following a battle with cancer. He is survived by his beloved wife, Joanne Caldara, who lived with him in the Gatehouse on campus during his Gunnery years.
The Girls Varsity Field Hockey team hosted its 9th annual Play4theCure game on Saturday, October 6, and set a new record by raising $4,094.40 for cancer research with the support of the school community.
A new exhibit featuring paintings by Tyler Farmen ’00 was displayed in the Tisch Family Library through November 3. The artist, who is the Fine Arts Department Chair at Rumsey Hall School, was on campus October 12 for an opening reception hosted by the Alumni & Development Office. The event coincided with Parents Weekend and was attended by current parents, faculty, friends and family, including Farmen’s wife, Jessica, and his mother, Ashley.
A beautiful fall day, accented by plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the low 70s, provided an ideal backdrop for the annual All-School Walk, which was held Thursday, October 4, on the 202nd birthday of our founder, Frederick Gunn.
Forty-three students at The Gunnery earned AP Scholar Awards in recognition of their outstanding college-level achievement on 2018 AP Exams. The College Board recognizes several levels of achievement based on students’ performance on the AP Exams, including AP® Scholar with Distinction, AP® Scholar with Honor, and AP® Scholar.
The Gunnery Girls Varsity Field Hockey team will host its 9th annual Play4theCure game on Saturday, October 6 at 7 p.m. to raise funds for cancer research. Again this year, the game will be a scrimmage between two, co-ed, Gunnery teams, Red vs. White, and will be played at home under the lights. All proceeds will be donated to the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR).
The Gunnery community welcomed new and returning students to campus at the start of September along with 10 new faculty members, who bring with them an impressive range of skills and experiences. From studying abroad in Spain, Nicaragua, South Africa and Russia, to serving on a nuclear-powered fast attack submarine and in the National Guard, to running the Boston Marathon, the Ragnar Relay Series and Tough Mudder obstacle races, they’re definitely up for a challenge!
The Gunnery will welcome Andrew Postman, who is the author of more than a dozen books, and the son of American critic, author and educator Neil Postman, as the first guest in its 2018-2019 Speaker Series. The all-school event will be held Thursday, September 27, at 7 p.m. in the Ogden D. Miller Memorial Athletic Center, Lower Gym. The community is welcome to attend. Admission is free.
The Gunnery celebrated the opening of a new school year – its 169th – at Convocation on September 7. The entire school community, including students, faculty, administrators and Board Chairman Gerrit Vreeland ’61, processed into the historic Meeting House on the Washington Green led by Ed Small, The Anne S. and Ogden D. Miller Senior Master, bearing The Gunnery mace.
Gunnery students who took the AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2 exams this year scored more than 30 percent higher than their peers at other schools across the country and around the globe. The results also indicate that Gunnery students excel in critical thinking and problem solving, which can help students to achieve success in college and their careers.
The eight-player football league co-founded by The Gunnery and Millbrook School is expanding this fall to include two new teams from Perkiomen School in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, and Holderness School near Plymouth, New Hampshire. Pomfret School and Forman School round out the New England preparatory school league.
The Gunnery welcomed 306 students to its campus on September 5, 2018, representing a milestone accomplishment unmatched in the school’s 169-year history. The school experienced a nearly 20 percent increase in applications during the 2017-18 admissions cycle, supporting the strong enrollment outcome and making for an extremely competitive admissions process.
Elizabeth (Rae) Dayton ’08, Director of Dramatic Arts, was one of a dozen Gunnery faculty members who traveled across the country and around the world this summer with the support of a faculty enrichment grant given by an anonymous board member. Dayton attended a sold-out, three-day, intensive Broadway Teachers Workshop in New York City in July.
When the Tisch Family Library reopens this week for the start of the new school year, the stacks will be brimming with 350 new titles from The Library of America collection. The books were donated last spring by Edwin Matthews of Washington, a Library of America trustee, attorney, author, conservationist, and a longtime supporter of the school.
The Gunnery has been awarded a $1,500 grant from the American Chemical Society to support the purchase of new laboratory equipment for a new Water Systems Design course, which will focus on the quality, treatment and supply of water as a natural resource.
The Athletic Department has been busy all summer tracking the individual successes of its alumni athletes, including Sarah Hughson ’14 and Sam Walther ’14, who both signed with the Connecticut Whale in the National Women’s Hockey League, and Seth Mahler ’06 and Max Kaufman ’12, who were both selected by the Israel Lacrosse men’s national team for the 2018 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Lacrosse Championships.
This summer, the Washington Art Association & Gallery unveiled its 2018 Sculpture Walk, which features works by more than 40 internationally and nationally recognized artists and emergent sculptors. Among them are two Gunnery alumni Sam Funk ’09 and Jake Paron ’13.
Science teacher and Gunnery Head Baseball Coach Jeff Trundy was honored August 1 for his 20 years as Manager of the Falmouth Commodores. The Commodores dedicated the last regular season home game to Trundy, who is one of the longest-tenured managers in the Cape Cod Baseball League, calling it “Trundy Night.”
On June 9, Broadway producer, businessman and alumnus Thomas Perakos ’69 had the honor of being the first to dig a commemorative shovel into the earth on the site of The Gunnery’s new Arts and Community Center during the official groundbreaking for the new building. Located between Teddy House and Emerson dormitory, the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center will showcase the school’s already vibrant Visual and Performing Arts programs and give them room to grow. It is set to open in December 2019.
The Gunnery was quiet after an Alumni Weekend of class get-togethers, campus tours, curricular samplings, and some well-deserved accolades. And the weekend was surely one to remember with the historic groundbreaking for the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center, the annual presentation of the Hall of Fame Awards, the announcement of the Alumnus of the Year, and the revelry surrounding a second Triple Crown winner in the Belmont Stakes in just three years (one of only 13 in the last 100 years). While pausing only briefly following the annual gathering of our far-flung community, the campus is once again a flurry of activity, with the hue and cry of sports and jazz camps, and the din of new construction - a harbinger of the school’s most exciting new project.
On May 29, Seven Angels Theater presented the 15th Annual Halo Awards before an audience that included more than 5,000 of Connecticut’s student thespians, singers, dancers, and representatives of all the attendant theater skill groups at the Palace Theater in Waterbury. The theatrical students and their mentors from 60 regional schools, both public and independent, came dressed to the nines to walk the red carpet, cheer for themselves and their schoolmates, and perform numbers and scenes from more 111 productions represented in the nominations awarded over two nights. The awards and recognitions for each evening elicited deafening screams of delight and prolonged applause from the glittering crowd during the four-hour events. The Gunnery contingent consisted of 23 performers – including five seniors who had graduated the day before, Sabryna Coppola, Bella Byrne, Claire Costello, Ross O’Connor and Rachel Cohen – as well as faculty and parents.
The Gunnery celebrated its 168th Commencement on May 28, graduating 82 students from 11 states and 13 countries in a ceremony that highlighted the words and legacy of school founder, abolitionist, individualist and outdoorsman Frederick Gunn.
Students and faculty gathered May 22 at The Meeting House on the Green for The Gunnery’s annual Baccalaureate Service, which formally commemorates the end of the school year, and marks the beginning of a week-long celebration of the senior class leading up to commencement. This year’s service was notable in that The Gunnery community welcomed alumni and lifelong friends Leigh Buckens ’02 and Jesse Soffer ’03 to help send off the Class of 2018. Soffer delivered the Baccalaureate address and the following evening, Buckens was the guest speaker at the Senior Dinner hosted by the Alumni & Development Office.
At this year’s Alumni Career Day event, several Gunnery alumni encouraged current students to seek advice, ask questions and find mentors to guide them in their careers and in life. The value of mentoring, for both young professionals and established alumni, was also the inspiration behind one of the Alumni & Development Office’s newest initiatives with the Alumni Association: the establishment of an Alumni Network.
The 10th annual Memorial Run for ALS will be held at The Gunnery on Saturday, May 26 to benefit 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.
Mr. Wonderful, you missed out. Students in The Gunnery’s Entrepreneurship Class had a chance to pitch their ideas for new businesses and products on May 15 in a setting modeled after the popular ABC-TV reality show “Shark Tank.”
Three students from The Gunnery, Gwendolyn Brown ’20, Ariel Wen ’21 and Rachel Cohen ’18, were selected as finalists in the Second Annual Storm King School Poetry Festival held April 28 in Cornwall-On-Hudson, New York. The Gunnery students were among 19 poets representing nine independent schools who were chosen as finalists by Storm King alumnus and poet Steve Hirsch ’77 and Hudson Valley poet laureate Robert Milby. Organizers of the festival received more than 125 poetry submissions from students around the region this year.
The Gunnery honored students for their accomplishments in music, creative writing and the visual arts at the annual Arts & Letters Luncheon held May 1. Upon arriving at Solley Dining Hall, faculty and students were treated to an impressive exhibit of student artwork on display in the main hallway.
On Sunday, April 29, The Gunnery sponsored an inaugural “Rooted Research Conference: An Exploration of Heritage and History,” featuring illustrated, place-based and primary-sourced history papers about the local area. There were four talks as well as a luncheon roundtable presented by “Witness Stones” of Guilford, Connecticut.
It’s a favorite month and night of the year! The Gunnery’s celebration of National Poetry Month started off with a bang with the slam poetry of Taylor Mali, and on April 26, the English Department hosted its annual poetry recitation competition, complete with a birthday cake for William Shakespeare. Each English class enters its best contestant and anyone else from the school community – young, old, teacher, student, faculty child – is welcome to compete. The best in each class can then choose whether to recite, or not to recite their poem during a School Meeting.
The Gunnery welcomed 16 distinguished alumni back to campus on April 25 for Alumni Career Day. The event provided current students with a unique opportunity to talk with alumni, ask questions and learn more about where their career paths have taken them.
On Monday, May 28, 2018, The Gunnery will graduate 82 students, representing 11 states and 13 countries, who comprise the Class of 2018. This will be the 168th Commencement of the school, which was founded in 1850 by abolitionist, individualist and outdoorsman Frederick Gunn.
Students in The Gunnery’s AP U.S. History and AP Government classes recently visited the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York with History Department Chair Bart McMann. Students toured the museum and were granted special access to documents pertaining to the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
Students in The Gunnery’s ceramics classes are donating their hand-thrown ceramic bowls to an Empty Bowls Project Dinner to benefit New Milford Food Bank. The dinner will be held Saturday, April 28 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Hunt Hill Farm, 44 Upland Road, New Milford. Tickets are $20 per person.
Four students in The Gunnery’s AP Economics class participated in the 2018 Harvard Pre-Collegiate Economics Challenge, held April 14 at historic Harvard Yard. The Gunnery’s team, composed of Mark Choi ’18, Anthony Cochrane ’18, Lynn Wang ’18 and Jean Fang ’20, competed against more than 40 teams of high school students – and beat the team from Phillips Exeter Academy in a quiz bowl round. They also had the opportunity to meet Greg Mankiw, the Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics at Harvard University and former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush.
Today is officially Earth Day but The Gunnery organized its own “Earth Day” celebration earlier this month, engaging students in field trips and hands-on activities to promote sustainability and generate greater awareness of the natural world.
“Emerging Artists,” a juried exposition that opened April 14 at Hunt Hill Farm’s Henderson Gallery in New Milford, features works by 15 students at The Gunnery. Of those, four received awards at the opening on April 14: Jean Fang ’19 won for best painting, Jenna Sittler ’18 won for illustration, Zoe Davis-Bowers ’18 won for collage, and Talia Zabit ’19 won Best in Show.
On Sunday, April 29, The Gunnery will sponsor an inaugural “Rooted Research Conference” featuring illustrated, place-based and primary-sourced history papers about the local area. A call for papers was issued in January to local schools, museums, and historical entities. There will be four lectures as well as a luncheon round table presented by “Witness Stones” of Guilford, Connecticut, that will show the development of lost histories with the help of regional gravestones.
On April 10, as part of the 2017-2018 Speaker Series, Gunnery neighbor, author and journalist David Owen, spoke to the school about his latest book, “Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River,” in which he chose to illustrate the environmental issues facing the 21st century. Published in April 2017, the book began as a New Yorker article and provides “an eye-opening account of where our water comes from and where it all goes.”
A reception will be held in Tisch Schoolhouse on Friday, April 20 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. to celebrate an exhibit of new works by artist Andrew Richards P’20, Chair of the Visual Arts Department. The exhibit will remain on view through the spring.
Looking for a great way to spend the summer? Come to summer camp at The Gunnery! This year, the school will offer rowing, field hockey and soccer camps, and we are welcoming Litchfield Jazz Camp to our campus. Registration is now open for these programs:
Students put their world language skills to the test March 19 during The Gunnery’s second annual World Language Olympics. All students who take a world language class participated in the one-hour event, in which 18 teams competed for points based on their correct answers to trivia questions about language and culture. Points were also awarded for the most team spirit.
More than 100 schools and some 3,300 students joined The Gunnery’s delegation of 16 students and two chaperones at the Washington Hilton in the District of Columbia for the North American Invitational Model UN hosted by the Georgetown University International Relations Association February 15-18. The event is “one of the largest and oldest UN simulations for high school students in North America and the world.”
As part of its ongoing Speaker Series, The Gunnery welcomed Martin Speight, D.Phil, Emeritus Professor in Zoology at the University of Oxford, England on February 7, and James Nolan, Ph.D., Washington Gladden 1859 Professor of Sociology at Williams College, on February 15.
NASA has awarded a $6,000 grant to The Gunnery for its robotics team, which is entering a robotics competition for the first time. The Gunnery was the only school in Connecticut to receive a Program Growth Grant from the NASA Robotics Alliance Project for the 2018 season. Two other high schools in the state received Sustaining Grants from NASA for their veteran robotics teams.
The Gunnery will welcome the students and faculty of Litchfield Jazz Camp to its campus in Washington, Connecticut, for the first time this summer. This exciting new partnership will bring 50 to 100 boarding and day students to The Gunnery each week during the month of July. Students can enroll for one or more sessions, which will be offered, July 1 – 6, July 8 – 13, July 15 – 20, and July 22 – 27.
The winter musical at The Gunnery, “Rent: School Edition,” will be presented by The Gunnery Drama Society in the Lemcke Theater of the Emerson Performing Arts Center February 22, 23, and 24 at 7 p.m. The public is cordially invited and admission is free.
As part of its ongoing Speaker Series, The Gunnery is proud to present Martin Speight, D.Phil, Emeritus Professor in Zoology at the University of Oxford, England on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 7 p.m. and James Nolan, Ph.D., Washington Gladden 1859 Professor of Sociology at Williams College, on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 7 p.m. Both speakers will present in the Ogden D. Miller Memorial Athletic Center, Lower Gym and the community is invited to attend. Admission is free.
In observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, hundreds of students from The Gunnery participated in community service activities in Washington and surrounding towns and cities, including Waterbury, New Britain, Torrington, Litchfield, Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport.
Lithuanian tree cake, French crepes and spicy Korean noodles were among the big hits at The Gunnery’s annual International Fair, which attracted more than 100 students and faculty to Virginia Hamilton Solley Hall on January 16. The event featured international cuisine, costumes, music and displays reflecting the school’s culturally diverse community. Gunnery students currently hail from 22 countries, and the fair provided many of them with an opportunity to highlight what makes them and their countries’ cultures unique.
During the brief period between Thanksgiving and Winter Break, seniors in The Gunnery’s English IV classes completed a poetry unit, which resulted from a unique collaboration among five members of the English Department faculty.
In his introduction of David Hinton, the internationally recognized poet, essayist and award-winning translator of classical Chinese poetry and philosophy, Dr. Nick Benson cited the statistic that, of the 600,000 books published annually in the U.S. less than three percent are translated and, of those, less than one percent are literary. And yet, when asked to cite favorite reads, folk, more often than not, offer translated titles.
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.