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Gunston Explore the world of opportunities in this place of excellence, this close and strong community, this beautiful waterfront setting.

Established in 1911



A Place of Possibilities A Message from the Headmaster For over a century, The Gunston School’s culture of high expectations has not only prepared young men and women for success in college, but also to serve as scholars, citizens, and leaders in a globalized society. Our approach is simple: small classes, great teaching, motivated students, and a deeply personalized educational experience. All of this occurs on a 32-acre waterfront campus splendidly conducive to the healthy development of mind, body, and spirit. More like a family than a school, Gunston is a unique and special place to be, and we look forward to welcoming you to our campus!

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The Power of Personal Learning A Gunston education is a challenging and highly personal experience. With small classes averaging between 10 and 12 students, our school provides you with ample individual attention and the chance to pursue your unique interests. You will graduate with a set of academic and extracurricular achievements different from those of each of your classmates, reflecting your personal passions and strengths. Perhaps most important, you will learn with superb teachers who know you well and care deeply about your success. This personal approach makes for an education that is not only memorable, but also excellent. As one teacher has said, “Small classes mean the chance to go faster and to delve deeper. We hold extremely high expectations for our students—and they rise to meet them.”


In Celebration of Books One day each October, the Gunston campus transforms itself into a writers’ colony as a dozen or more published authors visit the school to lead workshops with our students and teachers. Participants have ranged from novelists and short story writers to a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and a past Poet Laureate of Maryland. For the students, it’s a chance to see more deeply into the craft of writing by working closely with practicing masters.

AP and Beyond Gunston offers an array of courses to challenge even the most gifted students and to reward the most curious. These include honors sections of classes across the curriculum and 14 Advanced Placement options, from Chemistry, Calculus, and Environmental Science, to Studio Art, European History, Latin and Spanish. In addition, electives such as Shakespeare, Psychology, Applied Ethics, and Robotics provide the chance to explore special interests in depth.

The Gunston Experience To help you make the most of your time at Gunston, from the first days of orientation through graduation, we created the Gunston Experience. This one-of-a-kind course meets once a week for all four years. It starts with a focus on planning your academic program and extracurricular choices, then evolves to cover topics ranging from leadership to social media issues, and SAT preparation.

A Global Education From world languages to courses exploring European history and Eastern religions, to annual cultural travel experiences abroad, Gunston offers an education that embraces the international

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nature of 21st century life. In addition, approximately 15% of our students come from Europe and Asia, thereby creating a student community of exceptional multicultural richness.

Scientific Inquiry We believe that to really learn science, you need to do science. This can start with simple experiments, such as calculating your own velocity and acceleration as you sprint 100 yards. It can involve ecological study in the water and woods around campus. It includes some surprising challenges too, for instance, designing, building, and launching a two-stage rocket. In each case, the goal is the same: learning to think like a scientist.

A Focus on the Arts At Gunston, the visual and performing arts are a part of every student’s education, equal in importance to English, physics or history. Whether the subject is vocal technique or silk screening, our students build essential skills in personal expression and creative problem solving. They also produce work of striking quality.

The Gunston Writing Project Few skills denote a great education more clearly than excellence in writing, and few schools focus on writing more strongly than Gunston. As a student here you will learn the step-by-step process of effective writing and gain experience with many forms: creative, expository, autobiographical, analytical. Challenges build toward the milestone of the Junior Symposium, a major research paper in which each student explores an important author in depth. When it comes time to take on college writing assignments, you will find yourself exceptionally well prepared.

On the Water Gunston’s location on the shores of the Corsica River makes it a place of unique beauty. From the Embarkation ceremony when new students arrive by boat, until the day they Disembark as seniors, the water is part of their experience. It is a living laboratory for studies of the aquatic habitat, a place to tend oysters with visiting elementary school partners, and a refuge in nature in which to write and reflect. It is also the home water for Gunston’s sailing and rowing programs. Welcoming both experienced athletes and students new to these sports, our teams have graduated a number of sailors and rowers recruited into collegiate programs, including national champions and All-Americans.


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“I started out at a public high school, and I didn’t realize how different things could be—that my teachers would care so much and know me so well, that my advisor could be such a good friend.”  Ethan Goodman, Annapolis, MD

“Being a part of this community has helped me grow as a person, get involved in so many ways, and become more confident and independent.”

“We don’t have exclusivity and we don’t have cliques. Everyone is friends with everyone.” Chastain Shenk, Chestertown, MD

Cole Meyerhoff, Easton, MD

“M y teachers at Gunston helped me figure out my future and get where I needed to be. They also helped me gain a great academic preparation  for the challenges I’m facing now.”  Emily Strong, Gunston ’09  U.S. Naval Academy ’14

“Each year starts as students sign the Responsibilities of the Community, our version of an honor code. What’s striking is that ‘respect,’ ‘trust,’ and ‘personal responsibility’ are not just words on the page. People really live them.” Amy Gross-Kehoe, Director of Waterfront Program

“If you go to a lacrosse game or school event, it doesn’t take long to see that kids and families come out to support each other. There’s a lot of involvement and energy, and everyone comes together in a really nice way.” Anna Fichtner, Parent, Easton, MD



No Bells for changing classes. Fall fun at the Country Fair. The best Earth Day celebration a school could have. Green and White Day, with competitions in everything from relay races to pumpkin carving (and you never know when it will happen). New students arriving for the start of school by boat at Embarkation. National Honor Society.  The Headmaster’s Holiday Ski Trip. 

A Sense of Community. Homecoming Dances and Bonfires. Morning Meeting of the whole school. More than 100 Years of History and traditions. Open Mic Night. Reunions. Spirit Week. The 3-on-3 Basketball charity tournament. Surprise delivery of the Yearbook by crop duster, hang glider, horse and buggy, or SCUBA diver. Seniors leaving in May at Disembarkation.

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At Play As a student-athlete at Gunston, you will have the opportunity to compete to the fullest of your potential and to experience all the growth in character that athletics can provide. The school believes deeply in the ideal of a healthy mind within a healthy body—an ideal our students pursue through 9 sports for boys and 10 for girls (full list on the inside back cover). Every student participates in athletics, and many play two or three team sports. Our teams compete intensely and Gunston teams often contend for conference titles. Those not involved in a team sport engage in our comprehensive fitness program.


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Explorations &Adventures For a small school, Gunston offers a big range of opportunities—to get involved, to pursue new interests, and to venture beyond campus. You will find a choice of clubs and sports, options in the arts and community service, plus more unusual possibilities. You might take part in a week-long wilderness journey, travel abroad, or explore a future career through an internship. Other schools offer some of these same choices, but few offer everyone the chance to try them all. At Gunston, you can discover talents you never knew you had. You can explore new interests without fear of failure. As a result, you can achieve success in ways you’ve never dreamed.


Bay Studies Every spring for one week, Gunston students and their teachers leave their classrooms for destinations across and around the Chesapeake Bay. They may sail on a skipjack or navigate the whitewater rivers of Western Maryland. They may study the history of James River settlements or of local pirates. They may bike, hike, or photograph lighthouses. It’s a rare chance to discover the beauty of the region, to see the complex ways people and nature interconnect, and to form lasting friendships.

Green Campus Initiative Living on the banks of a river that’s part of one of the most remarkable ecosystems in the world inspires people to take care of the environment. At Gunston, we compost and conserve water, recycle nearly everything, and work on habitat restoration projects. Certified as a Maryland Green School, we also compete in the Green Cup Challenge.

The Gunston Players Each winter members of the Gunston Players take to the stage of the Church Hill Theatre to bring their annual production to life. Works range from Shakespeare and Molière to Broadway comedies, while the cast members range from those who have always loved to act to some who have never tried it before. In this community, you can star on the soccer field one season and in The Three Musketeers the next.

The Gunston Chorale For those who love to sing, the Gunston Chorale offers a great opportunity, performing concerts throughout the year including the annual Eastern Shore Choral Festival. Those with a strong interest can receive individual voice

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instruction and perform as soloists. The Chorale has placed members in both All-Shore and All-State Choruses.

Senior Internships Work with an artist or a lawyer. Try life at a radio station or a biological research lab. Go behind the scenes at the Smithsonian. These are some of the opportunities Gunston students have pursued through senior internships, a twoweek chance to explore a future profession. Internships provide a real sense of independence, since students decide for themselves the kind of work they want to do and design their experiences.

Learning Abroad Each spring break many Gunston students travel with their teachers to cultural sites abroad, learning about history, art, music, and local customs in China, Australia, or Europe. And each year a few students take advantage of an even more exceptional opportunity—to study for a semester at the Island School in Cape Eleuthera in the Bahamas. Students live sustainably, scuba dive and kayak, learn environmental science and complete an ambitious capstone project.

Everyone Gives G.I.V.E. stands for Gunston Initiates Volunteer Efforts, and it serves as an umbrella for community service work that benefits everyone from school children to the elderly, and from hurricane victims to an entire village in Ghana. Every Gunston student performs some service, and many go well beyond the requirement. Some work is hands-on, like projects with Habitat for Humanity, while other projects involve raising money, collecting books, or securing food for the needy.

Planning for College Gunston has an outstanding record of preparing students to gain admission to the colleges and universities of their choice—and to thrive once enrolled. Our graduates go on to a broad variety of schools, including some of the nation’s most selective. Destinations range from Ivy League institutions such as Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania, to excellent small colleges like Swarthmore and Bowdoin, to flagship public universities such as Maryland, Michigan, and Texas. The process of college planning starts in ninth grade and continues through the senior year. Key components include College 101, a course that guides juniors and seniors step-bystep through the application process, and Naviance™, a powerful software tool useful in identifying schools that may be a good match. Gunston also offers onsite test preparation both through a self-guided module within Naviance™ and through a partnership with The Princeton Review.

However, the greatest advantage students find comes in the form of personalized attention and support. With a ratio of just 30 seniors per full-time counselor, each student receives extensive individual guidance. In addition, Gunston teachers know each of their students well and are able to write exceptionally strong letters of recommendation that reflect this knowledge. Of course, to make sound decisions, it is just as important that students know themselves well. Over the course of four years of growth, achievement, and reflection, their Gunston experience prepares them to make wise choices about the future, based on an unusually mature sense of their own strengths, talents, and ambitions.

Our School an independent co-ed day school, serving grades 9-12, founded in 1911 Location a 32-acre waterfront campus in Centreville, MD, drawing families from six Maryland counties and Delaware Curriculum a challenging college preparatory program featuring 14 AP courses, honors classes, and many specialized electives Class Sizes averaging 10-12 students, with extensive individual advising Special Offerings Bay Studies experiential learning program, senior internships, international travel, and In Celebration of Books—a writing workshop involving renowned authors College Guidance starting in ninth grade, offering extensive individual support, and placing students at an impressive range of colleges and universities

Kelsh Wilson design

Financial Aid  nearly half of families receive financial aid, which includes both need-based and merit-based aid Athletics Basketball (m,w) Crew (m,w) Field Hockey (w) Fitness Training (co-ed) Golf (co-ed) Lacrosse (m,w) Sailing (co-ed) Soccer (m,w) Swimming (co-ed) Tennis (co-ed)

To learn more about the school, to plan your visit, or to obtain an application, contact us at 410-758-0620 or visit our website: The Gunston School does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, ethnic origin, disability, or similar factors in its admission or financial aid policies.

911 Gunston Road PO Box 200 Centreville, Maryland 21617 p 410.758.0620 f 410.758.0628

Gunston Viewbook  

Admissions viewbook for The Gunston School

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