The Frederick Gunn School, a co-ed boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 as well as a post-graduate year, was founded in 1850 by Frederick Gunn. Mr. Gunn took a principled stand against slavery and spurred students (and the town at large) to examine their beliefs. He also had a deep appreciation for the natural world, believing that in nature students understand themselves as humans and their place in the world. In addition to the habits and skills students will need in college and life beyond, we teach them to follow Mr. Gunn’s example: to cultivate wisdom, to be trailblazers, to act with conviction, and to value character as highly as intellect and achievement.
Gunn’s innovative learning ecosystem is built around four distinctive pillars: risk-taking and innovation, learning yourself and how to learn, public character and active citizenship, and a sense of rootedness and place. These four pillars inform all that we do on campus with the following programs serving as examples of putting our pillars into action. The Center for Citizenship and Just Democracy is a four-year curriculum central to each student’s development where we put the focus on reasoned dialogue and rational debate. In the classroom, our Innovation, Design, Engineering and Applied Scholarship program is a collaborative curriculum that crosses the boundaries of engineering, science, math and business. Through our Center for Entrepreneurship, students develop skills that we know matter for life itself – self-awareness, creativity, ability to assess risk, team orientation, resilience and being proactive. Away from the classroom and inspired by our pillars, Gunn Outdoors is a cornerstone experience on our campus promoting outdoor life and allowing students further opportunities to take risks, problem solve and lead in a world that won’t conform to their every desire.