Leadership, Character, Service, and Scholarship: NHS Induction

On Thursday, November 16, thirty-two students were inducted into the National Honor Society at The Gunston School. The National Honor Society (NHS) is a prestigious organization for juniors and seniors, which requires them to hold a grade point average of at least 88 and to meet the society’s rigorous non-academic criteria.

The inductees, their parents, and current NHS members gathered in the Susie Konkel Atrium for breakfast, pictures and celebration before the induction ceremony that was held in the Field House. Welcoming remarks were made by Headmaster John Lewis, who spoke about the importance of pursuing the four key National Honor Society values: leadership, character, service, and scholarship.

Photo: NHS Inductees: front row (l-r): Ellie Merton, Becky DeFino, Shiloh Clark, Camy Kelly, Leah Hellwege, Nellie Stup, Megan Prochaska, Elena Sherman, Anneliese Clair, Caroline Roser, Hope Murphy; middle row (l-r): Si-tong (Vicky) Zhou, Marisa Pisapia, Phin Howell, Nick Lee, Jack Morrison, Sheng Hao (Jack) Xu, Pengyu (Oliver) Wu, Katie Easter, Cora Duncan, Kejing (Karen) Chen; back row (l-r): Cole Evans, Menel Harris, Nick Basham, Mitchel Naumann, Yifan (Michael) Shen, Haorui (Davy) Song, Drew Seaman, James Pratt. Missing: Yuxuan (Ciara) Chen, Paige Murphy, and Claire Johnson.

Following Mr. Lewis’ remarks, the keynote address was delivered by Mr. Lance Richardson, State’s Attorney for Queen Anne’s County (and NHS member). Mr. Richardson spoke to the student body and guests about goal setting, “not only do you have to set goals, but you also need to map out a plan on how you will achieve your goals.”

To highlight the core values of NHS, four candles were lit by current members, as senior and NHS president Henry Parkhurst spoke about the meaning of each value. NHS Secretary Alli Webb read each inductee’s accomplishments as they were called up one-by-one, to receive a certificate, pin, and rose, and to sign their names into the NHS registry. To make them official members of the society, current members pinned the inductees with a pin bearing the NHS logo and the pledge was recited, led by Henry Parkhurst. To conclude the ceremony, Mr. Michael Kaylor, the NHS advisor, shared words of wisdom and high praises to the students for their accomplishments.

We congratulate this year’s NHS Chapter Officers and Inductees.

Officers
President: Henry Parkhurst, Vice President: Susie Fordi, Secretary: Alli Webb, Treasurer: Neel Patel, Historian: Gillian Felton, Parliamentarian: Chris Newberg, Public Relations: Lila Ingersoll

Members
Heidi Barcus, Kangcheng (Max) Cao, Simiao (Grace) Dai, Rongjie (Rose) Fan, Steven Goss, Sam Johnson, Mary Macmillan, Ryleigh Paskoski, Lily Phipps, Joey Smith, Baoyi (Betty) Zhou

Inductees
Grade 12: Yuxuan (Ciara) Chen, Jack Morrison, Hope Murphy, Mitchell Naumann, Pengyu (Oliver) Wu, Sheng Hao (Jack) Xu. Grade 11: Nick Basham, Kejing (Karen) Chen, Anneliese Clair, Shiloh Clark, Becky DeFino, Cora Duncan, Katie Easter, Cole Evans, Menel Harris, Leah Hellwege, Phin Howell, Claire Johnson, Camy Kelly, Nick Lee, Ellie Merton, Paige Murphy, Marisa Pisapia, James Pratt, Megan Prochaska, Caroline Roser, Drew Seaman, Yifan (Michael) Shen, Elena Sherman, Haorui (Davy) Song, Nellie Stup, Vicky Zhou.

The Gunston School Announces First Quarter Academic Honors

Congratulations to the following students for earning High Honors or Honors for the first quarter of the 2017-2018 academic year. To earn a place on the High Honors list, a student must have an A average and effort grades of “S” or above. To earn Honors, a student must achieve a B+/A- average and effort grades of “S” or above.

High Honors: Grade 12—Simon Cawley, Yuxuan (Ciara) Chen, Susie Fordi, Steven Goss, Lila Ingersoll, Sam Johnson, Mary Macmillan, Hope Murphy, Chris Newberg, Alex Papadopolous, Henry Parkhurst, Ryleigh Paskoski, Lily Phipps; Grade 11—Brooks Armstrong, Kejing (Karen) Chen, Katie Easter, Cole Evans, Will Gibson, Phin Howell, Paige Murphy, James Pratt, Megan Prochaska, Caroline Roser, Katie Schizy, Yifan (Michael) Shen, Elena Sherman, Haorui (Davy) Song, Nellie Stup, Yong (George) Yan; Grade 10—Eily Ashley, Yuntian (Areopl) Bai, Emily Gray, Grace Holmes, Wyatt Howell, Katie Moreau, Will Newberg, Yaxuan (Joey) Zhuo; Grade 9—Avy Aubin, Helen Boone, Em Borghardt, Arianna Campi, Julie Ireland, Toni McCluskey, Sydney Nittle, Ethan Nuessle, Adie Parish, Lydia Periconi, Severin Schut, Hannah Worth.

Honors: Grade 12—Heidi Barcus, Kangcheng (Max) Cao, Simiao (Grace) Dai, Rongjiee (Rose) Fan, Gillian Felton, Yohanes Gray, Wenyuan (Nick) Li, Robert Messier, Jack Morrison, Mitchell Naumann, Dutch Nickerson, Neel Patel, Garrett Rudolfs, Charlotte Sheets, Joey Smith, Alli Webb, Pengyu (Oliver) Wu, Baoyi (Betty) Zhou; Grade 11—Dolan Carella, Shiloh Clark, Malachi Graham, Menel Harris, Yanni Harris, Leah Hellwege, Grafton Howard, Claire Johnson, Camy Kelly, Nick Lee, Miao (Suzy) Li, Ellie Merton, Marisa Pisapia, Drew Seaman, Katie Staley, Sam Umidi, Anna Wolf, Fuji (Cynthia) Yang, Sitong (Vicky) Zhou; Grade 10—Andrew Amygdalos, MacCallum Borghardt, Mark Bourdin, Cotter Buckley, Natalie Cockey, Nina De Angelo, Frankie Fisher, Cedar Foster, Lynsey Hildebrand, Lily Judd, Nick Kellogg, Martina Kreienbuehl, Payton Lord, Hunter Mansfield, Michael Nickerson, Mason Rudolfs, Isabella Santobani, Max Scott, Peter Sharpless, Abby Silva, Owen White; Grade 9—Bella Adams, Zack Anderson, Lily Bernsten, Maxmillian Brady, Tiger Christman, Lydia Davis, Kayla Flood, Glynis Gardner, Reagan Gessford, Olivia Hershey, Campbell Parkhurst, Connor Reichardt, Emily Ryon, Joshua Sanford, Owen Santora, Charlie Shifron, Henry Shifron, Christian Walker, Haoying (Grace) Wang, Colin Ward.

Gunston Sends Balloon into Near Space

On Friday, Oct. 20, the Gunston Science and Engineering Club launched our fifth mission to “near space”—the region above where aircraft fly, but below the orbits of satellites. The payload included cameras, tracking devices, and instrumentation to measure temperature and pressure. A weather balloon was used to carry the payload to the stratosphere. The balloon then burst as expected and the payload returned gently to Earth by parachute. The balloon was launched from the Gunston campus and landed near Laurel, DE a little more than 2 hours later.

Balloon looking down on launch team

The balloon reached an altitude of 19.44 miles, a record high altitude from past missions. The lowest pressure measured was less than 1% of the barometric pressure at the Earth’s surface. Preliminary results indicate that the science payload detected the tropopause with a temperature around -70 degrees Fahrenheit. The balloon was approximately 6 ft in diameter when launched and 20+ ft in diameter when it burst.

Dr. Mariah Goodall and Mr. Tom Chafey led two chase cars that beat the payload to its landing site, enabling them to observed the payload descending on its parachute—another Gunston first. Mr. Dale Wegner, father of Gunston alumni Jay Wegner, set up the tracking for the chase cars and several tracking stations for students who were not part of the chase.

The science and engineering club is led by Alli Webb ‘18 President, Jack Morrison ‘18 Vice President, and Garrett Rudolfs ‘18 Secretary. The Mission Commander for the balloon launch is Brynne Kneeland ‘19. In total, 21 students assisted in preparing the payload, launching the balloon, and recovering the balloon. They divided up into seven teams for different jobs: launch, payload, imaging, science, trajectory, tracking, and recovery. The club mentors are Dr. Ken Wilson and Dr. Mariah Goodall.

Gunston Raises over $80,000 at the Bull & Oyster Roast

Freshman parent Chris Nittle and Headmaster John Lewis.

On Saturday, October 14, The Gunston School held its annual Bull & Oyster Roast & Alumni Reunion. Nearly 270 parents, trustees, alumni and friends gathered on TGS’s campus for this sold-out event to support the school in its largest fundraiser of the year.

The evening began with twelve teams competing in a Cornhole Tournament, while alumni, including the Class of 2007, reunited with their old classmates and teachers. Other guests mingled, enjoyed shucked and steamed oysters, and tried their luck on silent auction items that were generously donated by local businesses and Gunston families.

A new twist was added to the Live Auction this year—prior to the event, raffle tickets were sold for a chance at one of the ten Live Auction items. The items included vacations to Deep Creek, Jamaica, and Orlando, as well as a signed Paul Reed Smith guitar. The lucky winner was alum Cynthia (Rosasco) Latimer ’81. Although not present at this year’s event, Cindi is a long-time supporter of Gunston and regularly contributes to the auction through donations or auction bidding. “As an alumna I have a tender heart for the spirit of Gunston and respect for her past and for her future. Purchasing the raffle was a fun yet creative way to support Gunston.”

In keeping with tradition, the Live Auction was interrupted midway through for “Raise the Paddle.” Headmaster John Lewis announced that this year’s funded item was new sports equipment for the Heron House sports facility, that is currently under renovation.

All in all, the evening was a huge success, raising over $80,000, which will go towards supporting student programs. John Lewis commented, “The generosity of our parents and friends is truly extraordinary, and this generosity translates directly into a stronger educational program for all of our students.”

Local businesses were key to the success of this auction. Over 200 businesses, community members, and families from throughout the Eastern Shore and Annapolis donated items, and made financial contributions to this year’s fundraising event.

Gunston would like to extend a special thanks to our sponsors— The Gunston School Board of Trustees, The Gladwood Foundation, Intown Management (Gigi & Steve Hershey), Ashley Insurance, IT Direct (Bess & Ralph Riddle), Karen & John Morrison, Ty & Dawn Barrett-Kennedy on behalf of the Arnold F. Baggins Foundation, Freestate and Son Insurance, ZIPS Dry Cleaning (Theresa & Bart Casiello), Gillespie and Son, and Gillespie Precast, Dogwood Acres (Audrey & Kurt Reighardt), Kent School, Peggy & John Christie, Mara & Walt Schmittinger, Lundenberg Builders, Peter & Elise Kunkel, John & Laurie Lewis, Atlantic Broadband, Impressive Printing, Trinity Floors, Radcliffe Creek School, Robert & Nancy Shoemaker—and, the Gunston Parents’ Association, Gunston’s faculty and staff, and the 2017 Bull & Oyster Roast Committee Chairs—Trish Rudolfs, Jill Meyerhoff, Colleen & Eric Silva, Karen Morrison, Karen Talbott, Trudy Schiwy, and Greta Umidi who worked tirelessly to create a spectacular evening.

Gunston parents (L-R): Colleen Moran-Silva, Beth Campbell and Trish Lucus.

On Saturday, October 14, The Gunston School held its annual Bull & Oyster Roast & Alumni Reunion. Nearly 270 parents, trustees, alumni and friends gathered on TGS’s campus for this sold-out event to support the school in its largest fundraiser of the year.

The evening began with twelve teams competing in a Cornhole Tournament, while alumni, including the Class of 2007, reunited with their old classmates and teachers. Other guests mingled, enjoyed shucked and steamed oysters, and tried their luck on silent auction items that were generously donated by local businesses and Gunston families.

A new twist was added to the Live Auction this year—prior to the event, raffle tickets were sold for a chance at one of the ten Live Auction items. The items included vacations to Deep Creek, Jamaica, and Orlando, as well as a signed Paul Reed Smith guitar. The lucky winner was alum Cynthia (Rosasco) Latimer ’81. Although not present at this year’s event, Cindi is a long-time supporter of Gunston and regularly contributes to the auction through donations or auction bidding. “As an alumna I have a tender heart for the spirit of Gunston and respect for her past and for her future. Purchasing the raffle was a fun yet creative way to support Gunston.”

In keeping with tradition, the Live Auction was interrupted midway through for “Raise the Paddle.” Headmaster John Lewis announced that this year’s funded item was new sports equipment for the Heron House sports facility, that is currently under renovation.

All in all, the evening was a huge success, raising over $80,000, which will go towards supporting student programs. John Lewis commented, “The generosity of our parents and friends is truly extraordinary, and this generosity translates directly into a stronger educational program for all of our students.”

Local businesses were key to the success of this auction. Over 200 businesses, community members, and families from throughout the Eastern Shore and Annapolis donated items, and made financial contributions to this year’s fundraising event.

Gunston would like to extend a special thanks to our sponsors— The Gunston School Board of Trustees, The Gladwood Foundation, Intown Management (Gigi & Steve Hershey), Ashley Insurance, IT Direct (Bess & Ralph Riddle), Karen & John Morrison, Ty & Dawn Barrett-Kennedy on behalf of the Arnold F. Baggins Foundation, Freestate and Son Insurance, ZIPS Dry Cleaning (Theresa & Bart Casiello), Gillespie and Son & Gillespie Precast, Dogwood Acres (Audrey & Kurt Reighardt), Kent School, Peggy & John Christie, Mara & Walt Schmittinger, Lundenberg Builders, Peter & Elise Kunkel, John & Laurie Lewis, Atlantic Broadband, Impressive Printing, Trinity Floors, Radcliffe Creek School, Robert & Nancy Shoemaker—and, the Gunston Parents’ Association, Gunston’s faculty and staff, and the 2017 Bull & Oyster Roast Committee Chairs—Trish Rudolfs, Jill Meyerhoff, Colleen & Eric Silva, Karen Morrison, Karen Talbott, Trudy Schiwy, and Greta Umidi who worked tirelessly to create a spectacular evening.

Gunston to Welcome Mary Evelyn Tucker for In Celebration of Books Program

On Friday, October 27, Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker, co-author with Brian Swimme of Journey of the Universe (Yale UP, 2011) will be visiting Gunston for the fall installment of the school’s In Celebration of Books program. Journey of the Universe was the 2017 Gunston community summer read and focuses on the story of the universe as seen through the multiple lenses of scientific discovery and human insight.

The book has already been incorporated into Gunston’s tenth grade curriculum as part of its innovative History of Ideas course. “We’re delighted to have Dr. Tucker join us for In Celebration of Books,” says Headmaster John Lewis. “Journey of the Universe asks us to consider questions about our identities as human beings and our relationship with each other. Beyond that, it also asks us to think about our collective role in the development of the universe, which is ever-evolving.”

Lewis says that the integrative approach of Journey of the Universe is reflective of Gunston’s overarching mission, which strives to educate “ethically and environmentally minded scholars, citizens, and leaders for our globalized society.” Tucker’s visit, he notes, “will be an opportunity for the community to engage in deeper conversation about issues that ultimately impact the ways in which we think about sustainability.”

Journey of the Universe is a multimedia project developed by Tucker and evolutionary philosopher Brian Swimme, with whom she has worked for some twenty-five years. In addition to the book, the project includes an Emmy award winning film, which was first broadcast on PBS and is now available on Amazon Prime. There is also a series of Journey Conversations that Tucker did with twenty scientists, historians, and environmentalists discussing the significance of this universe story, especially for ecological issues. For more information about the Journey of the Universe project, visit the website: www.journeyoftheuniverse.org

Dr. Tucker is a Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University where she has appointments in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as well as the Divinity School and the Department of Religious Studies. She teaches in the joint MA program in religion and ecology and directs the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale with her husband, John Grim.

Her keynote speech will be begin at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, October 27. The public is welcome to attend. After the keynote, Tucker will visit with tenth grade students in their History of Ideas classes.

New Gunston Students Arrive by Boat

On Tuesday, September 5, Gunston held its annual Embarkation ceremony. As a 107-year old school, Gunston has many traditions, but few are as meaningful as Embarkation—all new students and faculty arrive on their first day to campus by boat. Gunston’s sixty-four new students and seven new faculty and staff members departed from the Centreville Wharf, traveled down the Corsica River, and arrived at the school’s waterfront, where they were greeted by the school’s Headmaster, Mr. John Lewis. After shaking the Headmaster’s hand, each student signed the school’s honor code—Responsibilities of the Community, then climbed the stairs of the embankment and proceeded to shake the hand of every member of the student body, faculty and administration. “This ceremony is meaningful and symbolic” commented Lewis, “as it celebrates our unique connection to the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and also celebrates our strong sense of community.” Many of Gunston’s new parents were on hand to witness the event.

This year, Gunston—a co-educational college preparatory high school–is opening at a historically high enrollment of 195, and welcomes new students from Queen Anne’s, Kent, Talbot, Cecil, Caroline, and Anne Arundel counties, as well as Delaware. Gunston also welcomes a number of students from overseas, with students arriving this year from Switzerland, Japan, and China. Lewis said, “We’re excited to be welcoming such a large and talented class of new students, and with our largest enrollment, we are looking forward to a great year.”

Gunston Students Earned Medals on the National Spanish Exam

Congratulations to world language students from the Gunston School who recently attained national recognition for excellent performance on the 2017 National Spanish Examinations, earning a total of 1 gold, 3 silver, and 6 bronze medals along with 16 honorable mentions.

“Attaining a medal or honorable mention for any student on the National Spanish Examinations is very prestigious,” said Kevin Cessna-Buscemi, National Director of the Exams, “because the exams are the largest of their kind in the United States with over 157,000 students participating in 2017.”

Front row L-R: Ben Byerly ’17, Isabelle Schmittinger ’19, ​Re​ DeFino ’19, ​Emma​ Johnson ’17, Elyssa Merton ’19, Tyler Judd ’18. Back row L-R: George Bowie ’17, Griffin Hecht ’19, Henry Parkhurst ’18, Davy Song ’19, and Spanish Teacher Ms. Avis Wheatl​e​y.

Gold medalists at level 1: Haorui Song
Silver medalists at level 1: Griffin Hecht, Elyssa Merton
Silver medalists at level 5: George Bowie
Bronze medalists at level 1: Rebecca DeFino, Isabelle Schmittinger
Bronze medalists at level 2: Emma Johnson
Bronze medalists at level 3: Tyler Judd
Bronze medalists at level 4: Ben Byerly, Henry Parkhurst
Students receiving honorable mention at level 1: Rick Archambault, Philip Ashley, Tirza Enriquez, Zack Goss, Brennan Paddy, Garrett Rudolfs; at level 2: Chad Angelini, Simon Cawley, Emma Hottel, Hopewell Murphy, Ryleigh Paskoski, Neel Patel; at level 3: Alice Agee, Alex Papadopoulos, Maddy Romberger; at level 5: Abigail Miller.

The students were taught by Spanish teachers, Juan Angarita and Avis Wheatley. This is the fifth year Gunston has participated in the exams.

The National Spanish Examinations are sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

Gunston Crew Completes Season with Milestone at National Championships

The Gunston School’s Rowing team completed their spring season with invitations to the Scholastic Rowing Association of America’s National Championship Regatta in Cherry Hill, NJ. Competing against the top rowing programs in the country, Gunston was represented in the Boy’s and Girl’s Varsity 4+ categories.

Gunston’s Boy’s Varsity 4+ reached a milestone this year by breaking out of the first round of racing for the first time in this event in program history. Later in the day the crew went on to compete in the Repechage (second chance race) and placed 6th.

“The boys’ performance in their heat was exactly how we had practiced their race plan over the last few weeks. Thanks to their sprint they were able to edge themselves into 3rd place and avoid elimination from the regatta. They eventually reached elimination in the repechage but they were very happy with the way they rowed and left everything they had on the race course,” said Head Coach Nicole Stimpson.

Representing Gunston in the Boy’s Varsity 4+ were Coxswain Lauren Covell ‘17 (Annapolis, MD), Stroke Ben Jones ‘17 (Chestertown, MD), 3 Seat Ethan Boone ‘17 (Centreville, MD), 2 Seat Alex Papadopoulos ‘18 (Townsend, DE), and Bow Garrett Rudolfs ‘18 (Centreville, MD).

Gunston’s Girl’s 4+ placed 6th in their heat eliminating them from the regatta. “With a freshman coxswain, 2 sophomores, and 2 seniors the underclassmen in this crew were able to gain valuable race experience at this regatta,” said Stimpson. “After racing at nationals these younger athletes will be able to pass on their experiences and motivate their teammates this coming fall.”

Representing Gunston in the Girl’s Varsity 4+ were Coxswain Isabella Santoboni ‘20 (Annapolis, MD), Stroke Olivia Sherman ‘17 (Middletown, DE), 3 Seat Elena Sherman ‘19 (Middletown, DE), 2 Seat Katie Easter ‘19 (Grasonville, MD), Bow Maddy Romberger ‘17 (Sudlersville, MD).

A Fond Farewell: The Gunston School’s Class of 2017

Friday, May 19th marked a special day at The Gunston School. An annual tradition, Senior Transition Day and Disembarkation commemorates seniors’ final day on campus. During the day, the seniors enjoyed a walked down memory lane with a slide show highlighting their high school years, were welcomed into TGS Alumni Association, and with family and friends watching, placed a personalized brick on the Heron Walkway adding to the foundation of Gunston. The day ended with a receiving line of students and faculty wishing them farewell as they disembarked the Gunston campus on the Chester River Packet for a cruise down the Corsica and Chester Rivers. We wish the Class of 2017 the best of luck!

Gunston Competes in Academic Team National Championships

For the first time in school history, Gunston’s Academic Team competed in the in the National Association of Quiz Tournaments national championship tournament, held in Chicago at the end of April. Drawing many of the strongest academic secondary schools from across the country, the NAQT tournament is the premier academic quiz bowl tournament in the United States. The Herons finished 20th overall in the Charter and Private division. The team initially qualified for nationals at the Johns Hopkins Winter Tournament, and were led by Seniors Abigail Miller (Easton) and Sutter Phillips (Stevensville), Sophomore Phineas Howell (Chestertown) and Freshman Andrew Amygdalos (Dover, DE).

Pictured left to right: Phineas Howell, Headmaster John Lewis, Sutter Phillips, Abigail Miller, Andrew Amygdalos.

Gunston’s academic team coach, Headmaster John Lewis, said, “The team has worked incredibly hard all year, and it was fun to match wits with some of the best students in the country. They worked well as a team, and though we will miss Sutter and Abby, we look forward to heading back to nationals next year.”

The performance of Freshman Andrew Amygdalos was especially impressive. In a field typically dominated by 11th and 12th graders, he ranked as the 35th overall individual tournament scorer, making him one of the strongest 9th grade academic team players in the country.