The Gunnery

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The Gunnery
The Gunnery logo.jpg
Vir Bonus Semper Discipulus Est
A good man (person) is always a student.
99 Green Hill Road
Washington, Connecticut, 06793
United States
Type Private, College prep
Day & Boarding
Established 1850
CEEB Code 070-825
Head of School Peter W.E. Becker
Academic Dean Chapin B. Miller
Faculty 55
Grades 912/PG Year
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment 288 (2014-15[1])
Average class size 12 students
Student to teacher ratio 6:1
Campus size 220 acres (0.89 km2)
Campus type Rural
Athletics conference NEPSAC
Sports 15 sports teams
Accreditation NEASC

The Gunnery is a private coeducational boarding and day prep school located in rural Connecticut, United States. The 220-acre (0.89 km2) campus borders the village green of Washington, a small, historic town in Litchfield Hills. Despite its name, the Gunnery has no military affiliations and is a non-sectarian school.

The Gunnery was founded in 1850 by Frederick W. Gunn, a teacher, abolitionist, and father of recreational camping in America. It was originally 30 boys on 50 acres.[2] In 1894 The Ridge School was founded as an affiliated junior school for younger boys. The basic mission of The Gunnery is to promote the four cornerstones on which character is built: scholarship, integrity, respect and responsibility.

The Gunnery’s academic curriculum emphasizes the liberal arts; Advanced Placement courses and many electives are offered in all disciplines. Classes average 15 students in size and are taught as seminars.


The Gunnery was founded by Frederick William Gunn and his wife Abigail in 1850. Their school offered a classical education typical of Anglican tradition schools of the time but also emphasized on athletic opportunities, environmental awareness and moral values. In a less inclusive era, the Gunns' school welcomed girls, international students and African American children. The 1920's saw sweeping changes brought to the school. It became an all-boys school, enrollment tripled and new buildings were added. During World War II, the Gunnery prepared boys for entering the armed forces. In 1977, the Gunnery returned to its coeducational roots. For several years prior, the Gunnery had a partnership with the nearby all-girls school Wykeham Rise, which has since closed.[3][4] The first female head was appointed in 1991.

Academics and Programs[edit]

The Scholar Strands are designed to allow for an intensive focus in an area of interest while at the same time insuring exposure to a range of courses that balance out the depth of a given focus. The four strands are as follows: STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math), Entrepreneurship, Language and Culture, and Humanities.[5]

The Gunnery LEADS Program - Learning for Ethical Engagement, Active Citizenship and Dedicated Service - is a four-year curriculum based on the mission of the school. In concert with their experience in the residential campus environment, students develop the life learning and leadership skills needed to be active and responsible citizens, both locally and globally. Students are encouraged to engage in topics and projects of interest that foster self-awareness and responsibility. The curriculum progresses each year, but has been developed to facilitate integration for students new to the Gunnery, and aims to teach stewardship, character and community engagement.[6]


The Gunnery is a day and boarding school, with 68% of its students residing in one of the ten dormitories on campus. Residential students are looked after by faculty and students designated as Residential Assistants (RA's).[7] In most cases, students are grouped by class. Each dormitory consists primarily of single and double student rooms, but also houses faculty members and their families. 85% of the faculty lives on campus.


Fall Winter Spring
Crew (boys and girls) Basketball (boys and girls) Baseball (boys)
Field Hockey (girls) Ice hockey (boys and girls) Golf (coed)
Football (boys) Skiing (coed) Lacrosse (boys and girls)

Tennis (boys and girls)

Soccer (boys and girls) Wrestling (boys) Softball (girls)
Cross-Country (boys and girls) Ultimate Frisbee (coed)
Crew (boys and girls) Crew (boys and girls)

Notable alumni[edit]

Gunnery Camp, called the first organized summer camp


  1. ^ School Profile
  2. ^ Thomas, Grace Powers (1898). Where to educate, 1898-1899. A guide to the best private schools, higher institutions of learning, etc., in the United States. Boston: Brown and Company. p. 37. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  3. ^ About Us — History
  4. ^ "Wykeham Rise site to become high-end country inn". The News-Times. August 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ Scholar Strands
  6. ^ Gunnery LEADS Program
  7. ^ Dorm Life
  8. ^ "Class Notes". The Gunnery Bulletin (The Gunnery). Autumn 2013. p. 40. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°37′49″N 73°18′42″W / 41.6303°N 73.3118°W / 41.6303; -73.3118