TGS is excited to welcome Mr. David Miller, the new Director of Global Programs. David comes to Gunston from New York where he worked for the Global Journeys department at Avenues: The World School, a private Nursery-12 school in Manhattan. This fall David will receive a Master's of Arts in International Education with a focus on secondary education. In his free time, he loves to cook, travel, and play tennis. David is also an avid language learner with proficiency in Spanish, Chinese, and basic French.
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Front row left to right: Ben Byerly '17, Isabelle Schmittinger '19, Becky DeFino '19, Emma Johnson '17, Elyssa Merton '19, Tyler Judd '18. Back row left to right: George Bowie '17, Griffin Hecht '19, Henry Parkhurst '18, Davy Song '19, and Spanish Teacher Ms. Avis Wheatley
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."
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.
The Chester River Association and Gunston School are excited to announce a suite of campus restoration practices, which will filter stormwater running off campus, revitalize the school's access to the river, and provide lasting educational opportunities for students and members of the community. This two-year project is funded by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' Chesapeake & Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, Queen Anne's County, Gunston School, and the Corsica River Conservancy.
"Our goal as a school is to be a regional and national leader in environmental teaching and learning," says Gunston Headmaster John Lewis says. "We hope this restoration will serve as a model for others to follow."
The suite of practices installed will reduce nutrient and sediment pollution to the river and create habitat for native species, thereby taking steps towards achieving Gunston's vision of a green campus. The project consists of three ravine stabilizations, an educational rain garden and stormwater conveyance system, and a revitalization of the steep slope that provides access to the Corsica River.
"We are thrilled with the support from the community to enact these Best Management Practices on our waterfront campus," says Emily Beck, Gunston's Director of Sustainability. "These actions, and the resulting spaces, will help further our mission of educating environmentally minded scholars, citizens, and leaders."
"The restoration of Gunston's campus will result in cleaner water in the Corsica and Chester rivers," says Isabel Hardesty, Chester Riverkeeper. "The number of diverse partners and funding sources for this project shows commitment to the School and to cleaning up our local waters."
The project was one of 18 recipients awarded funding through the Trust Fund to improve the health of Maryland's waterways. The Trust Fund is a catalyst for state and local partners to collaboratively focus limited financial resources on the most effective and efficient projects aimed at enhancing and restoring the Chesapeake Bay.
"The Department is pleased to work with the Gunston School, Chester River Association, Corsica River Conservancy, and Queen Anne's County," says Carrie Decker, of the Department's Chesapeake and Coastal Service, which administers the Trust Fund. "This model proves again and again that this is a system that works: state investments partnered with local implementation programs and capacities provide the greatest reach and value to our diverse communities."
"Queen Anne's County is committed to supporting efforts to reduce the amount of nutrients and sediments that enter our rivers," says Queen Anne's County Senior Planner Rob Gunter. "We are excited to assist in supporting these restoration projects on Gunston's campus, where they will provide educational opportunities for students as well as campus visitors." The project will assist the County in meeting its Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) pollution reduction requirements.
"We try to take advantage of every opportunity to educate our citizens, especially the young, about environmental preservation. It is one of the best ways to ensure the long term health of our environment," says the Corsica River Conservancy's President, Steven Miller. The Conservancy is funding educational signage for the project.
Bagpiper Hal Cummings led the processional, as the girls in white formal dresses carrying flower bouquets and boys in blue blazers and khakis processed slowly into the ceremony. Class President Lizhi "Cliff" Peng opened with a warm greeting, followed by each senior presenting a favorite quote, a long-time tradition at the school.
This year's commencement speaker was W. W. "Buck" Duncan, Jr. Mr. Duncan currently serves as President of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation and previously held the position of President & CEO for The Talbot Bank. Mr. Duncan earned a Master's Degree in Management from University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and received a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Davis & Elkins College, Elkins, West Virginia. He was a Captain in the United States Air Force as well. Mr. Duncan has served on several local boards including United Fund of Talbot County, Rotary Club of Easton, The Memorial Hospital at Easton and Chesapeake College Foundation and commissioner of the Easton Utilities Commision. Mr. Duncan lives in Easton.
Duncan's address focused on life lessons he has learned over the second and third quarters of his life, "1. Be thankful for everything worthwhile in your life. 2. Accept responsibility for your actions and lack of actions. 3. Respect yourself, your family, your friends and your associates. 4. Maintain a healthy self esteem. 5. Make and take advantage of opportunities—even though this comes with risks. 6. The positive "can-do" attitude can make good things happen to you everyday."
On Friday, June 9, the Green & White Awards Ceremony was held in The Field House. Student Government President, Elijah Schut opened the ceremony, followed by Headmaster John Lewis. Mr. Lewis addressed the class of 2017 and praised them for their accomplishments, adding what a privilege it had been to lead such an extraordinary group of young men and women. He wished them all the best in their future endeavors.
Valedictorian Xinying "Elaine" Jiang reflected on her years at Gunston. "I would say the past four years was a journey to find who you are. Many of us developed our own path. Some are into art; some are into politics; some are into sports. Senior year was the most meaningful year for me to witness how my classmates are different from each other and how we all make different choices." Elaine concluded with reminding her fellow classmates that they are young and this is the time for chasing dreams and taking risks.
Several faculty members participated in the presentation of awards, which recognized the following students:
Valedictorian—Samuel A. Middleton Award: Xinying "Elaine" Jiang
The Gunston Award: Ethan Boone
Leadership Award: Lauren Covell
Community Service—Marguerite Thomas Award: Nicole Blades
Moore Award for Improvement: Jason Staley
The Faculty Award: Abigail Miller and Madalyn Romberger
Environmental Stewardship Award: Evan Donohue
Paul M. Long Award: Henry Parkhurst
Clare Poussard Award: Tirza Enriquez
Megan V. Batdorf Award: Susie Fordi
The Anita Gruss Athletics Award: Alice Agee and Evan Donohue
Art Award: Tong Shen
Music Award: Tianqi "Stacey" Shi
Theatre Award: Benjamin Byerly
Mathematics Award: Emma Johnson
Science Award: Olivia Sherman
Engineering: Ryan Redding and George Bowie
Bay Studies: Nikki Blades, Sophie Cooper, Cole Evans, Cedar Foster, Malachi Graham, Tim Hesford, Phin Howell, Lila Ingersoll, Sam Johnson, Abby Miller, Michael Nickerson, Henry Parkhurst, Max Scott, Caroline Taylor, Owen White, George Bowie, Jamie Caron, Jack Morrison, Cliff Peng, Ryan Redding, Tong Shen, Emily Teng, Tanner Ways, Oliver Wu
History—Capt. John P. W. Vest Award: Timothy Hesford
Spanish Award: George Bowie
Latin—Marie W. Whittico Award: Xinying "Elaine" Jiang
English Language Acquisition: Qirui "Allen" Wang
English—Sandra Slacum Spears Award: Emma Johnson
Literature—Hila C. Ferguson Award: Alice Agee
Junior Symposium Award: Lila Ingersoll
Senior Paradigm Project Award: Nicole Blades
The final award, the coveted Green & White Cup for the 2016-2017 school year, was presented to the White Team! Twice each year, Gunston declares a "green & white field day" as students, faculty and staff divide into two teams and compete in activities that range from canoe races, tennis matches, a pie eating contest and sack races, to math competitions, creative writing challenges, ultimate Frisbee, photography and more. The team accumulating the most points from both days wins the Green & White Cup.
Freshman Annabelle Gillespie captures her Bay Studies trip to Fox Island.