Clubs & Organizations
With students at the center of every program, Gunston actively seeks to train young people to be good citizens and to be leaders in their society. Leadership is a skill that can be taught, and students at Gunston have the opportunity to work closely with adult mentors who will help them develop and direct personally meaningful activities both in and outside their school. The network of young leaders blossoms in a nourishing environment that encourages students to fully engage in their passions, and classmates recognize and celebrate the contributions of each of their peers. Below are several of the opportunities available at Gunston, giving everyone a chance for visibility and support as they try on leadership roles in our community:
- Academic Team
- Art Club
- Coding Club
- Debate Team
- Effectrix Magazine
- Environmental Club
- Language Club
- Math Club
- Mental Health Awareness
- Model U.N. Club
- National Honor Society
- Philosophy & Pop Culture
- Read to Me
- Science & Engineering
- Student Diversity Leadership Group
- Student Government
- The Gunston Players
- World Cultures
Each week, the team practices "quiz bowl" questions from all areas of knowledge: Literature, Science, Music, Art, Sports, Pop Culture, Politics, Geography, etc., and several times per year, the team competes in large-scale regional tournaments. In 2017, the team qualified for the Small School Academic National Championship in Chicago, where Gunston matched up against the strongest schools in the country.
The Gunston Art Club will be meeting in Mr. Dize's room. Due to the limited amount of time, students will not be working directly on art projects. Instead, the time will be given over to looking at various artists throughout history and their work via various media-print and video. Additionally there will be time given over to critiquing student work.
The Gunston Coding Club exists to afford students the opportunity to explore programming outside the bounds of normal academic offerings. In Coding Club students may pursue Python and Pygames, game architecture, singleboard computers like the Raspberry PI and PCDuino, as well as sensors and certain robotics like the Arduino-based “Sparki”. We may also get involved in animation, mobile app design and construction using both XCode (for Swift/iOS) and Android Studio, and game design.
For students interested in current events, politics, and important social issues, Debate Club is ideal. Each week students engage with a club-wide debate question, using the National Speech and Debate's Association structure. Several times per year, members have the opportunity to participate in local, regional, and national debate tournaments using Public Forum and Lincoln-Douglas formats.
Effectrix celebrates Gunston's student writers and visual artists. Effectrix is published once a year and invites submissions of student writing across all genres: poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction (such as memoir/personal essays). In addition, Effectrix features original artwork and photography from Gunston students. The club is seeking students who are interested in the editorial and publication process, which includes submission review, graphic design, and copy editing.
Here on Gunston’s wooded, waterfront campus, we recognize that it is our responsibility to preserve our immediate and surrounding natural environment. As part of this important agenda, the Environmental Club works hard to keep the Gunston community aware of both local and global environmental issues. In doing so, we also strive to present easy and practical ways in which everyone and anyone can do their part to reduce our school’s negative ecological footprint. Part of these initiatives are accomplished and managed by the club: activities on and off campus that include recycling, composting, rainwater collection and water-quality testing as well as the organization of Gunston’s annual Earth Day Celebration.
Environmental Club is focused on greening Gunston, providing environmental service and stewardship opportunities for students, and designing our annual Earth Day celebration. Members of the club meet regularly to actively improve the sustainability of our campus. Club members are expected to be active participants during stewardship projects, club meetings, and off campus events. Club members should expect to attend two off campus events a year with the club.
In 2006, a group was formed to facilitate and organize the charitable efforts at Gunston. G.I.V.E. works toward school support of at least three philanthropic causes each year; one charity that is local, one that is national and one that is international. With this in mind, the Gunston community has taken on various projects in order to aid those in need, such as the Corsica River Conservancy, Adopt-a-Bear, and Habitat for Humanity, to name a few.
G.I.V.E. works toward school support of at least three charitable causes each year; one charity that is local, one that is national and one that is international. The organizations supported are voted on by the student body. Another goal of G.I.V.E. is to find opportunities and to invite all students to actively volunteer in our local communities.
The purpose of this club is to spread awareness and acceptance about mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety, and provide a safe, confidential environment for students that may be afflicted with such illnesses and need a place to talk or decompress. The club will also provide a forum for those whose lives have been touched by suicide, or feel strongly about the issue of suicide and awareness for mental illness in our society, to channel the powerful, often negative emotion coming out of such encounters to a positive purpose, and even help heal from them.
Model United Nations is an authentic simulation of the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, or other multilateral body, which catapults students into the world of diplomacy and negotiation. Students step into the shoes of ambassadors of UN member states, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe to debate current issues on the Organization's vast agenda. As “delegates, students prepare draft resolutions, plot strategy, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the UN's rules of procedure-all in the interest of mobilizing "international cooperation" to resolve problems that affect almost every country on Earth. Students prepare by researching the particular global problems to be addressed. Model UNers learn how the international community acts on its concerns about peace and security, human rights, the environment, food and hunger, economic development, globalization, etc.
Members of the National Honor Society serve as role models of scholarship, leadership, service, and character by maintaining high academic standards and coordinating service events in the fall and spring.
The Gunston School Chapter is a duly chartered and affiliated chapter of the National Honor Society. Membership is open to those students who meet the required standards in four areas of evaluation: scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Standards for selection are established by the national office. As put forth by the national organization, selection to National Honor Society is a privilege and not a right. Students are selected to be members by a five-member Faculty Council, appointed by the Head of School. The Faculty Council bestows this honor upon qualified students on behalf of the faculty two times per year.
Students in 11th and 12th grades who have attended the school an equivalent of one semester, are eligible for membership. For the scholarship criterion, a student must have a cumulative grade point average of 88% or higher. Students who meet this criterion are invited to complete a Student Activity Information Form that provides the Faculty Council with information regarding the candidate’s leadership and service. A history of leadership experiences and participation in school or community service is also required.
Club members will critically observe, question, and discuss the relationships between the philosophies of the past and today’s pop culture phenomena. In the spirit of demonstrating creative expression and leadership, members will also take part in the recording and publication of a bimonthly roundtable podcast series with the goal of inspiring others to contemplate the world around them.
Having a club where we read aloud to each other will help us maintain a balance between mind and body, one of the goals of Gunston’s mission statement, by providing us with a calm time to think abstractly as well as critically about different works. One aspect of the club will be community outreach through reading aloud for groups at places like the Serenity adult day care center in Centreville and the students at Centreville Elementary School.
Participates in near space balloon missions, First Tech Challenge robot competition, and the Science Fair. We will also participate in other activities such as rocket launches sponsored by the Maryland Delaware Rocketry Association, field trips to museums in Baltimore and Washington and other exciting science related events.
The Student Diversity Leaders Group is an outgrowth of the NAIS Student Diversity Leaders Conference. Diversity Leaders focus on strengthening community through self-reflection, helping all members of the school to become allies, and understanding and debunking stereotypes. The SDLG seeks to promote global awareness, cultural competence, and social justice. Students will be involved in planning for global awareness day and creating a safe space for dialogue on diversity by hosting open discussion forums and public speakers. (Attendance at the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference is not a requirement for participation in this group.)
The purpose of Student Government is to model good citizenship both within and outside the school, to promote school spirit, to provide a forum for the discussion of school issues, and to act as a liaison between students, the faculty, and school administrators. A President, Vice-President/Treasurer, Secretary and two representatives for each grade are elected from the whole student body. Each grade also has its branch of government including the offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
Gunston’s student body and staff represent a broad variety of cultural heritages. Essential goals of the club are to explore and share aspects of these and other cultures within our school community, to broaden the understanding and experience of ourselves and those around us, and to encourage and provide opportunity for cultural exchange through things like food, language, traditional celebrations, and games. The club supports activities like the local Lunar New Year Festival, Gunston’s Global Awareness Day talent show, and various displays about international holidays throughout the year.
Yearbook editors and staff coordinate the collection of information about our community and help keep a record of the important achievements of each group and individual. Our yearbook is designed in house by our club members.
Members of this award-winning club work together to create the annual student yearbook from concept to print. Be prepared to be sworn to secrecy, as yearbook staff are the only ones who get to know the yearbook theme and see the final product before its top-secret reveal in the spring. Students interested in writing, photography, graphics and/or layout design are invited to build the best yearbook Gunston has ever seen. Yearbook staff has the unique opportunity to capture this year’s memories and come away with a comprehensive publication. Be prepared to work under strict deadlines. Create something that people will look back to for decades to come.