Be A Force

The Frederick Gunn School, founded in 1850, is a co-ed boarding and day school for 325 students in grades 9-12 as well as a post-graduate year located in Washington, Connecticut.  Frederick Gunn was a pioneering educator, courageous abolitionist, and rugged outdoorsman. He inspired generations of students to be curious and thoughtful, to be active members of their communities, and to stand up for what they believe in. He was a transformational leader. Our students become principled, active citizens and lifelong learners who will be entrepreneurial forces for good in the world.


Thinking Critically

Cultivating curiosity is the goal.


The Games We Play

35 teams. 15 sports. And some of life's most valuable lessons.


Opportunities For Expression

Creating art, discovering ourselves.

Student Life

174 Years Of Community

Find your voice. Discover what moves you. Realize how you can move others.

The Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Center for Innovation and Active Citizenship

The Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Center for Innovation and Active Citizenship will be located in the center of campus, allowing the school to house its innovative science, math, engineering, technology, entrepreneurship, and citizenship curriculum in one location overlooking the School’s historic Quad.


Gunn Voices

For 174 years the vision Frederick Gunn articulated has inspired the lives of all of us who are a part of The Frederick Gunn School community. Meet some of the Highlanders. 





Dean of Students


Ashley Leblanc serves as the Dean of Students. A Connecticut native, LeBlanc is a graduate of Simsbury High School, where she played field hockey and ice hockey. She remembers playing in a holiday tournament at Linen Rink, and played on a split-season team with girls from Kingswood Oxford, Westminster and The Gunnery, right about the time that interest in girls ice hockey was exploding.

She went on to earn dual bachelor’s degrees in English and secondary education from Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont, where she was a four-year starter on the Varsity Field Hockey Team and a three-time NFHCA All-American. In her senior year, she was team captain, First Team All-American, and played on the Northeast-10 All-Tournament Team and ECAC Division II All-Star Team.

LeBlanc coached Division II field hockey at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts for a year after college. “I enjoyed it but I realized it wasn’t going to be my career path so I went back to teaching and I found boarding school,” she said.

She has taught English (to sophomores, juniors and post-graduates) and served as Head Varsity Field Hockey Coach at Hebron since joining the faculty in 2008, and led her team to win the MAISAD title eight of her 12 coaching seasons. Since 2012, she has served as Dormitory Head for Hebron’s largest dorm, with 105 students in grades 10 through postgraduate. She was named Dean of Students at Hebron in 2012.

Director of Theatre Arts


Kent Burnham is the Director of Theatre Arts at The Frederick Gunn School. A director, actor, educator, theatre-maker and activist, Kent has directed, acted, and taught at various regional theatres and colleges throughout the country. He has appeared on TV and in film. A native of Topsham, Maine, Kent holds a bachelor's degree in Theatre from Hofstra University, and an MFA in Classical Acting from George Washington University/The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. Prior to his position at FGS, he was the Chair of the Arts and Director of Theatre Arts at the Trinity-Pawling School, and was an adjunct theatre professor in Arizona and New York. From 2015?2017, he was the Associate Artistic Director and Director of Education for Southwest Shakespeare Company in Arizona. He currently teaches Drama I: Theatre in Practice and Improv Level 1 (Winterim 2021), as well as two classes that are part of the Center for Citizenship and Just Democracy's four-year curriculum: Pathways (freshman) and Public Speaking — The Declaration (juniors). Kent is the director of the fall play and winter musical and in November 2021, he directed and acted in the Connecticut premiere of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, adapted by Dwayne Hartford from the book by Kate DiCamillo. In his free time, he likes to run, read, hike, travel, and spend time with his family, including his wife, Tracy Liz Miller, their daughter, Vivian, and three cats: Blueberry, Jam, and The Big Lebowski. 

Director of Multicultural Recruitment


Cassandra Ruscz is the Director of Multicultural Recruitment and Associate Director of Admissions at The Frederick Gunn School. A graduate of the Taft School, Cassie majored in psychology and Spanish at Tufts University, where she was also an All-American and helped to lead the Jumbos to back-to-back national championship titles in softball. She holds a master’s in education from the University of Delaware and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of South Carolina’s College of Education. Cassie arrived at Gunn in 2017 as a member of the World Languages faculty, and has taught almost every level of Spanish at the school. She served as Director of Residential Life for two years, and Prefect Advisor for six, before taking on her current role in the Admissions Office in July 2023. She is also the Head Dorm Parent in Gibson House, Assistant Coach for Girls Varsity Basketball, former Head Coach for Varsity Softball, and the 2021 recipient of The Class of 1955 Distinguished Teaching Award.

Director of Counseling


Dr. Konik has over 20 years of experience working with adolescent and young adult students in varying capacities – counseling, mentoring, and coaching. Dr. Konik received his B.A. in Psychology from The University of Florida, his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The University of Vermont, and completed his predoctoral internship at the Outpatient/Inpatient Neurobehavioral Unit with the Kennedy Krieger Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Konik’s research background focused on the relationship between anxiety and pain in children. Dr. Konik is a well-recognized leader in the field, having presented nationally at the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs and has been published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology.


Eddie '22

Hometown: New Hartford, NY

What advice do you have for prospective students?
I feel like kids make decisions based on what sports team is good at a particular school. The story I tell is that a friend of mine tore his ACL in college. He said, “Thank God I chose the school I did, because otherwise, I would hate school.” It was kind of a wake up call during my process of choosing a school. So pick a school that is good for you.


Sidney '23

Hometown: Beavercreek, OH 


Serdar '22

Hometown: Newburgh , NY


Holli, Maeren and Ashleen '23

Hometown: Goshen, CT

What is one thing you have learned here?
Holli: I've learned a lot. For myself, I try a lot of new things and I have so many opportunities. I’ve played the same sports all of my life and this year coming to The Frederick Gunn School for the first two seasons I’ve tried something I never had before. FGS has shown me that I can try new things and it doesn’t always have to be a scary thing.

I’ve learned that I’m more prone to take opportunities here if I’m given them and I feel I want to seek them. There’s a lot I can take advantage of – and I do! That’s the kind of environment that’s at FGS.

I learned how close the community is. Everyone is always like, “FGS has a close community.” Once you’re in it, you realize how close it is. You see it. I have freshman, sophomore, junior and senior friends. You kind of know everybody.


Charlotte '20

Hometown: Shanghai

Favorite co-curricular:
Arts option. There’s really no limitation on what you can do in Arts Option. You get support in doing whatever you want to do, whether it’s ceramics, sketching or painting, or even some 3D design. This is where all your creativity comes in and they really encourage you and give you advice on that. It’s fun to play with and you have the opportunity to try out something and do it for fun.

Favorite time of the day: 
There are two: early morning and also at dusk. In the morning when the sunlight is just about right, it’s really pretty when you walk out of Van Sinderen and you can see the whole campus lit up by the sun. There might not be a lot of people. You have this little town feeling of the school. And at dusk, usually we get beautiful sunsets. You see different colors in the sky and it really reflects on the campus. It’s usually a really calm and peaceful and joyful moment.


Georgie '23

Hometown: Jackson, WY



Marcia Tejeda, M.D. P'20

Middlebury, CT

What did The Frederick Gunn School do for your student?
FGS helped our daughter find her voice.  She was always successful academically, however FGS helped her become more confident scholastically, creatively and socially.  Her participation in crew and JV basketball helped her become a better athlete and helped her develop a social network of friends and family.  The coaches in both sports are masterful in guiding the students to perform at their highest levels. She also participated in private dance, jazz and blues bands over the years.  This helped her become more at ease when performing in front of larger audiences.


James Bauer, D.D.S. P'08 '15

Woodbury, CT

Was there anything in your students’ experiences that contributed to where they are now?
For our son Jay, I think it was the Math Department that gave him the impetus and desire to seek a major in mathematical economics at Colgate. For our son Jordan, it was a love of the sciences that propelled him to medical school, seeking a career in orthopedic surgery. Mr. Bailey and Mr. Martin were two of his favorites.

What would you say to prospective parents who are considering The Frederick Gunn School for their child?
I wouldn’t hesitate in sending my son or daughter to FGS. Academically, it more than prepares your student for higher learning at the undergraduate level. The campus improvements since my sons have attended FGS are astounding and equally competitive with similar academic institutions. One of the most important gestures that epitomizes the character of our school is its sense of community and fellowship. FGS graduates become ambassadors of their experience. Becoming leaders and advocates of the lessons they have been taught, complementing the paradigms of learning and collaborative fellowship that will ultimately leave you with the indelible feeling of success.


Bonnie Grady P'18 '21

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Why did you choose The Frederick Gunn School for your daughters? 
We looked at six schools in four different states and many different regions of the country.  When we toured, we were brought into the physics classroom and Mr. Bailey stopped talking with a student to approach us. He immediately engaged my daughter in an intelligent physics conversation that was over my head. He never talked down to her and he expected her to know the answers to his questions. Much to my surprise, she did. Mr. Bailey taught her physics and though it was one of her most challenging classes, I also believe it was one of her best. After our tour, we were lucky to sit down with Peter Becker. We could not help but catch his contagious enthusiasm and excitement about the future of the school. After being accepted, my daughter received a personal email from Peter Becker, which helped to calm her high anxiety about the process and helped us know that FGS was the place for her. My second daughter followed her as a freshman because of the Freshman Program. We believed she needed everything that that program had to offer and we were correct.


Tim '17

Columbia University

What is your major?
Music, and PreMed

What would you say to a prospective student who is considering The Frederick Gunn School?
Relax when you get here. You get so many chances to improve. If you don’t get it right the first time, you get a second chance, and a third, and a fourth. Don’t give up on your dreams either. Always be yourself. The people who stick with you and are patient with you will always be your friends.


Lexi '17

Sarah Lawrence College

What is your major?
Art History and French

How did your experience at The Frederick Gunn School prepare you for what you’re doing now?
The academics here are very strong. They want to create a person of good moral character who is well rounded and they prepare you for the college experience. They teach you how to manage your time for academics, sports and co-curriculars. I ended up on the opposite side of the spectrum from when I was here. I was interested in drama, philosophy and history. Now I want to do art conservation and speak a ton of languages. That growth process started at FGS. They teach you to be an out-of-the-box thinker.


The Frederick Gunn School By The Numbers

The Frederick Gunn School is a school with remarkable resources.

Quick Facts


Student Body


Global Alumni Network


AP & Honors Courses


Acre Campus


Seat Tisch Family Auditorium


Miles From New York City


News from The Frederick Gunn School

Athletic Awards large group photo 2024

Outstanding performances in the Gunn Athletics program during the 2023-24 school year were celebrated along with this year’s team captains and three-sport athletes at the annual Athletic Banquet, held May 22, 2024 in the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center. Among this year’s highlights: Boys Varsity Lacrosse won the Colonial Cup Tournament Final on May 18, beating Pomfret 13-4 at home, and scoring the final point to win the Gunn-Canterbury Cup. 

Theatre Program Earns 16 Halo Award Nominations

Congratulations to the cast and designers of the fall play, Silent Sky, and the winter musical, Urinetown, who together have been nominated for a total of 16 Halo Awards, including eight individual best performance nominations and Best Contemporary Play.

174th Commencement to be Held May 26

On Sunday, May 26, 2024, The Frederick Gunn School will celebrate the Class of 2024 at its 174th Commencement Exercises. This year, 93 students, representing 17 states and seven countries, will graduate from the school, founded in 1850 by Frederick Gunn, a pioneering educator, courageous abolitionist, and rugged outdoorsman, who is recognized by the American Camp Association as the founder of recreational camping in the United States.