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Be a force for good

The Frederick Gunn School, founded in 1850, is a co-ed boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 as well as a post-graduate year. Mr. Gunn had a deep appreciation for the natural world, believing that in nature students understand themselves as humans and their place in the world. He took a principled stand against slavery and spurred students (and the town at large) to examine their beliefs.  In addition to the habits and skills students will need in college and life beyond, we teach them to follow Mr. Gunn’s example: to cultivate wisdom, to be trailblazers, to act with conviction, and to value character as highly as intellect and achievement.


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

170 Years Of Community

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

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A website can tell only part of the story.
Discover The Frederick Gunn School for yourself.


FGS Voices

For 170 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. 







History Department Chair
Teaching AP U.S. History
Assistant Coach, Varsity Field Hockey
Campus Life Committee
Curriculum Committee

What advice do you have for new students?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. We’ve always been a community that’s supported kids trying different things, even just standing up and making an announcement (in front of the whole school) for the first time. We actually celebrate that really nicely as a community. Also, ask a lot of questions! People here want to help other people.



Prior to joining The Frederick Gunn School, Steve Bailey enjoyed successful careers in the U.S. Navy and at NASA. As a project manager with U.S. Submarine Forces, he commissioned four nuclear-powered fast attack submarines, known as 688s. He taught math for two years at Lafayette High School in Williamsburg, Virginia, before embarking on a career as a safety engineering consultant at NASA’s Langley Research Center.

What is your favorite part of the day outside of teaching?
I love working in the labs in the evening. That’s just something I do. I open the labs from 7 to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and sometimes other days and the kids come in. Some of them do physics work or homework that’s not even physics. They work together in the room. They talk about physics, and life in general. I also really like going to the kids’ sports games, going over to the theater, just being around.



What advice do you have for new students?
Lead with trust. We’re here for our students and if you'll give us the benefit of the doubt and trust us and trust your peers in the community, it will be to your benefit.

What is something that makes The Frederick Gunn School...FGS?
Everybody makes mistakes and that's part of what it takes to succeed here. There's an honesty about making mistakes and learning from them and that creates an open and trusting environment where we can be vulnerable with one another and how that can lead to growth and learning. That culture is really remarkable.



Why is boarding school good for kids?
There’s a sense of independence that children get from being a little further away from home. It gives them an opportunity to formulate their own ideas, their views on the world. It’s also an opportunity to be around people who are on the same developmental level that they are on. At home, they spend a lot more time with their parents. It’s not a bad thing; it’s just kids want to be kids. Since the boarding school model requires them to be involved in more than just academics there’s value in that; a student might for example play on a sports team, be in Green Club or helping with various fundraisers and passions of their choice, in a way that they otherwise might not have if they went home after the academic day.



During her tenure as Director of Outdoor Programs, Rebecca Leclerc has worked steadily to offer more students opportunities to participate in outdoor and experiential learning activities across the curriculum. Activities range from gathering around a fire pit on campus and making s’mores to hiking or camping at Steep Rock, White Memorial or other local nature preserves, to backpacking in the Adirondacks and the White Mountains. Through these experiences, students are challenged to step outside their comfort zones, confront their strengths and weaknesses in positive ways, gain independence, and grow in confidence and awareness

What is something that makes The Frederick Gunn School...FGS?
I appreciate that we make time for our community to come together and take risks. We challenge every member of our community to be vulnerable to everyone who is here and we practice that in our community time, whether that is in conversation at meals, or in out-of-class learning, or going to practice with your team or your co-curricular. Everything that we do here is rooted in taking risks and asking students to step outside of themselves and learn from or through a different perspective to increase their understanding. What I think is cool about this school and this place is that we are very intentional about making that happen.


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.


Sophia '20

Hometown: San Salvador

What advice do you have for prospective students?
To not just jump to conclusions and say, ‘No, I don’t want to do that,’ or ‘No, I can’t do that,’ meaning sports or co-curriculars or taking classes or weekend activities. You have to put yourself out there. If you’re going to wait for someone to come and knock on your door, you’re not going to have that much success in life. You just have to try new things. In the end, you might find your passion and hobbies. You have to be outgoing.


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.


Brandon '21

Hometown: Yonkers, NY

What advice do you have for prospective students?
They should come here because the school teaches you a lot about life skills, teaches you how to communicate and step outside your comfort zone.

What is one thing you have learned here?
I think I’ve improved my organizational skills. I’ve learned to be more organized in everything I do, whether in school or in the dorm. I never really paid a lot of attention to it before and I realize now how beneficial it is to you throughout your day and that it makes things easier for you.


Ellen '21

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL

What advice do you have for prospective students?
I have such a big family so I’m used to people always knowing everything about me. I feel like I can go up to anyone here and talk to them. If they’re looking for “the big high school,” this obviously isn’t that, but I feel it’s beneficial to get to know a lot of people and have a variety of friends.

What is one thing you have learned here?
I’ve learned so many things. I feel like I’ve just learned a lot more how to be myself, and no matter what, people are going to love you. If you are yourself, it's so much easier to get to know people. Obviously, it’s hard in high school because everyone is trying to be someone they’re not, and here it’s not that way. Everyone is so accepting, so just be yourself.


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.


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

Ribbon cutting at The PO

The Frederick Gunn School is pleased to announce that The PO, a popular dining and gathering spot for generations of students, faculty and local residents, officially reopened this week through a new partnership with Maggie Colangelo, former baker/owner of New Milford's beloved Food for Thought and recent owner/chef at 9 Main Cafe in New Preston. 

student completing voter registration form

On the heels of the first presidential debate last week, and in anticipation of the November election, the newest members of the student-led Gray Party have planned a series of events and updates this fall, including an ongoing voter registration drive on campus.

Students in the tunnel during School Walk 2020

On Wednesday, October 7, students and faculty carried out a longstanding October tradition by participating in the All-School Walk from campus through Steep Rock Preserve. Much of the event this year was exactly the same as alumni remember it, although there were some changes to accommodate the school’s health and safety protocols. All students and faculty were required to wear masks and students departed campus by grade level, in waves, similar to a road race, rather than starting out all at once.