A Message From Emily

Dear Frederick Gunn Family,

There is no boarding school in the world more sincerely focused on the future of education than The Frederick Gunn School. The combination of this ambition with the story of our incredible founders is both rare and inspiring, and I am grateful and clear-eyed for the opportunity as our 12th Head of School to ensure that The Frederick Gunn School is among the very best schools in the world. Our community deserves nothing less, and we have everything we need: clarity on the values and mission that make this community excellent; a committed faculty; and leadership, including our Board of Trustees, who are among the very best at work in schools today.

I first learned about Frederick and Abigail Gunn in the summer of 2017. Their vision, shared with us through the testimonies of their students and through their personal letters, resonated deeply with me and with the work I was doing to study adolescents and education in the present day. Over the past five years, as our Assistant Head for Teaching and Learning, I have found endless inspiration at the intersection of Gunn’s educational philosophy and contemporary research in the moral and intellectual formation of young adults. We have just begun to fully realize the potential of The Frederick Gunn School, and as your incoming Head of School, I am thrilled to be able to step into the leadership of this work, setting our standards high and getting on the road to share our story and build partnerships with our alumni and friends. 

Please join us. If you haven’t been in touch for a while, come to visit. We are a school that cultivates confident and caring young adults to thrive as innovative, active citizens. We are a community built on the belief that trust between students and teachers cultivates a life of learning and strength of character. We work hard, compete fiercely, and have a lot of fun. This is what it means to have the heart of a Highlander. I am honored to be among you. 

Always learning,


Emily Raudenbush Gum



A Message From Board Chair Patrick M. Dorton '86

Dear Gunn Community,

On behalf of The Frederick Gunn School’s Board of Trustees, I am excited to announce that Emily Raudenbush Gum has been enthusiastically and unanimously selected to be our 12th Head of School beginning in the 2023-24 academic year. Emily joined Gunn in 2018 as the Assistant Head for Teaching and Learning and since then, she has demonstrated a record of unmatched accomplishments, driving the school forward as a hub of innovation and excellence. Today’s announcement ensures that our school’s ongoing pursuit of innovation and excellence will move forward without interruption — consistent with our ongoing strategic initiatives to establish The Frederick Gunn School as a leading boarding school in the world. With the selection of Emily as our next Head of School, we are confident that our bold investments in people, place, and program will only accelerate in partnership with her formidable leadership experience. 

In the fall of 2022, the Board of Trustees formed a Search Committee, led by Jonathan Tisch ’72, Executive Chair, Ashleigh Fernandez, Co-Chair, and Neil Townsend P’18 ’20, Co-Chair. The committee was charged with identifying an extraordinary and diverse group of candidates to lead our school forward. Working in partnership with Spencer Stuart, the committee initiated a global search, and it was quickly apparent that interest in our Head of School position was tremendous, with candidates emerging from around the world. Throughout the search process, the committee was guided by the survey responses of our community, which decisively defined the characteristics and priorities expected for our next Head of School. Academic excellence, visionary leadership, and integrity were strongly represented in the survey results, along with an expectation for a leader who would be committed to listening, belonging, approachability, and an ongoing engagement with the educational values  Frederick and Abigail put forth 173 years ago. We have found this leader in Emily. 

Serving as the Assistant Head for Teaching and Learning and as a member of the Senior Team, Emily has been engaged in all strategic planning and initiatives. Emily personally experienced the transformational nature of boarding school as a graduate of The Hill School, where she was an accomplished student-athlete, serving as captain of her school’s highly acclaimed field hockey team. She went on to earn a Master of Arts, with Joint Honours, in International Relations and Theological Studies from the University of St. Andrews. Following the completion of her studies in Scotland, Emily earned a Master of Philosophy in Theology and Religion, with distinction, from the University of Oxford in England. Emily is nearing the defense of her Doctor of Philosophy in Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford, where she has presented her thesis, “The Role of Identity Formation in the Education of Children.”

Emily has made a series of significant contributions in her five years on campus. Among the most transformational impacts, Emily has notably defined Frederick Gunn’s educational philosophy as four pillars — learning yourself and how to learn; risk taking and innovation; a sense of rootedness and place; public character and active citizenship. Commitment to the pillars has created a strategic program alignment across all facets of our community — in the classroom, on the field, throughout our residential life experiences, and across all aspects of our key programming initiatives. Among Emily’s other notable contributions are a comprehensive set of objectives on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for The Frederick Gunn School, which were adopted by the Board in 2020. Emily also has been a key contributor in the initiative to write the school’s current Core Values, the most recent review of our Strategic Plan, and has actively engaged in marketing and enrollment strategies. 

Prior to joining The Frederick Gunn School, Emily served in several leadership roles with the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture (IASC) at the University of Virginia and its affiliate foundations over a 13-year period. Among her accomplishments are a multi-million dollar fundraising initiative, managing daily operations and annual budgets, branding work focusing on inclusivity, editing The Hedgehog Review, launching a social impact non-profit, and writing and speaking on ethics, character education, contemporary social and political theory, religion, questions of identity and diversity, and educational theory. Emily’s breadth of experience clearly distinguished her from a field of diverse and impressive candidates.

The Board of Trustees has formed a Head of School Transition Committee under the leadership of Stephen Baird ’68 that will bring together members of the Board of Trustees, the Senior Team, and other important partners, to help ensure that Emily will be strongly supported as she embarks on her leadership role beginning July 1. Over the last decade, The Frederick Gunn School has experienced an unprecedented period of innovation and excellence guided by our Strategic Plan and we are confident that the selection of Emily as our next Head of School will allow this transformational momentum to continue without interruption. Our aspirations are large as we seek to realize the vision of Frederick and Abigail Gunn to create an “ideal school” that will inspire a new model for boarding school education. We are thrilled to have Emily leading our school forward and we are relentlessly confident that the best is yet to be for The Frederick Gunn School.


Go Gunn,

Patrick Dorton ’86

Board Chair 

Head of School Search Committee


Jonathan Tisch ’72 Executive Chair
Ashleigh Fernandez
Neil Townsend P’18 ’20

Stephen W. Baird ’68
Missy Cuello Remley ’87                                 
Patrick M. Dorton ’86
Beth W. Glynn

Ashley LeBlanc, Dean of Students
Jonathan S. Linen ’62
Bart McMann, Director of the Center for Citizenship & Just Democracy

Paul M. McManus, Jr. ’87 P’21 ’23
Omar Slowe ’97
Wanji Walcott P’19