The Frederick Gunn School faculty are a diverse group of educators who bring to our students a wide range of experiences and expertise. We are happy to introduce them and share their stories and voices here.
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. He was awarded the Class of 1955 Distinguished Teaching Award in 2019 and the Anne and Henry Zarrow Chair for Math and Science, 2008-2011.
What advice do you have for new students?
Too much ice cream isn’t good for you. Explore the things that are not in your wheelhouse, the things you might not know or like. You might like music. That’s great! So go ahead and challenge yourself with a science class or a math class – or vice versa. If you’re good at science or math, you might take a class in AP Literature. I also really like the emphasis that Peter Becker has brought to Mr. Gunn beyond the classroom. It’s so much about your character. What does that mean? And what is the right thing to be when no one is looking? We had a founder who had a lot of views on this and was quite contemporary. That connection with him is something a lot of schools don’t have.
Emily Gum is the Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning. In this role, Gum shares responsibility with the Head of School for defining The Frederick Gunn School’s vision for academics and intellectual life within the context of the school’s mission and strategic goals.
Prior to her arrival at FGS, Gum served as interim Executive Director of New City Commons, a nonprofit organization in Charlottesville, Virginia, that “seeks to support institutional leaders in the work of reimagining the common good, reinvigorating cultural institutions, and renewing civic life.” She previously held multiple roles at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, including Managing Editor of “The Hedgehog Review,” an academic journal discussing contemporary culture.
A graduate of The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, Gum received an undergraduate degree in international relations and theological studies from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, graduating with joint honors. She received a Master of Philosophy in theology and religion, passing with distinction, from the University of Oxford. Currently, she is working toward a Doctor of Philosophy in ethics from the University of Oxford based on her dissertation, "Neighbors, Virtues, and Schools as Civic Spaces."
Gum is charged primarily with oversight of the school’s Academic Office, including curriculum development and management of the day-to-day details of student scheduling and parental inquiries. She leads the Curriculum Committee, serves as a member of the Campus Life Committee and Core Administrative Council, is a student advisor and teaches the Honors Philosophy Seminar. She and her husband, Wheeler, live on campus with their son, Hezze.
As Director of Studies, Amy Paulekas spends much of her time working one-on-one with students to help them stay on point academically. She devotes much of her time to helping students, teachers, and families find the most academic success and growth possible, and values those interactions. In the Academic Office, Amy helps manage course registration, grades and comments, and parent-teacher-student conferences. She educates students about the Academic Honor Code, ensuring they adhere to it, and helps them navigate the course selection process. In addition to this, Amy is a mathematics teacher, Head Coach for Girls Varsity Basketball, Assistant Coach for Girls Varsity Lacrosse, an advisor, member of the Curriculum Committee and Student Success Team, and a dorm parent in Graham House. She was awarded the Class of 1955 Distinguished Teaching Award in 2017.
Originally from Glastonbury, Connecticut, Amy graduated from Colby College with a bachelor's degree in economics and a minor in mathematics. She rowed for Colby's women's crew team and was named captain her senior year. Every summer since 2007, she has worked at Camp Eagle Wing, a 150-acre overnight camp on Gardner Lake in Maine, where she teaches lifeguarding and is the waterfront head for some 75 campers ages 8-16.
What is your favorite lesson or day of the year?
My classes will tell you that I tell them it's my favorite lesson six times a year. My favorite day of the year is the first day of school. I love the moment when you've got all the returning kids coming back and being able to see each other and this whole new set of kids. You watch them start to have conversations. The whole ambiance is great.
A Massachusetts native, Bart McMann holds a bachelor’s degree in government and legal studies from Bowdoin College and a master’s in social sciences from Wesleyan University. In June 2019, he participated in the Summer Institute of Civic Studies at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University to learn more about the current scholarship on civic engagement. A former chair of the History Department at The Frederick Gunn School, he currently serves as Director of the Center for Citizenship and Just Democracy and is a Connecticut State Coordinator for Braver Angels. Bart teaches Honors U.S. Government and Politics, the Highlander Newspaper class, and three classes in the school's four-year citizenship curriculum, Pathways, Citizen Gunn and Public Speaking - The Declaration. He was awarded the Class of 1955 Distinguished Teaching Award in 2016. He is Head Coach for Varsity Golf, an Assistant Coach for Boys Varsity Soccer, and Head Coach for Highlander Hockey. He lives in Whittlesey House with his wife, Kate '05, their son, Benjamin, and daughter, Lucy.
Kori Rimany ’14 received her bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College, where she double majored in English and Gender and Women’s Studies, with a minor in mathematics. She lived in Durban, South Africa, where she studied community health and worked in the postnatal ward of a local health clinic. She also wrote her thesis on women and the criminal justice system. She is teaching English, coaching JV field hockey, serves as an advisor, dorm parent and member of the Weekend Activities Team. In her spare time, she enjoys making crafts and baking, and hosting her family’s dogs, Divot and Bailey, on campus.
In coming to The Frederick Gunn School in 2004, Seth returned to his independent school roots. He spent his youth as a faculty child at the Cranbrook School and Blair Academy. Prior to his time at FGS, Seth spent five years working at an environmental engineering and consulting firm located outside of Boston. He holds a BA in geosciences from Williams College and an MALS from Wesleyan University. Seth serves as Associate Head of School and Director of Co-Curricular Programs. He is a College Counselor and former Director of College Counseling, teaches Public Speaking - The Declaration, part of the Center for Citizenship and Just Democracy's four-year curriculum, and is an Assistant Coach for Boys Varsity Lacrosse and Head Coach, Boys Fourths Basketball. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, fly fishing, and loving/hating the Red Sox. Seth lives on campus with his wife Anne, their son, David, and daughter, Sarah.
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.
Alisa Croft grew up in Bolton, Connecticut, a small town just 13 miles from the University of Connecticut campus in Storrs, where she earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics. At The Frederick Gunn School, Alisa has taught every math course except for Algebra I and Ed Small's Operations Research Class. She is the Mathematics Department Chair. She is an Assistant Coach for Girls Varsity Soccer and Varsity Softball, and previously coached basketball. She is an advisor and the Head Dorm Parent in Graham House. Alisa was awarded the Class of 1955 Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008 and the Tisch Family Chair for Excellence in Teaching, 2012-2015.
What is your favorite FGS tradition?
The holiday concert. I enjoy watching the kids perform (they are phenomenal) and the vibe at the school that night with the formal dinner and people are excited to go on holiday.
What would you say to Frederick Gunn given the chance?
I would thank him for being thoughtful in his founding the school. The principles he used in 1850 we still use today. Some schools search for what they are. I would thank him for hitting the nail on the head.
Christopher Visentin grew up in Rhinebeck, New York, and graduated Kent School. He rowed at Kent and Hamilton College, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English, and lived in Montreal for a year, where he rowed competitively before starting his master’s degree program. In addition to a master’s in English from Boston University, he holds a law degree from BU School of Law. (His area of interest was intellectual property law.) Prior to joining The Frederick Gunn School, he was a freelance writer in Philadelphia. He is teaching English and coaching crew. He enjoys photography, painting, reading and writing (mostly) poetry.
As Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, LaDarius Drew works collaboratively to emphasize the school’s commitment to pluralism (rather than tolerance), and sees efforts to build diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities and curricula as critical to the school’s work with students. He is responsible for critically evaluating current programs with a vision toward how the school can move forward as an institution in furthering this mission. He serves as Co-Chair of the Executive Task Force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, along with Emily Gum, Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning. The mission of the task force is to steer ongoing work related to diversity, equity and inclusion, and to create an environment on campus that is truly inclusive of diverse people and viewpoints.
A native of Dallas, Texas, LaDarius holds a bachelor’s degree in government, with a concentration in international politics, and a master’s degree in arts, with a concentration in social sciences, both from Wesleyan University. He played football and competed in track and field at Wesleyan and served as the football and track and field representative on the university’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC). SAAC coordinated with other NESCAC schools to provide a better space for the community surrounding the schools and the athletes themselves. Prior to joining The Frederick Gunn School in 2016, LaDarius was the track and field graduate assistant at Wesleyan University. He is a member of the History Department faculty, Head Coach for Varsity Football, Assistant Coach for Boys JV Basketball, and faculty coordinator for the Black Student Union (BSU). He is the former Director of Student Activities.