Mission & History

Our Mission

Gill St. Bernard's provides a diverse, balanced environment where individual potential is nurtured, mutual respect is understood, excellence is pursued and students are prepared academically, socially and ethically to thrive and lead with honor and responsibility in an interdependent and changing world.

Core Values
  • Commitment to Excellence
  • Compassion
  • Courage
  • Honor and Integrity
  • Respect
  • Responsibility to Self and Others
  • Balanced Approach to Learning and Life

Honor Statement

As members of the Gill St. Bernard's School community, we believe that faith, honor and consideration are the foundation of an open and trusting environment. In affirming this belief, we endeavor to uphold the following ideals:
  • Respect for all individual community members and their beliefs
  • Integrity, truthfulness and sportsmanship in our academic and extracurricular pursuits
  • Responsibility for our actions
  • Service to the school and our communities

The History of GSB

List of 5 items.

  • Our beginnings in 1900

    Gill St. Bernard's is the result of the merger of two Somerset Hills schools — St. Bernard's School for boys in Gladstone and The Gill School for girls in Bernardsville.

    St. Bernard's School was founded in 1900 by the Rev. Thomas A. Conover. It was his vision to establish a school for farm and village boys where they could be educated at the same time they learned a trade. The first group of boys came to St. Bernard's in September of 1900. They were charged $100 a year for their room and board.
  • The 1900s

    In the early days, academic classes alternated with work in the carpentry shop, the print shop or on the farm. Daily attendance at religious services was required. In 1912 the highest award for a student was established, and has been given ever since. The Julian T. Brown Cup was given to the school by Brown's mother in memory of her son who died shortly after leaving St. Bernard's. The actual silver cup was inherited from an ancestor who owned the plantation next to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. Tradition stated that the author of the Declaration of Independence had drunk from the cup. Recipients of the award have their names engraved on the cup, which resides in a place of honor at the school.
  • The 1930s and 1940s

    In 1945, Rev. Robert L. Clayton, Jr. was named Headmaster. He brought a broader vision of operation to the school. It was under his leadership that St. Bernard's moved to a concept of academic excellence. The emphasis now was on scholarship, with an aim being the integration of the education program with the needs of industry. The emphasis of the work program on physical well-being, discipline and personal industry still played a large role in the philosophy of the school, while a college preparatory program started to gain momentum.

    The Gill School was established by Miss Elizabeth Gill in 1934 as the Wychwood School. Her educational philosophy was based on the value of the individual and she sought, through small classes and direct teacher-student relationships, to establish a "rich school experience" for the pupils. The physical development of the individual was encouraged, with at least two hours each day spent out-of-doors. The first graduating class consisted of three students.

    Three years later, the school moved to Mendham and changed its name to Miss Gill's School in the Mendham Hills. The physical facility was only rented, however, and in 1940 Miss Gill's School purchased Stronghold, the former Dryden estate on Bernardsville mountain. The building was dedicated by the spiritual advisor of the Gill School  Rev. Thomas A. Conover, who was also rector of St. Bernard's School.

    In the early 1940s, a coeducational middle school was added to the all-girls boarding high school. In 1956, boarding was discontinued.
  • The 1960s and 1970s

    The 1960s and 1970s were turbulent times for the country and for education in general. Coeducation was becoming more fashionable, and in 1972 St. Bernard's School combined with Miss Gill's School to become Gill St. Bernard's. At this time, the religious affiliation of the St. Bernard's School was discontinued. The new school had younger students on the old Gill campus in Bernardsville and older students at the St. Bernard's campus in Gladstone.
  • The 1990s to Today

    The two divisions consolidated in 1996 in Gladstone. Today there are three divisionsa Lower, a Middle and an Upper Schoollocated on 79 acres which span the Somerset-Morris County line between the Boro of Peapack-Gladstone and Chester Township. The school today consists of seventeen buildings which include Upper, Middle and Lower School facilities, two athletic centers, a theater and four administrative buildings. There are also a field lodge, five playing fields, a track, seven tennis courts and an outdoor swimming pool.

GSB Board of Trustees

Chair: Janine Udoff
Vice Chairman: Edmond Moriarty, III
Treasurer: James O'Connor
Secretary: Marianne Saladino

Strategic Plan

Each day we challenge our students to push themselves in new directions; to stretch their minds, to hone their strengths and develop new skills. They are encouraged to embrace personal responsibility and demonstrate honor, integrity and leadership. We expect no less of ourselves as a school and community. Ours is a learning organization that is committed to continuous improvement and growth, and our dedication to strategic planning allows us to focus on our vision of becoming the very best school possible.
Gill St. Bernard’s is a private, coeducational day school for students age three through grade 12, located in suburban New Jersey. Each of the three school divisions provides a vigorous, meaningful and age-appropriate curriculum, and all students benefit from the environmental learning opportunities that exist on our 208-acre campus.