Mission & History
Thomas Edison wisely said, "Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning." Under the leadership of the Board of Trustees and Head of School Sid Rowell, every three to five years our private school engages in a deliberate and thoughtful process of planning for the future. After many months of hard work, collaboration, and commitment, we are pleased to share the Gill St. Bernard's School Strategic Plan 2019-2024, representing our guiding "roadmap" for moving us forward over the next five years. In holding the promise of Gill's future, this ambitious undertaking is a calling for all of us to work collaboratively, to welcome opportunities, and to ultimately reap the good fortune of our plans.
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; and
- Service to the school and our communities.
To support the honor system and the values inherent to it, Gill St. Bernard’s has established a student/faculty Honor Board in the Upper School.
The school crest reflects the 1972 merger of St. Bernard's School (founded in 1900) with The Gill School (founded in 1934). The plow connects with St. Bernard's early history as a farm school, where the students had daily responsibilities in the fields or with the animals. The torch is from The Gill School crest and symbolizes the light of learning. The open book with the Latin word Vita is viewed as the search for truth through study. The stag, which is native to this area, stands as a symbol of courage. The motto of Gill St. Bernard’s, Schola Mundus Est (The World is Our Classroom), reflects the school’s approach to education in the early years after the merger in which travel and place-based learning were frequently incorporated into the curriculum. Although our academics program has evolved considerably since then, today we still affirm the value of learning beyond the traditional academic setting, and we foster in our students a desire to experience, learn from, and contribute to the larger world.
GSB's History & Traditions
In 1900, St. Bernard's School was founded by the Rev. Thomas A. Conover. It was his vision to establish a school for farm and village boys where they could be educated concurrently with learning a trade. In 1934, The Gill School for girls was founded by Miss Elizabeth Gill in Bernardsville. Based on the value of the individual and, through small classes and direct teacher-student relationships, she sought to establish a "rich school experience" for students. Merging in 1972, Gill St. Bernard's School became a thriving college preparatory school for preschool through grade twelve that prepares students academically, socially, and ethically for college and a meaningful life.