Possibility is a powerful concept. One could make a pretty good case that those of us who work in schools are really in the possibility business.
Head of School Bob Whelan
Plunge into the GFA Experience
A message from Head of School Bob Whelan
We believe education can be joyful. We invite our students to think big and question often. We challenge our community to embrace new ideas and tap into new sources of strength. We inspire each other to build a better world, grounded in our core values of passion, integrity, empathy, curiosity, and excellence.
Students are at the center of everything here, as known and engaged partners in their own learning. They take responsibility for and pride in their achievements, define what excellence means for them, and then rise to meet it. GFA offers young people the opportunity to test their limits. They are encouraged and given the flexibility to try it all, developing confidence that will inform the rest of their lives. A palpable sense of excitement seems ever-present as our younger students master a new skill or discover a passion — a process supported by talented educators in an atmosphere of warmth and care.
GFA is an exceptional place.
Our 44-acre campus overlooking the Long Island Sound houses three distinct ecosystems — dynamic classrooms for our more than 700 students from PreK–12. Together, we roll up our sleeves, set ambitious goals, and work hard to achieve them. Innovation is not a buzzword at GFA. It is a hallmark, evident in our signature academic programs and a dynamic new schedule, where thoughtful progress travels alongside nearly a century of academic excellence. Our curriculum emphasizes problem-solving and critical thinking, paired with a deep commitment to the development of character and the intentional integration of evidence-based best practices in teaching and learning.
GFA cultivates curiosity and prepares students for an evolving world. Our students are ready for big visions, shared solutions, bold responses to human need, and global challenges. They think critically and present with confidence and poise. A sense of service is fundamental to our students and graduates, reinforced by our motto: Quisque Pro Omnibus or Each for All. At GFA, students develop a passion for learning and are prepared to pursue a life of purpose.
We are so pleased that you have discovered GFA and invite you to spend some time exploring our digital home. More importantly, we hope you have a chance to experience GFA in person by scheduling a visit to campus. We look forward to getting to know you.
Bob Whelan, P’24
Head of School
Dr. King wrote, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.” Garment of destiny — that sounds very superhero-like, right? He went on to say, “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” That sounds a lot like our GFA motto, "Each for All."
By Bob Whelan P ’24
Head of School
Preparing our students for a life of purpose requires the development of interpersonal character strengths, or “strengths of the heart,” such as empathy, integrity, and gratitude. It also requires the development of intrapersonal character strengths, or “strengths of will” — academic self-control, delay of gratification, optimism, and a growth mindset.
We were all wowed by new Head of School Bob Whelan's interactive Installation Ceremony speech. He shared with us a new perspective on our core values, and he taught us that a volleyball match can have so many meanings.
By Bob Whelan P '24
Head of School
This weekend I had a chance to read Common Sense Media's summary of their research on the social media habits of teenagers (age 13-17) and the impact social media has on their lives. The findings are certainly relevant to our work with students.
B.A. Brown University
M.Ed. from Harvard University
Recipient of a fellowship to the Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership's 2017 Heads of Schools Program at Teachers College, Columbia University