Gill St. Bernard's School is a private, nonsectarian, coeducational, college preparatory day school located in the Gladstone section of Peapack-Gladstone in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States, serving students in primary (3-4 year olds) through twelfth grade. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1979.
As of the 2011-12 school year, the school had an enrollment of 672 students (plus 21 students in PreK) from 8 counties, and 76.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 8.8:1. Class sizes average fourteen to seventeen students, depending on the grade and subject. The school has 96 faculty and administrators. 90% of Upper School faculty have advanced degrees, 41% of Middle School and 40% of Lower School. 100% of the graduates attend a four-year college or university.
Gill St. Bernard's School is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools and the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools. In 2014, Gill St. Bernard's was ranked the number four private high school in New Jersey by national ranking service Niche.
The Campus is broken up between three categories; the lower school (Cox Building), the middle school (Conover Building), and the high school. The high school contains the Chapin Science Complex, The Hockenbury Building (Has Student Center, Library, and Humanities Classes), and Founders Hall (For Art, Lunch, and Language).
Gill St. Bernard's is the result of the merger of two Somerset Hills institutions: St. Bernard's School for boys in Gladstone and The Gill School for girls.
St. Bernard's School was founded in 1900 by the Rev. Thomas A. Conover. In the early days, academic classes alternated with work in the carpentry shop, print shop or on the farm. Daily attendance at religious services was required.
Rev. Robert L. Clayton, Jr., Headmaster in the 1940s, brought a broader vision of operation to the school with an emphasis on scholarship, along with physical well-being, discipline and personal industry and a college preparatory program was instituted.
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 not neglected, as at least two hours each day was spent out-of-doors. In 1940 Miss Gill's School moved to Stronghold, the former Dryden estate on Bernardsville mountain. In 1956, boarding at St. Bernard's School was discontinued.
In 1972 St. Bernard's School merged with Miss Gill's School to become Gill St. Bernard's School. At this time the religious affiliation of St. Bernard's was discontinued. The new school had its early grades on the old Gill campus in Bernardsville and upper grades on the St. Bernard's campus in Gladstone. The two divisions consolidated in 1997 on the Gladstone campus. Sidney A. Rowell became Headmaster in 2001.
Today, there are three divisions - Lower, Middle and Upper - located on 79 acres (320,000 m2) which span the Somerset-Morris County line between the Boro of Peapack-Gladstone and Chester Township.
The school purchased Hi-Hills Day Camp in 2002, which had previously operated on the campus since the late 1960s. A new athletic center opened in fall 2004 that includes three full-sized basketball courts, administrative offices, and Brueckner Hall. The Hockenbury Academic Center, a 33,000 square foot academic building, opened in March 2009 and includes Upper School classrooms, student center, conference room and a school store. An addition to Founders Hall was completed in 2012 that included additional dining space and art studios. A new turf field was constructed in the summer of 2013. The school also features five playing fields, a track, seven, tennis courts, an outdoor swimming pool, and a low ropes course.
The school competes in the Skyland Conference and is a member of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).
Athletic facilities include a gymnasium, athletic center, seven all-weather tennis courts, outdoor track, two full size basketball courts, as well as soccer and ball fields. Programs include fencing, basketball, cross country, baseball, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, track and field, swimming and tennis.
Gill St. Bernard's offers 24 different opportunities for interscholastic sports, including 12 competitive athletic programs for boys and 12 for girls in the Upper School. Over the last three years, every varsity team has qualified for the NJSIAA post-season, and many advanced to sectional semifinals and finals. GSB teams have won 35 conference championships since the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year. Since 2007, five GSB varsity teams have been ranked in the "Top 20" in New Jersey, a state with over 450 public and non-public schools. The girls basketball, boys tennis, boys soccer, boys basketball, and girls tennis teams have won Non Public B North Sectional Championships. The girls basketball team won the Somerset County championship in the 2008-2009, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years, and was the smallest school in Somerset County to ever win a county championship in a team sport. Several coaches have been named Coach of the Year by various media outlets. The school received the ninth annual ShopRite Cup in the Non-Public B Division in 2012 as the most outstanding school. In 2013, Gill St. Bernard's School was runner-up.
The school offers additional extracurricular activities for Middle and Upper School students in the areas of the arts, community service, student government, and academics. The Upper School performing arts program won the Paper Mill Playhouse Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical in 2008 and 2012 for The Secret Garden and The Mystery of Edwin Drood respectively, in addition to multiple Outstanding Achievement and Rising Star nominations and awards.Tyus Battle (born 1997, class of 2016), college basketball player for the Syracuse Orange.