What’s so special about Gilmour Academy? The list is too long to be contained on this page. But when we asked those on campus, some events and traditions came up over and over.
Courage and competence are the cornerstones of the Gilmour/Holy Cross mission and the foundation for the Initiative for Inspired Leadership. Our goal is to create a culture where leadership skills are shaped and valued, producing ethical and caring leaders who are guided by faith to motivate and inspire people to do their best and to be their best. Learn more
Members of the Gilmour Community of all ages have opportunities to participate in clubs and activities to explore what it takes to start and succeed in business. “It makes us special because not many schools have these kinds of opportunities for careers or hobbies or even just for fun. It also sets us apart by giving us a head start to what our world is, was, and possibly will be.” Richard, student
With an emphasis on the formation of educators, students and families, the Gilmour Global Initiative, GGI, supports a world-class educational program that offers mastery of rigorous academic content with a unique global perspective; an intercultural understanding of diversity, exploration of world cultures, economics, languages and history; and immersion in collaborative projects that connect our students around the world in authentic and meaningful, interactions and experiences. It is part of our Holy Cross Mission to make ourselves at home among all different cultures of the world.
The STEAM Program applies skills and knowledge to critical thinking problems by incorporating science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics into lesson design. The infusion of the four disciplines into lesson plans spurs students to weave them into discovering solutions. Gilmour has been applying STEAM principles to teaching for more than a decade. A STEAM consultant visiting campus to give an in-service training said that the Lower School is 10 years ahead of other schools with STEAM, according to Desia Joseph, math and science instructor and K-6 discipline leader.
Technology Programs - Netbooks
Beginning in 2010, every third-grade student receives an HP Mini Netbook operating with Windows 7 and weighing less than three pounds. What might a third grader’s day be like using a netbook? Students start the day writing in an online journal and check the weather and news online. Students complete their journals online and several examples are discussed using the SMART board. If an interdisciplinary project is assigned, they gather information from a class web page where the teachers post links to preapproved websites. The students download images and collaboratively write a group narrative on their computers. They graph data comparing dimensions, post maps and prepare detailed reports that include digital photos and history.
National History Day invites students to develop a historical topic and to link its significance to society and history. They examine pivotal people, places, and events in world history through their projects. The program that started with 129 schools in the Cleveland area now attracts 600,000 in the United States and beyond. Gilmour’s Lower School students compete in the junior division and have advanced to nationals five times since 2005. In 2011, a performance based on women’s voting rights and the Equal Rights Amendment advanced to the national competition. “National History Day teaches students research, writing, product development, technology use and interviewing skills. It is an excellent piece of our curriculum," says Lower School humanities instructor Carmel Fantelli who coordinates the program at Gilmour.
The Boat Float is an integrated art-science project where eighth-graders design scale models in art class and build full-size boats in science class, then race them in the pool as they explore experimental design, density and buoyancy. The students’ mission is to design cardboard boats, held together with duct tape that would carry student teams from one end of pool to the other. With the “density-based science project,” students are asked to calculate the density of their boats when they build them to make sure that the boats’ density will be less than the water’s. The engineering design investigation of density and buoyancy helps students understand these influences on how a boat is designed, modeled, tested and built. As part of the science class, students investigate stewardship of water resources and water’s chemical properties: surface tension, capillary action and water as a solvent.
Technology - Digital Media
Seventh- and eighth- graders have the opportunity to use high tech equipment in the Broadcast Media Center, located in the basement of the Middle School. Built in 2006, the 1,800 square-foot center houses editing and audio dubbing stations, a comprehensive news set, and studio space where students learn to create digital videos using AVID professional film and editing software. In 2011, eighth-graders recreated historical television broadcasts. They took viewers to Pearl Harbor, the D-Day Invasion of Normandy, the Battle of Midway, Iwo Jima and the Yalta Conference just as if they were war correspondents. Using the broadcast equipment, students learned how to splice commercials into the broadcasts urging viewers to buy war bonds or boost patriotism through posters of Rosie the Riveter.
Each spring, the Middle School students perform in their annual musical. Open to all Middle School girls and boys, drama is offered as an elective class, not just an extracurricular activity. This program gives students the confidence and skills to passionately express themselves and engage an audience, which leads to success in high school and beyond. Recent productions include Beauty and the Beast, Guys and Dolls and The Wiz.
In Greek it means “the right or opportune time,” or “God’s time.” This three-day, two-night retreat is planned by seniors in collaboration with faculty members for members of the junior class. The Kairos retreat allows students to escape their daily routine and gives them a chance to examine their relationships with God, others and self. The ultimate goal of this retreat is to help students come to know and experience Christ more deeply, and in response, to live more fully in the spirit of Christ.
Speech and Debate
The speech and debate program prepares students to become effective communicators, leaders, ethical people and critical thinkers. Gilmour's program has captured 22 Ohio High School Speech League’s Northern Ohio District Championships in the last 23 years. In 2008, two Gilmour students, Nathan Blevins '08 and Rachel Kenney '08, took first place at the National Forensic League (NFL) National Tournament. They also were the first NFL national champions in Gilmour's history and from the North Coast District. The speech and debate program is led by Gay Janis, who has been inducted into the Ohio High School Speech League Hall of Fame. Janis has been instrumental in Gilmour’s team consistently ranking in the top one percent of National Forensic League (NFL) chapters.
Technology - Digital Music
Gilmour offers computer music courses to Upper School students. Each 90-minute class devotes a half-hour to theory – musical notes, rhythm notation, chord structure, musical terms and symbols. Students compose theme music for Gilmour’s digital documentary class, create compositions based on a single word that describes the composer, develop music for jokes with sound effects, and complete an original composition – their choice of genre – using everything they have worked on in class. The courses offer students a way to express their creative ideas and for technically savvy students to get involved with music and the arts. The computers are equipped with a double monitor, allowing composers to use multiple programs simultaneously and creating countless advantages of the software. The course goal is for students to take away a solid understanding of different techniques, strategies and ways to compose and to gain a stronger appreciation for music and the process it takes to create it.