Empower your child to take ownership of their educational journey at Gilmour Academy Upper School, where students become passionate, motivated learners for life.
At the Upper School, our rigorous college-preparatory education goes hand in hand with real-world enrichment opportunities, authentic spiritual development and focused leadership development.

From ninth to 12th grade and beyond, Gilmour students are highly motivated and well equipped for what comes next. We graduate lifelong learners with the competence, confidence and courage to change the world.


List of 7 items.

  • Critical thinking and problem solving

    • A contemplative academic culture supports students as they challenge assumptions and come to terms with ambiguities.
    • Student-led Socratic seminars probe essential and unanswerable questions rather than requiring rote memorization of facts.
  • Leadership and relationship-building

    • Leadership and civic learning externships develop thoughtful, aspirational leaders known for their competence and ability to take action.
    • An emphasis on collaboration and cooperation fosters lifelong friendships among peers and enables students to develop a strong professional network within and beyond Greater Cleveland.
  • Agility and adaptability

    • Yearly self-assessment presentations require students to earnestly examine goals, achievements, strengths and weaknesses for continuous growth.
    • The Holy Cross tradition of hospitality opens students’ minds to new perspectives and affirms that differences aren’t inherently divisive.
  • Initiative, innovation and entrepreneurship

    • A dedicated Learning Enhancements Coordinator helps motivated learners to connect the dots between interests and real-world experience.
    • Entrepreneurial studies reward innovative thinking and offer a safe testing ground for new ideas.
  • Effective communication skills

    • At least one semester of speech and debate is mandatory, enabling every student to learn to articulate their beliefs and support their positions using facts and logic.
    • Morning Convocation for grades 7 through 12 are entirely student-led, developing comfortable, confident public speakers who are leagues ahead of their peers.
  • Ability to access and analyze information

    • 80-minute block scheduling, experience and sophisticated faculty members and small class sizes of about 15 allow for complex analysis and mastery of content.
    • Weekly faculty advisory sessions and individualized grade-level and college counseling challenge and support students in their studies and help create self-motivated lifelong learners.
  • Spiritual awakening and moral decision-making

    • Study of religious texts and daily opportunity for reflection directs students of all faiths to seek connections and find purpose.
    • Charitable research projects and required volunteer service inspire empathy and demonstrate the power of action.

-excerpt from thank you note to Dr. Goel from Kaylee Oliveto '22, current sophomore at Auburn University

"Your Anatomy and Biology class really prepared me for college Anatomy and all my classes in college because I learned how to struggle. I learned that office hours aren't a sign of weakness and learned how to study. Your class shaped me not because of the material you taught, but how you taught it. You genuinely cared about each student and helped me develop myself as a learner and a person, which is helping me excel in college."

~ Blessed Father Basil Moreau

“Knowledge itself does not bring about positive values, but positive values do influence knowledge and put it to a good use. If there ever existed a time when this type of education should be an influence in the lives of young people, it is certainly now.”


Highlights by grade

List of 4 items.

  • 9th/Freshman

    • Class retreat at the University of Notre Dame
    • Twilight at the Tudor experience
    • Interdisciplinary Trial of Socrates project
    • Class service trips to Food Bank
    • Courage 2 Act peer mentors from junior class
  • 10th/Sophomore

    • Annual high-low ropes course challenge
    • Alumni Career Day
    • Class service trips to tutor at local grade schools
    • Sophomore College Night
  • 11th/Junior

    • Overnight Kairos spirituality retreat
    • Praxis social justice research projects
    • Urban Plunge community immersion
    • Opportunities to meet with visiting college admission counselors
    • Courage 2 Act Crew freshmen mentoring
  • 12th/Senior

    • Overnight Kairos retreat leadership
    • National Decision Day celebrating college enrollment
    • Promenade at Tudor House
    • Senior examens
    • 60-hour experiential capstone project

Upper School Administration

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Matthew Stepnowsky

    Mr. Matthew Stepnowsky 

    Director of the Upper School
  • Photo of Kathleen Lynch

    Mrs. Kathleen Lynch 

    Administrative Assistant to the Director of Upper School; College Counseling and Student Development
    (440) 473-8000 x3001

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of David Pfundstein

    Mr. David Pfundstein 93

    Dean of Student Life and Leadership
    (440) 473-8090 (internal 4002)
  • Photo of Kimberly Pfundstein

    Mrs. Kimberly Pfundstein 

    Upper School Office Manager
    (440) 473-8070 (internal 4003)
An independent, Catholic, coed, day and boarding school in the Holy Cross tradition. Toddler-Grade 12.