"By any measure,” notes Headmaster Rohdie, “graduates of Country Day are successful. And underlying it all, harder to name and impossible to quantify but always present, guiding and motivating their actions, is the force of their character."
The development of character has been at the heart of a Country Day education since the school’s founding in 1926. Our rigorous academic program and strong sense of community are built upon this foundation of responsibility and integrity.
In the Lower School, the TIGER PRIDE program makes important aspects of character tangible and memorable. TIGER PRIDE lessons are woven throughout the day, and students like to catch one another showing TIGER PRIDE.
"It's not all about winning. It's about caring for your teammates and helping everybody get better. If it wasn't for GCDS instilling TIGER PRIDE in me, I don't think I'd be at the same spot I am today." - Donovan Mitchell, GCDS Class of '12
BrewsTER ACADEMY '15
University of Louisville Basketball Recruit '19
Ask GCDS students about community service and the response is often wiser than their years. They understand that the gift of service flows both ways.
In the Lower School, community service begins close to home—helping plant bulbs on campus, making posters for the Walkathon fundraiser, donating cans for the Thanksgiving food drive.
In the Middle School, students continue to participate in grade- and school-wide community service activities and grow in their leadership roles, with the sixth graders helping to run the Thanksgiving food drive.
In the Upper School, students volunteer throughout the community—stocking shelves at a local food pantry, reading to children at a pre-school, delivering meals for those in need. In eighth grade, students go for an overnight trip to NYC where they volunteer at soup kitchens.
For the past two summers, recent GCDS alumni have gone on service trips to Tanzania to install solar panels and to Peru to build clean stoves.
Character in the Classroom and on the Field
The entire school day is a lesson in character. As students learn to listen and discuss with one another in class, as they take responsibility for their school work and their hallway interactions, as coaches encourage them to give their best and bring out the best in others, they are learning to live the crucial aspects of character.
At GCDS, each step of increased responsibility is carefully scaffolded to help students stretch and successfully grow into increased independence—and caring teachers are always there when a little extra guidance is needed.
Honesty. Respect. Consideration for Others.
The Honor Code establishes the principles of honesty, respect, and consideration for others that guide Upper School students in their school work, their interactions, and their choices. It sets clear expectations and supports an atmosphere of integrity and respect for others that enables both academic learning and personal growth to flourish.
"Being part of Ex Multis has taught me a lot about leadership and working as a team. Our faculty advisors point us in the right direction and let us figure it out for ourselves." - Virginia Ogden, GCDS Class of '11
Choate Rosemary Hall '14
Leadership opportunities are an important part of learning through a child's GCDS experience, and during their ninth grade year at GCDS students experience a degree of responsibility and leadership rare among first-year high school students.
Examples of the 29 ninth grade leadership opportunities include:
- Honor Board member
- Class representative
- Classroom mentor working with younger students in Lower and Middle School
- Community service leader
- Environmental leader
- Literary or world language publication editor
- Yearbook editor
Join us on campus and see first-hand how our teachers inspire joyful learning and help students build the skills for success!