Core Values

Our Motto matters. Esse Quam Videri, “To Be Rather Than To Seem,” has inspired our community since Garrison Forest School’s founding in 1910.

Today, it inspires our Core Values:

Be Authentic.
Be Brave.
Be Compassionate.
Be Curious.
Be Spirited. 

These five Core Values, created by the GFS community in 2015, guide how we teach and learn, connect and collaborate, serve and succeed. Underscoring our Mission and Statement of Respect, these five values are a road map for every member of our community, adult and child, to be our best selves.

Check out how we are living these values in the news below. 

Be Authentic.

Be Brave.

  • From left: Ann Marie Strauss, Director of College Counseling, Erin Yun, Deputy to the Vice Provost  for Student Affairs, Johns Hopkins, and Marty O'Connell, Senior College Counselor.

    Senior College Night: What to Expect, Expert Advice & the Fab Four

    Posted September 16, 2015
  • Tung Trinh

    The Empty White & Green Tote Bag

    By Tung Trinh, Head of Middle School & Preschool Parent
    Posted September 8, 2015

    The start of a new school can be an emotional time for students and parents. Head of Middle School Tung Trinh reflects on the poignant lessons his family learned this September when his oldest child went to school for the first time. Read on for the parallels Mr. Trinh discovered between his first days as Head of Middle School and his son's first days as a GFS Preschooler.

Be Spirited.

Mission & Philosophy

At Garrison Forest School, we prepare our students in and out of the classroom to thrive in a complex, changing world by:

  • challenging them to strive for academic excellence and to grow into informed, independent and creative thinkers
  • cultivating an authentic and resilient sense of self, grounded in respect and integrity
  • creating a diverse and inclusive community built on a spirit of caring
  • inspiring young women to lead and to serve with passion, purpose and joy

Statement of Respect

The Garrison Forest School community is deeply committed to equity, honesty, kindness and respect as part of the educational experience. To this end, we:

  • celebrate diversity both within our community and our curriculum
  • are concerned for the well-being of all people
  • seek to build the self-esteem of all people
  • aspire to promote the understanding of all people.

We recognize the dignity and worth of all individuals. To protect their rights we confront bias, prejudice and discrimination. Garrison Forest School does not condone any behavior which is inconsistent with these tenets. We believe that it is unacceptable for our spoken and written language and behavior to demean anyone’s physical characteristics, as well as anyone’s ethnic, gender, personal, racial, religious or sexual identities. We, as individuals, must take responsibility for our words and deeds and respect all people.