2020 in Review – Top Ten Gould Moments of the Year

December 31, 2020

No doubt, 2020 was a year unlike any other, but that didn’t stop Gould from creating magic moments filled with tradition and opportunities to learn and grow. Here are ten of the most memorable moments from the past year. What did we leave out? Share your story in the comments!

10. Gould Athletes Compete at the 2020 Youth Winter Olympic Games 

The year was off to a great start when snowboardcross racer Dali Gao ’22 and alpine ski racer Maxx Parys ’20 were at the peak of their individual disciplines and represented their countries at the Youth Winter Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland!

Dali Gao and Maxx Parys kicking off 2020 with a trip to the Youth Olympic Games in Switzerland.

Read More on Dali & Maxx!

9. Winter Carnival 2020

A bluebird day set the tone for spirited competition. Winter Carnival is always a chance to unite with your dormmates or fellow day students with the sole intent of seeing who can have the most fun, collecting style points along the way.

8. Junior Four Point 2020

We were fortunate to sneak Junior Four Point into early March before we had to close up shop on in-person classes for the 2019-20 school year. A Gould rite of passage and bonding experience unlike any other, this past winter expedition retired math teacher John Wight brought his vast wisdom to a lucky group of juniors. He claims this is his last, but I’m pretty sure Pop has said that before. Current science teacher Nancy Eaton also notched her 19th trip!

Gould Legend John Wight joined Junior Four Point in 2020

Dive Deep into Junior Four Point!

7. The Great Gould Scavenger Hunt of 2020!

As Gould closed campus and went remote like the rest of the world, we thought our alumni and families could use a shot in the arm to help cure the cabin fever that was likely setting in. And thus, The Great Gould Scavenger Hunt was born! We threw out seven challenges to the masses and the results were remarkable!

One of the many remarkable submissions we received. Click the 🔎 to see more!


Relive the Hunt!

6. Virtual Graduation – The Class of 2020

It wasn’t the commencement any of the seniors had envisioned when their journey at Gould began, but the community found a way to make it unique and special. The individual tributes on Instagram and Facebook for every senior, the keynote address from Lucas St. Clair ’96, and the custom diploma video presentations, the Class of 2020 was sent out in style. Get out the Kleenex and revisit the slideshow below from Baccalaureate, featuring a heartfelt soundtrack from Jim McLaughlin P’16, ’20, and Finnian McLaughlin ’20.

Watch the full Commencement Ceremony here

5. Black Lives Matter Protests in Bethel

Gould can feel isolated and remote at times, but when waves of social unrest hit the country following the police killing of George Floyd, Bethel wasn’t immune to the reverberations. Faculty and local families were eager to show their support for the movement, and it served to fast-track the important DEI work Gould is doing to ensure that it is a welcoming and inclusive community for all.

Faculty gather for the Black Lives Matter protest in the summer of 2020

Keep up with Gould’s DEI Initiatives

4. Tao Smith ’90 Becomes the Gould Head of School

Tao Smith officially becomes Gould's Head of School in 2020It was announced back in October of 2019 that Tao Smith ’90 would become the next head of school at Gould, however, it became official on July 1, 2020. While traditionally a new head might have a year to gain their bearings, this wasn’t a luxury afforded to Mr. Smith. His prior experience at Gould as a former faculty member and alumnus meant he knew the landscape inside and out. His leadership, through the process of returning to in-person classes to providing levity with head’s holidays and surfing and fly fishing trips, has been instrumental in the success Gould has enjoyed this school year.

3. Back to Campus 2020-21: The Safe Return

Getting back to in-person classes and on-campus learning was of paramount importance to the Gould community last summer. It wasn’t an endeavor the faculty and administration took lightly. Task forces and committees were formed, and campus leaders came together, giving up vacations and family time, to make sure it was done right. Under the guidance of new Head of School Tao Smith ’90, countless hours and days were put into planning for students to return. When all was said and done, Gould had a solid plan, exceeding the Maine CDC’s recommendations for protocols and transparency. It wasn’t until we were back to living on campus under COVID that it was clear how important all of that preparation was. Take a look below at the plan rolled out last summer.

Gould - Welcoming You Home

2. Mountain Day 2020

Some traditions are too important to lose. This year’s Mountain Day found students hiking by class to different peaks across Sunday River. Seniors enjoyed a barbecue and hang at the top of the Jordan Bowl, and for one afternoon in the crisp mountain air, all was almost normal.

1. A Very Gould Thanksgiving

The plan for the 2020-21 school year was always to have two student intakes. One in late August/early September, and another in January. That meant fewer breaks and staying on campus longer than normal. Students had the option to go remote for the remainder of 2020 if they wanted to celebrate at home, but many boarders opted to stay through December 12 and beyond, which resulted in Gould students being on campus on Thanksgiving for the first time in recent memory. Gould wanted to provide a special event, so Lorraine Sumner’s talented dining staff prepared a traditional feast, while faculty and staff volunteers served it up. While nothing can replace time with one’s own family, we have much to be grateful for.

Bonus Moment – El COVID Mariachi!

Mr. Alford, Mrs. Manning, and Mr. Parker created video perfection with their “in-person classes” COVID protocols PSA.

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