Gaynor McCown EL High School is a safe, inclusive and academically rigorous college preparatory learning community focused on developing both the scholarship and character of its students. In partnership with New York City Outward Bound Schools and the EL Education national network, students learn through in-depth case studies and Expeditions, enabling them to make real world connections to their learning, as well as develop skills to be independent thinkers, problem solvers, and global citizens. McCown students share their work with authentic audiences – peers, teachers, family members, and the larger Staten Island community. McCown graduates embody the character traits of creativity, honesty, humor, respect, and responsibility, leaving with a moral compass to make a mark and make a difference.
Message from Principal Tang
I am thrilled to be your principal; this is my 20th year in the Department of Education and I spent 18 of them getting ready to do the best job possible as principal. Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning School has the community, culture, diversity and programs that will prepare our students for their next steps in the world.
I bring to you a wide range of experiences beginning in 2001 with teaching high school English, having been an assistant principal, an instructional coach, and an administrator in the district office for 47 high schools in all five boroughs of New York City. Additionally, I served as the President of the PTA at my children’s school for three years and on the executive board of the district Presidents’ Council for two years.
For four years, I supported McCown as part of the district and visited many times. I worked closely with Mrs. Frey and admire the great work in which she had led the school. Therefore, when the opportunity to be the next principal manifested, I did not hesitate to accept.
My first goal is to get to know all of you better. I value all the work that has been going on and all the hard work that has been put into making this the school that it is today. I have spent the past few days at morning entry, in the halls, in the cafeteria and at dismissal speaking with as many students as possible. Students should not hesitate to speak with me if they have a concern.
As to what you can expect of me as a leader: something that I have learned from visiting so many schools is that personalization is a key to success. It is only by building trust and relationships that we will reach our full potential as a school. Another thing that I have learned that none of this can be done by a single person. Being a great leader means empowering the voices of all those in the community, especially those of the students, so come to the table ready to be heard.
I am here to make sure that you have more choices when you leave McCown than when you entered and that your time at McCown is safe, inclusive, and culturally sustaining. Every individual is known and valued at McCown. We dedicate 100 hours to community service because we believe it is every person’s job to make a mark and make a difference.
New York City Outward Bound
Our educational approach challenges and supports students to do their best work, injects elements of adventure and discovery into schooling, grounds academic content in real-world issues and concerns, promotes teamwork as well as individual initiative, provides opportunities for leadership and demonstrations of learning, and places character and intellectual development on equal footing. Everything we do is shaped and guided by this approach.
When students and teachers are engaged in work that is challenging, adventurous and meaningful, learning and achievement flourish. Our mission is to create classrooms where teachers can fulfill their highest aspirations, and students achieve more than they think possible, becoming active contributors to building a better world.
Friends of Gaynor
The Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning School and New York City Outward Bound are deeply grateful to our friends and supporters, all of whom help us fulfill our mission of effecting positive and lasting change in the lives of New York City's young people and in their public schools. As Gaynor herself loved to say, "Make a mark, make a difference."
Our Friends of Gaynor supporters are helping us do just that -- and the list below reflects our most recent contributors to date. We apologize for any errors or omissions.
- Jonathan Miller
- Lisa Brown
- Sharon E. Baum
- Paul & Betty Dolinoy
- Ellen Iseman
- Marc Kirkeby & Mindy Tarlow
- John & Lucinda Lourie
- Anna Luce
- Mr. & Mrs. K. Mark Mallon
- Goldman Sachs