About Us

Mission Statement

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.

Please see our family handbook for rules and procedures.

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.

Expeditionary Learning



EL Education

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