About Gerstell


“When I was a young parent I used to dream about the great things my children might someday accomplish. I then set out to find a school that not only had a strong academic curriculum but also a school that placed emphasis on social skills, manners, fitness for life, and most importantly, leadership development. My most precious possessions would then be ready for the competition and challenges of life. Unfortunately, years ago this type of opportunity did not exist."

 Dr. Frederick G. Smith

  President Emeritus, Founder

Today it exists at Gerstell Academy.


A History of Gerstell

Gerstell Academy was founded in 1996 by President Dr. Frederick G. Smith as an independent, co-educational, non-sectarian college preparatory school for students entering Pre-Kindergarten though Grade 12. The leadership-based program develops moral values, social skills, manners, and cognitive development in tomorrow's citizens, while promoting rigorous traditional academics.

The school began with a class of seven students in 2002 and has since expanded to over 330 day-students on over 250 beautiful rolling acres in Carroll County, Maryland.   

Today, Gerstell Academy stands as the first leadership school established in Maryland. Gerstell Academy is devoted to the development of leadership skills with an emphasis on physical fitness and to the mastery of fundamental knowledge in a traditional college preparatory curriculum. Our students attend top colleges and universities and return to campus as successful, well-adjusted college students with an attitude of "fitness for life" and a feeling of preparedness. Gerstell offers students an educational program of excellence in a community focused on the school's Mission, Motto and Leadership Principles and Attributes. The four pillars of a Gerstell education include: Leadership, College Preparatory Academics, Physical Training, and Modern Language Fluency.

We encourage you to browse our website to explore all that Gerstell has to offer your child. We invite you to discover our unique approach to education and hope to see you as a part of the Gerstell community.

Welcome to Gerstell.


Gerstell Academy

2500 Old Westminster Pike | Finksburg, MD 21048 | 410-861-3000 | 1-866-861-3000

"Gerstell Academy is the only leadership school in the area, and our children have benefited greatly by its values-based curriculum."

Leadership permeates all aspects of the curriculum. Students are encouraged to demonstrate their leadership in school, at home, and in the community.

"The admissions process at Gerstell Academy was a wonderfully welcoming experience. From the moment we entered the Robert E. Smith Hall, we knew that Gerstell was where we wanted our child to be."

"The challenging academics at Gerstell Academy taught our daughter to think critically and to be prepared to compete in an increasingly global society. We loved the Spanish fluency requirement."

Physical training encompasses both daily physical education opportunities and competitive athletics.

Gerstell Academy depends on the generous financial support of the entire Gerstell community. Please join us in the effort to make Gerstell greater!

Gerstell Alumni represent everything that is Gerstell. They are the ambassadors of the school that live the mission every day.

Gerstell Academy aspires and endeavors to remain a vibrant contributing member of our local communities.

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