John Gale Hun Program for Civics

Supported by a gift from Betty Wold Johnson, the John Gale Hun Program for Civics Education exposes all Hun students to the virtues of American Democracy with several all-school initiatives. We welcome government leaders and scholars to campus for all-school speeches and debates, including Congressman John Lewis and Dr. Sean Wilentz of Princeton University and Jeff Rosen of the National constitution center. 

Through experiential activities on and off campus, students observe and interact with individuals at all levels of government, from local judges and mayors to congressmen and high-ranking officials. Students with a keen interest can pursue a Civic Responsibility and Ethical Leadership Scholars Track junior and senior year. 

During sophomore year curriculum includes a visit the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, while juniors visit at least one real-world branch of local government. Examples have included the New Jersey State Supreme Court.

Sophomore Trip to National Constitution Center

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But civics education at The Hun School doesn’t stop there:

Robust Student Government

The Hun School student government is comprised of fifty-two student leaders. It includes twenty senators (four executive) and eight advisory representatives at each grade level. Six members of the student government are appointed to the judicial branch of our school and sit on the Discipline and Honor Committees. The leaders meet weekly and are led by a president and vice president. They research and draft bills that often have direct impact on the school culture, academic and co-curricular structures, and offerings. For example, successful bills have tackled such items as adding representatives to the Middle School delegation, dress code changes, etc. 

Ethical Leadership and Civic Responsibility Scholars Track

In addition to a breadth of courses in the History and Global Studies Department, The Hun School offers an honors program and distinction in Ethical Leadership and Civic Responsibility. To qualify, students must excel in a challenging section of related courses and create a community leadership portfolio documenting their participation in substantive civics-related activities and events including an ethical leadership seminar. Qualifying students receive an honors diploma with the subject distinction. Courses include: AP U.S. Government and Politics, Microeconomics and Constitutional Law, Moral Philosophy, Debate, AP Statistics and Probability, Journalism, Human Rights, Bioethics, etc. 

Seminars on Community and Leadership 

The Hun School places a strong emphasis on character education and community – it is a characteristic that distinguishes us from our peers. Our environment is not a competitive pressure cooker, but instead, is highly nurturing and supportive. We impart these characteristics through a shared community expectation, but also through Seminars 9 and 10. All freshmen take Seminar 9, which focuses on what it means to be part of a community. All sophomores take Seminar 10, which focuses on leadership skills.