Gould Academy Bethel, Maine | Est. 1836

Gould Academy has a special aura

Nestled in the mountain town of Bethel in western Maine, the campus has one of the prettiest settings of any independent school in the United States. This sense of place and connection to the natural world create the backdrop, but Gould is most notably about its people and their ties to one another. Almost universally, parents, students, and alumni say that what makes the school distinctive is the strength and commitment of the faculty and their warm relationship with students.

Gould has a uniquely close relationship with the world class Sunday River resort, just six miles from campus, providing vast opportunities for elite and recreational On Snow programs. Primarily a boarding school, with 225 students in grades 9-12, Gould is also a serious college preparatory institution with an excellent academic reputation and students who proudly assert that they are there first and foremost to benefit from a first-rate education. There is perhaps no other school that strikes this balance so masterfully.

Gould offers courses in Mandarin as well as French and Spanish
Academics at Gould

Gould’s academic program is dedicated to meeting the needs of each student. The small size of the school, dedicated faculty, and individualized approach allow the school to meet students where they are along the continuum of academic and social development. With an ambitious breadth of programming—notably so for a small school—the focus is on challenging students to try new pursuits where they often discover their passions.

Marine biology class on a field trip to the coast
  • Challenging core curriculum with 11 AP courses
  • Blended learning emphasis that provides students the opportunity to explore opportunities beyond the confines of campus
  • The Marlon Family IDEAS Center—a makerspace with the fabrication and digital tools required for success in a world that is increasingly reliant on ideas, analysis, design, and innovation
  • Academic Skills Program, Writing Center, Math Center, World Languages Center, and supervised dorm study
  • Place-based learning and creative offerings that combine academic courses and co-curricular activities
Students learn welding and blacksmithing in metal design class
The Arts
  • Extensive and ambitious Arts offerings, from ceramics and metal design to photography and individual art studios for students working on portfolios
  • Gallery space and visits by alumni and visiting artists
  • Distance learning partnership with The Manhattan School of Music
  • All-Steinway School designation, with 11 Steinway pianos on campus
Gould at a glance
Athletics & On Snow


From mountain biking, lacrosse, and soccer to skateboarding, equestrian, and ski patrol, Gould offers diverse athletic opportunities so that each student can discover or develop their passions. Each student is required to participate in a sport or activity every trimester, in keeping with the school’s philosophy that learning through experience is not only valuable but also an essential part of adolescent growth and development.

Lombard baseball diamond enjoys fantastic views of Sunday River's summits
Athletic Facilities

Farnsworth Field House is a well-equipped training space:

  • basketball court
  • fitness and weight-training room
  • trampoline room
  • indoor skate park
  • tennis court
  • team meeting rooms
  • Outing Club gear room
  • trainer's room.
Pine Hill, adjacent to campus, also connects to Bethel Village Trails
Outdoor Facilities

In addition to enjoying the lakes, rivers, woods, and mountains right in our backyard, Gould enjoys great outdoor facilities on campus as well:

  • Tennis courts (4)
  • Athletic fields (4)
  • Artificial turf field
  • Baseball and softball diamonds
  • 18-hole DGA disc golf course
  • 40km of mountain biking and Nordic ski trails on campus
Gould offers air bag training right on campus
On Snow Facilities
  • Paul Kailey Competition Center (Gould’s own slopeside lodge at Sunday River)
  • $1.1 million surface lift that serves the competition venue
  • Jump and air bag on campus (and a trampoline room in the field house)
Gould offers skateboarding for fun or competition, indoors and out
Only a short walk away
  • Award-winning 18-hole golf course
  • 9,000 square-foot outdoor concrete skatepark
  • More mountain biking trails, in addition to those on campus
Gould Celebrates Winter

What distinguishes Gould from traditional boarding schools and ski academies is its close and distinctive partnership with Sunday River and the strength and breadth of its academic and co-curricular opportunities.

The multi-layered On Snow Program includes an elite competition program as well as prep alpine ski and snowboarding programs, Nordic ski programs, PSIA-certified instructional programs, and a ski patrol training program. The vast majority of Gould students participate in On Snow programs each year.

Skiers at the "Comp Center," Gould's own slopeside lodge at Sunday River
Experiential Learning


From the moment a new student arrives on campus, that student becomes a genuine explorer. Orientation trips whisk them away on an introductory backpacking or canoe trip. And there are numerous opportunities throughout the school year to get outside.

Our location in the White Mountains of western Maine gives us a unique outdoor classroom right at our doorstep. At Gould, students celebrate each other, take risks, experiment, because we know that education is about the journey, about being in the NOW. We celebrate the learning process, not just the outcomes.

  • Outing Club
  • Weekend trips to surf, rock climb, camp, canoe, or other adventures
  • Certification in Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness First Responder, Adaptive Ski Instructing, and Avalanche Safety
  • Community Service
  • International travel and exchanges
Four Point

Gould’s Four Point Program is a 30-year tradition where students in each class embark on a journey of self-discovery.

Photo by M. Dirk MacKnight
Maine’s Most Beautiful — and most fun — Mountain Village!

Located in the heart of Bethel, Gould enjoys easy access to restaurants and shops, not to mention all of the amenities at Sunday River.

Sunday River: Our beautiful backyard playground. Photo courtesy of Sunday River

Want to know more?

Brad Clarke, Deb Menezes, and Bob Harkins