The echoes of Convocation last Friday still reverberate, a blend of musical performances, profound insights, and transformative ideas have left an indelible mark on our hearts and minds. This year’s convocation was not just an event; it was the start of a new journey following our new strategic plan and the promise of a brighter future shaped by our collective efforts.

Both the Lower and Upper School programs started with student performances. The music was not just notes on a sheet; they were expressions of the human spirit, a reminder that within us lies the power to create, to inspire, and to transcend.

We had the honor of hearing from Liam Downs, a Grade 5 student, who led us in the pledge and invocation. Liam’s presence on stage exemplified the potential and promise of our future leaders.

Dr. Brett Jacobsen, CEO of The Mount Vernon School, took the stage to welcome us all and introduce the exciting journey that lies ahead. With strategic wisdom and fervent passion, he unveiled the roadmap – The Impact Ready Project: A Journey of Purpose. It’s not just a plan; it’s a declaration of our commitment to shape a world that’s not just different but profoundly better.

But it was Joe Srinivasan, the Head Prefect and a member of the Class of 2024, who truly ignited the room with his compelling insights on leadership. Joe introduced the first of six new Mount Vernon Mantras “Start with Questions” when he posed a thought-provoking inquiry that sparked our curiosity: “Why do things change?” This led him to share thoughts on a second mantra “Lead from Where You Are” and three essential qualities that all leaders need: eagerness, finely-tuned listening skills, and the ability to make connections. Joe’s remarkable understanding and articulation proved that leadership knows no age limit.

Head of School, Kristy Lundstrom, eloquently delved into the essence of the remaining four Mount Vernon Mantras, shedding light on their profound significance. With conviction, she underscored the paramount value of embodying “Grow and Give.” This powerful mantra serves as a reminder, urging us not only to relentlessly pursue our individual pinnacles of excellence but also to extend our hand towards the betterment of our community. Kristy’s impassioned words resonated with the notion that true fulfillment arises from both personal growth and communal contribution.

In her address, Kristy advocated for the cultivation of the mantra “Be Brave to Try and Try Again.” Through this perspective, she conveyed that the path to mastery is paved with determination and resilience. Encouraging us to embrace challenges with unwavering courage, she illuminated the profound truth that proficiency is a product of consistent practice and the fortitude to persevere, even in the face of setbacks.

Help Me See What You See” emerged as a compelling directive, extending a heartfelt invitation to gently draw aside the curtains of our individual perceptions. Through this evocative phrase, the call for empathy resonated, encouraging us to step into the shoes of others during our interactions, fostering deeper connections and understanding.

In her closing words, Kristy imparted a lasting message that resonated deeply: the simple yet profound instruction to “Have Fun.” This advice serves as a timeless reminder, urging us to be fully present in the moment, embracing the richness of each experience with unbridled enthusiasm.

As the events neared their conclusion, Elisse Hayes, Head of Spiritual Life for the Lower Campus, and Coach Tarrik Mabon, Head of Spiritual Life for the Upper Campus, stepped forward to guide us in closing prayers. Their words artfully intertwined threads of faith, unity, and shared purpose, that bound us together in a common sense of purpose and belonging.

Convocation 2023 was an extraordinary gathering, filled with inspiration and forward-thinking ideas. It served as the launchpad for a new year, a year brimming with transformation, where our actions will match our aspirations. Let the Mount Vernon Mantras become the pillars of our journey, forging leaders who do not just envision change but spark it.

Let’s stride into the future, not as spectators, but as architects of change, bound by our shared mission to shape a world that our hearts know is possible. The journey beckons – let’s answer the call.

Read The Impact Ready Project: A Journey of Purpose, Mount Vernon’s new strategic plan here.