Contributed by Head of Grade 5 Emily Edwards

This year, grade 5 – the Class of 2027 – became the new leaders of the Lower School and Lower Campus. At the end of grade 4, these students were led through a design challenge allowing them to discuss the word leadership and curate a list of ways they could demonstrate leadership as grade 5 students.

During the summer, the Lower School Administrative Team collaborated with the Grade 5 Team to decide which items on the list they might incorporate into the fifth-grade experience. 

Leadership Course Lead by Shelley Searcy, Head of Lower School
Once a month, fifth graders meet with Mrs. Searcy for a leadership lesson or experience. The class is designed to coach and teach the students about various aspects of leadership. 

The September meeting focused on the qualities of a leader and thinking about leadership through the lens of the Mount Vernon Mindsets. 

The October meeting focused on the concept of “too many cooks in the kitchen.” Students played follow-the-leader games and explored the challenges of confusion when too many leaders give directions. This led to a great discussion about roles within a group.

In November, students exercised servant leadership by participating in random acts of kindness around campus such as writing thank you letters, sorting the lost and found, and picking up trash around campus. 

We are thankful for Mrs. Searcy and her leadership in Lower School, and we look forward to more learning in the second semester!

Admissions Ambassadors
Our grade 5 students worked closely with our Admissions team to help lead tours on Admissions Visit Days. Student Ambassadors led tours alongside MV Administrators and have helped to cascade the Mount Vernon experience through sharing their stories and answering questions from prospective families. 

Thirty students served as Open House Ambassadors during our All-School Open House event. Students welcomed our guests and shared stories about why they love their school. 

Chapel Leadership Team
Grade 5 students have had several opportunities to collaborate with Ms. Schmutzler and Mrs. Edwards to be leaders in Lower School Chapel. 

Students attended sessions before school to assist with worship, greeting, changing the slides, leading prayers, and more. 

Cardboard Crew
This year, a group of 10 grade 5 students designed, planned, and executed our Lower School Cardboard Challenge. Under the direction of Mr. Tiffin, these students collaborated to plan the even for all Lower School classrooms.

They created the schedule for the event, the slide deck that teachers could use in the classroom, set up the Courtyard, emailed the community, and helped troubleshoot problems along the way. This was a successful event thanks to their hard work.

Inquiry Zone (IZ) Ambassadors
A group of twenty grade 5 students serve as Inquiry Zone Ambassadors in the Lower School. These students collaborate with Mrs. Minutaglio to keep the Inquiry Zone running smoothly. Each student serves a 30-minute shift weekly to check-in/out books, organize inventory, and reset the space. These students also assisted at the Book Fair and worked the cash register. 

Lost and Found
As the winter months roll in, the inventory in the Lost and Found grows. Under the direction of fifth grade math teacher Ben Hendry, a group of students spent their recess time once a week sorting the lost and found items and returning them to students. As a reminder, always put your child’s name in their outerwear so these awesome students can return items to their rightful owners! 

Pep Rally
A group of fifth-grade students planned and executed our first-ever Lower School Pep Rally on Friday, August 30. These students collaborated with Mr. Freeman, LS Performing Arts teacher, and Elisse Hayes, Head of Learning and Innovation, to bring their ideas to life. 

All Lower School students were greeted in the gym by gymnastics performers, music, and signs to get them pumped up before the Pep Rally. Jackson Greene led us in prayer before they got started. 

G5 students took turns introducing various after-school arts and athletic opportunities at Mount Vernon. They celebrated the wins of these performers and athletes, and discussed what it means to be “Better Together” and “Made in MV”.

So far, 61% of grade 5 has participated on a leadership team, and 100% in the leadership course. We are so proud of the leadership of this fantastic group of students! They are making an impact on the Lower Campus. We are excited to see what opportunities arise in the spring semester. The Class of 2027 is ready to make their mark because we are better together! 

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