Contributed by Dr. Angél Kytle, Head of Middle School
As we close our last year as a Middle School on two campuses with four grade levels, I have been thinking so much about all of the visioning, planning, and work that has gone into creating the Middle School at Mount Vernon. I am beyond grateful for leaders and teachers who have come before me and who have partnered together to design a better world. And still, we look forward to the opportunity that lies before us– one building, one community. This brings me to reflect on the last pages of our strategic vision, MVx. I’d like to share it with you today as a closing to a wonderful celebration and year as well as a beginning moving forward.
While we have an ambitious, bold vision to be the best in the world at developing and delivering a 21st century learning experience, ultimately, “What matters here?”
WE VARY ROUTES.
The future demands it. In a world of turbulent change, we are focused on the future. We invest in setting the conditions for this generation of students — their future, not our past. Learning yearns for it. Learning is not one-dimensional. There is not one perfect fit, not an exact formula. Learning is not confined to a specific time and place. Learning is jagged. At the end of the day, our mission requires it. It is our true north, our non-negotiable imperative to be “a school of inquiry, innovation, and impact.”
WE CHALLENGE ASSUMPTIONS.
We invite people to step outside of their comfort zones. Avoiding physical, psychological, and strategic traps, it requires us to think critically rather than just being critical; to have a bias towards action; to unpack our own views; and ultimately, to steward the values of the mission. It keeps us thriving. It drives progress.
WE WONDER AND WANDER.
Seeking meaningful opportunities, we explore all scales of community. We follow sparks of motivation, interest, and curiosity. There are no defined limits, no barriers to entry. Equal permission to seek and explore prioritizes deep purpose and joyful play. It strengthens our sense of individual freedom, autonomy, and interdependence.
WE SHIP IDEAS.
We research. We go for volume. We take calculated risks. We are responsive. Shipping a perfectly packaged product is not the goal. Pioneering tomorrow can be messy. Iterating can be frustrating. However, “You achieve so much more by putting yourself out there and seeing what happens than you ever could by letting fear keep you from trying in the first place” (Jay Middleton, MV’s 2016-2017 Head Prefect).
WE BLUR LINES.
School life and real life should be synonymous. We create and cultivate connections between people, ideas, and sectors. We live at the edges where disciplines mingle in search of maximum impact. We want our community to embody a new notion of what school is and does. We do not want to build a school around the average.
WE DESIGN THE FUTURE.
Instead of trying to predict, we can design it. We can disrupt it by putting learners first. Made for more, we have the ability to impact our world. We can make better possible. Inspiring one another through the work we undertake together, we seek to design a better world, searching for maximum impact.
WE ARE GROUNDED.
May we walk in a manner worthy of the call we have been entrusted, grounded in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Nurturing these Christian values through service and community, we ask questions and share stories. Relationships are foundational. Relationships leverage transformation. Relationships ground us.
Thank you to our teachers, our parents, and students for your part in what matters here.
Grade 5 Mindset Awards
As a creative thinker, this young woman is inventive with her approaches to math and can attack math questions from different ‘angles.’ She employs original storylines and a signature sense of humor in her writing. Please join us in congratulating Allie Grace Sperling.
This student joined Mount Vernon right after the Christmas break, and it became evident that she was a perfect fit for our school. She started 2019 showing us her creative thinker mindset by creating a food web model that included a journal from the perspective of the animals in the food web. She has also demonstrated being an ethical decision maker, as she consistently makes wise choices both inside and outside of the classroom. She treats others the way that she wants to be treated. She cares about others and works hard to make people around her feel respected and valued. Please join us in congratulating Avery Cole.
From the first day of school in August, this student has lived the mindsets from day to day. As an ethical decision-maker she shows integrity, honesty, fairness, and respect. As an innovator, she learned she used designated time in class to learn a new skill which she was able to show others. Finally, as a creative thinker, she adds humor and her own voice to all writing assignments. Please join us in congratulating Bella Champney.
This student demonstrates the communicator mindset in multiple forums. He quietly encourages others while listening, asks follow up questions, and remains calm during negotiations. He is willing to persevere during struggles and shows enthusiasm when a solution is found. This student maintains a positive rapport with teachers and students and the group benefits from his leadership. His sense of humor creates a safe, comfortable environment for all. His positive, easy going personality is evident in all aspects of school life. Please join us in congratulating Hudson Forrest.
Grade 6 Mindset Awards
This student has had an amazing first year at Mount Vernon. She is a student who shows character, leadership, empathy, and adaptability. As a high performing student, she has thrived impressively in areas outside of the classroom. She has demonstrated the ethical decision maker mindset on several group projects and in class activities. She consistently holds herself and her classmates accountable. Her ability to get along with others inside and outside of the classroom has been admirable. Even better, she does everything with a smile. We believe that the quote, “Let the light in you shine brighter than the light that shines on you” is exemplified by her. Please join us in congratulating Audrey Baker.
This sixth grader is a great team player with whom others enjoy collaborating. She is articulate in communicating ideas and in presenting her work products with confidence. This student has high expectations for herself and others, and balances this with a competitive spirit in athletics. For the excellence she brings to her classes and in sports, and displaying the Communicator and Collaborator mindsets, please join us in congratulating Kennedy Mosley.
This student demonstrates the Solution Seeker mindset on a daily basis. He consistently takes responsibility for himself and isn’t afraid of a challenge. In fact, he rises to the occasion and beyond each time. In class, he asks great questions, strives to understand concepts deeply, and makes connections between different subjects. He collaborates well with others, and never loses sight of what’s most important. Please join us in congratulating Colin Minogue.
This student exemplifies the Creative Thinker as she believes in her own creative ability, as demonstrated on stage, but also builds on the ideas of others leading to improved value. Also a Solution Seeker, she sets goals, develops a plan of action and tests solutions – this earned her a special award in a statewide contest. She comes up with original ideas and sets a high standard to execute them well. She is a strong self advocate and has been a joy to teach this year. Please join us in congratulating Mary Ellen Reagin.
This student is passionate about what he believes in and loves to share with others. A fantastic Communicator, he presents his work clearly and openly. He also demonstrates positive leadership consistently in the classroom and engages with enthusiasm. This person is also a Collaborator, as he models positive commitment while working alongside others until the goal is achieved. While he may be joking that he will run for president, it would not surprise us if he did because he brings that kind of charisma to everything he does. Please join us in congratulating Sam Koontz.
Grade 7 Mindset Awards
This young man loves to think deeply and engage with real questions and problems. He generates neat and careful work and avoids careless errors through attention to detail, especially in math! His writing skills are eloquent, and he shows depth and insight beyond his years in his written work as long as his oral presentations. His creative work shows a keen ability to collaborate with others and to put innovative qualities to work in creating a product that benefits others. He’s able to read both the word and the world well. Please join us in congratulating Jackson Cloud.
This young lady exceeds expectations with the quality of her work and readily grasps new concepts and ideas. She works extremely hard and is willing to put in additional time before and after school to get her tasks done well. She makes thoughtful contributions to class discussions and is considerate and kind to all students and classmates, showing her ethical decision making attributes. She’s a true thinker and ponders all options and texts carefully. She thrives when given the opportunity to express her creativity and artistic ability. Please join us in congratulating Avery Daum.
This young man is a conscientious, hard-working student who puts his best effort into everything he does. Several of his peers have noted him as a role model, as he is consistently kind and polite to everyone. He consistently contributes to class discussions and knows how to give honest, but constructive and helpful feedback. He’s also one of the kindest students we have known and puts thought into every word he writes and says. Please join us in congratulating Afton Mosley.
This young lady achieves goals with respect to time and tackles classroom assignments, tasks, and group work in an organized manner. In class discussions, she shows unusual maturity and insight for her age. Her class projects and PBL’s show creativity, leadership, and insight into the world around her, and she truly wishes to make her surroundings and the outer world better. Please join us in congratulating Grace Westmoreland.
Grade 8 Mindset Awards
This student combines a genuine interest in learning with a kind and willing spirit. He reflects the Mount Vernon Mindsets by virtue of his natural curiosity and self-motivated disposition. Please join us in congratulating Brooks Champney.
This student is a Renaissance man. He can sing, he can act, and best of all, he can think critically and work well independently. We applaud him for the numerous roles he took on in each of his classes this year, and the way that he participates so enthusiastically. As well, he enjoys learning in order to better himself, which is a true gift in a student. Please join us in congratulating Will Jackson.
This student has been an asset to MV since joining our school this year. Her grateful attitude, respect for faculty, and kindness towards all set her apart from her peers. She has impressed her teachers with her leadership and dedication on each creative project she has undertaken, collaborating well with a variety of peers, and making ethical decisions. Her Student-Led Conference was a perfect summation of her time here, where she masterfully detailed her learning throughout the year. Please join us in congratulating Paige Reeve.
This student embodies many of the Mount Vernon Mindsets, especially in her qualities as a creative thinker, communicator, and solution seeker. She is a logical and critical thinker who knows how to evaluate new information relative to the current paradigm. She is an enthusiastic learner and reader who isn’t afraid to engage with difficult concepts. Please join us in congratulating Addie Vogt.
Fruit of the Spirit Award
The Fruit of the Spirit award honors students who distinguish themselves as God’s servants, embodying the Fruit we’re focusing on this year: self-control, faithfulness, joy, and kindness.
A definition of faithful is “loyal, constant, and steadfast.” This student embodies these three words daily. He is loyal to his peers in group work and games. He is constant to remain focused on a goal both individually and collaboratively. He is steadfast in his ethical decision making. Finally, this student’s faithfulness to the MV mindsets remains at the core of all he does. Please join us in congratulating Hugh Dalba.
This student has a heart of gold, and she spreads joy to all! She greets everyone with a genuine smile and with words of kindness. She is the picture of self-control while she leads groups toward a common goal. Please join us in congratulating Mariana Cadavid.
A smile is his natural expression. He starts everyone’s day with a friendly greeting and is willing to include every person in his conversations. This child assumes the good in all situations and diffuses conversation with fresh perspectives and positive outlooks. Please join us in congratulating Dylan Dwyer.
We want to recognize this student for the joy he brings to the classroom. He has a quiet happiness about him all the time, so it is no surprise that he has made many friends during his first year at Mount Vernon. He is a dedicated student and athlete, and teachers appreciate his self-control in the classroom and hallways as he sets himself as a role model for others. Please join us in congratulating Brayden Lewis.
Our next recipient is a very caring student and brings the Fruits of the Spirit to Mount Vernon every day! She shows kindness to all around her, as students AND teachers get smiles and hugs on a regular basis. She also shows great self-control, transitioning well between classrooms and helping others in the hallway. She is a good student and conscientious about her work, so she sets a good example for other students. Please join us in congratulating Mary Morgan Walker.
This young lady is committed to doing her best and takes responsibility for her learning. She is an active member of the Junior Prefect program, demonstrating her commitment to serving our school. She is always willing to help with morning announcements and other daily tasks. Her joy is exuberant, and she shares this brightness with fellow students and teachers alike. Please join us in congratulating Sydney Brice.
This young man conducts himself with maturity and is kind and helpful to everyone in the classroom. He is very polite and consistently says please and thank you. He is a hard worker who does his best to stay caught up on class assignments. His joy is a positive influence on those around him, and he has the consistent ability to make the best of every situation he is in. When others get distracted, he helps them get back on track in a positive way. Please join us in congratulating Noah Arnold.
This young man is steady, consistent, faithful, and unflappable. He remains focused on the activity at hand by resisting the urge to be distracted by other students. He’s hard working and gives 100% effort on all assignments and is a valuable contributor to group assignments. He shines on Project-Based Learning collaborations and individual work alike and has grown and matured tremendously throughout the course of the year. Please join us in congratulating Zachary White.
This young lady joyfully makes real-world connections in class, and she loves to share her personal artifacts from home. She sets an example of excellence in behavior and cooperation and is able to work with a variety of peers. Her kindness is noticeable, and she’s very in tuned to the emotions of others. Please join us in congratulating Elizabeth Weymouth.
This student is one of the kindest, most humble, and compassionate students we have ever had the privilege to teach. She continually goes out of her way each day to say hello, to engage in conversation, and to seek out a classmate who needs encouragement. Her empathetic nature makes her deserving of this coveted award. Please join us in congratulating Leighton Batcheller.
This student may often be found holding the door open for her peers… in the cold… while it’s raining. She expresses her gratitude for the efforts of faculty and staff as a matter of course. When she wishes people well, as she does regularly, she does so earnestly. Please join us in congratulating Kenzie Gartland.
This student always brings an edifying and positive attitude to class. He treats both classmates and his teachers with good humor and respect. He can always be relied upon as a good influence over those around him. Please join us in congratulating William Nix.
This student is one of our most joyful, who serves as a leader in our MV Community. She is often one of the first to volunteer to lead Christian Education, always takes on a major acting role in the numerous scenes in her literature class, and is an active participant in our school’s theater program. We have enjoyed watching her blossom both in class and on the stage this year. Please join us in congratulating Miller Woodall.
Mary Bea Hires
Mary Ellen Reagin
Visual and Performing Arts Awards
As artists, we are storytellers. Be it a painting or poem, scene or song, we use our voice to share stories of joy and sorrow, love and loss, hopelessness and hope. Each arts teacher submitted a story about a student who had a year of incredible growth and artistic impact in our community. The stories were voted on by our team and today we will learn the names of the incredible students behind those stories.
This student has grown exponentially as a percussionist this year. Her growing poise, quiet focus and pursuit of personal excellence, while keeping the interests of the ensemble as a whole as a priority, sets an example for the entire class and vaults her into a position of well-deserved leadership. In addition, she is an articulate speaker who can be called upon to explain different aspects of percussion during our Learning Exhibitions. Her growing maturity, humble self-confidence and willingness to share the spotlight with her fellow students makes Bella Champney one of our 5th Grade Artisans.
This student has many talents, including exceptional abilities in dance. She works hard, motivates her peers, and is a great team player. She takes advantage of every second in dance to improve on her skillset. She is the first one to start reviewing her dance and the last one to stop practicing. A multi-talented performer, she also shines in our strings and theater department. Her maturity, professionalism, and kind heart make her an exceptional choice for one of our 5th Grade Artisans. Join me in congratulating Lauren Reece.
This student has a hunger for learning and excels in multiple areas of the arts. She started playing the flute this year and went above and beyond to get private lessons and dive deeper in her skill development. She has helped out backstage with our middle school theater productions, and she continues to study Irish Dance in her free time. She has an exceptional work ethic, a dedication to excellence, is kind to everyone and always has a smile on her face. For all these reasons and more, Taylor Towns is also a 5th grade artisan award winner.
This student is a highly dedicated musician who works at her craft both in and outside of school. She not only excels at the violin, but has taken on a new instrument this year and is working toward mastering it one day at a time. She has an incredible work ethic and a love for music and sharing it with others. She is someone who leads by example, is always willing to help others, and has incredible patience. For her talent, character, and dedication to excellence at Mount Vernon, we are proud to honor Kennedy Mosley as one of our 6th grade artisans.
This student has demonstrated exceptional skill in the performing arts. She’s consistent in her efforts, a dynamite performer, and a true triple threat. In class she’s a leader among her peers, sets a high bar for herself and others, and works incredibly hard at her craft. She is humble, mature, kind, hungry for feedback and always has a positive attitude. She won first place for her dance performance in our solo & ensemble competition, earned a role in this year’s Upper School play “The Miracle Worker,” and has been accepted into a highly sought after dance company in Georgia. The sky is the limit for this talented young lady, and we are so lucky to have Sage Allen as one of our 6th grade artisans.
This student is a self-driven learner and an exceptional musician. His dedication to his craft is that of a true professional. He has an incredible work ethic in and out of the classroom and leads by example. He won first place for his oboe performance in our solo & ensemble competition and was showcased at our Spring Arts Showcase. He is humble, hard working, kind, and talented beyond his years and bound for great things as a musician. For all that and more, join me in celebrating Afton Mosley as one of our 7th grade artisans.
This student is a multi-talented artist who has dedicated a lot of her time to the performing arts while at Mount Vernon. She is an asset and a leader in our Middle School theater program and was one of our first Middle School participants in the 72 Hour Play Festival. She is always eager for feedback, is dedicated to excellence, resilient, and always gives 100%. Her immense talent, creativity, maturity, dedication, and growth-mindset are only a few reasons why we are proud to honor Piper Hendryx today as one of our 7th grade artisans.
This student has a quiet confidence as she leads by modeling excellence, kindness, and persistence. She is loyal, creative, detail-oriented, organized, and always looking for feedback to better her craft. She has brought a new level of maturity and skill to every show she’s been a part of and encourages others to rise to that standard as well. She has been a rock in our Middle School Theater department both on and off the stage, and I know she will continue that on in Upper School! We are so lucky to honor Addie Vogt as one of our 8th grade artisans today.
This student has great artistic and leadership potential. She is always willing to collaborate with her classmates and help with their drawings. She also goes beyond what is asked of her with assignments given and is dedicated to excellence and creativity. She is an innovative artist in the class and is eager to learn more about visual arts. Join me in celebrating Bryce Fennell as one of our 8th grade artisans.
Sophia Van Name
Mary Morgan Walker
Julie Anne Bush
Mary Hannah Martin
Luke Van Putten
Most Outstanding Female Athlete Award
Our most outstanding female athlete is a three-sport athlete that competes in volleyball, swimming and soccer.
On the court, her coaches say she is a born leader, never breaks down mentally and is always ready to take responsibility. She lifts her teammates up, is always encouraging and is coachable.
In the water, she was a great role model for her team, supportive of all teammates and was the top scorer for the middle school girls team this past season.
In soccer, she was always willing and able to step into a position during a game, and did so with confidence and a smile on her face. She is a true student athlete who gives 110% on the soccer field and in the classroom
It is with great pleasure to present our Most Outstanding Female Athlete to Ms. Campbell Bruening!
Most Outstanding Male Athlete Award
Our Most Outstanding Male Athlete is also a three-sport competitor in football, wrestling and lacrosse. In football, this Mustang helped lead the 7/8 Football team in the always-competitive Metro-10. On the mat, he finished 2nd at the Metro-10 Tournament in his weight class and placed 3rd at the Chattahoochee Valley Tournament. In lacrosse, he helped the Mustangs to the Final Four of the Metro-10 Tournament and an overall record of 6-5 in league play.
His coaches say he is a leader and demonstrates grit, determination and perseverance.Furthermore, he is coachable and pushes himself to perfect his craft an all sports he participates in. It with great pleasure to present our Most Outstanding Male Athlete to Mr. Liam O’Toole!
The Prefect Award
The Prefect Award is a great honor bestowed upon a grade 8 student. To be nominated for this award, a student must demonstrate exemplary leadership, dedication, and represent the highest ideals of Mount Vernon Presbyterian School.
Distinct from our new program of Junior Prefects this year, this is a separate honor of that we bestow upon the one individual who has embodied each of the finest qualities of the Mount Vernon Mindsets, Fruits of the Spirit, and Strengths of Character. This student must be one to embrace challenges, both academically and socially, as well as to seek innovative solutions to all conflicts. Through kindness, empathy, and joy, this 8th grader raises up her classmates and teachers, and she is ever faithful to the integrity of her own character. She continually seeks to improve herself, both seeking creative approaches to topics that interest her, and surrounding herself with true friends. A rare quality in a middle schooler, this student has the courage to do what is right, even in the face of adversity. The 2018-19 Prefect Award goes to Ellayna Casey.