Mount Vernon Presbyterian School has been selected into Ashoka’s Changemaker Schools Network, joining 59 innovative schools across the country. The School, the only one in Georgia to date, was chosen for equipping students with the vital skills necessary to address the needs of the community through empathy, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership. Mount Vernon is led by a team of changemakers who see the world not only as it is, but as it could be, and who work to make that world a reality. Sharing the vision, founder and CEO Bill Drayton of Ashoka, explains, “Once young people have a dream, they’ve built a team, and produced change in their community, they have the power to express love and respect through action. As a result, they will be changemakers for life—real contributors in the world.”
Mount Vernon Presbyterian School is a school of inquiry, innovation, and impact. Grounded in Christian values, the School prepares all students to be college ready, globally competitive, and engaged citizen leaders. Utilizing a design thinking approach known as DEEP (Discover, Empathize, Experiment, and Produce), the faculty and leadership at Mount Vernon exhibit a commitment beyond just academics, recognizing these skills are essential for students to be prepared for our rapidly changing world.
Bo Adams, Chief Learning and Innovation Officer and Change Leader at Mount Vernon asserts, “If school is supposed to prepare kids for real life, then why doesn’t school look more like real life? For more than a decade, this central question has guided my research and professional practice as an educational leader. Young people care deeply about their world, but school – in its traditional form – can often blunt that emerging ethos. At Mount Vernon, through design thinking and real-world context and problem solving, we are striving to nurture engaged citizen leaders and people that give, rather than get or take, for their education.”
Ashoka’s Changemaker Schools Network provides Mount Vernon with opportunities to: influence the greater education discourse through media and presenting at conferences; access like-minded schools across the country; collaborate on projects that impact education; and access partners in the Ashoka network like universities, social entrepreneurs, and companies. Click here to learn more about Ashoka and the Changemaker Schools Network.
Ashoka launched the Changemaker Schools Network in 2012 to identify, recognize, and collaborate with innovative, influential elementary schools that are rethinking education. The network is a national community of 60 leading elementary schools that serve as models for cultivating students as changemakers, leading the way to ensuring every child develops agency, empathy, and voice. The network includes schools of all demographics and geographies, serving as proof points that excellence can be achieved in any environment. Changemaker Schools also contribute to shifting the demand among parents and teachers from schools focused only on academic outcomes to schools that graduate students as empathic, collaborative leaders. Sandra Hinderliter, manager of Changemaker School engagement at Ashoka, expressed, “We are so excited to welcome Mount Vernon Presbyterian School to the network! The school’s culture, the systems they have in place, and the curriculum they teach their students set them up to shape an entire community of changemakers.”