National organizations including The Library of Congress, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, and the Smithsonian Institution are commemorating and encouraging the study, observance, and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. Throughout the month of March, Mount Vernon has developed unique learning opportunities for students across each division, in addition to organizing a number of events and speakers focused on the achievements and contributions of women in a range of fields. Here are just a few of the ways Mount Vernon is observing and celebrating Women’s History Month.
Female Performing Artists In Lower School
In Amanda Lower’s Performing Arts class, students in Grades 2 – 5 are studying notable women in performing arts who have left an impact throughout history. To ensure every student can feel a connection to an artist, Amanda is introducing a diverse range of musical genres, including Rock stars, classical singers, pop stars, and country artists. The students are also choreographing dance numbers to songs by prominent female artists.
Amanda plans to extend the program through the end of the year. She says, “When I first introduced the lesson, many of our students couldn’t name any female rockers, so I knew I needed to keep doing this through the end of the year. It’s valuable for girls and boys to see these powerful women on stage.” Check out the video below of students practicing a performance.
“Beyond The Selfie” Middle School Art Exhibit
Designed by Middle School Art Teacher Susan Edwards, the exhibit encourages self-reflection and individual form through the medium of art. While these works are complex and interesting to look at, Susan explained why the exhibit is so powerful for the artists, “In a world where selfies are the norm, I think this project was an important opportunity for students to slow down and really observe their unique facial features and hopefully be more comfortable with their identity through the many iterations of continuous line making.” The exhibit serves as a powerful reminder of the unique perspectives and talents that women bring to the world. Currently up in the Middle School Lightbox through the end of the month, the exhibit features self-portrait continuous line drawings by Grade 7 & 8 female artists. See a preview of the exhibit below.
Guest Speaker, Stephanie Espy, Founder and CEO of MathSP
The School welcomed special guest speaker Stephanie Espy, founder and CEO of MathSP, a math consulting firm that provides academic and professional development services to students and educators. Espy spoke to Middle and Upper School students about the importance of access to STEM education, and how her company is working to help young people and educators of all backgrounds succeed in these critical fields. Click the image below to watch her entire 29-minute presentation.
3 MV Students Joined a Virtual Event Broadcast Globally
Three MV students joined New York Times best-selling author and photographer (and Mount Vernon mom) Kate Parker for a special virtual event broadcast globally by the Women’s UN Report Network (WUNRN) last week. Sharing stories of strength and confidence that will also be featured in Kate Parker’s upcoming book the follow-up to Strong is The New Pretty.
- Zoe Oli, Class of 2029 – Talked about her company, Beautiful Curly Me, and why she started it
- Allie Parker, Class of 2027 – Spoke about how she finds the courage to sing in front of large crowds
- Amelia Nestor, Class of 2033 – Shared how she uses her voice to speak up for herself and those around her
Their stories served as a powerful reminder of the importance of self-love, strength, and perseverance. Their voices were amplified through the WURN platform which is based on a UN Study on the Status of Women, Religion or Belief, and Traditions. WUNRN addresses the human rights, oppression, and empowerment of women and girls all over the globe.
On Thursday, March 23 Kourtnay Abernathy, Middle School Coordinator of IDEA, is hosting a Middle School panel discussion honoring the hidden figures of MV. Panel members include Dr. Margaret Robbins, Kristen Pisacreta, Charlene Sherman, Jasmine Gray, and Leah Hannon, with MVXpert Ky’erra Kelly, City of East Point FireFighter.
Women’s College Graduates Fireside Chat
Dr. Chaundra Suddith, Upper Campus IDEA Director and Learning Coach, facilitated a panel discussion of graduates from Women’s Colleges. From navigating corporate and academic professional settings, Upper School students had the opportunity to listen to a panel of accomplished women from various fields who all chose Women’s Colleges. The panel featured:
- LeAnna Rensi Caser – MV Parent and Director for Leadership, Engagement, & Service at Agnes Scott College
- Niyogushima Edithe-Rose – Co-Director of The Friends School of Atlanta and graduate of Agnes Scott College
- JLP Prince – Coordinator of Co-Curricular Data at Cornell University & graduate of Meredith College
- Michele Koch – Chief Brand Officer at The Mount Vernon School and graduate of Hollins University
- Machamma Quinichett – Assistant Dean and Director of the Office of Academic Advising and Accessible Education at Agnes Scott College and graduate of Spelman College
- Elizabeth Bragley – Director of Library Science at Agnes Scott & graduate of Mount Holyok
- Sherida Mabon – Senior Counsel at and graduate of Spelman College
On March 29, former CFO of Coca-Cola, Kathy Waller, will be speaking to Upper School students during chapel about her experience as a female CFO at one of the world’s largest companies. She will speak about Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans, one of the first bottling company owners in the Coca-Cola system and a woman pioneer in business in Georgia. Prior to her 32-year run at Coca-Cola Kathy graduated from The University of Rochester.
These intentional learning moments serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of recognizing and celebrating the contributions of women in all fields throughout history. In line with the Mount Vernon mission, we aim to spark curiosity and inspire students to pursue passions with confidence and determination.