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MOUNT VERNON P R E S BY T E R I A N S C H O O L THE MAGAZINE WINTER 2011 EMPOWERING THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS PRESCHOOL THROUGH GRADE 12 ACADEMIC INNOVATION AT MOUNT VERNON: EMPOWERING the Next Generation of Leaders – PAGE 26 Mount Vernon Presbyterian School is a community dedicated to academic excellence, physical development and spiritual enrichment. Grounded in Christian values, the School seeks to develop leaders who will use their unique abilities to think, serve and live their lives with wisdom and moral integrity. The Mount Vernon Magazine, published twice annually by the Office of Advancement, is mailed free of charge to students, parents, faculty, alumni and friends of Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. For more information about Mount Vernon, please call (404) 252-3448 or visit our web site at www.mountvernonschool.org. Disclaimer: Mount Vernon Presbyterian School makes every effort to ensure that all names and listings are accurate and complete. If a name has been omitted, misspelled, or listed incorrectly, please accept our sincerest apologies. winter 2011 2 MY PERSPECTIVE Dr. Jacobsen announces launch of the next strategic process rocess. 10 CAMPUS NOTES Latest news, events, achievements highlight the Mount Ve non commu nts men highligh the Mount Vern m mu munity. 26 COVER STORY Twenty first century education provides stud ts w the skills to lead in the future. a des stud students with cation ovides s u NNUA 41 ANNUAL REPORT Office of Advancement spotlig the generosity of the School community. m ncem n otliglights i li OUNT LLOWS Gran 53 MOUNT VERNON FELLOWS Gr nts allow dreams to come true for faculty. d OF THE TORY Clas H 56 THE POINT OF THE STORY Clas of 2010 alumnus talks about his MVPS preparation for college. ass 1 01 myperspective DR. BRETT JACOBSEN Head of School The Next 40: Designing Innovation TODAY for a Sustainable TOMORROW Mount Vernon Presbyterian School stands at the intersection of the second decade of the 21st century and the celebration of 40 years as a strong Christian educational community in August. At Mount Vernon, the air is charged with possibility as we seek to be the best 21st century Christian college-preparatory school in the world. 2 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL This is a myperspective BOLD VISION but we do not apologize for it. While we are proud of our rich history, there is real excitement as we look to the future of our School. The School is on the verge of a new era of exploration and innovation, under the guidance of an energized staff, Board and faculty leadership as well as a committed and connected parent community. Established by four strong pillars of the School – Learning, Leadership, Service, and Spiritual Growth – Mount Vernon officially launches the next strategic planning process for the future of the School and most importantly, our students. Exhorted by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), “With the financial crisis easing in most areas, how do independent school leaders, tackle the next phase of building strong, financially sustainable schools, able to prepare students for success in an ever-changing world?” What are the critical factors the School needs to know at this pivotal moment in time to be the most effective, innovative Christian college preparatory school in the world while sustaining the rich history of core values and tradition as an independent school? We all recognize the need for a 21st century education for our students; one that blends the rigorous academic standards of traditional curriculum but also focuses on 21st century skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, adaptability, effective communication and leadership. Business leaders, researchers and experts in the field of education, including the President of NAIS Patrick Bassett, are challenging schools to design their classrooms around these skills, which are vital for success in the 21st century. Mount Vernon embraces this challenge, and seeks to set a new standard for independent school education. While we strive to reach new heights of excellence, we remain committed to providing a nurturing environment where each student is known. Over the next year, the Strategic Planning Committee appointed by the Mount Vernon Board of Trustees will involve parents, teachers, students, grandparents, the business and philanthropic community as well as higher education to position the School for the future. Through this community-wide conversation, the Committee will commence into a period of thorough research and thoughtful dialogue about Mount Vernon’s foundational assumptions, core convictions, and academic themes based on a strategic framework recognized by NAIS and other focal points identified by MVPS. It is the stewardship of our mission and resources that allows the School to seize this moment of possibility and to advance our mission of academic excellence, physical development, and spiritual enrichment. THE MAGAZINE 3 myperspective Guiding faith, school community, neighborhood community, and community of relationships that last forever – dedicated to academic excellence, physical development and spiritual Principles enrichment. Grounded in Christian values, we seek to develop leaders who will use their unique abilities to think, serve and live their lives with wisdom and moral integrity. As one leading scholar asked, “Why have schools and colleges sacrificed their noble, Upon my arrival in June 2009, I asked, idealistic, and spiritual missions for a practical, cynical indifferent alternative?” Focusing “What is our DNA?” You overwhelmingly on our future during the strategic planning process, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School responded, “MVPS is a Christ-centered will not sacrifice our mission, our identity for a practical, cynical, generic, or indifferent preparatory school; with committed alternative. However, our mission is anchored by strong guiding principles established Christian faculty that nurtures a safe under the 2006-2011 Strategic Plan. atmosphere for kids; an academically challenging preparatory school; not your William Bowen, former president of Princeton, asserted that a great educational institution average Christian school; students don’t get “is always under construction.” In the midst of this “construction,” our community must lost here; extension of Family; a place where be agile and adaptable to a fast-paced digitally-based global marketplace. As a community teachers are called to invest their lives in we will address some basic questions: Where have we been? Where we are now? Where your child; and this school loves my child.” The essence of Mount Vernon Presbyterian The guiding principles will support the strategic framework during School is community – community of the planning process over the coming year. Mount Vernon Presbyterian School… Provides a college Compliments the Motivates students preparatory academic program to become with a wide range of activities to develop environment independent the mind, body and spirit of each student. dedicated to developing students thinkers, who are motivated to excel in life. to set and achieve goals and to be accountable Believes that diversity for their actions. and global awareness enrich the learning experience. Inspires all students to pursue academic Expects and encourages excellence, all faculty, staff and students to Demonstrates a concern take pride in their work, lead lives of honor, integrity and for the welfare of others develop leadership skills high moral character at all times. through grade appropriate and celebrate their outreach programs. achievements. Provides a Christian environment Respects the unique value Creates an atmosphere where students are of each member of the where students enjoy learning, have fun encouraged to develop school community. and develop lifelong relationships. their own personal faith and spirituality. 4 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL In the inaugural publication, myperspective 2010-2011 Trendbook for Independent Schools, NAIS provides independent schools like Mount Vernon Strategic timely research to consider: Framework Economic uncertainty in the United States and Schools are growing their use of social media tools abroad will require independent schools to be even to nurture relationships with constituents more effectively more attuned to those factors affecting markets and and to advance organizational objectives. constituencies, especially regional and local trend data such as employment, housing, income, demographics, While it is important to take a comprehensive competition, etc. approach to global education, schools may find it useful to tackle individual elements – a quick way to measure Schools on the leading edge emphasize both how global a school is through the elements of curriculum, traditional and innovative instruction that can be including language teaching, international students and differentiated, experiential, immersive, and blended. faculty, exchanges, sister schools, service learning, and other trips abroad, and digital partnerships with schools in The American demographic landscape is other regions. shifting. The continued growth of our population, its racial and ethnic diversification, its aging, and its uneven Questionable content sources and the sheer number educational attainment were major issues that impacted our of education options available will raise concerns about country in the first decade of the 21st century. the quality and validity of online content and learning experiences and create demands for quality assurance. In the current economic environment, anticipating the degree to which schools’ financial aid Schools are paying more attention to energy budgets and policies need rethinking will depend largely on efficiency, green buildings and renovations, which has local economies and income distribution, housing markets, resulted in schools achieving LEED certifications for both tuition levels, and competitive alternatives for families. new construction and rebuilds. we are going? and How will we know when we get there? Therefore, through this lens, the framework for the Strategy Planning Committee will touch every facet of Mount Vernon. Viewed as interdependent parts, the Committee will initiate a constructive conversation and conduct a deep analysis of the following areas recognized by NAIS and other important components identified by MVPS: (a) Christian Education, (b) Faculty, (c) Economic Outlook and Conditions, (d) 21st Century Education, (e) Philanthropic Outlook, (f ) Physical Plant and Resources, (g) Demographics and Diversity Outlook, (h) Financial Aid Outlook, (i) Marketing Communications and Social Media, (j) Global Education, (k) Arts and Athletics, (l) Education Technology, and (m) Environmental Sustainability. Guided by core convictions and academic themes, this strategic framework will require the Committee to ask a number of questions and to receive input from the MVPS community as a way to gather an accurate amount of research for setting goals, objectives and strategies. THE MAGAZINE 5 myperspective At Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, we are in the business of ideas. The true power of ideas comes from their implementation, and that cannot happen without vision, leadership and community. In the same way, Mount Vernon’s potential cannot be realized without Community communal action. Your support will bring us closer to our vision and help us seize the Conversation great moment of possibility we have worked so hard to achieve. Throughout the coming year, the entire Mount Vernon community will be encouraged to participate in a variety of ways through committee work, online input and responses, surveys, small and large group coffees, and/or individual conversations. In summary, the planning process will include research utilizing the components of the strategic framework, community input to committee work, synthesis and analysis of research and feedback, draft, final plan, and implementation. As a contextual part of the conversation, a resource the School encourages all members of the community to read is The Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner. Wagner’s educational research reflects the changes of the educational landscape p and its impact on the global marketplace and technology. Wagner asks, “In light of the fundamental changes that have taken place in our society in the last twenty five years, what does it mean to be an educated adult in the twenty-first century? What t do we think all high school graduates need to know and be able to do to be well prepared for college, careers and citizenship? And,d, since we can’t teach everything, what is most important? What are the best ways to know whether students have mastered the skills that matter most? How do we create a better assessment and d accountability system that gives us the information we need to ensure that all students are learning essential skills? What do we need to do in our schools to motivate students to be curious and imaginative, and to enjoy learning for its own sake? How do we ensure that every student has an adult advocate in his or her school who knows the student well?” During the spring semester, the faculty and staff will be discussing the book and its implications on Mount Vernon. As the 2006-2011 Strategic Plan comes to a close and the School embarks on its future, the Strategic Planning Committee will provide updated progress throughout the process linked from the homepage of the Schools web site, www.mountvernonschool.org. The Follow Our document will be more than a checklist of “to dos” and will become a live, agile document Progress with measurements to track our progress in the future. In conjunction with the planning process, Mount Vernon will be conducting a self-study to prepare for re-accreditation for April 2012. As you know, the School maintains dual accreditation through SAIS-SACS. If you have questions or comments about the Strategic Planning process, please email email@example.com. Someone said, “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary schools.” I strongly believe Mount Vernon is an extraordinary school – the dedication of highly qualified teachers who are fervent about the education and Christian nurture of students, the unwavering 6 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL myperspective passion of committed parents, the enthusiastic spirit of achieving students, the availability of technology for communication, learning and teaching; and the accessibility to excellent Extraordinary facilities. This is an energizing and exhilarating time to be a part of the Mount Vernon Presbyterian School community. Embracing the rapid innovations that will define the Opportunity 21st century while aggressively and strategically focusing on the future, MVPS is an extraordinary school with extraordinary opportunities ahead. The School has highly ambitious goals for the future, and continual assessment and improvement of all facets of MVPS will ensure an uncompromising commitment to and achievement of excellence throughout every arena. May the Mount Vernon community “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father” (Colossians 1). Rooted in tradition and focused on our future, I am proud to consider myself a part of a vibrant, innovative community. I love my school! THE MAGAZINE 7 Thought-Provoking Documentaries Spark Thoughtful Discussions Launching Mount Vernon’s Strategic Planning Process During the months of November and December, faculty, staff, trustees, students, and parents were invited to participate in the beginning stages of the School’s strategic planning process by analyzing three well-publicized documentaries regarding American education. Dividing into three groups, participants watched Race to Nowhere, Two Million Minutes, and Waiting for Superman and afterwards discussed the implications of the films and their potential impact on the future of Mount Vernon. Thoughtful questions, observations, and common themes emerged, and much of the analysis is synthesized here. Perhaps more importantly though, the films started an important dialogue about the goals of education and what those goals might mean and look like for Mount Vernon’s future. We look forward to more thoughtful discussion as we plan for the future with you. RACE TO NOWHERE TWO MILLION MINUTES WAITING FOR SUPERMAN REACTION: REACTION: REACTION: Thought-provoking System is more focused on the holistic Film makes viewer sad, bitter approach Beginning of a discussion Problem is too big for a simple fix Academics are balanced with extracurricular Kids are overscheduled activities Schools are losing great teachers No homework was overkill Having choices allows students to have input QUESTIONS: into their career choices What needs to be done to fix tenure issues? Keep student anxiety and expectations in mind Systems in China and India are very focused on What is the solution? Teach kids differently – inspire them to love to academics learn. SUMMARY: Strong emphasis on math and science Strong communities build strong schools and QUESTIONS: vice versa Do we have higher expectations of kids than in Limited choices offered to students and generations before? families impact career path SKILLS: Independence, initiative, motivation, innovation, Isn’t life really homework – being prepared? SUMMARY: technology, reading and math proficiency, Film emphasized America is lagging behind in writing and computer literacy, comprehension, SUMMARY: education strong work ethic, accountability, critical Manage the pressure to perform thinking, leadership, problem solving American schools are not consistent in quality Rethink the model RESOURCES: SKILLS: Authentic learning experiences Education is not one size fits all Communication, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, life-long learning skills Teacher support SKILLS: Resilience, resourcefulness, collaboration, RESOURCES: VALUES: strong social skills, critical thinking, problem Technology (media and digital communications) Respect and accountability solving, technological, imagination, creativity, leadership, integrity, discernment, listening Hands-on experience MISSION: Mission should always put students first RESOURCES: Schools that teach these skills Support as they learn skills 8 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL RACE TO NOWHERE TWO MILLION MINUTES WAITING FOR SUPERMAN Real-world applications VALUES: PASSION: Christian values Give students the resources to learn and excel Technology savvy Faith and humanity BEST: VALUES: Students are striving to be the best Christian values MISSION: School mission statement is appropriate for our Success is an expectation Strong moral compass students RESOURCE ENGINE: Commitment to service to others and PASSION: Focus on teacher development to further community Ensure that students are offered opportunities students – they are directly related to serve and lead MISSION: LEAD: MVPS can set our own course BEST: Be leaders in technology and innovation Are we preparing our students to be the “best MVPS can be a leader in changing the in the world” for 21st Century? INNOVATE: educational model Preserve flexibility and autonomy School has RESOURCE ENGINE: PASSION: Are we connecting our families to the future? Do not be afraid to try new things- we need a Foster students’ unique needs and passions culture of trying Build programs that build quality kids Be open to global learning ADAPT: BEST: LEAD: Improve communication How do we define academic excellence at Need a better understanding of “Millennial MVPS? Generation” and their needs and expectations Teach students needed skills How will we measure excellence? Prepare students to succeed in challenging Enforce basic reading and writing skills economies, global markets, expanding RESOURCE ENGINE: communication technologies Adopt best practices from research and peers MVPS has strong momentum and direction – so how do we get there: Find a balance INNOVATE: for students in all of the components of the Build on success of Writing Initiative and mission iDesign Lab – utilize a technology lab with multiple applications LEAD: Decide what we are known for – what Provide professional development to faculty to educational niche we will fill in the marketplace provide leadership to students Lead by educating our parents and teachers on ADAPT: how we will get there Provide guidance on time management Be an open community – dialogue between all Expand ath an science pport n tie Expand math and science opportunities nd t ce ot Expand math and scienc opportunities stakeholders Integration dditiona foreig language Integration of additional foreign languages to tio ddit lang Integratio of additional foreign languages to INNOVATE: curriculum curriculum ulum curriculum Dialogue about what we are trying to build in our students Brainstorm on the design of the rooms, the curriculum, the metrics of learning Engage the students – let them lead and teach ADAPT: Consider varied educational approaches and measurements Create a learning environment that is not about “what is on the test” Incorporate project-based learning and portfolio assessment THE MAGAZINE 9 CAMPUSnotes Excitement and Smiles ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL As students began to arrive on campus on August 24, the faces were filled with excitement and smiles and maybe a few butterflies to start a brand new school year. With new teachers, new friends, new challenges and new activities in their horizons, the students all took their places in their classrooms and jumped right in! The all school Convocation was the first event of the day. Students, faculty and parents joined together on the Glenn Campus to hear Dr. Brett Jacobsen’s inspiring speech about no reserves, no regrets, and no retreats. Following Convocation the Middle School faculty, staff and students gathered together for an official ribbon cutting ceremony to dedicate the opening of the Middle School Academic Building as another step was taken in our growth process as a Preschool through Grade 12 School. As the first day came to a close, students went home with a sense of excited anticipation for an amazing and knowledge provoking 2010-2011 school year. Community Service AND OUTREACH PROGRAM We are pleased to introduce the new Community Service and Outreach Program to MVPS. The Lower School has one organization per grade level that they collectively commit to throughout the year. Each class within the grades will be a “small group” to really foster community and a sense of family in the service process. Depending on the organization chosen, these grades go collectively at one time or in smaller groupings on different days. Throughout Class Notes, you will see many examples of the Community Service and Outreach Program at work in our classrooms and in our community. LOWER SCHOOL STUDENTS VISITED BY Canine Assistants Organization On August 30 the third grade classes were visited by a Labrador Retriever from the Canine Assistants organization. The students learned about service dogs and how they assist people who are disabled. On Helping Hands Day, September 10, the Kindergarten classes were visited by a Canine Assistants dog. The Canine Assistants Organization is a non-profit organization that the Kindergarten is partnering with this year through the new Community Service and Outreach Program. Head of School Address More than 400 parents, faculty and staff gathered on the Glenn Campus on August 31 to hear the Head of School Address given by Dr. Brett Jacobsen. He enthusiastically spoke about the Year of Design and how it pertains to Mount Vernon as an educational environment in the 21st century. The 21st Century Design Initiative that Dr. Jacobsen addressed highlights the importance and implementation of teaching the following skills: character, creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, real-world problem solving, communications, public speaking, teaming, leadership, and design thinking. As Mount Vernon seeks to be the best Christian college preparatory community in the world, it also seeks to be a leader in educating young people in the 21st century. Choosing to be a part of Mount Vernon and its future is a wise choice and Dr. Jacobsen’s Head of School Address served to underscore this. 10 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL CAMPUSnotes ALL SCHOOL Supply Drive Several Upper School prefects spent time in September counting the number of items that were collected in the All School Supply Drive. Mount Vernon students collected 4,123 items during the drive! What a fantastic start to the philanthropy piece of the new Community Service and Outreach Program that Mount Vernon began this school year. The items were donated to several schools right here in our Sandy Springs community. Many local students benefitted from the generous giving of Mount Vernon students. MVPS REMEMBERS September 11 2217 hours, 739 students, 29 places and acts of service; this is what Mount Vernon students took part in on September 10 during Helping Hands Day. Beginning in 2006, Helping Hands Day became a school-wide day of service during which all Mount Vernon students, along with faculty and staff, step out of the classrooms and reach into the community. Preschool through third grade students participate in projects held on campus while fourth through twelfth grade students volunteer on site with Atlanta-based non-profit organizations. The goal is to provide support to our community while teaching our students the value of selflessness, compassion and responsibility. Ultimately, this day each year is dedicated to and honor those that lost their life on September 11. Sixth Grade RETREAT The sixth grade had a fabulous day on their fall retreat. On September 2, 2010, the sixth grade class traveled to Simpsonwood Retreat Center in Norcross. This retreat was a team building event and service project combined into one incredible experience. Students were grouped into teams of 8-10 participants, and then worked together as teams to overcome a series of challenges to build a child’s bicycle with supervision. The sixth grade donated the bicycles to a local charity. The challenges were a combination of proven, high-energy, problem-solving initiatives and mental challenges that helped our sixth grade students identify and learn the behaviors of optimum teamwork. Concert ON THE GREEN On September 11, an overwhelming amount of families, students, faculty and staff came out for the Concert on the Green. Jay Memory, from legendary band, Memory Dean performed several sets of music. There was even a set of music for the younger children, which got the kids up and dancing; even some of the older students joined in on the fun. The Concert on the Green was a fantastic event that brought all areas of Mount Vernon together for a fun and memorable evening with friends, fun, food and music. THE MAGAZINE 11 CAMPUSnotes Technology IN THE CLASSROOM Lower School and Middle School students have been very excited this year about utilizing new forms of technology inside the classroom for conducting research, developing presentations, completing assessments, collaborating on projects, etc. The School technology program addresses three major areas inside the classroom: (1) access to technology; (2) applicability; and (3) integration. The Glenn Campus is a completely wireless campus with Smart Boards in every classroom, and the Upper School has a 1:1 laptop program where all students purchase a laptop computer as they begin their ninth grade year to use throughout their Upper School experience for daily learning and research. There are more than 50 laptops accessed by Middle School students as well as 10 Promethean ActivBoards that are inside all Middle School classrooms. The Lower School is a completely wireless campus as well. There are more than 100 laptop computers and 12 Promethean ActivBoards throughout the Lower School classrooms. Preschool students are included too – with iMacs in each classroom. PRESCHOOL Movie Night On September 18 the Upper School Unity Prefect, Caroline Steffens, and a group of over 18 Upper School students hosted a movie night for our Prekindergarten, Young Fives, and Kindergarten students. More than 60 young students attended to watch Toy Story, enjoy pizza and play games. It was a great evening for all involved. GRADES 9-11 Retreat Grades 9 – 11 ventured to the beautiful mountains of Ocoee, TN for their annual retreat. While at Horn’s Creek Resort the students participated in a wide array of activities including paintball, an obstacle course/mud relay, group competitions, a skit/talent show, breakout sessions, and a few other “community” times looking at spending their lives well. It was a great opportunity for the students to grow deeper in their relationships with each other and their faith, connect with students across grade levels, and to be poured into by the senior leaders. The entire weekend was arranged and planned by the Upper School Prefects and their committees. FIFTH GRADE AND THE Atlanta Food Bank The fifth grade has partnered with the Atlanta Food Bank this year through the new Community Service and Outreach Program. On September 21, Linda Colbaugh’s fifth grade class visited the Atlanta Food Bank. The following is a summary of what they did; written by fifth grader, Mark, “Today we went to the Atlanta Food Bank. We were sorting and packaging foods. The things I packaged were canned good and cereals and snacks. I must have made 20 boxes. During this I learned how to estimate weight. We packaged four thousand pounds and three thousand meals. Although it was work, it was still fun and I would like to go again.” 12 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL CAMPUSnotes FIRST GRADE VISITS The Center for Puppetry Arts The first grade took a trip to the Center for Puppetry Arts on October 5. The students saw a performance of the puppet show, Charlotte’s Web. First graders then were able to take part in the Create-A-Puppet Workshop. This was a hands-on, curriculum-based workshop. The students became puppet makers as they each created a puppet to take home. Learning activities and the puppet correlated with the show theme. A unique and treasured program at Mount Vernon is the cultural arts program for the Lower School. Last year Lower School students participated in 39 different field trips. These trips included visits to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Alliance Theatre, Oakland Cemetery, the Cyclorama, and the Atlanta History Center. The students greatly enjoy the hands-on opportunity to learn outside of the classroom. Another component of the cultural arts program at Mount Vernon is the variety of programs that come onto campus for presentations. This includes performances by “Young Audiences”, the Woodruff Arts Center School program, and science activities presented by “Science Excitement.” Preschool students also take part in some of the cultural arts programs that come to campus. Last year students were given the opportunity to see 28 different programs that came to the School to foster the cultural arts. National Merit Scholarship AND AP SCHOLAR AWARDS In spring of 2010, Kitt Peterson and Addie Placido received notice, as a result of their junior PSAT scores, that they were Commended Students in the 2011 National Merit Scholarship Program. They were recognized for their exceptional academic promise demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the qualifying test used for program entry. Over 1.5 million students took the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSTA/NMSAQT) last October and entered the National Merit Program, which is a nationwide competition for recognition and awards. The 50,000 highest scorers were offered the College Plans Reporting Service. In September the number was further culled to 16,000 of the high performers who were designated Semifinalists; Kitt Peterson was among that select group. He will advance to Finalist standing by meeting a number of additional requirements. The other 34,000 high performers were named Commended Students on the basis of a national Selection Index score. These commended students, including Addie Placido, placed among the top five percent of 1.5 million students who entered the 2011 competition and represent some of the most academically talented students in our country. In addition, Mount Vernon Upper School students have earned AP Scholar Awards in recognition for their exceptional achievement on AP Exams. The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to take rigorous college-level courses while still in high school and to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both for successful performance on the AP Exams. Weichao Kong, a class of 2010 THE MAGAZINE 13 CAMPUSnotes graduate, qualified for the AP Scholar Award by completing three or more AP Exams with scores of 3 or higher. Weichao is currently a freshman at Carnegie Mellon University. Kitt Peterson qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. Congratulations to these students for their dedication and hard work! PRESCHOOL PARENT Share Program The Parent Share program in the Preschool is an opportunity for parents to come in and visit all of the Preschool classes (Three Year Olds through Young Fives) to share something about themselves with students. This can be about careers, interests, travel, culture, etc. So far this year the Preschool students have been visited by an airline pilot, a guitarist, a nurse, and several other parents who have come to share their interests. Eighth GRADE RETREAT On October 3 and 4, our 8th grade students ventured to the Georgian FFA/FCCLA Camp in Covington, GA for a retreat planned and led by Upper School students. While in Covington, the students were divided into 7 teams and competed in a wide array of activities ranging from an obstacle course/relay and station competitions to trivia and skit games. They attended sessions where they learned about the Upper School Advantage. Students were given words of encouragement from members of our Middle School faculty and administration. It was a great time of strengthening current friendships, growing as a broader class, and being poured into by extraordinary senior leaders. 6TH GRADE TO Atlanta Symphony Orchestra On October 6, as part of the Cultural Arts program at Mount Vernon, the sixth grade traveled downtown to watch a performance by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra entitled The Soundtrack of Your Life. GISA ALL SELECT Band Three Mount Vernon students were named to the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) All-Select Band and performed for the GISA conference on October 31 at Holy Spirit Preparatory School in Atlanta. Congratulations to Jonathan Moore (9th), Parker Thiel (9th) and Corey Knapp (10th). Homecoming 2010 Homecoming 2010 proved to be one spirited week at Mount Vernon – a display of class colors and hallway decorations, class competitions, pep rallies, cookouts, and much more. The evening before the game, the School community enjoyed a picnic and concert with Jay Memory. For the Homecoming game, the Mount Vernon Mustangs took on Dominion Christian with a come from behind victory, 29-28. Congratulations Mustangs! Also, congratulations to Charlie Almond and Ella Ferguson for being crowned Mount Vernon’s 2010 Homecoming King and Queen. Homecoming was a wonderful way for the School community to enjoy a week full of school spirit and Mustang pride. 14 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL CAMPUSnotes MIDDLE SCHOOL FALL Sports Wrap-Up MIDDLE SCHOOL FOOTBALL: The Mount Vernon Middle School Football team hosted the NAML Championship on October 21. The Mustangs took home the championship beating Wesleyan 24-20. This was the first NAML Championship in Middle School football for Mount Vernon. It was a nail biter with the Mustangs coming from behind to win the game. Congratulations to the team, coaches, cheerleaders, fans and parents who were all there to cheer these boys all the way to victory! MIDDLE SCHOOL SOCCER: The Middle School boys soccer team made the NAML Championship game for the first time in Mount Vernon Presbyterian soccer history. While they did not win the championship, the boys showed great improvement throughout the season and conducted themselves very well on and off of the field. Congratulations on a great season! MIDDLE SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL: The Middle School volleyball team took home the NAML Championship this fall! On October 7, the Middle School team took on the undefeated team of Fellowship Christian. Mount Vernon won the first set while Fellowship Christian won the second set. The girls played to win and won the last set by 10 points and left no doubt as to which team was the champion. Congratulations to all of the ladies of the Middle School 2010 Volleyball team! MIDDLE SCHOOL SOFTBALL: The Middle School softball team completed its season with a record of 5-5-1. We made significant progress in building the program this year. The team will miss their 8th grade players as they move up to varsity, but wish them well. There is a lot of talent in the current 6th and 7th grade players, and the 2011 season promises to be a great one for the Middle School softball Mustangs. MIDDLE SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY: The Middle School cross country team finished an amazing season in 2010! All of the runners’ times improved dramatically from the beginning of the season to the end. Two boys, Steven Butz and David Adams, broke fifteen minutes this season and female runner Haley Foushee, broke sixteen minutes in the two mile race. Two of the female runners, Haley Foushee and Katherine Ward, went on to run with the varsity cross country team in the regional meet and ran in the varsity state meet on October 23. Congratulations on a fantastic season! LOWER SCHOOL On The Road Again On October 7, the 2nd grade students traveled to the Chattahoochee Nature Center. The students experienced a guided forest hike, an up-close animal encounter with one of the non-releasable wildlife, and a guided tour of the Discovery Center. On October 15, the 5th grade students traveled to Oakland Cemetery and to the Cyclorama. At the Cyclorama students saw the sweeping panorama of the Battle of Atlanta, fought on July 22, 1864, during the American Civil War. At Oakland Cemetery, students were able to see some of Georgia’s most famous legends and where they are laid to rest in Atlanta’s oldest and most scenic cemetery. They visited the gravesites of Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell and golfing great Bobby Jones. They also explored the Jewish grounds, as well as the historic African American section. They were able to wander through the final resting place of nearly 7,000 Civil War soldiers. THE MAGAZINE 15 CAMPUSnotes Patrick Coheley Wins Award AT THE GEORGIA THEATRE CONFERENCE On October 14 the MVPS Allstars traveled to Savannah for the Georgia Theatre Conference. At this conference, the students debuted Antigone Now. They received great feedback from the adjudicators on the show, and Pat Coheley was awarded the All-Star cast award. Clark Taylor, Performing Arts Director, said “I think that is very cool how Patrick’s award reflects our troupe name.” Also the troupe traveled to Emory at Oxford on November 3 for their second and final competition with GISA and then returned for the debut public performance November 4 and 5 at School. Grandparent’s AND SPECIAL FRIENDS’ DAY A poem about Grandparents: Grandparents are special people with wisdom and pride. They are always offering love and kindness and are always there to guide. They often make you feel so confident and strong. Their arms are always open no matter what you did wrong. They try to help out in every way that they can. They love all their grandchildren the same whether you’re a child, woman or man. They are always there to listen and to lend a helping hand. They show you respect and they try to understand. They give their love, devotion and so much more, that’s easy to see. Grandparents, what perfect examples of the kind of person that we should be. – Author: Stacy Smith Students at Mount Vernon welcomed their grandparents and special friends to the School on October 29. Students put on performances for their grandparents and special friends. It was a lovely day and the students were excited to show off their classrooms, friends, teachers, and school to their special guests and grandparents. Thank you to all who helped put on this wonderful event and thank you especially to the grandparents and special friends who attended. ALL SCHOOL Canned Food Drive The all school canned food drive took place from November 1-5. More than 2500 cans of donated food went to the Sandy Springs Community Action Center. Students from both campuses began their celebration of the holiday season by giving to those in need. 16 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL CAMPUSnotes LOWER SCHOOL Fine Arts Performances On October 28, the 5th and 6th grade band and chorus put on their fall performance for parents, teachers, friends, and grandparents. They shared what they have been practicing and learning this year. The newly formed Honor Chorus is made up of fourth through sixth grade students who dedicate their time after school to rehearsing a variety of music. The Honor Chorus performed popular songs by Jason Mraz, Mika, and Journey, as well as a setting of the spirituals, “Elijah Rock,” “Rock-a-My-Soul in the Bosom of Abraham,” and “Joshua Fit the Battle,” and a song written by Jars of Clay. On the evening of October 29 many parents, grandparents, staff, friends and students came to watch the performance of The Day the Rooster Didn’t Crow. This play was especially interesting because most of the main parts were played by two different actors. The standout performance was from sixth grader, Sarah Anne DeFreese, who learned the lines in just ten days and played the main character, Reginald Rooster. Also, more than thirty parents and students helped construct and paint the set and construct the “chicken hats” worn by most students. The drama productions would not be possible without the tireless efforts of parents and students. Many thanks for all your work. Model UNITED NATIONS In Model UN, students step into the shoes of ambassadors from UN member states to debate current issues on the organization’s agenda. Students make speeches, prepare draft resolutions, negotiate with allies and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the conference rules of procedure - all in the interest of mobilizing “international cooperation” to resolve problems that affect countries all over the world. On October 18-19 seven Upper School students attended this year’s Georgia Tech Model UN Conference. Created in 1998, this conference has worked to bring international affairs to the high schools of the Southeast. Run by Georgia Tech students from a variety of disciplines, GTMUN offers a large range of committees discussing today’s pressing issues for high school students to enjoy. Mount Vernon students represented the country of Peru at the conference. Andrew Dobbins, 9th grader commented, “I worked on decolonization in Peru as well as human rights assembly of Peru.” The Model UN Club from Mount Vernon consists of ninth graders Judge Jones, Darian Bender, Andrew Dobbins, tenth grader Emmy Bowman, and eleventh grader Matt Shelden. The faculty advisers are Dr. Greg Hite and Ron Jones. Red Ribbon WEEK Red Ribbon week took place in October and is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country. The Lower School students, Kindergarten – 3rd grade, received “Paws”-itively Drug Free dog tags to wear during Drug Free Week and 4th – 6th graders wore “Celebrate Red Ribbon Week” wristbands. All Lower School students received “Sock It to Drugs” stickers and wore crazy socks with their uniforms; they also wore red shirts with their uniforms. Upper School students were visited by Patrick Lloyd from the band One Tree Hill. Patrick brought a member from his band and they played songs that Patrick has written that reflect on his relationship with God, the path he has taken in his life, and the lessons that he has learned. His message was an impactful one. THE MAGAZINE 17 CAMPUSnotes GEORGIA NATIONAL FAIR Award Winners Hank Kunath’s Upper School art students entered some of their amazing artwork into the 2010 Georgia National Fair’s Youth Art competition. Participating students were ninth grader Darian Bender, and twelfth graders Adeola Ajayi, Robert Ojeah, Chris Min, Meredith McConnell, and Ella Ferguson. Chris Min received two awards. He received an Honorable mention in the Graphic Drawing category and he also received first place and overall best in category in the Two Dimensional Design category. Congratulations to Chris and to all of the students who were chosen to send artwork in for this competition. LOWER SCHOOL Field Trips On October 26 the fourth grade traveled to the Alliance Theatre for the performance of Middle School the Musical. This show was an improvisational guide for “tweenagers.” It’s not easy being a tween. Thankfully, a team of four middle school students took the stage and – through music and improv – helped guide the audience through the maze of locker rooms, dances, book reports and cafeteria blues. This survival guide for tweens was conceived over the course of the last year and born out of real life stories of middle school students. Framed as an orientation assembly for kids new to middle school, it featured 15 scenes and songs which focus on constructive and humorous ways middle school children can work through the issues they face in the “tweenager” years. On November 2 the sixth grade traveled to the Michael C. Carlos Museum located on the campus of Emory University. The Carlos Museum has grown to become one of the Southeast’s premier art museums with major collections of art objects from ancient Egypt, Nubia, Near East, Greece, Rome, ancient Americas, Africa, and Asia, as well as a collection of works on paper from the Renaissance to the present. TINA LOWREY Tech Fair On November 9, Mount Vernon held its annual Tina Lowrey Tech Fair. There were over 439 entries! There were 55 Web 2.0 Entries from Blogs to Prezis. All of the volunteer judges were impressed with our students’ command of their technology skills. 18 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL CAMPUSnotes MOUNT VERNON HONORS Veterans’ Day On November 11, the Middle School and Upper School students were visited by retired naval commander, Mike Campbell. Officer Campbell served as Assistant Navigator of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm and he led aerial combat operations in Iraq and Bosnia. He was also a member of the elite Navy Blue Angels flying team for 2 years. He spoke to the students about his experiences serving in the military as well as what it takes to be successful in life. DISTRICT V Honor Chorus Seventh grade student Jordan Engle was selected to perform with the Georgia Music Educators Association District V Honor Chorus. The performance took place the first weekend of November. This ensemble is made up each year of a very select group of singers from Fulton County and the Atlanta Public School System. MOUNT VERNON STUDENTS Accept Rachel’s Challenge On November 17 Mount Vernon hosted “Rachel’s Challenge” on both the Lower School and Glenn Campuses for a series of programs aimed at promoting kindness and compassion in our school. Rachel Scott was one of the tragic victims at Columbine, and her family launched this initiative as a way to honor her life. Their mission is to prevent further tragedies by connecting students and valuable resources, promoting open communication, and providing a framework for effective encounters to occur. Students from the Lower School saw a presentation that showed them that a little kindness can definitely go a long way. After the program students signed a Rachel’s Challenge banner to accept Rachel’s Challenge to show kindness and compassion to one another. After the Glenn Campus assembly, students also signed the banner and members of the student body met for a 90 minute student forum with “Rachel’s Challenge” presenters to discuss and develop a plan for Mount Vernon. Also on November 17, parents, teachers, and community members came to hear the Rachel’s Challenge presentation in the Glenn Campus Gym. The entire day was impactful and very inspiring. THE MAGAZINE 19 CAMPUSnotes NOVEMBER 12 Day of Service On November 12, students on both the Lower School and Glenn Campuses took part in the second Mount Vernon community outreach day. Almost 400 students were sent out into the community to serve in a wide variety of ways. Kindergarten students made cards (with a group of 8th graders) to thank the volunteers from Canine Assistants. First grade made Thanksgiving placemats for the residents of Mount Vernon Village. A second grade class visited the Ronald McDonald House and made batches of brownies for the house guests, put together toiletry bags for the guests, and made cards for the children in the hospital and the house guests. A third grade class loaded the items from the food drive at school and unloaded them at CAC. They also made decorations for the boxes that were to be distributed to those in need at Thanksgiving. A fourth grade class went to Chastain along with Middle and Upper School students to clean up the park. They cleared litter from the creek and nature area. Two sixth grade classes went to the Interfaith Outreach Home and sorted clothing, shoes, and accessories that had been donated. Glenn Campus students served in a variety of locations from Fur Kids to the Elaine Clark Center, Chastain Park Conservancy to Signature Healthcare of Buckhead, The Georgia Coalition to Books for Africa, Atlanta Union Mission to St. Vincent DePaul, Piedmont Park Conservancy to Centennial Olympic Park, and Liberty Thrift Store to Autrey Mills. It was a great day of helping hands being used throughout the Atlanta community. 3RD GRADE On the Road On October 30, Mount Vernon’s third graders attended a performance at the Tarpley Theatre in Jonesboro, Georgia. Slim Goodbody taught the students about the importance of taking care of their bodies. They sang songs and learned about the heart, muscles, brain, skeleton, and digestion. Mount Vernon students were even picked to be volunteers by Slim during the presentation! The timing of this field trip was perfect, as students were learning about anatomy in science class. On November 9, the third grade went on a fieldtrip to the Roswell Cultural Arts Center to see the play, Ramona Quimby. The play took the students through the life of 3rd grader Ramona Quimby. They learned about life on Klickitat Street, how the Quimby family was faced with adversities, and how their family worked through them. The main theme that the students learned was that having a positive outlook and supporting one another will help us all get through the struggles in life. 20 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL CAMPUSnotes VARSITY FALL SPORTS Wrap Up VARSITY FOOTBALL: The varsity football team finished their first winning season with an impressive win against in-city region rival, Holy Spirit Preparatory School, on senior day. The Mustangs jumped out to an early lead on the Cougars of HSP with touchdown runs by freshman Elijah Burnette and senior Jaylan Adlam and a touchdown reception by senior Javon Hanna. The Mustangs led 21-6 at halftime. The Mustangs continued to execute on offense in the second half scoring four more touchdowns on runs by Adlam, senior Madison Burton, Burnette and a reception by sophomore Evan Tucker. The Mustangs finished the game with their first win over Holy Spirit Prep in five seasons, with an impressive 47-21 final. The Mustangs finished the season with a 7-4 record. Five players placed on the 2-AAA All-Region team. Seniors Jaylan Adlam, Charles Justus, Alex Head, Jovan Hanna and freshman Elijah Burnette were named to the team. The team was led by eight seniors who provided great leadership on and off the field all season. The 17 underclassmen on the team competed hard all season and will be expected to continue and be an example of the standard set in terms of excellence, commitment and sacrifice in making the football program an elite program in the state. Thanks to all the coaches, parents, faculty/staff, cheerleaders and Mount Vernon family for all your support this season! VARSITY CROSS COUNTRY: Mount Vernon Cross Country had some memorable runs on and off the race course in fall 2010. Each week new runners for the Boys team made their foray onto the Cross Country course to help lift the squad to new levels at each race they entered. The Boys team found great running talent among Mount Vernon basketball players. Based on times, the boys discovered their rabbit in senior Jordan Johnson, followed by senior Matt Reid, senior Robert Ojeah, senior Pieris Hodges, junior Jake Roeland, and senior Lotanna Nwogbo. The boys lent some fresh air to the whole team with their good cheer and hard work at races. THE MAGAZINE 21 CAMPUSnotes Girls Cross Country gained runners throughout the season, leading to a strong team as they approached the Region Meet. The Girls team is young and full of great potential and talent. They accomplished some wonderful team and individual victories throughout the fall, one of the greatest being their team qualification for the State Cross Country Race. As they did throughout the season, the Lady Mustangs improved their individual times in this final race, many of them eclipsing their personal best performances by 0:30 to 1:30. This stellar running allowed the girls to accomplish a highly estimable goal. Among region teams this season, the Lady Mustangs finished second out of the four teams who won Region placement at the State Meet. The accomplishment of qualifying for State was a first in Mount Vernon Cross Country history. The Girls were led throughout the season by sophomore Emmy Bowman. Other positions on the Varsity team were traded competitively race to race. At the State Meet, running strong behind Emmy were freshman Emily Thomas, 8th grader Hailey Foushee, sophomore Claire Parnell, freshman Nia Roberts, 8th grader Katherine Ward, and freshman Emma McCarthy. Stepping out beyond previous goals and standards set in prior seasons, the girls have set a precedent for great Cross Country running at Mount Vernon. VARSITY BOYS SOCCER: The fall 2010 season was a transformational season for the Mount Vernon Mustangs Varsity soccer team. The team had a large senior class in addition to new players who worked together for a successful season. The veteran players meshed well with new players. Without the leadership and experience from the seniors or the athleticism and enthusiasm from new players MVPS would not have had such a competitive team. After a difficult spring season last year, the team individually and collectively decided to become more focused and dedicated. As the 2010 season progressed, the team continued to improve. The last two regular season games were the most significant of the season. Wins in the last two games secured the highest place ever in the state playoffs for the Varsity Mustangs. At the end of the season, it was clear that the young men on the Varsity soccer team had learned to be confident in their own skills and strengths. Great season, guys. 22 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL CAMPUSnotes VARSITY SOFTBALL: The inaugural season for Varsity Mustang Softball was an outstanding journey for a group of athletes who had yet to learn their potential. The team started small in number of players but continued to grow throughout the season. Every practice and game the girls learned more about how to play on an individual level and how to play together as a team. The final record was 6-8 which gave them a third place finish in the region. The team batting average was just under .300, outstanding for a tenured team not to mention one that is in its first season. Varsity Softball also had two girls make All-Region, Addie Goins and Chandler Moses, showing that their skills were noticed by other coaches in the region this season. The hard work and dedication these young athletes put into this season was outstanding. They came to practice ready to learn a game that many of them had never played previously. They implemented what they learned at practice during games. They stretched themselves athletically and were put in positions they had not played in the past. The inaugural season will always be remembered for both the success of the team, of the willingness of the girls to get the program off the ground, and pave the way for the program for the future. VARSITY VOLLEYBALL: The Varsity Volleyball team finished the season in the Elite Eight of the state tournament. The Lady Mustangs had a great run and were recognized with 4 players receiving All Region awards. 8th Grade Libero Mary Alvis, 8th Grade Right Side Hitter Ryan Boykin, Sophomore Setter Remi McRae, and Senior Outside Hitter Ashley Standifer. Standifer also received a nomination for All State and then was selected to the All Star Senior Match where Georgia’s best seniors play against South Carolina’s best seniors. THE MAGAZINE 23 CAMPUSnotes MOUNT VERNON BAND PLAYS Georgia Tech Band Day As part of Georgia Tech’s Band Day on November 20, over fifty Mount Vernon Upper School band students performed at the halftime show of the Georgia Tech/Duke football game. This was the third consecutive year for our school to participate in this event. They performed on the field alongside 1,000 other musicians in front of 50,000 fans. LOWER SCHOOL Book Character Day On November 23 many Lower School students in Kindergarten through Grade 4 participated in the annual Lower School Book Character Day. This is a beloved tradition that has taken place at Mount Vernon for many years, and students look forward to dressing up as one of their favorite book characters to promote reading. Georgia Tech FCA Director VISITS MVPS FCA The Georgia Tech Fellowship of Christian Athletes campus director, Taylor Stewart, spoke to Mount Vernon’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was accompanied by Georgia Tech football players, Sean Bedford and Zack Fisher, who shared with MVPS students as well. They all spoke about obstacles they have faced in life and how their faith is a cornerstone in their lives. 1ST GRADE CELEBRATES Native American Awareness Month On November 17, the first grade was visited by Chipa Wolfe and his Rolling Thunder Dance Company. This is the second year that the dance company has visited the Lower School campus to teach students about Native American life and culture during Native American Awareness Month. Students learned about the lives of Native Americans and especially how children in Native American culture are taught to observe nature and live in nature. MOUNT VERNON AND the Atlanta Hawks On December 1, the Atlanta Hawks hosted a school spirit night for Mount Vernon. A combined Lower School, Middle School and Upper School chorus sang the national anthem before the game. They were also joined by several of the third grade students who accompanied the singers with sign language. This was a great night for coming together as a school community and for supporting our students in singing before the game. 24 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL CAMPUSnotes Toys For Tots On December 8 all Mount Vernon students, from Preschool through 12th grade, gathered in the Sanctuary to attend the annual Toys for Tots Assembly. Faculty, staff, and students brought approximately 1200 toy donations to the front of the Sanctuary to give to local children in need. Reverend Joe B. Martin spoke to students about the first Christmas and the gifts that were brought to baby Jesus by the wise men. The United States Marine Corps representative arrived after the assembly to take all of the toys to be distributed to the needy. Cookies AND CAROLS On December 2 many students, parents, friends, faculty and staff attended the Cookies and Carols Fine Arts Showcase. Christmas performances included the Lower School Chorus and Band, the Lower School Honor Chorus, the Middle School and Upper School band and choruses, and the Praise band. After the concert, the participants and attendees enjoyed a festive Christmas reception. Using Skype TO TEACH 21ST CENTURY SKILLS On December 1, several Lower School classrooms had a Skyping bonanza with a variety of teachers incorporating different lessons using Skype. Mrs. Plumer’s sixth grade class and Mrs. Moras’ and Mrs. Adam’s first grade classes collaborated on redesigning Santa Claus’ suit. Together, the students discussed how Santa felt about not fitting in his suit, why he was left cookies, and how could they design a more 21st Century styled suit. Students’ ideas included a glow in the dark suit, a fireproof suit, a self-cleaning suit and a temperature sensitive suit. Mr. Hilton-Green used Skype to communicate with Ms. Shirley’s first grade class concerning their runaway Gingerbread Men. The students were given a ransom note clue and a Skype call from a live Gingerbread Man which led them to Mr. Hilton-Green’s office. The students saw clues and investigated his office for the runaway. For some curious reason, Mr. Hilton-Green could not see the Gingerbread Man even though the students saw him several times sneaking behind his chair. The students spent some time in the i.Design lab building traps to catch the sneaky and very fast cookies. THE MAGAZINE 25 ACADEMIC INNOVATION AT MOUNT VERNON: EMPOWERING the Next Generation of Leaders 26 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL COVERSTORY HOW DO WE EDUCATE OUR CHILDREN TO TAKE OUR PLACE IN THE ECONOMIES OF THE 21ST CENTURY, GIVEN THAT WE CAN’T ANTICIPATE WHAT THE ECONOMY WILL LOOK LIKE AT THE END OF NEXT WEEK? — Sir Ken Robinson, expert in the field of creativity and innovation in business and education THE MAGAZINE 27 COVERSTORY INNOVATION IN ACTION: What does learning look like? Up until recently, young people were told if they went to school, got into college, and graduated college, they would have a good job. That was a tried and true theory for a very long time and what Baby Boomers and those that preceded them relied upon fairly successfully. But, it is not true anymore for Millennials and Gen Xs and our kids know it. And if they know it, how do we, as educators and parents, convince them that school is important? How do we make it interesting, engaging and relevant? In today’s difficult job market, which candidate is How do we deal with the innovations of technology and the changes in styles most appealing, the one who received a perfect SAT of communication and the immediate score, or the one that can offer the most creative availability of information and how to effectively process all that information? solutions to a complex problem, such as stopping How do we ensure that they will not only the spread of oil along the Gulf Coast? get into the best colleges and universities but graduate into thriving careers, have – Ann My Thai, Assistant Director, personal economic stability and lead Joan Ganz Cooney Center fulfilling lives where they impact the world around them? Our students will not be measured solely by standardized tests or a student’s ability to memorize and recite lesson plans. Rather, Mount Vernon will teach individuals to think deeply and creatively, equipping them for a lifetime of learning and success in our digital age. MVPS has adopted an interdisciplinary framework and is vertically assessing our curriculum across all divisions through a 21st century skills lens. The end result is that Mount Vernon students are 21st century learners and leaders. A traditional academic focus is enhanced by weaving critical themes including global awareness, entrepreneurship, civic literacy, and environmental sustainability throughout the curriculum. At Mount Vernon, the skills drive the content, and our commitment to innovation drives the School. 28 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL More than ever, Mount Vernon is committed to instilling a lifestyle of learning, leadership, service and spiritual growth. Academic rigor remains a must, but adding a focus on 21st COVERSTORY century skills enhances our students’ education. Rather than being passive consumers of information, we are teaching our students to be actively involved in solving complex problems, with a growing emphasis on project- and team-based learning. The defining characteristic of a 21st century classroom is that it is student centered, focused on what the student needs to learn and succeed in today’s global, digital age. In addition to the During the fall semester, many students core subjects of math, English, social studies and science, MVPS is teaching the five Cs, have had the opportunity to create in the i.Design Lab. Examples of Lower School what Patrick Bassett of President of NAIS refers to as the “commonly agreed upon skills D.E.E.P projects: and values the 21st century will demand and reward: character (integrity & compassion), critical thinking (and problem-solving), creativity (and entrepreneurship), collaboration Utilizing an engineering concept, (teaming & leadership), communication (writing, speaking, networking, technology).” Kindergarten students baked gingerbread men who ran away and students are brainstorming to build traps, seek and solve clues to result THE CENTER FOR DESIGN THINKING: in the captures of the runaways. i.Design Lab Open for Business First Graders are working on the The Mount Vernon Center for Design Thinking is based on a model developed by Stanford “Secret Project” to give their University’s Institute of Design. This visionary approach to problem solving teaches families the gift of being together by designing a special family experience. students to combine analytical thinking and research skills with empathy and creativity, resulting in the production of innovative solutions to real-world problems. MVPS is the Second Graders are focusing on only school in Atlanta – and one of just a few nationally – to utilize design thinking in healthy eating and are designing the K-12 setting. All projects utilize the D.E.E.P. (Discover, Empathize, Experiment and their own solutions to choose Produce) Design model. healthier and more nutritious food options. The impetus for the i.Design Lab evolved last year when fourth grade students designed Third Graders are designing video and created the model on which the lab is based. Information was gathered from fellow storybooks for children with hearing students concerning wall colors, furniture, seating, technology, and learning styles. Bold impairments as part of their sign colors, flexible learning spaces and optional seating along with access to technology via 1:1 language program. computers and ActviBoards, utilization of Web 2.0 applications to create and express their Fourth Graders are designing apps work, and community style learning were the results of their findings for this pilot 21st for smart phones. century classroom. Fifth Graders are designing Students identify a real life issue and begin the D.E.E.P. design process as they are and sustaining a Community guided by teachers on how to experience empathy for their chosen topic. During the Organic Garden. initial discovery phase, students gain a deeper understanding of their topic and work toward letting go of any prejudices and/or preconceived notions which allow a better understanding of the circumstances. The next step involves empathy as students begin to figure out the problem they are tackling and the real life impact it has on the local and global community. By walking in the footsteps of another, our students will acquire compassion and then constructively and creatively move into the experimentation process. Through experimentation, students creatively imagine how to do things differently. Risk taking is encouraged during this process, and the mission is to embrace the difficult. Students create prototypes, test their products and move into the final stage of the D.E.E.P. Design Thinking process – Produce. Producing involves putting the students’ design into reality and sharing it with others. During this step students open themselves up for feedback and evaluation. Mary Cantwell, Design Thinking Coordinator states “With risk comes great reward, and through the D.E.E.P. Design Thinking Process our students are learning the value of taking risks.” THE MAGAZINE 29 COVERSTORY COLORS, TEXTURES, PATTERNS: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Writing at Mount Vernon Following an in-depth analysis of the curriculum in Preschool through Upper School, Mount Vernon has made writing the top academic priority. Our vertical learning program will help develop creative and sophisticated thinkers for the 21st century who are adept at both oral and written communications. At Mount Vernon, writing occurs in all areas and is a means of encouraging critical thinking, leadership and collaboration. Like a complex musical score that intertwines multiple chords and sounds or an intricately woven fabric that is dependent on a variety of colors and textures to weave complex patterns, the Writing Initiative and its multiple threads are woven into the total fabric of Mount Vernon. At a recent conference, a parent commented that “Mount Vernon is really teaching students not just to memorize, but to take things apart, dissect, and to think What do students need to deeply.” To which the teacher responded, “This is the direction of our school, and not just know? How should schools our school, but how your child will need to be equipped for life.” teach to ensure that students The process of writing as a means of weaving in 21st Century skills such as critical are prepared for 21st thinking, collaboration, adaptability, initiative, effective communication, creativity, and leadership into Mount Vernon is evident throughout all grade levels. In the Lower School, century living? What skills students use ActiveBoards to develop skills in sentence construction and to enhance should children be able to creativity and collaboration through story creation and learning activities. Students in the second grade continue to develop strategies to express their ideas and to think critically demonstrate as a result of their education? — National Association of Independent Schools, 2010-2011 Trendbook 30 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL COVERSTORY specials teachers and friends in other states or countries. Writing has become the cohesive link meshing our curriculum together.” In 9th grade History and English classes, students engaged in a study of the Greco- Roman judicial system and Euripides’ classic play, Medea. After learning about Ancient Greece and the Greco-Roman culture in History, students then read Medea in their English class and put the main character on trial. Each “legal team” developed persuasive opening and closing statements, cross examination questions for the play’s main characters, and creative pieces of testimony to develop their case. Most recently, in History class, students honed their analytical skills even further by researching and writing about the Plague of Athens, which devastated the Athenian population during the Peloponnesian War, and they discussed its relevance to the current infectious disease questions being raised by the Global Initiative. In the 10th and 11th grades, as students explored the emerging laws and culture of ancient Sumeria in their History classes, about content. For example, using the framework of animal habitats, they gathered and students in English classes delved into analyzed information, created drafts, proofread, and presented their findings to an audience the intricacies of the heroic epic and how of their peers. the political, religious, and social beliefs In the 4th grade, by implementing and focusing on writing in all curricular areas, the of a culture impacted the ancient tale of students have seen a greater connection between subjects. Recently the fourth grade Gilgamesh, the historical king of Uruk in integrated the Native American project to include all core disciplines as well as an art Babylonia, whose exploits were written on project. Students were able to feel as though they were part of their respective tribes as each clay tablets around 2000 B.C. As students wrote from an Indian’s perspective, researched living conditions, built a model to represent in the 11th grade read The Alchemist, an the tribe, and videotaped narrative descriptions to share with parents and friends. At the allegorical tale set in Spain and in Africa, same time, students in the 6th grade were preparing debates on important topics ranging they were constantly making connections from children owning cell phones to children on Facebook. Their debates led to persuasive to religious studies, science, and history. writing in both Language Arts and in Science. There were many engaging discussions about the philosophical implications In the 7th grade, while studying the novel Johnny Tremain, the students also explored in about the novel’s message. Integrating the history the leaders as well as political and social events that led to the American Revolution. theories of artistic design, the 12th graders examined how visual design elements such The Writing Initiative has not only caused students but also teachers to work more as line, shadow, or perspective were used to creatively and collaboratively. According to Andrea McCranie, fourth grade teacher, “The enhance the experience of the epic poem, Writing Initiative has greatly impacted our collaboration as a team of teachers and students. Dante’s Inferno. The fluidity of integrating writing has developed naturally as we are collaborating with THE MAGAZINE 31 COVERSTORY What is the crisis in American education all about? Why should independent schools Because of the importance of writing as a be concerned? means to encourage reflective and critical — Tony Wagner, Harvard University, thinking skills as well as leadership and Global Achievement Gap collaboration, writing at Mount Vernon occurs in all areas. For example math classes and math labs are incorporating writing to encourage problem solving. Science classes are continuing to encourage and expand exploration through scientific journals, lab analyses, and questions that utilize higher order thinking skills; likewise, art classes are using critiques and character analyses to explore artistic intention and personal growth. This spring, students in the Upper School UPPER SCHOOL SCIENCE: will participate in a weekly writing The New Fashioned Way lab called Write Now to empower a community of writers. Through this Science as a discipline lends itself to Design Thinking and key 21st century skills that experience students will write consistently, employers are seeking. Critical thinking and problem solving have always been the think analytically, and fully embrace cornerstone of science. Oftentimes it is the failed experiments that lead students and the objectives of the Writing Program teachers into some of the best design thinking (analytic reasoning) and which most at Mount Vernon. Furthermore, it will effectively demonstrates the authentic application of science at work. provide a sense of community and build a culture of writers who can think deeply Collaboration is another 21st century concept that is an integral part of any science and communicate well. It is not to be curriculum. Students must work together during laboratory experiments. Oftentimes considered an addendum to or something they must figure out a way to get several tasks completed in a short time period. This gives outside the scope of the classroom; rather students the opportunity to develop teamwork skills as well as communication skills. The it is an integral part of the classroom students are required to present data, cause and effect, and results in both an informal experience and an opportunity for students manner such as class discussions as well as in formal lab reports. to delve deeply into writing, identify The collaboration, the problem solving, the creativity, and the analysis of data necessary to themes as well as explore the ideas they be successful in an Upper School science class at Mount Vernon help prepare students for have discovered in class. the future. It is one of the goals of the science department not only to produce students The Writing Initiative at Mount Vernon is with a strong background in the discipline but to also prepare them for what is to come. helping to weave a pattern that is vibrant Students are discussing topics such as genetic engineering, molecular biology, protein and that will prepare our students to be therapy, cloning, and bioethics. Krista Parker, Science Department Chair adds, “We owe it original thinkers, provocateurs, and people to our students to make sure they are scientifically literate in today’s world. The amount of who care and who are ready to compete in information available and presented on a daily basis continues to grow, and it is one of our the future. goals to develop students who are able to process this information in a thoughtful manner.” Mount Vernon Presbyterian School purchased a significant amount of new science equipment for the Glenn Campus. The science department has invested in lab equipment that enables students’ laptops to be fully integrated into a set of experiments across the 32 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL COVERSTORY Middle School and the Upper School science curricula. The and observe directly the relationship School chose Vernier Software and Technology as the vendor between the two. The interface combined because they are able to provide a full range of products that with the laptop enables the collection of connect to the students’ laptops through a common interface. hundreds of data points – clearly showing Emphasis has been placed on physics-oriented products, how one can determine the mass of the together with other specific products for biology, chemistry, cart. and environmental science. Many of the probes can easily be adapted for use in physical science, life science, and earth science in the Middle School. Obviously, lab work is essential in science – most science is experimental in nature. Initially, a program for the three different levels of physics offered in the Upper School will Lab work also meets the needs of students be developed. The various sensors and probes that were purchased span the entire range with different learning styles. What sets of experiments for Upper School physics and for AP physics – from simple position vs. this new equipment apart is that it enables time plots to sophisticated measurements of magnetic fields generated by passing a current students to use the more traditional – through a Slinky. analog, if you will – in conjunction with the digitized version that incorporates the The students love it. Within reason, they get to design many of their experiments. For technology of today. This combination example, one experiment that students conducted involved an experimental observation provides the best of both hands-on kinds of of Newton’s Second Law, Force = mass x acceleration. The probes used include a device experience. for measuring force and a device for detecting the amount of acceleration. When these are attached to a cart, the students can apply a wide range of forces in two different directions THE MAGAZINE 33 COVERSTORY In the short term, the School acquired state of the art physics, biology, and environmental science lab equipment. The long term goal is to design an integrated science curriculum that although nominally formatted as traditional biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science course work, draws heavily from prior exposure. Thus chemistry will draw from biology, physics from both chemistry and biology, etc. Having a common laboratory platform that is used across the traditional disciplines will enormously facilitate this integration. In this way faculty will be preparing students in analytical and collaborative thinking that will benefit them in their post-secondary experience and in being productive in the workplace. The world is increasingly digital. Working with this kind of equipment, and with computers becoming a more integral part of both the educational and employment world, will tie together the conceptual aspects of science education and the omnipresent need to utilize the latest technology. The ability to think analytically is of paramount importance in the modern world. One of the goals in teaching science is to foster this ability – as well as to introduce students to the beauty and structure of the world of science. The science department as a whole has embraced this mission and is excited about being able to implement it at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. What can managers at the 132-year-old industrial giant learn from Google? TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION: A corporate mind-set How the Integration of Technology that prizes “constant Accelerates Learning in entrepreneurship.” Lower School Classrooms — Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman Our students have never been without a computer or access to the Internet. They will have and Chief Executive, General Electric jobs we’ve never heard of using technologies we can’t even imagine. They are not the same students we were—should we teach them the way we were taught? At Mount Vernon, we say no. In an effort to become more globally aware, each first grade classroom chose a different country to study. Among the many activities they completed, they used Google Earth to “fly” from our school to their chosen country on their Promethean boards. They were able to view the country as a whole and then zoom in to get a closer view of the main cities. Some were even able to get close enough to see a street view so that they could feel as if they were actually there. Sixth graders reading Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech were able to improve their financial/economic/business/entrepreneurial literacy when they created their own tour guide company. Following a teacher created webquest, students used their netbooks to choose and research one of the 26 day hikes offered in Yellowstone. They had to determine the distance, find out about local wildlife, and study weather patterns. Then they created a tour package including a promotional flyer for advertisement. In addition, sixth graders also became archaeologists in their social studies classroom. While studying the ancient civilization of Catal Huyuk, students put their critical thinking skills to the test. Upon entering the classroom one morning, students discovered an excavation site. Working in pairs, the students dug through dirt and sand to excavate a relic from this ancient civilization. They discussed what their object was and then went to their netbooks to 34 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL COVERSTORY research it using a website on the excavation of the real Catal Huyuk. After discovering to the story. By the time it traveled to all of what their relic was and what it was used for, the students wrote a newspaper article about the classes in the group, it was a complete their discovery. They finally added digital photographs and put their articles together to story. Once the story was completed, each create a class newspaper. class created an illustration for their part of the story. The illustrations were compiled Civic literacy has gone digital at Mount Vernon. With their passport in hand, Third into a Voicethread which was then narrated and Fourth Graders completed a webquest that taught them the ins and outs of using a by students from each class. computer and the internet. Everything from ‘What does the back button do?’ to ‘How do you stay safe online?’ was covered. As they completed each step, they received a stamp on With the availability of so many different their passport. After visiting each of the seven continents, the students have truly become kinds of mass media, students need to learn digital citizens of the world. how to navigate, assess, and use the tons of information at their fingertips. Being Fifth grade students learned about proper communication skills through blogging. Each able to create projects using various forms student researched a biome using websites, books, and encyclopedias. Then, using the of media and technology is becoming as information they gathered, they each created a blog where they wrote from the perspective important as being able to read and write. of actually living in that biome. In their blog entries, they are describing the biome as well as the plants, animals, and people who live in the biome with them. They are also posting Sixth grade students honed their pictures and videos of the biome. In addition to their own blogs, they are commenting information skills by learning about how on each other’s blogs by asking questions, offering advice, or just congratulating their to evaluate websites. Before starting on classmates on doing a good job. a science project involving researching viruses, the students got to see some very Second grade students wrote progressive stories through collaboration with other schools. interesting websites that were completely Each second grade class joined a story group with other classes around the world. As the made up (ever heard of the North Pacific story traveled from class to class within the group, the classes would add a paragraph or two Tree Octopus?). They discovered that THE MAGAZINE 35 COVERSTORY One aspect of flexibility and adaptability is teaching the students to process feedback effectively. First, second, and third grade students have all been videotaped presenting on various topics. After reviewing the videos, they reflected on ways in which they excelled and ways in which they could improve. As the year progresses, they will continue to record themselves in order to incorporate the feedback they received during their first attempts. By the end of the year, they will be able to look back and see how much they have improved since that very first time. information on the internet is not always imaginable. From practicing writing on accurate. In order to prepare them for a screen that looks like giant lined paper research, they learned the 4 Ws of Website to playing a game making patterns, our Evaluation: Who wrote it? What kind kindergarteners have been jumping at the of information does it provide? When chance to experiment with their boards was it written? Where is it located? With in new ways. Kindergarteners are also background knowledge of how to evaluate practicing their technology skills by taking a site, they can feel more confident in the advantage of their classroom computers on sources they use for information. an individual basis. They are learning to use a mouse and navigate around the keyboard It is exciting to be a kindergartener at during their computer center each day. We Mount Vernon! They have been working can’t forget one of their favorite activities on their technology skills since day one. using the technology in their classrooms— Every day our kindergarteners are using Skype! The kindergarteners love to Skype their Promethean boards in every way with people. They especially love when Mr. Hilton-Green Skypes with them. The last part of the 21st century skills framework is life and career skills. We are not teaching students how to learn for a test, we are teaching them how to learn for life. Life and career skills are important because our students will run the country one day and they need to be ready to do it. The life and career skills we are teaching our students are flexibility and adaptability, initiative and self-direction, social and cross-cultural skills, productivity and accountability, and leadership and responsibility. 36 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL COVERSTORY MBA: Mount Vernon Style Miles Mallory, MVPS Junior, had a vision spoke with the students of the Business Club. He discussed investing and introduced for starting a club at Mount Vernon and an investment competition in which the students take part in and compete with each he has since founded the Mount Vernon other on investing in the stock market. Team members can invest in anything that is Business Club. The mission of the Business publically traded such as stocks, bonds, commodities, mutual funds, etc. Club is to learn about the best business practices. The club brings a variety of different speakers to club meetings, they visit companies or business events twice per semester, they compete with other business club members on investing in the stock market, and they have discussed creating a school-wide competition on starting a summer business. The Business Club has had several speakers to their meetings. The first speaker was Miles’ father, Tom Mallory. Tom, a Harvard graduate, is president of Acadia Associates. He discussed the elements of success in business. The next speaker was Mark Dunaway , the managing partner at The Atlantic Partners as well as former CEO of six other companies. Mark discussed with the students the lessons he has learned from leading six companies throughout his career. The club asked another speaker to take a little bit of a different approach when coming to speak Ann Revell-Pechar, president of Revell-Pechar Marketing spoke about how companies to the group. The speaker was Colonel sell their products. Bill Nussey, CEO of SilverPop, spoke at the Harvard Business Alex Perwich, president School Club breakfast. Students from the Mount Vernon Business Club of Contained Energy. heard him speak. On November 16, the Business Club was able to go to the Colonel Perwich was SunTrust of Buckhead and they were given a tour of SunTrust’s Worldwide a U.S. Army Airborne Trading Operations. The tour was given by John Rhett, Chairman of SunTrust Ranger and commanded Investment Services. thousands of soldiers. He was also a former The Business Club also has a business plan competition proposal. The written teacher at the United States Military plan can be no longer than two pages. Members can start their business plan any Academy at West Point. Colonel Perwich time. The date for submission to judges will be in early April 2011. The contest gives was also the past president of two other money for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. The prize for 1st place is $200, for 2nd companies before becoming the president place it is $100 and for 3rd place it is $50. The money must be used to help start the of Contained Energy. He spoke about how summer business that was proposed. After the summer, the three winners must write leading in the military relates to leading a short summary describing their business, how much money they made from it, and in business. Mount Vernon’s very own what they learned from the experience. Bruce Morine, CFO of Mount Vernon, THE MAGAZINE 37 DESIGN THINKING AND MUSIC: Theory into Practice Chris Willoughby, Preschool and Lower School music teacher, recently completed his Master of Music Education at Boston University. To complete his degree, he was required to write an extensive curriculum for the music classes taught at Mount Vernon. Willoughby states: “While music has been an important part of Mount Vernon’s curriculum from the beginning of the school in 1972, there has been no unified curriculum or overarching pedagogical approach. One of the purposes of my paper was to present overarching pedagogical approaches for Preschool and Kindergarten Music and Fifth- and Sixth-Grade Music and Technology Classes.” His thesis commenced with extensive demographic and ethnographic surveys of the School and the surrounding communities. Not unexpected was the result that most students prefer popular music forms over all others. Very few selected classical or jazz, for example, as favorite musical forms. As a result, Willoughby recommended that the music curriculum be adapted to include popular music at all levels. “Students will now be more engaged with the inclusion of popular music forms in cultural arts programs and in expanding the curriculum to include music technology (recording, editing, composing). We will also provide experiential, hands-on music creation and music business concepts interwoven with typical music education themes resulting in a more well-rounded, interactive, and real-world application into music education.” The most substantive change that came out of Willoughby’s research, and as applied at Mount Vernon, was the 38 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL addition of a new Music and Technology class for fifth and sixth graders. “Students will have the opportunity to work with music technology (Midi, Garageband, recording, editing, and composing). This will also give students who play guitar, bass, piano, and other instruments not traditionally part of Concert Band the opportunity to play and perform. This class will facilitate more teacher-student dialogue and allow for the development of more independent musicianship. Music and Technology classes will be organized using Frank Abrahams’ “Sonata Form.” Each lesson will begin with the “Exposition,” the opening dialogue between teacher and students. The teacher will begin by introducing new concepts and terms. Special care will be taken to relate new concepts with knowledge that students currently hold. The second part of the “Sonata Form” is “Development.” Here students improvise on the lesson theme. The final part of each lesson is “Recapitulation,” when the teacher and students critique and assess the day’s or week’s activities. The teacher and students offer critiques without fear of shame or embarrassment, including critiques of the teacher’s point of view.” Additionally, fifth and sixth grade Music and Technology classes have discussed emotional themes in pop music, created songs with loops, recorded and edited podcasts and recently composed and recorded original songs. One example is, “The Way He Moved,” by Fifth Graders, Juliana, Mary Frances, Kathleen, and Emily. These are all very exciting examples of how teaching Music at Mount Vernon has embraced 21st Century Design Thinking. Willoughby emphasizes, “I appreciate the School giving me the opportunity to study these valuable concepts and complete a Master’s degree. I hope my research will aid us as we continue to build an outstanding and unique music program at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School.” THE MAGAZINE 39 GLOBAL LEARNING INITIATIVE: The CDC Partners with Glenn Campus The kickoff session for the 2010-2011 Global Learning Initiative, which is a study of global infectious disease led by Don Sasso, Head of the Upper School, was held on September 16, 2010. Middle School and Upper School students were addressed by two speakers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. W. Goodly Archer from the Division of Global Disease Detection and Emergency at the CDC spoke about the CDC’s global emergency response strategies and procedures using the recent tragic earthquake in Haiti as the example of how the CDC mobilizes to respond to such an event. Also, Ramu Kaladi, a Health Policy Analyst from the CDC, spoke on how the CDC’s Center for Global Health monitors on a 24 hour basis worldwide global health issues and crises so that proper response strategies can be developed in a timely fashion. The second Global Learning Initiative session occurred on October 14. Dr. Louisa Chapman, Senior Medical Officer at the CDC, addressed the Middle School students regarding Yellow Fever. Yellow Fever was the topic of a Middle School summer reading book from this past summer. The book entitled Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson How can your school make chronicled a devastating outbreak in 1793 in Philadelphia, PA. Also, Dr. Jon Towner, the cultural shift from a good scientist and researcher at the CDC, will address Upper School students regarding the but cautious school to an Ebola and related Marburg viruses which were topics featured in the Upper School summer reading book entitled The Hot Zone by Richard Preston. This book related innovative school committed the true story of a potential outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the early 1980’s in to excellence and relevance Reston, VA. in a rapidly changing era? The Global Learning Initiative will continue throughout this school year with additional expert speakers from the CDC, and potentially other world class institutions like Emory University and the Carter Center. — Lee Burns, Head of Presbyterian Day School, Memphis, TN; Jamie Baker, Reverb Consulting CONTRIBUTORS TO THE ARTICLE: MOUNT VERNON IS BLESSED WITH ENERGIZED LEADERS Melody Cannon WHO RECOGNIZE AND CHAMPION THE UNIQUE PROMISE Mary Cantwell Nancy Eder OF OUR STUDENTS AND SCHOOL COMMUNITY. Krista Parker The School faculty and staff have galvanized the School to embrace innovation, think Tom Rounds creatively and strive to be a school focused on 21st century standards of excellence. Amanda Stravopoulos The innovative initiatives adopted in the past year only deepen our mission to develop Chris Willoughby leaders who use their unique abilities to think, serve and live their lives with wisdom and moral integrity. 40 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL ANNUAL REPORT 2009-2010 2009 - 2010 Board of Trustee Members David Kolb - Chairman Paula Fisher - Vice Chairman Steve Ray - Secretary Mike Watkins - Treasurer Trustees Sister Mary Rosina Bayliss Brad Hahn Bill Porter Ex-Officio Members Joy Carden Mark Huff Tom Price Dr. Brett Jacobsen Carla Corley Bill McCahan Todd Rounsaville Joe B. Martin Aubrey Forlines Christy Pierce James Wallace Bruce Hagenau REVENUE EXPENSES $ 108,000 $ 278,000 INVESTMENT INCOME DEBT SERVICE $ 260,000 $ 432,000 INTERFUND TRANSFERS OFFICE & DEVELOPMENT $ 288,000 $1,100,000 EXTENDED DAY CLASSROOM & INSTRUCTIONAL $ 540,000 $1,974,000 CONTRIBUTIONS & FUND RAISING OCCUPANCY & DEPRECIATION $9,518,000 $6,930,000 TUITION SALARIES & BENEFITS $10,714,000 $10,714,000 TOTAL REVENUE TOTAL EXPENSES THE MAGAZINE 41 A LETTER FROM THE FUND RAISING TASK FORCE Dear Mount Vernon Community, During the first quarter of 2010, a Fund Raising Task Force was convened consisting of Board members, parent volunteers, administrators, and faculty and staff representatives. We served as Co-Chairs of the Task Force and would like to take this opportunity to share with you the goals and primary recommendations that were outlined. The Task Force reviewed all activities that were currently being utilized to raise incremental funds outside of annual tuition. We assessed existing activities, evaluated potential new opportunities, and sought input from key stakeholders and volunteers. Ultimately we developed a comprehensive strategy to maximize fund-raising revenues from diverse sources while balancing volunteer and staff resources. The Task Force recognized the need to prioritize funding efforts to enhance future fund raising at the School. As Mount Vernon continues to grow and expand curriculum, athletics and arts programs, the need to thoughtfully and strategically grow philanthropic funding becomes increasingly critical. The key recommendation of the Task Force dealt with launching “The Big 4”. These are the four annual funding initiatives central to Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. I hope that you are having the opportunity to participate in each of them – making a gift to the School through the Mount Vernon Fund; redirecting a portion of your Georgia state income tax dollars to support financial aid; participating in the sold-out Mustang Golf Classic and first-ever Junior Mustang Golf Challenge, which alternates each year with The Benefit; and supporting the upcoming Mustang Rally (April, 2011) with your attendance and a Family sponsorship. While these initiatives may seem very different, they all serve an important role in the life of our School. All of the funding initiatives encourage school unity and spirit, foster a sense of community in our School families, and raise necessary funds to support the curriculum and programs that are a key part of the educational experience at Mount Vernon. On behalf of the Task Force, the Board of Trustees and administration of the School, we appreciate your support of “The Big 4” this school year. Working together and looking toward the future, we can do amazing things at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. Thank you, Bill McCahan Todd Rounsaville Fund Raising Task Force, Co-Chair Fund Raising Task Force, Co-Chair Board of Trustees, Member Board of Trustees, Member 42 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL THE BIG FOUR THE MOUNT VERNON FUND THE Support of the Mount Vernon Fund is vital to the School’s mission and bridges the gap between the total cost of operating the School and MOUNT tuition revenue. Participation in the Mount Vernon Fund is important VERNON and every gift, no matter the size, is meaningful and appreciated. The FUND Mount Vernon Fund supports the educational experience of every child in every grade. Our goal is to receive 100% support of the Mount Vernon Fund from our School families. GEORGIA PRIVATE SCHOOL TAX CREDIT PROGRAM The Georgia Private School Tax Credit Program allows eligible individuals and corporations to redirect a portion of their Georgia state income tax dollars to support financial aid for gifted students transferring to Mount Vernon from public schools. The redirected tax dollars permits Mount Vernon to attract some of the best and brightest students currently attending public schools by providing significant financial aid support. This unique opportunity benefits Mount Vernon and enables the School to secure its share of these sought-after financial aid funds. COMMUNITY OUTREACH EVENT The community outreach events, The Benefit and the Mustang Golf Classic, alternate every other year. These events give the Mount Vernon community the opportunity to participate in a wonderful social event, have fellowship with school families and raise funds to support the School. During the 2009 – 2010 school year, The Benefit raised more than $130,000 to fund the inaugural class of Mount Vernon Fellows. During the 2010 – 2011 school year, the Mustang Golf Classic and Junior Mustang Golf Challenge raised $25,000 from the tournament which was designated as seed money for the construction of a Field House for the School. THE ALL SCHOOL EVENT The Mustang Rally is the first of its kind at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. The event will be an exciting day where all students in Preschool through Grade 12 will come together to build school spirit, increase campus unity and create pride in individual and group achievement. On Friday, April 15, 2011, students will participate in an all-school parade and opening ceremonies presentation. The culmination of the year-long blue/gold spirit competition will be decided during the student field races and games. Families will enjoy a picnic on the lawn that features a live band. There will be a full carnival and a silent auction. All proceeds raised from the Mustang Rally will go directly to fund technology in the classroom and throughout student spaces on the Lower School Campus and Glenn Campus. THE MAGAZINE 43 Why give to the Mount Vernon 2009-2010 MOUNT VERNON FUND Fund? Annual support of the Mount Vernon Visionary Educator $25,000 and above $2,500 to $4,999 fund is vital to the School’s mission. The Mount Vernon Mr. and Mrs. M. G. Brooks, Jr. Anonymous Fund bridges Brad and Julie Allison the gap between the total cost of Founder AXA Financial $15,000 to $24,999 Carla and Paul Corley operating the Robert and Catherine Derrick School and tuition Susan and David Kolb Gray and Michelle Dobbins revenue. Tuition alone cannot fund Jim and Lisa Wallace The Herrick Family the entire cost Watkins Christian Foundation Resource Planning Group associated with a Mark and Paige Huff private education at Mount Vernon Leader Dr. and Mrs. Brett Jacobsen $10,000 to $14,999 Lillian and Jimmy Maurin Presbyterian School Louise and Bill McCahan or any independent school. Because Anonymous Mike and Nancy McConnell tuition only covers Steve and Jennie Ferguson Angela and Michael Nagy 88% of our annual Mr. and Mrs. John Notermann operating budget, the School relies on Mentor The Pahl Family The Parnell Family gifts to the Mount $5,000 to $9,999 Steve and Shelly Ray Vernon Fund to sustain excellence Todd and Melody Rounsaville BB&T in teaching, Roger and Julie Steffens Buckhead Uniforms enable enrichment David and Myra Stromquist The Coca-Cola Company opportunities for Candace and Paul Stupek students, and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph L. Fant Brett and Anne Taylor provide support for Dr. Nishan Fernando and Dr. Carolyn Weaver Guy and Patty Tucker emerging needs. Elizabeth and Randall Guyton Dan and Kim Turner Ed and Carol Hays Gifts to the Mount Evan S. and Jennifer Van Metre Doug and Kenna Kruep Vernon fund allow Jose and Valerie Vargas David and Deanne McDougall our administration to say “yes” to new Todd and Maureen Pierce ideas, enhanced Robert and Margot Shuford Partner equipment and Dr. Lisa Drake and Dr. Brian Thomas $1,000 to $2,499 technology and new Mr. and Mrs. John F. Watkins opportunities for Joe and Ardy Adams Chris and Judy Weathers our students and Judy and Jim Agnew teachers. Jeff and Melanie Almond A DAY 44 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL 2010 ANNUAL REPORT Mr. and Mrs. Jose Alvarez Hank and Rosie Kunath Andy and Kelly Anderson Debbie and Bill Lampe Jon and Julie Barber John and Ginny Layman Mr. and Mrs. Chad M. Brooks Mr. and Mrs. Kang Lee The Brooks Family Charitable Fund Lennox International Inc. Nancy and Steve Buck John and Nanci LeRoy Jack and Nancy Calhoun Sally Love Connally Win and Tracy Carroll William and Shari Lotz Jack and Anne Chambers Bob and Charlotte Madderra Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. Chastain Tom and Eleanor Mallory Chick-fil-A at Perimeter Pointe Mark and Lisa McGuire Giving to the Mike and Christine Cooper Chris and Wendy McWilliams Mount Vernon Tracey Cota Hannah, Maggie and Mike Menkus Fund makes us feel like John and Sherlyn Crandall / Amelia Bay Dale and Bruce Morine we are further Mrs. Elizabeth Crosby Mount Vernon Presbyterian Foundation, Inc. strengthening a Mike and Christy Dickson Mo and Nilo Nikain community that will Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Duncan David and Cari Ouderkirk positively influence our children’s Beth and Thad Ellis Bruce and Justine Peddle character Kevin Engle Andrew and Debra Peterson throughout their Kristen L. Engle Christy and Jim Pierce lives. Eugene M. Clary Foundation Inc. John and Zoe Pilgrim – Angela and Family of David Eun Judy and Bill Porter Michael Nagy Lisa and Steve Fendrich Patrick and Lesley Posey Parents of Kate and Frank Fenello Heather Propst (Peyton and Harper) Tabitha 2021 and Adam 2023 Paula and Quinton Fisher The Prudential Insurance Company of America Karen and Dennis Flynn Publix Supermarkets Aubrey Forlines Mike and Beth Reese Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Gallinaro Steve and Rhonda Robinson Brad and Amy Garner Mr. and Mrs. Tyler Ross Georgia Natural Gas Mr. and Mrs. Michael Roush Michael and Tiffany Glover RSUI Group, Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Goetz Susan and Christopher Schnelle Lauri and Emanuel Grubb Dr. and Mrs. Robert Slayden Mr. and Mrs. Bruce A. Hagenau Scott and Elizabeth Slayden Brandon and Jennifer Hayes Bhaskar and Jayanthi Srinivasiah Lisa and Andy Hiles Stanley Works Mr. and Mrs. L.B. Hodges, III Ann and Michael Thompson Lisa and Jerry Humphries Greg and Beth Thornton Ellie Hunt Alex and Beth Tyler The Jefferson Family Robert and Rhonda Tyrrel Dennis and Amy Kanderis Jan and Charles VanWynbergen Bob and Mary Kesterton Verizon Foundation IN THE LIFE THE MAGAZINE 45 2010 ANNUAL REPORT Steven David and Susan Satterwhite Weber The Kesterton Family How much XL America Alicia and Gary Lovell are families Allison, Mike, Jordan, and Tyler Yager Mr. and Mrs. William McBryde expected to Jim and Amy McLaughlin give? Donor John and Wendy McLeod Each family is $500 to $999 Thomas and Cynthia Meade asked to give to Mr. and Mrs. Daniel J. Middleton the Mount Vernon Anonymous Gary and Denise Minor Fund based on their Mike and Tracie Adams MMC circumstances Ms. Lisa Alexander Martha and Chris Moore and blessings. Roger and Linnea Ashley Allen and Melanie O’Brien Mount Vernon Alice and Bob Bender Michel and Lesley Panos Presbyterian Mike and Kathleen Braswell Burt and Dawn Patrick School has received Ms. Laura Bridges Bev and Bob Ricks generous support Ann and Dave Brooks Don and Jan Sasso from parents, Mr. and Mrs. Edward S. Brown Tom and Debbie Schnetzer grandparents, Carlton and Joy Carden Paul and Laura Sims faculty and staff Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Carney Traci and Andrew Smith over the years The Cook Family Mr. and Mrs. Randal Snipes and it is this Denise Coward Bill and Barb St. Amant generosity that Mr. and Mrs. Brian Craver Sun Microsystems paved the way for Mark and Laura Dames Mr. and Mrs. Craig Sweeterman the opportunities Lenny and Lisa Daniels Mr. and Mrs. Jason Tawfik we have today. Ragan and Lollie DeFreese Dr. and Mrs. Daniel Ward The collective Susan and Terry Doyle Chuck and Kay Waters effort of individual Gina Elowe Don and RoseMary Weber donations from $15 Lisa Ford and Chip Emerson Mr. and Mrs. Lamar White to $15,000 or more Equifax Jack and Tara Winters make a big impact. Evan, Marianne, and John Fears Kevin and Cheryl Wyckoff We ask that each Fidelity Investments constituent give Dr. Marcella E. Flynn Sponsor as generously as Letty and Stewart Gibson Up to $499 possible within his The Gladney Family or her means and Stuart and Maria Harvey Anonymous (5) gifts of every size Charlotte and Scott Hayes Jennie I. Adams are appreciated. Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Hedrick Mr. and Mrs. John Adams Ms. Joanne B. Helmke Suzanne B Addicks Melissa and Scott Hinchman Greg and Trisha Addicks Todd and Deborah House Mr. Bobby P. Antony Michael and Christina James Mr. James E. Arnett Pradeep and Becki Jolly Fred and Ellen Ballard Raj and Mini Jose Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Barber A DAY 46 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL 2010 ANNUAL REPORT Debbie and David Barclift Cindy S Coe Stacey and Laura Barnard Patrick and Marguerite Coffield We have Family of Sean Barry David and Sharon Coheley been blessed Cathy and Cliff Barshay Ronn Colanino to be part of the Sister Mary Rosina Bayliss Linda Colbaugh Mount Vernon Curtis and Jacqueline Berry Tracy A. Cole family for many John and Carol Bethell Suzanne Couvillion years. Although Chris and Christy Betz Mr. and Mrs. John B. Cumming there are many Ken and Alta Birdsong Jenny and Brian Cummiskey reasons for this Mr. and Mrs. Brooks Blair Ray and Erin Davis sentiment, we feel Mr. and Mrs. Michael Blair Jody de la Motte Hurst particularly blessed Peter and Suzanne Block Dell Direct Giving Campaign by the teachers. Dr. and Mrs. Ward Bourdeaux Margaret H. Dempster Every year we Sarah O. Bowman Larry and Leslie Dove have experienced Box Tops for Education Lena Lawson Duncan Sr. teachers who Heather and John Bradford Mariela and Ty Duval genuinely care Rick and Lisa Brady Mr. and Mrs. Mike Dye not only about Christopher and Ruth Ellen Bridgers Brent and Kelly Eastwood the academic Kris and Tee Bridges Mrs. Kimberly Edmonson progress of our Al Briggs Michael Edmonson three children, Ms. Nannette K. Briggs Rena Edwards but also take a Mitch Brock and Eileen Flynn Sam and Roula Elias sincere interest in Meg and Matt Brown Kate Emling their overall well Keith and Christine Bruno Entertainment Publications, Inc. being. That interest Jay and Lexie Bryan Era Michelle Erling continues long after Anne and John Buchanan Michael S. Farry they have moved on Ron and Robbin Buchanan Mr. and Mrs. Michael Fenech to another grade. Reggie and Sharon Burnette Ginny Ferguson It is hard to put a Steve and Anne Butz Samantha and Jon Flowers dollar value on that Jeff and Laura Nall Jaymie and Karl Forrest type of commitment William J. Campbell Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Fowler and care, but that Melody Cannon Mr. and Mrs. Marc Fraser value is certainly Mary and John Cantwell Chris and Linda Galanek tangible and real. June and Eric Carlson Lorelle, Bryan, Courtney, and Dylan Gantt The Mount Vernon Mr. and Mrs. Donmark Carman Glenn and Traci Garde Fund provides an Mr. Russell Carter Mike and Peggy Gardner opportunity for us Mike and Marilyn Casey The Gavalas Family to help sustain this Laura and Jimmy Chambliss Lisa and Gary Geurts value in the present Mrs. Helen Chapman Lindsey and Warren Gilmer and for years to Molly Christian GlaxoSmithKline come. Paul and Sandra Clay Cindy Glueckert James and Terry Clayton Stacie Shattles Goins – Mike and Nancy McConnell Parents of Meredith 2011, Morgan 2014 and Michael 2017 IN THE LIFE THE MAGAZINE 47 2010 ANNUAL REPORT Bill and Emily Goldman Cindy Kaisharis Mr. and Mrs. David M. Green Dianne and Kevin Kaseta Dr. and Mrs. James E. Greene Jr. Mr. and Mrs. James Kauffman Ms. Susan A. Greene Laura and Jeff Kauffman Lindsay Griffin Mr. and Mrs. Scott Keller Why is Mr. and Mrs. Jim Griswold Bill and Cathie Kelly participation Jan Clary Gross Mr. and Mrs. G. Marshall Kent, Jr. a priority for John and Debbie Grove Patrick and Trina Keuller the Mount Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hackney Lisa King Vernon Fund? Brad and Tracy Hahn Krissy and Will King Ms. Traci B. Haigler Mitzi Kintz A high rate of Jason and Eileen Hall Sherri Kirbo participation Cheryl Hammen Beatrice Kirkland indicates trust Mrs. Elaine Harber Mike and Dorothy Kitchens in the School Elissa Harbuck James and Jeanne Knap and strength in Pat and Buddy Harrell The Knapp Family our community Scott Hartinger Kae and Ted Koski of families Lisa and Michael Hartman Patrick Kotora and Madeline Kotora and friends. Jeff and Tracey Harvey Tom and Karen Kurtz Participation Ken and Mary Beth Heaghney Brett Ladd is also the Danielle Heintz Mr. and Mrs. Stan Lambert primary statistic Mark and Kelly Heiser Peggy Larson foundations and Kelly, Taina, and Pippa Hilton-Green Kandy Lau corporations Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Howard Mr. Kelly B. Laughlin request in Dan and Suzanne Huff Michael A. Lawings determining how Nancy and Steve Ike John and Flo LeRoy much financial Industrial Developments International Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Lewand support to offer our ING Foundation Dale and Tamara Lewis school. The higher Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Irlbeck Peter and Ashley Lewman the participation, Dr. Jeff W. Jackson Eunice Lockhart-Moss the more likely an Tim and Mary Beth Jeffrey Elizabeth Long outside donor is to Maria Jenkins Julie and Lang Lowrey see our school as a Angela Johnson Dr. and Mrs. Christopher W. Lucius worthy investment. Kirstin and Carter K. Johnson Mrs. Champ Lyons Mrs. Virginia Johnson Reverend Joe B. Martin and Reverend Jodi Martin Katharine Jones Chris and Megumi Mathison Richard and Elizabeth Jones Kat Mattimoe Don Paul and Rixey Jones Carolyn S. McAlister Robin and Steve Jones Gary and Gwen McConnell Ron and Jennifer Jones Kyle and Andrea McCranie Michael and Suja Joseph Patricia McGuire Lisa and Scott Justus John and Jeannine McLaughlin A DAY IN THE 48 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL 2010 ANNUAL REPORT Kathleen McLean Suzanne Rackley Ashley and Brad McLeod Doc and Babs Raines Ed and Sheila Menkus Sean G. and Patty D. Randall Jon and Allison Mercer Pie and Bo Rankin Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. Suzanne and Rob Rankin Bob and Patricia Metcalf Brent and Darcelle Reid Mount Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Mette Mrs. JoAnne Rickman-King Vernon is a Cara and Brad Mills Jamie and Elizabeth Riddle part of our Rebecca and T.J. Miniscalco Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ritch family and we Chris and Mirro Jeffery H. and Wendy Ritchey know that our Mark and Nancy Mitcham Mr. and Mrs. John Robert Rizzo grandchildren John and Wendy Moreland Mr. and Mrs. John Rose are receiving a Josh and Ann-Marie Morrill Melissa Rothbard strong foundation Mrs. Gloria Mountain Dr. Tom Rounds for their lives. Linda and Richard Munger Nancy Rounsaville We know that our Judy Nalley Laurie and Jeff Rummel gift to the Mount Harry and Irene Nelson Mitzi and Mike Rummel Vernon Fund is Jeff and Kelli Nesseth Julianne M. Ryan an important Mr. and Mrs. David Nickell Mark Ryan and Kay Loerch investment in our Jenny Novoselsky Mr. and Mrs. David Sadd grandchildren, Ms. Lisa C. O’Dell SAP their teachers and Dan and Kimberly Oliver Charles and Leigh Scarborough ultimately in the Once For All Trust Brandon and Molly Scarbrough School’s future. OneCause Joan and Ed Schaeffer John and Susan Osberg Teresa and Chris Scheele – Carol and Shirley and Horace Pahl Mr. and Mrs. Carl Schuessler Andy Heyward Chris and Maria Pappadakis The Seeber Family Grandparents Edward L. and Krista C. Parker Dr. and Mrs. Ronald Seel of Elizabeth Steve and Angie Patnode Mr. and Mrs. Jim Shanks McLoughlin 2015 Bobby and Valerie Pavloff Jim and Sheila Shanks, Sr. and Michael Dawn Payne Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Sheats McLoughlin 2019 Joey and Christy Payne Frank Shelton Ms. Julia-Leigh Pelt Mark and Della Shepherd Jim and Mary Jack Persons Mary J. Shirley Dr. and Mrs. Anthony Perticone Harold and Mary Rae Showalter Mark and Janet Pfeifer Wynn and Lane Sims Larry and Sandra Pipkins Elaine Sirota Tom and Cathy Pitchford Robin Sloan Ann and Bill Plumer Elizabeth Small Tommy and Marsha Powell Karen and Jim Snave Ms. Diane Prince Mr. and Mrs. Stein E. Soelberg Mr. and Mrs. Frank Prince Richard Rhode Sommers LIFE THE MAGAZINE 49 2010 ANNUAL REPORT Larry and Sandra Pipkins Grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Frank Prince Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ritch What is a Anonymous Nancy Rounsaville matching Anonymous Mr. and Mrs. David Sadd gift and Joe and Ardy Adams Joan and Ed Schaeffer how can I Suzanne B Addicks Jim and Sheila Shanks, Sr. ensure MVPS Judy and Jim Agnew Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Sheats receives one? Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Barber Harold and Mary Rae Showalter John and Carol Bethell Dr. and Mrs. Robert Slayden Many employers Ken and Alta Birdsong Bengt and Emily Stromquist will match, double, Mr. and Mrs. Brooks Blair Mrs. Bengt Stromquist and in some cases, Dr. and Mrs. Ward Bourdeaux Mr. and Mrs. William J. Tingue triple charitable Ms. Laura Bridges Bob and Gail Todd contributions made Mr. and Mrs. M. G. Brooks, Jr. Barbara and Bob Van Metre by their employees William J. Campbell Jean and Joseph Vitko or retirees. To Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. Chastain Dr. and Mrs. Daniel Ward find out if your John and Sherlyn Crandall / Amelia Bay Mr. and Mrs. John F. Watkins company has a Mrs. Elizabeth Crosby Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Watson, Sr. matching gift Margaret H. Dempster Don and RoseMary Weber policy, determine Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Fowler Elaine O’Neil Whalen if Mount Vernon Mrs. Elaine Harber Wanda and Lamar White Presbyterian Ellie Hunt John and Mary Jane White School qualifies Mrs. Virginia Johnson Bob and Joanne Wilcox and to obtain a Katharine Jones Mr. and Mrs. James Young form, please check Mr. and Mrs. James Kauffman Bob and Mary Kesterton your company’s website or Human James and Jeanne Knap Faculty Resources Kae and Ted Koski Anonymous department. The Tom and Karen Kurtz Anonymous form is then John and Ginny Layman Jennie I. Adams provided to the Mr. and Mrs. Kang Lee Mr. Bobby P. Antony Advancement John and Flo LeRoy Debbie and David Barclift Office at MVPS Eunice Lockhart-Moss Curtis and Jacqueline Berry along with your Lillian and Jimmy Maurin Heather and John Bradford gift. Both will be Carolyn S. McAlister Rick and Lisa Brady processed and the Louise and Bill McCahan Mike and Kathleen Braswell form will be mailed Gary and Gwen McConnell Christopher and Ruth Ellen Bridgers to your employer to Patricia McGuire Meg and Matt Brown confirm receipt of John and Jeannine McLaughlin Reggie and Sharon Burnette the gift. Ed and Sheila Menkus Melody Cannon Harry and Irene Nelson Mary and John Cantwell Shirley and Horace Pahl A DAY IN THE 50 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL 2010 ANNUAL REPORT Mr. Russell Carter Sherri Kirbo Molly Christian Beatrice Kirkland Cindy S Coe Hank and Rosie Kunath Patrick Coffield Tom and Karen Kurtz Ronn Colanino Peggy Larson Linda Colbaugh Kandy Lau Tracy A. Cole Reverend Joe B. Martin and Reverend Jodi Martin Mike and Christine Cooper Kat Mattimoe Suzanne Couvillion Kyle and Andrea McCranie Ray and Erin Davis Kathleen McLean Jody de la Motte Hurst Hannah, Maggie and Mike Menkus Effectiveness Mike and Christy Dickson Rebecca and T.J. Miniscalco is a significant Brent and Kelly Eastwood Martha and Chris Moore component Michael Edmonson Dale and Bruce Morine in the success Rena Edwards Mrs. Gloria Mountain of Mount Vernon Gina Elowe Judy Nalley Presbyterian Era Michelle Erling Jenny Novoselsky School. Pointing Michael S. Farry Edward L. and Krista C. Parker the way, Mr. and Mrs. Jon Flowers Ms. Julia-Leigh Pelt administration’s Cindy Glueckert Ann and Bill Plumer vision has Stacie Shattles Goins Tommy and Marsha Powell demonstrated Lindsay Griffin Suzanne Rackley the importance John and Debbie Grove Pie and Bo Rankin in creating Ms. Traci B. Haigler Suzanne and Rob Rankin relationship, Cheryl Hammen Steve and Rhonda Robinson ownership, and Pat and Buddy Harrell Melissa Rothbard meaning in Danielle Heintz Dr. Tom Rounds teaching. This is Mark and Kelly Heiser Laurie and Jeff Rummel a process and a Kelly, Taina, and Pippa Hilton-Green Don and Jan Sasso mission worth an Dr. and Mrs. Brett Jacobsen Frank Shelton investment. Maria Jenkins Mark and Della Shepherd Angela Johnson Mary J. Shirley – Hank Kunath Richard and Elizabeth Jones Elaine Sirota Upper School art Don Paul and Rixey Jones Elizabeth Small teacher Ron and Jennifer Jones Richard Rhodes Sommers Raj and Mini Jose David Song Michael and Suja Joseph Cindy Spivey Cindy Kaisharis Nick and Amanda Stavropoulos Laura and Jeff Kauffman Lynne Strickland Lisa King Ms. Mary Beth Struble Krissy and Will King Garry Sullivan Mitzi Kintz Don and Jody Travis E LIFE THE MAGAZINE 51 2010 ANNUAL REPORT Mike Turner SunTrust Bank Atlanta Foundation Tom and Sheryl Vrieze Target- Take Charge of Education Program Lucy Ward The Dannon Company Stacey and Pat Whalen The UPS Foundation Shan and Chris Willoughby Verizon Foundation Wachovia Corporation Watkins Christian Foundation Foundations and XL America Corporations Anonymous Memorial Gifts AOL Time Warner Foundation Dianne and Kevin Kaseta AXA Financial In memory of Maryann T. Garalis BB&T BellSouth Mary J. Shirley Box Tops for Education Given for Morgan and Will Shirley The Brooks Family Charitable Fund Buckhead Uniforms Chick-fil-A at Perimeter Pointe 2009-2010 Cingular Wireless The Coca-Cola Company Mount Vernon Fund Dell Direct Giving Campaign Volunteers Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation Entertainment Publications, Inc. Sara and Joe Fant – Campaign Chairs Equifax Mie and Andy Brunson – Upper School Representatives Eugene M. Clary Foundation Inc. Brenda and John Noterman – Middle School Representatives Fidelity Investments Elizabeth and Randall Guyton – Lower School Representatives General Mills Foundation Maureen and Todd Pierce – Preschool Representatives Georgia Natural Gas Ardy and Joe Adams – Grandparent Representatives Goldman Sachs Kat Mattimoe – Faculty Representative Hewitt Associates IBM Corporation Fund Raising Strategy Task Force Industrial Developments International Nancy Calhoun ING Foundation Marilyn Casey Key Foundation Nancy Eder Lennox International Inc. Elizabeth Jones Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. Bill McCahan MMC Martha Moore Mount Vernon Presbyterian Foundation, Inc. Bruce Morine National Starch and Chemical Foundation, Inc. Krista Parker Once For All Trust Kathleen Parnell OneCause Beverly Ricks Pitney Bowes Todd Rounsaville The Prudential Insurance Company of America Amanda Stavropoulos Publix Supermarkets Paul Stupek RSUI Group, Inc. Guy Tucker SAP Chris Willoughby Stanley Works Sun Microsystems 52 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL 2010 MOUNT VERNON FELLOWS FOR THE SUMMER OF 2010 six members of our faculty were awarded fellowships to broaden their experience as educators and to expand the learning environment for the students at Mount Vernon. In their own words they share some of the highlights. Mary Cantwell, Lower School Science Teacher My fellowship consisted of traveling to Ecuador to volunteer for two weeks at a biological preserve, La Hesperia. I worked a variety of job assignments that ranged from milking cows, building pasture fences, cleaning trees, to helping setup a classroom for the preserves new school. I also spent a week exploring the flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands. Through trekking into a live caldera of the volcano Sierra Negra, hiking into the highlands of Floreana to observe Giant Tortoises in their natural habitat, and snorkeling with sea turtles, sea lions, and white tipped reef sharks, I experienced firsthand the awe and amazement of Galapagos. MY FELLOWSHIP ALLOWED ME TO FULFILL A LIFELONG DREAM... THE MAGAZINE 53 ...HOW TO CONNECT WITH STUDENTS Amanda Stavropoulos, WHO HAVE COME FROM DIFFERENT Ed.S., Media Specialist BACKGROUNDS AND CULTURES... My fellowship was hosted by the National Association of African American Studies. It was called Maggie Menkus, Seventh Grade English Teacher “How to Teach Students Who Don’t Look Like You.” It was about My fellowship took place at the Summer Institute of the Master’s multiculturalism and how to Program of Storytelling at East Tennessee State University to connect with students who have understand how teachers can incorporate storytelling into the come from different backgrounds classroom. This teaching strategy can transform classroom and cultures than you. environments and engage students’ imagination to connect with them on a deep and meaningful level. I learned to facilitate classroom discussion because it is, by design, a co-creative process that involves the listener. Through presentation, as well as working together one on one, and in larger and smaller groups, I learned to shape personal experience into tales that enhanced a sense of community within the classroom by reinforcing the strong social web that binds teller and listener. This is the power of storytelling, the world’s oldest yet still-greenest tool for education I EXPERIENCED and communication. FIRSTHAND THE AWE AND AMAZEMENT ...THE HARKNESS METHOD PLACES OF GALAPAGOS. STUDENTS ON THE “FRONT LINES” OF LEARNING... Kat Mattimoe Lower School Art Teacher My Fellowship allowed me to fulfill a lifelong dream of visiting the New Mexico region where my college mentor, Sr. Eugene deCleene, O.P. and Georgia O’Keefe (preeminent American artist) were inspired to create. I had the opportunity to paint en plein air while staying at the Presbyterian conference center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Ghost Ranch. 54 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL Brandon Scarbrough, Dean of Upper School Students My fellowship took place at the Exeter Academy Summer Humanities Institute in Exeter, New Hampshire. Exeter developed a methodology that is commonly referred to as the “Harkness” Method - despite the humility and desire for anonymity of the benefactor. More than just a different model for discussion, the Harkness Method places students on the “front lines” of learning by having them do the research, shape and lead both the direction of the course (within certain parameters) and the breadth and depth of the conversation. Students are not passive recipients of information distilled and provided by an instructor, but instead assume the role of creative design experts and cooperative instructors building from the collective wisdom and questions of the group. The method requires students to heavily interact with a wide variety of texts and other resources, fully and actively participate in the discussion, add to the conversation with their insights or queries for greater understanding, and take ownership of the success of the course. THEIR ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO PREPARE STUDENTS TO LIVE ETHICAL AND REFLECTIVE LIVES IN RAPIDLY CHANGING ENVIRONMENTS. Tracy Haigler, Fifth Grade Teacher I LEARNED TO FACILITATE My fellowship took place at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where CLASSROOM I attended “Project Zero, The Future of Learning.” This program invites educators to examine what, where and how children and adults should learn DISCUSSION in order to thrive in the 21st century. When teachers embrace learning for BECAUSE IT IS, the future, they nurture competencies such as expert thinking, collaboration, BY DESIGN, A and entrepreneurship. They foster intercultural understanding, environmental stewardship, and global citizenship. They invite students to understand CO-CREATIVE complex problems, create quality work, and express themselves through PROCESS THAT traditional and new digital media. Their ultimate goal is to prepare students to INVOLVES THE live ethical and reflective lives in rapidly changing environments. LISTENER. THE MAGAZINE 55 the POINTof the STORY We Catch Up with a Recent MVPS Grad To say you know college is going to be hard, and then to experience it for yourself are two completely different things. The classes are hard, the professors are strict, and on top of it all I am currently pledging a DREW CLAYTON fraternity. I am busier than I have ever been in my entire life, and yet somehow I feel like I can Class of 2010 still handle everything. Many of my friends had a wake up call and realized that they were actually going to have to work hard to do well, but I already had that I AM CURRENTLY ingrained into my thought process. My strong work ethic and attitude to succeed are both due AT THE GEORGIA to the development I went through as a student at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. I have so INSTITUTE OF many thanks to all of my teachers and mentors TECHNOLOGY. for the time and compassion they put into my life to prepare me for what was ahead. It was teachers like Ms. Melody Cannon, whose junior and senior English classes make my English class in college a walk in the park. While my classmates are amazed at the magnitude of our assignments, I simply look back to the eleventh grade and laugh at how easy I have it now. My classes are going great, and I expect my GPA will show that. I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but I feel confident with the backing I developed at Mount Vernon. There is not doubt in my mind that I will be able to attain all of the goals I have set forth. 56 MOUNT VERNON PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL A C A AR D EM T IC AT H LET S ICS 2011 SUMMER PROGRAMS AT MVPS Exciting athletic, arts, and academic programs for Preschool, Lower, Middle, and Upper School students. Details coming soon at www.mountvernonschool.org. MOUNT VERNON NON-PROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE P R E S BY T E R I A N S C H O O L PAID PERMIT #8321 471 Mt. Vernon Highway, NE ATLANTA, GA Atlanta, GA 30328 MOUNT VERNON P R E S BY T E R I A N S C H O O L 471 Mt. Vernon Highway, NE 510 Mt. Vernon Highway, NE Atlanta, GA 30328 (404) 252-3448 www.mountvernonschool.org Mount Vernon Presbyterian School is a community dedicated to academic excellence, physical development and spiritual enrichment. Grounded in Christian values, we seek to develop leaders who will use their unique abilities to think, serve, and live their lives with wisdom and moral integrity.
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