Head of School Dr. Brett Jacobsen
Shares What it Means to be Made in MV
What should distinguish any Mount Vernon student from any student anywhere?
How would you be able to prove you were from Mount Vernon?
To be Made in MV is more than your school uniform, PowerSchool grades, e-portfolio, or transcript. Made in MV is about the people we interact with and the impact we have on their lives. There are three interconnected parts that paint this Made in MV picture:
Mustangs come to play, not watch.
When you come to play, you are ready to engage, to compete, to anticipate, to get dirty regardless of the outcome. Rather than sitting on the sidelines of life or watching in the stands to criticize, you come to play for your team, your school, and your self. You leave it all out on the field even when life gets hard, and you’ve come to have fun while doing it. In the end, you know you can’t play in isolation, being surrounded by great teachers and parents who want you to grow. To be Made in MV, you come to play…in the classroom, on the field, on the stage, in life. May this be said of all of us.
Mustangs choose courage over comfort
Can you think of a moment of real courage that didn’t require some level of fear, risk, uncertainty? Real courage is learning how to give and receive help. Real courage is learning how to say I’m sorry when you have wronged someone else. Real courage is defending someone who is being bullied. Real courage is being yourself, not trying to compare yourself to others. Real courage is trying out for a sport or drama production with no guarantee you will make the cut. Real courage is about having fearless conversations about challenging, complex issues our country is facing. Real courage is sitting down with someone you disagree with and really listening and understanding his/her perspective. Real courage is speaking up for something you believe in. Mustangs choose courage over comfort.
Real courage is being yourself, not trying to compare yourself to others.
Mustangs build people up rather than tear people down
Building people up or tearing them down starts with words and actions. It is easy to tear someone down because they don’t look like you, believe like you. It takes a lot more time and energy to listen, to be empathetic, to be kind and to be compassionate. Life requires us to hit pause, be curious, ask questions, and be slow to speak. Ultimately, building people up is demonstrated through your actions. As Dr. King once said, “If you want to be important – that’s wonderful. If you want to be great – that’s wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That’s your new definition of greatness – it means that everybody can be great because everybody can serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.” Mustangs build people up.
When you come to play, choose courage over comfort, and build people up, you are guaranteed two things, as Bob Goff would say in his latest book, Everybody Always:
- Life will be messy. There are no clean lines. It is complicated, complex, and not perfect.
- You will grow. Building these habits are like building a muscle. It takes time, repetition, and the willingness to feel pain in order to achieve gains.
So who’s ready? Let’s go.
-Excerpt from Dr. Jacobsen’s 2018 Convocation message to MV students
Listen to the Made In MV Podcast
A new podcast discussing how we live out our culture at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. Join Head of School Dr. Brett Jacobsen and his guests to learn what it means to be Made in MV.