Pushing beyond limits

Good Morning Mount Vernon. Welcome faculty, students, and parents to Convocation 2018! My name is Parker Corley and I am the Head Prefect of the Upper School for the upcoming year.

Today we come together to celebrate the start of an exciting year with tremendous accomplishments on the horizon. Our new Upper School is under construction just outside of where we are sitting right now. The Class of 2019 is set to Graduate in less than ten months! What’s up Seniors?!?! The 2018-2019 school year will also be the biggest year in Mount Vernon’s history. We have 956 students enrolled and 346 students in the Upper School. Both numbers are the highest that Mount Vernon has ever seen.

Many of those students are rocking their “Made in MV” shirts today. You may ask yourself what it means to be “Made in MV”. Well for me I was, quite literally, “Made in Mount Vernon.” This year will mark my sixteenth year as a student here and it is the only school I have ever attended. This community has played a huge role in developing me into the person I am today. Mount Vernon has shown me that the world is so much bigger than Sandy Springs. It wasn’t until freshman year that I took the time to appreciate downtown Atlanta, despite growing up only miles away. I’ve traveled to Northern Africa with people I only sort of knew, and after a week, the bonds of friendship and profound appreciation for the Moroccan culture were formed so deeply that I know I will treasure that Interim experience for the rest of my life. In other words, to me being “Made in MV” means pushing beyond what I thought at the time were my limits.

Head Prefect Parker Corley, Class of 2019, gives the 2018-2019 convocation address. 

The Process of Making is just as important as the product

Speaking of limits, if you had asked fifth grade Parker how many sprints he could run in an hour he would’ve laughed at you, asked why, and walked off the field. Fast forward to twelfth grade Parker, this summer alone I estimate that I ran precisely a gazillion sprints total. Thanks, Coach. But that is what it means to leave no doubt– and that is another thing I’ve come to realize is woven into the DNA of Mount Vernon. We leave no doubt in anything that we do. Whether in the classroom, on the football field, or in the community we lay it all on the line. Even at a young age, Mount Vernon instilled these ideals in me. I remember Mrs. King’s third grade class where we had an assignment to make a puppet of some kind. I don’t remember exactly what the purpose of the project was or the specific instructions, but I do remember that all my classmates were building these elaborate life-sized puppets and I felt tremendous pressure to match their designs. If my handwriting skills are any indication of my artistic ability, it goes without saying that I was terrified. I ended up creating a “wooden spoon” puppet. I decorated the spoon with strands of yarn for hair and used sharpie to draw the face. I’m pretty sure the puppet looked terrible, but I left no doubt that I’d given my full effort. Despite the frustrations in the creative process, I learned a valuable lesson that day. What we make at MV doesn’t have to be perfect– the process of making is just as important as the product.

These days I use wooden spoons more for baking rice krispies than I do for puppet making. But I carry the lesson with me every day. This year I challenge all of us Mustangs to “Leave No Doubt” in everything we do. No matter the task or what life throws our way, if we leave no doubt that we did our best then we will be satisfied with the end result. Everyone sitting in this gym can do amazing things — just put your mind to it and give it your all. There is no stopping you and there is nothing holding you back. Whether you’ve been here 16 days or 16 years, you are Made in MV. Push past your limits. Leave no doubt. Show the world what it means to be Made in Mount Vernon.

Thank you!


Parker Corley | Legacy

  • Started at MV at 3 years old
  • Member of the MV Colt Club
  • Football: Grades 9-12
  • Varsity Basketball: Grade 12
  • Track and Field: Grades 9-11
  • JV Basketball: Grades 9-10

Leadership Roles: Head Prefect, National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, Student Ambassador, Football Captain, Track and Field Captain

Clubs: No Place for Hate, Business & Entrepreneurship Club, Ping Pong Club