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High school students prepare for first full day of school

High school students prepare for first full day of school

As high school students gear up for their first full day of school next week, students were at their schools meeting their teachers, school administration and spending time with their friends. Denzel Washington School of the Arts hosted a back-to-school kickoff ceremony on Friday, September 8, 2023. Mount Vernon STEAM Academy held 11th and 12th grade orientation, and Mount Vernon High School held orientation for all grades. 

Student speaking to youth work assistance group

At DWSA, students hugged their friends, showcased their musical talents and celebrated the start of a new school year. Drummers and brass instrument players performed for a large crowd of teachers and students. Community organizations such as the Mount Vernon Police Department Wellness Division, the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau and Westhab, Inc., a job assistance program for youth up to 24, shared how they can help support students and encouraged them to utilize their services.  

“I am extremely optimistic about the upcoming year,” said Andrea Thomas, new principal at DWSA. “This event was meant to give our kids the excitement to approach the academics and the arts and help them to meet their friends, get to know each other, get to know the new teachers and really just set the tone for the new school year.” 

Dr. Pearce addressing seniors

At the STEAM Academy’s orientation, students met their new principal and learned about the expectations for the school year. Dr. Christopher Pearce, Principal at STEAM, addressed students and explained his high hopes for the year. He introduced administrators and teachers, who echoed his plans for a successful school year.  

“My goal here at STEAM is to inspire students to have bright and purposeful futures,” said Dr. Pearce in his address to seniors. “All of us want to inspire you to stay on track to graduate.” 

Students seated at orientation

Mount Vernon High School students listened to presentations from their guidance counselors at their orientation. Their counselors explained the work they would need to do this year to get into their colleges of choice and succeed in their next step. They urged students to work hard and not let their grades fall because everything counts when it comes to getting into college and receiving scholarships. 

“If you know where you’re going, you need to know what you need to do,” said School Counselor Takisha Sales. “So, it’s not too early for you to start researching colleges. I need you guys to start forward thinking.” 

Click here to view the photo gallery for DWSA Kickoff.

Click here to view the photo gallery for STEAM orientation.

Click here to view the photo gallery for MVHS orientation.

Dr. Smith and DWSA principal and assistant principals
4 students standing together
5 students seated together
Students seated at orientation


3 students with new sneakers and Jude

Four deserving students left school with new pairs of sneakers thanks to a donation from Jude Sainjour, cofounder of Buttafly, a clothing shop in Mount Vernon. Mr. Sainjour traveled to Grimes School to personally give the students their new shoes on Friday, September 22, 2023.

Dad and daughter

Fathers gathered around the entrance of their child's school and children beamed with happiness as their dads got a chance to visit their school. Lincoln School, Mount Vernon Leadership Academy, Hamilton School, Cecil H. Parker School and Graham School held Dads Bring Your Child to School Day on Thursday, September 21, 2023.  

Brian Simmons

The Mount Vernon City School District Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department has announced that it will be offering emergency medical technician (EMT) training at Mount Vernon High School. The courses will be available for around 20 12th-grade students at MVHS and Rebecca Turner Academy (RTA).

Mr. Thomas, Dr. Pope, Ms. Naughton and students.

Two alumni of Mount Vernon High School spoke to a crowd of 11th graders and motivated them to excel in their studies and accomplish great things. Erica Naughton, assistant principal at MVHS, invited Dr. Gloria Pope and Steven “Butch” Thomas to show scholars the success that Mount Vernon graduates and residents can achieve. Mr. Thomas and Dr. Pope visited MVHS on Tuesday, September 19, 2023.

Logo for news post

Recently, some students in the region came across a concerning post on the popular social media platform TikTok. This post contained a generic threat that mentioned "open fire" on schools without specifying any particular school or district. It is important to note that such posts are not isolated incidents and are unfortunately prevalent on various social media platforms worldwide. Their intent is often to create alarm, annoyance, and disrupt the educational process.

Royce Russell

The Mount Vernon City School District welcomes In-House Counsel Royce Russell. Mr. Russell is an attorney specializing in employment (wrongful termination and discrimination), contracts, and civil rights violations. He will work with all aspects of the District, including legal, policies and procedures, and daily operations.