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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


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Principals at each building in the Mount Vernon City School District have recently identified their Teachers of the Year based on the three criteria of instruction, attendance, and contribution to school culture and climate. View the Teachers of the Year here.

Lowes Moore Q+A

Lowes Moore, MVHS Class of 1976 graduate, is a former NBA basketball star and coach, and he served as Executive Director and Director of Development at the Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon for 27 years. He now hosts a podcast and runs Lowes Moore Global Communications.  

View the Q+A with Lowes Moore here!

Students in a court room on steps.

Applications for the 15th annual Scales of Justice Academy (SJA) at Fordham University School of Law and The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University have been extended and are open until Saturday, June 15, 2024. The program will begin on Monday, July 22, at both locations. Legal courses will be taught by over 40 volunteer judges, lawyers, law professors, law students and elected officials.

Click here for the Fordham University SJA Application (July 22-31)

Click here for the Pace University SJA Application (July 22-26)