While fans of the popular Harry Potter series know prefects as authority figures or those with special privileges and powers, Mount Vernon’s prefects embody a far purpose. They’re the School’s ultimate servant leaders— outstanding juniors and/ or seniors selected by a faculty review board. Chosen for their high character and integrity and their commitment to the mission of MVPS, the prefects play a critical leadership role at the School.
The Upper School Prefects do it all. As the Upper School Head of Student Life and Operations Krista Parker puts it, “We empower students at a young age. We empower them to know they have the ability to organize events like an admissions tour, a chapel service, or the Junior/ Senior prom. They’re able to contact outside experts, representing themselves as young adults, preparing them for the next phase in life.”
This spring we sat down with the 2015-16 prefects to learn about their experience. Through Mount Vernon’s new podcast series, MV Stories, readers may may listen to the entire conversation.
Here are excerpts from that discussion…
How is the Prefect Program different from a student council?
I think in a high school where you might have a president and vice president of a student council there is less collaboration. The Prefect Program allows us to have more specialized responsibilities; we accomplish more in a shorter period of time, and with this year’s prefect group we all worked together so well.John Willingham
What is the best part of being a prefect?
How close we’ve become. We have a group chat with 200 text messages at a time and most of them are goofy. We have fun together. On Ugly Christmas Sweater Day this year we all printed out old pictures of each other and wore them on our sweaters. It’s been really fun to get to know people we wouldn’t have gotten to know otherwise. It’s really become a family of people who support you no matter what you’re going through. When things start to go wrong, these people have your back and are always there for you.Haley Todd
I have really liked being able to see everyone accomplish their own personal goals. I was able to have a large TV screen installed in the Overlook of the Upper School. I think having everyone get to know you as a prefect and they ask, ‘Oh do you do the class texts?’… is awesome because we can encourage other students to get involved.Brittany Whitstine
What is the most challenging part of being a prefect?
We all have such big things we’re in charge of, whether it be chapel, or prom — the deadline is coming so we cannot procrastinate. This is what we’re held to and we have a lot of responsibility to make sure we stay on top of things.John Willingham
I think having the responsibility is kind of cool and kind of special. I’ve enjoyed this year having the responsibility dealing with people who aren’t necessarily involved in our school — like giving tours. These are people who don’t know the full message at Mount Vernon, and it’s about sharing our message. It’s fascinating to be in charge of that and to make such a large impact on the School. I’ve grown so much this year.Jay Middleton
We want our students to feel like this is their school, and the best way to do that is to give them ownership. People outside the prefects don’t realize how hard they work; they’re true servant leaders. They give so Mount Vernon is a better place.Krista Parker
What do you hope for next year’s prefects?
We really hope that they can stay as involved with each other as we have been. We’re a really close group. We can come to each other with all of our problems. Coming together seeing all these different people working together has been amazing.Taylor Leroy