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New students at Ivy Preparatory Academy Gwinnett were inducted as Ivy Scholars recently in a special celebration welcoming them to IPA.

The New Scholars Ceremony, held at Unity Atlanta, was attended by more than 150 IPA scholars, faculty, and parents. Scholars sang the school song and shared what they learned about the culture and history of IPA during their first week of school.

State Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick was guest speaker for the event.

Principal Chaz Patterson presented new scholars with ivy plants and told scholars that he expects them to thrive like the ivy throughout their years at middle school. He said they began school a week early to allow them to make the transition from an “ordinary” school experience to one of “excellence.” IPA’s “Prep Values” encourage scholars to show perseverance, responsibility, engagement, and professionalism at school and in their communities.

“The vision of Ivy Prep is to meet the needs of every child right where she is and do whatever it takes to help her to reach her full potential,” Patterson told scholars. “We promise to be your academic guides to help you transition from child to adolescent, and from adolescent to young woman by giving you all the support you need to be successful scholars and responsible citizens.”

State Rep. Kendrick reminded scholars that ivy plants are among nature’s most resilient species. “The English Ivy stays green year round while other plants around it die off during the fall and winter months,” Kendrick said. “Ivies are assertive. The vine can attach to a tree trunk and climb its way all the way up the tree covering leaves and branches … So hold your head high, young women, do the work, keep going, endure what’s ahead and know that you look good in the process—-all four seasons.

“If there is an obstacle in your way, tear it down,” she added. “If there are temptations that are distracting you from you school work, tear them down. If there are negative people in your life, let your light shine so brightly that you cover their negativity in your ivy leaves. That is the way of the ivy.”

Alisha T. Morgan, executive director of IPA, thanked parents for entrusting Ivy Prep with the education of their daughters. She said that they will see the choice pay off in scholarship opportunities for their children.

“Your parents and your family members have made an excellent choice,” Morgan told scholars. “What we expect from you is to do your very best. When you stand up every morning in school and you offer that Scholars Creed and you say words like ‘I study hard and study longer because that’s what scholars do,’ remember this picture today of all the people who are surrounding you, loving you, and embracing you, and expect great things. You are part of a group of great trailblazing women and we expect nothing less from you.”

The new scholars will begin classes on Monday, the official start of school for all scholars at Ivy Prep Gwinnett and Ivy Prep Kirkwood School for Girls.

For the full text of State Rep. Kendrick’s speech click below:


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