Skip To Main Content
  • Main
Students Recognized for Being True Blue

A new Mercersburg initiative to reward students for making good choices and living the school mission was launched during the 2023-2024 school year.

With the support of the Office of Student Life, student leaders are recognizing their peers as being “True Blue.”  

“A lot of times in our work, it feels like we get focused on the kids who need the support or extra help to address behaviors and behavior management,” said Coleman Weibley, Mercersburg’s associate dean of students. “This is a way to recognize and spend time acknowledging those who do the right thing and give some incentive to students to be more thoughtful in how they live their lives and how they act as members of our community. Sometimes there are people who are doing the right thing and living our mission, but they just don’t get recognized.”

The mission of Mercersburg is to “embrace the values of hard work, character, and community while learning to balance independence with interdependence and individual humility with collective pride. Students commit to a life of learning, seek to understand the spiritual nature of human existence, and develop a determination to lead and serve the world.”

Chris Howes, former assistant head of school for student life and culture, periodically recognized students who were living the Mercersburg mission, Weibley said.

Last year, the Office of Student Life continued the practice, and this year, Weibley encouraged the Student Council to spearhead a program that formalized the process.

“The Student Council liked the idea of recognizing individuals through school meetings or lunch announcements. They wanted to find a way to bring some formality to it, by collecting feedback from our entire community,” Weibley said.

Student Council President Jordan Yuan ’24 said the awards encourage those recognized and motivate other students to follow with positive actions of their own.

“Bringing these individuals in front of the student body acts as a reminder that there are people who are doing great things,” Yuan said. “The True Blue program is benefiting the community because there are a lot more random acts of kindness around me.”

When Annie Mohr ’26 received the True Blue award during a school meeting, she initially was “shocked” to see her face on the projector screen in front of the entire school. 

“Then I felt happy that the school chose me as a representative of the school’s mission,” said Mohr, who makes a point of doing “little things,” such as holding a door, giving a simple wave, or asking how someone’s day is going. “These little things can really make all the difference in someone’s day and make everyone feel included. Being mindful of others, especially in an atmosphere as diverse as ours, enables us to foster a more unified sense of community.”

Shubhlean Kaur ’27 said receiving the award made her feel appreciated. “It definitely was overwhelming, but I felt motivated to continue being a True Blue.”

It helps to be kind when interacting with people you’ve just met, said Edwin Cameron ’27, one of the award recipients.

"Being kind to each other is key for other people to be nice to you back," Cameron said. "Kindness always comes back to you."

In addition to being recognized publicly, students receiving the honor are given a True Blue keepsake pin.

The Student Council likes the “randomness” of the presentations due to the uncertainty of how many or how often nominations are received, Weibley said. 

The council meets biweekly and reviews any nominations that were received in between meetings. When they feel there is a worthy nomination, they plan a time to honor that person by presenting them with a pin. 

“It’s more than just a pin,” Weibley said. “It’s a recognition of their determination to lead and serve, an emblem of their commitment to our community’s values.”

Mercersburg students, faculty, or staff members can make nominations through an online portal.

“It is a way to be more consistent with recognizing members of our community who are doing the right thing and embody the school’s mission day in and day out, regardless of their academic success,” Weibley said, noting that there isn’t a certain number of students who are selected each time, and there’s no set frequency for the recognition. “We’re going to recognize people as nominations come in, and as things happen.”

Nomination comments vary from the succinct, “He’s a great prefect,” to long, detailed explanations of why a student is True Blue. The plan is to select a diverse group from those nominated and to honor students for a variety of reasons.

“True Blue allows us to acknowledge and celebrate students who are not just excelling academically but are also embodying the spirit of Mercersburg Academy’s mission in their everyday actions,” Weibley said. “This is being driven by our Student Council to build culture and community and to really celebrate the student members of our community who help embody the spirit of what we want to be at Mercersburg. I love that we’re supporting and promoting a student leader initiative.”

Students who received the True Blue award so far include:

  • Edwin Cameron ’27, Alexandria, VA
  • Harry Cameron ’26, Carlisle, PA
  • Samantha Chepren ’27, Mercersburg, PA
  • Nick Green ’25, Gilbertsville, PA
  • Shubhlean Kaur ’27, Carteret, NJ
  • Catherine Kidd ’24, Leesburg, VA
  • Annie Mohr ’26, Mercersburg, PA
  • Jaidee Promphan ’25, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Maria Rihn ’24, Stahlstown, PA
  • Adrian Rios ’25, Vega Alta, Puerto Rico