Lower School Elects House Council

Gilman’s Lower School has elected its House Council members. Prior to the election, council candidates submitted recorded speeches to share why they were running and what personal qualities made them suited for the role. Congratulations to:

  • Dignitas: Alex L. (5th) and Vikram K. (4th)
  • Excellentia: Theodore D. (4th) and Ram H. (4th)
  • Honestas: Neme E. (5th) and Jake M. (4th)
  • Humilitas: Ben C. (5th) and William C. (4th)
  • Virtus: Oden R. (5th) and Bruce S. (4th)

You may spot this group of young leaders at Cars, Trucks, and Things that Go! at Gilman on Saturday, November 12, where they will help give out goodies to attendees and collect donations for the Donald Bentley Food Pantry. At the first House Council meeting, which will be held next week, the group will set goals for the year.

The House Program, in its second year at Gilman, is designed to build a sense of belonging in an inclusive, caring, and supportive environment. Lower School faculty, staff, and students in all grades are sorted into five “houses” named with Latin words that correspond with the Gilman Five. The system includes athletic, academic, artistic, and service learning pursuits and promotes self-esteem, self-identity, belonging, and pride. Age is no barrier to collaboration: Younger students look up to older students and older students support the younger ones. Through shared goals, our house program promotes deeply meaningful relationships and connections.

“The idea came from the desire to improve the sense of community in the Lower School,” said Katie Thomas, Assistant Head of Lower School, who was a fifth grade teacher at the time the program got started. A few years ago, she and Lower School counselor Laura Jordan visited a local elementary school to see how a house system was implemented there. “After we observed them celebrate a house party, we knew it was something we wanted to bring to Gilman,” Jordan said. With a lot of hard work, support, and input from faculty and administration, the concept came to life.

“One of the most important goals of a house meeting is to create a space where all of the boys see that they belong to a family,” said fourth grade teacher Michelle Turner, who is on the House planning committee. “Through various activities, the boys build relationships, strengthen their bonds to each other and the adults in their house, and work together to share their house’s purpose with the greater Lower School community.”

This year, new activities are underway for the program. During one House meeting, students will assemble sandwiches for Manna House, a nonprofit that supports people without housing in Baltimore. Honestas (green house) will kick off this initiative on Friday, October 21.

Congratulations to all ten boys on their new leadership roles!