ACES acronym: meme or respected?

What do LM students and teachers think about this years ACES acronym?

Graphic by (Emmi Wu ’23)

On the first day of the new school year, the student body was introduced to the ACES acronym of Accountability, Character, Effort, and Safety. But, do students even care about the new acronym that is plastered all over the walls of LM? To some, it’s just another sticker on the cover of their laptop. To others, it is a new found motto. And to some, “it means nothing.” Here are a few responses from students who were asked to express their thoughts and opinions on the acronym and whether or not it means anything to them. Some students at LM think that the acronym has been unimpactful. As junior Danielle Esan describes, the saying is “generic and seen everywhere.” Meanwhile, others in the LM community mention how, although it may seem pointless, they still care about and somewhat appreciate the acronym. “It doesn’t mean much but I do care about it,” explains Claire Messam ’23.

While the acronym has developed a more personal signficance for a few students, to Grace Shang ’25, it means “to be a good student and play my part as a student in the school.” For many, the new motto has inspired them to become better high school citizens. On the other hand, some students feel that LM itself doesn’t reflect the acronym it claims to represent. “When it comes to LM, both as a high school and as a district, ‘accountability’ and ‘safety’ are about the last things I would associate with it,” says an anonymous responder. Some students feel that LM hasn’t done much to enforce the motto. Georgia Bond ’25 says that “all they’ve done to enforce it is put up signs. It just feels like another rule or reminder to us.” She mentions how it feels more like the school is trying to indoctrinate us into accepting this more as a ‘rule’ and nothing more. Negative opinions also arise from individuals who believe that the acronym is not fitting for a high school. Sophomore Keith Walsh details that the “ACES” acronym “feels like something you would see in an elementary school [and might] be the reason people don’t take it seriously.”

However, many teachers feel that the motto helps to steer LM towards a better environment. Diversity Coordinator Taj Byrd speaks about the fact that the acronym “represents shared expectations and strives to create a school where everyone can belong, feel safe, and thrive.” He explains that it is meant to foster a sense of accountability among students and make it part of our culture as a school. Additionally, Social Studies teacher Sania Mirzanschall mentions how the acronym helps place everyone into a healthy school community. Mirzanschall states, “the ACES acronym helps orient everyone, staff and students, to promote healthy learning habits and a healthy school culture.”

Furthermore, Spanish teacher Tara Pellegrino describes how it helps us as students become the best version of ourselves. She says, “I love it. It embraces students on what they need to be.” The ACES acronym is either what it simply stands for, something more, or just another sticker put on the walls of LM. Either way, the student body will be waiting to see how the new acronym will impact their LM experience.

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