Vera, Maya, Sbu: get to know more eighth grade students before they graduate!

During the month of June, we’re running a blog series to introduce you to our eighth grade students. They’re extraordinary people. We can’t wait to see how they make their mark on the world!



A challenging curriculum and a fresh start are two things that Vera’s looking forward to at the Dwight Englewood School next year. After 11 years of learning at Mustard Seed School, she feels ready to put her skills and abilities to good use in high school.

Vera likes to think outside of the box. In class or group discussions, she often has an opinion that stands out. Her unique ideas and management skills have grown over time. She’s become a strong leader, especially as a member of the MSS Service Team.

What has Vera learned at MSS? To speak up for her beliefs. Be a strong advocate. See both sides of an argument. Listen. Contribute.

Vera would like to thank her sixth grade teacher, Ms. Thompson, for encouraging her to work hard in every subject. This is a lesson that Vera will always carry with her.

To all future students, Vera would like to say: don’t worry. MSS is a welcoming place. Enjoy your time there. Before you know it, you’ll be graduating!



For several years, Maya has been interested in the Notre Dame School for the soccer program and the beautiful, inclusive community. So it’s with great joy that she announces that she’ll be a freshman there in the fall.

Maya’s always been a leader and often takes on a leadership role in group projects. She’s learned that leadership requires listening to others. She remembers being a fourth grade student working with fifth graders. At first she felt scared to be working with older students. Instead of stepping forward to lead, she took a back seat. It turned out to be a huge growth experience. She found that by being quiet and listening to the ideas of others, she was more open to new possibilities. Now when she leads, she listens carefully and considers the ideas of everyone in the group.

Serving others is another way that Maya leads. Every Tuesday and Thursday, Maya joins the preschool for a while as a student intern.

During her time at MSS, Maya has transformed from a student who lacked confidence in writing to a strong writer. Ms. McCallihan, her fourth grade teacher, encouraged Maya to work hard on her writing. Go through the editing process. And improve with each draft. Maya’s grateful for Ms. McCallihan’s care, enthusiasm, and all the ways that Ms. McCallihan has made her a stronger writer.

Looking ahead, Maya’s excited for the language arts and math classes at Notre Dame. She plans to join the drama club and as many choral groups as possible. Maya will miss all of the musical opportunities that she’s had at Mustard Seed School. And the people, of course! But she feels ready for high school and excited for what’s ahead.



Sbu will attend Chatham High School next year. He looks forward to the high-quality academic program. But more than that, he’s excited about the wide variety of extracurricular activities. Sbu plans to participate in the school news station. Comedy Club. And sailing team.

During his time at Mustard Seed, Sbu’s improved as a writer. He’s learned a number of writing techniques which he’s used in assignments from formal essays to persuasive writing. He’s also learned to share his voice and become more assertive. Before he came to MSS, Sbu was shy and kept his ideas to himself. That boy is long gone, replaced by a young man who’s unafraid to speak his mind. A man who sees a problem and does everything he can to find an effective solution.

If Sbu could travel anywhere, the first location he would visit would be Japan. He’s fascinated by Japanese culture and advanced technologies. On his trip, he’d take the bullet train to Tokyo and go to popular tourist locations. Restaurants. And tech stores. Then he’d follow in the footsteps of manga and anime artists and writers and venture to the beautiful and peaceful countryside, to Takayama.

Out of everything he’ll miss about MSS, Sbu will miss his teachers the most.  Especially his language arts teachers, Mr. Harris and Ms. Decker.



Abby Liu

ABBY LIU, Director of Marketing and Communications

Ms. Liu loves to tell the Mustard Seed story. She’s the parent of a current MSS student and a recent alum.