Fifth- and sixth-grade scholars running for the inaugural Neely’s Bend Honors Council showed great courage this morning as they gave their speeches and explained why they deserved their fellow colleagues’ votes.

The Honor Council is a prestigious group of 5th- and 6th-graders who serve the school in a variety of ways. Members teach, enforce, and uphold the Neely’s Bend Middle School Honor Code such that it is a pervasive part of school culture.

As part of the morning election assembly, the school also welcomed Judge Allegra Walker to speak to them about the importance of making good life choices.

“Here are my two favorite quotes,” the Judge said. “One, ‘The dream is real but the hustle is sold separately.’ The other? ‘Destroying your dreams is like having one flat tire and you slashed the other three.”

Judge Walker spoke about the need for students to work hard, be leaders and hustle to get their books read, their homework done and their positive relationships established.

“You have to be about it, don’t just talk about it,” she said.

For the more than two dozen students running for Honor Council, talk about it, they did.

One by one they modeled the LEAD Ethos. Students were courageous in giving their speeches. They were committed to their campaigns. They were self-reliant and disciplined in their remarks. And just by running for office, they are looking to serve the needs of others in the hallways.

“I believe in you,” said one candidate. “I believe that together, we can make Neely’s Bend the best school in Nashville!”

“I didn’t say ‘I’ll try,’ ” said another. “I said, ‘I will!’ ”

“I promise I will work hard to make our school the best place it can be!” said still another.

As the students wrapped up their speeches, School Director Marcus Moye reiterated how proud the staff was of the students running for Honors Council positions, but also the student body for being supportive. Dean of Culture Jasmin Hopkins agreed.

“We could not be more proud of you,” she said. “You have been true leaders here this morning.”

Check out our Facebook page later today for pictures from this morning’s event.