Alumni Association Board
Chair: Mike Velin – Class of 2006
My name is Annie Stewart and I graduated from My name is Mike Velin and I graduated from MPA in 2006. I got my bachelor's degree at St. John's University in Management, Economics, Art and Coaching and then received my Master's of Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas. I currently work at The KNW Group as a private wealth manager. I am a member of the Financial Planning Association of Minnesota, the St Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce and routinely volunteer with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and Breakthrough Twin Cities. I have previously been a member of the MPA Alumni Association, serving as Secretary and Vice Chair, and I am excited to continue my service as the Treasurer of the Alumni Association Board.
Vice Chair: James Cordon– Class of 1997
James graduated from Mounds Park Academy in 1997 after having survived Maureen Conway's political lessons unscathed. He is remembered fondly for the dent he put in the gym floor with his chin but mostly just because he was there for so many years. From there James went on to Colgate University where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics in 2001. He is an avid supporter of the Lung Cancer Alliance, North Shore Animal League, MPA, Colgate and the Robinhood foundation. James is a talented singer and an alumnus of the Colgate Resolutions a cappella group. In his spare time he enjoys cooking, singing and spending time with his family. He and his wife Samantha reside in Glen Ridge, NJ with their daughters Madelyn and Amelina.
Treasurer: Annie Stewart – Class of 2011
My name is Annie Stewart and I graduated from Mounds Park Academy in 2011 and continued on to St. Olaf College for my undergraduate degree. I will be graduating from St. Olaf this May with a B.A. in Theater. As a result of my liberal arts education, I have many interests and passions in life and after I graduate I will be taking a year off to explore potential career options. Some of these include arts administration, production stage management and secondary education. During my time off I will also be returning to MPA to help coach the speech team, completing a 200 hour yoga teacher training program and interning as a stage manager at Children's Theater Company. Although I do not know what the future holds, I am excited to explore new opportunities!
Secretary: Michaela Toohey – Class of 1996
Michaela graduated from MPA in 1996 after attending four years of high school there. She is excited to get re-acquainted with the vibrant MPA community and give back to a school that has had a great impact on her life. Michaela graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in American Studies and worked in government and politics before getting her M.B.A. from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. She worked in Marketing and new product development at 3M for 11 years and is excited to be embarking on a new career building her own business as a realtor. She is a St. Paul native and loves walking, running, and biking around the great neighborhoods of St. Paul with her husband and two sons..
Nathan Bander – Class of 2009
A member of the 13 year club, Nate Bander graduated from MPA in 2009. After graduating from the University of Minnesota and some odd jobs including working in Spain for a year, Nate found his way back to MPA. He has been the Admission Outreach Coordinator since September 2015, engaging community partners and bringing new families to MPA. He is also the assistant boys and girls cross country running coach, C team boys' basketball head coach and varsity boys' basketball assistant, and assistant upper school track coach.
Karl Berget – Class of 2007
I attended MPA from Kindergarten through 3rd grade, and again from grades 5 through 12 - the 13 year club eludes me! During this time I was heavily involved in music, tennis, and skiing, and this has followed me all through college and into my adult life. After graduating from MPA in 2007, I attended St Olaf College in Northfield, MN and my love for books helped nurture Bachelor Degrees in both Philosophy and Asian Studies - at my alma mater I was involved in various music groups, sporting teams, and co-founded the St Olaf Curling Club which competed down in Owatonna.
Since graduating from college in 2011, I spent just about a year teaching English, Physical Education, and American Studies at a high school in Meicun, Jiangsu Province, China - about 2 hours West of Shanghai. Upon returning to the US, I began working at US Bank in Business Banking and have moved through a couple different positions, ultimately finding an amazing role as a Business Banking Officer in which I work directly with <$10MM revenue companies here in the Twin Cities Metro.
Brenna Bray – Class of 2002
At MPA, Brenna found a safe environment where she was encouraged to express herself and cultivate a balanced approach to education and life. She loved Mr. Meacock's Creative Writing course and competed nationally in Nordic skiing. She earned a B.A. in Psychology (Media Studies Concentration) at St. Olaf College, attended the Denver University Publishing Institute and worked in textbook publishing, then returned to academia where she balanced health science coursework with a career in the medical scribe industry. Focusing her interests on research, she then earned a PhD in Biomedical Sciences and Neuroscience at the University of South Dakota. She also had the opportunity to coach cross-country running and Nordic skiing at MPA, and considers these experiences some of the most fulfilling of her life.
Jeremy Drucker – Class of 1997
Jeremy is the Senior Director of Public Affairs at MNsure, Minnesota's health insurance exchange, where he oversees marketing, communications and government relations. He also provides public affairs consulting for non-profit organizations. Prior to that, he held research and communications positions in New York City government and since 2011 has served Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's administration in multiple capacities, including communications director for the Governor's reelection in 2014.
Before embarking on a career in politics and government Jeremy received his Master's degree while studying to be an English Literature professor at the City University of New York where he also taught English Literature. His academic work focused on critical social theory, specifically the intersection of political, aesthetic and ethical issues.
Andrea Heil – Class of 2010
Andie was a lifer at MPA, graduating in 2010. After attending Mounds Park Academy for 13 years, she continued her education at Augsburg College obtaining a BS in Elementary Education with a Spanish Minor and graduating in 2015. She has since obtained her license to teach K-6 in the state of Minnesota. She is currently employed at MPA to help run the before and after school programs, and substitute teach. Andie was an assistant teacher for the first quarter of the 2016-2017 school year for Nicole Koen the technology teacher for lower and middle schools. Andie is currently applying to teaching jobs across the Twin Cities in hopes of getting her own classroom this fall.
Peter Kieselbach – Class of 2006
Peter was a lifer at MPA and graduated in 2006. He then went to Grinnell College in Iowa. After graduating in 2010, he was a Teach For America corps member in the Twin Cities for two years. After TFA, Pete attended William Mitchell College of Law and graduated in 2015. Pete then clerked for a federal judge in Minneapolis for a year, and is now an associate at Faegre Baker Daniels, where he specializes in corporate trust restructuring.
Isaac Marshall – Class of 2011
Isaac is a 2011 MPA graduate. He attended Hampshire College in Amherst Massachusetts, where he took a wide range of courses, including the colleges Pre-Med sequence. Isaac currently works at Apple at the Mall of America and is beginning the process of applying for either medical or dentistry school. In his free time, he enjoys traveling with his family and significant other, and creating pottery. Isaac looks forward to contributing his time to the Alumni Association and advocating for MPA.
Vance Ryan – Class of 2008
I was born and raised in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. I went to MPA for kindergarten back in 1995 and graduated in the class of 2008 (Hooray for "Lifers!") After graduating from MPA I went to St. Olaf College where I graduated in 2012 with majors in Economics and Spanish as well as a minor in Management. Since graduation I have worked in Minnetonka at Digital River, an eCommerce company, as a Business Analyst and now as a Senior Solution Analyst. Outside of work I am currently training for a sprint triathlon in July and enjoy spending time with friends (one of my roommates graduated from MPA in 2008 as well), pub trivia, and watching movies.
Jessica Wong – Class of 2005
Jessica Wong graduated from Mounds Park Academy in 2005. After graduating from Mounds Park Academy, Jessica attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. After earning her bachelors, Jessica returned to Minneapolis and began working at General Mills. After 5 years in various roles at General Mills, Jessica decided to pursue an opportunity with 3M in their Food Safety department as a product responsibility liaison. She has participated in the MPA Alumni Association throughout her time as an MPA Alum. Jessica has served on the MPA Alumni Association board since 2012 and the MPA board of trustees since 2014.
Dana Boyle is an alumni parent who has served in many volunteer capacities with MPA over the past 14 years. She played a key support role in the establishment of the school's FIRST Robotics team, held leadership roles in the Parents Association and most recently served on the MPA Board of Trustees. Most of her professional life has focused on business development and community engagement, including 20 years as a Trade Commissioner at the Canadian Consulate General in Minneapolis and 8 years as an executive with LifeScience Alley trade association. Dana is currently a full-time graduate student in Human Factors in the University of Minnesota's College of Design, and she maintains a community engagement consulting practice (www.nexus2nexus.com). Her interest is to help build a more integrated MPA community that acts as the modern "village well" and functions at a high level through professional networking among our multiple generations of alumni, current parents and alumni parents. In her spare time, Dana enjoys travel, hiking and painting, and is working toward her Master Naturalist certification.