For more than three decades, MPA has engaged thousands of students in a transformative college-preparatory education that empowers them to think independently, act with integrity, and achieve their goals. MPA has been a springboard for our students' ongoing success, allowing alumni to excel in their chosen fields while remaining deeply connected to MPA's entrepreneurial spirit.
A Message From
The Alumni Board Chair
Dear MPA Alumni,
For those of you who do not know me, my name is Annie Stewart and I am the chair of the MPA Alumni Association Board. I am a 2011 graduate, and now a Lower School assistant teacher at MPA. This is my second year serving on the board, and my first year as board chair.
First, I want to say thank you. Thank you staying connected with the MPA community, and for donating your time, talent, and financial resources throughout the year. Alumni giving increased last year from six percent to 10 percent. It's great to see this kind of growth, and I am excited for the future of the Alumni Association.
As the year progresses, I urge you to think of how MPA prepared you for life after high school. What does having an MPA education mean to you? At college, I realized the skills I learned at MPA are not taught at every school. As a student, I knew that I was being taught by great teachers, but it wasn't until after I had graduated that I realized that the MPA community is exceptionally talented at preparing its students for the future. Now as an alumna, teacher, and board member, I am reminded daily of how MPA shaped my future.
As alumni, we are an integral part of the MPA family. We are entrepreneurs, health professionals, teachers, lawyers, stay-at-home parents, non-profit administrators, politicians, investment bankers, and much more. Each of us has unique talents and skills, but all of us share a common experience: Mounds Park Academy. Let's celebrate that common experience! There are many ways to be involved and I hope each of you can find a way to give back.
Annie Stewart, Alumni Association Board Chair.
2016–17 ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Annie Stewart '11, Chair
Erica Brewinski '96, Vice Chair
Mike Velin '06, Treasurer
Brendan Byrne '06, Secretary
Nate Bander '09
Karl Berget '07
Sam Brown '94
James Cordon '97
Christopher Parish '95
Vance Ryan '08
Jacob Schwartz '09
Jake Sheehan '05
Zosha Winegar-Schultz '12
Jessica Wong '05
If you are interested in joining the Alumni Association Board of Directors, please email us. We are currently accepting nominations, which will be reviewed during the May board meeting. Thank you for getting involved!
HOMECOMING MILESTONE REUNION & ALL ALUMNI HAPPY HOUR
Many thanks to all the alumni who came back for Homecoming 2016! MPA has never had such a wonderful turnout for the on-campus activities, Milestone Reunion, and All Alumni Happy Hour. MPA is grateful to have such strong connections with our alumni.
UPCOMING ALUMNI EVENTS
December 15: Alumni Social
December 26: Alumni Basketball Night
January 11: MPA Talks Speaker Series
March 7: Alumni Challenge
May 13: Spring Auction
June 2: Senior Lunch and Panel Discussion
THE GOLD SOCIETY
Join us as we highlight our youngest alums for their involvement and generosity with our newly launched GOLD Society. Graduates of the Last Decade who contribute $25 or more will be recognized for their support of MPA with a GOLD Society membership.
Sign up for our e-newsletter! Send your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org and receive up-to-date news each month about fellow Panther alumni, upcoming events, reunions, and more.
Grant Recipients Impacting Our World
The Alumni Association is proud to support the important work of MPA alumni. Congratulations to Brenna Bray '02 and Olivia Christensen '01 , this year's grant recipients.
Brenna Bray is a graduate student research assistant at the University of South Dakota, where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences with a Specialization in Neuroscience. The grant from the Alumni Association will allow Brenna to present exciting new findings from this research at the Annual Society for Neuroscience Conference, which will be held in San Diego, California, this November.
Olivia Christensen is a full-time doctoral student at the University of Minnesota. She is also adjunct faculty at St. Catherine University, where she teaches at the master's level, supporting Montessori teachers. Olivia used the funds to present a workshop at the Montessori for Social Justice Annual Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts in June.
Olivia shared, "I know for a fact that my experiences at MPA have helped me become the woman I am today—someone who is passionate about bettering our society through quality education and confident enough to give it a shot. While MPA prepared me academically to take on a higher degree, I also graduated with confidence and self-worth that came from being part of a strong and supportive community."
ALUMNI TUITION DISCOUNT
As an MPA alum, you are the cornerstone of our community, which we hope will last for generations to come. To aid in this legacy, we are pleased to offer the Children of Alumni Program, allowing you to provide an MPA education to your young children. While enrolled in kindergarten through grade five, children of alumni receive 100% of demonstrated financial need with a minimum tuition contribution of $5,000 per child.
Contact Craig Dodson, Director of Admission at email@example.com or 651-748-5519 with questions or to arrange a visit. We would love to welcome you and your children back on campus!
Yale Law School Filled With MPA Alumni
"Most of my friends at Yale shared stories of a favorite teacher or two from high school; when I talk about MPA, I have a hard time limiting my list to less than 10," said Eric Baudry '10.
This year, four MPA alumni are attending Yale Law School. Eric is in the Yale Law Class of 2019, Maddie Ranum '09 and Wally Hilke '07 are in the Yale Law Class of 2018, and Marian Messing '07 is in the Yale Law Class of 2017 (she is also enrolled in a dual-degree program with Princeton). With an acceptance rate of only nine percent and a student-teacher ratio of 8-to-1, this is quite exceptional.
What links these alumni, beyond having graduated from MPA, is a strong passion for law instilled by retired MPA teacher Maureen Conway. "Ms. Conway taught us to be generous, empathetic, humble, and, most of all, grateful—grateful for where we come from, and grateful for the opportunities MPA continues to give us to make a difference in the world," said Eric. "Ms. Conway knew how to bring the material to life. She had a special way of making each student feel important," said Maddie.
"Mounds Park Academy taught me the importance of collaboration and relationships. I remember that the most successful kids were, in general, really nice. It wasn't a place where you got ahead by putting other people down. For me, that was a good lesson for life: that you have to get along with others and you'll be judged by the reputation you build and how you treat others," said Wally.
As the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Yale Law Class of 1979 said, "Law is service if you do it with honor and integrity and a sense of passion…" Clearly, these MPA alumni were instilled with that idea early in their educational paths at MPA, ensuring that their identities today remain based on the impact they have. MPA is so proud of what these four have accomplished and excited to see how each of them continues to make their mark on our world.
"Most of my friends at Yale shared stories of a favorite teacher or two from high school; when I talk about MPA, I have a hard time limiting my list to less than 10."
Eric Baudry '10
Love at MPA
Alexander Isaac '04 and Erica Kaplan met in 2003 on the set of Les Miserábles, MPA's Spring Show. They were two grades apart and while Erica left after her freshman year, Alex graduated from MPA in 2004. They have few specific recollections of each other from that time, but their life journeys brought them back together to be married on Saturday, August 17, at the Intercontinental Hotel in St. Paul.
Their story revolves around a shared love of speech and MPA. Post-college, both Alex and Erica coached speech at the high school level—Alex for MPA and Erica for Moundsview. Kari Kunze, MPA director of studies, teacher, and speech coach, connected the two at a tournament and they soon began dating.
Erica quickly became involved with the MPA team, frequently coming with Alex while he was coaching and often judging for MPA at tournaments. She got to know the students and they got to know her. Her passion for competitive speech, love of MPA, and unwavering support of our students was so obvious that she became a team favorite.
Their wedding reflected their past and present involvement in MPA's speech program and their shared love of words, poetry, and music. Kelly Myers '11, Henry Sillman '16, and Jenny Portis '16 all read excerpts from books and poems that have meaning to Alex and Erica. Allison Leopold '16 sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," the first show that Erica and Alex saw together at MPA after they started dating. Kari Kunze officiated.
The wedding included many MPA students, alumni, and parents of alumni, including Alex's best man, John Baillie '04, and Nick Isaac '00, Alex's brother. There were approximately 20 current or former MPA students at the wedding, as well as several parents of alumni. It is heartwarming to know that all of these people connected through the shared experience of attending MPA.