Humbled and Proud

Jennifer Gatti

Jennifer Gatti
MPA Trustee, Development Committee Chair, Parent

My family has been fortunate to call Mounds Park Academy our second home for the last 12 years. While Claire is a junior, with a current sixth grader our MPA journey is far from over! Greta is a member of the class of 2024, which seems like a date from the future and more like science fiction than real life! Although we tend to think of education as having a definitive beginning and end, MPA's powerful and positive influence will surround Claire and Greta long after graduation. This institution and its mission, curriculum, faculty, and values will serve as a lifelong inspiration for our family. Although our daughters will eventually depart MPA, we'll all remain part of this remarkable community.

In my years at MPA, generosity has been a constant theme—generosity of spirit, heart, talent, time, and resources of all kinds. It is exhibited every day. Our wonderful teachers extend themselves to their students and share their expertise with their colleagues; our students are generous by being true friends with their peers and global citizens; our parents serve as volunteers and engage in the daily life of our school by attending art exhibits, musical performances, athletic competitions, and academic events. In my role with the Development Committee, I am humbled and proud to recognize our community's financial generosity. With nearly three quarters of the school year complete, we are on pace to meet our goals for the 2017-18 MPA Fund, which provides the essential support to make an outstanding MPA education possible for all students.

Thank you for all you do to support MPA!



Thirteen years ago, Amanda Campbell started her MPA adventure with her daughter Quinn. The connections that they made within the MPA community is what she believes sets our school apart from the rest. Amanda shares, "I love the intention of keeping it intimate, but yet completely inclusive…the magical ones find their way here!"

Amanda has been an active member of the Parents Association for many years. She first entered its board as the vice president of grade representatives and quickly transitioned to co-president her second year alongside Christine Larson. About Amanda's first year as co-president, "I didn't want to stop then. I had just figured out what I was doing." Amanda and Christine continued to lead the Parents Association for an additional two years.

What Amanda appreciated most about her time with the Parents Association was that she got to know so many people in the community. There were opportunities with the Parents Association for everyone that could play to each individual's strengths.

When asked what Amanda would miss when Quinn graduates this June, she says, "Ms. P!" The connections aren't just formed parent to parent or student to teacher, connections are made between all members of our community and they are lifelong.

"Thirteen years go by so quickly. I remember kindergarten. I remember first grade. Any chance I had, I was here helping so that I wouldn't miss anything."

Thank you, Amanda, for 13 years of service to MPA. We wouldn't be the magical school community we are today without you.



Wendy first discovered Mounds Park Academy years ago while babysitting her younger neighbors. She was drawn to their beautiful artwork that was displayed throughout the home. "I was amazed at what these children were doing at school," Wendy says. Fast forward a few years to when she and her husband Andrew had children, they immediately knew that MPA would be a school on their list. When they visited campus, "without question MPA just felt right." Wendy and Andrew currently have two children at MPA, Maeve in PreK and Declan in second grade, and have both dedicated their time to volunteering wherever MPA has needed them.

Wendy's mother was very involved in her education growing up, therefore she knew she would want to be active in volunteering at her children's school in similar ways. "I wanted my children to know that I'm on this journey with them." When Declan began at MPA in PreK, she primarily helped in the classroom. The Parents Association approached her to help more extensively after Declan entered kindergarten—that was when she realized how many opportunities there are for volunteers at MPA.

"Volunteering is the lifeblood of the school—there is truly something for everyone," she shares. After participating as a volunteer with the Parents Association for two years, she is currently serving as co-president.

MPA is so grateful for the Cusick family and the countless ways they serve the school.



"We wanted to find a school that would push Alex academically, but also celebrate him and who he is," Clarence says of bringing their son Alex, now in first grade, to MPA. Clarence and Tiffany looked at many metro schools but wanted something more. Located in Minneapolis, they were willing make the drive across the Twin Cities to ensure Alex developed not only academically, but also as a person.

Clarence is an active volunteer in the Office of Admission and Athletics. "Volunteering is a way to give back more than what you give in tuition. It's a way to add to the growth of the students and MPA," he says. Clarence advises those in the MPA community who are looking to volunteer to determine where your passions lie and there will be an opportunity for you.

As a former North Carolina State basketball player, Clarence's true desire to help is most heavy on the court. Not only is he hosting Little Dribblers, a weekly Lower School basketball clinic, but he has also been assisting with the Varsity Basketball Teams since last year. Clarence is grateful for the role models that the Upper School students have become for Alex, showing that paying it forward makes sense. He says, "If there is anything I can do to promote growth in these older kids, they will in turn do the same for my son."

The MPA community cannot thank Clarence enough for the time, energy, and positivity that he commits to every volunteer opportunity.


Mounds Park Academy extends its gratitude to the Parents Association for its leadership in promoting community and supporting MPA's mission. Countless volunteers demonstrate their commitment to the school's mission and values on a daily basis through their work.

Traditional Parents Association projects continued this year, including Microfunding, Book Festival, Middle School Café, the Grade Representative Program, Faculty & Staff Appreciation, Lower School classrooom parties and much more.

Please email Wendy Cusick and Sally Richie, Parents Association co-presidents, at if you are interested in getting more involved with the Parents Association.

Volunteer at MPA

Volunteers are so important to the fabric of our community! Whether you have a little time or a lot, there is an opportunity on campus that aligns with your passions.

Please contact Ashley Goetzke, Capital Campaign and Stewardship Manager, at 651-748-5536 to express your interest in volunteering at MPA!