Class of 2017: Charles Sardi, North Oaks

Chad Senior PhotoIn what grade did you come to MPA? 2nd

How did you come to choose the college that you did?
The University of Notre Dame had been my dream school since before I can remember. My grandfather attended the university and, partially as a result, is living out a long and fulfilled life. His son, my father, was the one who really got me into Notre Dame football and the spirit of the university as a child. After my freshman year at MPA, I made the decision to attend a two-week summer program for architecture at the University of Notre Dame and absolutely loved it. Ever since then, I have been anticipating my return.

What are you most excited about as you embark on your college experience?
What I most look forward to in the next few years of my life is the adventure. I have always anticipated branching out after graduation, which made the college hunt all the more exciting for me. One thing that has always interested me is the study of architecture. So personally, this makes studying architecture at the University of Notre Dame a thrilling opportunity. This in combination with Notre Dame football and basketball games have me very excited to say the least. Continue reading


Posted: June 26, 2017 at 2:28 PM in:  All School, Featured, Upper School

Class of 2017: Maija Olson, Hugo

Maija Olson Senior PhotoIn what grade did you come to MPA? Kindergarten

How did you come to choose the college that you did?
My decision was certainly not an easy one. I did not send my deposit in until 11:30 PM on April 30. I applied to many schools, but it was relatively easy for me to narrow it down to the top three and then the top two. From there, there was a period of time where I was quite conflicted. Both options have great academics and opportunities, and I went back and forth for a month. I think I tried just about every method of decision making including pro and con lists, flipping a coin, and reading philosophy papers about decisions, just to name a few. After none of this was successful, I chose to really think about where I could best see myself. I thought a lot about the students I had met and the feelings I had while on campus. Ultimately, it came down to the “vibe” and trusting my gut feelings.

What are you most excited about as you embark on your college experience?
I am most excited to have the opportunity to choose classes and really focus on the topics I am passionate about. We have had some opportunity to do this through senior English and History courses at MPA, but I am looking forward to even more freedom to choose. In addition to this, I am interested in research and internship opportunities. Continue reading


Posted: June 26, 2017 at 2:12 PM in:  All School, Featured, Upper School

Meet The Kim Family

What do you love about MPA?
The balanced, supportive, and flexible environment at MPA resonates with our own philosophies as educators and parents and has given us a unified sense of purpose—education not only for our child, but for our family. When your child is happy and getting a great education, nothing else matters. We are so grateful for the opportunity to call MPA home and consider it a true privilege.

How is your child encouraged to Dream Big and Do Right at MPA?
William is consistently challenged to think critically and meaningfully about current social and political issues.  His evolving knowledge, character, and emotional intelligence will equate with self-empowerment and increased opportunity.

If your child has attended another school, how has your experience at MPA been different?
Aside from the obvious benefits of small class sizes and individualized attention, MPA’s supportive and collegial atmosphere among students and faculty is exceptional.

What would you tell another parent considering MPA?
The only thing that went smoothly during our international move was our school choice. Our colleagues at the University recommended MPA. We visited. We fell in love. There’s something extra at MPA that’s very magical. If it could be defined, it would be replicated elsewhere, but it’s not. There’s no other school like this. Continue reading


Posted: June 26, 2017 at 9:21 AM in:  My MPA Story

Meet Kelsey King ’09

Freelance illustrator
Teacher, Minneapolis College of Art and Design

What do you love about MPA?
When I came as a fifth-grader, I was immediately struck by how much the teachers loved us and their subjects. I now work to embody that passion in my own professional life. It’s really what makes MPA special. I could walk down the hall and be known by all of my teachers. I was the teacher’s pet—but the funny thing is, every student was.

How were you encouraged to Dream Big and Do Right at MPA?
MPA helped me become a good person who cares about my community and our place in the world. MPA is where I developed a wise and mature sense of where America sits in our global community and the many privileges we have.

If you ever attended another school, how was your experience at MPA different?
I appreciate the balanced education I received at MPA. The classes were rigorous and helped me become a well-rounded, educated person who could think critically. I can look back fondly at all of my classes, even math where I spent time doodling in an effort to stay focused. Continue reading


Posted: June 26, 2017 at 9:02 AM in:  My MPA Story

Meet Ms. Espeland

Ms Espeland teachingHow many years have you been at MPA?
I started in the fall of 1989, so I have been here 27 years.

What do you love about MPA?
I love that the students and I get to sing, dance, play instruments, improvise, and create every other school day for 35 minutes. The students get to “dig into” learning musical skills and expressing their creative ideas. Music is considered a real subject matter, not just an extra. And, I dearly love watching the students grow from PreK and kindergarten children to accomplished young men and women.

How does MPA nurture students who forever Dream Big and Do Right?
Learning music at MPA goes beyond the basic skills of music education. Even the youngest children are asked to “show me your idea,” “sing to me about your favorite color,” or “make-up a pattern.” The children learn that their input and their ideas are important. They learn that they can create ways to express themselves. They learn that when working together with their classmates or the entire Lower School, we can create big beautiful music and dance. Performing in ensemble is like no other experience in the world. MPA students have internalized the amazing feeling of truly working together by the time they complete their kindergarten year. Continue reading


Posted: June 26, 2017 at 8:18 AM in:  My MPA Story

Meet The Baldwin Family

What do you love about MPA?
We love the MPA community, and the impact being part of the community has on our young child.

How is your child encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
As a student in Pre-K, Anna is surrounded by older students who model this behavior. She wants to do everything they do.

If your child has attended another school, how has your experience at MPA been different?
The engagement of the teachers at MPA is second to none. Also, an often overlooked component of the school is the behind-the-scenes faculty. Whether it’s the Facilities staff ensuring kids get across the parking lot safely, the Development Office planning and executing the auction, or the Admission staff greeting each student by name on their first day of school, the way the school is run also makes a big difference in the parents’ experience.

What would you tell another parent considering MPA?
MPA is the best decision you can make for your child. Continue reading


Posted: June 26, 2017 at 8:08 AM in:  My MPA Story

Class of 2017: Ellie Galicich, North Oaks

Ellie Senior PhotoIn what grade did you come to MPA? 4th

How did you come to choose the college that you did?
I liked the vibe of the campus and all the opportunities it will give me in the next four years. I want to go pre-med and Colgate University has many opportunities for research and internships.

What are you most excited about as you embark on your college experience?
I’m very excited to be in a new environment and state. I’m excited for the freedom that comes with being a college student and figuring out my own path over the next four years.

What did you appreciate most about the college counseling process at MPA?
Ms. Pederson was incredibly helpful throughout the whole process junior and senior year. There were some weeks at the beginning of senior year where I met with her every single day to talk about different applications or essays. Continue reading


Posted: June 23, 2017 at 7:03 PM in:  All School, Featured, Upper School

First Child of an Alum to Graduate from MPA

Mimi Standing by PaintingAn important milestone was reached on Saturday, June 10, when the first child of an alum graduated from Mounds Park Academy! Mimi Lyons is pictured to the right with a portrait of MPA’s first graduating class, including her mom, Sheri Lyons ’86, which hangs in the Porter Conference Room on campus.

Mimi loves to learn and loves to join. She was a peer leader, student ambassador, yearbook staffer, orchestra member, Madrigal Singer, varsity tennis player—all while balancing a rigorous courseload. She will attend Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, this fall. Congratulations to Mimi, the Lyons Family, and the entire Class of 2017!


Posted: June 20, 2017 at 3:41 PM in:  All School, Alumni, Featured, Upper School

Alumni Association Hosted Senior Lunch

Senior PanelThank you to volunteers, Zoe Wentzel ’16, Emma Stacy ’15, Mollie Heil ’13, Izzy Istephanous ’16, and Emily Moses-Thomsen ’13, who came to campus for our traditional Alumni Association Hosted Senior Lunch and Panel. This is a great opportunity for our alums to ask all of the questions that only a young alum could answer about life in college and transitioning away from MPA. It was a beneficial conversation and wonderful to see these alums back on campus, as always!


Posted: June 20, 2017 at 3:36 PM in:  Alumni, Featured, Upper School

Class of 2017: Andrew George, Roseville

Andrew Senior PhotoIn what grade did you come to MPA? 9th

How did you come to choose the college that you did?
I chose Grinnell because of its academic reputation. I loved how much the departments and programs work to develop a broad range of skills. I also love the location. Not many people can says yes to spending four years in a cornfield, but it seems that the students of Grinnell love that part.

What are you most excited about as you embark on your college experience?
Meeting new people, and interacting with professors. I am also excited to join musical ensembles, as well as become a more independent person.

What did you appreciate most about the college counseling process at MPA?
How closely tailored it is for each individual person. Even though my brother and I are similar in school, the process was much different for him than it was for me. Continue reading


Posted: June 20, 2017 at 3:19 PM in:  All School, Featured, Upper School