Enjoy these extended profiles of the amazing faculty and staff joining our community in the 2018-19 school year!

Ms. Castellanos

Ms. Martha Castellanos

What position will you be holding? Interim K-4 Spanish teacher
Tell us a little bit about your educational background. Elementary Education and Spanish Teacher Media and Library Specialist
What school/organization are you coming from? Singapore American School, Breck School and Anthony Middle School in Minneapolis
What did you find appealing about MPA? It feels great to return to the program I created years ago.
What are you most looking forward to this school year? To instill the love for learning Spanish and my culture to my students.
Any interesting facts about yourself or your family you would like to share? Our family loves to travel in order to learn, appreciate, and connect with peoples from other cultures.

Ms. cook

 

Ms. Katy Cook

What position will you be holding? I will be the assistant PreK teacher this year.
Tell us a little bit about your educational background. I attended school in the Burnsville school district from kindergarten through 12th grade. After completion of highschool I began school at the University of Wisconsin- River Falls where I graduated from in December of 2017. I majored in elementary education and minored in language arts.
What school/organization are you coming from? I completed my student teaching in the fall of 2017 at Riverview Elementary in Farmington, MN. After graduation and getting licensed, I finished the school year substitute teaching in that same school.
What did you find appealing about MPA? Every time you walk into the school it is apparent how much both the students and the staff care about the learning that is taking place. It’s a great learning environment that offers many opportunities!
What are you most looking forward to this school year? I am really looking forward to getting to work with a great set of students along with the amazing staff! I can’t wait to keep learning and growing as a teacher.

 

Ms. Elizabeth Flinsch ’98

What position will you be holding? Visual Art and Photography teacher
Tell us a little bit about your educational background. I started at Oberlin College and, inspired by the socially engaged art program, I went on to complete my Bachelor of Fine Arts at UW-Madison. I am currently working on my Master of Fine Arts in photography in the summer program at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.
What school/organization are you coming from? The Blake School
What did you find appealing about MPA? As an alumnus (’98), I feel a desire to give back to the community that gave me the tools to think critically and be engaged in the world around me. I find it an even more amazing community now!
What are you most looking forward to this school year? I look forward to getting to know the students and working hard to make the most of every day in the classroom.
Any interesting facts about yourself or your family you would like to share? I spent two years exploring the world of sustainable living off the grid, milling flour and wood fired baking in Canada.

Ms. Michlin

 

Ms. Kimberly Michlin

What position will you be holding? Learning Specialist

Tell us a little bit about your educational background. I graduated from Luther College with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and endorsement in special education. I am currently working on completing the special education graduate program at the University of St. Thomas.

What school/organization are you coming from? I have been teaching for 12 years in special education. The last eight years have been at Spero Academy, a charter school in Northeast Minneapolis that focuses on personalized education for students of all ability levels. During that time, I taught in a dual role as both special education and general education teacher for second through fourth grade.

What did you find appealing about MPA? I could tell right away that there is a passion for reaching all kids and guiding students to be their best, to love learning and take on new challenges. There was a strong sense of community among the teachers. I am excited to join the team.

What are you most looking forward to this school year? I have a strong passion for literacy, so I am excited to be a support and resource to teachers, students and families to build strong literacy skills. I am also looking forward to meeting the students at Mounds Park Academy!

Any interesting facts about yourself or your family you would like to share? Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my family. My husband, Matt, and I have two kids, Jonah (four years old) and Annika (two years old) and two dogs. I enjoy reading as much as possible, gardening and being crafty when I can. Our family loves Minnesota winters, trying to get outside to play hockey, broomball, or just playing in the snow.

 

Dr. MilamDr. Jennifer Milam

What position will you be holding? Interim Middle School Division Director

Tell us a little bit about your educational background. I have worked in education for nearly 20 year across various educational contexts including public and private schools, parochial and independent schools, early childhood and elementary through middle grades, university teacher education, teaching, administration, and academic leadership. I enjoy working in schools most and feel passionately about creating collaborative, innovative and thoughtful educational experiences for young people.
What school/organization are you coming from? Old Trail School; I served as the Director for Curriculum & Instructional Innovation.
What did you find appealing about MPA? I was immediately taken by the MPA commitment to “Dream Big. Do Right.” as a mission and vision for the school and its students. I feel strongly that our purpose as educators and human beings is to leave this planet a better place than we found it and education and service to others are two of the best ways to do that. Then, upon meeting Bill and the rest of the leadership and faculty, I knew it was a place I wanted to be!
What are you most looking forward to this school year? I am most looking forward to getting to know the middle school students and their families and working alongside the talented and caring teachers in the school. It’s going to be a great year of learning and joy-full growth.
Any interesting facts about yourself or your family you would like to share? I am married to John, also a passionate educator, and we have two children, Alexandra and Keith who will also be joining the MPA community this fall. We enjoy traveling, live music, and cooking on the grill in the backyard. We are serious baseball and softball fans and will do our best to love the Twins as much as we love the “Tribe” (Cleveland Indians). We are looking forward to our new adventures in the Twin Cities!

Mr. wright

 

Mr. Matthew Wright

What position will you be holding? Middle and Upper School World History Teacher
Tell us a little bit about your educational background. Bachelor of Arts in History, St. Olaf College; Master of Arts in Japan Studies, University of Washington; Doctor of Philosophy coursework, Korean history, UCLA
What school/organization are you coming from? St. Andrew’s School, Delaware
What did you find appealing about MPA? The spirit of community and collaboration.
What are you most looking forward to this school year? Working closely with teachers and students to explore how history is alive in our world.
Any interesting facts about yourself or your family you would like to share? I have lived in Japan, Korea, and China, and every member of my family was born in a different state (Washington, Minnesota, California, and Delaware).

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