January 12, 2018
How many years have you been at Mounds Park Academy?
I have taught kindergarten at MPA for 30 years.
What do you love about Mounds Park Academy?
I love waking up every morning excited to go to school to learn! I love learning about my students, their families, my colleagues, myself, our community, and the world.
I love when students take one of my lessons and bridges it with a family experience. For example, I introduced Japan for “Letter Jj” and we talked about the Japanese Peace Bell in Duluth, Minnesota. Shortly thereafter, I received a picture of one of my students ringing the bell while on vacation with her family. This proves that what we do is purposeful and meaningful. Our students make connections between their life experiences and school learning.
I love the people with whom I teach. I have had the honor of working with an incredible group of teachers. They have shared their talents, expertise, and life with me throughout the last 30 years. Each one of them has helped me grow and become the teacher I am today. I am grateful.
I love being in a PreK-12 school and watching my former students travel on their life journeys. When last year’s senior class members were in kindergarten, the theme was The Wizard of Oz. I fondly remember the little ones who joined me on the yellow brick road 13 years ago. Oh, the joy of watching them turn into the young men and women they are today. One student from this class indicated she would be president someday. Perhaps I will receive an invitation to the White House to visit her!
I love MPA because all who enter through our doors immediately feel our warmth, our joy, and our passion. They are inspired to dream big and do right. What a gift!
How does Mounds Park Academy nurture students who forever dream big and do right?
Our character programs permeate every area of learning PreK-12. As a community, we provide multiple opportunities for each student to use their character skills throughout the day. When students have a strong foundation of healthy social and emotional development, it gives them more time to concentrate on their academic potential. That foundation creates an atmosphere where students erupt with new ideas and creative possibilities because they are secure with who they are becoming. Imagine the self-power we give our students with one simple question: “What do you think?” Listening to others dream big and share their thoughts inspires. We encourage our students to share their ideas, but also respectfully listen to other’s opinions. Through this learning exchange, we witness a do-right attitude. We value collaboration, which leads to making a difference within our hallways and around the world. Our community is passionate and coupled with a learning environment that promotes individual growth within a team effort.
What would you tell a parent considering Mounds Park Academy?
I invite you to spend time in our classrooms and I guarantee you will want your child to attend MPA. You will see firsthand the exceptional education we provide for the whole child. At MPA, you will also be part of a parent community that will inspire you!
In what ways are you preparing students for life in the 21st century?
I have two favorite people whose words capture an MPA education.
“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
This quote is representative of our character development program PreK-12. We care about what is inside each one of our students.
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. If you don’t like something, change it.”
– Maya Angelou
She must have been talking about MPA students! The last line promotes being an activist. Our students passionately advocate for others and themselves while sharing their own individual style. They do their work with compassion and humor, reaching out to all to make a difference for a better world.
What do you hope for Mounds Park Academy students in 20 years?
I have had the honor of teaching many students throughout my career at MPA. Each one has left an imprint on my heart and soul and I will truly never be the same. I hope all of our students find their niche—a place that stimulates their minds, embraces their hearts, and touches the souls of all whom they come in contact.