September 12, 2018
by Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School
Both my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts were abuzz this week, notifying me of a very important anniversary coming up. September 16 is the five-year anniversary of my first day working at MPA. Professionally, and personally, it is an important date for me and one I truly celebrate each year.
- It is the date I found a home, a community that embraced my family and me, where I experienced what inclusivity really means.
- It is the date that I discovered what I think a school should be and the very best of what education is all about.
- It is the date that marks the beginning of a journey that continues to be a source of great joy and fulfillment.
I clearly remember a parent who contacted me through LinkedIn minutes after the announcement was made to offer a warm welcome. I also remember my first morning at the south entrance when a parent broke the drop-off lane rules to jump out of her car, give me a hug, and tell me how happy she was that I joined the MPA community.
I spent time this summer thinking about my vision for MPA as the school begins its 37th year. As I reflect upon the founding story of MPA, our history and mission, I find it even more relevant to the needs of today’s young people. As I look ahead to an uncertain and rapidly changing future, I am confident that an MPA education will prepare our children to successfully navigate these unchartered waters.
There has been a great deal of research emerging that highlights the importance of a liberal arts education to success in college and in life. The unique approach of MPA in linking the humanities with the math and sciences is intentional. At MPA, we foster empathy through literature, social studies, world language, art, music and theater in order to understand and appreciate the human condition, develop the body and spirit through athletics and physical education, and utilize science, math, and technology to improve the human condition.
As an expression of our mission, MPA provides an exceptional “whole-child for whole-life” education that is collaborative, experiential and interdisciplinary, and that values the assessments of broader aims—those skills, dispositions and mindsets most necessary to live, learn, and thrive in today’s 21st century globalized society. Once we receive the report from our ISACS accreditation visiting team, I look forward to engaging our community in strategic thinking and planning to realize our shared vision.
Together with the administration, I have set forward five overarching priorities for this year that flow from our mission and current strategic plan, Momentum 2020. In collaboration with all teachers, staff, students, and parents, I am excited to accomplish the following goals:
- Fully utilize and leverage the ISACS accreditation process to launch the next round of strategic visioning and planning.
- Continue to foster a diverse community committed to equity and inclusion by becoming more culturally competent and removing obstacles implicitly embedded in our decision-making.
- Continue our strategies to increase retention and overall enrollment.
- Model a joyful and playful environment for our students and parents so that as a community we work toward better balance in our lives.
- Commit to keeping front-and-center the social and emotional wellbeing of our community through continuing education, modeling, and personal support of students, teachers, and staff.
I am privileged to work with an incredible community of educators, dedicated professionals who share a calling to change the world by impacting the lives of young people. The MPA community of students, parents, alumni, and friends continue to inspire me each day and keep the memory of my first day strong and vibrant to work hard in service of young people. I consider myself fortunate to lead this community and I say a word of gratitude each day as I arrive at school.
Author’s Note: I’d like to make my weekly message more interactive. Click here to offer your thoughts on school culture. I will incorporate your feedback into future Head’s Messages. Thank you!