hana miller '21What do you love about MPA?
At MPA you are not taught what to think, you are taught how. The teachers at MPA recognize the importance of creating people who can think for themselves, not just repeat a string of facts about the Civil War. You are encouraged to ask questions, to challenge ideas, and to think differently. At MPA you are not only accepted for who you are, but you are supported and encouraged to be an individual, not just a grade.

How are you encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
MPA inspires students to not only fight for what they believe in, but to actively work to better it. Just this morning, the Kindergarten class came up to the high school to ask us to protest with them because they had learned about how pollution was affecting marine life.

Why do you believe your teachers teach the way they do?
Because they genuinely want us to become great people. MPA teachers don’t teach because they have to, they teach because they want to help us create a brighter future.

If you have attended another school, how has your experience here been different?
I attended an inner-city public school in Kindergarten, so I can’t really say how applicable it is now (I came to MPA in first grade). However, I still revel in the staunch differences between the MPA environment and the public school one. The obvious difference for me was acceptance; I am part of an LGBT family and I faced significant harassment at my old school. My parents chose MPA in part because of its policies protecting LGBT students and families. The differences we saw were so clear and immediate; I was no longer part of “that weird gay family,” rather, my new community welcomed me with open arms regardless of how many moms I had.

What would you tell another student your age considering MPA?
MPA teachers meet you on your level. They will take the time to work with you, they will take the time to problem-solve with you, they will take the time to listen to you, and they will take the time to help you because they want to learn and not just be taught at.

In what ways has MPA prepared you for life beyond school?
Two superficial things stick out to me. First, MPA teaches you how to annotate correctly (not just highlighting cool passages) and second, MPA teaches you how to argue your point of view, and essentially, how to write a thesis. To me, both of these examples speak to how MPA teaches you to think for yourself. I have been lucky enough to participate in long-term academic study outside of the MPA community, and it is so clear to me how MPA has prepared me for not just college, but a career too.

What’s your big dream?
I am a high school junior, so right now the big dream is college acceptance. However, if we’re looking at it in a more abstract way, my ultimate goal is to become a medical professional and advocate for policy behind it. There is a serious need for Science/Medical Journalism in the world, which is lucky for me, because I love both medicine AND journalism.

Mounds Park Academy, a PreK-12 private school in Saint Paul, is currently accepting inquiries and applications for the 2020-21 school year. For more information about admission and to schedule your tour, visit moundsparkacademy.org/admission. We look forward to getting to know your family!

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