Natalie Head Shot

Favorite teacher to strike up a conversation with walking down the hallway?
Ms. Peterson, kindergarten teacher, because she always has a creative project underway, often with a social justice or service focus. And her energy is contagious!

How long have you been at MPA?
I have been an MPA parent in the Class of 2023 for 11 years and on staff for almost five. My history here extends even further back as my mother-in-law was a faculty member and Upper School administrator for many years prior. I’ve known and loved MPA for nearly 25 years.

If you have worked at another school, how has your experience at MPA been different?
During and after college, I worked at an educational cooperative that served both students who were struggling and students who were excelling. The faculty there were particularly adept at hands-on, experiential learning, especially service-learning, similar to MPA. It was there where my passion for serving children and families was born. I could see that even from the administrative office, my work could have a direct impact on students, families, and teachers. If I couldn’t be a teacher (we were already putting my husband through graduate school), this was the next best thing. From there, I went on to the consulting world serving education-related nonprofits, so that I could be home more with my son. I had my eye on the director of communications position at MPA and when the call came from Dr. Hudson, the timing was perfect. In the fall of 2019, I added admission to my scope. There’s nowhere else I’d rather spend my life, both as an administrator and as a parent.

Favorite space on campus?
It is hard to choose just one, but I’d have to say the Benz Courtyard because I love seeing Upper School students enjoying recess.

Favorite food from Chef Doug’s collection at MPA?
I love the sweet potato ginger soup. He was able to nearly replicate the recipe from one I’ve loved for years at a local restaurant.

Favorite kids book?
Anything by Stuart Gibbs. He was the first chapter book author to captivate my son Henry and it was pure joy each time a new one was released.

Favorite moment working with a prospective family?
Just prior to transitioning to virtual learning in the spring of 2020, we had one final prospective family on campus for a kindergarten assessment. It was during spring break so the atmosphere was especially casual. As we concluded our time together and were chatting in the Office of Admission, this little girl organized the entire admission staff, and her dad, into a game of “planets.” She named each of us a particular planet and gave instructions as to how we should move about the room based on her knowledge of the solar system—and boy did we move! It was the most joyful moment in part because she felt so comfortable with us and confident in herself. That’s how I want every family I work with to feel.

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