DeeDee teaching in the MakerspaceHow many years have you been at MPA?
Since 1989 I think…

What do you love about MPA?
Loving MPA is an easy thing to do. The students and their families are all in–and the love of learning and excitement the students bring to the table each and every day makes each day a new adventure. My colleagues are amazing educators, and their passion and pursuit of best practices inspires me.

How does MPA inspire students who dream big and do right?
Young children naturally dream big, and want to do right. Inspiring them to do just that, then, is easy. Modeling intellectual curiosity, respect, and critical thinking allows our students to maintain the part of themselves that expects the best of others, and to seek paths that bend toward right.

If you have worked at another school, how has your experience at MPA been different?
Two major differences between MPA and other schools I’ve worked in were evident by about my third week at MPA. One was that teachers truly partner with families in order to support students in academics, the arts, and personal growth. The other, of course, was the students. One lesson I introduced as a middle school English teacher required students to illustrate a piece of writing. In other schools, this requirement was met with groans, complaints, and poorly completed work. At MPA, when I introduced the project, hands shot up, as they had in other schools. I braced myself for the onslaught of questions and complaints. Instead, students asked what medium they could use. They wondered if pencil renderings would work, or if water color might be better. They discussed with me, and amongst themselves, how one might choose different ways to illustrate work depending on the content of the piece of writing. Magical moments like that are commonplace at MPA.

What would you tell a parent considering MPA?
Students at MPA are happy, eager learners. As graduates they are articulate, well read, and confident. My own children benefited in ways I never even dreamed of when we enrolled them.

In what ways are you preparing students for life in the 21st century?
The emphasis on critical thinking certainly gives students a strong foundation for living and working in the 21st century. Equally important are the lessons that help students develop listening skills, a respect for the thoughts and ideas of others, and a strength that allows them to stand up for what is right.

What do you hope for MPA students in 20 years?
I hope that our students are contributing to making the world a better place, and finding joy in whatever it is they call work.

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