The Johnston FamilyKate Johnston is an MPA Class of 1998 alum. Now, her son Emmett is a ninth grader at MPA.

What do you love about MPA?
MPA has a special energy that is warm and welcoming. It is an inclusive community that truly cultivates joy and a love of learning. I love that MPA prioritizes music and art. I also love that MPA encourages curiosity and creativity and is committed to teaching the whole child. I love the small class sizes and amazing teachers that make it a school where each child is truly seen, heard, and valued. MPA teachers and staff build strong relationships with students and encourage them to shine their unique light.

What initially attracted you to MPA?
I graduated from MPA and have always been grateful for the amazing education I received. When my husband and I were considering a school change for our oldest son, we decided to look at MPA. We wanted small class sizes and a school that was inclusive and committed to growth and progress. When we visited the school, I was happy to see that MPA continued to grow and change in many ways while staying committed to its mission and values. The energy was wonderful, and it felt like a place that could be an incredible partner for us as we raise our boys. Our son is in his second year at MPA, and we feel blessed to have him there.

How is your child encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
MPA encourages my son to think deeply and be the best version of himself every day. He is given the freedom to explore and learn, using multiple senses, with other students and teachers that support and challenge him. He is surrounded by people that care about learning and creating change. MPA is a safe and supportive environment where our son is building skills that will help him achieve his dreams, serve others, and create change in the world.

What would you tell another family considering MPA?
I would tell another family considering MPA, that it is a wonderful place and community. The communication is great, and the teachers are supportive and have high expectations. MPA is a true partner with us in our child’s education.

In what ways has MPA prepared your child for life in the 21st century?
MPA is preparing our child for life in the 21st century by giving him an excellent, well-rounded education and many opportunities to learn about himself, others, and the world. MPA centers student voice and values multiple perspectives. Our child is encouraged to use his voice for good, ask thoughtful questions, develop his critical thinking skills, and engage in his learning to develop skills that will help him achieve his dreams. MPA provides opportunities for students to work independently and in groups so that they learn to collaborate and communicate well with others. Teachers have high expectations and hold students accountable so they learn to be hard-working and responsible. MPA students are free to be creative and innovative and have access to tools and technology that will help them now and in the future. MPA is teaching our child important skills that he needs to succeed in life. He is learning how to be a critical thinker and problem solver, collaborator, good communicator, and responsible global citizen. Mounds Park Academy is a place where administrators, teachers, and staff are leading by example. They are always learning new information and anticipating skills and technology that will help students navigate life and have the tools they need when they graduate.

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