As an educator in Minnesota, the month of September brings many transitions—the end of the State Fair and, therefore, summer vacation, begrudgingly getting back into a school sleep schedule, cooler temperatures, and the joys of planning for a new year, and a new set of students. This September was no different, except that I would be officially teaching at MPA. If you had asked me when I graduated twelve years ago if I could see myself teaching, let alone teaching at the academy, I would have scoffed and said, “There is NO WAY I’m doing what my parents do!” Funny how life works out, right? Starting a new school year is always nerve-wracking no matter how long you’ve been teaching, “Are the kids going to like me? Have I done enough lesson planning? What if they hate the room? What if I mess up?” What I’m grateful for during this season of transition is how easy it was for me to handle those nerves, knowing I’d be coming back home. Regardless of your experience at MPA, there is something inherently special about walking the halls of your alma mater. What struck me as I dragged box after box of classroom decorations and school supplies down the Lower School hallway was, “Okay! I guess I’m really doing this… and thank goodness I get to be doing it here.” After spending four years teaching in public schools, I felt a literal weight taken off my shoulders when I walked through my classroom door. I knew that no matter what this school year would bring, I would be supported, cared for, and cheered on by everyone in the building.

As you all go through your own transitions this fall, don’t forget about all of the happenings going on back on campus. Homecoming is right around the corner on September 29 and 30 with the inaugural Hall of Fame induction dinner for outstanding Panther athletics, an all-alumni social gathering, the class of 1994 reunion, and lots of opportunities for you to cheer on Panther sports. You’ll find me cheering on the girls volleyball team! The fall is a great time to reconnect with MPA, and I hope to see many of you on campus, whether you’re here for Homecoming or just for a tour. If you want to see me in action, come down to room #113 and hang out with some awesome 3rd graders!

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