Thank You For Showing Your Appreciation!

parent volunteers wrapping gifts for faculty and staffA huge thank you from the Parents Association to everyone who participated in the Faculty and Staff Gift Wrapping event on Monday!

It was so much fun to gather together and wrap presents for the staff. There were 23 staff members who brought in gifts for parent volunteers to wrap–which is up from 19 last year–and the total number of gifts wrapped or bagged was…drum roll, please…346, which is 96 more than last year! This was such a great way to come together as a community!

Bring The Holiday Spirit To MPA

MPA carolers bringing the holiday spirit to campusMr. Habermann, Madrigal Singers and MPA Faculty and Staff would like to welcome back all choir alumni to campus to help spread joy this holiday season at MPA.

Caroling will take place in the North Entrance, Halls and Family Commons on Friday, December 20, 2019 from 7:15-8 AM. Please contact if you plan to attend.

You’re Invited: Alumni Gatherings

alumni basketball game 2018December 21, 2019: Alumni Basketball Game
Enjoy getting back on the court with fellow alumni at the Alumni Basketball Game held on December 21, 2019 in the Lansing Center at 1 PM. All MPA alumni are welcomed and encouraged to attend to play or cheer on their former classmates!

December 26, 2019: Alumni Social
This is your chance to return to campus for this year’s winter Alumni Social held on December 26 at 5 PM. The event will include appetizers, beverages and tours of the newly renovated spaces. For questions or to RSVP, please email

January 14, 2020: Alumni Mentorship Program Networking Event
Join in preparing the Class of 2020 for life after MPA in the 2nd Annual Alumni Mentorship Program Networking Event. The event will take place on January 14, 2020 from 8-9:15 AM in the Family Commons. If you are interested in participating or to learn more, please contact Ashley Goetzke, assistant director of development at for more information.

Navigating Mindful Technology Use

Tracey Joyce at the ISACS conferenceOn November 8, MPA’s PreK-12 academic technology integrationist, Ms. Joyce, presented at the ISACS conference in Louisville on the topic of “Digital Wellness: Tech with Intention.” She has presented on Digital Wellness locally for a parent series at Visitation School and at the local ISACS conference last spring. Her discussion covered how the design thinking process can help educators discover the best way to use technology with intention. She also shared apps, extensions, and activities for how to bring mindfulness into educators lives and the lives of students.

On December 13, from 8-9 AM in the PCR, Ms. Joyce will have another opportunity for Lower School parents to learn more about mindful technology use at the Lower School Parent Education event. “We as adults are so influential in the lives of our children, and have a lot to learn so we can model good practices,” she said. She also notes that children are aware of their parents’ technology habits and device use. “Even when the reason for technology use is ‘for work,’ it is still time being taken away from them, and they notice that.” Read More

RSVP To Experience MPA

middle schools students and teacher working together You and your entire family are warmly invited to attend the MPA Preview on Sunday, January 26 at 2 PM. See what’s possible when students are inspired to dream big and do right. This event will allow families to truly experience the joy of learning that our students do each day. Rotate among hands-on, experiential lessons taught by expert faculty. Between lessons, join student and parent ambassadors for an opportunity to see our state-of-the-art facilities.

As you consider MPA and your options, please make plans to attend this event. This PreK-12 offering is one not to miss!

MPA Places Highest Ever In State Debate

Two students holding awardsMPA Debate had a very successful weekend at the State Tournament. Forty three students represented the school, and Mounds Park Academy received the second place team sweepstakes award. That’s an award based on the top two performances across each of the three divisions of competition—novice, junior varsity, and varsity. That’s MPA’s highest team finish in the 20 years of the tournament.

The tournament is called the Classic Debate Championships in novice and junior varsity. Three MPA teams advanced to the quarterfinals (top eight) among the 47 teams in the junior varsity division. Meera Dear and Beldaja Jama advanced to the quarterfinal round, as did the team of Charlotte Bergh and Ruby Schweiger. Emma Cohen and Salmah Elmasry won the junior varsity division with a perfect 8-0 record, defeating a team from Eastview in the final round.

The varsity division is called the Minnesota State High School League Classic Debate State Festival, as the MSHSL sponsors the awards for this event. Charlie Galicich and Garrett Hollihan advanced to the semifinals, and Charlie received all-state honors for his outstanding performance over the course of the season. Ryan Ghose and Elli Carlson reached the finals of the tournament, where they were defeated by the state champions from Mankato.

A special thank you to all the alumni who helped the team. Meg Wilkening ’18 is a brilliant coach, and numerous alumni judged for the team over the course of the season.

Go Panthers!

MPA Fifth Grader Doing Right In The Community

fifth grader Maggie mcgrortyMPA fifth grader Maggie M. was recently featured in The Gazette for doing right in the community! When she noticed that her neighborhood didn’t have a caution sign for turtles crossing the road near a local pond, she immediately stepped in to find a solution. Inspired and empowered by her community and peers at MPA, Maggie wrote a letter to Stillwater Mayor Ted Kozlowski.

In her letter, Maggie elaborated why installing a sign was important not only to her, but to the entire neighborhood. She even offered to fundraise for the installation of the sign in order to make sure the problem was solved as soon as possible. Mayor Kozlowski was so impressed by Maggie’s initiative that he wrote back asking to meet and decide where the sign should go! Maggie knew exactly where turtles cross the road by a pond across from the Stillwater Country Club, and also knew it is highly traveled by cars. Today, the sign is now prominently displayed, bringing attention to the turtles passing through, thanks to her.

Maggie’s advice to her peers who also want to make change is to think about what you are able to do, and secondly, what you want to do. “Look for things around you that help you become inspired,” Maggie said.

Join Us For A Rescheduled Screening Of “Angst”

angst the movieDue to technical difficulties during a previous screening of “Angst,” MPA will have a re-screening on Wednesday, December 11 at 8:15 AM in the Recital Hall. This screening is for adults only. We hope you will join us! No RSVP is required.

Producers Scilla Andreen and Karin Gornick have one goal that Mounds Park Academy wholeheartedly supports: to start a global conversation and raise awareness around anxiety. Through candid interviews, they utilize the power of film to tell the stories of many kids and teens who discuss their anxiety and its impacts on their lives and relationships, as well as how they’ve found solutions and hope. In addition, the documentary provides discussions with mental health experts about the causes of anxiety and its sociological effects, along with the help, resources, and tools available to address the condition. The film includes interviews with children, teens, educators, experts, parents, and a very special interview with Michael Phelps.

Thank you in advance for helping spread this invitation throughout your networks! If you have any questions, please contact Jenn Milam, Ph.D., MPA Middle School director, at jmilam@moundsparkacademy.orgor 651-748-5598.

Panther Club Parents’ Night Out

upper school student doing stem activities with lower schoolersWhether you have holiday errands to do or would like a night to yourself, Panther Club and MPA Robotics has you covered. Drop off your children and enjoy the night! Parents’ Night Out is Friday, December 13 from 6-9 PM. Activities will take place in the Family Commons. All Lower School Students are welcome! With the help of Upper School Robotics, the group will play with Lego Robotics, Minecraft, the Robotics Team’s robot, and watch Big Hero 6. Feel free to bring a pillow to get comfy for movie time. Milk and cookies will be served with the movie.

Panther Club Parents’ Night Out is $10 per student. To sign up, please contact Russ Purdy, extended day coordinator, at or 651-748-5571.

MPA’s Final Regular Season Debate Tournament Of The Year

mpa debate at the last regular season tournament of the yearCongratulations to the MPA debate team on an excellent performance at the final regular season tournament of the year! At the Mankato East Classic Debate Tournament, the team amassed a record of 40 and 24, and seven teams won awards.

In Novice B, Freya Rahm and Emilia McLaughlin were third. In Novice A, Jenna Sherwood and Dhruv Muppidi continued their undefeated streak of 16-0 and finished second behind another 4-0 team, and the team of Lily Gasterland-Gustafsson and Elissa Frankel received medals for a 3-1 finish. In Junior Varsity, the teams of Fiona Blank and Anna Gaudio and Kaija Kunze-Hoeg and Misk Khalif received awards for their 3-1 records. Finally, in Varsity, the teams of Ryan Ghose and Elli Carlson and Garrett Hollihan and Charlie Galicich received awards for 3-1 records. MPA’s 80th debater also competed this weekend to confirm the team’s status as a true juggernaut. Go Panthers!