Our Legacy Society Story

our legacy society storyNan Etzwiler, Dan O’Neill, and Laura O’Neill

Since our daughter, Laura, started at MPA in 2005 in its first PreK class, MPA has been joyful, enriching, and stimulating for her—and for us! From pillowcase poems to building 3-D digestive systems, from memorizing Chaucer to crafting a competitive speech, we are grateful to the incredibly skilled and caring faculty we have known in each division. As parents, we have also had the opportunity to volunteer at MPA in various capacities and have seen close-up how thoughtfully the mission of the school is borne out through curriculum, character-building, and extracurricular activities. MPA is a place that speaks to the both the ‘head’ and the ‘heart’ of everyone who passes through it.

In recognition of the rich mission of the school, and its strong leadership and staff, we have included MPA in our estate plans for three reasons. Most important, MPA has played a critical role and had a sustained presence in
our lives for many years—and its impact on our family will continue for decades to come. Second, prioritizing our giving and including MPA in our estate planning have been ways for us to talk with our daughter about not only the importance of giving, but the joy of it. She has a growing appreciation for the fun and importance of leaving something behind for others.

Finally, through tax planning we have been able to maximize the impact of our gifts today and later. Working with MPA’s Development Office to denote MPA as an estate beneficiary was easy and quick. We hope one day that our legacy gift can help sustain MPA so that generations of students to come might thrive and soar just as our daughter has. We encourage you to reach out to MPA’s Development Office to consider including MPA in your legacy planning, too.


Congratulations To Alpine Skiers At State

alpine skiers Emma and isakCongratulations to our Panther skiers who competed in the Alpine State meet at Giants Ridge!

Senior Emma Finch placed 38th out of 86 competitors. Her first run time was :45.24, her second was :30.03, with a final of 1:24.27.

Freshman Margo Nightingale placed 53rd out of 86 competitors. Her first run time was :44.04, her second was :41.53, and finished with 1:25.57.

Sophomore Isak Nightingale placed 26th out of 88 competitors. His first run time was :39.72, his second was :37.29, finishing with a final of 1:17.01.

Great job, Panthers!


Be A Career Panelist To Help Students Dream Big

students in the college counseling officeCollege Counseling and the Upper School Advisory program are teaming up to provide career exploration opportunities for students! We are looking for MPA parents and alumni to share information about their careers with students who are starting to imagine where their talents could take them.

We plan to offer six different “career cluster” panels during Advisory meetings. Speakers will volunteer either Wednesday, April 8 or Wednesday, April 15 (time commitment roughly 10:45 AM to 12:30 PM). On each date, three different panels will be offered, featuring people presenting about their jobs, the paths that led to their current positions, and taking student questions.

If you are interested in being a panelist OR getting involved in future career programming, please complete our brief survey or contact Andrea Kaltved in College Counseling at akaltved@moundsparkacademy.org. Read More


Parent Education: How To Listen To Your Kids

middle school students reading togetherMounds Park Academy is sponsoring the workshop “How to Listen to Your Kids: Learn skills that encourage your kids to tell you everything” to help parents create better communication with their kids. Led by life purpose coach Paul Boehnke, it is open to all parents, whether your children attend MPA or not. The workshop is free and coffee, tea, fruit, and pastries will be provided. Join us Friday, February 21 from 8-9:30 AM in the Porter Conference Room at MPA, 2051 Larpenteur Avenue east, St. Paul, MN.

“Do you ever have power struggles? Do you wonder what’s really going on at school? Wish you had better relationships with your children? The skills I learned as a professional coach completely changed how I related to my own son. Now I’ll share those same skills with you so you can experience the openness, honesty and love you’ve always envisioned,” says Paul.

“I’ve led this workshop in a number of places and attendees have given it rave reviews. You’ll learn skills usually only professionals learn and have a chance to practice these skills before you try them out in the wild, at home.”

Register here to reserve your space!


The White Out Dance Is February 28

students at the 2019 white out danceJoin us for the Tenth Annual Parents Association White Out Dance on Friday, February 28! From 3-5 PM, students in grades PreK-4 are invited for crafts, games, dancing, and more. There will be complimentary snacks and water for students. Plus, show us your winter spirit and wear white!

Come to the Lansing Center right after school! All Lower School students must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. Contact Jerry Francois at franny6866@yahoo.com with any questions.


A Message From Brenna Bray ’02

Brenna Bray '02Fellow Alumni, MPA has provided us with a trampoline! For many of us, MPA has provided a safe launching pad that catapults us into action. We have been able to “launch” towards our dreams with the knowledge that we have a net that will catch us softly if we fall. The metaphorical trampoline gains its strength from the MPA community: our teachers pushed us to dream big and take actions; our colleagues inspire us to do right and remind us of who we are and where we come from. MPA gains its strength from its community, and that includes you!

The MPA Alumni Association leverages alumni successes to inspire future generations Panther prodigies; this requires us to keep tabs on our alumni. Please provide updates–big or small–on your whereabouts! Have you moved? Do you have a new e-mail address or phone number? Have you experienced a life event or a career change? We want to know about it! Your achievements can inspire the next generation of Panthers to dream big, do right, and give back in turn.


Alumni Mentorship Making A Lifelong Impact

lyndon and matt at the alumni networking eventMore pairs of MPA seniors and alumni mentors have been eager to share their positive experiences and connections through the MPA Mentorship Program and how it has continued to inspire them. In just its second year, a historic number of alumni participated, outnumbering the current senior class! Mentees and mentors were matched based on interests, hobbies, career goals, and college choice. See all of the photos from the networking event here!

“MPA’s mentorship program has given me a chance to learn so much information about my dream of becoming a pilot that I cannot get from the internet. I cannot describe how excited and happy I was on the first day of the mentorship program,” said MPA senior Lyndon Lyu ’20. “We started to write an email to our mentors, and I was so lucky to be paired up with Matt, who is a professional pilot. Being a pilot has been my dream since I can remember. When I was told that I was paired with a real pilot, I was like a little boy seeing his hero. In the many emails between Matt and me, mine were always so long because I had so many questions about aviation. I knew I could ask Matt anything because he knows almost everything about my dream, and for this reason, our email progress was always far ahead of the program required timeline. Thank you to MPA for arranging the mentor meeting in our new Family Commons. Meeting with Matt might be the best thing that has happened to me this year. Matt was very nice and helpful, and he told me every step that I need to do in order to be a pilot in the future. He is even willing to introduce me to some airlines after I get my pilot’s license. For all of these reasons, I am so thankful to MPA’s mentorship program, and I really appreciate Matt’s help and the time that he spent with me on this program.” Read More


MPA Students Share Their Voices On Podcast

kindergartners sharing their initiative with upper schoolAs part of Design For Change’s Earth Day Network Plastic Pollution Design Sprint, two MPA Kindergarten students and Ms. Koen were featured in a blog post and on one of their podcast episodes! The Kindergarten students’ recent project selling reusable canvas grocery bags at Kowalski’s Market gave them the knowledge and confidence to take what they  learned about preserving the environment, eliminating plastic use, and global citizenship on air. Take a listen to what they have to say here!

While you listen, take a look at the Design For Change blog post, “A Look Behind the Scenes: Collaborating with Earth Day Network,” to see photos of the MPA Kindergarteners putting their passion to work. The blog expresses the importance of youth involvement, stating that “the biggest leaders in this fight are young people.” Right below that powerful statement is an image of MPA Kindergarteners marching into the Upper School commons to talk about why their efforts to save sea turtles and ocean life is so important. Further down in the story is another photo of MPA fifth grader Brooklynn J. beaming with her Kindergarten buddy while holding up the canvas bag they made in the Makerspace. Read More


Three Panthers Move On To State

isak at the alpine ski meetCongratulations to MPA’s Alpine Skiers! The girls team placed sixth out of 17 teams and the boys team placed ninth out of 17 teams in the Section 4A Meet at Wild Mountain. MPA Senior Emma Finch, MPA freshman Margo Nightingale, and MPA sophomore Isak Nightingale have advanced as individuals and will participate at the State Meet next week at Giants Ridge. Let’s go, Panthers!


Introducing The Martin Lenz Harrison Library

Ingrid cutting the ribbon to the libraryThank you to our generous and kind community for helping us unveil the brand new Martin Lenz Harrison Library yesterday! Martin Lenz Harrison was a member of MPA’s first graduating class. His memory and legacy will live on for generations of Panthers as they read, learn, and grow in their beautiful library.

His surviving parents Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison and members of the first graduating class joined us on campus for the ribbon cutting and celebration. Thank you to our donors, volunteers, and community members!