Attend HeadSpace With Dr. Bill Hudson!

HeadSpace BillDr. Bill Hudson, Head of School, launched HeadSpace as a way to connect with families around big-picture topics relevant to today’s world. Please join him for the next and last informal conversation of the year about a topic that matters, a topic that is worth grappling over. You’ll walk away feeling enlightened, connected, and empowered.

Mental Health Crisis
Tuesday, April 9 | 3:15 PM
Martin Lenz Harrison Library

If you have any questions about HeadSpace, please contact Cherie Honan, assistant to the head of school, at

Join Us For Cultural Celebration Day at MPA!

CC DayEnjoy an evening of food, music, and crafts from around the world by attending Cultural Celebration Day at MPA! The MPA Parents Association invites you to partake in the event that highlights the many different backgrounds present in our school. Cultural Celebration Day is set to take place on April 11, from 3-6 PM in the Family Commons.

  • Enjoy sweet and savory street food from around the world and an international tea bar.
  • Experience beautiful music and interactive folk and classical dance performances.
  • Engage with community members sharing their cultural heritage.

Other offerings include going home with some cool body art from an expert henna artist, trying your hand at global crafts such as Greek laurel wreath making or Rangoli, and learning how to use chopsticks.

Also available will be a food demonstration, an opportunity to learn the steps of Sirtaki, a Greek folk dance, and Kathak, an Indian classical dance! Chatting with community members with booths set up to share their culture and or offer samples of their cuisine is strongly encouraged!

Food and drink tickets ($1 each) will be sold at the event. Zabiha, vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free options are available. Please email with any questions regarding Cultural Celebration Day at MPA!

The Why Behind End-Of-Term Exams

Mark Segalfrom Mark Segal, Upper School director

Editor’s Note: Periodically, you will find a guest Head’s Message here from members of the administrative team. We hope you will enjoy reading their thoughts and reflections about life at MPA.

The pressure to end the quarter on the “right note” is frequently a focus for students and their families this time of year. Next week in the Upper School, most third-quarter English, math, science, social studies, and world language classes will be offering final exams to students in grades 9-11 (seniors do not take final exams.) End-of-term final assessments serve as a crucial tool to assess students in educational systems worldwide. They play a pivotal role in evaluating students’ comprehension, retention, and application of rigorous course material.

Research underscores their significance in measuring learning outcomes and guiding instructional strategies. According to a study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, “Final exams contribute substantially to students’ overall academic performance, with performance on these assessments strongly correlating with their final grades.” End-of-term exams also highlight areas of strength and vulnerability, informing students and their teachers of areas of focus and adjustment.

MPA faculty do a wonderful job of asking students essential questions based upon the material taught and discussions had throughout the quarter. According to the Institute of Education Sciences, “Cumulative and larger end-of-term exams have been proven to improve long-term knowledge retention, cementing the very reason we go to school in the first place.”

Read More

Classes Canceled March 25

Good morning, MPA Families –

Members of the administrative team and I have been closely monitoring the weather and road conditions since Sunday morning. Unfortunately, due to the storm, we have decided to cancel all classes, activities, and events for Monday, March 25.

We do not take this decision lightly as we balance the safety of our students, families, and employees with our commitment to having students at school. Safety, however, is always our highest priority.

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday after what I hope was a wonderful spring break. Enjoy the snow day!

Dr. Bill Hudson
Head of School

Welcome to MPA, Paul Errickson!

Mr. Paul Errickson will be joining us as Middle School director in June 2024! Please watch for ways to warmly welcome him to our community. Take a moment to get to know Mr. Errickson and the wealth of experience he will be bringing to MPA. 

From what school/organization are you coming? 
I am joining you from The American School of Warsaw in Warsaw, Poland.

Tell us about your education and past experience. 
I spent my early years of education at the University of New Hampshire, earning a B.S. in environmental conservation with a minor in outdoor education and an MEd in secondary education, all while competing on their men’s track and field team as a hammer thrower. I also earned a MEd in independent school leadership from Teachers College at Columbia University. I have taught and led in six different schools in four different countries and have held roles ranging from camp counselor and learning coach to head of middle school. I have worked Croo in the Appalachian Mountain Club’s high mountain huts of the White Mountains in New Hampshire, and I spent a year as an AmeriCorps member teaching about watersheds and stream ecology. I’ve always found ways to get involved with students outside of the classroom, from coaching soccer and helping out with musicals to leading outdoor trips—hiking, skiing, or ice climbing—in the mountains.

What did you find appealing about MPA? 
First of all, I was struck by the simplicity and conviction of MPA’s motto: Dream Big. Do Right. As a principled leader who believes deeply in inspiring our students and teaching them about servant leadership, I immediately connected to MPA’s aspirational motto. The more I learned about MPA, the more I loved it as I read through the stories on your website and saw your commitment as a school for “dreamers and doers.” And, then I got to visit the school and meet the people at MPA. From the moment I stepped into the building, I experienced a warmth and an ethos of learning, acceptance, and energy that I have not felt in many other schools. Filled with nooks and joyful students, MPA revealed itself to be a place that values relationships and connection—across all grade levels. I felt the energy from every student, teacher, and adult that I talked with on that day. Read More

Micah Hudock Becomes MPA All-Time Leading Boys Basketball Scorer

Micah Hudock '24Micah Hudock ’24 wasn’t sure if he would end up becoming the MPA all-time leading scorer in boys history. After missing time due to injuries, the senior needed to make the most of his opportunities on the court.

“I dealt with a lot of ankle injuries on my first, second, and third year playing on the team,” Micah said.

Overcoming the time missed, he was able to do just that, eclipsing the Panthers record for boys scoring by beating the previous high of 1,256. The previous record was held by Brendan Connolly ’17. Read More

Lower School Division News March 7, 2024

LS Newsfrom Jennifer Le Varge, Lower School director

Mark Your Calendars

  • Monday, March 11: Trimester 2 Report Cards emailed home
  • Monday, March 11-24: No Classes, Spring Break
  • Monday, March 25: Classes Resume at 8 AM
  • Thursday, April 4: LS Art Show, 6-7 PM, Gallery, US Commons, Rossbach Art Walk, Family Commons
  • Thursday, April 4: LS Music Show, 7-8 PM, Nicholson Center
  • Wednesday, April 10: No Classes, Eid al-Fitr
  • Thursday, April 11: Parents Association Cultural Celebration Day, 3-6 PM, Family Commons
  • Monday, April 15: LS Visiting Author Yangsook Choi
  • Wednesday, April 17: CHAMP Assembly, 8:15-9 AM, Family Commons
  • Friday, April 19: MPA Spring Auction, 6:30-11 PM, Dellwood Golf Club

Spring Break is almost here, yet the learning never stops in the Lower School. Please read on for more updates:

At our CHAMP assembly on March 6, we celebrated Women’s History Month by exploring some well-known women who have contributed greatly to our world. We focused on the CHAMP attribute of cooperative. Every day at lunchtime for the month of March, Lower School students read a small passage about important women in our world to the rest of the division. Our next CHAMP assembly is April 17, and we will be learning about being accountable. Please send your child to school on that day wearing their CHAMP colors!

Trimester 2 Report Cards Coming Home on March 11
The second trimester has flown by! Teachers shared pertinent updates on all the progress your child has made over the past few months at conferences. On Monday, March 11, please check your email for your child’s Trimester 2 report card. Comments are added to report cards for Trimester 1 and Trimester 3 only. We look forward to sharing more about your child’s learning with you soon.

LS Visiting Author: Yangsook Choi on April 15
I am overjoyed to share that on April 15, the MPA Lower School will have the pleasure of welcoming Yangsook Choi, author of the beloved children’s book “The Name Jar,” as our visiting author. Yangsook is from Seoul, Korea, and she is an incredible writer and illustrator. She will lead writing and illustration workshops for our PreK-Grade 4 students while she is visiting. Please stay tuned for more information about how you can have the author sign a copy of “The Name Jar” for your child!

2024 MPA Spring Auction on April 19
We hope to see you at the 2024 MPA Spring Auction, Together We Can Move Mountains, on Friday, April 19 at Dellwood Golf Club. This is your chance to attend a night of fun, inspiration, and community building while supporting MPA with fellow parents, alumni, and friends.

LGBTQ+ Family Group for Lower School Parents
Lower School parent Rachael Weber is excited to lead the creation of an LGBTQ+ family group for families of children in PreK through Grade 4. The group will focus on allyship, advocacy, and the sharing of resources and experiences in this affinity space specific to the developmental stages of early and middle childhood. Parents who are members and/or allies of the LGBTQ+ community are welcome to contact Rachael at to join!

Middle School Division News March 7, 2024

MS newsfrom Dr. Jenn Milam, Middle School director 

Mark Your Calendars

  • Friday, March 9: iTerm Share Fair, 2:20-3 PM, Family Commons
  • Monday, March 11-24: No Classes, Spring Break
  • Monday, March 25: Classes Resume at 8 AM
  • Friday, April 5: End of Quarter 3
  • Monday, April 8: Quarter 4 Begins

Middle School has been joyfully wrapped up in i-Term 2024 this week and we are so grateful for all our parents, community, faculty, and staff support to make the week possible!!! You’re invited to join us on Friday, March 8, from 2:15-3 PM, as we host an iTERM SHARE FAIR! Each course prepares a display to showcase what they did together, what they learned, share some new skills, and show off their products!

2024 MPA Spring Auction on April 19
Be on the lookout for information about the 2024 MPA Spring Auction, Together We Can Move Mountains, scheduled for Friday, April 19 at Dellwood Golf Club. This is your chance to attend a night of fun, inspiration, and community building while supporting MPA with fellow parents, alumni, and friends.

As we prepare for the long break ahead, I hope you’ll take time to rest, open spaces for boredom, and reconnect with each other–especially your middle. Our lives can be so hectic, so scheduled, and so centered around “tasks” that we forget to stop, take a break, cook a meal together, and even just watch a movie together. Enjoy your break. We’ll see you March 25.

Upper School Division News March 7, 2024

US newsfrom Mark Segal, Upper School director

Mark Your Calendars

  • Friday, March 8: Spring Break Begins at 3 PM
  • Monday, March 11-24: No Classes, Spring Break
  • Monday, March 25: Classes Resume at 8 AM
  • Tuesday, April 2: World Language Final Exams During Scheduled Class Time
  • Wednesday, April 3: World Language Final Exams During Scheduled Class Time
  • Thursday, April 4: Science Final Exams, 8:45-10:15 AM
  • Thursday, April 4: English Final Exams, 12-1:30 PM
  • Friday, April 5: Math Final Exams, 8:45-10:15 AM
  • Friday, April 5: Social Studies Final Exams, 12-1:30 PM
  • Friday, April 5: End of Quarter 3
  • Monday, April 8: Quarter 4 Begins
  • Wednesday, April 10: No Classes, Eid al-Fitr
  • Thursday, April 11: Parents Association Cultural Celebration Day
  • Saturday, April 13: National ACT Test Date, 8 AM-1 PM, Lansing Sports Center
  • Thursday, April 18: Senior Performances, 8-9:15 AM, Nicholson Center
  • Friday, April 19: MPA Spring Auction, 6:30-11 PM, Dellwood Golf Club
  • Friday, April 26: Spring Musical, The Hello Girls, 7-9 PM, Nicholson Center
  • Saturday, April 27: Spring Musical, The Hello Girls, 7-9 PM, Nicholson Center
  • Sunday, April 28: Spring Musical, The Hello Girls, 2-4 PM, Nicholson Center
  • Friday, May 3: Upper School Parent’s Association Coffee, 8-9:30 AM, PCR

Important Information

  1. If your student will be absent, late, or needs to be excused early from school, please reach out to the Upper School office via
  2. On Thursday, April 4, and Friday, April 5, there are no regular Upper School classes. There are only final exams these two days. Upper School students may be on campus before and after their final exams, and lunch will be available for those students on the MPA lunch plan
    11:20-11:45 AM. Light breakfast and snack items will be available throughout the day to all Upper School students outside of the Upper School office. Please note that Middle and Lower School students will follow their regular class schedule all week and only Upper School has a modified schedule for final exams.
  3. Be on the lookout for information about the 2024 MPA Spring Auction, Together We Can Move Mountains, scheduled for Friday, April 19 at Dellwood Golf Club. This is your chance to attend a night of fun, inspiration, and community building while supporting MPA with fellow parents, alumni, and friends.

High school is one of the best times of a student’s life. Friendships are solidified, passions and future aspirations are explored and realized, and liberties are often earned and granted. High school can also be one of the most dangerous times in a student’s life. Beliefs of invincibility and that rules may not always apply are normal and developmentally in line with their peers. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Although the brain stops growing in size by early adolescence, the prefrontal cortex, responsible for planning, prioritizing, and making good decisions, doesn’t finish developing until an individual is in their mid-to-late 20s.” As someone who works with teenagers in a school setting, this information is confirmed daily.

I share the above information as I met with members of the senior class recently as I learned that the annual game of “Nerf Wars” is staring up again. A version of tag, “Nerf Wars,” involves using high-powered Nerf guns to shoot foam projectiles at other participants. Once a player is hit, they are out of the game. During the games, however, good decision-making is often traded for impulsive actions that can have tragic outcomes. According to an organizer of a Nerf War game at a local high school, “the game includes people flying down alleys, running and jumping into cars, no one is wearing their seat belts, as you have to be ready to go.” Unfortunately, several local students from the Twin Cities metro area have been injured in automobile accidents in recent years, and in 2015 two high school students from Lakeville died when their car crashed while playing the game. Dangers also exist as some participants “go into stealth mode” by dressing in black and sneaking around at nighttime in neighborhoods that they are not familiar with or where people are unaware of the game. Unaware neighbors have been known to call the police, scared that there are people lurking around their homes, and police officers have shown up with guns drawn to address the situation.

I shared with the seniors that we care about them and implore them to make good choices and to be safe if they decide to participate. It is also important to pass this information to you, and the adults in their lives, as I am sure that this game is not limited to only members of the senior class and want to make you aware of the possibility of your child participating.

As we head off into Spring Break, I hope your families find time to rest, refresh, and spend time together. I look forward to seeing you on campus soon.

MPA Sailing: All Are Welcome, Grades 7-12!

MPA sailing promofrom Parker Ziegler, team captain

The MPA sailing team is genuinely for anyone, from first-time sailors to national competitors. Although we have plenty of practice time (3:30-6:30 PM Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays), we’re about flexibility, not just competition. Although it’s encouraged to attend all the practices and then regattas on Saturdays, it’s not required. “In my first years, I was hesitant about all the practices and had very little experience, but over the years, the sailing team allowed me to find close friendships and improve my sailing skills, and now I can’t wait to get on the water,” said MPA sailor, Alex Bixby ’25. Read More