Together, We Moved Mountains

Thank you to everyone who helped to make the MPA 2024 Spring Auction: Together We Can Move Mountains a resounding success. Because of our community’s generosity, we raised $362,194, including $198,969 for this year’s Fund A Need, The Center for Inclusive Teaching and Learning. These donations are an amazing jump start on our overall project need.

Perhaps most importantly, the auction built upon the connections within our community and celebrated all that we have accomplished so far this year. Thank you to our speakers, donors, sponsors, attendees, and volunteers. We couldn’t have done it without each one of you.

Congratulations to our auction item winners, including Tom and Cari Simonson—this year’s Golden Ticket winners!

To learn more about the auction, The Center for Inclusive Teaching & Learning, or to make a gift, please contact Jennifer Rogers-Petitt, director of development and community engagement, at To see all of the photos from the evening, click here.

Support MPA From Home This Weekend

While we wish everyone could join us for the MPA Spring Auction: Together We Can Move Mountains event this year, we’re happy that every supporter can join in from afar!

Thanks to the generosity of our community, we have nearly 200 auction packages for you to bid on and win, even if you can’t join us in person. The silent auction opened earlier this week and will remain open until Saturday, April 20, at noon. Check out our “buy it now” option on some of our most popular packages.

  1. Visit the Silent Auction Page.
  2. Click Login/Register. Create a new account if you have yet to be a part of our auction in the past or log in if you have!
  3. Save, bid, and win amazing items, all while supporting MPA students and teachers.

Learn more about this year’s auction, including purchasing one of our Golden Tickets, which will be drawn on Friday night. You could be the winner of the live auction package of your choice. You don’t need to be present to win!

For questions, contact Jennifer Rogers-Petitt, director of development and community engagement, at

The Why Behind i-Term

Why i-Termfrom Dr. Bill Hudson, head of school

This week marks an exciting time for Middle School students as they eagerly dive into i-Term, a unique enrichment experience at MPA that embodies our mission of independent thinking and joyful learning. i-Term provides students in grades five through eight with the opportunity to engage in a week-long exploration of their passions and interests far beyond the traditional classroom setting.

Through inquiry-based, experiential learning, students participate in Project-Based Learning (PBL) courses that not only deepen their understanding of a subject but also expose them to new ways of thinking and being in the world. While participation in i-Term is required, students have the freedom to choose a course that aligns with their interests and goals. This year’s offerings include a diverse range of experiences such as Survivor MPA, Woodworking, French Immersion Trip to Quebec, PlaMo Build-A-Thon, and Director’s Cut Filmmaking.

PBL has emerged as a powerful educational approach that engages students in hands-on, real-world projects, fostering critical thinking, collaboration, and preparing them for success in the 21st-century workforce. PBL enhances student engagement and motivation by allowing them to work on projects that are personally meaningful and relevant to their lives. This autonomy and choice give students a sense of ownership over their learning. For example, the idea for Survivor MPA originated from a conversation between Middle School music teacher Michael Claver and sixth grader Sam, both fans of the TV show Survivor, who together brainstormed how to adapt it into an i-Term class. Read More

Generation AI And The Future of Education

from Dr. Bill Hudson, head of school

In recent months, I have initiated HeadSpace, inviting MPA parents to join me in addressing how best to ensure that MPA prepares students to “live, learn, and thrive in our increasingly complex and globalized society,” a priority outlined in our strategic plan for 2024ward. A startling statistic I recently encountered suggests that 70% of the jobs in 2030 have yet to be created, underscoring the urgent need for transformative changes in education.

On Tuesday evening, several parents and I engaged in a profound discussion regarding Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI) and its potential to revolutionize education. GAI represents a unique subset of AI distinguished by its ability to produce new, high-quality content efficiently across various modalities. Unlike traditional AI systems, which primarily focus on analysis and prediction, GAI possesses the capacity for creative synthesis, generating original content such as audio, code, images, text, simulations, and videos. Powered by advanced algorithms, GAI models can learn from existing data to create realistic and novel outputs that emulate human creativity and ingenuity. This capacity for generative creativity holds profound implications for fields such as art, design, storytelling, and content creation, offering limitless opportunities for innovation and expression in the digital age.

Reflecting on how MPA can equip students to thrive in today’s increasingly complex society, I came across a Facebook post from our Alumni Association featuring Sofie Netteberg, an MPA Class of 2016 graduate. Sofie is currently enrolled in the MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) program, where students earn both an MBA from Sloan and an MS from MIT’s School of Engineering with a focus on computer science and operations. A graduate of Williams College with majors in statistics and global studies, Sofie describes herself as a, “Life-long nerd who will use technology to ensure the health and happiness of future generations.” Read More

We Need Your Help!

We need your help! The 2024 MPA Spring Auction: Together We Can Move Mountains is our biggest fundraising event of the year, raising over $200,000 in support of students and teachers. One of the best ways we raise funds is through the silent and live auction. It is a wonderful chance for you to help with this year’s event and support every student at MPA. No item is too big or small! If you don’t see your idea on our wish list, it may still be an excellent fit for our event, and we encourage you to contact us to discuss more.

Tickets and sponsorships are now on sale!

For questions or more information, please contact or Jennifer Rogers-Petitt, director of development and community engagement, at 651-748-5532.

We want to ensure this community-building event is accessible to everyone. If the ticket prices are a barrier for you to attend, please contact us today for reduced pricing based on your need.

Meet International Student Alum Wei Zhan ’22

Wei Zhan '22What are you currently doing, professionally and/or personally? What experiences or relationships have inspired you along the way?
I went to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and am now attending Santa Monica College. Engaging with a diverse and talented group of individuals fueled my passion along the way.

How was your experience at MPA different than other schools?
MPA has an inclusive and open atmosphere, embracing individuals from all backgrounds and creating a welcoming environment for everyone. Read More

2024ward: An Update

from Dr. Bill Hudson, head of school

Mounds Park Academy has a long history of thoughtful strategic planning. Through the years, trustees, parents, faculty, staff, and students have come together to chart a path forward to guide the ongoing growth and development of the school in order to meet the evolving and emerging needs of our students. We are now in the third year of our current strategic plan, 2024ward, with the process to create our next plan beginning in the fall. I want to highlight a few accomplishments and share some emerging plans.

PRIORITY ONE: Empower Students to Live, Learn, and Thrive in an Increasingly Complex and Globalized Society.

  • A committee of faculty and staff created a Portrait of a Graduate. The portrait is a representative statement and visual heuristic that conveys our commitment to teaching and learning at MPA.
    Standards for equity and inclusion, social-emotional learning, innovation, technology, and digital wellness were created by faculty and staff. Together with content-specific standards, they will guide a comprehensive curriculum review next year.
  • The Portrait of a Graduate and the newly developed standards guide the creation of a competency framework devised to articulate and make actionable the transferable skills embedded in the Portrait of a Graduate and prepare students for the world ahead.
  • In the past year, we have been researching international organizations that reflect our mission, vision, and values in hopes of establishing a partnership with an international school. Such a partnership is designed to foster cross-cultural competence and global citizenship. There have been some exciting developments that I hope to share with you very soon.

PRIORITY TWO: Ensure An Equitable and Inclusive Community.

  • A 16-member Equity and Belonging Committee composed of faculty and staff was convened in the fall of 2022 and has created shared diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) language for the MPA community. In addition, the committee developed DEIB-related curriculum standards that are reflected in the school’s Portrait of a Graduate and the emerging competency framework.
  • Together with the Equity and Belonging Committee, the director and assistant director of equity and belonging developed an extensive DEIB resource guide for all MPA employees that was deployed in September 2023.
  • For the second year in a row, MPA student representatives participated in the Student Diversity Leadership Conference, and faculty and staff representatives attended the People of Color Conference, both sponsored by the National Association of Independent Schools. And, MPA is a founding sponsor, together with SPA, of a new and local Twin Cities Student Diversity Leadership Conference to be held on February 16.

PRIORITY THREE: Affirm and Inspire our Exceptional and Dedicated Faculty and Staff through Competitive Compensation. Read More

A Message From Clare Halloran ’03

Dear MPA Alumni,

In this season of reflection, three MPA moments are on my mind. First, in June of this year, I had the opportunity to help organize our 20th class reunion. The planning process was a fun way to reconnect with many fellow classmates, especially since not everyone was able to attend the event. But what was even better than planning was catching up in person and seeing many familiar faces, hearing about parents and siblings (and partners and kids!), and learning about the amazing things that people are now doing personally and professionally. Thank you to all who could attend and those who traveled across the country to do so!

Another important MPA milestone for our family this year was choosing to enroll our daughter in
kindergarten at MPA. In discussing our dreams of what we would want for our children’s education—a supportive environment, rigorous and engaging academics, a focus on the whole child, and the
opportunity to build lifelong friendships—we knew that MPA was where we wanted them to grow and
thrive. “Dream big, Do right” is the motto I hope our children can carry with them through MPA and
beyond. Read More

We’re Using Robots to Build Kids—With Your Help

It’s been 35 years since I graduated from Mounds Park Academy. Had you asked me then, I would never in a million years have predicted my eventual return as both a parent of a senior and, equally incredibly, as a mentor for the school’s FIRST® robotics competition (FRC) Team 3926, the MPArors.

How I came to mentor robotics is a long story. But it’s so much fun, full of energy, intensity, and camaraderie. I’ve watched in real-time as students grow in confidence and leadership. “We’re using robots to build kids” is how FIRST founder Dean Kamen once described it. While the team wisely keeps me away from actually building the robot, I mentor a lot of the other team’s activities: community outreach, public engagement through social media, preparing for regional competitions, fostering inclusivity in STEM, and raising funds to pay for it all.

It turns out that running an FRC team isn’t cheap! Last year’s expenses included $16,000 in robot supplies, $8,000 in registration fees for two competitions, and $14,000 in travel-related costs. The team also has to regularly update aging tools and equipment.

This is our busiest time of the year for fundraising, and I’m touched by all the generous alumni who have supported robotics at MPA. Did you know that roughly half of the team’s funds come from individual donors? We are so grateful that you have helped us start the season strong.

However, there is still a ways to go before we meet our financial goal. So, this giving season, I’m reaching out to my fellow alumni to ask for your help. Perhaps you yourself were part of the robotics team, or (like me) wished the team had existed when you were a student at MPA. Or maybe you simply appreciate the profound impact that FIRST® Robotics has on our kids.

We’d love to hear from anyone interested in supporting the team – or is able to introduce us to potential new business or corporate sponsors (who make up more than 40% of our funding). Learn more at or the QR code below, or call (651) 777-2555 x462.

Thank you! Go MPArors!

Sirid Kellerman ’88

A History-Making Performance For Debate

Congratulations to the MPA Debate Team on a history-making performance at the Classic State Debate Festival. Forty-six students represented the school, and for the first time in its history, Mounds Park Academy won the team sweepstakes award. This award is based on the top two performances across each of the three divisions of competition—novice, junior varsity, and varsity. This win is a testament to the countless hours of research, thinking, and practice these students contributed throughout the season.

We call the tournament the Classic Debate Championships in novice and junior varsity. In the novice division, the teams of Sidd Sastry and Kelvyn Boddipalli, Amila Avdic and Ayub Barre, and Myah Hoeschen and Nicole Kim advanced to the octafinal round. The teams of Josh Murr and Hannabella Li and Carter Short and Nico Bergh advanced to the quarterfinal round. And in a commanding performance, the team of Ash Klann and Victoria Lin won the entire division. In the junior varsity division, the teams of Mari Minear and Navreen Biring and Paul Fertig and Zainab Lodhi advanced to the quarterfinal round, while the team of Truman Wilgocki and Soren Winikoff advanced to the semifinal round. And the team of Greta Hanson and Rowan Mulrooney finished second in an extremely competitive final round.
Read More