Meet Retired Founding Faculty Member, Karen Rossbach!

Position while at MPA:
Art Teacher

How many years did you work at MPA?

What do you miss the most about MPA?
I miss my students, who were always excited to be in class and enjoyed spending time together creating with various materials. I also miss my colleagues who are the hardest working and most collaborative people I know.

What have you been up to since leaving MPA?
My retirement has not taken an expected or “normal” path thus far. With any hopes of travel severely restricted, I have spent most of my time care-giving my mother, since the pandemic started. Being “her bubble”, I helped mom connect with family members through Facetime and Zoom visits. I basically lived a life of virtual meetings, Zoom workouts, and coffees. I even attended a four day virtual National Art Educators Conference. When I could carve out some extra time I would work in my garden planting chard, basil and other greens. I also spent time finally setting up a home studio space. I am looking forward to changing times and hopeful retirement opportunities.

Meet Alumni Board Member Isabel Meyer-Mueller ’17

Isabel Meyer-Mueller ’17

For what grades did you attend MPA?
I was at MPA for K-12

Why did you choose to pursue a position on the Alumni Association Board?
I have never been a part of a more supportive, caring, and intellectually stimulating community than MPA. For 13 years, MPA provided me with not only a place to learn, but a place to build life long friendships, pursue my passions, and create a home. I chose to apply to the Alumni Association Board as a way of giving back to a community that gave me so much and to ensure that even after graduating, each alum knows that they have a place in the MPA family.

In what ways do you see yourself as a supporter of MPA and its mission?
During my senior year at MPA I was voted “Most School Spirit” and that love for MPA has never dwindled. In a lot of ways, I believe that the MPA mission has formed the bedrock of my personal and professional identity. I do my best to prioritize respect and inclusivity, thinking independently, and living up to my responsibility to change the world for the better. Most importantly, I see myself as a lifelong learner and find joy in learning something new everyday.

How did you get to where you are in your career? Did you attend college and if so, where? Are there some career moves or other key experiences or relationships that have inspired you?
I graduated from Macalester College in May with a B.A. in Psychology and Community and Global Health. This fall, I will begin a Master of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at UW Stout. I will also be working with Just The Pill, a mobile clinic that provides medication abortions to rural Minnesotans, as a community outreach coordinator. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, baking, playing pickleball, exploring new running routes in Minneapolis, and going for long walks with my sheepadoodle puppy, Bertie.

How did your MPA experience prepare you for your life today? How did MPA help you dream big and do right?
I am so thankful that MPA prepared me to thrive in college. Not only did I learn the necessary writing and reading skills, but I learned how to think critically, manage my time effectively, maintain healthy relationships, and balance academics, athletics, and arts, all of which set me up well for my time at Macalester. Most importantly, MPA instilled me with the belief that I have not only the ability but the responsibility to make a difference in the world. MPA not only gave me the skills to form my own opinions and develop passions but also the confidence to go out and change what needs changing.

What’s next? Any aspirations – personal or professional – that you’d like to share?
My professional goal is to become a sexuality therapist/educator. As a result of my time at MPA, I put a high value on education that teaches students how to think, not what to think. And that is exactly what quality sex education is — giving students all of the information and then letting them decide what is the best decision for their own body. My goal is a world where everyone has the information they need to make the best decisions for their own body and the vocabulary to articulate what that looks like. Personally, I have recently taken up running and I hope to run a marathon next year. I have also been training my dog, Bertie, to become a Canine Good Citizen with the hopes of eventually training him to be a therapy dog.

What do you to see happen during your time on the Alumni Association Board?
I am very excited to get to know the other members of the Alumni Association Board and make connections with MPA graduates across generations. I hope that as a team we will be able to facilitate relationships between MPA and its alumni and that everyone who graduates from MPA knows that they will be an important part of the community for the rest of their lives. I am particularly excited to be a part of the new Subcommittee for Alumni for Antiracist Practice in order to increase awareness of antiracism at MPA and among alumni.

Please share your favorite MPA story.
When I was in high school and the school day ended, I never wanted to leave. MPA was one of my favorite places to spend time. Some of my favorite MPA memories are from the countless hours I spent hanging out after school. It didn’t matter if I was doing homework with friends in the yearbook room, going to soccer practice, singing in the spring musical, or helping a teacher with a project, I was always having a blast and did not want to leave. I think this speaks to MPA’s incredible ability to create a safe and welcoming environment for students and I am so grateful that my school felt more like a second home than anything else.

The Crimson And Cream Foundation’s Top Award Recipient, Salmah Elmasry ’21

SalmahCongratulations to Salmah Elmasry ’21

The MPA community is celebrating Salmah Elmasry ’21, for receiving the the top award from The Crimson and Cream Foundation! This foundation is a local one founded in 1996 to advance academics, leadership, and social skills in young people throughout the St. Paul-Minneapolis area. Since graduating from MPA, Salmah’s impressive extracurricular and community service accomplishments include founding and managing operations for The Neda Project, Captain of the Varsity Speech Team and Varsity Debate Team, and President of the Social Consciousness Club. We wish Salmah all the best as she continues her education at Georgetown University studying International Relations.The community couldn’t be more proud of Salmah. read more>

BIPOC Alumni Join Sid Carlson White ’17 On September 23

sid Carlson white '17On September 23, at 6:30 PM Central, the Alumni Committee on Antiracist Practice will be hosting its first community discussion for BIPOC alumni of MPA. One of the many things that respondents to our survey suggested is that alumni of color wanted spaces, digital and in-person, to discuss life after graduating, existing in predominantly-white spaces, and to generally share experiences of life both during and after our time at MPA. This conversation, which will be specifically alumni-only, will kick off the committee and its work with the Antiracism Action Group and the Alumni Board.

Join via Zoom >
Meeting ID: 952 9079 8620
Password: 812473

Meet Alumni Board Member Rex Hendrickson ’11

Rex Hendrickson ’11

For what grades did you attend MPA?

Why did you choose to pursue a position on the Alumni Association Board?
I wanted to get more involved in many aspects of my life. I wanted to engage with the world around me and the world I know. I know MPA quite well after being there for 13 years – it seemed like a natural way to get involved and a way to give back.

In what ways do you see yourself as a supporter of MPA and its mission?
I believe, deep down, we all know what doing right is. We all have our own unique role to play, which gives us purpose and direction. I support MPA’s mission in passing on that wisdom to its students and encouraging them to dream big and do right.

What are you currently doing, professionally and/or personally?
I am an account director at a brand strategy agency called vnzo. We work with other companies to create differentiation in the marketplace – how to claim their own space and increase marketshare. We strategize to come up with solutions; we incorporate that into their brand; and ultimately, grow through marketing.

How did you get to where you are in your career? Did you attend college and if so, where? Are there some career moves or other key experiences or relationships that have inspired you?
I attended the University of Denver for a couple years before moving back to MN to start working. I worked a few odd jobs before meeting a good friend of mine with whom we started a company together. Now, that company is no longer, it started to make me think in an entrepreneurial way and that has been exciting to see.

How did your MPA experience prepare you for your life today? How did MPA help you dream big and do right?
I think one of the major takeaways from MPA was the notion to think for myself. To be learned and to stay curious – to keep dreaming for something bigger and better for my life. MPA also taught me to do the right thing, to have my own moral code and ethics to live by. To have this personal set of rules that governs me and every one of my choices. I think that compass started at a young age.

What’s next? Any aspirations – personal or professional – that you’d like to share?
I would like to continue to work hard and keep my head down. I enjoy personal development and seeing where consistency can take you. I would also like to travel again but for now, home is where I need to be.

What do you to see happen during your time on the Alumni Association Board?
I would like to see MPA continue to grow as one of the premier private education systems in MN.

Please share your favorite MPA story.
My favorite MPA story has to include my time on the soccer team. Going to the state tournament my sophomore and my senior year were memories I will hold close to home.

Homecoming Celebration And Spirit Week Reimagined

Homecoming September 27 – October 2
Join us as we reimagine our annual Homecoming festivities in light of COVID-19 health and safety concerns. We are offering division-specific opportunities for students as a part of a weeklong celebration, building spirit for MPA Athletics and our entire community.

Upper School Activities:

  • MPA Student Council Spirit Week Dress Up Days: September 27 – October 1
  • Upper School student only BBQ: October 1, 5-8 PM, Benz Courtyard
  • Upper School student dance: October 2, 8-11 PM, Benz Courtyard
  • Free Homecoming-themed MPA t-shirts for all Upper School students

Middle School Activities:

  • Middle School Game Day: October 1, 10 AM-3 PM, South Lawn (Parent Volunteers needed!)
  • Spirit Week Dress Up Days September 27-October 1
  • Free Homecoming-themed MPA t-shirts for all Middle School students

Lower School Activities:

  • Pajama Day for all Lower School Students: September 27
  • Spirit Wear Day with Homecoming T-shirt and non-uniform bottom: October 1
  • Homecoming Spirit Photo Booth and Special Appearances by the MPA Panther: September 27-October 1
  • Homecoming Panther Coloring Sheets available for students
  • Free Homecoming-themed MPA t-shirts for all Lower School students

MPA Athletics Schedule Saturday, October 2
Please note: Only athlete household members may attend in person. Join in the fun and cheer on our Panthers by streaming games live! Learn more at

  • Varsity Girls Soccer vs New Life Academy 11 AM (available for streaming)
  • Varsity Boys Soccer New Life Academy 1 PM (available for streaming)
  • Varsity Volleyball 9 AM-2 PM (continuous streaming viewing)
  • JV Boys Soccer New Life Academy 11 AM (not available for streaming)
  • Varsity Girls Tennis vs Como Park and Cretin Derham Hall (not available for streaming)

Homecoming Parent Gathering 
Parents, would you like to share your MPA Spirit and support our student athletes? Join the MPA Parents Association for an all-parent coffee and community building meet-up on Friday, October 1 from 7:45 to 10 AM. You’ll find us under the big white tent in the west parking lot, rain or shine. Meet other MPA parents, help to decorate the outdoor fields, and write messages of encouragement for our athletes. Go Panthers!

MPA Parents Of Alumni Annual Meeting & Social

The POA at their annual summer gathering“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.” –Herman Melville

After a long COVID hiatus, 30 parents of MPA Alumni reconnected at the MPA POA Annual Meeting to elect new officers and to reconnect the parental fibers at a lively social hosted by Karla and Peter Myers in Saint Paul.

“We were very pleased to see so many parents attend from a wide range of years. There were big smiles on everyone’s faces as we reconnected,” said Mary Jo Thrane, outgoing POA Chair. “The current officers put in extra duty serving an additional year during the Covid shut down. The newly elected leadership is ready to launch us into a new season of connectivity.” Read More

Alumni Association Welcomes New Members

alumni association logo As the new year approaches the Alumni Association welcomes new members and changes in the Executive Committee. Join us in welcoming the new alumni board members and new positions! Please stay tuned for more about new members in future alumni news.

Immediate Past Chair: Mike Velin ’06
Chair: James Cordon ’97
Vice Chair: Kathryn Andersen ’09
DEI Officer: Sid Carlson White ’17
Treasurer: Kethan Dahlberg ’14
Secretary: Jessica Wong ’05

Annie Stewart ’11
Jeremy Drucker ’97
Nick Dugas ’11
Lindsey Kenyon ’08
Amanda Magistad ’12
Isaac Marshall ’11
Christopher Staral ’06
Katie Ditmore Sinaikin ’97
Hena Vadher ’13 *
Rex Hendrickson ’11 *
Adrienne Boeder Risner ’02 *
Abigail Kline-Duffine ’98 *
Izzy Meyer Mueller ’17 *
Leslie Kroupa ’97 *

*New Member

MPA Athletes Swept The Podium

MPA Student-Athletes/Lake Phalen Rowing Club take on the Iowa Games RegattaThe Lake Phalen Rowing swept the podium at the Iowa Games Regatta on July 31st with MPA student/athletes bringing home multiple victories. We’re so glad to see that our student community is remaining active in the summer months, and winning simultaneously! Please refer to the information below to see the results from this competitive regatta.

Men’s Novice 1x:
2nd place—Finn Zeruhn
3rd place—Alex Appleton

Men’s Jr 4x:
2nd place—Collin Steinberger ‘21, Grant Steinberger, David Steinberger, Matt Duerr

Women’s Novice 1x:
1st place—Sonia Olk
3rd place—Abby Appleton

Appleton siblings with their medalsMen’s Jr 1x:
1st—Grant Steinberger
7th—David Steinberger
8th—Collin Steinberger ‘21
16th—Alex Appleton
17th—Finn Zeruhn

Men’s Jr 2x:
Tied for 2nd place—Collin Steinberger ‘21, Grant Steinberger
5th place—Matt Duerr, David
10th place—Finn Zeruhn

Medal totals:

A Night Of Panther Pride

Mason's Parents at the Watch PartyMason Ferlic ’11 Competes in Olympic Games 

MPA community members from alumni, faculty, and current families gathered to celebrate and support Mason’s olympic accomplishments. We launched the event with pizza and ‘Go Mason’ poster making, then concluded with a personal FaceTime from Mason after he crossed the finish line. The Ferlic family and the rest of the MPA community expressed their immense pride and happiness for Mason as we wished him a restful remainder of his evening. Enjoy this reflection piece written by Nate Bander ’09, one of Mason’s teammates and click through our photos from that night.

by Nate Bander, Class of 2009

Mason Ferlic ran a near personal best in the 3000m Steeplechase at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on July 30, placing 21st in 8:20.23, an exciting and historic day for MPA! Mason came to MPA in ninth grade and joined the track and field team in his first year. He found success right away, and his coaches and teammates encouraged him to sign up for cross country running. The problem was that he was already registered for soccer! But, with a little arm twisting, he decided to give cross country a try. The rest is pretty much history, he went on to win four MSHSL state championships, break three school records, and appear on MPA’s track and field top 10 list 11 times (though fun fact, Nolan, his younger brother, appears 13).

After graduating from MPA in 2011, Mason competed for the University of Michigan as the first of what have now become four MPA track and field athletes to compete at the Division I level in the last 10 years, all in the Big Ten Conference. He won the 2016 NCAA steeplechase championship and after graduating from Michigan with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering, he is now pursuing a PHD in Applied Statistics, which he does while training with Very Nice Track Club in Ann Arbor. Read More