We’re All In This Together

middle school students together on the playgroundby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

There has been a song running through my mind over the last several weeks as we’ve banded together as a school, nation, and world, to battle COVID-19. It comes from a time-honored and critically acclaimed movie, “High School Musical.” “We’re All in this Together” is one of those catchy, syrupy songs that once you hear it, it’s hard to get out of your head. However, deep down, there is an important message. So much so that I adjusted the lyrics a bit and recorded my own version of the song to inspire (horrify, with my tone-deaf singing) our faculty and staff.

The simple truth is that we are in this together, and it is through community that we will emerge successfully, and stronger, on the other side of this crisis. Expressions of community and the affinity members of the MPA community feel for one another abound these days. As a community, we’ve come together to provide stability and continuity for our students. Parents have come together as well, through formal and informal channels, to support, counsel, and learn from one another.

In less than a week, we have an opportunity to come together as a community to celebrate our shared values and aspirations. Our annual Spring Auction was to take place on the top floor of a warehouse in Lowertown St. Paul overlooking the lights of the city. While that will not be possible, we will still come together, virtually, to celebrate the best of MPA. Through Zoom, we have the opportunity to join with one another from our kitchens and dining rooms across the metro area and raise both our spirits and the necessary funds to support MPA. Read More

MPA’s First Ever Virtual Spring Auction

MPA virtual spring auction logoSave the date for MPA’s first ever virtual Spring Auction! Since the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic and MPA’s shift to virtual learning, so much of our world has changed! One thing that has remained the same throughout all of this is the importance of our connection to one another, especially as we work together to overcome whatever challenges or obstacles may be in our way.

In this spirit, our volunteer Spring Auction committee is pleased to announce that this year’s 2020 MPA Spring Auction: Light Up the Night is going virtual! Join us on Friday, April 17 for a fun evening filled with inspirational stories, fun auction items to bid and win, and the most important element that makes MPA so special: community.

We need you now more than ever to ensure every student, family, and staff member has what they need to dream big, do right, and light up the world. Learn more about the event, including answers to some frequently asked questions and the changes to expect this year. Check your email inbox this weekend with more details and ways you and your entire family can get involved! Questions? Contact Jennifer Rogers at 308-765-0524 or via email at jrogers@moundsparkacademy.org.

Opportunities To Connect And Volunteer Virtually

middle school students reading notes of thankfulnessWe’ve heard from many families in recent weeks as we’ve planned for and unveiled virtual learning. One theme that keeps coming up is that MPA families want to spread the joy and love they have for school, while supporting teachers who are working hard to continue meaningful education across divisions. Sign up today to become a volunteer. Here is a sample of some of the ways you can get involved!

  1. Guest lecture: Share your knowledge to students of all ages by becoming a guest speaker during one of our live class sessions.
  2. Support recruitment: Sign up to have a virtual conversation with a prospective family.
  3. Spread the MPA love: We are gathering families willing to help with care packages, family meals, write letters to families or others in need.
  4. Build a virtual community: Sign up to be a host a for a virtual family gathering with other MPA families. We know physical distancing is important, but let’s make sure our social connections remain.
  5. Stay social: Social media engagement is more important now than ever. Follow, share, and like on all MPA social media platforms.
  6. Support virtual learning: Help us ensure parents and students have support at home to continue their education by becoming a tutor.
  7. Help teachers and parents provide STEAM activities at home: If you have a background in science, engineering, computer programming, or the arts, connect with us about how to create video content for students of all ages.
  8. Share your knowledge: Parents with a background in health care, education, or knowledge of public health and pandemics could share their knowledge during upcoming parent education events.
  9. Be a Buddy: Join our network of Buddy Program families to connect with new families and help them navigate their transition to MPA.
  10. Donate: Your support helps us to navigate the challenges we face and to fill the gap for families, employees, and expenses associated with our virtual learning implementation. Your gift today will support our Community Care Fund means Panthers can stay connected, continue to learn, and that everyone has the resources they need for a meaningful education during this time of uncertainty.

Questions? Contact Jennifer Rogers, director of development and community engagement at jrogers@moundsparkacademy.org or 308-765-0524.

Vote For William Kim Through April 5!

mpa senior William kimKeep on casting your vote for MPA senior William Kim to be a finalist for the MPR Minnesota Varsity showcase concert! MPR listeners are voting to select one of this year’s 10 Featured Artists to advance to the Showcase concert in May.

Listen online and click here to vote for William until 11:59 PM on Sunday, April 5!

The Power Of A Great Teacher

MPA virtual upper school classby Dr. Bill Hudson, head of school

Great teachers make great online teachers. By now, you’ve read or heard me say that repeatedly over the last several weeks. To be honest, other than a few scattered snow days over the last several years, my assertion was more conjecture than evidentiary. However, after several days this week, I know this to be true. Because I know each teacher well, I knew in my heart but I now have proof that MPA teachers are great no matter the platform or medium.

It has been an incredible experience, working together with teachers, staff, and administration, to make the transition to virtual school. Through caffeine, adrenaline, and sheer will, we powered through to rise to the new challenge before us without doubt or hesitation. Frankly, there has never been another option. I didn’t realize this until I received a parent email with the following observation: “In corporate terms, this scale of change would have been vetted and pressure-tested through strategic planning process over a period of months, perhaps a full year’s planning cycle.” The can-do spirit of MPA has inspired us all. Read More

Meet Jeremy Drucker ’97

Jeremy Drucker '97Meet 2019-20 Alumni Association Board member Jeremy Drucker ’97!

Jeremy Drucker is a public affairs consultant working with non-profits, businesses, and governments to help them achieve their public policy objectives. Before finding his path in social justice and leadership, he was originally training to be an English Literature professor, but transitioned during graduate school to government and strategic communications work. “The skills I learned at MPA served me well in both settings,” he said. “They taught me how to write, they taught me how to speak, and they taught me how to think.”

Jeremy’s MPA experience of rigorous curriculum combined with caring, detail-oriented instruction formed the groundwork not just for him to utilize his passions personally and professionally, but also to organize them toward a globally positive goal.

Now, chooses to serve on the MPA Alumni Association Board for a variety of reasons. “MPA was very important to my educational, professional, and life development. I want to see it remain that way for others,” he said. “I’d like to see the board continue deepening the commitment of alumni to the school both personally and financially. Providing avenues such as the alumni-student mentorship program is a great way to do that.”

Calling All 2015-2019 MPA Graduates!

alumni panel for MPA seniorsDo you remember when alumni would come back to talk to you in the Recital Hall about what life after MPA is really like? We would love to welcome you back to now participate in the Alumni Panel as a panelist. The panel is held on May 29 at 11:30 AM and alumni are welcome to have lunch prior. Please contact alumni@moundsparkacademy.org if you are interested in participating.

Light Up The Night At The Spring Auction

MPA Alumni at the 2019 spring auctionDon’t miss out on your chance to purchase tickets to the 2020 MPA Spring Auction: Light Up the Night! The event is right around the corner and Alumni tickets are only $50!

In case you missed it, the Spring Auction is MPA’s biggest fundraising event of the year, and raises nearly $200,000 to support students, teachers, and special projects. Your ticket or sponsorship includes parking on the night of the event, a hosted bar, appetizers and a plated dinner, and a wonderful night out with like-minded friends. Learn more about this year’s Fund a Need renovation project on our event website.

We are still accepting items for our silent auction and games. We are in need of additional bottles of wine (at any value), gift cards, and any items you think would be right for the auction. Contact Jennifer Rogers at jrogers@moundsparkacademy.org with questions or your donation information.

Alumni Families Visit Campus

Hendrickson family visiting campusThank you for stopping by to see our new spaces, Rex Hendrickson ’11, Peter Hendrickson, Laura Sewell, and Gloria Sewell! We love having alumni and their families visit campus. It is very special seeing them connect with their former teachers (who still recognize them!) and experience the updates that have happened since their graduation.

Campus improvements in the last year thanks to the Together, We Dream capital campaign have been especially impactful. Stop by to see our new Family Commons where students and employees gather for events and meals, which is located in the former Kreischer Gym! You can see the reclaimed gym wood floor, beautiful study group rooms, and our new teaching kitchen. In addition, the former cafeteria is now the Martin Lenz Harrison Library. Don’t miss out on your chance to see these incredible changes for yourself. Contact alumni@moundsparkacademy.org to set up a tour.

MPA Alumni Left Their Mark!

lower school students hold up thank you for alumniThe MPA Alumni Day of Giving on March 3, 2020 was dedicated for alumni to show their continuous Panther Pride and support for MPA students, faculty, and staff. MPA alumni and parents of alumni rallied together yesterday to raise an incredible $40,692 in support of students and teachers! A total of 106 alumni and parents of alumni made a gift, and the Classes of 1991 and 2004 tied with 20% class participation. Their gifts ensure students can receive:

  • Scholarships and Financial Assistance: MPA prides itself on its diverse and inclusive community. Help us to ensure that Panthers from all backgrounds can benefit from a life-changing education. Your gift will support the more than $2 million in financial assistance MPA provides to families each year.
  • Programmatic Enhancements: Thanks to the AnnMarie Thomas Makerspace, experiential learning opportunities, a robust performing and visual arts program, and no-cut athletics, MPA offers a whole-child education for an ever-changing world. Your gift will help us to continue to provide top-notch educational opportunities across these important academic content areas.

Read More