A College Choice Day Unlike Any Other

Isak Dai '21by Dr. Bill Hudson, head of school

I remember sitting in the bleachers in the upper level of Jenison Fieldhouse at Michigan State University to witness the graduation of my father. At five years old, I had no appreciation for the sacrifice he and my mother made for that to happen. I didn’t know that my dad joined the Navy after high school to help support his family and that afterwards, he worked full time to put his younger brother and sister through college. I didn’t know that over the course of seven years he drove 80 miles round trip to attend classes at Michigan State all the while working a full-time job, leaving my mother to care for three small children. I didn’t know any of that, sitting in the bleachers that hot May afternoon in 1969. But I did know how important college was as I spotted my dad cross the stage to receive his diploma.

MPA seniors, together with the entire MPA community, will celebrate College Choice Day this coming Monday, May 10. Sporting their chosen college apparel, seniors will gather in and around the Upper School Commons to create their college pennants and feast on individually pre-packaged cookies and beverages. “This class has my heart,” says director of college counseling, Lisa Pederson. “The pandemic literally shut down campuses last spring break as many were arriving to tour campuses. They rebounded and conducted the rest of their college search almost entirely online, demonstrating an amazing degree of resilience, imagination, determination, optimism, and support of each other.” Read More


The MPA Spring Auction Is Tomorrow!

Spring Auction time is one of our favorites every year! We feel the excitement every day, from gathering donations from those within our very own community who want to share their time and talents, to the local businesses that have partnered with us for many years, to all of our new donors– the energy is palpable. With more than 200 items to bid on and a special Fund-A-Need, we are excited for you to participate in whatever way is right for you. You won’t want to miss out!  Because this is a virtual event, when you join our live Zoom program Friday evening at 6:30 PM, be ready for our very own MPA student co-emcees, some amazing guest speakers, and live performances that are sure to impress. This event is open to all whether near or far, so be sure to share an invite for this once-a-year fundraiser within your network of family and friends! The more the merrier as we build community to fund important needs for our students, faculty and staff, and incredible school. We can’t do what we are able to without your unbelievable support and the love we share for MPA.

Thank you,
The MPA Development Team


Meet Margaret Lee ’14

Margaret Lee HeadshotMargaret Lee ’14 works as a Production Assistant at The Film Posse, a documentary production company based in Middletown, CT. They are premiering a 2-hour program, American Oz, on PBS for the series American Experience on April 19, 2021 at 8PM CST.

What are you currently doing, professionally and/or personally?
I am currently working in the documentary production field. I live in New Haven, Connecticut, but will be moving to New York City in the next couple months to pursue other documentary film or TV work there.

How did you get there? Where did you attend college? Are there some career moves or other key experiences or relationships that have inspired you?
I attended Yale University, where I majored in Film & Media studies and graduated in 2019. I initially started the major intending to work in academia. My junior year, I took a screenwriting class which drew me to the more creative side of film. My screenwriting professor was a huge inspiration in choosing that path; he was extremely honest and blunt (something I was not used to as a Minnesotan!), but made each of his students feel like we mattered and that he only wanted us to be excellent, as he knew we could be. Taking four semesters of classes with him not only thickened my skin as a writer, but pushed me to rethink the ways in which stories could be told. This is why I pursue filmmaking and writing now. Read More


MPA Speech Named Section 4A Champions, 15 Students State-bound

MPA Speech Winning SectionsMounds Park Academy Speech is the Section 4A Champion and sending 15 students to State!

The team was named the overall section team champion, and eight students are individual champions. Congratulations, Panthers!

Advancing to state:
Sana Punjani-CHAMPION in Discussion
Charlotte Bergh-CHAMPION in Ex. Reading
Salmah Elmasry-CHAMPION in Ex Speaking
Isak Dai-CHAMPION in Great Speeches
Ryan Ghose-CHAMPION in Humorous
Emma Cohen-CHAMPION in Original Oratory
Livia Wooldridge-CHAMPION in Poetry
Anna Gaudio-CHAMPION in Prose
Kensi Binstadt-RUNNER UP in Discussion
Garrett Hollihan/Lilly Gasterland-Gustafsson-RUNNER UP in Duo
Hana Miller-RUNNER UP in Humorous
Pahwa Yang-RUNNER UP in Prose
Rohit Iyer-THIRD in Ex Speaking
Lucy Schwieger-THIRD in Poetry Read More


The Best Is Truly Yet To Come

choir singing for the first time on campus this yearby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

I’m generally not a competitive person—unless it is a board game or cards. So much so that my family will no longer let me play Sorry or Uno with them. They say I turn aggressive and vindictive, like Inigo Montoya in the “Princess Bride,” intent on exacting vengeance on someone for having played a “Draw Four” card. Auctions bring out my competitive side as well, and I find myself throwing reason to the wind as I get caught up in a bidding war, much to the chagrin of my husband Ross. For the last several years, I’ve tried repeatedly to “win” a piece of artwork from alumni parent Heidi McKeown whose art I deeply admire and appreciate. Repeatedly, I fail. Fortunately, I will have another chance in just a few days.

Yes, it is that time of year with the annual MPA Spring Auction just a little more than a week away. On Friday, April 16, we will gather virtually from around the Twin Cities, the nation, and perhaps even the globe for our premier auction. More than just a fundraising event, the MPA Spring Auction is about celebrating our community, joining together to build relationships, and honoring every member of our community. There is so much to celebrate after a very trying and difficult year. A year ago, I promised that if we joined together and drew upon our MPA can-do spirit, we would emerge stronger and more resilient. As the end of the pandemic draws near and our school and society open up again, we know for certain that “The Best is Yet to Come.” Read More


The MPA Virtual Spring Auction Is Coming Up!

The MPA Virtual Spring Auction: The Best is Yet to Come is a fun-filled opportunity for the community to celebrate everything we’ve accomplished together this year, and all of the continued joy just around the corner. Register today > 

Get Your Golden Ticket Today!
Back by popular demand, we are thrilled to offer our Golden Ticket raffle again this year! Ticket holders purchase a 1 in 100 opportunity to win the Live Auction item of their choice. The drawing will be held during our live MPA Virtual Spring Auction: The Best is Yet to Come on Friday, April 16 at 6:30 PM. Purchase and win a dream package for just $150 per ticket. Thank you for your support!  Purchase your golden ticket >

Premier Auction Preview
If you purchase a Golden Ticket, you are entered to win the fabulous premier auction package of your choice! All other Premier Auction items will be available to bid and win beginning on April 16. Below are previews of two amazing packages that could be yours! Read More


Meet David Slade ’01

David Slade and familyWhat are you currently doing, professionally and/or personally?

I am currently an assistant professor of Infectious Diseases at Loyola University Medical Center in the Chicago area. The COVID-19 pandemic has been central to our efforts over this past year, and we have been working hard to stay abreast of the latest treatment options and infection control measures. I have a background in law and my academic interest is primarily in that of health care policy. My hobbies these days are cycling, running, learning Italian, and cooking.

How did you get there? Where did you attend college? Are there some career moves or other key experiences or relationships that have inspired you?

I attending college at the University of St. Thomas, and enrolled in the MD/JD program at Southern Illinois University after college. I’ve had the chance along the way to learn about many fascinating aspects of law, health policy, and bioethics. During training, I completed an internship at the National Institutes of Health in health policy which inspired me and has continued to define my career interests in this area. Read More


Registration For Spring Auction Bidding Is Open!

Registration for bidding is now open for the MPA Virtual Spring Auction: The Best is Yet to Come! Bidding opens on April 14. The Spring Auction is an annual, fun-filled opportunity for the community to celebrate everything we’ve accomplished together this year, and all of the continued joy just around the corner. Register today!

Don’t miss your chance to purchase a Golden Ticket! Back by popular demand, we are thrilled to offer our Golden Ticket raffle again this year! Ticket holders purchase a 1 in 100 opportunity to win the Live Auction item of their choice. The drawing will be held during our live MPA Virtual Spring Auction: The Best is Yet to Come on Friday, April 16 at 6:30 PM. Purchase and win a dream package for just $150 per ticket. Thank you for your support!


Finding Solace In A Challenging Week

a tree blooming on campusby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

I’m particularly thankful to have our students back on campus this week. The positive energy radiating from their return has uplifted our entire community and helped us find joy in an otherwise tragic week of national headlines. From Atlanta, to Philadelphia, to Boulder, gun violence and hate have dominated the news and taken the lives of far too many, while altering the lives of countless more.

Though much is still being uncovered about each of these devastating events, I’d like to share my thoughts on the broader narrative that has emerged from the March 16 Atlanta area spa shootings. At the time of this writing, these shootings have not officially been designated a hate crime, but the fact that six of the eight victims were Asian Americans brings up an important point that all of us must reckon with: egged on by the dangerous, false ideals of white supremacy, anti-Asian hate is far more prevalent than many have previously acknowledged.

I’d like to pause here and affirm that MPA firmly stands with our Asian, Asian American, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander students, parents, alumni, and community members. We wholeheartedly condemn anti-Asian racism, hate, and violence in all forms. To our international students from China and South Korea, we value the experiences and perspectives that you bring to our community and we recognize the particular challenges you have faced throughout the pandemic. Read More


Don’t Miss Your Chance To Win!

This year’s MPA Spring Auction: The Best is Yet to Come has gone virtual! There are multiple ways to get involved and join in the excitement. It could be your chance to win a live auction item by purchasing a Golden Ticket. There are only 100 that will be sold so be sure to get yours today. Enjoy a meal at home and fun swag with your family the night of the event prepared by our very own, Chef Doug with one of our many sponsorship opportunities.

We are still accepting items for our silent auction. The silent auction offers a wide range of exciting experiences and items, be sure to check out the wish list for ways you could contribute.

The Spring Auction is a highlight event every year for the community and we know this year will not disappoint. Join us on April 16 via Zoom to see student performances, a special message from Dr. Hudson, and so much more!

Contact Jennifer Rogers at jrogers@moundsparkacademy.org with questions or your donation information.