IMAC East Varsity and Junior Varsity Boys

You ran well in your first cross country meet in this new normal world.

Isak played cat and mouse with the top runner from SPA. In the end, the cat won. And the cat was running in hiking shoes. Really. Isak promises me he will wear his spikes next time. Or at least running shoes.

Ben stuck with the Minnehaha runners right to the end. He was not able to catch that group, but he did run a personal best time on a course that is significantly more challenging than the section course where he set his previous person best.

Evan was next up, also running without spikes, but at least wearing real running shoes. Liam, running just a few seconds off his personal best time, was our next runner. Peter wrapped up our scoring five, running well off his personal best. But we can cut him some slack, since he only got the boot off his previously broken ankle about a month ago!

Trevor ran well and was smiling the entire race. This was not only his first race as a varsity runner, but his first cross country race. An impressive debut!  Noah, promoted to the varsity finished things up for us. In this much smaller than normal field, he was left running alone, which is always much harder.

Next, our junior varsity runners headed bravely to Battle Creek.  After learning the course on the fly, it was race time.   Eddie led the way, not going out too fast and running a smart, patient race. Joey ran a personal best, moving up throughout the race to finish just ahead of our new runner from Gentry, Andrew, making a strong debut in his first cross country meet. Zain finished just a few seconds further back, running his personal best. Henry S. overcame a side cramp and added his own personal best time, and Eilam, though he wasn’t feeling his best, persevered and finished, wrapping things up for our junior varsity boys.  Thank you to the JV boys for diligently helping to pick up the cones after the race.

You did very well adapting to the new normal, wearing masks, distancing on the starting line, sticking to a tight schedule so our junior varsity runners could get to the second meet on time, and everything else. While some of your times may have been disappointing, those will improve as we do more work in the coming weeks.

If you do not have spikes, visit Run N Fun and pick up a pair. If you did not wear your spikes, bring them to our next interval workout and put a little time in wearing them to get acclimated. They will make a huge difference.

Times for our runners can be found here.

Looking Forward To Homecoming 2021

cheering on the soccer team during homecomingOne of the annual traditions our community has enjoyed celebrating is the MPA Homecoming festivities, which had been scheduled for Saturday, October 3, 2020. Due to our ongoing focus on health and safety given the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as limits on social gatherings and visitors on campus, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s activities. We will miss the joy, laughter, and sense of community shared by all during Homecoming, but look forward for new ways in the coming weeks and months for current families and alumni to celebrate our Panther Pride. Look for our chance to celebrate together again during Homecoming 2021!

Meet MPA Parent Chrissy Snider

The Snider FamilyWhat do you love about MPA?
I love the encouragement to try new things, the support through hard times, and a community that truly cares for each other and the world.

What initially attracted you to MPA?
Our oldest son Henry was struggling and his old school had given up on him. He needed a fresh start, a small setting and a place that embraced the whole child. Our children are no longer struggling. After being at MPA, they are thriving, and that’s especially true for Henry, who graduated from MPA this past spring. He entered MPA with no confidence in himself academically, socially or athletically, and look at him now! A state champion, confidently heading to the college of his dreams with a close knit group of friends that support and cheer for each other.

How is your child encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
All four of my children who have attended MPA and very different with unique gifts. Each of them feel encouraged to be their own individual selves and celebrated for their talents. They are challenged at school, but because of MPA, they have the confidence to put in the effort to persevere through the challenging coursework and ask for help when it is needed. For example, Henry’s Track and Field coach Bev Docherty had a lot to do with his success. Henry had a hard time running the 400m and 800m. Read More

Meet Alumni Board Member Kethan Dahlberg ’14

Kethan Dahlberg '14During his time at MPA, Kethan Dahlberg found his home-away-from-home. From early morning jazz band rehearsals and Nordic ski practices to late night track meets and study sessions for group projects, MPA taught him the importance of teamwork, perseverance, grit, and, importantly, the value and benefit of being an active and engaged member of the community. “Now, reflecting as an alumnus, and especially given the past few months of lock-down orders and quarantines, I feel it’s important for me to become further involved with my fellow alumni and the school to make sure the same strong sense of family and opportunities that I had during my time on campus remain in place for current students,” he said.

After MPA, he attended Harvard and graduated in 2018 with a concentration in government, secondary in music and citation in Spanish. He also pursued a variety of internship opportunities in various levels and branches of government. While he ultimately hopes to end up back in public service someday, he applied for his job with a private law firm before law school to see the other side of the coin and gain some insight into how businesses operate from a legal perspective. Read More

Additional Details: The Fall 2020 MPA Student Experience

masked athletes at summer basketball campWe hope you’ve been able to read and digest all of the information coming your way about the student experience this fall—we are working closely to ensure not only our exceptional academic program remains strong, but that we maintain the utmost attention to our students’ health and wellbeing, both at school and at home. We offer here a few more details for your planning and preparation for the start of school in just a little more than a week.

Arrival and Dismissal
As previously shared, one of MPA’s layered health and safety protocols is our plan for staggered arrivals. Families must select their staggered arrival time slot no later than 8 AM on Wednesday, August 19. Your family will receive confirmation of your staggered arrival time with additional instructions by Thursday, August 20. In order to maintain all safety protocols it is important for your family to arrive during their 15-minute window. We know this may be a sacrifice for some of you with changes to morning routines and potentially an earlier arrival time than you’re used to and we appreciate your assistance. Click here for your staggered arrival sign up and contact Jennifer Rogers at with any questions or concerns.

Similar to our attention to safe and staggered arrival measures, we have also planned for how to dismiss students seamlessly and safely at the end of each day. We have partnered with Control Point technology to coordinate dismissal. This will allow us to hold students in place until you arrive and coordinate their exit from the building from their respective division and appropriate door. This is how we can keep students from unsafely congregating in hallways, reduce traffic flow, and move our after school traffic efficiently. The most important thing for you to know now is that students will be dismissed when you arrive and will need to be picked up at the same doors where they are dropped off in the morning. Just a reminder that multiple students in a family need to be dropped off at the correct door by division, as opposed to all at the same door (Lower School: Doors #1 and #2, Middle School: Doors #4 and #5, Upper School: #7 North and #7 South) Read More

Register For Summer Basketball Camp!

basketball campers 2019Children entering grades 4-9 this fall are invited to Summer Basketball Camp at MPA held Monday July 27-Thursday, July 30 from 9-11 AM. On behalf of Boys Varsity Basketball Coach Jacob Schwartz, and our entire program, we are looking forward to a safe and enjoyable camp. This camp is for MPA and non MPA students at all skill levels, so whether your child is looking for a chance to hone their skills after a summer of AAU, or try basketball for the first time in a welcoming environment, MPA’s camp is open to all. Mounds Park Academy’s Summer Basketball Camp costs $75 per camper, via check/cash/Venmo on the first day of camp, and includes a camp t-shirt.

A quick note on safety: From prearrival home screenings, to all participants and coaches wearing masks, to temperature checks on arrival, keeping a safe, healthy, COVID-free camp environment is our number one priority. We will be employing 27 distinct protocols and safeguards. More information on safety is available on our registration page.

Register here and contact Nate Bander with any questions.


Eighth Grader Izzy E. Selected For USA Swimming Camp

Izzy swimmingEighth grader Izzy E. has been selected to participate in the Central Zone Diversity Select Swimming Camp sponsored by USA Swimming. Each spring, USA Swimming invites 48 athletes from underrepresented populations to participate in a three-day camp program which includes pool training, motivational and educational sessions, and team-building activities. Selection is based on times swum at USA Swimming sanctioned events. Congratulations Izzy!

Spring Athletics And Summer Sports Camps Update

MPA summer soccer campConsistent with the Executive Order issued on April 23, 2020 by Governor Walz that schools will remain closed through the end of the academic year, Mounds Park Academy is canceling spring sports for the 2020 season. This is not the information we hoped for. We are holding our students and their families in our minds and hearts, as we recognize the deep loss many are feeling.

To ensure the safety of campers and counselors, we are canceling summer sports camps scheduled for June (soccer camp and basketball camp). We are exploring the possibility of rescheduling the June sports camps to dates later in the summer. We plan to start scheduled summer sports camps on Monday, July 13 and continue them through Friday, July 26.

If you have any questions, please direct them to athletic director Dan Haase.

Congratulations To Alpine Skiers At State

alpine skiers Emma and isakCongratulations to our Panther skiers who competed in the Alpine State meet at Giants Ridge!

Senior Emma Finch placed 38th out of 86 competitors. Her first run time was :45.24, her second was :30.03, with a final of 1:24.27.

Freshman Margo Nightingale placed 53rd out of 86 competitors. Her first run time was :44.04, her second was :41.53, and finished with 1:25.57.

Sophomore Isak Nightingale placed 26th out of 88 competitors. His first run time was :39.72, his second was :37.29, finishing with a final of 1:17.01.

Great job, Panthers!

Meet Nate Bander ’09

nate bander and yahya madarMeet 2019-20 Alumni Association Board member Nate Bander ’09!

MPA Class of 2009 alum Nate Bander is MPA’s admission outreach coordinator and Upper School admission coordinator at Mounds Park Academy. He also coaches boys basketball and the varsity track and field and cross country teams at MPA. After attending MPA K-12 and the University of Minnesota, where he majored in Communications Studies with a Spanish Studies minor, Nate moved to Baza, Spain and worked in an adult language academy as an English teacher.

“The single biggest impact that my MPA experience had on me was inspiring me to learn about the world. MPA is a wonderful, diverse community of parents, students and educators who place a high value on education. I feel prepared to speak about the greater world, travel to faraway places, digest complex theories and thrive as a global citizen. MPA connected me to the broader world.”

But Nate’s MPA moments did not stop as a student and alumni. In fact, he didn’t make one of his fondest memories until coaching in 2019.

Nate recalls, “I first met Yahya Madar (Class of 2019) when he came out for my ninth grade basketball team. That season, I benched him in a game and he almost quit the team.” But, Yahya persevered and in 10th grade, he came back out for the basketball team. He also tried high jumping in track and field for the first time, and something clicked. Read More