The Journey To Where I Need To Be

Sehar Mapara '20The following essay is adapted from MPA Class of 2020 member Sehar Mapara’s Senior Speech.

Who I am today is a result of my diverse background and my family. I was born in Karachi, Pakistan with a loving father, mother and brother. At just a month old, I was already cruising on a plane flying from country to country because of my dad’s job.  Leaving my loving grandparents, Nani and Papa, my cousins, my friends, and my home at such a young age seemed easy at the moment but the further I went from my roots, the more confused I became about my identity.

Time went on, and we moved to Saudi Arabia, then to Dubai. I was a nerdy-looking little girl with brown skin in a classroom filled with international kids. I made some white friends and thought of myself as a whole new person.  It amazes me how even in the third grade, I was so influenced by the concept of looking different. Regardless, I started to love Dubai, my home, my friends, and my school, but before I knew it, it was time to move. Read More


Meet Annie Stewart ’11

Annie stewart '11Meet 2019-20 Alumni Association Board member Annie Stewart ’11!

After attending MPA from grades 6-12, Annie Stewart ’11 went to St. Olaf College for four years and graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in Theater. She worked at a number of theater companies in St. Paul and Minneapolis before finding her way back to MPA as a substitute teacher and PreK teaching assistant. She worked in MPA’s Lower School for a year before deciding to go back to school to pursue her K-6 teaching license and Masters in Elementary Education! Annie says that it was working at MPA that helped solidify her passion for teaching, and she is so thankful for all of the experiences that led her to where she is today.

“MPA was such an important place and community for many years of my academic career,” said Annie. “Now, as I am completing a license and Masters, I use the tools and skills I learned at MPA on a daily basis. Most importantly, I am excited to teach and that love of teaching comes from the teachers and community I had at MPA. I’m especially looking forward to teaching the next generation of students how to think, not just what to think.” Read More


Purchase Tickets For Perspective: 20/20

Perspective 2020 original posterMPA Theatre, in Association with Penumbra Theatre, presents Perspective: 20/20! Purchase your tickets here for the MPA Winter Show on January 23 and 24 at 7 PM in the Black Box theatre. The performance is recommended for ages 13 and up. Please note that there is no performance on Saturday, January 25.

The show features five original one-acts written, directed, designed, and performed by Upper School MPA students. These pieces encompass privilege, “isms,” lived experiences, frustrations, hopes, communal and global issues, and most importantly students’ voices.

Additionally, one of the one-acts titled “And Then There Was One” will compete in the Minnesota State High School League’s One-Act Competition, January 2020.


Join Us For Pajamarama!

lower school students dancing at the pajamarama concertWear your pajamas or comfy clothes and join us for Pajamarama 2020 on Thursday, January 30! This year at MPA, Lower School students will enjoy a short concert of their favorite Disney music, meet our musicians, and enjoy story telling in a new and imaginative way. Following the Disney performance, the children are led in interactive activities designed to spark excitement and curiosity about music. To finalize our program we will have a reading of a popular children’s book performed by a narrator while being accompanied by the MPA Upper School Orchestra. Students will receive a snack while they cozy up to hear this famous story come to life!


Join Us For MPA Community Caroling

2018 community holiday carolingMr. Habermann, Madrigal Singers, alumni, and MPA faculty and staff invite you to campus to enjoy some holiday spirit at MPA! The annual holiday caroling will take place in the North Entrance, hallways, and Family Commons on Friday, December 20, 2019 from 7:15-8 AM!


Self-Portraits Open Doors For Students

ceci driano's self portrait Art is an essential element in the growth and development of every student at MPA. Visual art provides learning experiences for students to create and produce solutions to visual problems. Through a variety of methods and their own authentic experiences, students develop skills in self-expression and realize an appreciation of art in the world around them.

The Upper School Applied Drawing class is a visual opportunity for students to truly see and record life and ideas as they are interpreted. The current Applied Drawing students produced time-lapse videos to showcase each stage of their self-portrait processes. Equipped with drawing fundamentals, students are challenged to develop technical skills while also developing their own style. In class, they are guided to finished drawings, facing visual challenges using a design process, as the finished self-portraits represent. Watch them as they navigate the process below!

Amelia Dickson’s Self-Portrait

Satori Lewen’s Self-Portrait

Vicky Taylor’s Self-Portrait

Ceci Driano’s Self Portrait


Shop Local And Socially Conscious Via MPA Alums

Mounds Park Academy boasts more than 1,600 accomplished alumni who have gone on to pursue all types of careers, including a disproportionate number who have founded their own companies that directly advance social causes.

Our impressive entrepreneurs demonstrate how MPA students make their mark on the world as dreamers and doers, turning big dreams into unique businesses that do right socially and economically for their communities.

For MPA’s inaugural Alumni Holiday Gift List, we’ve compiled a list of five alumni who represent the many MPA graduates who have built businesses from the ground up—and, they’re offering some exciting discounts and special offers to the MPA community this season. Please consider putting these companies at the top of your shopping list, today and all year round! Read More


Coming Together To Create The MPA Alma Mater

Upper school choir practicing the alma materMPA Music Teachers, Mari Espeland and John Habermann, have been wanting to create an Alma Mater for MPA for years. But as the 2019-20 school year began, our campus went through many changes, Mr. Habermann gained more experience composing music, and MPA entered its 38th year; the timing just felt right.

As a founding faculty member and renowned English teacher, John believed Anne Atchison was the perfect candidate to write the lyrics. From the heart, she wrote and drafted the words to perfection, leaving the rhythmic lines comprehensible enough for our Alma Mater to be sung by everyone, from our littlest Panthers in PreK to our entire alumni community. Mr. Habermann said that the song’s tune came quickly after the lyrics were written. The arrangement was basically finished after an inspiring MPA Homecoming. Read More


MPA Students Selected For State Honor Choir

Elissa and jackCongratulations to MPA sophomore Elissa Frankel and freshman Jack Peterson, who auditioned and were selected to be members of the ACDA-MN 9-10 State Honor Choir! Elissa will sing in the Soprano-Alto Choir under the direction of Brandon Dean from Gustavus Adolphus College while Jack will sing in the Mixed Choir conducted by Aimee Beckmann-Collier from Drake University.

Elissa and Jack will prepare their Honor Choir music for a day long festival in February culminating with a performance at Central Lutheran Church. Jack is a member of the MPA Varsity Choir while Elissa sings in the MPA Concert Choir and Madrigals Singers. Best wishes to our musicians!


Meet Joan and Kevin Frankel!

the frankel familyWhat do you love about MPA?
We love the small class sizes and the individual attention our children get from their teachers. Because of the small class sizes, the teachers really get to know our kids’ strengths and weaknesses and focus on improvement. We also love the fact that our kids are encouraged to participate in arts and athletics and not solely focus on academics. We believe this is important for a well rounded education.

How is your child encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
At MPA, our children have been encouraged to try new activities they might not have tried if they were at a bigger school. The block schedule in Upper School has also allowed our daughter to take many more electives. This diversity in activities and classes allows them to realize the joy of learning something they may have never thought they could do. Read More