Class of 2020 Commencement

the class of 2020MPA is pleased to share that we will be holding an on campus, in-person, outdoor Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 on June 6 at 6 PM with appropriate safety measures in place. We will meet and exceed the April 10, 2020 Minnesota Department of Health guidelines on faith-based services in parking lots and the May 8, 2020 State of Minnesota graduation/commencement celebration guidance. By gathering feedback from seniors and their families, we learned that they have a strong desire to gather as a class one last time, albeit in a modified way, and we are happy to be able to honor their requests. MPA has rented a portable stage and the event will be held in the south parking lot, with all attendees remaining in their cars until it is time for the senior to walk across the stage and accept his or her diploma. Sound will be broadcasted to attendees through radio. We ask that only the Class of 2020 and their immediate families attend—to accommodate others, the full Commencement will be recorded and made available to the entire community via Facebook Live. A taskforce of students, faculty, staff, and administrators has been working hard to make it a very special event and we are excited to celebrate the class!


End Of Year Contactless Materials Pick-up

middle school student at his lockerSave the date for end of the school year contactless materials distribution and pick-up!

  • Last names beginning with A-F: Thursday, June 11, 9 AM-12 PM
  • Last names beginning with G-N: Thursday, June 11, 1-5 PM
  • Last names beginning with O-T: Friday, June 12, 9 AM-12 PM
  • Last names beginning with U-Z: Friday, June 12, 1-5 PM

As the school year draws to a close in virtually, it is time to begin thinking about how you will return MPA materials to school for inventory and preparation for next year and how your student will receive any projects, work, or remaining personal items that remain at school from before our launch of Virtual School. Yearbooks will also be distributed at this time for those who ordered them. On Thursday, June 11 and Friday, June 12, we will conduct a contactless materials pick-up and return, on campus, at MPA.

In preparation and to help families know what needs to be returned, each division is conducting an inventory of materials distributed to students with teachers and staff. This can include, but may not be limited to, textbooks, classroom reading books, library books, winter sports uniforms, and technology equipment (computers, chargers, laptop sleeves, etc.). We ask that you begin, with your student, an inventory of your own at home and begin gathering items that you know will need to be returned to MPA, as well.

Please watch your division communications for more information about the process and details. In the meantime, please save the dates and times above!


Thanking Our Impactful Retirees

by Dr. Bill Hudson, head of school

Many years ago I had my first opportunity to speak at a national conference. The meeting was held in Baltimore and I found out that my favorite high school teacher, Br. Jim, lived nearby and was going to be in attendance. I was able to track down his email address and wrote to him, sharing that he was my favorite teacher and the reason I decided to become a teacher. I also asked if he would like to get together for lunch while I was in town. Br. Jim was principal of my high school and had stepped into teaching a ninth grade class at the last minute. He was an amazing storyteller had a way of teaching that made each student feel that he was talking directly and personally to them. Br. Jim was gentle, kind, and brilliant, too. He never talked down to us and found ways to bring all of us along, inspiring us to higher levels of critical thinking. After that year, he moved on to a new job and a new city yet I never forgot him.

Br. Jim accepted my invitation and we met for lunch. As he entered the restaurant, it was clear he didn’t know who I was. Sheepishly, he admitted as much and said he had been trying for weeks to remember me, even pulling out an old yearbook to jog his memory. He said he was embarrassed and began to apologize profusely. I stopped him and that I was not at all offended. To me, what was important was not that he would remember me—it was that I remembered him. He had hundreds if not thousands of students over his career. But for me, there was only one Br. Jim.

All teachers aspire to having such an impact on our students. Of course, teachers strive to be their best, to employ the very best pedagogy, techniques and strategies, and excel in their respective academic area. However, and more importantly, they strive to touch the hearts of their students. Teaching as a career is much more than a job or a transaction between employer and employee. It is transformational. I can safely say that our retirees this year have been transformational in the lives of their students and in the history of the school. Read More


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!


Meet Nicholas Dugas ’11

Nicholas Dugas '11Meet 2019-20 Alumni Association Board member Nicholas Dugas ’11!

Nicholas Dugas ’11 joined the MPA Alumni Association Board because of the role MPA had in his personal growth and development. “Many of my best traits and skills had their seeds planted while I was a student at MPA, and I look back upon my time there fondly. I joined the Board because I want to give back to a place that gave me a lot, and help guide the school in such a way that the experience I had continues to be available to others,” he said.

Nicholas joined the MPA community when he was in fourth grade. His favorite memories stem from being on the speech team–hanging out in Ms. Kunze’s room workshopping, rehearsing, and preparing pieces for Saturday tournaments. He notes that one of the highlights was winning State in his respective category one year. Read More


MPA Talks Goes Virtual

class of 2019 grads gabby law and Julia portis at MPA talks 2018Are you interested in sharing your story with the MPA Community? MPA Talks is an opportunity to come together, gain perspective and be inspired. We are looking for alumni who will join fellow community members to share impactful stories virtually for our community. If you are interested in speaking for the event or would like to recommend a speaker please contact the Development Office at alumni@moundsparkacademy.org.


Share Your Love For The Class of 2020!

middle school students cheering at the senior walkSend us your clips to be part of the Senior Walk, a beloved MPA tradition! The Senior Walk is going virtual this year, and whether you are a senior in the walk or a proud Panther cheering them on, you can participate!

To join in, send us clips of your family cheering on and celebrating the seniors! Take a look at last year’s Senior Walk video for some inspiration. If recording with a phone, make sure to record horizontal. Change your settings to record at the highest resolution. On iPhone, go to settings > camera > record video > 4k and highest frames per second (fps) possible. Your clip should be 5-10 seconds long.

The Senior Walk video will be released on May 29, when it was originally scheduled to be held. Email your clip to communications@moundsparkacademy.org by Tuesday, May 19. If your video is too large to email, please upload it to this shared folder. We’re so excited to combine these clips with others to create this memento for the Class of 2020!


Here’s Where We’re Going

lower school student arriving at mpaby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.” -Yogi Berra

With more frequency as of late, I’ve been asked: What does the future hold for the next school year? With so much uncertainty about the pandemic, it is difficult to give a clear answer. However, while there is much we don’t know, I can say that MPA will be prepared for any eventuality. I think what humorist and baseball great Yogi Berra meant in the quote above was that without a plan, you are never going to make progress. As we look to next year, I want to assure you that we indeed have a plan.

Uncertainty about the future can make planning feel daunting. However, envisioning various possibilities can help us prepare for the worst—and best—scenarios and everything in-between. Our board of trustees, working together with the administrative team, has been actively engaged in scenario planning considering the macroeconomic indicators and trends in order to mitigate risks and capitalize on opportunities. We are also preparing a number of contingency plans for the start of the new school year that first and foremost prioritizes the health and safety of our community. We know that we must always be nimble, agile, and communicate clearly. Read More


Lunch And Learn: Social Media And Digital Wellness

two students online togetherErin Walsh is a parent, speaker, educator, and writer. She has worked with communities across the country who want to better understand child and adolescent development and cut through conflicting information about kids and technology. She is fiercely committed to bringing an equity lens and asset-based approach to our understanding of, and response to, youth and media. Her signature down-to-earth approach and sense of humor helps families and educators engage in complicated topics and leave feeling capable and motivated.

Erin will be speaking with MPA parents on Friday, May 22 from 12-1 PM about social media, balance, and parenting in the present moment. Her presentation will last about 30 minutes and then parents will have time to talk and share until the end of the lunch hour.

A special thank you to our Parent’s Association for providing this great opportunity for education and community!


Spread The Joy Of Reading During The Virtual Book Festival

upper school student reading at a pairing assemblyWe are having so much fun participating in the annual MPA Book Festival virtually! From story time on Zoom, to sharing our favorite stories, and even connecting in real-time live on Facebook, we are inspired by the creativity and dedication that all of you have shown in support of the Virtual Book Festival. This beloved tradition provides our MPA community with opportunities to participate in reading activities, purchase great books, and support our local booksellers. The MPA Library will use the donations from the booksellers to purchase books for teachers, for the classrooms, and the Library. It’s so important in our MPA community to support one another and our extended community–that’s why this year the MPA Library will also donate books to Breakthrough to support their summer literature program. Let’s help spread the joy of reading!

As in years past, you may purchase books from Valley Bookseller and Usborne Books. Since our event is online this year, you have the ability to purchase any books available through their distributors—bonus! You can even purchase a gift certificate for a teacher—double bonus!

If you have any questions, please contact Erin Dimopoulous, Parents Association Book Festival chair, at erin.dimopoulos@gmail.com.