Meet Cathryn Camacho ’04

Cathryn Camacho '04Meet 2019-20 Alumni Association Board member Cathryn Camacho ’04!

Following graduation from MPA, Cathryn moved to California to attend Pomona College. She graduated with a B.A. in Economics and worked as an analyst for a litigation consulting firm before switching gears and pursuing a Masters of Interior Architecture from UCLA/Cal Poly Pomona.

“Many of my friends and family joke that I am ‘serial student,’ as I currently pursue my second Masters in a part-time program,” she said. “The joy of learning has never faded. Throughout my collegiate and graduate studies, I sought institutions that mirror MPA’s dedication towards student development.”

In 2015, she returned home to Minnesota to run her family business and enroll in the Carlson School of Management for her Masters of Business Administration. Cathryn now serves as the President of Camacho Contractors and is involved with MPA in a variety of ways. After a tough four years juggling school and work, she is seeking balance, travel, and adventure, as well as growing her engagement with the MPA community and develop new relationships. Read More

Meet MPA Parent Michelle Mick

Michelle mick, mpa parentWhat do you love about MPA?
The community of wonderful people, the faculty, staff, parents, students–everyone has the common goal, to “Dream Big, Do Right.” This is breathed through the entire MPA experience, so much that when I pick Isaac up at the end of the day, he shares stories of all the wonderful experiences that have encouraged him to continue to dream big and do right. This school is the epitome of all we could but dream of– a wonderful, solid, first-class education, providing opportunities for the students to be recognized as individuals and also allowing them to learn how important each of their contributions are, building towards a higher purpose for which they have all been a part of.

What initially attracted you to MPA?
That the Lower, Middle and Upper School divisions are all on the same campus, that there is a synchronous connection between the divisions, and that there is respect by all who are part of the MPA community.

How is your child encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
Every day, Isaac is encouraged to do the right thing, given the options of how best to handle situations, whether it is in the classroom, the corridor on the way to lunch, or out at recess. In the classroom, Isaac is asked to approach situations where he is given the confidence and self-belief that he can achieve it, encouraging him to dream big. Read More

Meet MPA Physical Education Teacher Rich Harris

rich Harris and mike scinto at the girls soccer game togetherHow many years have you been at MPA?
This is my first year.

What do you love about MPA?
The community, small classes, the work ethic of the students, and the lunch!

How does MPA inspire students who dream big and do right?
MPA consistently promotes this motto. It encourages its students to always look at the big picture and to always think their dream is achievable. MPA models doing the right thing and this rubs off on the students and community as a whole.

If you have worked at another school, how has your experience at MPA been different?
These students genuinely care for and support one another.

What would you tell a parent considering MPA?
That if you want your child to be encouraged to try new things and always feel supported, then MPA is for them. If they want more individual attention from teachers, then MPA is for them. If they want the child to be in an environment that is kind and loving, then MPA is for them. MPA also has the technology and the classes to prepare their child for adulthood in today’s world. Read More

Meet Lindsey Metcalf Kenyon ’08

Lindsey Metcalf Kenyon '08Meet 2019-20 Alumni Association Board member Lindsey Metcalf Kenyon ’08!

Lindsey is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Minnesota in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department. Once she found out that she could possibly go somewhere or discover something that no one else has before, she was set on being a geologist and scientist. She followed her “nerdy-ness” and love of the outdoors to Michigan Technological University. There, she was a part of cutting-edge funded undergraduate research projects and later went to the University of Alabama for her Masters, where she engaged in field work in Antarctica, going to those places she had previously dreamed of where no one had been before. While there, she kept in touch with Ms. Reardon-Offerman, who was her math teacher at MPA.

“She really made me realize how proud I should be of what I have already accomplished. Even now her encouragement makes me want to go farther and accomplish more as a woman in STEM,” Lindsey said. Read More

Meet The Alvarenga Family!

The Alvarenga familyWhat do you love about MPA?
There is so much to love about MPA. We love that the faculty at MPA find joy in their work and in their relationships with each other and with their students. MPA is truly an inclusive and welcoming community for all of its students, families and faculty! We love that our children are not only pushed academically but they are also pushed to explore and develop their musical, artistic, athletic, creative and social skills. The varied and fun course offerings allow the school to be constantly educating the children all the while allowing the children to have fun and be expressive. We love that MPA goes out of its way time and time again to communicate with us what is happening in our children’s days and weeks.

How is your child encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
The course offerings at MPA give our kids the opportunity to not only dream big but to do big things. Art, music, foreign language, and the Makerspace are offered to even the youngest students and give the kids the tools and experience they need to really dream big! The emphasis on communication at MPA enables conflicts to be handled the right way. Clear communication is time consuming and can be uncomfortable for children but the resulting conflict resolution reinforces the power of communication to achieve the right outcome. Read More

Meet Adi Boeder Risner ’02!

Adi Boeder's family What would you tell another family considering MPA?
In addition to the facts provided by the helpful admission team, I think that every prospective family needs to understand the implications of the faculty retention at MPA. Most of my favorite teachers spent the majority of or their entire careers at MPA, and some of them are still teaching today. I’ve observed that for so many faculty members, aligning their passion with MPA values continues to fulfill their vocation as educators, year after year. When I think of all of those students impacted by teachers who are as dedicated to the school as they are to their field, I feel more confident than ever about our decision to continue this tradition for our family.

In what ways has MPA prepared your child for life in the 21st century?
Years ago, my mother shared that a friend of hers, another MPA parent, told her that no matter what your child excels at, the teachers at MPA will find it. As an alum, I absolutely believe this is true, but I’ll add that they don’t stop when the skill is discovered. Proficiencies are recognized, but not praised in a way that prevents students from experimenting with new opportunities. In the 21st century, we are faced with the challenge of preparing our children with a skillset for an unknown future. For my son, I know that he will be continuously exposed to multiple disciplines throughout his entire duration at MPA, and encouraged to make balanced decisions about his interests when he has that freedom. This emphasis on exposure and balance over perfection will prepare him for an evolving future full of choices that don’t yet exist. Read More

Meet Hana Miller ’21!

hana miller '21What do you love about MPA?
At MPA you are not taught what to think, you are taught how. The teachers at MPA recognize the importance of creating people who can think for themselves, not just repeat a string of facts about the Civil War. You are encouraged to ask questions, to challenge ideas, and to think differently. At MPA you are not only accepted for who you are, but you are supported and encouraged to be an individual, not just a grade.

How are you encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
MPA inspires students to not only fight for what they believe in, but to actively work to better it. Just this morning, the Kindergarten class came up to the high school to ask us to protest with them because they had learned about how pollution was affecting marine life. Read More

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

Meet Tiffany Scott Knox & Clarence Knox!

Alex Knox and his sisterWhat do you love about MPA?
We underestimated the value of being in a PreK-12 learning environment, especially all on one campus. It has been beneficial for our kids who admire so many of the Upper School students. In addition, our kids have met other kids who are extremely gracious and kind.

Another reason we love MPA is the class size. As we were searching for a school, we wanted a learning environment that encompassed more opportunity for one-on-one interactions. At MPA, teachers have the capacity to tailor their instruction and ability for our kids to build community with classmates. Rigor was also a must as we wanted a learning environment that cultivates and pushes our kids’ intellect and abilities.

Lastly, we love how there are many opportunities to get involved and participate in various after-school activities. My son earned his yellow belt in karate, came in second place in chess, participated in a summer school theatre production, and most recently sung the national anthem with his classmates at a Saint Paul Saints game.

How is your child encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
Over the course of our son’s four years at MPA, he learned that continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection. In addition, he’s learned how to be inclusive and that you can learn and have fun at the same time. Last, he’s learned, “Don’t let anyone stop you from your dreams,” and “You can do anything you set your mind to,” hence our oldest wants to be a professional athlete and in the off-season explore a career in chemical science. Read More

Meet MPA Parent Dr. Emily Binstadt ’91!

the Binstadt familyWhat do you love about MPA?
Almost everything! MPA has an emphasis on inclusion and kindness which defines the community overall. Within that circle, there is a freedom for individuals to explore what drives and inspires them and to develop their own identities and passions. Kids are free to try to do it “all” with a broad sampling of high-quality experiences in arts, academics, and athletics, and/or to delve deeply into a particular interest. I’m amazed by my children’s aspirations and achievements to date at MPA. I’m even more impressed by the confidence they have gained from engaging deeply with material in their academic courses at MPA, and in the organizational, public speaking, empathy, leadership, and teamwork skills they are honing. I am certain they will make a meaningful contribution in whatever area they choose to direct their energy.

How is your child encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
When weighing the financial and personal commitment to enrolling at an independent school like MPA, we worried about our girls being insulated in a school with less socioeconomic diversity than other educational options. And although we continue to be attentive to the impact this reality might have on our girls’ development, we have been astounded by the spontaneous commitment to altruism and advocacy our kids have made at MPA. They are more excited to talk about what’s new in the student-run Social Change Club than in almost any other activity they participate in. We couldn’t have asked for a bigger “win” in this area, which is even more wonderful because this was something we worried about before our kids started at MPA. Read More