Meet Eva Benson ’21

Eva Senior PictureEva graduated on June 6, 2021 as a member of the Mounds Park Academy class of 2021. She will attend St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.

What do you love about MPA?
There are so many things I love about MPA! However, what really stands out to me is the teachers. Every teacher at MPA truly wants to create a personal bond with me and see me succeed. They have shown me true passion in their work, inspiring me to go out and work for my passion every day.

Why do you believe your teachers teach the way they do?
MPA teachers have ignited my love for learning through the ways that they teach. They teach the way they do to inspire their students. Every teacher at MPA has a passion for what they teach and want to see their students thrive. Read More

Dhruv Muppidi ’21 Named Presidential Scholar Semifinalist

photo of DhruvCongratulations to senior Dhruv Muppidi on being named one of 625 Presidential Scholar semifinalists from out of 3.6 million seniors across the country! Since 1964, the Presidential Scholars Program has honored the nation’s most distinguished high school seniors based on academic success, leadership, and service to school and community. Dhruv is one of only 10 semifinalists from Minnesota. He will find out if he is selected as one of 160 Presidential Scholarship recipients in early May!

Meet Dhruv Muppidi ’21

What prompted your application to the Presidential Scholars Program?
After receiving the invitation to apply to the Presidential Scholars Program, I decided to apply mostly on a whim to eliminate any regret I may have had if I didn’t at least test my chances. I never once expected to be a semifinalist, and to be considered alongside some of the most accomplished high school seniors in the country is extremely humbling. It’s a testament to the wonderful work being done at MPA by the teachers and the student body.

What’s your big dream?
If we’re talking long-term (and perhaps a tad idealistically), NBA commissioner is my ultimate dream, combining my love of business management, economics, and sports. However, I’m also passionate about combating educational inequities, and I would love to continue working in the non-profit sector during college and beyond.

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Meet Caleb Rhodes ‘21

Caleb Holding His ViolaMusic, particularly singing, has provided me with an opportunity to grow and learn. I attended Minnesota Waldorf School through 8th grade, and music is a significant component of Waldorf education. I learned to play the pentatonic flute in first grade, the C flute in second grade, the viola in third and the Alto recorder in fifth grade. Singing was an everyday activity in elementary school but I didn’t really enjoy it until my freshman year of high school at MPA.

When I made the switch to MPA, music was one of a activities that felt most familiar and comfortable to me, so I decided I would take varsity choir. At the end of my freshman year, my family encouraged me to audition for Madrigal Singers, MPA’s most select singing group. Getting in to Madrigal Singers ignited my love for singing and gave me the opportunity to express myself. Since that point, I have been in Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers for the last three school years, and I have auditioned for, and been accepted to the MMEA All-State Honor Choir the last two years. Singing provides me with an opportunity to confidently express my emotions in a way no other activity has been able to do. I am able to channel my feelings into music through my voice. This has made it much easier for me to open up to those around me and establish close relationships with classmates, and even with students from other schools, who I have met through our shared love of music. Read More

Meet Micah Hudock ’24

Micah dribbling the basketball vs. Hill MurrayWhat do you love about MPA?
I love the friends that I have here at MPA. I also love how unique of a learning environment we have here. I talk to friends who go to other schools and they all seem kind of the same, MPA is really unique.

How are you encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
My teachers challenge me to think deeply and creatively, and to always, always dream big and do right.

Why do you believe your teachers teach the way they do?
My teachers are amazing. I think they teach the way they do because they too, are encouraged to dream big and do right by everyone in our community. Read More

Meet Connor Magee ’21

Connor Magee Senior Picture HeadshotI am looking out the window of a school bus while riding home from preschool. As I look at the houses going by, I am imagining dinosaurs running along the sidewalk and jumping clear over the traffic coming the other way. These dinosaurs were coming in all shapes and sizes. Some were round, some were blue, and some had multiple heads. Some could fly, and some couldn’t even walk. This is from one of my earliest memories, from a time when my family lived near Philadelphia. At a young age, my imagination was never ending.

On another drive to see family in Pittsburgh, the dinosaurs returned. Throughout the drive, I saw an orange Tyrannosaurus running through the countryside. It would fall in ditches, crash into hills, and bounce off cars. My imagination ran wild like this T. Rex on the Pennsylvania turnpike.

My imagination defined me early in my life. Not only did it play a large role in my daily activities, but also formed the basis of my character as I grew up, and helped me adapt to the life changes that came as I got older. Read More

Meet Sammie Garrity ’23

Sammie Garrity with a puppyHow many years have you been a student at MPA?
I started at MPA in the fall of my ninth grade year, so I have been here for a year and a half.

What do you love about MPA?
I love so many things, but two really stick out. The first is the community, and the second is how my teachers push me to be the best I can be.

How are you encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
I am encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA because of my teachers. They expect a lot out of me, and that makes it rigorous, but in the long run, it’s making me a better student.

Why do you believe your teachers teach the way they do?
The moment I walked into MPA, I immediately saw that my teachers knew what they are doing. They have so many amazing stories and it’s clear that their teaching style is based on all of their many years of experience. Read More

Meet Cassie Atkinson ’23

Cassie Atkinson joined the Mounds Park Academy community in December 2019.

Cassie Atkinson '23 Standing and SmilingWhat do you love about MPA?
MPA allows me to be who I am and doesn’t judge me for it. MPA isn’t in the business of choosing what they like best about me or molding me to “society’s expectations.” They encourage me to do what I like best and help me with whatever I may need to be successful.

How are you encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
Just having a judgement-free zone helps me dream big and do right. MPA wants to help me, not shape me into what they think I am meant to be. When I shared that I loved art and being creative, I was introduced and shown many opportunities on campus including classes, plays, studios, events, and galleries.

Why do you believe your teachers teach the way they do?
Mounds Park Academy teachers want the best for me. They don’t give up on me and always are looking out for me. Their challenges only help me to grow, rather than trying to knock me down. Read More

Meet Justin Choi ’23

Justin Choi in front of skyscrapersJustin Choi ’23 and his family relocated to MPA from Hong Kong. He began at MPA in ninth grade in the fall of 2019.

What do you love about MPA?
I love the support I have received from absolutely everyone here.

How are you encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
I have a choice and a voice in what I do. There’s a large variety of electives, sports and clubs and I have chosen to get involved in a lot.

Why do you believe your teachers teach the way they do?
Teachers teach in this way because they want me to succeed. They are helping me to find something that I truly love doing. Read More

Meet RuoHan (Kitty) Li ’21 and Xinyuan (Ella) Li ’24

Ella Li seated at her desk working on her computerBetween visa issues, parent concerns, and travel challenges, COVID-19 has presented many obstacles for MPA’s international students. In fact, two students from China, 12th grader RuoHan (Kitty) Li and 9th grader Xinyuan (Ella) Li (no relation) have had to stay at home this semester and attend virtually from thousands of miles away. In a testament to their commitment to remaining a part of the community, Kitty and Ella have rearranged their schedules to accommodate the time differences. Hear how they are making this tremendous sacrifice in order to continue their educations at MPA.

What does your daily schedule look like? What time are MPA’s classes for you? Has your sleep and meal schedule changed?

Kitty: Right now, my daily schedule is class from 9:00pm to 2:30am since I do not have 6th block this quarter. However, next quarter, I will have class from 9:00pm to 4:00am since I have Physics. I have been sleeping from 3am to 12pm recently. My meal schedule has not changed too much, but I have reduced it from three meals to two meals since I have not been eating a lot for breakfast. Read More

Meet Alex Appleton ’23

Alex works with LS studentHow many years have you been a student at MPA?
I came to MPA in the fall of 2019 as a ninth grader.

What do you love about MPA?
I love the diversity and the classes. The teachers are so kind and supportive and truly want you to grow toward your goals and will help guide you there. I love the community and that as a tenth grader, I have the chance to be with Lower School kids or work with Middle Schoolers as they make their way toward the Upper School.

How are you encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
My math teachers encouraged me to pursue my goal of jumping ahead into accelerated math. And this past summer, I finally achieved that. What started as a big dream developed into a possible goal that is now a reality. This would not have been possible if it weren’t for the support of the teachers at MPA who encouraged me to reach this goal. Not only do I now feel more confident to reach my own goals, but I am encouraged to do right by helping others reach their goals as well. Read More