Meet Lucia Simon ’22

Lucia Simon '22Lucia has been an MPA student for three years.

What do you love about MPA?
MPA gives me the space to be authentically myself, to dive deep into the curriculum through our modified block schedule, and to make real connections with students and faculty. I feel completely supported by the MPA community in moving by myself to Minnesota. I know I always have people to go to for help, advice, or just a fun conversation. To me, MPA really is my family because my own isn’t here. I’m spending the day with my friends learning about things that matter to me.

How are you encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
The support given at MPA is unparalleled. Teachers and faculty truly care for each student’s experience and well-being. Since day one, I have been encouraged to follow my passions and use my voice to advocate for myself and others. We have been taught that as teenagers we can make meaningful change in the world just as much as any adult. Our level of knowledge, skills, and passion does not hold us back; rather, it gives us room to learn and grow. We can make a difference as long we do the work to go into our communities, build relationships, and make the effort to understand different perspectives.

Why do you believe your teachers teach the way they do?
Because they really care both about the students and the impact the curriculum has on students. Teachers understand that they aren’t just teaching for us to get through high school but they’re teaching the next generation of change-makers. Everything they teach, they show us why we should care about it and why it’s useful in the world. Even if you’re not a science person, our science teachers will show you how science will help you with what you are passionate about. They make their teaching more specific in moments to help students care about what we’re learning. Read More

Meet Zaara Nayak ’23

Zaara NayakZaara has been an MPA student for six years.

What do you love about MPA?
I love MPA’s culture of inclusivity and its commitment to diversity. I also love my teachers and how they encourage me to be an independent thinker.

How are you encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
At MPA, I truly feel there is no limit to what I can accomplish. MPA has provided me with many leadership opportunities. For example, I recently re-established the Upper School student-run newspaper as I felt students needed a platform to cultivate community culture.

Why do you believe your teachers teach the way they do?
Hands-on, experiential learning is a key part of teaching at MPA because it teaches us how to think, not just what to think.

If you have attended another school, how has your experience here been different?
Compared to the schools I’ve previously attended, MPA’s small class size has allowed teachers get to know me, my strengths, and challenge me accordingly.

What would you tell another student your age considering MPA?
You won’t regret coming to MPA! It’s one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.

In what ways has MPA prepared you for life beyond school?
MPA has taught me to think critically and independently and how to apply classroom learning to solve real world issues.

What’s your big dream?
Regardless of what career I pursue, I hope to meet the needs of our community and leave the world a better place.

Live Performance At MPA

Having our students engaged in visual and performing arts isn’t just about fostering an appreciation of the arts, rather it is about helping students develop the ability to practice perseverance, develop ingenuity, and understand that ideas can be expressed in more than just words. Through authentic experiences as musicians, performers, and artists each student has the ability to maximize their artistic potential, build confidence, and create beauty.

True hallmarks of Mounds Park Academy are the live performances where instrumental and choral students share their work with the broader MPA community. It is hard to believe that due to the pandemic the last live concerts held on campus were more than 19 months ago. We are thrilled to share that at this time we are not only holding in person performances, but that guests are invited to attend either in person or virtually. View the MPA calendar and add the upcoming performances to your calendars including the Upper School Instrumental Concert on Wednesday, November 3 at 7:30 PM.

To maintain alignment with the MPA health and safety protocols, each guest who plans to attend the live performances will be required to pre-register and provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination (a picture or scan of their vaccination card) via email to by 7 PM the night prior to the scheduled concert. If your vaccination card is already on file at MPA through athletics or other events, you do not need to send it again. If you have a medical or religious exception, please contact with those details as we will provide information and work with you to obtain a clearance COVID-19 test so you may attend. Masking is required on campus.

All pre-registered guests will enter and exit through the Gallery on the south side of campus (door #3) and go directly to their seats in the Nicholson Center where the performances are held.

For the convenience and safety of our community, all performances will also be live streamed at the link below. Regardless of how you view the events, we are excited for you to enjoy the wonderful talent of our students.

Password: 2051
There will not be a recording distributed afterward due to licensing restrictions.


Please note that even though health and safety protocols are in place, band and choir performances are highly aerosolized activities. If any attendee develops symptoms within 48 hours of the performance, please contact for guidance.

COVID-19 is a highly contagious and potentially life-threatening disease declared by the World Health Organization to be a global pandemic. Information about COVID-19 is continually evolving and subject to change. COVID-19’s highly contagious nature means that contact with others or contact with surfaces that have been exposed to the virus, can lead to infection. Additionally, individuals who may be infected with COVID-19, whether vaccinated or not, may be asymptomatic for a period of time or may never become symptomatic.

Aware of the foregoing, I am voluntarily attending the in person performance at Mounds Park Academy. To attend these concerts, I acknowledge and understand:

  • Given the many unknowns relating to COVID-19, it is not possible to fully identify or list each and every individual risk of contracting COVID-19;
  • MPA cannot limit all potential sources of COVID-19 infection.

Lower School Virtual Family Engineering Night

Join us as we celebrate “National Lights On Afterschool Day” with an MPA Lower School Virtual Family Engineering Night with The Works Museum! Our activity theme is Cardboard Creation Challenge, and can be done with materials you easily find at home!

Thursday, October 28 from 6:30-7:30 PM.

Cardboard Creations Challenge with The Works Museum!

Zoom Link 1 (Last name A-K)
Meeting ID: 832 2664 9255
Passcode: 949823

Zoom Link 2 (Last name L-Z)
Meeting ID: 832 9483 4891
Passcode: 988073

Items to gather/Materials suggestions: shipping boxes, food boxes (cereal, cracker, etc.), scissors, tape (masking, duct, or packing), writing tool (pencils, markers, crayons)
Optional: glue, paper, straws/skewers/toothpicks/beads, art supplies (stickers, yarn, ribbon, fabric, tissue paper, etc.)

Questions: Contact Russ at 651-748-5571 or

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.

Read More

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