A Night Of Panther Pride

Mason's Parents at the Watch PartyMason Ferlic ’11 Competes in Olympic Games 

MPA community members from alumni, faculty, and current families gathered to celebrate and support Mason’s olympic accomplishments. We launched the event with pizza and ‘Go Mason’ poster making, then concluded with a personal FaceTime from Mason after he crossed the finish line. The Ferlic family and the rest of the MPA community expressed their immense pride and happiness for Mason as we wished him a restful remainder of his evening. Enjoy this reflection piece written by Nate Bander ’09, one of Mason’s teammates and click through our photos from that night.

by Nate Bander, Class of 2009

Mason Ferlic ran a near personal best in the 3000m Steeplechase at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on July 30, placing 21st in 8:20.23, an exciting and historic day for MPA! Mason came to MPA in ninth grade and joined the track and field team in his first year. He found success right away, and his coaches and teammates encouraged him to sign up for cross country running. The problem was that he was already registered for soccer! But, with a little arm twisting, he decided to give cross country a try. The rest is pretty much history, he went on to win four MSHSL state championships, break three school records, and appear on MPA’s track and field top 10 list 11 times (though fun fact, Nolan, his younger brother, appears 13).

After graduating from MPA in 2011, Mason competed for the University of Michigan as the first of what have now become four MPA track and field athletes to compete at the Division I level in the last 10 years, all in the Big Ten Conference. He won the 2016 NCAA steeplechase championship and after graduating from Michigan with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering, he is now pursuing a PHD in Applied Statistics, which he does while training with Very Nice Track Club in Ann Arbor. Read More

Athena Award Winner Izzy Quam Commits to St. Michael’s College

Izzy QuamCongratulations to MPA’s 2021 Athena Award Winner, senior Izzy Quam for committing to St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont for Nordic Skiing! A four sport athlete, Izzy competes in Soccer, Cross Country Running, Nordic Skiing, and Track and Field. She is a captain in each of her sports.  Izzy has accumulated 19 varsity letters in athletics, 9 All Conference or Honorable Mention awards from the IMAC conference, and countless team MVPs honors and coaches awards. She is also a stellar student who appears on the honor roll, has earned academic letters, and is a member of the Cum Laude Society.

“I have been fortunate to coach Izzy since she was a 7th grader. She is an absolutely tremendous kid, really among the best ever to come through MPA. Her combination of leadership skills, positive attitude, kindness, and athletic ability don’t come along very often,” says Panthers Cross Country Running and Track and Field coach Nate Bander. “I can’t wait to see what great things await her as she heads off to college.” Izzy joins her older sisters Erin (2017) and Ellie (2019) in winning the Athena Award. Read More

A Breath Of Fresh Air

Panthers first home baseball gameby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

I often say I have one of the best views from my office. That is especially true this year and certainly at this time of year. It is not uncommon for me to see Upper School biology teacher Mitch Thomsen leading a group of students into our reclaimed prairie and rain garden to study its ecology and make observations. If I look in another direction, I can see the tents set up in the west parking lot ready to house classes and lunch. After school, I can take in a boys’ tennis practice or witness the track and field teams trek out to the track.

After months of being cooped up indoors, Minnesotans (and Panthers!) are spending more and more time outdoors. In Minnesota, the arrival of spring is always cause to spend time outside, but it also makes sense as we aim to slow the spread of COVID-19. As part of our move to dial stop one, classes, whenever possible, will be held outdoors this spring. Teachers have access to outdoor tents which are being used as flexible, alternative spaces. Although we still need to take precautions, such as wearing masks, keeping physically distant, and avoiding large crowds, moving outside is certainly a breath of fresh air. 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

Register For Spring Sports

Upper school student racing in track meetSign up here for spring sports!

Upper School (grades 9-12)
Girls and boys track and field practice begins March 29, 2021. Practices are Monday-Friday, 3:30 PM-5:30 PM at MPA.

Girls and boys golf (grades 7-12) practice begins April 12. Practices Practices are Monday-Thursday, 3:30 PM-6:30 PM at various locations.

Girls fastpitch practice begins March 29, 2021. Practices are Monday-Friday, 3:30 PM-5 PM at Goodrich fields.

Boys baseball practice begins March 22, 2021. Practices are Monday-Friday, 3:30 PM-5 PM at MPA.

Girls lacrosse practice beings April 5, 2021. Practices are Monday-Friday, 3:30 PM-5 PM at Henry Sibley. Co-op fees apply.

Boys tennis (grades 7-12) practice begins March 29, 2021. Practices are Monday-Friday, 3:30 PM-5 PM at MPA. Read More

Meet Nate Bander ’09

nate bander and yahya madarMeet 2019-20 Alumni Association Board member Nate Bander ’09!

MPA Class of 2009 alum Nate Bander is MPA’s admission outreach coordinator and Upper School admission coordinator at Mounds Park Academy. He also coaches boys basketball and the varsity track and field and cross country teams at MPA. After attending MPA K-12 and the University of Minnesota, where he majored in Communications Studies with a Spanish Studies minor, Nate moved to Baza, Spain and worked in an adult language academy as an English teacher.

“The single biggest impact that my MPA experience had on me was inspiring me to learn about the world. MPA is a wonderful, diverse community of parents, students and educators who place a high value on education. I feel prepared to speak about the greater world, travel to faraway places, digest complex theories and thrive as a global citizen. MPA connected me to the broader world.”

But Nate’s MPA moments did not stop as a student and alumni. In fact, he didn’t make one of his fondest memories until coaching in 2019.

Nate recalls, “I first met Yahya Madar (Class of 2019) when he came out for my ninth grade basketball team. That season, I benched him in a game and he almost quit the team.” But, Yahya persevered and in 10th grade, he came back out for the basketball team. He also tried high jumping in track and field for the first time, and something clicked. Read More

Spring Sports Registration Is Open

MPA track runnerRegistration for spring sports is now open! Enjoy staying active and competing with fellow Panther teammates this spring with a variety of options including baseball, fastpitch softball, tennis, track & field, and golf. Sign up for your choice here! Go Panthers!

Panthers Recap: MSHSL Class A State Championship

Yahya Madar celebrates after winning the state high jumpWith 13 athletes plus relay alternates qualifying for the state meet, it was a busy weekend for panthers track and field. On Thursday, MPA’s state qualifiers, alternates and coaches took a bus to Hamline University for the season’s final practice on the track at Hamline. After practice, the team enjoyed a stop at Jamba Juice on the way home!

On Friday, the boys 4x200m of seniors Tae’Vion Wilkins, Ian Olson and Flynn Opatz and junior Nathan Harvanko led off the state meet competition in the prelims of the 4x200m. Though they did not make finals, placing 14th with a time of 1:34.46, seniors Tae’Vion Wilkins, Ian Olson and Flynn Opatz got to conclude their track and field careers on the track at the state meet. Also on Friday, junior Henry Snider ran in the finals of the 3200m. In brutal heat, Henry ran his second fastest time ever to place seventh and earn all-state honors with a time of 9:53.34. Read More

Panthers Recap: Section 4A Championships

Sofia Walker in the Section 4A raceMPA Track and Field went toe to toe with the best competition in Section 4A and emerged with a record number of runners advancing to the state meet!

On the girls side, highlights include eighth grader Zoe M. winning her prelim heat in the 100m, advancing through her semifinals heat, and qualifying for finals, placing fourth with a season best time of 13.17. In the 400m, 8th grader Greta M. (Gentry) advanced to finals and placed fifth, running a near season best of 1:02.81. In the 800m, senior Sofia Walker’s dream of qualifying for the state meet came to fruition, as she won the 800m in 2:26.43, just off her personal best. Sophomore Izzy Quam ran near her season best to make finals in the 800m and finished seventh in 2:34.94. In the 1600m, Sophomore Katie Dahiya earned a medal with her sixth-place finish, running her second-best time of the season in 5:49.26. She added another medal in the 3200m, running 12:26.80 and finishing fifth with a personal best by nearly 30 seconds! She is now fifth all time in MPA history in the 3200m.  In the 100m hurdles, 8th grader Emily B. qualified for the finals running a personal best time of 18.56 in the prelims (now eighth best all time at MPA) and took eighth in the finals.

In the 4x100m, the team of eighth grader Zoe M., ninth grader Ella Fruchterman, junior Catherine Moore and senior Ellie Quam made the finals and placed seventh, running 53.34. They are now sixth all time at MPA. In the 4x200m, the team of eighth graders Zoe M. and Greta M., ninth grader Ella Fruchterman, and junior Catherine Moore. ran 1:52.22 to earn medals with their fifth-place finish.  Their time is now eighth all time at MPA. In the girls 4x800m, the team of seniors Sofia Walker and Gabby Law, tenth grader Izzy Quam and 8th grader Margo N. ran a heroic race to finish second and qualify for state! Their time of 10:05.06 is the second fastest ever at MPA and the fastest in 21 years. Read More

Panthers Excel At State Track & Field

Congratulations to all of the Panthers who participated in the State Track & Field Meet, held June 7-8. These seven athletes all earned All-State Honors and were medalists by placing in the top nine in Minnesota, Class A:

  • Isak Nightingale, Cullen Moore, Henry Snider, Matthew Bourne – Ninth in Boys 4 x 800m Relay, 8:20.17
  • Henry Snider – Seventh in the 3200m Run, 9:53.34
  • Sofia  Walker – Fifth in the 800m Run, 2:18.40 with a new school record!
  • Yahya Madar – First in the High Jump, 6’ 10 with a new school record and tied the MN Class A State Record! Only 18 high school students have jumped this high in the United States this year.

Others qualifying for the State Meet, competing, but not placing in the top nine include:

  • Katie Dahiya, Gabby Law, Margo N., Izzy Quam – 17th in the 4 x 800m Relay
  • Tae’Vion Wilkins, Ian Olson, Nathan Harvanko, Flynn Opatz – 14th in the 4 x 200m Relay

They all had remarkable seasons! Go Panthers!

Photos by MN Prep Photo/www.mnprepphoto.com and Nate Bander ’09.