Eddie And Megan Snider Punch Tickets To State!

MPA TrackCongratulations to Eddie ’25 and Megan Snider ‘27 as the pair of Panthers punched their tickets to state during the two-day Section 4A track and field championships held on May 30 and June 1 at Bethel University! The siblings secured spots in the Class A state track and field championship meet in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter races.

Megan was the first to grab a bid, racing in the 3,200 on the first day of action during the section meet. She kept her stride strong to finish the race in 11:34.30, earning her the silver medal and a trip to St. Michael-Albertville High School for the upcoming state showdown. Eddie’s turn to try to take a trip to the coveted tournament came after Megan’s triumph. Leaving no doubt that he would join his sister, Eddie blazed to a 9:51.51 to take first place in the meet, winning by .23 seconds over the second-place finisher from West Lutheran.

With bids secured, the pair wasn’t done there. Heading into Saturday hungry for more, Megan again had the day’s first opportunity, taking to the 1,600. She upgraded her showing from the first day of sections, claiming the top spot on the podium and finishing the race in 5:20.66.

Like the prior occasion, Eddie’s chance to match his sister was shortly thereafter. The boys 1,600 featured a tight race with the top four runners all neck and neck and Eddie right in the mix. Though Eddie claimed a bronze medal in the meet (4.24.90), with the top two automatically advancing to state, he advanced to state by meeting the state track and field standards (4.28.41). The showing was a personal best performance for Eddie!

The two will now prepare for the trip to the MSHSL Class A state track and field championships! Both will race in the 3,200 on Thursday, June 6, before returning to STMA for the 1,600 the following night. Good luck, Eddie and Megan!

More Strong Results For The Panthers
Nearly matching Eddie and Megan with a state berth of his own was Ben Murr ’24 and his performance in the 800. Ben burned to a personal best at 2:00.99 to place third in the meet (top two go to state). He also added a sixth-place finish in the 1,600 via a time of 4.28.97, a personal record.

Ben’s showing at sections wasn’t done there as he teamed up with Jay Green ‘24, Bryan Wong ‘24, and Alex Larson ’26 in the 4×400 relay to help the relay to fifth place. The quartet ran a 3:35.86 for the placement. The girls 4×400 relay, made up of Nora Pederson ’24, Annika Binstadt ’25, Delaney Cunnington ’25, and Rowan Mulrooney ’25, nearly matched the other side of the team’s performance by taking sixth place at 4:19.29. Nora took sixth in the high jump (4-10), Jay added eighth in the high jump (5-11), Delaney chipped in an eighth of her own in the long jump (16-4.5), Josh Murr ’27 raced to eighth in the 3,200 (10:45.95), Rowan placed ninth in the 300 hurdles (51.86) and the 4×800, consisting of Trevor Lien ’24, Oliver Frey ’24, Odin Foote ’25, and Soren Winikoff ’26, finished ninth (8:58.32).

The Panthers’ combined efforts helped the team finish 10th place in the section meet for both boys and girls. Go, Panthers!

Congratulations, Upper School Students!

US AwardsUpper School students invest significant time and effort into their work in ways that make the Mounds Park Academy community proud. To honor that, MPA hosted the Upper School Award Assembly on Friday, May 24, recognizing those who achieved accolades. Academic, National Merit, Scholarship, Yearbook, Choir, Band, Orchestra, Visual Art, Math, English, Science, Social Studies, Forensics, French, Spanish, Drama, Athletics, Service, Spirit of ’86, Junior Mission Statement, Certificate of Distinction, and Alumni Association awards were given. Please join us in congratulating the following students! View photos of the assembly here!

Cum Laude Inductees
Zain Ali
Maggie Banks-Hehenberger
Devneet Biring
Vito Bloyer
Eilam Deinard
Ian Frankel
Sylvia Hawley
Ella Li
Ben Murr
Soumya Raman
Akshay Somayajula
NayMyo Zaw

Maggie Banks-Hehenberger
Meiran Carlson

Ian Frankel

National Merit Scholars
Annika Binstadt
Navreen Biring
Paul Fertig
Mari Minear
Amal Sastry Read More

Upper School Division News May 30, 2024

from Mark Segal, Upper School director 

Mark Your Calendars

  • Thursday, May 30: Retirement Gathering, 4-6 PM, Library
  • Friday, May 31: US Math Finals
  • Friday, May 31: US BIPOC Affinity Group Meeting, 11:20 AM-12 PM, Room 150-151
  • Friday, May 31: US English Finals, 12-1:30 PM
  • Monday, June 3: MS/US End of Quarter
  • Monday, June 3: US Science Finals, 8:45-10:15 AM
  • Monday, June 3: US Social Studies Finals, 12-1:30 PM
  • Tuesday, June 4: Last Day of School, All School Yearbook Assembly and Signing, 8-10:30 AM, Nicholson Center
  • Tuesday, June 4: Dismissal, 10:30 AM, no afternoon care or transportation home
  • Wednesday, June 5: US Senior Dinner, 6-8 PM, Dellwood Country Club
  • Friday, June 7: Madrigal and Concert Choir Rehearsal, 10-11 AM, Nicholson Center
  • Friday, June 7: US Mandatory Commencement Rehearsal, 11 AM-1 PM, Nicholson Center
  • Saturday, June 8: US Commencement, 6-7 PM, Nicholson Center, watch live (password 2051)
  • Friday, June 14: US Safeway Driving School, 9 AM-12 PM, Room 180
  • Monday, June 17: US Safeway Driving School, 9 AM-12 PM, Room 180
  • Tuesday, June 18: US Safeway Driving School, 9 AM-12 PM, Room 180
  • Thursday, June 20: US Safeway Driving School, 9 AM-12 PM, Room 180
  • Friday, June 21: US Safeway Driving School, 9 AM-12 PM, Room 180

One would think that after nearly three decades in the education field, I would have become an expert, or at the very least knowledgeable, in saying goodbye to students at the end of the year. After spending the school year building relationships based on trust, shared values, and lived experiences, it is no easier today than in 1995 to bid students farewell as the school year ends. I have found that toward the end of each May, when stress, fatigue, and emotion are running high, I focus on the positive interactions and experiences shared with students throughout the year. Although this practice eases the inevitable, I still get sad thinking about not having those students as part of the day-to-day community and how quiet the building will be over the summer. It was wonderful to witness the smiles, exuberance, and accolades at the end of last week during the Senior Walk and Upper School Awards Assembly and refreshing to have the seniors back on campus earlier this week as they hosted Service-Con and shared their senior service projects with the MPA community. Read More

End of the Year Milestones at MPA

Heads Messagefrom Dr. Bill Hudson, head of school

You may have heard that I turned 60 last Friday. To my surprise, I was serenaded by the fourth grade in the morning and again in the afternoon by all those gathered for the Senior Awards Ceremony. It was a memorable day, to be sure. I am still coming to terms with turning 60, mostly because I think of myself in my late 40s. As a milestone, however, it reminds me to approach this phase of my life in gratitude for a life well lived and for the many more opportunities ahead of me.

In Roman times, every mile was marked by a stone along roadways with a number that signified the number of miles coming or going from Rome. Today, a milestone signifies a momentous life event or accomplishment, such as a birthday, marriage, graduation, or retirement. Like the days of old, these events mark our journey through life and are a way to measure growth, literally or figuratively. Milestones serve as reminders to pause and reflect and celebrate what matters most in our lives.

There are many milestones at MPA this time of year. In just over a week, we will celebrate the high school graduation of 61 remarkable young adults. We will hold a Moving Up Ceremony to mark the matriculation of the fourth grade to Middle School and the eighth grade to Upper School. Tonight, we will celebrate the careers of dedicated educators Scott Wilson and Kristy Petrich. Read More

Future Collegiate Athletes Share Emotions

College RecogCongratulations to the six MPA students who were celebrated on College Athlete Recognition Day! Izzy Espinosa, Jay Green, Else Kunze-Hoeg, Ben Murr, Nora Pederson, and David Steinberger will all continue on to the collegiate level to compete in their respective athletics. Aiming to capture some of the emotions shown through on the day of celebration, the six shared sentiments from the day.

Jay Green
School: Macalester College
Sport: Football, track and field
Why did you choose Macalester College? “I chose Macalester because, right away, I think I’m going to be able to play, and the academics are really good.”
What are some of the emotions you are feeling today? “I’m feeling really excited and good about it.”
Who would you like to thank for helping you get to this position? “I want to thank my parents, family, and all my coaches. They always pushed me and got me to where I wanted to be.”

Ben Murr
School: Luther College
Sport: Cross country, track and field
Why did you choose Luther College? “It felt like a really good fit for me. The opportunities to have a flexible cross country program where I could still pursue academics and my other interests pretty heavily is something that really interested me and made me want to choose the school I did.”
What are some of the emotions you are feeling today? “It’s pretty exciting. This is something I wasn’t expecting going into my college search, and it’s pretty incredible that I get to do it.”
Who would you like to thank for helping you get to this position? “I’d like to thank my parents for always encouraging me to do running and track and my coaches, coach (Adam) Pettipiece, Declan (Dahlberg ’18), and Ms. (Bev) Docherty, especially, for really pushing me through these past couple years of cross country despite the pandemic messing with things.” Read More

Welcome To MPA, Andria Mattlin!

Andria MattlinWelcome to MPA, Andria Mattlin! Andria joined us as the admission and communication assistant and began on May 28. We are so excited to introduce her to our community!

From what school/organization are you coming?
I am coming from St. Paul Public Schools.

Tell us about your education and past experience.
After graduating from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in public relations, I worked as a communications coordinator for a school district. Realizing I wanted to return to the classroom, I completed Hamline University’s teacher licensing program and taught elementary school for 12 years in St. Paul. I am thrilled to combine my passions for education and communications here at MPA.

What did you find appealing about MPA?
I first visited MPA as a prospective parent and was so impressed by the confidence displayed by students and the warm and welcoming nature of the staff. I love the connection across the school community and how individuality is celebrated.

What lasting impact do you plan to have on MPA?
I hope to bring laughter to MPA each day and celebrate the school community’s achievements, both big and small.

What’s your big dream?
My big dream is to positively impact those around me and see orcas in the wild.

What are you and your family passionate about?
My husband Andrew and I have one son, Dawson, a rising kindergartener at MPA. We enjoy reading, spending time with our extended family, and visiting the Children’s Theatre Company.

What’s a fun fact about you that our community would love to know?
I can make balloon animals, a not-so-useful skill I learned from a book my grandma gave me as a child.

All Students Benefit

Heads Messagefrom Dr. Bill Hudson, head of school

I recently went through some boxes in my mother’s house and came across a collection of my elementary school report cards. Year after year, very similar comments went something like this: “Bill would do much better if he learned to raise his hand and not blurt out answers during class discussions.” “Bill needs to be better about handing in his assignments.” “Bill scored highly on tests, but his lower grades reflect the absence of homework.” And “If Bill would only try harder, his grades would be higher.” I talked too much, didn’t raise my hand, and didn’t turn in my homework, but I scored very high on tests. Nonetheless, I felt like a failure, which only compounded the problem.

Many years later, I ran into my fifth-grade teacher, who was delighted to know I had earned a doctorate and was experiencing success in my career. “I always knew you’d do well. You had the highest IQ in the class.” I was stunned and wondered what my academic career would be like if we knew then what we know now about ADHD.

While ADHD affects how we learn, there is no correlation with intelligence. It is similar for learning differences such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. Neurodiversity is used more frequently to promote the idea that conditions like autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other neurodevelopmental conditions are natural variations of the human brain rather than disorders to be cured. People with learning differences may have difficulty acquiring or demonstrating knowledge in traditional ways, but that doesn’t mean they cannot succeed in rigorous coursework or at schools like MPA.

The percentage of students with learning differences has consistently been on the rise in schools across the country. In a recent survey of independent heads of schools from across the United States, 85% said that supporting the learning needs of neurodiverse students is a priority for them. This reflects a 52% increase in just one year, from 2023 to 2024.

Read More

Reflections From The MPA Class Of 2024 Lifers

The Class of 2024 Lifers then and nowNear the end of their final year at MPA, we had the honor of interviewing many of the MPA Class of 2024 Lifers about their time at MPA, the only school they’ve been at for their entire academic career. A group of dedicated athletes, talented musical artists, Peer Leaders, and proud self-proclaimed robotics “nerds,” each of them shared memories and reflections of MPA past and present, looking toward the future well prepared by MPA. Devneet Biring, Jay Green, Greta Hanson, Sylvia Hawley, Micah Hudock, Khushi Jain, Else Kunze-Hoeg, Logan Miller, Ben Murr, Nora Pederson, Hunter Scheible, David Steinberger, and Molly Vergin will graduate on June 8 and join MPA’s Joanne Olson Club, reserved for students whose entire K-12 or PreK-12 journey has taken place here at MPA.

Choosing a school for 13 years means you’re growing up within a strong community that ensures every child here is known. So we asked: How has MPA’s community supported and shaped you over the years?

Jay: Everything I do pretty much revolves around sports, so what’s been really helpful for me is the community. If I’m in the hallway and I see a parent or a teacher, they always ask me how my game was, and that’s something that I really have enjoyed in my time here because it makes me feel seen. That was very consistent from even when I was in kindergarten, just playing in gym class versus now, when I play three sports at a time. That’s something that’s shaped me into a better person. I think now my focus is trying to give that same opportunity to the younger kids that I see and am coaching. I think the community does a very good job of supporting everyone in it. From my perspective, I feel like I’ve been very well-supported by pretty much everyone around me.

Khushi: I agree with that. Being both a tennis athlete and a nerd in robotics has pushed me to do more of what I love. Through tennis, I’ve learned more about myself, about mental health, and other things. Through robotics, I’ve learned how to be a leader, how to speak up, and how to get the team together. Through all these different clubs and activities that MPA has, I’ve learned different skills from each.

Micah: There are a lot of people who have a lot of different interests in a lot of areas. Everyone’s kind of encouraged to do their own thing and have their own interests, and no one is trying to fit into a category. Everyone’s cool to do whatever they want.

Ben: Elaborating on that, I’ve really enjoyed being able to know my class. To actually know people—having a small, very close-knit group—has really helped us understand each other on a deeper level than just, “There’s a person from my class in the hallway.” I find that nice.

“There's definitely no other school where I could be in three choirs, in three different bands, and then also play three sports throughout the year.” -Jay Nora: I like how integrated everybody is, whether in sports or other things. For example, in basketball, we did this kid’s camp with the boys’ and girls’ teams where we got to work with Lower and Middle School students, so now when I see them in the hallway I can say hi. And with different classes like choir and orchestra, you get to know people in all grades. With track, since it’s a co-ed sport, I get to talk and know people that I wouldn’t normally. It’s just interesting knowing more than one grade.

Sylvia: The relationships we’re able to build are pretty unique to this school because of the small class sizes. Throughout all my years here, I think all the teachers really make an effort to build a relationship outside of the classroom, to know you on a more personal level. That has allowed me to feel comfortable sharing non-class material with them and getting to know them as people. I think that has shaped my love for learning but also made me want to do more. Read More

Celebrating This Year’s Retirees

from Dr. Bill Hudson, head of school

In 2017, when Edutopia, a well-respected educational foundation, asked its readers to describe the traits of a life-changing teacher, very few of the responses were about test scores or academics. People overwhelmingly said that great teachers make their students feel safe and loved, believe in their students, model patience, and help their students reach their full potential—all qualities that remain largely unmeasured. I can’t think of a better way to describe the impact of fourth-grade teacher Scott Wilson and library assistant Kristy Petrich, who are retiring from MPA this year.

Many people will be surprised to learn that teaching is Scott’s second career. From 1987-1998, Scott owned and operated a successful restaurant in Winter Park, Colorado. He went back to school and earned a master’s degree in elementary education at the University of St. Thomas. Scott began substitute teaching at MPA in 1999 before becoming a permanent teacher in the 2000-01 school year. Since then, Scott has taught kindergarten, first, second, and fourth grades at MPA.

Colleagues and students describe Scott as kind, gentle, patient, and wise. Scott has always been flexible and supportive of his colleagues. “I once heard someone refer to him as the ‘Lower School Handyman’ because if there’s a flat tire, someone stuck in a ditch, or in need of a help hanging lights or fixing a faucet, he is there,” shared fellow fourth-grade teacher DeeDee Stacy.

Read More

Upper School Division News May 16, 2024

US Division Newsfrom Mark Segal, Upper School director, and Jay Dean, assistant Upper School director

Mark You Calendars

  • Thursday, May 16: MS/US Band Concert, 7-8 PM, Nicholson Center
  • Friday, May 17: Class of 2024 Last Day of Classes
  • Friday, May 17: US BIPOC Affinity Group Meeting, 11:20 AM-12 PM, Room 150-151
  • Friday, May 17: US Robotics Season-End Banquet, 3-7 PM, Family Commons
  • Wednesday, May 22: US Choral Concert, 7-8 PM, Nicholson Center
  • Friday, May 24: US Senior Class Meeting, 8-9 AM, Recital Hall
  • Friday, May 24: Senior Performances, 10 AM, Recital Hall
  • Friday, May 24: US Senior Lunch and Alumni Panel, 11 AM-1 PM, Nicholson Center
  • Friday, May 24: US BIPOC Affinity Group Meeting, 11:20 AM-12 PM, Room 150-151
  • Friday, May 24: Senior Walk, 1-1:45 PM, South Entrance
  • Friday, May 24: Upper School Awards Assembly, 1:45-3 PM, Nicholson Center
  • Monday, May 27: No Classes, Memorial Day
  • Tuesday, May 28-29: US World Language Finals
  • Tuesday, May 28: US Senior Service Fair, 1-4 PM, McKeown Track
  • Wednesday, May 29: US World Language Finals
  • Wednesday, May 29: LS/US Grade 4 Introduction to the Instruments Concert, 10:30-11:20 AM, Panther Center
  • Wednesday, May 29: Madrigal Singers Auditions, 3-6 PM, Recital Hall
  • Thursday, May 30: Development Open House & Volunteer Breakfast, 7:30-9:30 AM, Family Commons
  • Thursday, May 30: Retirement Gathering, 4-6 PM, Library
  • Friday, May 31: US Math Finals
  • Friday, May 31: US BIPOC Affinity Group Meeting, 11:20 AM-12 PM, Room 150-151
  • Friday, May 31: US English Finals, 12-1:30 PM
  • Monday, June 3: MS/US End of Quarter
  • Monday, June 3: US Science Finals, 8:45-10:15 AM
  • Monday, June 3: US Social Studies Finals, 12-1:30 PM
  • Tuesday, June 4: Last Day of School, All School Yearbook Assembly and Signing, 8-10:30 AM, Nicholson Center
  • Tuesday, June 4: Dismissal, 10:30 AM, no afternoon care or transportation home
  • Wednesday, June 5: US Senior Dinner, 6-8 PM, Dellwood Country Club
  • Friday, June 7: Madrigal and Concert Choir Rehearsal, 10-11 AM, Nicholson Center
  • Friday, June 7: US Mandatory Commencement Rehearsal, 11 AM-1 PM, Nicholson Center
  • Saturday, June 8: US Commencement, 6-7 PM, Nicholson Center

For those of you who don’t know, as a requirement for graduation, MPA students must engage in at least 60 hours of community service during their Upper School years, including a focused, 30-hour project during their senior year. In the week leading up to graduation, students display these projects in a community-wide event we call Service-Con. The mission of this year’s Service-Con, developed by the students during Senior Seminar class earlier this year, is “MPA’s Service-Con creates a culture of service and communicates MPA’s values of volunteerism and community involvement. Meant to serve both MPA and external communities, Service-Con is an opportunity for Seniors to demonstrate the importance of service.”

The members of the Class of 2024 have been working hard, serving our school community and the community around us in myriad ways. To give you a taste of what will be on display at this year’s Service-Con, here are the names of some of our students’ projects: “Faces of Romanian Culture”; “‘Thanks, Bud!:’ A Stronger Support System for New Students”; “Looking Up: Local Community Astronomy Outreach”; “Acres for Life: Peaceful Pastures Zen Garden”; and “Women and Words: A Partnership with the Minnesota Women’s Press.” Fun fact: at the time of this publication, the Class of 2024 has recorded 3,079 hours of service (and counting!). Read More