January 17 Afterschool Activities Cancelled

Due to the weather, all afterschool activities including games, practices, and meetings are cancelled this afternoon, Friday, January 17. School will remain in session until our regular dismissal time at 3 PM.

All buses will run as usual unless you hear from your division director directly.

Panther Club and Panther Den will remain open until all children are picked up; however, families are encouraged to arrive as quickly as possible after 3 PM.

Please stay safe and warm and enjoy the beauty of the snow!


Invest In The Future: Choose A Private School Education

8th grade students watching a robotThere aren’t a lot of sure things in life. Financial markets are volatile; fashion is fickle, and this year’s winning team can snooze next season. In an unpredictable world, one of the best bets you can make is investing in a rigorous and empowering college prep education that will pay life-long dividends for your child.

Research from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) demonstrates that independent schools—including private institutions like Mounds Park Academy—prepare students for academic success, with graduating seniors at NAIS schools achieving substantially higher SAT results. Additionally, independent schools strengthen 21st century skills, with graduates spending more time asking questions in class, evaluating the quality or reliability of information, and looking for alternative solutions to a problem.

Independent schools also nurture in students the desire for a future that combines economic success with social responsibility and personal fulfillment. The data shows that graduates from NAIS schools were more likely than public school graduates to feel it is important or essential to be community leaders or become successful in their own businesses.

Excellence And MPA
Mounds Park Academy is one of the top two private schools in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area and one of the nation’s top STEM schools. We have a proven track record for excellence that seamlessly merges academics, arts and athletics in a welcoming environment that provides personalized attention. MPA cultivates each child’s strengths and fosters a love of learning, equipping students to make their mark individually and improve our global community. Mounds Park Academy families hail from 64 different zip codes throughout the greater Twin Cities and western Wisconsin, and reflect a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. Read More


Share Your Passion At Maker Fest

Makers at MPA Maker Fest 2019Do you love to craft, create, tinker, and make? Join us on February 22 from 1-3 PM for Maker Fest 2020! Sign up here to share your Maker talents, either individually or with a group to have your very own display table at MPA Maker Fest. This is the perfect opportunity to “show and tell” something that you have created and share your accomplishments with the community. Maker Fest is free is open to everyone–students, parents, grandparents, alums, faculty, staff, etc. We can’t wait to see your creations!

If you have questions, please contact Ms. Koen at nkoen@moundsparkacademy.org.


Say “Thanks!” With The Parents Association

middle school social studies class discussionMPA Faculty and Staff Appreciation Week is coming up! Save the date for February 3-7. This week is an opportunity to show thanks and appreciation to our wonderful faculty and staff during Lower and Middle School Conference week. A SignUp Genius link will be coming soon, where parents can sign-up to donate drinks and/or help the week of the event.  Thank you for showing your appreciation with us!


Who Mentored You?

alumni and mpa senior talking at the alumni mentor network programby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

My earliest recollection of my career aspirations is from when I was four or five. I remember having it narrowed down to two possibilities: gas station attendant and trash collector. I hope enough of you are old enough to remember when there were attendants who pumped gas, washed windshields, and checked the oil. For most of us, our thoughts about a career in our early years come from our role models, those we looked up to and wanted to emulate. My aspirations changed as I did and teaching became my desired career path.

Mentors and role models play a crucial part of our academic, ethical, and professional development. Their influence cannot be taken for granted as they help shape our values, actions, and behaviors. In the professional world, mentors and role models can influence our career paths as well as provide practical advice and insight into the workplace. They can also help to form and strengthen valuable connections that often lead to future employment. As it is said, “it isn’t what you know, but who you know.” Read More


Kindergartners Partner With Kowalski’s Market To Make An Impact

kindergarten student and fifth grader holding the bags they made togetherMounds Park Academy’s service-learning process and partnership with Kowalski’s Market is making an impact! It all began when MPA kindergartners learned the letter “T” for “turtles.” They discovered that sea turtles are dying by mistaking plastic bags in their ocean habitat for food. Then, they learned the word “activist” for the letter “A.” Through responsibility, courage, and inclusiveness, they joined the Upper School students at a weekly morning meeting to message ways to save sea turtles. The kindergartners also composed a letter to Kris Kowalski, owner of Kowalski’s Market, expressing their concern around plastic bags.

In their letter, the kindergartners acknowledged positive things Kowalski’s Market is already doing to make a difference in the community. Kowalski’s displays signage in their parking lots reminding customers to bring their reusable bags from the car, and they give five cents back to the customer for each reusable bag. Kris responded to the students’ letters, sharing more helpful information about their cause. The students learned more about consumer choices and individual responsibility for taking care of our environment. She included the Kowalski’s “Breakdown of the Bags” to help them be informed consumers.

MPA students develop academic, social, and life skills through the design thinking process. Therefore, the kindergarten class decided to make their reusable grocery bags in the Makerspace to be sold Kowalski’s Market. As the first step, kindergartners saw several prototype canvas bags and shared observations about the value in each bag. They carefully looked at the designs and sizes to determine which would be best for the consumer. After being donated canvas fabric and materials, they were ready to begin making their bags! Read More


The Journey To Where I Need To Be

Sehar Mapara '20The following essay is adapted from MPA Class of 2020 member Sehar Mapara’s Senior Speech.

Who I am today is a result of my diverse background and my family. I was born in Karachi, Pakistan with a loving father, mother and brother. At just a month old, I was already cruising on a plane flying from country to country because of my dad’s job.  Leaving my loving grandparents, Nani and Papa, my cousins, my friends, and my home at such a young age seemed easy at the moment but the further I went from my roots, the more confused I became about my identity.

Time went on, and we moved to Saudi Arabia, then to Dubai. I was a nerdy-looking little girl with brown skin in a classroom filled with international kids. I made some white friends and thought of myself as a whole new person.  It amazes me how even in the third grade, I was so influenced by the concept of looking different. Regardless, I started to love Dubai, my home, my friends, and my school, but before I knew it, it was time to move. Read More


Friendships And Connections Through Alumni Mentorship

Dorothy (Schilling) Tiernan '02 and Grace Holloway '20The MPA Mentorship Program entered into its second year with MPA Alumni being paired with a member of the senior class. The MPA Alum and seniors exchange three emails throughout the months of November and December. This year was wildly successful with more alumni interested in the program than we had seniors. Mentees and mentors were matched based on interests, hobbies, career goals, college choice, etc. It was clear from the first email exchange that having the mentorship program based upon similar common interests has been yielding more quality relationships. The Mentorship Program concludes with a Networking Event held at MPA with Alumni and Parents of Alumni networking with the Class of 2020. Unfortunately, due to MPA alumni living all over the world they are not always able to attend. Therefore, they take opportunities to connect in person outside of the Networking Event.

“MPA has such a unique fabric of experience and I’ve found it really fun to learn about someone else in this shared space, where I feel like I understand so much about where this student has come from—this academic environment and their academic development, and in a small way, have also been a part of their experience, and through it all, discovering all of these individual, remarkable talents that each student has, and the extraordinary qualities that are unique to them,” said Dorothy (Schilling) Tiernan ’02. “With every email, I am so impressed at what these students are thinking, asking, and doing.” Read More


Alumni Back At Home

alumni on campus for the winter socialThanks to college winter break and those traveling back for the holidays to spend time with family, we were excited to welcome so many alumni back home on campus at MPA. A variety of events occurred in the last month including basketball games, tours, and reunions. Read on to learn more!

Thanks For A Joyful Community Caroling!
Thank you to the MPA alumni who returned to campus for our annual holiday caroling! We love having you back to join us for this special tradition. Enjoy photos of the beautiful caroling here.

Alumni Basketball Game
There were 25 alumni, representing ten graduating classes, who joined current basketball players and coaches for the annual alumni game on Saturday, December 21 in the Lansing Sports Center at MPA. Boys Varsity Basketball head coach Jacob Schwartz ’09 shared, “It’s always good to have former players back on campus. The alumni game is a great way to reconnect and it’s something we all look forward to each year. Our overall turnout has been very encouraging, and we hope to see more alumni come back in the future.” Read More


Meet Annie Stewart ’11

Annie stewart '11Meet 2019-20 Alumni Association Board member Annie Stewart ’11!

After attending MPA from grades 6-12, Annie Stewart ’11 went to St. Olaf College for four years and graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in Theater. She worked at a number of theater companies in St. Paul and Minneapolis before finding her way back to MPA as a substitute teacher and PreK teaching assistant. She worked in MPA’s Lower School for a year before deciding to go back to school to pursue her K-6 teaching license and Masters in Elementary Education! Annie says that it was working at MPA that helped solidify her passion for teaching, and she is so thankful for all of the experiences that led her to where she is today.

“MPA was such an important place and community for many years of my academic career,” said Annie. “Now, as I am completing a license and Masters, I use the tools and skills I learned at MPA on a daily basis. Most importantly, I am excited to teach and that love of teaching comes from the teachers and community I had at MPA. I’m especially looking forward to teaching the next generation of students how to think, not just what to think.” Read More