Attend HeadSpace With Dr. Bill Hudson!

HeadSpace BillDr. Bill Hudson, Head of School, launched HeadSpace as a way to connect with families around big-picture topics relevant to today’s world. Please join him for the next and last informal conversation of the year about a topic that matters, a topic that is worth grappling over. You’ll walk away feeling enlightened, connected, and empowered.

Mental Health Crisis
Tuesday, April 9 | 3:15 PM
Martin Lenz Harrison Library

If you have any questions about HeadSpace, please contact Cherie Honan, assistant to the head of school, at

Join Us For Cultural Celebration Day at MPA!

CC DayEnjoy an evening of food, music, and crafts from around the world by attending Cultural Celebration Day at MPA! The MPA Parents Association invites you to partake in the event that highlights the many different backgrounds present in our school. Cultural Celebration Day is set to take place on April 11, from 3-6 PM in the Family Commons.

  • Enjoy sweet and savory street food from around the world and an international tea bar.
  • Experience beautiful music and interactive folk and classical dance performances.
  • Engage with community members sharing their cultural heritage.

Other offerings include going home with some cool body art from an expert henna artist, trying your hand at global crafts such as Greek laurel wreath making or Rangoli, and learning how to use chopsticks.

Also available will be a food demonstration, an opportunity to learn the steps of Sirtaki, a Greek folk dance, and Kathak, an Indian classical dance! Chatting with community members with booths set up to share their culture and or offer samples of their cuisine is strongly encouraged!

Food and drink tickets ($1 each) will be sold at the event. Zabiha, vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free options are available. Please email with any questions regarding Cultural Celebration Day at MPA!

Welcome to MPA, Giselle Wynia!

Giselle WyniaWelcome to MPA, Giselle Wynia! Giselle joins us as a Middle School science and design teacher. We are so excited to introduce her to our community!

What school/organization are you coming from?
I previously worked for St. Odilia School.

Tell us about your education and past experience.
Prior to teaching middle school science, I taught courses at the University of Minnesota including human anatomy and worked in the anatomy bequest program. I have a Masters of instruction in human anatomy and physiology. I left the University of Minnesota to teach middle school science, and it is the most fun I have had during my teaching career. I have experience in public and private schools, and I am currently finishing up the year at St. Odilia. I have a passion for lifelong learning and I am excited to share that with the students at MPA.

What did you find appealing about MPA?
The sense of community and belonging was evident from the time I walked in the door. I really enjoyed my time teaching in Mr. Milam’s room as the students were eager to participate and a joy to interact with. Read More

The Why Behind End-Of-Term Exams

Mark Segalfrom Mark Segal, Upper School director

Editor’s Note: Periodically, you will find a guest Head’s Message here from members of the administrative team. We hope you will enjoy reading their thoughts and reflections about life at MPA.

The pressure to end the quarter on the “right note” is frequently a focus for students and their families this time of year. Next week in the Upper School, most third-quarter English, math, science, social studies, and world language classes will be offering final exams to students in grades 9-11 (seniors do not take final exams.) End-of-term final assessments serve as a crucial tool to assess students in educational systems worldwide. They play a pivotal role in evaluating students’ comprehension, retention, and application of rigorous course material.

Research underscores their significance in measuring learning outcomes and guiding instructional strategies. According to a study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, “Final exams contribute substantially to students’ overall academic performance, with performance on these assessments strongly correlating with their final grades.” End-of-term exams also highlight areas of strength and vulnerability, informing students and their teachers of areas of focus and adjustment.

MPA faculty do a wonderful job of asking students essential questions based upon the material taught and discussions had throughout the quarter. According to the Institute of Education Sciences, “Cumulative and larger end-of-term exams have been proven to improve long-term knowledge retention, cementing the very reason we go to school in the first place.”

Read More

Classes Canceled March 25

Good morning, MPA Families –

Members of the administrative team and I have been closely monitoring the weather and road conditions since Sunday morning. Unfortunately, due to the storm, we have decided to cancel all classes, activities, and events for Monday, March 25.

We do not take this decision lightly as we balance the safety of our students, families, and employees with our commitment to having students at school. Safety, however, is always our highest priority.

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday after what I hope was a wonderful spring break. Enjoy the snow day!

Dr. Bill Hudson
Head of School

A Vibrant Place To Learn And Grow

students learning to surf in Costa Rica during itermThis message is from MPA’s Office of Admission from the March 10, 2024 issue of InsideMPA. Click here to get in touch with Admission and learn more!

In and beyond the classroom, MPA students are inspired to pursue their aspirations with confidence and curiosity.

Last week, Middle School students embarked on Innovation Term (i-Term). This signature MPA Middle School program offers students a learning experience like no other in a single class of their choice. One week long and entirely ungraded, this is inquiry-based, experiential learning that far exceeds what can normally happen in the classroom. Some chose a French immersion experience in Quebec City. Others observed biology in Costa Rica. No matter which class they choose, students in small, mixed-grade classes go out into the world, work with subject-matter experts, and ignite some serious passions along the way. Read More

Meet International Student Ella Li ’24

Ella Li '24 Ella Li has been at MPA since eighth grade. She is from China and is currently living with an MPA host family. Learn more about our international student program and becoming a host family here!

What do you love about MPA?
I love the various curriculums at MPA. I can take different humanities courses, like world history, Western literature, US history, etc. From these courses, I have been able to learn about many interesting cultures and read high-quality literature works from the US. Also, I can access different levels of math classes, like algebra, statistics, and calculus, which inspired my curiosity to explore more knowledge. MPA’s science courses, such as physics, chemistry, biology, and environmental science, are wonderful. Additionally, I like watercolor drawing, painting, and photography. At MPA, I have opportunities to take various art courses, such as art and design. All of these courses enrich my life at MPA.

How is your experience at MPA different than your former school?
At MPA, I have a closer relationship with each teacher and classmates. During class, I have a lot of group discussions and projects with my classmates. We could share many exciting ideas and help each other. After class, I am also very willing to discuss questions with my teachers. They always give me detailed explanations, enabling me to understand the content I learned clearly. In my former school, I spent most of my time preparing for standard tests, rarely had opportunities to discuss questions with teachers, and participated in after-class activities. Read More

Micah Hudock Becomes MPA All-Time Leading Boys Basketball Scorer

Micah Hudock '24Micah Hudock ’24 wasn’t sure if he would end up becoming the MPA all-time leading scorer in boys history. After missing time due to injuries, the senior needed to make the most of his opportunities on the court.

“I dealt with a lot of ankle injuries on my first, second, and third year playing on the team,” Micah said.

Overcoming the time missed, he was able to do just that, eclipsing the Panthers record for boys scoring by beating the previous high of 1,256. The previous record was held by Brendan Connolly ’17. Read More

Upper School Division News March 7, 2024

US newsfrom Mark Segal, Upper School director

Mark Your Calendars

  • Friday, March 8: Spring Break Begins at 3 PM
  • Monday, March 11-24: No Classes, Spring Break
  • Monday, March 25: Classes Resume at 8 AM
  • Tuesday, April 2: World Language Final Exams During Scheduled Class Time
  • Wednesday, April 3: World Language Final Exams During Scheduled Class Time
  • Thursday, April 4: Science Final Exams, 8:45-10:15 AM
  • Thursday, April 4: English Final Exams, 12-1:30 PM
  • Friday, April 5: Math Final Exams, 8:45-10:15 AM
  • Friday, April 5: Social Studies Final Exams, 12-1:30 PM
  • Friday, April 5: End of Quarter 3
  • Monday, April 8: Quarter 4 Begins
  • Wednesday, April 10: No Classes, Eid al-Fitr
  • Thursday, April 11: Parents Association Cultural Celebration Day
  • Saturday, April 13: National ACT Test Date, 8 AM-1 PM, Lansing Sports Center
  • Thursday, April 18: Senior Performances, 8-9:15 AM, Nicholson Center
  • Friday, April 19: MPA Spring Auction, 6:30-11 PM, Dellwood Golf Club
  • Friday, April 26: Spring Musical, The Hello Girls, 7-9 PM, Nicholson Center
  • Saturday, April 27: Spring Musical, The Hello Girls, 7-9 PM, Nicholson Center
  • Sunday, April 28: Spring Musical, The Hello Girls, 2-4 PM, Nicholson Center
  • Friday, May 3: Upper School Parent’s Association Coffee, 8-9:30 AM, PCR

Important Information

  1. If your student will be absent, late, or needs to be excused early from school, please reach out to the Upper School office via
  2. On Thursday, April 4, and Friday, April 5, there are no regular Upper School classes. There are only final exams these two days. Upper School students may be on campus before and after their final exams, and lunch will be available for those students on the MPA lunch plan
    11:20-11:45 AM. Light breakfast and snack items will be available throughout the day to all Upper School students outside of the Upper School office. Please note that Middle and Lower School students will follow their regular class schedule all week and only Upper School has a modified schedule for final exams.
  3. Be on the lookout for information about the 2024 MPA Spring Auction, Together We Can Move Mountains, scheduled for Friday, April 19 at Dellwood Golf Club. This is your chance to attend a night of fun, inspiration, and community building while supporting MPA with fellow parents, alumni, and friends.

High school is one of the best times of a student’s life. Friendships are solidified, passions and future aspirations are explored and realized, and liberties are often earned and granted. High school can also be one of the most dangerous times in a student’s life. Beliefs of invincibility and that rules may not always apply are normal and developmentally in line with their peers. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Although the brain stops growing in size by early adolescence, the prefrontal cortex, responsible for planning, prioritizing, and making good decisions, doesn’t finish developing until an individual is in their mid-to-late 20s.” As someone who works with teenagers in a school setting, this information is confirmed daily.

I share the above information as I met with members of the senior class recently as I learned that the annual game of “Nerf Wars” is staring up again. A version of tag, “Nerf Wars,” involves using high-powered Nerf guns to shoot foam projectiles at other participants. Once a player is hit, they are out of the game. During the games, however, good decision-making is often traded for impulsive actions that can have tragic outcomes. According to an organizer of a Nerf War game at a local high school, “the game includes people flying down alleys, running and jumping into cars, no one is wearing their seat belts, as you have to be ready to go.” Unfortunately, several local students from the Twin Cities metro area have been injured in automobile accidents in recent years, and in 2015 two high school students from Lakeville died when their car crashed while playing the game. Dangers also exist as some participants “go into stealth mode” by dressing in black and sneaking around at nighttime in neighborhoods that they are not familiar with or where people are unaware of the game. Unaware neighbors have been known to call the police, scared that there are people lurking around their homes, and police officers have shown up with guns drawn to address the situation.

I shared with the seniors that we care about them and implore them to make good choices and to be safe if they decide to participate. It is also important to pass this information to you, and the adults in their lives, as I am sure that this game is not limited to only members of the senior class and want to make you aware of the possibility of your child participating.

As we head off into Spring Break, I hope your families find time to rest, refresh, and spend time together. I look forward to seeing you on campus soon.

Host Families Needed; Referral Bonus Offered

Host FamilyWe are so fortunate to welcome international students from around the world to MPA through our International Student Program. A $10,000 per student stipend is paid to host families to cover the cost of room, board, and transportation from August to June. Typically, families host for at least one full year and sometimes for a student’s entire MPA experience. As you warmly welcome this student into your home, you will gain a first-hand understanding of another culture, a lifelong relationship with your students, and so much more.

If you are interested …
Contact Cory Becker-Kim, international student program coordinator, at or 651-748-5541. Get started on the host family application form here.

If you know someone outside our community who is interested …
Please share with them. When they reach out, share your name, and become an approved host family, you will receive a $200 referral bonus in the form of a Visa gift card.

Thank you in advance for your interest and/or for recommending this opportunity to your friends, neighbors, and colleagues.