The fourth of five siblings to graduate from Morgan Park Academy, Andrea Mackevicius Marks ’86 is Chief Analytics Officer for the pharmacy benefits provider Catamaran, after earning her undergraduate degree at Loyola University Chicago and a Master’s at DePaul University.
What was your time at MPA like?
I remember my high school years at MPA very fondly. The aspects that stand out the most are the connections I made with both the students and the faculty. MPA felt like a small, tight-knit community, where there was a mutual respect for every person, regardless of interests, class standing, race, or religious beliefs. In fact, I would say that the school was very progressive in terms of supporting the uniqueness of each individual to create a very open culture ripe for learning. The experience at MPA made me appreciate people’s differences, an attitude I have proudly carried with me since then.
What are some of the most important things you learned?
High school is such a formative time, and there are a few key life skills that I learned during my time at MPA. The first is confidence. The innate culture at MPA was that your opinions counted. Your thinking was challenged, and you were pushed to support your beliefs, which in the end, built confidence in the ability to reason through problems.
The second most important thing was that it was OK to take risks, or try something new. Only in a small school with a rich commitment to offering opportunities to the student body are you able to participate in such a wide variety of sports and clubs. You don’t have to be the star athlete to run track — I should know. The opportunity to explore so many interests at a young age was so valuable, helping me become a well-rounded citizen and always open to new experiences.