Category Archives: From the Head of School

Thank You!


The Annual Fund Gala is one of my favorite nights of the year at Morgan Park Academy, not only because it is a great party, but because it is a powerful reminder that all of us — parents, teachers, alumni, and friends of MPA — share a core belief in this school and what has made it a unique and special place for 141 years.

Saturday night, more than 240 of us came together to demonstrate that belief, raising $200,000 for student programs, faculty professional development, financial assistance, and facilities improvements. Thank you for supporting our students and teachers!

I have many people to thank, starting with our industrious, creative, and boundlessly energetic event chair, Kristen Carbone. It was a fantastic evening, from the wonderful Monopoly theme to our lively auctioneer, Christian Rogala, to the R&B stylings of the Legendary Drifters, and it couldn’t have happened without Kristen’s volunteer efforts.

We also are hugely grateful to event underwriter Bank of America and our tremendous sponsors, led by Kristen and her husband Demetri, Debra and Carlos Smith, Julia Harris, Masheba Gailey-Harris and Michael Harris, Amy and Michael DeLaney, and Whitney and Kenneth Finkelstein. Their support of this event and the mission of our school is remarkable and much appreciated.

Thank you, indeed, to all the parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends who joined us last weekend, partnering with us to ensure that our school continues to thrive. Your support of our students and faculty through the Annual Giving Fund means the world to me and to all of us here at Morgan Park Academy.

By Mercedes Z. Sheppard

Mrs. Sheppard is our Head of School

Service Through Action

Relay For Life 2013

What inspires you?

There are lots of things that inspire me: watching my children explore, enjoying the smell of lilacs in the spring, and seeing the underdog pull off a win, to name a few.

Here at Morgan Park Academy, I am inspired every day by the efforts our students and teachers put forth to make a positive difference in our world. Fostering that drive in students is a key part of our school mission and a fundamental part of life at MPA throughout its long history.

That’s why our theme for this school year is “Service Through Action.”

Service through action is how we relate to the world around us — locally, nationally, and globally. We want to make an impact, in our own little way, by how we use our time and talents in service to others, and we have created a purposeful framework, to that end, for our community’s service efforts.

We embrace the vision of service through action described by the National Youth Leadership Council, one that “combines classroom instruction with meaningful community service, emphasizing critical thinking and personal reflection while encouraging a heightened sense of community, civic engagement, and personal responsibility.”

Tomorrow’s Relay For Life event, for example, is our school-wide service activity for the fall semester. We are all looking forward to the fun and fellowship of this fourth annual event, but we have redoubled our focus on the core goals of education about cancer prevention and fundraising for the American Cancer Society.

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