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