(PHOTO: Fred Daniel, Mercedes Z. Sheppard, Linda Mitchell, Lynda Pariso)
We were thrilled to induct a new class into the Morgan Park Academy Hall of Fame on September 25, 2021: retired teachers and administrators Lynda Pariso and Barbara Tubutis and retired board members Fred Daniel and Jim Mitchell ’61.
Their contributions to our school over many decades have been tremendous!
Among our most generous supporters for four decades, Fred Daniel has been an active member of our school community through both his children and grandchildren attending MPA.
Daniel was a science professor at Malcolm X College for 30 years, through the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, including his tenure as chair of the chemistry department.
After he and his wife, Rosetta, brought their children to MPA, Daniel served as a member of our Board of Trustees for several years when Lisa ’89 and Kareem ’92 were students here.
But he says some of his favorite times at MPA were helping out with events put on by the Fathers’ Club. No one was better at flipping flapjacks at our annual pancake breakfast.
For 40 years, he has been a valued member of our school community, embodying our school mission and values, and our Warrior spirit.
We look forward to seeing him for years to come, cheering on his granddaughters at MPA graduations, performances, and sporting events.
Jim Mitchell ’61
Few individuals have impacted Morgan Park Academy the way that Jim Mitchell did.
Mitchell helped lead our school through a time of transition and reinvigoration while serving as a trustee from 2007-2014, including four years as board chair.
We were saddened by his passing in December 2020.
A tremendous leader and a tireless advocate for MPA students, faculty, and staff, Mitchell led a board that focused on strategic thinking to ensure a strong future for the school, championing the expansion of our global curriculum, renovating and renewing our facilities, and making it possible for us to continue to attract the best and brightest students and faculty.
His pride in his alma mater and his eagerness to serve were an outgrowth of his defining experience as a student at the Academy, spanning both our military boarding school era and our rebirth as a coed, college preparatory school.
He and his wife, Linda, supported our students and teachers in countless invaluable ways, ranking among the top donors in school history.
For his 50th class reunion in 2011, Mitchell spearheaded a class gift to build a classroom for the 21st century, leading the way with his own generous donation.
Moreover, he was a true ambassador for Morgan Park Academy, ever excited for our modern era of educational and technological advancement and community diversity.
Fifty-plus years after graduation, Mitchell spoke often, still with great emotion, of the crucial lessons he learned at the Academy, both in the classroom and on the basketball court, and the important relationships he had with his teachers, coaches, and classmates.
Throughout his long career at the international financial services company Northern Trust, from which he retired as Worldwide President, many of the lessons he drew on and imparted to others were ones he first learned as a young man at MPA.
We are forever grateful that he returned to help lead the Academy, impacting our students, families, and teachers for generations to come.
Lynda Pariso retired in June 2021 after 41 years at Morgan Park Academy, bringing to a close a teaching and coaching career that touched the lives of generations of children.
A native of Northwest Indiana, she joined the faculty in 1979, quickly establishing herself as an indispensable and indelible teacher and coach.
Over the course of her career, Pariso taught P.E. classes for all ages, led P.E. curriculum development, and coached several sports. She served as Director of Athletics for 21 years.
Pariso coached volleyball and basketball early in her MPA career, but her first passion was softball, the sport she played at Indiana State University — reaching the College World Series in 1976 — and with the Terre Haute Chevettes, a traveling team that won Indiana amateur championships and earned a place in the Indiana ASA Hall of Fame.
At MPA, she founded a softball dynasty that stretched across 30 years. In 23 seasons as head coach (1981-2000, 2005-2007), she won seven Independent School League (ISL) championships and five ISL Coach of the Year awards, coached four ISL Players of the Year, and enjoyed one undefeated season.
She became Director of Athletics in 2000, overseeing a sports program that produced dozens of individual and team championships. She was inducted into the MPA Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.
Two years ago, the Illinois Athletic Directors Association selected her as an Athletic Director of the Year, recognizing her “commitment, desire, loyalty, character, and leadership qualities to administer a high school athletic program which exemplifies the highest standards of discipline, honesty, and dignity.”
In 20 years at MPA, Barb Tubutis did it all.
She joined us in 1990 to teach Middle School humanities and quickly established herself as a key member of our faculty. She chaired the social studies department, and in 2000, became the principal of Middle School, taking particular pride in the work that she and our school counselors were able to do to revamp and improve the advisory program to better serve students.
When we needed an Upper School principal, Tubutis added those duties as well, and then when we needed a Head of School in 2008, she and Mercedes Z. Sheppard shared that role on an interim basis.
Tubutis oversaw our academic programs as Assistant Head of School before retiring from the Academy in 2010.
About five years, she agreed to serve our school once again as a member of our Board of Trustees, lending us her invaluable perspective as a dedicated educator and school leader.
Her impact on a generation of MPA students and teachers will not soon be forgotten.
HALL OF FAME MEMBERS
A. Richard Ayers ’36
Dr. Larry Brown
Donald Carner ’35
Dr. Hugo Cuadros
Jean Doyle ’79
Richard Duchossois ’40
Saul Epton ’27
Elaine Darre Gillies
Louis Kole ’48
H. Irwin Martin ’40
Michael McClure ’60
Fred Montgomery ’64
Raymond Regan ’56
Kenneth Saul ’42
Roy Schoenbrod ’36
Capt. Jean Landon Taylor
Jerome Thrall ’44
James Tuthill ’48