The months of effort on the part of Mount Prospect Academy students were on full display at the annual Pike Fair on Saturday May 18th, 2024. On what was a lovely spring day, the event celebrated the effort, dedication, and compassion of MPA students for their achievements connected to the farm animals they take care of each day.


(Left to Right)
Principal Carl Chambers,
Teacher, Pat Underhill,
Academic Youth Counselor, Kayla Keith

As in past years, teamwork, and collaboration between MPA Faculty and Administration across programs produced an all-day experience that was welcoming, enjoyable, and appreciated by the students, their families, and the invited guests.

With onlookers cheering the procession, the day began with an Animal Parade that featured each animal and their handlers moving to the fairground pens for fitting prior to the showmanship contests. Snacks and drinks, a facepainting table, coloring contests, animal husbandry information booths welcomed participants, visitors, and MPA faculty to the Hall Farm location.


Paraeducator, Amy Peters-Basch and Teacher, Eric Underhill


The Goats and Miniature Hereford showmanship contests headlined the morning events, with MPA students showing their animals in the ring to the gathered crowd and judges.










The showmanship contest focused on the preparation of animals for show, the degree of apparent training, and the management and behavior the exhibitor displayed during the presentation.

The annual show helps MPA students build a passion for working with animals while teaching responsibility.

Together with MPA’s wildlife preserve/outdoor recreational center and the MPA Adventure Therapy program, the Pike Fair promotes students’ fitness and competency, while acting as a means to develop their fine and gross motor skills in a safe, therapeutic, and supportive environment.

One MPA Faculty member stated that the show is always successful because it serves as a public acknowledgement and affirmation for the long hours of work on the part of the students. All students were presented with an award.


The variety of commendations ranged from a Herdsmanship Award, a Peer Support Award, a range of ‘Shepard’ Awards, a Stepping-up Award, and a Perseverance Award, in addition to others.

“The sense of pride and responsibility are obvious. The growth of self-confidence and the improvement of their abilities, and watching their excitement during the day, and the passion they have for the animals for which they care is truly inspiring.”

A student competes in the Hay Bale Toss Contest

Following a grand cookout under an enormous tent the community of students, families, and faculty continued the daily events with a dunk tank, cornhole competition, hay bale toss, and a drone obstacle course.

Dean of Students, Dan Carbee on the Grill


Dean of Students, Jerod Florentine into the Dunk Tank









MPA Faculty operated the various festive activities and even took turns taking a splash down into the dunk tank. An ending ceremony and few more awards brought what was a fully enjoyable and celebratory day for all to a well-received conclusion.