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Mass Academy Marks 10th Anniversary

Mass Academy director Bob Salvatelli and principal Pauline Lamarche welcomed the largest enrollment ever this fall.

The Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science at WPI graduated its 10th class last May, bringing to nearly 400 the number of students who've received diplomas from the specialized public high school. The academy celebrated the milestone with awards to more than a dozen people who helped create the school.

Receiving a special citation was former state senator Arthur Chase, whose support was instrumental in creating the academy. Chase was in office in 1992 when the Massachusetts Legislature founded the school to provide a unique learning environment for high school juniors and seniors with exceptional aptitude in math and science.

Among the academy's many accomplishments, Principal Pauline Lamarche cites a dynamic, constantly evolving curriculum (most graduates go on to high-quality four-year colleges, and most stay in math and science), the school's growing acceptance at home (38 communities now send students to the Mass Academy), and its growing recognition nationally.

This fall, enrollment reached a new peak, a milestone Lamarche attributes to the academy's growing reputation. She says the school is able to accommodate larger enrollments because of a growing number of visiting scholars, who complement the permanent faculty of four. What began as an initiative to rotate in practicing math and science teachers has evolved instead into a kind of on-the-job training program for professionals who want to change careers and teach. "We're helping put more math and science teachers into the field," she says.

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Last modified: Sep 02, 2004, 11:11 EDT
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