New Director Appointed at Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science

Contact: WPI Media & Community Relations

Worcester, Mass. - The new director of the Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science is Robert A. Salvatelli of Leominster, Mass. who most recently served as principal of Johnny Appleseed Elementary School in Leominster. He succeeds James Hamos who moved to the president's office of the University of Massachusetts system as a senior associate in academic affairs.

Salvatelli brings 26 years experience in school leadership positions, most recently as Johnny Appleseed's principal from 1973 to 1999. He earlier served as assistant principal at Fall Brook Elementary School from 1971-73 and as a teacher in Lunenburg public schools from 1964 to 1971.

"I'm especially pleased to come to the Massachusetts Academy as its director," he says. "It's an exciting opportunity working with an outstanding student body, master teachers, and WPI."

WPI Assistant Provost Lance Schachterle announced Salvatelli's appointment in a letter to parents and noted that the new director has developed a state-wide reputation for supporting innovative teaching. "His experience in helping teachers from diverse backgrounds to form effective teams and to promote successful pedagogy will be especially helpful." Schachterle also cited Salvatelli's work on a variety of projects for the Massachusetts Department of Education including the committee to establish teacher testing and evaluation standards. He noted the director's role in the continuing development of the academy as an innovative program for accelerated mathematics and science students and as a laboratory recognized for developing and implementing interdisciplinary and project-based educational reform.

Salvatelli has been active in local and state politics for more than 40 years including leadership roles in Congressional campaigns. He is presently running unopposed for his district seat on the Leominster City Council. He plans to use this background to design an elective for academy students to become involved in civic and political processes.

One of his first actions as director he says is to meet with superintendents, principals, and math and science teachers as well as civic groups. "I want them to know about the academy's excellence and what it offers academically-talented students and my visions for the academy's future."

Academy Director Salvatelli earned his bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Bridgeport and his master's degree in administration from Fitchburg State College. He has completed additional coursework and extensive workshop experience in special education, gifted and talented, management techniques, supervision, and drugs and alcohol.

Salvatelli is a member of the Central Massachusetts Principals' Center for School-Business Initiatives, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the Massachusetts Association of Elementary Principals Legislative Committee. He is also active in community activities as a deputy state commissioner in A.S. A. Junior Olympic Softball and a member of the Elks Lodge and Knights of Columbus. He is an active member of the board of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials.

The academy was founded in August of 1992 by the Massachusetts Legislature to provide a unique learning environment for high school juniors and seniors with exceptional aptitude in mathematics and science. A public high school, it's located on the WPI campus as a collaborative effort of the Massachusetts Department of Education, WPI and the Massachusetts public high schools. Juniors take courses taught by master teachers at the academy while seniors take freshman courses at WPI. Last year 34 seniors and 41 juniors were enrolled at the academy with 20 percent coming from Worcester schools.

The Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science begins its school year with seniors arriving on Aug. 23 and juniors on Aug. 24. More information about the Academy is available at its website, http://www.massacademy.org/