Massachusetts Academy of Math & Science at WPI Appoints New Director
Anne Ludes of Framingham was appointed the new director of the Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), effective July 1, replacing Michael Barney, who will remain co-director until his retirement on Dec. 31.
Ludes, currently assistant superintendent for secondary education in the Framingham Public School District, earned a bachelor of arts in mathematics and secondary education at Providence College and a master of arts in mathematics at Boston College. Her background includes teaching mathematics and extensive work in curriculum development, instruction, assessment, and professional development.
“I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to serve as the next director of the Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science at WPI," Ludes said. "I am inspired by the school's commitment to rigorous coursework, high expectations, and project-based learning experiences for students.”
The Mass Academy has earned high accolades, including being ranked as the best public high school in Massachusetts (Niche’s list of best public high schools, 2021). It was also listed at No. 10 among the top 5,000 STEM high schools in 2019 per rankings by Newsweek and STEM.org, honoring excellence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
“As director at the Mass Academy, Anne really is taking on two jobs,” said Art Heinricher, dean of undergraduate studies at WPI. “The Mass Academy at WPI is a unique partnership between a public high school and a private university. Every year, 50 outstanding high school juniors enroll, and the Mass Academy faculty prepare them for a senior year of WPI courses taught by the university’s faculty. Since the Mass Academy is a public high school, Anne has all of the responsibilities of the principal, and because it is also its own school district, she also has all of the responsibilities of the superintendent for a school district. Mass Academy is an incredible school that will benefit from her exceptional leadership.”
Mass Academy students are regularly at the forefront of regional, state, national, and international competitions such as those involving robotics, mathematics, and computer science; science fairs; and assistive technology showcases. Students also hold provisional patents in areas such as medical devices and assistive technology and have been honored in The Boston Globe Scholastic Art and Writing Contest, the Massachusetts All-State Band, and the American Invitational Mathematics Examination, among others. Its graduates are accepted at some of the most prestigious universities in the world, including WPI, MIT, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Brown, Dartmouth, and Yale.
“Our search committee is thrilled with Anne’s appointment. All those involved with the search were impressed with her credentials, her public and committee sessions, and her site visit,” said Barney, who has been the director of Mass Academy since July 2011 and has served the National Consortium of Specialized STEM Schools as a board member for seven years and president for one year. “We feel she will do an outstanding job as the next director. I am looking forward to working with Anne through the transition.”
In addition to Barney, members of the search committee were Art Heinricher, WPI’s Dean of Undergraduate Studies; previous Mass Academy director Bob Salvatelli; Mass Academy faculty Angela Taricco and Kristen Small; students William Babincsak and Yiming Fang; alumnus Rachel Johnson; parent Mona Carpenter-Bowen; community representative Micah Chase; Kathy Chen, executive director of the WPI STEM Education Center; and Kola Akindele, assistant vice president, WPI external relations and strategic partnerships.
About The Academy of Math and Science at WPI
Mass Academy is a free, co-educational, public school of excellence that enrolls approximately 100 academically accelerated 11th and 12th grade students from Massachusetts. Math and science are emphasized within a comprehensive, interactive academic program. Rigorous junior year classes and senior classes taken at WPI prepare students for college academics before they’ve graduated from high school.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute