May 22, 2018
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Former MSSM student hired as executive director

Courtesy photo | BDN
Courtesy photo | BDN
Luke Shorty.
By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

LIMESTONE, Maine — For the first time in the school’s history, a graduate of the Maine School of Science and Mathematics will serve as its executive director.

Officials at the institution announced earlier this week that Luke Shorty, who graduated from the school in 1998, has been hired to lead the magnet school. He was one of the school’s first graduates and is currently a mathematics instructor at the facility. He was hired for that position in 1999 and will begin in his new post on July 1.

The executive director oversees the school’s full operations, including its academic program, residential life and finances.

Jerry Pieh, chair of the MSSM board of trustees, said his colleagues were “thrilled” to have Shorty on board as an administrator.

“Since joining MSSM’s faculty in 2009, he has brought a wealth of energy, expertise, and new ideas to the school,” Pieh noted. “He has taken the initiative to build partnerships with other organizations that have afforded exceptional new learning opportunities for MSSM students. His personal experience at MSSM during the school’s early days makes him a unique leader and a compelling spokesperson.”

Shorty holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Maine at Farmington and a master’s degree in mathematics from Montana State University. He began his teaching career at Poland Regional High School and joined MSSM’s mathematics department in 2009.

“Becoming MSSM’s next executive director will be an honor” said Shorty. “The school is truly a unique place; we have talented students, a world-class faculty, and dedicated staff. I look forward to working hard with all of them to help strengthen and expand MSSM’s programs.”

Pieh said the board chose Shorty after undertaking an open national search that involved advertising in national, state and local media outlets, professional publications, and scores of applicants.

Michael Sonntag, vice president for academic affairs at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, has been acting executive director at MSSM during the 2010-11 school year. Pieh said school officials are “deeply grateful” to Sonntag for his work.

The Maine School of Science and Mathematics, established 16 years ago, is Maine’s first and only statewide public residential high school. Its graduates include Rhodes and Fulbright scholars, nuclear engineers, medical doctors, teachers, professors and entrepreneurs. For three years in a row, U.S. News and World Report ranked the Maine School of Science and Mathematics among the 100 best public high schools in the nation.

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