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Maine School of Science and Mathematics leaders leave school to seize new opportunities

LIMESTONE, Maine — When the Maine School of Science and Mathematics celebrated graduation this spring, the ceremony also marked a farewell for Executive Director Luke Shorty and Mathematics Department Chair Pete Pedersen.

Pedersen will retire July 31.

Pete Pedersen (Contributed)

“I am actually sad about leaving after 16 years at MSSM,” Pedersen said, “and I am really going to miss my students.

MSSM Executive Director Luke Shorty stands outside of the school before the Class of 2018’s graduation. Like the graduating class, 2018 marks Shorty’s final year at the Limestone school. (Christopher Bouchard)

“I am starting work on a doctorate of mathematics,” he continued. “I’m building a house on Vinalhaven and will be living there when I am not in class in Tampere, Finland. I could be teaching something in discrete mathematics or analysis or second-year calculus.”

Pedersen also said he plans to write a book for math team coaches on how to run a successful math team. The first draft should be ready in August.

Shorty, who will leave the school this summer after seven years as director and two years as mathematics instructor, said, “I just want to say thank you to MSSM for helping to shape and develop me into the person that I am today. From being a student to having the honor and privilege of teaching and then leading the school for the last seven years, I never would have imagined this opportunity. I’m very, very thankful for that and appreciative.”

Shorty will continue his career in education, working with the Department of Education in various capacities.

“MSSM will always have an ally in me, regardless of the role I play,” Shorty said, “and I will be an ally that lasts a lifetime.”

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