Mathematics

The Mathematics program enables students to develop an understanding of mathematical concepts and to gain proficiency with the mechanics of mathematics.

The curriculum provides experiences designed to help students move along the continuum from concrete to abstract mathematical representations. These experiences include continued development of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, along with advanced concepts with a further goal of training students in the “language” of mathematics, thus preparing them for future work in math and science.

MacDuffie’s mathematics curriculum treats problem-solving as an ongoing process, designed to help students bridge the gap between the theory of mathematics and its applications in the real world. Problems are presented in a manner that requires students to use their knowledge and understanding to resolve new situations. The introduction of historical references is designed to show students that mathematics is a human endeavor and to lead them towards a greater appreciation of the power of pure mathematical thinking.

All math classes at MacDuffie encourage independent thinking and the willingness to take academic risks.

International and other selected students entering MacDuffie are tested for math proficiency. Math placement is based on the test results and previous math achievement.

Photo of Trish Cox

Trish Cox

Dean of Students; Math Teacher

B.A., Goucher College
M.L.A., Western Maryland College

Trish Cox joined the MacDuffie family in 2018 after spending 22 years working at boarding schools in Maryland. As dean of students, she values the opportunities she has to help students grow and learn as young adults. In addition to her role as dean, Trish enjoys teaching math, particularly Algebra I.…

Photo of Peter Shelburne P’14, P’17, P’20

Peter Shelburne P’14, P’17, P’20

Mathematics Department Chair; Mathematics Teacher; Ultimate Frisbee Coach

B.A., Yale University
Ph.D., Michigan State University

Peter Shelburne lives in nearby Northampton and has three children who have attended MacDuffie (classes of 2014, 2017, 2020).  He enjoys developing projects to challenge and engage students in classes like BC AP and Multivariable Calculus and Pre-AP Calculus. He helped start the Ultimate Frisbee program at MacDuffie and has been the head Ultimate coach for eleven years.…

Photo of Nancy Swol

Nancy Swol

Mathematics Teacher

B.S., North Adams State College

Nancy Swol was born and raised in Western Massachusetts and has a rich history of teaching in both the Chicopee and Ludlow school districts. Along with being a mathematics teacher, she was also a pet shop owner for many years. Nancy enjoys reading, attending concerts, trying new restaurants, and vacationing with her husband Ron.…

Photo of Dennis Wilcox

Dennis Wilcox

Mathematics Teacher

B.A., Skidmore College

Dennis Wilcox is a mathematics teacher at MacDuffie. He earned a B.A. in Mathematics from Skidmore College.  He began working at MacDuffie in 2013 but has been teaching math since 2000.  He enjoys spending time with his children, playing basketball, and watching baseball.

Photo of Craig Woolley

Craig Woolley

Math Teacher

A.S., Monroe Community College
B.A., SUNY at Buffalo

Craig joined the MacDuffie School in 2004 as a mathematics and science teacher in 2004 after more than 20 years in academic, medical, and industrial research.  He served as the Science Department Chair for eight years, relinquishing that role in 2015.

At SUNY at Buffalo, Craig worked in the Biophysics Department researching the structure and function of biological membrane systems utilizing Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). …