Renowned mathematician, educator and mentor, Mike McGrath, is retiring from the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) after 32 years of service as educator, department chair, and representative to the board.
“LSMSA is truly unique, and I am sincerely grateful for my 32 years there,” said McGrath. “I have learned so much from my colleagues and from my students, and it has been a pleasure to spend my career having the opportunity to be a small part in the lives of so many young scholars with so much potential. I will always be a supporter and ambassador for LSMSA.”
During his long career as an educator, McGrath has taught advanced concepts in every level of mathematics from Geometry to Calculus II, and for more than 20 years at LSMSA, he has served as chair of the Department of Math and Computer Science. He has achieved the school’s highest faculty rank of senior lecturer, and in 2013, he was elected by his peers to serve as the faculty representative to the school’s Board of Directors, a role in which he spent six years.
“Mr. McGrath’s service to the school has been an extraordinary part of our campus life throughout his long tenure here,” said Dr. Kristi Key, director of academic services. “As a professor, as a department chair, and as a member of our Board of Directors, Mike has regularly approached our campus needs and campus services with a thoughtfulness and professionalism that reflects his dedication and his convictions. He’s been a master teacher in his field, a leader among the faculty, and a generous mentor, and we’re going to miss his presence on campus very much.”
A native of West Virginia, McGrath received bachelor’s degrees in math and physical education from Pensacola Christian College and a master’s in mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Before joining the faculty at LSMSA in 1988, he taught for eight years at Northside Christian Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina, totaling a 40-year career as an educator.
In addition to delivering several talks at the Louisiana Association of Teachers of Mathematics conferences across the state, McGrath has presented workshops and given talks at regional and national meetings of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Teachers Teaching with Technology, and the International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics.
He served as advisor of the Student Government Organization for about 10 years and has regularly offered summer school courses for LSMSA students.
In retirement, McGrath hopes to travel more and spend time with his grandchildren. A reception in his honor is being planned for the fall semester.
Photo: From left, Life-long educator Mike McGrath instructs his favorite subject, Calculus, to former students Sneha Yadlapati and Nellie New. Photo credit: Thorn LaCaze