During his 15 years as a mathematics teacher at Rivers, Dan McCartney earned a reputation as one of the school’s most engaging, charismatic teachers, with a unique ability to ignite in students a love of math and of learning in general. We could think of no better way to honor Dan than to create in his name a permanent program of distinction in the math department. The McCartney Scholars Program is a special initiative intended to nurture a passion for mathematics among students at Rivers and memorialize a teacher who gave so much of his spirit and energy to Rivers students.
Those accepted into the program have the opportunity to develop their mathematical skills through access to special advising, additional coursework, alumni mentorship, and more. Each year, all rising juniors with a passion for math are eligible to apply to the program, and up to six students are selected. Students will hold the distinction of being McCartney Scholars for their junior and senior years.
The first class of scholars was selected in December 2021. Victoria Mizzi, math faculty member and McCartney Scholars coordinator, said she was pleased to find that the applicants had a broad set of interests beyond math. “We had athletes, activists, musicians,” she said. But they all shared in common a desire to use math as a vehicle for connection, community-building, and personal growth. As one applicant put it, “I can use math for good.”