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I Love Math Day 2020

March 10, 2020 | Gary Lawrence

Students were treated to a full day of math-oriented celebrations.  Students graciously welcomed two visitors who shared all the ways they use math in their work and in their daily, personal lives.




Sebastian Olukun talked about her struggles with math early in her schooling, and then her discovery of its usefulness in later years working at Morgan Stanley and Mustard Seed School, where she is the Business Administrator.  Ms. Olukun also has a masters degree in entertainment business.  Math is essential to understanding the inner workings of the entertainment biz.  Talking about her hobbies, she explained how math is useful in cooking, diet and nutrition.


James Halliday shared his experiences on Wall Street over a 30+ year career in derivatives.  He encouraged students to consider how money saved early in life can grow in surprising ways.  He let students hold 100 $1 bills, then gave a simple lesson in the time value of money.  He promised to take the $100 and give it to Mr. Postema at the end of the day — as an investment in each of them!  Let’s watch how it grows!

The day was full of other activities and celebration.  Here are some pictures:


Gary Lawrence

Coleman Fung Chair for Mathematics; Teacher of Pre-Algebra and Algebra

After a 19-year career on Wall Street, Mr. Lawrence felt called to pursue his dream to teach math. He joined the Mustard Seed staff in 1993 as Director of Finance and math teacher for 7th and 8th grades. He retired from his role as Director of Finance & Operations in 2018, and he now focuses entirely on math instruction.

Mr. Lawrence is delighted to share his love of mathematics with students through daily class work, I Love Math problem sets and celebrations, and 8th grade math exhibitions. He frequently presents workshops at regional, national, and international conferences to help math teachers in other schools and places learn from Mustard Seed’s rich mathematical program. The goal of most of his workshops is to give teachers practical tools to help students grow in persistence and creativity, developing both strong skills and attitudes. Whenever possible, Mr. Lawrence invites students to join him and present their work during conference workshops. To date, 14 Mustard Seed students have been a part of these presentations, and Mr. Lawrence expects that more students will have this opportunity in the future!

Mustard Seed has played a large role in the Lawrence family. Mr. Lawrence’s wife, Lori, was an enthusiastic parent of three Mustard Seed students and served as a Board member. Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence are grateful for the impact Mustard Seed has had on their three daughters. Their foundational experiences at MSS have served them well in high school, college, and in their adult lives!

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