Subscribe with Bloglines MAST Academy Captain's Blog: 2009

MAST Mission Statement

MAST Academy provides a marine setting and a nurturing environment for studies leading to academic success, career preparation, an appreciation of the sea, and environmental awareness. Stakeholders work together to instill a commitment to life-long learning and to advance and improve a challenging curriculum integrated with sciences and technology.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Beyond the Bell - Learning Opportunities for Winter Recess 2009

The Beyond the Bell initiative gives students the opportunity to access learning 24/7!  The programs include opportunities for students of all ages and grades to find and study technologically infused lessons aligned to the district's curricula foci, the FCAT, and the schedule or individualized plan of each learner.  Take a moment and explore the possibilities that MDCPS is providing students beyond the school day and the restrictions of the school building!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

MAST Students taking the Initiative

Over the past several weeks, I have been speaking with many of the students about two things in particular:  initiative and perseverance.  Makos are incredible students who are leaders in their communities.  I have made the argument that for them to continue to learn and grow, they must take initiative for projects they wish to see done and that hold value for the community - be it home or school!  Once they take this responsibility, they must have the strength to see the project through, to persevere through the unforseen obstacles and unanticipated setbacks with which initiative often comes.

This in mind, I'd like to thanks and congratulate the Class of 2011 and cadets of the USCG JROTC who saw the need to spruce up the sand volleyball court.  Through their efforts, the court is looking as good as ever and is in top shape ready to be used in class, after school, or during activities period.  Congratulations for taking the initiative and making MAST better for it.

Congratulations to the following students who took on the project and saw it through to completion:
Paige Owens
Alexander Schwindeman
Ryan Leibowitz
Gabriela Aroca
Quinlan Canary
Rodrigo Silva Urlaneja
Max Cruz
Christian Archer
Joey Fernandez
Katie Goldberg
Alexadra Lara
Kevin Alvarez
David Escudero

Way to lead the way Makos!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Makos on the Move - Honors Won this Past Weekend

Congratulations to all the MAST students for representing us in such tremendous form this past weekend.

Model United Nations

The MAST Model United Nations team completed at Gulliver Prep this past weekend and did a great job!  Ms. Reboredo and the Makos garnered recognitions including:

Outstanding Delegates:

Michael Ronzetti representing Russia on the Security and Peace Committee.
Sebastian Borja representing South Africa in the General Assembly.
Nicolas Montano representing Panama in the Organization of American States.

Best Delegate:

Tosca Lichtenheld representing Ethiopia on the Security and Peace Committee.

Inaugural Model Water Tower Competition

In an event hosted by the Miami-Dade Water & Sewer Department and the Florida Section - American Water Works Association, Ms. Fernandez's MAST Academy engineering students won first, second, and third place honors for their designs and productions.  Student water towers were judged on hydraulic efficiency, structural efficiency, and innovation including use of recycled materials for construction.


Adopt-a-Classroom is a way for parents and community members to support specific classes and teachers.  If you would like to support any particular MAST classroom, please see the poster below and the Adopt-a-Classroom website by clicking on this entry's title or in the bar to the left!  Thank you!

Advance Tickets for The Fair

Click on the entry title for the link to The Fair's website for more information!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Calendar for November 23-27, 2009 - HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Ms. Jones-Roberts - Regional Center III Teacher of the Year Finalist

Congratulations to our own Ms. Jones-Roberts for being selected one of the Regional Center III Teacher of the Year finalists.  Up next are committee observations and finalist interviews!  Congratulations and good luck as we move ahead!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Miami-Dade PTA/PTSA Education Forum

Please see the flyer below with information about the Education Forum hosted by the Miami-Dade PTA/PTSA at the School Board Auditorium this Thursday evening.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Weekly Calendars - November 16 - 20 & 23 - 27, 2009

Here is what is on the horizon for MAST this week!  For a hand in planning ahead, please see the calendar at the bottom of the page.

Friday, November 13, 2009

MAST's Teacher and Rookie Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Ms. Jones-Roberts, MAST's nominee for Teacher of the Year, and Mr. Hamilton, MAST's nominee for Rookie Teacher of the Year.  Thank you both for your dedication and commitment to our students.  Good luck at the region level!

Freshmen Recognized - Sunshine State Scholars

Congratulations to the 39 MAST freshmen who received honors as Sunshine State Scholars.  Students are recognized by the state based on performance on the 2008-2009 mathematics and science sections of the FCAT.  Keep up the good work! Way to go, Makos!

Monday, November 9, 2009

MAST Academy's Electric Savings - September 2009

MAST received its first energy conservation report from downtown and it was excellent.  As you can see from the graph below, MAST came in 5.8% below our target.  We saved a total of $1129.18.  As per the email below, the school site will get to keep 75% of the savings - MAST's first month, for September 2009, resulted in a reinvestment of $846.89 for the school.  Congratulations to all the Makos.  We all win when we meet our energy goals.  Let's keep on this path and do even better!

"Attached please find an updated report reflecting the September, 2009 energy 

consumption for your site. As previously noted, each month you will receive similar updates 

so that you may monitor actual consumption vs. the targets, as well as monitor any cumulative rebates.
Remember that your site gets to keep 75% of any savings achieved beyond the targets."

What a great way for us to play to a win-win.  Less impact on our environment and increased funding for MAST!  All well within our control!  Keep it up!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Captain's Blog Update

Some time has passed since I last had the opportunity to write more extensively as to the sailings of MAST and her crew.  It has been an amazing full month with activities ranging from College Night, Principal for a Day, and Homecoming to MAST Expedition, PTSA & ABC meetings, and the completion of the first quarter.

This afternoon I received our first Energy Management Report from plant & facilities.  Congratulations to all as we came in 5.8% below our target.  Our total savings were about $1130.00.  As Mr. Carvalho announced at the Opening of School Meeting, at the end of the year, schools will get to keep 75% of the savings for site use!  That translates to just about $865.00 coming back to MAST for the month of September.  I sure hope this is a trend we can maintain over the course of the year.  I encourage everyone to  do all you can to save electricity when possible.

Congratulations and a huge thank you to Dr. Khalil, her students, and volunteers from TREEmendous - Miami.  This past Friday they planted about 100 new native trees about the MAST campus.  Over the next few years this will help us with more shade on campus and allow us to reduce and finally eliminate the need to use the sprinkler system in the front of the school therefore saving much water.

This year we renamed the internship fair and mock interview activity the MAST Expedition.  Each class had a different set of activities aimed at providing different learning experiences.  Ninth and tenth graders had a MAST Manners review paired with a discussion from representatives from the South Florida Federal Credit Union titled "The True Cost of a College Education."  Eleventh graders had a tripartite schedule that included a Money Matters discussion and presentation with partners from Merrill Lynch, a science research presentation, and a mock interview with one of the volunteer interviewers from local business and community partners.  Finally, the seniors walked to RSMAS for a senior breakfast followed by a keynote by Mr. Evan Forde and a presentation given by the South Florida Federal Credit Union called "How to Use and Build Good Credit."  The feedback from the students, teachers, and community members has been extremely positive.   The MAST Expedition is something that will only grow and get better in the future.

This year's Principal for a Day was MAST Advisory Board member and former MAST parent Mr. Chico Goldsmith.  We began the day with a quick breakfast and meeting with the curriculum council and spent the day working about MAST on different projects and visiting different classes.

Finally, Homecoming was a tremendous success!  Congratulations to everyone for all the work they put into making Poseidon's Adventure such a successful and enjoyable evening.  It was super to see everyone dressed up so sharply and putting their best foot forward.  Mako spirit was strong and everyone seemed to have a really enjoyable time.

As we sail onward, there is much to do.  The quarter has now ended and we are into the second quarter. Keep up all the hard work and make each moment count whether it is in the classroom, in the water, or on the field.  Go MAKOS!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

MAST Mobile Computing Contracts - Availale for Students!

Today MAST launched its Laptop Checkout Program and Wireless Key Contracts for any and all students interested in getting themselves some additional computing power while at school.  Both contracts are available in the media center or under the MAST Academy Links on the left hand side the Captain's Blog.  Before a student is able to access these two programs they must return a completed contract that has been signed by the student and a parent (even students 18 and older must have a parent signature).  Ms. Van Smith, Ms. Iudica, and Ms. Pierce wil be available during lunch periods to help with any questions. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

MAST Academy Magnet Open House

MAST Academy's Magnet Open House for Recruitment will be held at MAST on Saturday, November 14, 2009 from 9am until 12:00 noon.  Please take the time to come see what MAST is all about and have any questions you might have answered.  Spread the word!  See you there!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Weekly Calendar for October 5 through 9, 2009

A rundown of the coming week!  Our voyage is well underway and going strong.  All ahead full!  Please see new links and sign up for automatic email updates of new posts!  Go Makos!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

H1N1 Town Hall Meeting Flyer - MDCPS Notice to Parents!

Please see the flyer below for important information for parents and community members concerned about the H1N1 virus. There will be a series of town hall style community meetings to address concerns. Please see below for the meeting most convenient for you!

Monday, September 21, 2009

USCG Academy Visits MAST!

Cadet Command Master Chief Philip Ordonez gives a tour to CAPT Russel, CAPT Meese, and Mr. Farias. Representatives from MAST and the USCG Academy spent the day looking at how we can develop a stronger relationship to benefit both schools. It was a great day of developing connections and bridges!

-- Post From My iPhone

Duke Recruitment Event at MAST

Duke University is conducting their district-wide recruiemt event at MAST this evening.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Calendar - Week of September 13, 2008

Captain's Log - September 12, 2009

The MAST 09-10 journey continues. It was another great, and very quick, week. Three weeks have passed and we are just about at full tilt. Last week we had out first Makos Athletic Booster Club meeting, first EESAC meeting, the swimming team kicked off competition, and the lady makos volleyball team moved up to 3-2! Way to go ladies!

Yesterday, Friday, all ninth through eleventh graders completed the district baseline benchmark assessments and the seniors had an orientation session for Naviance. The orientation session went well with all seniors able to log in and change their passwords for Naviance Family Connections,, and explore briefly the various aspects of the site. In collaboration with the MAST PTSA, Naviance has been purchased and set up for MAST Academy students to help in the college admissions process. There is a lot more information pending and each class will have a similar orientation in the near future. As an additional note, parents will be given their passwords at Back to School Night.

Speaking of ... Back to School Night is right around the corner! This year MAST will have back to school night on Tuesday, September 22, 2009. More information and scheduling details are forthcoming! Please be on the lookout for a flyer that will be sent home with students as well as being posted on line! Hope to see every MAST family there!

This week promises to be packed! Tuesday night, 9/15, is our junior/senior parent college meeting hosted by the MAST PTSA. Our first senior parent college night was a great success! These meetings are definitely not to be missed! Moving on to Wednesday, we have picture day for underclassmen. Seniors need to make sure they have gone to Foxmar for senior picture arrangements. Thursday is our first early release day of the year. Students will be dismissed at 1:15pm! And, just to keep up the clip, college visits for the week include M.I.T. and Emory. Please don't forget that Duke University will be at MAST for a district-wide recruitment event on Monday, September 21st at 7pm (see flyer in earlier post). Girls' volleyball has contests at Curly on Tuesday and the swim team has regular practice. Please come out and support our student-athletes every chance you get! USCG JROTC parents, don't miss our first meeting of the year on Tuesday, 9/15, at 6pm.

The ship is full of activity as you can see from this past week's highlights and plans for the next. Please remember to mark your books for the upcoming events! It's all ahead full with nothing but beautiful blue seas in sight!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Duke is Coming to MAST - Recruitment Visit!

Please take note! Duke University will be at MAST Academy on Monday, September 21, 2009 beginning at 7PM for an admissions presentation. All interested parents and students are invited. This is for both MAST students and for Miami-Dade students as a whole. If you are at all interested in Duke, please make plans to be there. Additional information can be seen on the flyer to the left!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Out to Sea - Sunrise on a New Year

It certainly has been a full and busy departure from port! The first two week of our voyage have been smooth and have passed quickly. I have very much enjoyed seeing the labs, lectures, and lessons begun! My complements to the entire MAST family for making our 2009-2010 launch such a success.

There is much to share and communicate. Lots of plans have been made and calendars are replete with activities. Our first PTSA meeting was a hit! Attended by 50 to 60 members, we have once again started our work together well. Upcoming PTSA activities include the Junior/Senior parent Night on October 15th. This will be an important meeting to discuss primarily college application preparation. I invite each of you to attend if at all possible!

Congratulations to the girls' volleyball team for their opening victories - a great way to open Lady Makos - Keep it up! Swimming will soon begin as a strong MAST aquatics program dives into a new season! The Makos ABC will host our first meeting this Wednesday, September 9th at 7:00 in the boardroom. Please join us to learn more of how athletics plays an important part of a complete high school experience. As a fundraising opportunity for MAST's athletic and activities programs, in partnership with the Miami Dolphins, MAST has a limited number of tickets for the Dolphins/Saints game. The tickets are $25 each with $10 from each sale coming directly to our school. If interested, please contact Mr. Lopez, MAST's Athletic Director, for more information.

On the radar already is also Back to School Night. This year, MAST will host Back to School Night on September 15th. Please look for more information in the coming week. The PTSA will be hosting a dinner before the program begins. Please make time to come in, meet other families, and enjoy the MAST environment!

Of particular importance are our pending college and university visits. This year we, once again, have a loaded agenda. Our scheduled visits include schools such as George Washington, M.I.T., Emory, Boston University, FAU Liberal Arts College, Carnegie-Mellon, Babson, Boston College, Davidson, Swarthmore, Penn State, and Juniata College. On top of these visits, Duke University and Brown university are making arrangements with us to use MAST as the site of their Miami-Dade County recruitment events. Another major component for college preparation will be the PTSA's College Night to be held at MAST on October 20th. Be on the lookout for more information as the date gets closer.

As we move into the deeper waters of this year's voyage, I encourage everyone to be and get more involved. Our ship has begun another journey and it is as promising as ever! I wish us strong winds and blue waters as we push forth into new learnings and greater experiences.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Superintendent's Opening of School Meeting

Here is a picture of Dr. Haun, Ryan, and Ms. Harrington at the Fillmore at the Jackie Gleason Theater for the opening of school meeting! Also here are members of the Mako Battalion as part of the color guard!

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Captain's Call - Land Skis

It was another busy day for incoming MAST freshmen today. Blogs were updated, boat construction was finalized, and during Captain's Call we had three atria and six teams working the "Land Skis". It was a great adventure for all with lots of noise, competition, cooperation, and quite a bit of creativity! Novel ways of aproaching and solving the problems presented that is what learning is about! And now on to boat races and cotillion!

-- Post From My iPhone

Summer Anchor 2009 - Boat Race Schedule


Tomorrow is the day for our MAST Anchor Program cardboard boat races. Please see the schedule below for the time that your child's class will launch their craft to test their designs as they attempt to navigate the distance of the MAST pool! You're invited to be there and cheer everyone on!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Summer Anchor - First Week

We have come to the end of our first week of the 2009 Summer Anchor Program and it has been a great week!  In and among some tired starts I have seen many a brilliant smile and bright eye begin to grasp what a truly amazing school that MAST is.  It is wonderful to see and know that this group will leave its mark on our school, no less distinguishing and remarkable than those who came before.  As principal, it is always a good occasion when you are welcoming a new group to school.  It is always important to emphasize the commitment, drive, and perseverance that it takes to continue being successful.  This summer anchor is no different.  It has been an amazing first week and the students are terrific.

Along the tides of this first, we have discussed significant literary and scientific texts, begun the sketch up of boat plans, "built squares" in silence, plotted graphs on calculators, been in the pool for swim testing, and learn the important step of how to log on to moodle.  And this was just the first week ... imagine what next week holds for adventuresome academics!

In addition to summer voyages into learning, we received the results from this year's Advanced Placement exams.  It is with no small measure of elation that I congratulate all MAST AP students and teachers for an absolutely outstanding job.  Our schools overall percentage of students scoring 3 or better skyrocketed to 71%, up some 22% from last year.  This is the "proof in the pudding" of hard work, dedication, and  perseverance.  I cannot truly express how proud I am to share this with the world.  Thank you and, for present and future students, the bar has been set!

Have a wonderful weekend shore leave!  See you on board bright and early, ready for a Monday shove off! 

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Online Learning - Plotting a Course into New & Uncharted Waters

Being as we encourage our students to spend time reflecting on what they have been learning and why their learning is important, I believe our community should see that the adults involved heed their own advice - starting with the principal. For new and old, the purpose of this blog is to share information about the goings on at MAST from my, the principal's, perspective, and, much like we encourage students to do, to share my reflections about the things I am learning. To that end, below are my initial thoughts and questions about the possibilities of online learning opportunities and what they might mean for MAST. The beauty of learning is that it is constant motion, knowledge grows and creates new knowledge, opens new doors and shows new perspective. I invite and encourage you to post comments and ask questions - please be a part of the conversation!

As of late I have been spending much of my own time learning, reading, and reflecting on the role, or possible roles, that online learning can serve in both our smaller MAST community and the larger communities of our city and state. I must admit that this thinking and learning is in infancy and is quite amorphous. I do not believe that there is a doubt that this type of learning - as a delivery model in particular - is growing. Everywhere you look is another opportunity to study something online. My curiosities revolve more around how does this change in/adaptation of instructional model become part of our schooling and learning experience, not just another peripheral for occasional and supplemental dabbling. As a draft, the inquiry I would frame would be as such:

1. What can be the role of online learning for MAST? How do we develop and deploy our own content? What will be the indirect implications of online learning opportunities?

I welcome any feedback and comments. Please share and join the debate - opinions and hard questions welcome!

MAST Summer - About to Weigh Anchor

The 2009 MAST Summer Anchor Program is a just about to set sail for our three week voyage into the wider sea of high school for our freshman. The summer program is a great time where the newest Makos get to wet their fins and learn all about what it means to be a student at MAST. It is an exciting time for students, parents, and staff alike. In order to make sure that our shove off goes smoothly, some details are reiterated below:

- Breakfast will be served each day from 7:15 AM to 7:55 AM
- Class starts promptly at 8:00 AM
- Summer course components include: Science Research, Mathematics, and Design &
- Metropasses will be issued on July 6th to students who requested them. Students must sign
for and will be issued 15 single day passes. Students are responsible for the care of their
- Anchor Program dates are July 6 through July 24 and each day runs from 8 AM to 12 noon

For parents of our newest mariners, July 23rd will be our boat races in which the design and construction of student boats from the Design & Engineering class will be tested by the teams racing them across the Shark Tank (MAST pool). In addition, other student work will be on display to showcase the students' learning. You are welcome to attend - just come and sign in at the boat!

Welcome aboard!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Life's Voyage - Celebrating Mr. John Ruppel

Last week our MAST family said good-bye to John Ruppel, one of the most amazing teachers I have ever known. There are so many Ruppel stories and so many people who could share them. John is someone who touched us all and just to have worked with him a short time is to have learned and grown tremendously. The legacy of who he was and what he did is in all of us. MAST as a school and a community is what it is for much of who he was - an experience unto itself.

Last Friday we had an absolutely wonderful celebration for John. IT could not have been any better. There with family, friends, colleagues, and students, MAST was once again alive with John's presence. A more fitting tribute and farewell, I do not believe, there could have been. Thank you to everyone who came and honored our teacher and friend.

For my part, I might have worked with John for just two short years, but I feel that I have known him for about 12. My wife was lucky enough to be a student of his years back. John's classes and teaching were dinner table discussions many a night. I enjoyed each and every one of those conversations and am richer for having had them.

It is difficult to measure the impact of a teacher sometimes. The true measure goes far beyond a test score. After listening, watching, and speaking with so many about the impact and influence that John has had on us as individual and as a school community, his quote from the paper says it all, "Courtesy of serendipitous waffling between seeking the meaning in life and seeking the fun in life, I opted for both: I became a teacher."

That he certainly did. And we are all thankful.

Governor Christ Congratulations Letter - Newsweek

MAST received this letter from Governor Christ congratulating us on being part of the Newsweek Top Schools list. Once again, this goes to show that an incredible staff, committed students, and involved parents who all hold a passion for education and achievement can do incredible things. Congratulation to the entire MAST family for this and for all that you do! Know that today we are good, but tomorrow we will learn more and be even better! Never stop striving! As they say, "Excellence is a journey, not a destination."

Our voyage continues ...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

MAST Grads Recognized for 13 Years Perfect Attendance

Congratulations to Ricardo, Alexis, and Chelsey for 13 years perfect attendance. Here are Ricardo and Alexis after being recognized by the School Board.

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, June 13, 2009

End of the Year +1 Week

Great Saturday morning to all. It was an amazingly busy week, and an odd one also. Schools are just strange without all the students and teachers. The best part of all was that, even with the closing of school minutia due, I had the opportunity to do a fair amount of reading and some searching for new ideas. I am confident that we have a great Summer Anchor program lined up for our incoming Makos. I am sure that July 6th will be here faster than even I can hope for! On top of that, I am looking forward to beginning to hear from the students doing their internships this summer.
My experiences on Twitter have yielded an idea for online parent meetings. There is a web-based program called Today's Meet wherein you can sign up for a "classroom" and have a discussion about school topics. I am also excited about the prospect of additional development and creation of content digitally to be delivered 24/7 via the web. The podcast/vodcast move is not novel but being as we are a district-wide magnet, I believe there is a lot of power in this kind of opportunity for MAST.
Next week I have the first wave of our Principals' Summer Heat Professional Development. I am going to try and recruit a group of principals into a book study using technology to facilitate the process. Summer - the perfect time to tackle new learning projects!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Newsweek Ranks MAST as #49 in the Nation!

Congratulations to the entire MAST family for this recognition. This is for everyone - teachers, staff, students, and parents - who work hard and keep a driving passion for making MAST the best! Thank you and let's keep going!

Monday, June 8, 2009

More MAST Highlights

Below are pictures of our MAST Greenometer and MAST students with Ms. Reboredo in Washington, D.C.! I hope everyone is enjoying the first Monday of vacation! Rest well and learn something new this summer!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Docked for the Summer!

Congratulations to the Class of 2009! It was an excellent ending of the year. Graduation on Wednesday night was absolutely great! Our seniors showed truly what it means to be a graduate of the MAST Academy. You are a group of students who will be missed. I wish you all the best of luck as you head off to college. I hope to see you when you come back after your first semester! Study hard, learn a lot, and discover/deepen your passion!
Yesterday was also the final day for MAST's crew. What can I say beyond that on the seas of learning there is not a better group with whom one could ask to sail. Thank you for making this year such a success and for all the extra that you do to make our students succeed and accomplish so much. I wish you all a restful and relaxing summer in port.

All our current students, don't procrastinate with your summer reading. Begin it now and keep up on a consistent basis. Summer is young now but shadows will grow quickly! Be ready and plan carefully! There is no substitute for planning, consistency, and perseverance!

Have a great summer!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Coming into the Last Week!

Congratulations and welcome to our last week of school for the 2008-2009 school year. Don't let the shortness of time fool you for the amount of work yet to be done is large. Monday and Tuesday we have four more final exams! Study hard, be prepared, and remember that summer does not begin until June 5th!

Graduation is upon us also. Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 8:00 PM at the Gusman Performing Arts Center we will properly recognize the culmination of our seniors' four years and hard work at the MAST Academy. It is a proud night for parents, relatives, teachers, and students alike.

This past week was amazingly busy and enjoyable. Thanks to all the MAST staff and parents who came to celebrate our students' achievements at the evening awards ceremony. No matter how many times our students, you cannot help but be impressed at the quality of their work, passion, and character. We also held an amazing Wine and Cheese greeting for our incoming freshman parents at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens. Many thanks to our advisory board members, particularly Ms. Kourtesis and Ms. Lewis, for making this happen. It was great to see so many parents in attendance. Thanks also to our PTSA parents for showing up in force to make the night go so well. We capped the week off with the PTSA's MAST Family Barbecue that, despite being a bit soggy, was also an incredible event. Many thanks to Mr. & Mrs. Dubey, Mr. & Mrs. Harrington, Mr. & Mrs. Barkett, and many other PTSA parents who showed up in force to make this a success.

More next week as we move into the summer and begin the final stages of preparation for the MAST Summer Anchor Program and the opening of the 2009-2010 school year!

Study hard and be well prepared!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Parents and students, dismissal times for June 1, 2, and 3, 2009 are posted below. Also, see the letter from Mr. Woodson, Deputy Superintendent of School Operations regarding our last three days of school this year. MAST's schedule is unique so directly following Mr. Woodson's letter is our dismissal information. If you have any questions, please contact MAST directly at 305-365-6278. Study hard for finals!

Final Exam Days

Please see below for the dates of this year's final exams. Times have been posted in classrooms and around school! Please study hard and be well prepared!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

MAST Summer Anchor Program

MAST's 9th grade Summer Anchor Program has been approved! This year's program will be a three weeks long beginning on July 6th, 2009 and ending on July 24th, 2009. The day will run from 8 am until 12 noon each day. Program components will include Science Research, Design & Engineering, Mathematics, and Critical Thinking. Breakfast will be provided each morning beginning at 7:35 am.

We will hold a parent meeting at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens on Thursday, May 28, 2009 beginning at 6:30 pm. We will cover many details about the summer program including transportation details and parent to parent discussions that evening. As an added bonus, the gardens will be open until 9 pm and MAST parents will be able to tour the grounds. For any questions, please contact MAST directly at 305-365-6278.

Summer Anchor Program - Parent Meeting

10901 Old Cutler Rd

Miami, FL 33156

May 28, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Saturday, May 16, 2009

MAST Musical - Mama Mia

Last night the students and teachers at MAST put on a production of Mama Mia. It was terrific. I cannot say enough about how well they did. The production mixed in a live band for many of the songs performed. It was a great night of entertainment where MAST students and teachers were able to show a different side of what we all know to be an incredible school. Thank you all for putting together such an amazing performance!

It was also great to see so many alumni at the show. I was delighted to see and speak to about half of last years graduating class. It seems as if they are all doing very well and have met their own expectations for their freshman year. Their showing of support was outstanding.

Again, thank you all for a great evening! Rest well and remember, finals are just around the corner!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Welcome Back

I do apologize for being off line for such an extended period of time. I have truly meant to post at least a hundred separate times but, as they say, the road is paved with good intentions ... In any case, our year's voyage at MAST is quickly approaching summer port. There is much to do to prepare our ship for port. Please check back frequently for updates and feel free to follow me on Twitter at MASTCapt. Between the Captain's Blog and MASTCapt we can keep up-to-the-minute information flowing to everyone!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

PTSA Town Hall Meetings

Please see the flyer below for details regarding the Miami-Dade Council of PTAs/PTSAs, the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Grants Administration, and Community Services, and the Office of Parental Involvement coordinating the GET INFORMED, GET INVOLVED RALLY TO TALLY - TOWN HALL MEETING on Monday, March 23, 2009 at the following locations:
  • Coral Reef Senior High School
  • Coral Gables Senior High School
  • Miami Northwestern Senior High School
  • Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School
Addresses and contact information are listed below.  Meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Calendar for Week of 3-16-09

This certainly has been a busy week.  We had the C-SPAN documentary recognitions, the Ecomedia assembly, and, not to be left out, the FCAT.  A big thank you to all the students, faculty, staff, and parents who made the testing go so smoothly.  I hope everyone has a restful weekend.  Here's a look at what is happening next week...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

FCAT "Pool Shark" Swims Again!

FCAT Day 2 - SSS Mathematics!  Our first two days of FCAT testing are underway!  Ninth and tenth graders have completed their Reading portion of the exams and are working on the Mathematics section.  Congratulations on great attendance rates, 99%.  Thank you to the  students, staff, and parents for working extra hard.  Remember, tomorrow is FCAT Science for eleventh graders!  Get a good night's rest and arrive early for breakfast.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

C-SPAN Recognition for MAST Students

Two groups of MAST students were recognized for their entries in the C-SPAN StudentCam 2009 documentary competition.  The two groups were chosen from 921 videos submitted by 2000 students from 41 different  states.  Carla Aronsohn, Catherine Skipp, and Damian Hunt were third prize winners with their production, "One Nation Under God."  Kamilah Acebal, Daniella de la Riva, and Jessika Goodman garnered an honorable mention for their piece, "The Invisible Workers of Homestead."  Congratulations to both of them for their work.  To view their work, please click on the link below to go to the C-SPAN website.  Way to go!  

Friday, March 6, 2009

Calendar for Week of 3-9-09 - FCAT Week!

FCAT Time 2009!

Here is our FCAT 2009 schedule for next week:

Tuesday:          Reading for 9th and 10th graders
Wednesday:    Mathematics for 9th and 10th graders
Thursday:        Science for 11th graders

It's time for MAST to show what we can do on the FCAT.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Welcome to March!

It is hard to believe but we are already in March.  Water polo has started and the FCAT is next week.  This year is certainly flying by.  Sooner than we think we'll be in AP Exams!  This in mind, there is no time like the present to begin preparing!  Also, this month is our MAST PTSA Gala, "Taste of the Sea" at the Miami Seaquarium.  For a list of the items in the silent auction please see  For ticket information please contact the PTSA at MASTPTSA@  Save the date - March 28th!

This morning I am at ITTS learning about how to design the master schedule using the new schedule system.  We have three days of learning on how to begin the building process.  As a tool, I am finding Aspen X2 to be flexible - something very valuable to MAST.  It is also great that we have the option of bringing a lot of our information that is consistent forward each year.

More to come ...

Friday, February 27, 2009

Calendar for Week of 3-2-09

Here's what's coming up next week - the last before FCAT!  Tutoring will be going strong - don't miss out on an amazing opportunity!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

African-American History Bowl at FIU

MAST recently sent two teams, the MAST Makos and MAST Avengers, to the African-American History Bowl at FIU.  Both teams made it to the semi-finals and the Makos team finished in third place overall.  Above is a picture of the trophy that they won.  A big congratulations goes out to Ms. Tucker and the twelve students that participated.  Great Job! Go MAST!

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CIIS 2009 Underway

The 2009 Contemporary Issues In Science at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens is underway! The presentations are going extremely well.  I was extremely proud of the student presentations and the way that they set the table for the subsequent table breakouts.  I also took a lot of pictures to show the work that the students and Dr. Khalil did. Incidentally, we have 92 student participants this year - nearly 17% of our student body! The CIIS is definitely one of those activities that is a highlight of our year!  

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

MAST's New Marquee is Up!

As of this afternoon our new marquee is up and looks great. We are back to the beautiful design we had before Wilma.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, February 23, 2009

MDCC PTSA Special Forum & General Meeting

We just received this flyer for the PTSA meeting on February 26 from the Superintendent's and the Regional Superintendent's offices.  If you have the evening available, I would encourage you to support the PTSA both here at MAST and county-wide as best you can!  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call.  Also, please remember that our MAST PTSA's email is

Friday, February 20, 2009

Class of 2010 Ring Ceremony

Tonight's junior ring ceremony was a lot of fun.  The auditorium was packed with family, friends, and alumni who came to celebrate with the juniors. Below are some pictures as the Class of 2010 get their rings and prepare for their move to seniors and the leading MAST into the future!  Have a great weekend!

Calendar for Week of 2-23-09

Here is this coming week's calendar!  Should be a good one! 
 Be prepared - FCAT is right around the corner!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

FCAT Writing Exam and Valentine's Dance

Well, last week we completed the first part of the 2009 FCAT administration. Congratulations to the tenth graders for 100% attendance. Next up we have the FCAT Reading, Math, and Science.  Let's make sure that the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors can match that 100% attendance in March!

We also held the Valentine's Dance in the auditorium last Friday night.  It was a great success and the students did a great job organizing and putting the dance together.  Over 200 tickets were sold and a good time was had by all.  

More later ... Have a great day!
-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Florida PROMiSE

Today and tomorrow I am in Tallahassee working with principals' cohort #6 on the next generation math and science standards. The first day of work was great. We worked on assessing different sample problems to detemine both their complexity and difficulty. I have some homework to do for tomorrow's session. I am impressed with the new standards. As a state, we are definately moving in a good direction.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, February 16, 2009

Calendar for Week of 2-16-09

I hope everyone has had an enjoyable long weekend.  Here is what is going on to MAST this week!  I should be a busy and exciting week.  Go Makos!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

MAST's United Way drive comes in First!

Congratulations to the MAST staff for our first place finish in the South Central Regional Center during this year's United Way Drive.  Above is a scan of the plaque that we received to recognize the staff's accomplishment.  Not to be outdone, our students were also recognized as they finished third in the South Central Regional Center.  I would just like to thank everyone for their generosity and willingness to help a good cause.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Weekly Calendar - February 2 though 6, 2009

See what is happening at MAST this week!  Remember - No class on Friday, Feb. 6th - Teacher PD Workday!

USCG JROTC Pass in Review

Please take a look at the article on the USCG District 7 Public Relations page.   Great job, Mako Battalion!

MAST ePublications via Yudu

Captain's Book Shelf

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog