Subscribe with Bloglines MAST Academy Captain's Blog: January 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.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Great Week! A Very Busy Week!

This has been  a very full and busy week!  So many great things happened.  On the academic front, we have one student who is an Intel semifinalist and several students who place within the top three at the district bridge building competition.  One of these students won and is now invited to the international competition later in the year!  We had the annual USCG JROTC Pass in Review and the JROTC lock in.  Both were great and once I have all the pictures rounded up, I will post them as a new slide show.  Dr. Ochatt was awarded a MECA mini-grant for the construction of a small greenhouse to help with the environmental science program and for the development of new science projects.  The boys' basketball team won their third game this week - I believe they are now the most victorious team in MAST basketball history and there's still one game left!  Both the girls' and boys' soccer teams ended their seasons this week.  Both teams represented MAST well on the field and showed their Mako pride.  Finally, I was invited to this past Thursday's City of Miami Commission meeting where MAST was awarded a Certificate of Merit for our performance and recognition as a gold medal (top 100 schools nationally) by U.S. News & World Report. 
As you can read, MAST has had a terrific week and we are just starting the second semester!  Please remember, FCAT is around the corner and we will have tutoring opportunities every Saturday morning.  Please check the school calendar for updates.  Have a great weekend and stay warm!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Weekend Shore Leave

We had another terrific week at MAST. The inauguration assembly, the Safe Schools Symposium, district PTSA Reflections program, a visit by the Florida lCommissioner and Chancellor of Education, an advisory board meeting, and to top it all, Dr. Ochatt was awarded a MECA minigrant for the construction of a small greenhouse to help further our environmental science program. All this in just the first week of the second semester!

On the sporting front, the boys' basketball team won their second game in a row. GO MAKOS! The sailing team also took part in the Ransom Regatta and finished 10th of 16 teams - a great showing for our first outing of the year!

Here are a few pictures from the PTSA Reflections program:

Ms. Plans and a culinary arts crew did a spectacular job showing the PTSA guests how the Makos host a celebration.

The PTSA Reflections program guests enjoying the awards ceremony.

Coming soon: MAST's laptop checkout policy and contract, podcast studio, and the Mako Writing and Tutorial Lab!

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, January 22, 2009

An Evening with an FCAT Expert

Below is a flyer that we just received from the student services department downtown.  We have arranged for its distribution through 9th and 10th grade homeports but I wanted to post it for all MAST families to see in case anyone is interested for siblings or other relatives throughout the county.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration Day

What a great day we had at MAST! As a school, we gathered to watch the inauguration projected on the big screen in the auditorium. I also had the chance to gather some student thoughts on the day that I will publish shortly as a video podcast.

Following the inauguration, MAST hosted a visit by Florida Commissioner of Education, Dr. Eric Smith, Chancellor of Education Dr. Frances Haithcock, State Board of Education member Mr. Roberto Martinez, and our own South Central Regional Center Superintendent, Mr. George Nunez. It was a great visit and we had the opportunity to show a bit of the amazing work in which MAST students and teachers are involved.

Today was an excellent day for all of us both here at MAST and all around the nation. Good night!

More to come ...

-- Post From My iPhone

South Central Regional Center Teacher of the Year

Last Friday we had a great breakfast to recognize all the South Central Regional Center Teacher of the Year nominees. Mrs. Cruz, the Dubeys, Ms. Harrington, Ms. Ulman, and I attended to celebrate our MAST nominee Mr. Cruz.

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, January 17, 2009

MAST Accomplishments - Updated

Earlier this year, MAST was recognized by U. S. News and World Reports as one of the nation's top 100 (Gold Medal) schools. We received a letter from Governor Crist and Commissioner Smith last week commending us for this honor. Below is an actual copy of the letter that I wanted to share with everyone. To the MAST family - staff, students, and parents - congratulations and thank you for all that you do to make our school shine.

Also, MAST received another award as the Florida Parents' Choice Public School in the BusinessWeek/Great Schools Top 5 Schools article published on January 15, 2009. Below is the link to the article:

Although not the outcome I had hoped for, last night I received an email about our application for the Eco-Media "Green My School" Challenge. Unfortunately, we did not win the grant. As disappointed as I am for not winning the grant, I cannot understate the pride I feel for the work that Dr. Khalil and the students did and continue to do. This work and the dedication shown in doing it are what being a part of MAST is all about.

As our year moves into the second semester, there are a lot of plans to make and many new opportunities of which we must take advantage. Let's get ready and continue to push our learning as individuals and an organization.

In closing, here's a quote I found earlier this morning that can serve as an inspiration for us all:

"Change, however, does not occur magically. It represents individual and collective pioneering efforts. You can still be a pioneer? And I hope you will do so"

- Stephen Breyer

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sophomore Lock-in at Gameworks

The sophmore lock-in is wrapping up and there are a lot of VERY tired MAST 10th graders this morning heading home for a long weekend. A big thank you to the teachers and parents who chaperoned and stayed up all night. Below are a few pictures of the students going strong at about 4:30am. Have a great weekend!

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Midterm Sail Heading Back to Port

With six of seven exams under their belts, students head into the last exam confident that they are ready and well prepared. Most of the students I talked with are feeling good about their performance and teachers also seem pleased with results. Be sure to keep studying and finish strong!

Results from the Eco-media "Green My School" Challenge are due our any minute! The students and Dr. Khalil have been checking in regularly to see if anything has been posted. Nothing yet, but I am optimistic and extremely proud of the work we did and are doing around greening MAST.

And, in wrapping up for this post, tomorrow is the South Central Regional Center's Teacher of the Year celebration breakfast. Our honoree, Mr. Cruz, along with Ms. Ulman, and a few parents and students will represent MAST.

Final note - exams and the second marking period are complete! I hope everyone has a restful long weekend. On Tuesday, we will leave port for the second half of our 2008-2009 voyage.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, January 12, 2009

Midterm Exams - Day 1

Day one of midterms went very well.  Students' spirits were high as complete their first two exams.  There seemed to be a lot of confidence and a fair share of nerves as students headed home to study and prepare for Tuesday's two exams.  Please check out the exam schedule below if you have any questions about when any particular exam will be held.

This morning I received a call confirming that the Florida Commissioner of Education, Mr. Eric Smith, will be visiting MAST Academy.  He will be here to see who we are, what we do, and how we work.  Congratulations to teachers, students, staff, and parents for all the hard work you do every day!

On a closing note, MAST will be open once again this Saturday for FCAT tutoring from 9:00 AM until 12:00 noon.  All ninth and tenth graders are invited and encouraged to attend to strengthen our FCAT performance.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

MAST Morning

This morning on the way to MAST this was the view we had just before the Rickenbacker bridge. A beautiful morning to cap off our first school week of 2009. Study hard for midterms.

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Midterms & FCAT Tutoring

Time is running short before midterms! Next week we will have two exams per day on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and close out our last exam on Thursday morning! I will post a copy of the exam schedule here either this evening or tomorrow for everyone to see.

Also, this Saturday we will begin our final push to the FCAT with tutoring from 9 AM until 12 noon. I encourage all ninth and tenth graders to take advantage of this opportunity. Let's be the first to score a perfect 100% level or better for all 9th and 10th graders!

Finally, before I sign off, a huge congratulations to Mr. Maas and the boys' basketball team for their victory over MacArthur last night! Our firsr in over four years. Way to go Makos!

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

iPhone Posting Capability!

Happy New Year! Being as time is such a precious commodity, this morning I found a easier way of being able to update my Captain's Blog and communicate from all of our school events. Now I will be able to take pictures and post them directly with text. Go Makos! More to come...

-- Post From My iPhone

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