Subscribe with Bloglines MAST Academy Captain's Blog: 2010

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.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holiday Check-in

Yesterday Mr. Tohulka, Mr. Hamilton, and I spent a bit of time at MAST. A huge thank you to both of them for taking their vacation time to come in and do some necessary work. Mr. Hamilton had the steel drum tuner in and he completed about 1/2 of pans. The second week back we have an appointment to complete the rest! Our band should sound better than ever! Speaking of, I will soon try and post the winter concert video of the band playing during the holiday luncheon. They were amazing! Mr. Tohulka came in the check and do some aquarium maintenance. The saddest part is that the GFI circuit tripped sometime last week and the big tank in Ms. Jones-Roberts' room didn't make it. With both of our big tanks down, we need to begin rebuilding. I picked up two aquarium books to help myself learn more, spoke to Mr. Tohulka, and recruited a friend who I'd a big aquarium buff to help with our fresh start. I also began some research for online aquarium monitoring systems thy would allow us to check and receive emergency updates directly from the tank itself. Finally, this is a call for a group of students to join in this starting over. Please see me if younger interested in working together to make out tanks the envy of the county once more!
Finally, I hope you have all been having a great break! Happy New Year and see everyone back at MAST on Monday!

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, October 22, 2010

All Ahead Full - A MAST Update

What a busy two week period!  MAST has definitely been all ahead full since we started almost eight weeks ago.  The first quarter is about to end and we have a lot to look forward to as we sail on!

The boys' and girls' swimming teams did a great job at GMAC's at the end of last week and we are looking forward to moving on to districts next week.  The Makos head off on a long journey to the Keys to compete and see who will turn in performances that earn trips to the next level!  Good luck, Makos!

Tonight is Homecoming at La Gorce Country Club on Miami Beach.  Our theme this year is Haunted Homecoming!  It promises to be evening full of frights and delights!  I hope everyone has bought their ticket and will be there for the fun!

Last week we inducted 41 new members to the MAST chapter of the National Honor Society.  The inductees are an impressive group of students who model scholarship, attention to detail, and commitment to community service.  Congratulations to the inductees and their families.

This week we also had two seconds - the MAST PTSA's 2nd Annual College Night and the MAST Expedition Day.  Both were amazingly successful.  Thank you so much to all the parents who worked tirelessly to make the College Night such a tremendous success.  Fifty-five schools and over 220 students came out to MAST on Monday evening.  The MAST Expedition Day had as variety of activities for each of the classes.  Freshman and sophomores had three guest presenters from the larger MAST community speak to them about goal attainment, dressing for success, and planning for financial success.  The juniors had internship and an Experiment in International Living presentations and mock interviews with community business representatives.

On a final note, MAST is in the running for a $50,000.00 grant from Clorox.  We need your support to win the grant.  Please show your support by going to, register, and vote daily until November 1st, 2010.

Monday, October 18, 2010

MAST Academy's Bid for Clorox Grant

MAST is presently one of hundreds of schools nationwide who have applied for a $50,000 grant from Clorox to enhance our school’s programs. We are at a stage that requires public voting via the internet to win the grant. Below are instructions on how to cast your vote and support the MAST community in our bid for the grant. Please take a moment of your time and help support MAST. Thank you!

Voting Instructions:

1. Go to

2. In the middle of the page, click on Cast Your Vote!
3. Click on VOTE NOW!

4. Please enter your email at the top of the page and click log in
5. Complete the registration form.

Once you have completed the registration:

6. Enter MAST and search

7. Vote for MAST Academy!

Finally, please enter three friends’ or family members’ email addresses to generate more support for MAST.

Please remember to that each registered email address can vote once a day until November 1, 2010! Thank you for your help!

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Ship in Port - Summer Update

If there is one thing this summer has not been, it has not been slow and restful.  Right from the first day with the Summer Anchor program we have been off and running.  I am finishing up a week at the Superintendent's Summer institute for Principals this morning.  It has been a good experience and I have enjoyed learning with and from my colleagues.  There are a lot of very good things going on about the district!

It is also hard to believe that the month of July is almost gone.  We are ready to unfurl the sails and prepare the deck for the 2010 - 2011 school voyage.  The are still some questions to be answered and the last parts of the puzzle will begin to fall into place quickly now as we start the ramp up.  It is odd how quiet it is at school but the feeling of awakening is definitely in the air!

The building is looking sharp as Mr. McDonald and the custodial crew have been hard at work preparing for opening.  The classrooms look bright and shiny with fresh wax and everything put through summer cleaning.  We have just one last shipment of computers left to come in for the engineering lab.  We're looking for them sometime next week.

For students and parents, the individual FCAT score reports are in so please be on the lookout for more information as to when and how we will distribute them.  On a whole, MAST did very well and once again the work of our students, teachers, and entire MAST family has shone through.  Thank you all!  School grades will not be published for senior high schools until November as there are now additional grading criteria that the state must collect and analyze.  More to come ...

Finally, my summer reading has been going.  It would be enjoyable to have had more time to read but I have completed Drive by Daniel Pink, Discussion Based Online Teaching by Tisha Bender, and a title on SMART Goals ( good for IPEGS).  I learned from all three and each has lead me to additional learning/reading that I have saved up for future opportunity.  Drive's discussion on motivation is eye-opening and I have since found some of the research by E. Deci to review.  There are some major implications for motivation in schools and learning.  The SMART goals piece will help as we as a faculty plan our upcoming year's IPEGS goals and some of the case studies were interesting.  Finally, the book on online teaching was drab and dated.  Despite this, it did reinforce the idea that there is something in the idea of online learning.  I think that we as the adults have as much to learn as the students.  I see this becoming a powerful venue for learning once we get a better handle on how to best use the tools available.

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer and has taken the necessary precautions for the pending tropical storm.  Being as it looks like we will be spending a wet weekend indoors, it sounds like a great time to make sure that your summer reading is up to date and you are on course to finish!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Anchor Sails into Week 2!

This morning we open our second week of the 2010 MAST Summer Anchor. So far our sailing has encountered fair weather and calm seas. Boat building is underway, math is in full operation, and science is analyzing data collected during last week's day at the beach. We have just finished our final plenary session where we discussed Plato and Stephen J. Gould and worked some more on Excel.

Coming up later in the week, we have our famous boat races, the seniors will come in to talk about involvement at MAST, and we will end our summer voyage with cotillion. It is a full week so come prepared and be ready to head out each day under full sail!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer Anchor Heads to Sea

Day one of the 2010 MAST Summer Anchor has come and gone.  Congratulations to the Class of 2014 and the other students who have joined us for the adventure.  This year looks to be stronger than ever with an instructional crew that is second to none.  As I spoke to all about yesterday as we got underway, now it is time for each student to begin to explore what their individual passion or passions might be and to begin to plot a course to fulfill those dreams.  This will take more than just a plan.  Once plotted, action on a course must be undertaken!  Action and correction and modification for what doesn't work as a student has planned - persistence!  A journey of a lifetime, such as you have set sail upon with the opening of the Summer Anchor, will not be without its rough seas and stormy weather.  What will you need to do to persist in the face of adversity to ensure that you achieve your goals, to ensure that your passion comes to fruition? The final element is effort.  Education, knowledge, and the subsequent wisdom are results of concerted effort.  They come from the drive to learn.  To learn, make mistakes, reflect upon your last steps, make connections, and grow in the knowledge of how information and experience will combine inside you and manifest itself in new actions that you show to the world as you learn.  Remember, MAST is about learning and over the course of the next four years the voyage will require passion, persistence, and effort!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Reflections on the 2009-2010 Year at Sea

Another year, MAST's 19th, has just come back to port in final celebration of much learning and particularly for the accomplishments of faculty, staff, parents, and the Class of 2010.  Far from being free of the stresses that have been in the news and all over our world, MAST has weathered all that we have encountered.  As a community, we have made progress in many directions and continued a tradition of excellence in the sea of change that churns about us.  The credit for this voyage and those before lies with the passion and persistence of committed individuals that seek the lighthouse of learning through any and all conditions.  To the faculty, staff, parents, and students of MAST, thank you for your drive.

This year MAST will prepare for another voyage without three figures who have been large contributors to our school.  Mrs. Van Smith, Dr. Alvarez-Detrell, and Mr. Cruz, thank you for your years of service.  we will definitely miss you as we prepare and begin future voyages.  Best of luck and know that MAST will always be here as an open port of call if ever you venture near.  To the MAST Crew members who continue to sail on with us, thank you for making learning your top priority and for an unrelenting focus on student performance.  The success of each voyage is firmly in your steady, capable hands.  Our community appreciates you more than we could ever possibly show.

Class of 2010 - thank you for a fantastic four years that include some amazing highs and tremendous accomplishments.  As I spoke about at graduation, these four years have passed very quickly and your presence will be missed as we set sail once again.  Just as your peers in the past, remember your time and honor all that you have received in your time at MAST.

MAST parents - It has been a year for the record books.  Never have I seen such dedication and support from so many parents whose only goal is the growth and betterment of a school community.  Working with all the groups have been a joy and, in looking forward to next year, please know that we are eternally grateful for all that you do and the investment of time and energy that you provide.  MAST could not be all it is without you.

As we prepare to welcome the Class of 2014 and begin our 20th year, MAST holds more potential than ever.  Now is the time to charge our batteries, lay the ground work, and forge ahead with the plans that will make the 2010-2011 school year the best of all!

Have a happy and restful summer in port!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Summer Anchor - Class of 2014 Sets Sail!

This Monday, June 14, 2010, the MAST Summer Anchor Program sets sail with the Class of 2014!  The program will last until June 25th.  The students' daily schedule runs from 8:00am until 2:05pm.  Breakfast and lunch will be provided all students free of charge.  Breakfast will be served from 7:30am until 7:55am each day.  Class will begin promptly at 8:00am!  Transportation arrangements have been made such that each student will have access to a pass to ride the Metrorail to the Viscaya station.  Parents are responsible for getting their child to the closest metrorail station.  Once at the Viscaya station, MAST will provide a shuttle from Viscaya to MAST Academy.  The morning shuttles will begin at 7:15 and the last shuttle will leave Viscaya at 7:40am.  MAST will have a security monitor at Viscaya to help students in transition.  In the afternoon, students will ride shuttles from MAST to Viscaya then take the Metrorail back to their home stop.  Parents are responsible for making arrangements from their home stop to home.  If you have any questions, please contact MAST directly.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Final Regular Day at Sea

I find it amazingly difficult to fathom that another year has just about finished.  Today we completed our last regular length day for the 2009-2010 voyage.  Monday we finish the last of our final exams and then we graduate the Class of 2010 at 7pm at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts.  Incredible and nearly unbelievable!

As most well know by know, Director Jackson of the EPA has been called away to the Gulf with the oil disaster and we will have the pleasure of having Ms. Melody Barnes as our commencement speaker.  We have made the final arrangements for the change and excitement is high!  The Class of 2010 will definitely leave it's mark on the history of our amazing school.

It is time to head down to the PTSA Family Dinner.  From what I hear we should have a lot of people here celebrating the end of our year!  Hope to see many of you there!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Grease - MAST Performing Arts Club

Last night MAST's Performing Arts Club held the second showing of their production of Grease.  To a full house, the students sang and danced their way to through a stellar performance.  It was fun to sit back and see audience dancing and singing along from their seats.  My complements to the cast and crew who showed what dedication, initiative, and passion.  Their drive showed through last night in the performance.  It was excellent.  Many thanks to Mr. Hamilton for his guidance and direction, not to mention the time he spends helping the club members develop their production.  Finally, it was wonderful to see so many MAST families and alum at the show showing their pride for all the hard work and effort of the cast and crew.  Great job, performing arts club!  I can't wait to see wait to see what next year brings!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Weekly Calendar - May 10 through 14, 2010

AP Exam week #1 down and AP Exam week #2 about to begin.  Our voyage time is short and we have much to do!  For everyone taking exams, rest well and come ready to do your best.  Show what it is to be a Mako!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Weekly Calendar for May 3 through 7, 2010

Please remember that the big event for the next two weeks is AP exams!  All students who are taking exams should be sure to rest well and have a good breakfast on the day of their exams!  Good luck!  You have worked hard, now it is time to shine!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Solar Celebration is on the Horizon

One of MAST's most exciting presentations is on the horizon and approaching quickly - Solar Celebration!  Below is a flyer and invitation for the community to come and see how MAST students are learning about and developing ideas to green our community today and think about the way we interact with our environment in the future!  Hope to see everyone there!

Last week the district announcef its BeSafe anonymous reporting system.  The system allows students to report crimes at school such as weapons, drugs, or any other school safety concern without the fear of repercussion.  Below is the flyer that describes how to use the system via text, web, or phone!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Welcome to May - Swift Currents Ahead

Welcome to May and the nearing of the end of our voyage.  It is amazing to see that we have already reached this point of our year!  I cannot believe that things have gone by so quickly.  Now is not the time to rest on our laurels but the time to forge ahead valiantly!

Tomorrow we begin two weeks of AP exams.  This is definitely one of our highlight periods.  Here is where many, if not most, of MAST students get to show the shine they have acquired over the course of the year.  All the hard work that they and their teachers have put in come to a point. Congratulations and keep your eyes set on the prize!  Now is the time when focus is most important!  Good luck!  I am proud of all your work to get to this point!

Tomorrow night is also our last PTSA meeting of the year.  Please join us at 7:00PM in the MAST auditorium.  All parents and students, present and future are invited.  Come see what a great organization the MAST PTSA is and how much our parents do to support our teachers and students.

Most notably, tomorrow begins Teacher Appreciation Week.  As we begin, let me be the first to thank MAST teachers for all that they do to help our students learn and grow.  In all my time in education, I have not known better. It is an honor to serve with you on each voyage.  Again, thank you for everything and please keep striving to make MAST an even better place for young people to learn.  Parents and students, please take a moment to let your favorite teachers know that they are special and that you appreciate what they have done for you and for our school.

Finally, as we all know well by now, MAST was not chosen one of the top three schools in the Commencement Challenge.  Although it has not turned out as I would have hoped, I cannot fully express the pride I feel for the work that our community has done.  The correspondence I have received from such an amazingly diverse group of people is breath-taking.  Thank you to all the parents, teachers, students, alumni, local TV news channels, local papers, local radio stations, and all the other MAST friends and family members that spread the news and came together in an effort to support MAST.  As I wrote in an earlier post, to see our entire community and all its connections come together to support us in such a singular fashion is absolutely inspirational.  After living through this experience, I know that MAST is one of those particular entities that is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Thank you, thank you, thank you.  The best news f all is that the White House will be working with each of the finalists to arrange for a cabinet level of senior staff level commencement speaker to be at this year's graduation!  (We don't know yet, but when we do we'll share it right away)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Voting is Closed!

The voting window for the Commencement Challenge is closed!  It certainly has been a terrific adventure.  I for one have learned quite a bit.  I am also impressed and grateful for the way the entire community has come out in support of our school.  Honestly, it has been inspriring.  Thank you to all for your emails, links, phone calls, texts, facebook, and every other way which you used to drum up support.  There is something to be noted in how we all have come together.  My humble thanks and appreciation to each and every one of our supporters.  Now, let's hope that MAST makes it to the final three!  Good night! 

Fair winds and tight lines.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The President’s Commencement Challenge: Making MAST’s Video

MAST Team Heads to NOSB Finals!

Here is the MAST NOSB team that headed to St. Petersburg this past Friday to compete the finals for the National Oceanic Science Bowl!  The team won regionals a few weeks back in a tough final that went back and forth with the Makos taking the final victory.  I spent some time trying to follow them via twitter this weekend but the tweets I could find kept kicking me over to facebook.  I can't wait for tomorrow morning to see how the team did!  They are Makos, so I am sure they showed their spirit and pride!

This Week in South Florida with Michael Putney

This morning Tosca, Margaux, Mrs. Herrera, Dr. Lichtenheld, and I went up to the Channel 10 studios, invited by Michael Putney, to share our Commencement Challenge story.  It was a really great experience.  Below is a collage of the photos that we took while there!  Please remember that voting starts tomorrow morning at 8am.  Please lend MAST your support!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Commencement Challenge Voting to Open Monday, April 26!

Below if the official Whitehouse press release outlining the procedures for voting and final selection of the winning school for the Presidant's Commencement Challenge!  Please let everyone know and share the news.  Thank you for your support!  The studnets' work is absolutely terrific - wait until you get to see the video!


Office of the Press Secretary


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                             April 22, 2010

Public Voting Begins Monday for Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge

President Obama to choose national winner from three finalists selected by public

WASHINGTON – The White House and the Department of Education announced today that voting for the winner of the first annual Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge will begin Monday, April 26.

From 8 a.m. EDT on Monday, April 26th through 11:59 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 29, 2010, the public will have an opportunity to review and rate a three-minute video and short essay from each of the six high school finalists at President Obama will select the national winner from the three high schools with the highest average ratings. The Commencement Challenge winner will be announced on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 and the President will visit the winning high school to deliver the commencement address later this spring.

Voters are encouraged to rank the finalists based on the criteria of the Commencement Challenge including:

• Educational success of the school as an example for other high schools around the country;

• The ability of the school to engage students in learning and to foster personal responsibility and academic excellence; and

• The success of the school in preparing students to graduate college and career-ready, to help meet the President’s 2020 goal that America have the highest proportion of college graduates of any nation in the world.

The Commencement Challenge, launched in late February, invited the nation’s public high schools to submit applications showing their dedication to providing students with an excellent education that will prepare them to graduate ready for college and career choices. Applications were judged based on the schools’ performance, four essay questions and supplemental data. The six finalists were selected for their dedication to academic excellence and for showing how they are helping prepare students to graduate college and career ready, and prepared to meet the President’s goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.


• Blue Valley Northwest High School (Overland Park, Kansas)

• Clark Montessori Junior High and High School (Cincinnati, Ohio)

• Denver School of Science and Technology (Denver, Colorado)

• Environmental Charter High School (Lawndale, California)

• Kalamazoo Central High School (Kalamazoo, Michigan)

• MAST Academy (Miami, Florida)

Complete details of the voting and selection process appear below:

Rating the Finalists

On Monday, April 26, 2010 at 8:00 a.m. EDT, public review and rating of the six high school finalists in President Obama’s High School Commencement Challenge will begin on A three-minute video and short essay from each school will highlight how it best satisfies the criteria of the Commencement Challenge. Visitors to the website can view each finalist’s video and written submission, presented in random order. For each school, visitors are encouraged to watch the video and read the essay question before deciding on a rating. Visitors will be allowed to rate the finalists on a scale of 1-5 (with 1 as the lowest rating and 5 as the highest). After a rating is submitted, the next school’s video and essay question will be presented for review and rating until all six schools have been viewed. The ability to rate videos will end at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 29, 2010.

Rating Criteria

Voters are encouraged to rank the finalists based on the criteria of the Commencement Challenge including:

• Educational success of the school as an example for other high schools around the country;

• The ability of the school to engage students in learning and to foster personal responsibility and academic excellence; and

• The success of the school in preparing students to graduate college and career-ready, to help meet the President’s 2020 goal that America have the highest proportion of college graduates of any nation in the world.

Determining the Winner

At the end of the rating period (April 26, 2010 at 8:00 a.m. EDT to April 29, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. EDT), the three schools with the highest average ratings will be submitted to President Obama for final selection. The winner of the Commencement Challenge will be announced on Tuesday, May 4, 2010.

# #

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

MAST Geography "Bees" Take a Bite Out of the Competition

Congratulations to Ms. Reboredo and the members of the MAST Geography Bee team.  They took 2nd place today in the Miami-Dade County Geography Bee competition.  Great job, Flavio, Joe, Ivan, Nicolas, Jose, and Pier.  We're very proud of our Makos!

Please also remember that Dr. Hood takes the National Oceanic Science Bowl team to nations beginning tomorrow.  Good luck!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Filming, Filming, Filming!

Today is the day! Filming is in progress!


Academic Symposium - April 7, 2010

Thursday’s Early Release Luncheons

This past Thursday we had three luncheons as part of our early release activities.  The slideshow above has some shots of each.  The participation of the students in really made them special.  The international luncheon featured student performances (video to come later), the SHAPE luncheon celebrated the club members hard work all year, and the FEA luncheon included a review of the year in working with MAST Outreach and election of a new officer cadre.

As a completely different sidenote, I am trying to learn a new tool for creating entries.  On my netbook I received a copy of Windows Live Writer.  It seems to be a very friendly way of posting. I will continue to experiment.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Walk-through for Commencement Challenge Video

This afternoon we completed the walk-through for tomorrow’s Commencement Challenge video shooting.  All seems to be in order and the team appears to have their ideas collected and ready to begin shooting!  Everything has come together nicely with final preparations.  Tomorrow morning we will start early and get things off to a running start.  For any students and parents who have the chance to read this particular entry, please make sure you have your release signed and turned in to your homeport teacher.  Have a restful evening!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Weekly Calendars - April 12 - 16, 2010

Water Polo - GMAC Tournament @ MAST

This week we will host the GMAC water polo tournament at our pool on Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday.  Below are the draws for both the girls' and boys' tournaments.  After GMAC's it is prep time for districts and, if all goes well, states! (So I hope!!)  Please come out and support the Makos!


Video of the Commencement Challenge Notification Phone Call

A link in the title of this entry will take you to the video on wherein the six finalist schools are notifed of their being chosen.  I am posting it as a separate entry because of all that I have heard about it from so many different people.  I hope you enjoy it!

Next steps in the process include a conference call with the new video producers tomorrow right after school and looking forward to begin filming at MAST sometime later in the week.  Once the six videos are posted it will be time to vote.  At that point, please encourage everyone you know to vote and ask them to have their friends and neighbors lend MAST their support!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

President Obama's Commencement Challenge - Press Release


Office of the Press Secretary



April 9, 2010

President Obama, Department of Education Announce Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge Finalists

Six Public High Schools Selected to Compete for Presidential Commencement Address

WASHINGTON – The White House and the Department of Education announced today the six high schools selected as finalists for the first annual Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge. The Commencement Challenge, launched in late February, invited the nation’s public high schools to submit applications showing their dedication to providing students with an excellent education that will prepare them to graduate ready for college and career choices. Applications were judged based on the schools performance, four essay questions and supplemental data. The six finalists were selected for their dedication to academic excellence and for showing how they are helping prepare students to graduate college and career ready, and prepared to meet the President’s goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.


• Blue Valley Northwest High School (Overland Park, Kansas)

• Clark Montessori Junior High and High School (Cincinnati, Ohio)

• Denver School of Science and Technology (Denver, Colorado)

• Environmental Charter High School (Lawndale, California)

• Kalamazoo Central High School (Kalamazoo, Michigan)

• MAST Academy (Miami, Florida)

“I thank all of the schools that submitted applications for the first Commencement Challenge and I congratulate the six finalists for demonstrating effective approaches to teaching, learning and preparing students to graduate ready for college and a career,” said President Obama. “The quality of the applications we received is a testament to the exciting work happening in schools throughout the country, and I look forward to visiting and speaking at the winning school later this spring.”

“These six schools represent just a few of the stories of success that are happening all across the country,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We won’t accomplish the President’s national goal of leading the world in college completion by 2020 without the hard work and dedication of the school leaders, teachers and students exemplified by our six final high schools.”

Over the next few weeks, each school’s students will work with The Get Schooled Foundation, which includes Viacom and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation among its founding partners, to create a short video highlighting how the school best fulfills the Challenge’s criteria. The six videos, along with portions of each school’s written application, will be featured on the White House website in the coming weeks and the public will have an opportunity to vote for the three schools they think best meet the President’s goal. The President will select a national winner from these three finalists and will visit the winning high school to deliver the commencement later this spring.

Watch a video of the schools being notified of their selection on Thursday, April 8, 2010.

MAST Academy's Week in Review - What a Week!

To say that this week has been unique would be an understatement.  We started our return from spring break with a calm teacher work day and the posting of third quarter grades.  We all came back and headed out of port on Tuesday with a steady wind and a lot of excitement for the coming weeks that are full of action and final anticipation of the final quarter and eventually graduation.  Wednesday came and we brought back the Classic Academic Symposium (I promise to have more to say about this in another post) and it was a showcase of who and what we are as a school and community.  Thursday came and it gave an appearance as to allowing us to fall into a good sailing routine with fine weather and shining waters.  Then we received a phone call from the White House.  I received word that MAST had been selected as one of six national finalist for the President's Commencement Challenge.  The Challenge is a competition for all high schools across the United States in which we are asked to show our dedication to providing the best possible education for students in preparing them for college and career choices (I will post the actual press release following this entry).  Needless to say, we could not be any happier nor more proud of our students.  From the start, MAST's application has been student designed and student led.  The coming two weeks will be eventful!  In moving forward, the six finalists will be making a three minute video about their school with the assistance of Get Schooled, a professional video company.  Those videos will then be posted at for a period of voting for the entire nation.  Upon completion of the voting, three ultimate finalist will be presented to the President for his final selection.  Wish us luck and once the voting opens, please help MAST with your vote!

More to come ...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Shore Leave Coming to an End

Spring break is just about over and we will soon begin the final leg of our '09-'10 voyage. Rest well, have a very happy hoilday, and enjoy the time with your family. I look forward to seeing many of our crew members tomorrow and then the full complement of MAST on Tuesday!

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Great MAST Technology Tool - Serious Potential

Devices come and go so quickly it is often hard to pick one up, learn about it, and then find how to exploit the ties it has to our curriculum and for learning in general (student and adult).  Case in point, I have been looking at and researching Flip video cameras.  I found another model, the Kodak Playsport HD, that has some higher rankings and a great bonus for MAST projects - waterproof up to 10 feet!  Imagine shots while snorkeling, videos attached to an ROV, shots of mangrove roots systems teeming with aquatic life!  There are a lot of possibilities.

Chime in and let us know what you might think and if you have a Kodak or Flip, let us know how you have used it and how it might connect to the things we do at MAST.

Spring Break Learning

It is hard to believe that it is Thursday already. I have spent much time relaxing and spending time with fasmily and friends.  In addition, I have been learning a lot about many of the directions I'd like to see MAST go as a school.  I have put in some time looking at how to expand and improve my blogging to make my post more appealing and spread the word to the whole MAST community.  I picked up an intersting set of books from the library, What No One Ever Tells You about Blogging and Podcasting by Ted Demopoulous and How to Do Everything with Your Web 2.0 Blog by Todd Stauffer.  They are pointing me in new directions about how you might be able to arrange blogs as documentation for all manner of work including science fair projects and both student and teacher electronic portfolios.  The ideas are yet hazy but I am beginning to see some terrific potential for what we can become as a school.

Another exploratory adventure that we have begin, we'd be glad of any help anyone might be able to lend, is with looking at moving the construction and maintenance of our web presence to Drupal.  Maintenance of our site is difficult at present and many web 2.0 tools hold promise for making the task much less cumbersome.  I am finding that the more I delve into the realm of new technology the more we will, MAST, the district, the state, all of us, need to examine carefully and in some collaborative manner what it is we want and the most efficient way of making it work for everyone.  In short, there is a lot of amazing learning that we are all going to have to do.  It may sound a bit daunting but it is sure to be exhilarating.

If you have any expertise or can point us to any quality resources, please post a comment and join the effort as we sail into the next century!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mid-Week Sailing Report

This morning Dr. Khalil opened MAST's annual Science Fair in the auditorium. I had the pleasure of spending a short time walking in and among the students' projects.  As I walked through the first two rows there were a number of standouts.  I am looking forward to another opportunity tomorrow afternoon to walk through again and snap some photos and read some more about the experiments.  Dr. Ochatt took time with her classes to visit the fair to allow students to view and share in one another's work.  We will wind up this year's fair on Thursday, March 25, at 6:30 pm.  I invite all MAST family members to come see the work that the students have done and participate in the evening's culmination - the awards ceremony for the best of the projects.

Last night I attended the Community Rally for Education at Miami Northwestern.  Mr. Carvalho and Mr. Woodson presented some daunting figures.  I would encourage those who did not have the opportunity to attend to check the Miami-Dade County Public School's website for a recording of the program.  I wish all of our community members heading off to Tallahassee for the "Rally in Tally" a safe trip and much success. 

From the waterfront, this week is extremely full.  The Lady Makos faced off against Coral Reef this afternoon.  On a perfect water polo afternoon, we lost a tough one 15-11 with many shots just missing the mark.  Tomorrow both the boys and girls take to the pool again to play Miami High at 4:00 pm and 5:30 pm.  Then, again on Thursday, both teams will shoot it out with Miami Springs at 4:00 and 5:30 pm.  We hope to see you there!

Finally, this afternoon MAST's Silver Knight nominees had their interviews with the Silver Knight committes.   Congratulations and good luck to Summiya, Mitchell, David, Andrea, Rhiannon, Tali, Leah, and Charnelle.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Weekly Calendar - March 22 through 26, 2010

Week in Summary - Nearing Shore Leave

It was an another great week for the Makos.  We have finished FCAT completely and I am proud to say that a full 100% of ninth, tenth, and eleventh graders sat the exam.  Now our sights are realigning towards the waters between now and AP exams.  It is difficult to imagine that we are just a week away from the completion of the third quarter.

Last night was the Treasure Island dinner and auction sponsored by the MAST PTSA at the Links at Key Biscayne.  I want to give a huge thank you to the committee for making this such a particularly enjoyable and successful event.  Last night's event truly highlights what a committed group of parents is capable of doing for a school.  Amazing!

Congratulations to Cindy & Chico Goldsmith as our honorees for last night's event.  It is so wonderfully appropriate to be able to recognize such long standing and committed community members for their passion and dedication to a unique school and community in MAST Academy.  We appreciate all you do and have done with and for us much more than we could ever express.  Thank you for everything!

Finally, and not to be left out, the Makos water polo teams dove back into the deep water this week with the completion of FCAT.  The girls' and boys' squads both played tough Hialeah High teams and swan to victory.  The boys' played an excellent match against Belen being edged out at the final buzzer in a tightly fought contest.

This week we are preparing to reach port and our spring break shore leave.  I am looking forward to a great week to include MAST annual science fair and parent night on Thursday, March 22!  Please don't forget the Community Rally for Education on Monday at Miami Northwestern beginning at 6:30 pm.  TIghtlines and fair winds!

MAST USCG JROTC Volunters at the Treasure Island Gala

Here are some of the USCG JROTC cadets from the Mako Batallion volunteering at the MAST PTSA Treasure Island Gala last night. It was a great event. Looking forward to next year already!

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Census Flyer & Information from the District

There is much talk and debate as to funding many of our neighborhood programs as the ecomony is not at its highest point and I am very aware that I am posting much about finance but below is another extremely important piece of information vital to our community receiving the proper and deserved portion of funding - the 2010 Census.  As, over the next day of two, you begin to receive your census envelopes, please take the time to record the information and return it as soon as possible. Below is a copy of a flyer that was sent home with your children today as requested by the district.  Again, please pay careful atention and complete the census information request sent to you in as timely a manner possible.  Thank you!

FCAT Testing Update

Congratulations and thank you to all MAST crew and families.  We have ended our testing with superb participation numbers - 100% of 9th and 10th graders and 99% of 11th graders.  It was a very smooth administration.  Now that we have finished this part of our journey, we are off once again and looking at AP exams, prom, and graduation on the horizon!  Go Makos - Full speed ahead!

Community Rally for Education

This coming Monday, March 22, 2010, the district will hold a Community Rally for Education at Miami Northwestern Senior High School.  Please talke the time and have your voice be heard as it relates to educating our students.  Please note the flyer below for details!

I hope to see you there in support of
Makos, present and future!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The FCAT has Begun!

FCAT day 1 was a terrific success!  We had 99% of both 9th and 10th graders in attendance and all went very smoothly.  Many thanks to everyone - teachers, students, and parents - for doing what was necessary to make the testing go well.  Tomorrow is day 2 and final day for 9th & 10th graders.  Keep up the good work!  Next Tuesday it is the 11th graders opportunity to show what they can do with the FCAT Science!

More great news, this past weekend two MAST teams went to the National Oceanic Science Bowl regional finals.  MAST teams placed first and fourth at this prestigious competition.  As regional champions, MAST has an earned a berth in the national tournament to be held in St. Petersburg at the end of april.  Congratulations to the MAST NOSB teams for their prowess and showing jst how much they have learned.

As I close for the time, please remember that M-HOP Take 2 will be this Friday beginning at 7:15am.  Be there and make sure you get your pancake breakfast made fresh and served hot by members of the MAST crew.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Long Sail Without Port

I have been painfully aware that way too much time has passed since I had or taken the time to post to my blog.  Now that I've logged in and realized that over a month has passed, honestly, I'm a bit ashamed.  It is not for lack of occurance that I have faltered in my posting, it has most certainly been an extremely busy time for everyone at MAST.

Over the course of the last month, we have done much.  In fact, tonight and tomorrow during activities is our Spring Showcase.  Other new and terrifically successful events have included Mr. Mako, freshman lock in, the annual USCG JROTC Pass in Review, State semifinal and final robotic competitions, laser tag, and numerous other field trips, classes projects and exams.

In addition to all of these events, two MAST students, Charnelle Bland & Shanique Martin, qualified for the Intel International Science Competition, one student, Tosca Lichtenheld, was nominated for the United States Presidential Scholars program.  Also, Tosca Lichtenheld & Phil Ordonez received notification of their status as finalist for the National Merit Scholarhip program.

The magnet application window closed for the 2010-2011 school year.  MAST's admissions office has completed the review and determination of eligibility for all applicants.  Over the next week or so we are expecting to receive our random selection lists from the district.  Once the lists are received, we will begin the process of extending offers to the students on the list.  Good luck to all applicants!

We have also begun our spring sports season - Water Polo is in full gale!  The Makos opened against Miami Country Day with the lady Makos playing hard but losing a tough opener and the boys handily defeating the Spartans.  This afternoon the boys played a tough Columbus team - a match that always means a lot ot both teams.  Both the boys & girls play Wednesday and Thursday at the Shark Tank.  Hope to see you there!

I will close with a note as to this year's PTSA Gala - Treasure Island.  This is the PTSA's big fund raiser for the year.  Invitations went out and several calls have also been made to invite our entire community to come out and enjoy an evening dedicated to the celebration of MAST.  This year's honorees are Chico and Cindy Goldsmith - long time MAST supporters and friends.  Please put March 19th on your calendar and join us the the Links on Key Biscayne.  If you'd like any additional information, please contact the PTSA.

With that, I will close this entry and try not to try and make up a month of MAST in a single post.  FCAT is upon us and we will be in testing mode for the next two weeks.  Please be ready!  Rest and come prepared! 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

9th Annual Safe School Symposium

Today's Safe School Symposium was an amazing experience.  Much congratulations to the student services department for organizing such a powerful and unique experience for MAST students.  With a keynote presentation by Dr. Laura Finley of Barry University and small group presentations covering topics from a heritage panel and eating disorders to suicide and violence prevention, there were opportunities for all students to participate in a wide variety of activities.  Many thanks also to the presenters who came from around the county, within the district, and from the ranks of MAST's students and teachers.  I think all will agree that the experience was one that helped us grow and highlighted yet another facet of what it is to be at MAST.

MAST Makos Play With Heart

Last night the boys' soccer team ended their 09-10 season with a hard fought loss in the first round of the district tournament. I am proud to say that our young men played with heart and determination - a true "Makonian" effort! Congratulations on a great season!
The boys' basketball team ended their regular season with loss in an amazingly tight game to Curley, 54-51. They start district play on February 8th. An incredible end to a season that saw record after record fall and MAST basketball redefined. Congratulations and we are definately looking forward to the district tournament charge!

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

MAST Science at the Top

The past weekend Dr. Khalil and many MAST students were involved in the Dade County Sciecne and Engineering Fair at Miami-Dade College North.  MAST was extremely well represented and did a tremendous job receiving Top School in Show honors once again.  In addition, individual MAST student results in specified areas are as follows:

Science Board Competition:

Excellent - Asaria Amador, Nicholas Montano, Lina Lopez, Nicole Swanson, Luanna Pugliese, Nicholas Harrington, and Kevin Winslow.

Superior - Charnelle Bland, Shanique Martin, and Alan Campbell.  Please note that all three students who received a designation of superior were invited to participate in the State Science and Engineering Fair!

Research Paper Competition:

First Place - Charnelle Bland
Second Place - Shanique Martin

Special Interest Awards:

Florida Association of Science Teachers Award - Shanique Martin
NAACP SECME Award - Shanique Martin
NOAA Award - Charnelle Bland

Bridge Competition:

First Place - Nicholas Harrington

Dade County Science and Engineering fair Teacher of the Year - Dr. Wafa Khalil!!

Extra special thanks goes to Dr. Khalil for putting in hours and hours of time above and beyond to help MAST's students prepare for the fair.  WAFA POWER!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Makos Basketball with a BIG Victory!

Congratulations to the Makos for a stellar performance vs. the Reagan-Doral Bison.  The boys scored a record number of points, 61, and lead at times by as much as 24 points.  The Makos showed real heart and tenacity and held off several late charges by the Bison.  GREAT JOB, MAKOS!  Let's see it again tomorrow vs. Archbishop Carroll!

Makos Basketball On a Roll

As halftime comes to an end at Reagan-Doral Senior, the Makos have a commanding lead! Keep up the tight play! Go Makos!

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lady Makos Soccer - on to the Semifinals!

The Lady Makos put together a six goal second half in their 6-1 win over Miami Christian as they now move on to the semifinals in the district tournament. The Lady Makos will face Miami Country Day School at 5pm on Thursday, January 21 at Miami Country Day School for the right to play in the finals on Saturday. Good luck, ladies! Way to show that Mako Pride!

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lady Makos Soccer

Water break at MAST vs Miami Christian - 1st round of district tournament. GO LADY MAKOS!

So far the Lady Makos have 6 shots on goal but the score remains 0-0.

-- Post From My iPhone

Location:NE 109th St,Miami,United States

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Midterm Exam Schedule - Reminder

Tomorrow we begin our 2009 - 2010 midterm exams.  Just as a reminder, I have posted the schedule below.  Study hard and prepare well!

For your own copy of the exam schedule, please click on the entry title.

Lady Makos Soccer Heading to District as #3 Seed

As the regular season comes to an end, the Lady Makos are looking strong for the charge into the district tournament.  Finishing the season with a record of 9-4 and coming off a tremendous win, scoring four goals in the final ten minutes, the Lady Makos are ready for a feeding frenzy on Tuesday when they open their tournament championship bid at Miami Country Day School at 7 PM.  Please come out to Miami Country Day School and support the Lady Makos.  I hope to see you there! 


Miami National College Fair - Registration Instructions & List of Schools

Below is additional information about the coming Miami National College Fair at the Sheraton Mart on February 21, 2010.  Registration is free and you can complete yours by following the instructions on the flyer below.  You can also check a list of confirmed colleges and schools below the registration instructions.  Please consider attending!  It is never too early to begin your post secondary explorations!

 To see a list of the most current schools,
please click on the entry title.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

District National College Night

Below are the flyer and information sheet from the district for the National College Fair coming next month.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Weekly Calendar - January 11 - 15, 2010

Here is the calendar for all that is happening at MAST this week.  Have a great week!

District Flyer on Over the Counter (OTC) Drugs and Teens

We received this flyer out teens and the use/abuse of over the counter drugs from the district.  Students and parents, please be aware of the dangers that certain medicines may pose.  Please feel free to contact your counselor if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

From Ms. Cosgrove in the CAP Office

The FAIR Scholarship is now available in the CAP office. This is a $1,000 scholarship . It is a great opportunity as one student will receive this scholarship in every Miami-Dade County public senior high. I will put more information in your mailboxes Wed., Jan.13th. If any student is interested please ask them to come by the CAP Office . All applications musts be returned to the CAP Office by March 2nd.

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Greening of MAST Continues!

This morning TREEmendous Miami, City Year, the team from the tree farm, Dr. Khalil, and I walked the campus and discussed locations for the planing that we are going to do this Saturday.  A big thank you to CSX for funding the project and all the other groups involved for putting so much hard work into making this happen!  It is going to be absolutely beautiful!  If you can join us to help out, please do.  Once again, thanks to Dr. Khalil for making this all possible because of your passion and dedication!

Saturday, January 9, 2010!
8:30 AM!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Ship at Sea is Always in Motion

To say that we have had a busy three days back would be an understatement.  Classes are in full swing including the first of the quizzes done and new projects starting up.  Last night the boys' basketball team had their first game and the Lady Makos face off against Florida Christian this afternoon! 

Last night the Posse Foundation held its first Posse Miami Scholar Awards Ceremony.  Three exceptional young ladies from MAST were recognized and received full scholarships to Mount Holyoke College.  Crystal Reed, Sumiya Tasmin, and Candy Gonzalez were all awarded scholarships and a spot in the Posse Miami Mount Holyoke One.  The awards ceremony was wonderful and very enjoyable.  A big thank you to all the ladies' families who attended in support of them.  The entire MAST family is very proud of our Posse Scholars!  We look forward to hearing about your experiences next December as part of our alumni assembly.

In addition to this excellent news, Dr. Khalil has arranged a major planting event this Saturday, January 9, 2010 with TREEmendous Miami, City Year, and CSX.  Student volunteers are being recruited to help with the event from 8:30am until 12 noon.  Community service hours will be awarded to students who volunteer to participate.  I hope to see many Makos lending a hand as we aim to plant 200 native species shrubs and trees.  Many thanks to Dr. Khalil for leading the way in the greening of MAST.

I'd also like to congratulate Ms. Fernandez and Dr. Khalil for winning grants.  Dr. Khalil won a Target field trip grant to fund trips to Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens.  Ms. Fernandez's grant will be used for expansion of an underwater robotics program.  Many thanks to Dr. Haun, Mr. Tohulka, and Ms. Garcia for all of their work on another grant proposal done in conjunction with FIU.  Unfortunately, despite all of their amazing work, MAST will not be the recepient of the funding.  Again, thank you to all of you for your efforts that go well above and beyond.  You are a credit to our school.

Finally, please remember that midterm exams are right around the corner, January 15 through 21, 2010.  Make sure you are preparing now.  Do not procrastinate!  Serious exams require serious preparation!  I will publish the schedule later in the week or earlier next week.

Until the next, fair winds and calm seas!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Youth Leadership Miami

Sponsored by:

Youth Leadership Miami provides high school student from public and private schools to meet and interact with local community leaders.  The program's goals are to expand community awareness, broaden personal experiences, and help high schoolers explore future career opportunities.

Interested families need to complete an application by tomorrow, January 6, 2010.  You can find the application by clicking on the title of this blog entry  Good luck and enjoy the experience!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Returning from Shore Leave - January 2010

Welcome back aboard!  It certainly was a great, relaxing break.  There is much to report and write about but it will have to wait for tomorrow!  Other work is taking precedent and must be completed!  It was great to see our ship come back to life with all of the students and crew members.  Welcome back everyone and let's get ready for midterms!

More to come ...

MAST ePublications via Yudu

Captain's Book Shelf

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog