Sweet Charity The spring musical

Written By: Gina Crespo

The Performing Arts Club is hard at work preparing to debut their latest spring musical on February 6. This year the club will be performing Sweet Charity, a musical filled with heartfelt songs and energetic dance numbers.

The musical is set in New York in the 1960s and tells the story of the romantic endeavors of Charity Hope Valentine, played by senior Pia Nair.

Charity, an optimist and hopeless romantic, works as a taxi dancer at a dance hall in New York City along with her friends Helene, played by senior Amanda Marban, and Nickie, played by senior Emily Johnson.

After getting dumped by her boyfriend, played by Caleb Cruz, Charity decides that she will not be hurt by another man again.

This promise, however, is short lived because Charity soon becomes involved with a suave Italian movie star Vittorio Vidal, played by senior Landon Watford. Her relationship with Vittorio ends quickly and Charity finds herself alone again.

While stuck in an elevator, Charity meets Oscar Lindquist, played by senior Tomas Lopez. Oscar is a shy accountant who is different from the other men Charity has dealt with in the past.

This year, Sweet Charity is being directed by senior Glowie Allday. As the director, Allday has a lot of responsibility.

Allday said, “It’s been certainly lots of work. There are so many moving parts to keep track of. You’re constantly thinking, “Who’s missing rehearsals today? What do we need to buy for the set? Has this scene been blocked yet?” But despite it all, I couldn’t be happier to be part of such a great team of people. There’s nothing more satisfying than progress.”

Senior Pia Nair plays the show’s protagonist, Charity Hope Valentine. Her role as the musical’s lead is a change from her supporting role in last year’s musical Little Shop of Horrors.

Senior Julia Cooper has been hard at work as the show’s stage manager.

“Although I have a huge role to play in coordinating what goes on backstage, I get to work alongside some of my best friends so I have equally as much as fun as I do stress. The musical this year is one of the most fun and upbeat that have had at MAST while I have been involved with performing arts. So I think there is something that everyone at school can enjoy,”  Cooper said.

The spring musical will be performed on February 6 starting at 3:30 p.m., February 7 starting at 7 p.m., and February 8 at starting 7 p.m. in the auditorium. Tickets cost ten dollars and they can be purchased during lunches or at the door.


Congratulations to our Silver Knight nominees

Penelope Roca for Art

Nicole Perez for Athletics

Robert Delillo for Business

Madison Conroy for Digital and Interactive Media

Landon Watford for Drama

Angelina Contreras for English and Literature

Lucas Alves for General Scholarship

Kaylee Rodriguez for Journalism

Gabriella Hall for Mathematics

Rani Jivani for Music and Dance

Ekaterina Ivanova for Science

Layla Profeta for Social Science

Sabrina Herrera for Speech

Diana Espindola for Vocational Technical

Alejandra Almada for World Languages

MAST adds to its accolades

Written By: Kaylee Rodriguez

This year, MAST Academy has been recognized as a 2019 School of Excellence. “I am very proud of the students for all their hard work and contributing to the merit of our school and to the faculty and staff for creating an environment that facilities excellence” assistant principal Dr. Michael Gould said.

Last year, Gould received the award in Chicago. This year, the award will be received at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

As per the press release from Magnet Schools of America:

“To receive a national merit award, members of Magnet Schools of America must submit a detailed application that is scored by a panel of educators.”

“These schools are judged and scored on their demonstrated ability to raise student academic achievement, promote racial and socioeconomic diversity, provide integrated curricula and instruction, and create strong family and community partnerships that enhance the school’s magnet theme.”

Parkland Shooting: A Year in Review

Written By: Piper Penney

February 14 will mark one year since the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The shooting claimed the lives of 17 people and injured 14 others. To commemorate the lives lost during the shooting, there will be a vigil held at Pine Trail Park in Parkland on February 14. The vigil will begin at 6 p.m.

The alleged shooter, Nikolas Cruz, is currently awaiting a trial, which is expected to start at the end of the year. In just one year since this terrible event, there have been many changes that have occured. The first of these is the March For Our Lives movement. After the shooting, Marjory Stoneman Douglas students came together with other leaders to form an organization with the goal of not letting gun violence continue.

While the march itself occured on March 24, the movement against gun violence has continued into 2019. Some students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas have been touring the nation on the Road to Change, an event that encourages young people to register to vote and to participate in elections. The tour began in the summer of 2018 and continued into the fall of that year. More tour dates for 2019 have yet to be announced. The 2018 tour focused on getting young adults to vote in the midterm elections.

While there were other factors in the increase of voter turnout in young people, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) stated that the youth voter turnout in the midterm election did rise, going from 21 percent in 2014 to 31 percent in 2018.

Not only is the youth turnout rate improving, but the idea of preventing further gun violence is making its way to congress. Currently, House Democrats are proposing bill HR 8, which would close a loophole in legislation that allows private gun sellers, such as people who sell at gun shows rather than in a gun shop, to do business with buyers without running background checks on them first. The legislative piece was supported by many student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

Even if the bill is not passed, it would signal a change in the way politicians see issues with gun violence. According to NPR, the bill would be the first major firearms-related bill to be introduced to the House since 1994. This shift in the House of Representatives could lead to a further interest in passing laws on gun control.

At our school, we have felt the effects and changes that were imposed because of this massacre. The first is that we now have a school resource officer. This is because one of the state laws passed after the shooting was that all schools needed to have a police officer on campus.  

Our school resource officer, Officer Nunez, says that the Parkland shooting was a calling for him to become a resource officer. Nunez values the safety of students and explains how he prepares for the worst.

“[I prepare by] interacting with students, being proactive, getting to know students, training, and making sure I’m always on point,”Nunez said.

Additionally, state laws require that active shooter drills are now required to be conducted monthly, in addition to the traditional fire drills. At a local level, one change seen at our school since the shooting was the introduction of a chapter of the National Association of Students Against Gun Violence (NASAGV). The club encourages students to join the movement to end gun violence.

NASAGV Vice President Charles McCutcheon says that the club is taking action on a local and national scale.

“We hold informative meetings to educate about gun laws and loopholes, we register voters at school, and we hold sessions where students can write letters to and call their representatives”, McCutcheon says.

Looking back one year later, one definite conclusion was that 2018 was the year where students became more involved politically, which shows great progress in the amount of young people who care about voting and are passionate about making their voices heard in our democracy.



Engineering students build an “American Ninja Warrior” style obstacle course

Written By: Daisy Hoover

Our school could soon have its very own American Ninja Warrior style obstacle course, planned, built, and funded entirely by engineering students. The project began with a state-mandated civil engineering lesson, which engineering teacher Allan Miller used as an opportunity to challenge his students.

“I asked them what they wanted to build, and they wanted to build the obstacle course,” Miller said.

Students taking Miller’s engineering classes are excited to take on such an enormous challenge.

“Personally, I think it’s really ambitious. It’s very challenging and it shows the caliber of teacher that Mr. Miller is,” junior Victor Martinez said.

Students were divided into ten teams to design different obstacles.

“They had to prove the physics behind each obstacle and come up with the instructions and budget,” Miller said.

Students addressed several issues during the design process, making sure the designs were feasible, safe, and not over budget. Once the plans were finalized, students built prototypes of the seven obstacles they selected and pitched the course to administration.

After a student presentation, principal Dr. McKoy approved the project. With the go-ahead from administration, the engineering program now faces its biggest challenge yet: fundraising. The obstacle course is estimated to cost $7,000, a sum the engineering program is entirely responsible for.

“There is no money in the school budget for this. I’m working on the paperwork so that we are approved to use OSP for donations,” Miller said.

The plan is to use OSP, the Online School Payments system, like Kickstarter. Donation options for the obstacle course will be listed there just like course fees and field trip payments. Though the OSP is not yet set up, Miller asks that anyone interested in donating please stay posted.

Though the course will not be easy to build and fund, the engineering students are excited to get started.

“It’s something I like doing. I think it’s something the people at school will like doing, and it will benefit the school in the long run,” junior Derrick Roseman said.

The engineering classes want the course to be open for all students who would like to give it a try.


For those interested, the plans and budget for the course can be found at gomakos.net/MakosGauntlet/.


Students wow the crowd at the Winter Showcase

Written By: Amir Brady

The Winter Showcase on December 4 is a long-standing tradition sponsored by the Performing Arts Club and this year it definitely turned heads. Organized by veteran performing arts teacher Dr. Benton, the showcase was a production that included students from all grades in the Performing Arts Club and the Rock Ensemble class displaying their skills to the entire school.   

The focal point of the showcase was Diversity, classical works like Gioachino Rossini’s Overture to William Tell which was performed by freshman Ethan Jones, to acoustic renditions of popular Hip-Hop songs such as Lucid Dreams, performed by junior Daisy Hoover and senior Nicole Perez were done at the Showcase. This was clearly popular with the students because performers were met with constant applause throughout the show.

“It was interesting to see the variety of talent throughout the school,” Sophomore Mateo Guevara said.

Performances like this are a challenge as there is much work that is involved in organizing a complex setlist of performers with varying needs and equipment. The student artists work tirelessly to perfect their acts and deal with the anxiety of performing in front of hundreds of people. On top of this, the students performed three times in one day, including an afterschool show for differing audiences. Junior Diego Gamez, who participated in two different acts, commented on how he kept his composure during all of the shows.

“When I’m playing, I go on auto pilot. I feed off the energy that the crowd provides because that’s what most of the big artists like Michael Jackson and David Bowie do. When I go up it makes me happy as a person and I feel like performing is what I’m meant to do,” Gamez said.

Teachers also attended the showcase alongside their classes, and all had positive things to say about the showcase.

“They did so well. It was my first time going to the showcase and seeing the performance was awesome. I had a smile on my face the whole time,” Marine Science teacher Ms. Sese said.

The showcase was not just for students and teachers as there was also a special guest. Dr. Milagros Hernandez, representing M-DCPS School Board Member Ms. Mari Tere Rojas, attended the first showing.

“You guys have a very impressive music program here and you should be proud of the performance that was put together, it was absolutely fantastic!”

The Winter Showcase proved to be a major success and was loved by all students and staff. The Performing Arts Club will sponsor their “Open Mic” event in February and the Spring Showcase later in the year.


Outstanding educators celebrated with Teacher of the Year Awards

Maria Elena Sardinas: Teacher of the Year

“Sardi takes care of all her students like they are her own children. She teaches us about more than history, she prepares us for life. She is genuinely concerned about our well being and wants us to be successful. We love her!” senior Laura Sandino said.

Christopher Rossin: Rookie Teacher of the Year

“Mr. Rossin is a teacher that doesn’t just motivate his students to be the best version of themselves but he makes them feel safe and appreciated. His joyous attitude lifts me up. His knowledge and way of teaching inspires me to want to be successful and that is why I believe he deserves this award,” senior Andrea Matar said.

Ultra Music Festival gets a new location

Written By: Emilio Pagan

After much heated debate, it was decided that Ultra Music Festival would relocate to Virginia Key. The festival will no longer be in Bayfront Park, where it has been located for the past 18 years. During a tense meeting in City Hall, it was decided that the three-day electronic dance music festival would be set to play on the barrier island March 29 through the 31, 2019.

Many concerned Key Biscayne residents attended the meeting. Mayor Mike Davey led the Key Biscayne contingent of speakers during the comment portion from citizens in opposition to the proposed relocation. Some are strongly against it because of the traffic the festival will bring.

“I would be fine if there was traffic only for one afternoon, but a concert that lasts three days would be an incredible nuisance for people going in and out of the island,” Key Biscayne resident Suli Olavarria said.

Traffic is not the only thing the festival will affect. The location chosen for Ultra is right next door to a wildlife refuge where many manatees swim and birds keep their nests. The concert can completely disrupt the environment that has already suffered through red tides and algal blooms. The loud music can force animals to abandon their nests and the pyrotechnics used during the concert can cause a fire in the heavily wooded areas.

“People are people. They will throw away their trash wherever they see fit. They are not concerned with the environment, they are only concerned with having fun,” AS Marine Science teacher Gina Sese said, worried about the effects of the festival.

After the opposition, the people for Ultra had their chance to speak. Ultra’s attorney, Miguel De Grandy, presented statistics from a Washington DC economic group. They stated that Ultra is responsible for $850 million in positive economic impact, $10 million in Florida sales tax revenue and 4,500 jobs.

Ultra has been considered “the world’s most important and best electronic dance music event” by Rolling Stone. Several seniors and alumni enjoy going to Ultra and even support the new change in location.

“I think that Ultra in Virginia Key is a good idea because it is a bigger space and it is safer for the festival participants,” senior Penelope Roca said.

To protect the environment, the Virginia Key Site management suggests the loud speakers be faced away from habitats,  a ban on the sale of plastic water bottles and the use of plastic plates, and the creation of a barrier to prevent shore access and spillover of trash.

Furthermore, certain deals were made by Ultra. They will play $2 million dollars to the City of Miami; $1 million of that amount will go into making an African American History museum on Virginia Key.

 In the end, after a heated debate between Key Biscayne residents and the Ultra representatives, the city of Miami’s commision voted 4-1 for the relocation of Ultra into Virginia Key. With said precautions towards the wildlife, the festival should run smoothly.


MAST’s season of giving

Written By: Bryan Gomez

With the holiday seasons coming up, several clubs have begun organizing drives. In spirit of the season of giving, here’s a list of all the clubs that have been and/or will be conducting drives and some information on them:

Animal Welfare Club and NJHS– From November 5 to the 30, these clubs joined forces to collect pet supplies. The supplies will be split evenly and donated to both the Humane Society and Animal Services.

Black Student Association and Hands On Fun – Holiday Toy Drive. From the end of November to mid-December, the BSA will be collecting toys. These toys will be distributed through the T.J. Reddick Bar Association.

Hands on Fun will also be collecting toys during the same time frame. They will be distributing the toys to the Holtz Children Hospital’s patients who suffer from various long-term diseases.

“We felt that it was important for us to bring joy to those children. Beyond their religious affiliation, we thought we should help these kids cheer up during the holiday season so that they may get their minds off their illnesses,”Hands On Fun Club Sponsor Ms. Wright said.

Ms. Wright will be awarding Community Service Hours to all donors. Pass by her classroom in Room 39 with a form to collect your hours!

Cancer Awareness Club – Veteran’s Oncology Drive. The club collected blankets, hats, and reading materials during the second week of November to be donated to patients undergoing chemotherapy. (CONFIRM INFORMATION WITH ANIKA WHENEVER SHE COMES BACK TO SCHOOL)

“I had breast cancer. When I was undergoing chemo, I would get very bored and very cold. Because of this, I’d take books to keep myself entertained and blankets to keep warm. This is the reason behind the material’s we asked for in this drive,” Ms. Peters-Jorge, Cancer Awareness Club Sponsor said.

Gay Straight Alliance – From November 12th to the 16th the GSA collected toiletries for LGBT homeless people. The GSA has partnered up with Pridelines and the Alliance for this drive to help LGBTQ+ homeless youth, who make up roughly 40% of all homeless youth.

NHS – Operation Christmas Child. A program run by Samaritan’s Purse, sought to collect shoe boxes filled with anything from toys to clothes to toiletries (the accepted and prohibited items lists can be found on their website) to be distributed to children in need across the globe. Donors pick the age group of the recipient of their shoe box and can choose to write a personalized letter to the recipient. The program seeks to bring the generosity of strangers to those who need it most.


PepsiCo Recycling truck visit

Written By: Gina Crespo

Through hosting beach cleanups, starting a recycling program, and even installing solar panels, our school has always worked to become as environmentally friendly as possible. On Thursday, November 15, the PepsiCo Recycling Roadster visited our school to promote recycling.

The PepsiCo Recycling Roadster travels to various events around the county, such as the Miami Book Fair. However, MAST Academy was the first school the Roadster has visited.

Their goal is to educate the public about recycling and motivate people to recycle more. At each event they visit, they ensure that there are recycling bins and even hire local companies to collect and process plastic water bottles.

The roadster itself is hybrid electric truck and is equipped with solar panels on the roof. These modifications on the vehicle ensure that it can be more efficient and use less fuel while traveling to different locations.

While at our school, the company brought several activities in which students could learn about recycling.

The company set up a photobooth where students could go to take pictures with friends. In these photos, students could hold up signs that promoted helping the environment. There was also a portable bottle flipping activity in which students could try to flip a plastic water bottle. A table with several tablets was set up near the roadster. Here students could compete with friends and try to get high scores on games based on recycling.

Our school is the only school in the county that has recycling. In order to keep the program going, students must recycle properly and often.

When recycling at school or at home, here are some key points to remember. Empty bottles, cans, paper, and cardboard can be recycled. Any food items cannot be recycled. Containers for liquid need to be emptied completely and containers for food must be cleaned before they are recycled. Loose plastic items such as plastic wrapping or shopping bags cannot be recycled.

Learn some more tips  at http://www.RecycleOftenRecycleRight.com.