Category Archives: Mast Happenings

Journalism Class Takes Part of FIU Journalism Presentation

Social Media Editor

Students listening attentively as Ms. Veraldi presented. (Credit: Maia Bell)

Students listening attentively as Ms. Veraldi presented.
                                                                                                (Credit: Maia Bell)

The Marine Echoes news team was given the opportunity to listen to a presentation given to by Ms. Lorna Veraldi on Journalism and The First Amendment. The presentation took place on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 in the FIU Biscayne Bay Campus Library. The presentation was about an hour and a half long, with Ms. Veraldi giving the students an insight of her childhood along, with an explanation of several cases involving the First Amendment. Many students said the presentation was really interesting, with one of the Marine Echoes staff writers, D’Marco Mitchell, describing the presentation as, “Intriguing, and impressed at how she merged her childhood stories of her sister along with the First Amendment.” All in all, the Journalism class would like to thank Ms. Veraldi for giving us a great presentation.

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What Will Your Accomplishment Be?

Lead Teacher – Guest Writer

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 9.48.41 AM

What will your accomplishment be?
(Credit: Florida International University)

Early in life, we all have milestones that mark our accomplishments:  our first laugh, our first words, and our first step. These early “firsts” seem to come naturally, with the support of loved ones who surround us and are thrilled to watch them happen.  As we grow older, we continue to master tasks: learning to tie shoes, ride a bike, and drive a car. These accomplishments are increasingly more sophisticated and as we set out to accomplish them, we still benefit from the support of loved ones who help to guide us and cheer us on.

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Valentine’s Gram

Managing Editor

Students receiving their grams. (Credit: Lensey Charles & Pamela Cruz)

Students receiving their grams. 
                                                               (Credit: Lensey Charles & Pamela Cruz)

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Key Club created an easy way to share the love. On Friday, February 14, Key Club gave out Valentine’s Grams sent from boyfriends, girlfriends, friends, or even secret admirers! Accompanying the grams was the musical styling of Daniel Rivera on the saxophone. A recipient of a gram, ninth-grader Deanna Baumann, remarked “It was a little embarrassing and loud, but really cute.” MAST@FIU student Jessie Dorney agreed, “It was sweet and made me feel special.”

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Halfway into the year: What are the opinions of the students now?

Editor in Chief

Students having fantastic times throughout the school year (Credit: Skyler Odin)

Students having fantastic times throughout the school year
(Credit: Skyler Odin)

 We’re now well past the halfway mark in our school year, and by the looks of it, everyone seems settled into their roles as fantastic students. We have had some rough patches throughout the timeline of the school, but we’ve soldiered past them to grow into a prestigious establishment. Speaking to some of our “MANTAstic” students, they seem to agree.

“I think the experience here at this school is much better than in other high schools because we’re in a college [campus] and, in my opinion, I prefer this school over many other schools that I wanted to go to,” says Angel Acuna, continuing with how he is happy with his choice here.

Spencer Bernstein, another student at MAST@FIU, agreed. “I think, so far, the school is good, and it’s helping me realize what I have to do.”

As shown by these students’ comments, there has been a general positive reaction to the school year so far. With time and effort, we’ll have more successful years to come!

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Colleges To Look Out For

Staff Writer


“What college will I go to?” This is a question all high school students ask themselves. This upcoming month, the Miami National Spring College Fair will be held Sunday, February 9th from 12:00-4:00 PM at the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton Miami Airport Convention Center. Many students are looking forward to attending this college fair event because it will be really beneficial to them. “As a matter of fact, MAST@FIU students will be attending this college fair,“ states Ms. Koch.

There will be plenty of universities at the college fair from all around the world. Some of the colleges that will be there are University of Miami, University of Tampa, Digital Media Arts College, and Yale University just to name a few. The way the college fair is set up is that there will be different mini stands for each university willing to show up. The staff from these particular schools will be passing out pamphlets, answering questions, if any students have any.

I know many students will be interested in attending this college fair event. “Honestly, I’m looking forward to seeing University of Miami there because I am really interested in the law program they have there,”states Fedlyne. With all these great colleges coming to the college fair, what colleges are you looking out to be there?

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Physical Science Requirement

Staff Writer

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MAST@FIU is in its first school year and has 88 students. Next year the school plans on introducing 100 more ninth graders. However, the requirements have changed. All incoming freshman are required to have taken physical science class PRIOR to applying to MAST@FIU.

Some students believe this “new requirement” will stop the school from receiving good and hardworking students that would love the opportunity to attend. Current students who did not take a physical science class in middle school are taking a physical science virtual course which will no longer be available for the new incoming students in August 2014.

An eighth grader from David Lawrence Jr.K-8 Center that has not taken physical science and has had hopes of attended MAST@FIU  said, “I really wanted to go to MAST@FIU but I can’t get in because I’m not taking physical science this year.”. Another eighth grader from the same school said, “I wanted to get into MAST@FIU but the fact I’m not in physical science is the only reason why I can’t get in.”. One eighth grader from Ruth K. Broad Bay Harbor K-8 that is currently taking physical science said, “I love the fact I have an opportunity to join MAST@FIU, but don’t know if I’ll join since my friends can’t join since they aren’t taking physical science.”.

Overall, the physical science requirement is affecting many students negatively by stopping them from getting into MAST@FIU and other good schools. In the poll below answer how you feel about the requirement, do you feel the requirement should be implemented next year for incoming students or should it be left just the way it currently is?


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What’s Going to Happen in AP World History?

Opinion Editor

Mr. Armshaw’s previous teaching post

Mr. Armshaw’s previous teaching post

It’s no secret that MAST@FIU has fallen behind schedule in AP World History. The mysterious absence of our former teacher has made the AP test even more terrifying, and the whole course suddenly seems overwhelming. According to Mr. Larralde, our replacement teacher in the class, we are “500 years behind [in the course]”.

Mr. Larralde and our lead teacher, Mrs. Koch, have been collaborating and delegating time to create the most effective catch up. “The Critical Thinking course will be offering World History lessons,” Mrs. Koch states.   “All MAST students will essentially get a ‘double dose’ of World History through that class.”

That’s not all. Mrs. Koch went on to say that guest speakers from the AAA program would be coming to our classes to talk about how to write a DBQ. In addition, we’ll have to dedicate some study time to Get A Five learning videos, which review the content we have been learning in class.

There is a bright light at the end of the tunnel, though. Equipped with a new teacher and fresh motivation to work, students are determined to catch up to par. “MAST students are so smart. They can handle it,” Mrs. Koch concludes.

Students are pleased with the new member of our school. “I think he’s a great teacher, and will help us prepare for the AP exam,” says Julianna Kaboudi, an AP World History student. JohnPaul Merino agrees. “He has the good qualities of Mr. Armshaw, but more organized.”

The issue has even hit the social media feeds of MAST@FIU students.

These people chose to remain anonymous.

These individuals chose to remain anonymous.


Even though the deadline of the AP exam pressures us for time, having a game plan makes catching up seem a lot less stressful. Mr. Larralde and Mrs. Koch are confident that we will be ready to take on the test, so now we have to do our part by working as hard as them on our work and studying the tools they have given us to guarantee victory.

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Getting to Know the Man Behind the History

Staff Writer

When you walk into his class and see his welcoming smile, the room lights up. When he speaks you listen and understand, and when he walks into class, you know you need to get down to business.

All MAST@FIU students were anxiously waiting for the arrival of their new history/critical thinking teacher, but who was he going to be? Is our new teacher a guy, a girl? Is he/she a good teacher?

Well, at our Blue and Gold Manta Bowl, we finally got to meet our new teacher! From the start we saw that he was outgoing, playing volleyball and getting to know us all. We had high expectations, which he definitely fulfilled.

Denise Maldonado says on our new teacher, “I’m really excited to have a new teacher, and he seems to be serious about teaching”. Another student, Jessie Dorney told me, “Mr.Larralde exceeded my expectations.”

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Mr. Larralde

  1. Where are you from? “ I was born in Queens, New York, and I was raised in Miami.”
  2. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? “I wanted to be an Astronaut.”
  3. What made you choose this teaching job? “I chose this job because it was an opportunity to teach high school students on a college campus.”
  4. After ten years of tutoring, what inspired you to come back teaching? “I missed the social interaction of the classroom, [and] I like working with people.”
  5. What activities do you enjoy outside of school? “I don’t want to sound boring, but I love to garden and play piano.”
  6. What is your favorite color? “Yellow.”
  7. Do you have any children? “I have three children. A 10 and a half-year-old boy, a 7 and a half girl, and 1 and a half-year old girl.”
  8. What’s your favorite TV show? “House Hunters International”
  9. What’s one place that you’d like to go one day? “There’s so many places, but I would probably say China.”
  10. What’s one thing we don’t know about you? “Something a lot of people don’t know about me is that I’m colorblind.”
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MAST@FIU Teams Up With FIU for the 14th Annual MLK Youth Forum & Peace Walk

Staff Writer


For over 20 years, Florida International University has honored Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King with a week to a month long celebration. This year MAST@FIU will also be participating. We will be participating in FIU’s 14th Annual MLK Youth Forum which includes keynote speaker Mr. Frederick Ingram, the newly elected and first African-American President of United Teachers of Dade and a former Miami-Dade Teacher of the Year.

The Youth Forum will be held on Wednesday, January 22, 2014, at Florida International University, Biscayne Bay Campus in the Wolfe University Center Ballrooms.

Other events on MLK Day:

  • MLK Day of Service

    • Homestead Middle School- 650 NW 2nd Ave. Homestead, FL 33030

  • MLK Day Parade

    • Beginning at 10th Ave. Liberty City and continuing along 54th street ending in a festival at Martin Luther King Jr. Park at 6101 Northwest 32nd Court.

    • Festivities include a children’s area and vendors. The festival starts at 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • 10th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

    • Events will be held at Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex Amphitheater 3000 NW 199th Street Miami Gardens, Florida.

    • Oratorical Contest: 1/20/2014 at 9:30 a.m.
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Blue VS Gold

Managing Editor

Blue and Gold Games

Usually the last day before break, the halls are barren, silent, and the occasional empty seat is filled with a warm body waiting for the bell, but that is a regular school. At MAST@FIU the halls were a sea of jittery blue and gold clothes running and throwing balls around. Voices, colors and bodies blended in the beautiful chaos that preceded the First Annual Manta Bowl. School spirit spread like wildfire through the halls with kids dressed bow to toe in their class’s color. Mr. Fernandez and Dr. Fernandes were Team Blue while Ms. Senas and Ms. Escobar represent the Gold.

On December 20, the Blue and Gold teams went head to head in a variety of quirky and challenging tasks. From the basketball showdown to the tedious citrus relay, each team had strengths and weaknesses and in the end it was a draw with the Blue winning the basketball game and Gold the volleyball game.

According to the MAST@FIU students and staff, The Manta Bowl was a major success! Students were humming with excitement and joy as their classmates battled it out on the FIU courts and fields. “It was fun and exciting to be outside and just having fun.” remarked Marcus Bedeau. “I wasn’t thinking about the score. I was too busy having fun,” commented Nikole Francis. MAST@FIU student Brian Gonzalez agreed. “It was funny seeing everyone messing up but they didn’t care because they were having a great time outside and with each other.” According to a survey, the favored event was the water balloon toss; although I think they meant the crazy war after it. Instigated by Ms. Escobar, a full out war, every man for himself, broke out until everyone was dripping wet with the broken colorful balloon pieces littering the ground.

When asked about the outcome, students claimed they wanted to find a way to crown a true victor. “May the odds be ever in Gold’s favor!” laughed ninth grader Juliana Kaboudi. Another student, Matthew Calaigian, had an interesting idea on a tiebreaker. “We should have another field day but instead of the students making points, the teacher should come out and compete to make their class proud!”

The students weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the amusing activities. Dr. Fernandes commented, “It was an opportunity to interact with students informally, enjoy the games, and bond with the kids.” It was also a special day because it was the first day for our new World History teacher, Mr. Larralde. Thrown into our Blue VS Gold games, he somehow managed to survive. “I appreciated the warm welcome I got from the students. I was worried they would be cold and distant.”

All in all, students and staff enjoyed the Games and are eager for the next Manta Bowl. Bring it on!

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