As a new student walking into the upperclassman’s JROTC room, everything may seem to be normal.
To most of the returning cadets however, it is clear to see that something, rather someone, has changed.
Lieutenant Commander Harvey, the JROTC upperclassman teacher of the 2014-2015 school year, has been replaced by a new JROTC teacher, Lieutenant Billy Philips.
Harvey had to leave his post due to difficulty of getting to MAST Academy from his current residence in Tampa.
“[Harvey] told me he wasn’t fully able to transition from his home in Tampa to Miami, so he was constantly commuting back and forth and it was becoming a hardship,” Principal Josephine Otero said.
When Harvey informed the school that he would no longer be teaching, Otero began speaking with different Coast Guard JROTC representatives looking for possible candidates. She interviewed one possible applicant who was eligible for the position.
A couple weeks into the school year, Harvey was replaced by Phillips.
With Harvey’s absence, the JROTC program will look forward to its third teacher in the span of three years. Cadets such as the battalion commander, senior David Denmark, were with Harvey last year and are upset with his leaving, yet they are optimistic for the future of the program.
“Well I think that it was a sad loss, but he had trouble getting to school. We have to keep moving forward, looking ahead to the future of the program. Hopefully we get a new instructor soon and it will all work out in the end,” Denmark said.