MAST welcomes new additions to Mako team

With a growing student population, MAST Academy has a growing demand for new teachers. Many new teachers were hired over the summer, and some are still being hired during the school year.

Barbara Quinaz teaches Language Arts III for the 8th graders in the Cambridge program. She has been teaching for 25 years, and she has taught at many schools, including at Miami Senior High for 7 years. Before teaching, Quinaz worked as a model. She taught at MAST Academy 11 years ago, and she is looking forward to working with the students and her colleagues.

Mar Trujillo teaches English Honors I and IV and Thinking Skills for 10th grade Cambridge students. She graduated from MAST Academy in 2009 and from Loyola University in New Orleans in 2013. Trujillo was excited to come back to her alma mater because she loved the education here and fondly remembered many of her teachers. Trujillo looks forward to getting her students interested in reading and teaching them to love literature.

Mayling Ganuza teaches Global Perspectives and English for 10th and 11th graders in the Cambridge Program. Ganuza was employed at the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind prior to MAST, where she worked with students who were visually impaired. She graduated from MAST Academy in 1999. Ganuza is excited to see her students grow and develop critical thinking skills.

Dora Barrios is the new intensive reading teacher for eighth grade students as well as the gifted counselor for grades eight through twelve. She previously taught at Coral Way Bilingual K-8 Center. In her free time, Barrios loves to travel and read.

After the departure of last year’s German teacher, Marion Heinze, Felizitas Reby was hired to fill in the position. Reby currently teaches German I, II and III. Before teaching at MAST, she taught at George Washington Carver Middle School.

Regalado is a new counselor, AP Spanish Language and Spanish Speakers II teacher here at MAST. She was previously a counselor at Barbara Goldman Senior High School in Miami Lakes. Regalado hopes to give “150 percent” to this school and wants to see all the students succeed. In her free time, Regalado loves to read.

Tomas Pendola teaches Pre-AICE Biology, Honors Biology, AP Biology and Pre-AICE Chemistry. He is an alumnus of MAST Academy, and really enjoyed the environment and the geek culture that is prominent in this school. This year is Pendola’s first year teaching after graduating from St. Thomas University. He was not originally going to teach here, but when Pendola heard about the opening at MAST, he decided to take it because he loves this school so much.

Alain Wurmser was previously a substitute teacher at MAST Academy, and now teaches Pre-AICE Chemistry, AS Chemistry, AP Chemistry and Pre-IGCSE Pre-calculus. He has been teaching for three years and previously spent 30 years as an IT manager in France. Before working at MAST, Wurmser was a tutor and worked at Coral Gables Senior High School and International Studies Charter School. In his free time, Wurmser enjoys bicycling, hiking and sailing.

Frances Gomez is the newest addition to the math department and teaches Algebra II Honors part-time. Prior to teaching at MAST Academy, Gomez taught at Palmetto Senior High School for 10 years. Gomez loves working part-time and hopes to become a “permanent part-time teacher” here at MAST Academy.

In Early September, MAST Academy hired Mitch Harvey as the new JROTC instructor. Harvey is a retired member of the coast guard, where he was stationed in the seventh coast guard district. Afterwards, he worked in the office of water waste management. Outside of school, Harvey has a passion for jazz music, old cars, and horses. An example of his passion for cars is his 1962 Buick Lesabre, which he keeps show-ready in Tampa.

Not all the new additions to the faculty were teachers. Allie Hester is the new librarian and media specialist. She has been teaching a total of 37 years. Twenty of those years were spent as a social studies teacher and 17 as a media specialist. Hester’s favorite book, The Count of Monte Cristo, opened up her love for classics. In her free time, she likes traveling to London and learning about her British heritage.

Patrick Rivas is MAST Academy’s new treasurer. Rivas decided work here when his previous office was being reorganized. “I know I have big shoes to fill,” he said about the upcoming challenge.
We welcome the new faculty to MAST Academy and look forward to all the new and exciting things they will bring to the school.