José Martí MAST 6-12 Academy

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José Martí MAST 6-12 Academy JMMAST 6-12 Entrance.JPG
5701 W. 24 Ave


United States
TypePublic magnet
MottoWhere Learning Means More Doing. That’s the Power of MAST![2]
Establishedas José Martí Middle: 1987
as José Martí MAST: August 2011
School districtMiami-Dade County Public Schools
PrincipalJosé Enriquez, Jr.
Enrollment679 (2014-15)[1]
Color(s)Silver, Navy Blue, White               
MascotMarty the Knight
NicknameSilver Knights
School GradeA+ (as of 2013-2014)
School hours7:20 AM to 2:22 PM

José Martí MAST 6-12 Academy,[2] also known as JMMA 6-12 or MAST 3, is a magnet school incorporating grades 6 through 12 in Hialeah, Florida. Established in 1987 as José Martí Middle School, it introduced its magnet program with a high school expansion in 2011.

The school operates with 8 periods, with 4 even-period classes on one day, and 4 odd-period classes on the other, to allow students to take extra electives.[3]


As a middle school (1987–2011)[edit]

The school was established in 1987 as José Martí Middle School, by José Enriquez, Sr., the school's first principal.[4][5] Eventually, Enriquez's son became the principal of the school.[5][6]

Prior to its transition to a magnet school, José Martí Middle experienced troubling events such as the intentional setting of a fire in 1999.[7] In November 2010, the school earned over $6,000 by saving energy, which they used to help tutor students.[8]

As a magnet school (since 2011)[edit]

After the superintedent of M-DCPS opened a MAST in Homestead, he decided to "franchise" MAST Academy.[9] Following this, José Martí was converted to a magnet high school in August 2011, with 6th through 9th grades present in the 2011–2012 school year.

In November 2011, an incident involving pepper spray being sprayed in a stairwell caused 20 students to go to a hospital for non-life-threatening concerns.[10] That November, the school also became one of three schools—the other two being EA and Hialeah Middle—to be enrolled into the Afterschool Nutrition Program.[11]

In May 2012, the school received a grant from the National Wildlife Federation, which was used to initialize the planting of the school's native arboretum.[12]

In May 2013, the Committee for Economic Development visited MAST.[13]

In 2013–2014, the middle and high schools were both fully converted into a magnet school. The school has maintained a relatively small population since this transition, in order to offer its students a richer one-on-one learning experience. In April 2014, The Miami Laker wrote, "the founding class for José Martí MAST Academy contains 50 students scheduled to graduate in 2015."[14] During that school year, the school's Green Club hosted an Earth Day celebration which involved planting trees, mulching grass, and collecting trash.[12] Maintenance of an aquaponics lab also began. The lab and the arboretum are used for research.[15]

The school was selected and featured by the local NBC station's "Brag About Your School" Initiative in 2014.[15][16] During that school year, a Silver Knight mascot was introduced.[17] The school was also granted an AP Capstone program, set to begin during the 2015-16 school year.[18]

The Green Club at the school has planted and maintained a native arboretum, which includes 38 species of trees, shrubs, and grasses.[19] The Fairchild Challenge is also a component of the school's Green Club. On occasion, QR codes and digital devices have been utilized for research in the arboretum.[19] Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden also partnered with the school in order to conduct the Million Orchid Project.[18][20] The project is meant to re-establish the Cyrtopodium punctatum, commonly known as the Florida Cowhorn orchid.[15][21] In 2017, NBC Miami reported that a botany class continued working on the Million Orchid Project, and wrote, "the kids are learning real science, aided by technology. They use iPads with Google Sheets to keep track of and share data with each other. It's invaluable experience for the students."[22]

Awards and honors[edit]

In the 2012-13 school year and again in 2013-2014, MAST was named a Merit School of Excellence. This award placed Jose Martí MAST in the top 1% of magnet schools in the country.[23]

In 2013, seven Jose Martí MAST students placed 1st to 3rd in several categories for the Youth Crime Watch of Miami-Dade County Poster and Essay Contests.[24] Several of the school's students were recognized through the same competition in 2015.[25]

In 2013, student Yenny Dieguez was given the Innovative Engineering Second Award by the National Society of Professional Engineers at the State Science and Engineering Fair. He also placed second at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona.[26][27]

In 2013-2014, several students earned perfect scores on the statewide FCAT exam.[28]

During the 2014-15 school year, two of the school's middle schools were selected by Local 10 as finalists in their Eco-Hero Contest.[29][30] Justine Padron was named the winner of the contest on April 22, 2015.[31]


As the MAST (Mathematics and Science Technology) name implies, the school centers its focus around mathematics and science classes, or STEM classes.[32] Martí MAST integrates and combines its middle and high schools into one building.[33] The high school has three academies for its students to choose from: the Life Science Academy, the Physical Science Academy, and Mathematics/Computer Science.[34] The school connects with its students through social media outlets such as Twitter, Edmodo, and teachers' personal websites.[35]

The school collaborates with several organizations, universities, and partners, such as Florida International University, Zoo Miami, and the LARC Technical Institute.[36] As a "No Excuses University" school, visiting Florida International University as part of a joint FIU and McDonald's initiative.[37]

School grades[edit]

Martí Middle[edit]

Since the 2001-02 school year, José Martí Middle was consistent in scoring a "C" grade, achieving the grade 8 out of 12 years. It became a "B" school under Lorenzo Ladaga's administration in the 2002-2003 school year. It became an "A" school in 2005-2006 under Principal Jose Bueno.[38]

School year Grade
2001-02 C
2002-03 B
2003-04 C
2005-06 A
2006-07 C
2007-08 B
2009-10 C

Martí MAST[edit]

In the short history of the MAST Academy, the school has never ever achieved a school grade lower than an "A ".[39]

School year Grade
2011-12 A
2012-13 A
2013-14 A
2014-15 A
2015-16 A


In its 2017 edition, U.S. News & World Report (USN&WR) ranked José Martí MAST 6-12 Academy as the 88th best high school in the United States, the 12th best high school in Florida, and the 23rd best magnet school in the United States.[40] USN&WR also gave the school a score of 85.4 on their College Readiness Index.[40]

JMMA ranked 19th out of 2,323 schools in a 2017 Washington Post study of "America's Most Challenging High Schools".[41][42] Additionally, JMMA was the highest-ranking South Florida school on the list.[43][a]

Extracurricular activities[edit]


The school offers a wide range of clubs, including science, mathematics, nature, and art-related clubs. Although not officially listed as a club, the school's aquaponics lab has also been used for research. The effect of tilapia waste on the fertilization of plants has been one research topic in the lab.[15] The following is a full list of the extracurricular clubs offered for students at the school.[44][45]


In the 2014-2015 school year, the school introduced middle school athletics.[45] Among the sports offered are:

Notable people associated with Martí MAST[edit]

  • Tombi Bell, physical education teacher, former WNBA player
  • Sofia Buttacavoli, assistant principal[46]
  • José Enriquez, Jr., principal; 2006–present[33]


  1. ^ This Miami Herald source states that The Washington Post (WP) ranked JMMA 20th on its 2017 "America's Most Challenging High Schools" list, but WP ranked JMMA 19th.[42]


  1. ^ "JOSE MARTI MAST 6-12 ACADEMY". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 12, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "JOSE MARTI MAST 6-12 ACADEMY". Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  3. ^ "Miami Dade County Public Schools Opens a New MAST Academy". Community Newspapers. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  4. ^ Isensee, Laura (August 23, 2011). "Students, teachers head back to class" (PDF). Miami Herald. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Managing to See the Big Picture". The Breakthrough Coach. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  6. ^ Cochrane, Emily (June 17, 2016). "José Martí principal learned a lot from his dad, the first principal". Miami Herald. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  7. ^ "Middle School Fire Prompts Evacuation". Sun Sentinel. December 9, 1999. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  8. ^ Feuerman, Alexandra (November 8, 2010). "Miami-Dade schools save energy, earn money". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  9. ^ McGrory, Kathleen (May 22, 2011). "Miami-Dade district 'franchises' popular schools". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  10. ^ Odzer, Ari; Hamacher, Brian (November 7, 2011). "Hazmat Responds to Hialeah School After Students Complain Of Burning Sensation in Eyes". NBC Miami. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  11. ^ Rodriguez, Marybel (November 14, 2011). "Healthy Snacks Now A Part Of Hialeah After School Program". CBS Miami. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  12. ^ a b Romero, Roselind (June 11, 2014). "Jose Marti MAST Academy celebrates Earth Day". The Miami Laker. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  13. ^ "America Has Got to Invest in Education". Committee for Economical Development. May 17, 2013. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
  14. ^ Romero, Roselind (April 30, 2014). "Jose Marti Middle succeeds as MAST Academy". Miami Laker. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  15. ^ a b c d "Science the Focus for Jose Marti MAST Students". NBC Miami. December 1, 2014. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  16. ^ "Brag About Your School at Jose Marti Mast Academy". NBC Miami. December 1, 2014. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  17. ^ "Jose Marti MAST 6-12 Academy receives Silver Knight mascot from PTSA". The Miami Laker. October 16, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
  18. ^ a b "Jose Marti MAST Academy granted AP Capstone program". Miami Laker. December 4, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  19. ^ a b "Jose Marti MAST Academy uses technology for nature research". The Miami Laker. November 19, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
  20. ^ Kay, Jennifer (May 15, 2015). "Rare Florida orchids transplanted from lab onto school trees". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  21. ^ "Conservation Strategies: Fairchild's Million Orchid Project — 2014-2015 Information and Procedures Packet" (PDF). Fairchild Garden. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  22. ^ Odzer, Ari (March 8, 2017). "Students Working to Save Endangered Plants". NBC Miami. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  23. ^ Richardson, Adrianne (March 3, 2013). "Students learn how to deal with stress before the FCAT exam". Miami Herald. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  24. ^ Caldwell, Carmen Gonzalez (May 21, 2013). "Kids and teachers recognized in Youth Crime Watch contests". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on February 3, 2014. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  25. ^ Caldwell, Carmen Gonzalez (April 29, 2015). "Crime Watch: Youth Crime Watch sponsors school poster and essay contest". Miami Herald. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  26. ^ "Business Partnerships to Advance STEM Education" (PDF). Committee for Economical Development. 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  27. ^ "Intel ISEF 2013 Grand Awards Ceremony May 17, 2013 Phoenix, Arizona". Society for Science & The Public. May 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  28. ^ "Jose Marti MAST Academy honors students for perfect FCAT scores". The Miami Laker. September 12, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  29. ^ Krueger, Kristi (March 31, 2015). "Eco-Hero finalist: Meet Justine Padron". Local 10. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  30. ^ Krueger, Kristi (April 2, 2015). "Eco-Hero finalist: Meet Sebastian Mercado". Local 10. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  31. ^ "Justine Padron wins Eco-Hero challenge". Local 10. April 22, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  32. ^ "Business Partnerships to Advance STEM Education: A Model of Success for the Nation". Committee for Economic Development. May 17, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
  33. ^ a b Odzer, Ari (August 21, 2013). "Magnet School Options in South Florida". NBC Miami. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  34. ^ "High School Program". Martí MAST. Archived from the original on May 7, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  35. ^ "Jose Marti MAST 6-12 (@josemartimast)". Twitter. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  36. ^ "Our Partners". Mast 3. LARC Tech. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  37. ^ Haro, Martin (May 20, 2011). "FIU, McDonald's partner, welcome 'Future Class of 2019'". FIU News. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  38. ^ "Jose Marti Middle School 2013 Grade". Ledger Data. Archived from the original on April 8, 2014. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  39. ^ "Jose Marti Mast 6-12 Academy 2013 Grade". Ledger Data. Archived from the original on January 12, 2015. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  40. ^ a b "Jose Marti Mast 6-12 Academy". U.S. News & World Report. 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  41. ^ Mathews, Jay (May 5, 2017). "America's Most Challenging High Schools". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  42. ^ a b "America's Most Challenging High Schools top 25 national list". The Washington Post. June 25, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  43. ^ "Hialeah's José Martí MAST 6-12 Academy scores high in Washington Post study". Miami Herald. May 6, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  44. ^ "JMMA Clubs". Retrieved November 29, 2014.
  45. ^ a b Romero, R.A. (November 19, 2014). "Jose Marti MAST Academy now offers middle school sports and clubs". The Miami Laker. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
  46. ^ "Administration". Retrieved May 19, 2015.