Construction causes traffic near school

By Rosabel Torres, Staff Writer

The road improvement project currently responsible for the closure of the intersection of 173rd St. and 87th Ave. may not be complete until November, said Principal Rene Rovirosa.

Delays are due to the presence of underground utility lines, according to Vice Principal Francisco Jimenez.

Waiting for the utility company to move the line adds an additional two-three week delay, which is why little progress has been made since last school year.

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Humans of Mater Lakes

By Diana Revilla and Jillian Diaz, Staff Writers

Nolangelie Rivera , Sophomore

“I’d like to be a dancer or open a clothing store in the future. That’d be pretty cool.”

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Nolangelie Rivera , Sophomore

Amanda De Armas, Freshman

“I aspire to be myself. It sounds cheesy but it’s true.  Just be true to yourself.”

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Amanda De Armas, Freshman

Justin Cruz , Senior

“It was 2011 and I signed up to a Facebook contest for a Pain and Gain movie role and got the call the next day! Being in a movie, whether or not my role was an important one, was a cool experience. It’s something that doesn’t happen very often to people. It’s a once in a lifetime kind of opportunity, and at that moment, I knew that I wanted to be a director and work in movies forever.”

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Justin Cruz , Senior

 Gabriela Castellano, Senior

“I love fashion just because it is something that everyone uses in their everyday life. It’s something that you never run out of because there is always new and different. It’s  sort of like a game; you put all the pieces together to makea great outfit.If it’s something you love, then give it a try. You only have one life, so do the things you love to do.”

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Gabriela Castellano, Senior

Nathalie Farinas, 7th grade

“Study, and choose the right people to hang around with. ”

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Nathalie Farinas, 7th grade

Meet advice columnist Lariece Bursey

By Alessandra Ginoris, Social Media Manager

Mater Lakes Academy senior, Lariece Bursey lends a hand to all of Mater Lakes’ students through an “Ask Lariece” advice column in the school’s newly published blog, The Paw Print.

Bursey was born in Florida, and transferred to MLA (Mater Lakes Academy) in eighth grade. She is “the baby of the family,” being the youngest of four sisters and two brothers.

Bursey, who’s a member of the Class of 2015 Club, enjoys hanging out with her friends, is a Smoothie King lover and a fan of shopping at Forever 21.

Jackie Taylor, Bursey’s journalism teacher states, laughing, “When I had Lariece her sophomore year, she sat all the way in the back, and wouldn’t stop talking. When I asked her to move to the front, I had to repeat myself like three times. When Lariece finally decided to move she scoffed, ‘you’ll regret this when I’m president.’”

The 17-year-old senior is known for having a sense of humor and a sassy attitude, but underneath the lightheartedness, Bursey can also be serious. When asked what made her a good person to give advice she answered, “I’ve been through a lot of experiences, like my mom dying of colon cancer when I was about five years old.” She added, “Things like that show me that life keeps on going. Even though as a teenager, you feel like your life is ending, you just have to get through it.”

Bursey’s father remarried and now Bursey refers to her stepmom as her mom. Her father and her step-mother have been married for eleven years.

As for future plans, Bursey said she’d like to attend University of North Florida to study criminal justice or geriatric nursing after graduation. She has an interest in geriatric nursing because during the summer, Bursey spent a lot of time taking care of her ill grandmother and said she feels she has a natural ability to help people.

Her friends agree.

“Lariece is the most expressive, outgoing, happy person I’ve met,” says Krystal Figarola, a friend of Bursey’s.

Bursey’s charisma and amiability help people instantly feel comfortable around her. Her age and grade help make her relatable, as well as the wisdom and empathy that undoubtedly comes with life’s punches.

Get to know the latest additions to the Mater Lakes family

By Emily Mesa & Thalia Rodriguez, Staff Writers

Krislee Garcia, English and Psychology Teacher

Q: What brought you to Mater Lakes Academy?

A: My sister, Ms. Abreu, is a biology teacher here and she told me what a great school it is, so I decided to make this my school Q: What made you want to teach the subject that you teach and how long have you been teaching?

A: I have always had a passion for psychology; the human brain is fascinating.”

Q: What is one thing that most people do not know about you?
A: Most people do not know that I love working out. I am part of a cross fit box that I attend regularly.

Carla Barraez, Drama and Film

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Carla Barraez, Drama and Film

Q: What brought you to Mater Lakes Academy?
A: It’s a great environment.

Q: What made you want to teach the subject that you teach and how long have you been teaching?
A: What made me want to teach these subjects was the creative freedom it gave me. This is my first year teaching.

Q: What is one thing that most people do not know about you?
A: I enjoy watching thriller films… but I close my eyes for most of the scary parts.

Zhili Li, Algebra II and Pre-Calculus

 Q: What brought you to Mater Lakes Academy?

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Zhili Li, Algebra II and Pre-Calculus

A: It is my pleasure and honor being able to teach at Mater Lakes Academy. In addition I have known that Mater Lakes Academy has one of the top nation math teams, it immediately brightened up my career.  As being a mathematician, I am up for any challenges and this is the right place where I can deliver/share my knowledge’s and aptitude in math to the next generation.

Q: What made you want to teach the subject that you teach and how long have you been teaching?

A: I had a very good math teacher when I was in high school.  I used to hate math; every time I saw math homework, I would want to throw it away.  But things started improving after I met my mentor.  She taught me math is not only just a subject, but also a way of living.  Everything must be balanced, just like an equation.

Q: What is one thing that most people do not know about you?

A: I like to watch scary movies.

Rene Medina, Law Studies, Latin American History and Business

Q: What brought you to Mater Lakes Academy?

A: I have always felt a strong passion for teaching and helping children, and I genuinely appreciate the family atmosphere that Mater Lakes brings to students, parents, and faculty.  I am excited for the opportunity to contribute to the school’s continued excellence, and am looking forward to enhancing the law curriculum program at Mater Lakes Academy.

Q: What made you want to teach the subject that you teach and how long have you been teaching?

A: After I graduated law school and worked as an attorney at a few different places, I felt a desire to use my legal knowledge to teach students how law impacts their lives on many levels.  I enjoy the challenge of teaching the following four exciting and academically stimulating courses.

Q: What is one thing that most people do not know about you?

A: Most people do not know that my favorite sports team is the Miami Dolphins.  I grew up a huge Don Shula and Dan Marino fan, and I hope that the Dolphins will win a Super Bowl title at some point in my lifetime!

Ron Piel, Health Science and First Response

Q: What brought you to Mater Lakes Academy?

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Ron Piel , Health Science and First Response

A: One of my co-workers and friend told me about this wonderful school and I am enjoying myself tremendously with students as well as staff.

Q: What made you want to teach the subject that you teach and how long have you been teaching?

A: It’s an area that I have been involved in all my adult life. Not only do I teach it, but I practice it every day.   I work at the fire department.  I have been teaching for approximately 10 years now.

Q: What is one thing that most people do not know about you?

A: I’m new to the school therefore, I’m sure there’s a lot that you don’t.  Too many things to list but whoever is interested they are more than welcome to ask.  But we will start with this, I have four dogs!

Jennifer Paez, Anatomy and Physiology

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Jennifer Paez, Anatomy and Physiology

Q: What brought you to Mater Lakes?

A: I started working at MLA during the 2011-2012 school year.  At that time, I was teaching biology, anatomy and physiology.  I then took two years off to stay home raising my daughter.  I loved working at MLA and I really missed teaching.  So, here I am again.

Q: What made you want to teach the subject that you teach and how long have you been teaching?

A: I have always loved learning about how the body works and about different diseases.  Anatomy and physiology is a perfect fit for me. This year makes my ninth year as a teacher.

Q: What is one thing that most people do not know about you?

A: I love to read novels and I collect frog figurines.

Ismael Gonzalez,Government and Economics

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Ismael Gonzalez, 
Government and Economics

Q: What brought you to Mater Lakes?

A: I saw an opportunity to grow as an educator and as a professional here.

Q: What made you teach the subject that you teach and how long have you been teaching?

A: I have been teaching for three years. September 11, 2001 and the 2000 Presidential election got me interested in government and politics.

Q: What is one thing that most people do not know about you?

A: I like classical music and I won a poker hold ‘em tournament in college.

Orlando Avellaneda,Government, Economics, and United States History

Q: What brought you to Mater Lakes Academy? 
A: I have always heard great things about MLA and now I am very grateful that I have the opportunity to teach and coach here.

Q: What made you want to teach the subject that you teach and how long have you been teaching? 
A: I have always been interested in how countries interacted with each other and their historical importance.

Q: What is one thing that most people do not know about you?
A: My main hobbies are fishing and watching movies

Kevin Drennan, World History

Q: What brought you to Mater Lakes Academy?
A: A friend of mine was hired here but wound up taking another teaching job at a different school, so she gave me Rovi’s contact info and we set up and interview…the rest is history.

Q: What made you want to teach the subject that you teach and how long have you been teaching?
A: I’ve always been a history nerd since I was a little kid. I’ve always loved history. My grandfather was a big influence on me because he’s lived through so much history. He grew up during the Great Depression, fought in the South Pacific during WWI, and became a firefighter for 40 years.

Q: What is one thing that most people do not know about you? 
A: Hmm… that’s hard to say. One thing is that I was a state qualifier in track and field when I was in high school. Another would be that I am a guitar shredder!

Jacklyn Areces, World History and United States History.

Q: What brought you to Mater Lakes Academy? 
A: I love the sense of community and the feeling of family that I found here. I also love that Mr. Rovirosa loves social studies and history so much because he makes sure that it’s emphasized and not forgotten.Q: What made you want to teach the subject that you teach and how long have you been teaching? 
A: This is my first year teaching! I love history so much because I see it as a big story that everybody has an opinion on. it’s almost like a novela to me sometimes. My favorite is American history because I love this country SO much! That’s something my students already know.

Q: What is one thing that most people do not know about you? 
A:  I don’t think there’s much people don’t know about me because I feel that I’m a pretty open person. I am a pretty big  “nerd” (if you want to call it that). I LOVE LOVE LOVE Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter!

Homecoming is around the corner

By Osvaldo Aballi

Homecoming will take place at the Double Tree Hotel Miami Airport on November 21, 2014.

The ticket prices are $50 during the pre-sale time, but will be $55 at the door.

This year’s theme will be ‘’Arabian Nights.’’ The celebration will feature the crowning of a homecoming king and queen.

Dates or companions can be from outside of school, but they cannot be over 21 years old and they need their ID as proof.

AP students have high passing rate

By Giancarlo Acevedo, Contributing Writer

Nearly 60 percent of Advanced Placement (AP) students passed their exams last school year, according to school administration.

Assistant Principal George Groezinger said there was a three percent increase in the number of students taking AP courses last year (from 25% of the student body to 28%). According to Groezinger, 57% of these students passed their exams and went on to obtain college credit for their courses.

Some of the courses offered last year included English Literature, Statistics, Calculus, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Human Geography, European History, American History, Art, Italian, French and Spanish.

Groezinger says the goal this year is to have a 60% passing rate.

10 Tips for freshmen

By Brandon Giraldo, Staff Writer

1) “Make sure your GPA stays as high as possible because it’s harder to bring it up later on throughout high school.” – Daniel Capo (Junior)

2) “Don’t take everything to heart because if you do, you’re going to hate life and you’re going to be angry all the time.” – Hector Herbozo (Senior)

3) “Don’t be too eager and try to take things easy.” – Carlos Su (Sophomore)

4)  “Don’t make a bad first impression.” – Kevin Fuerte (Senior)

5) “Don’t procrastinate. Get your act together.” – Amanda La Rosa (Senior)

6) “Join clubs and do after school activities.” – Brandon Diaz (Senior)

7) “Always do what you have to do in order to succeed. No matter what anyone thinks of you.” – Andrea Ruiz (Junior)

8) “Stay true to yourself because most of these people won’t matter once you graduate.” – Christian Mesa (Senior)

9) “Be open minded enough to be friends with all types of people.” – Natalie Rodriguez (Sophomore)

10) “Don’t let other kids influence your choices and goals” – Diana Revilla (Senior)