By Carolina Rivero and Yovany Boada, Staff Writers
This school year marks Mater Lakes’ tenth year anniversary and to celebrate, the school has hosted events throughout the year including dances for Halloween and Valentine’s Day, a kickball tournament, a family barbecue and a time capsule burial. Under the leadership of Papa Bear, as Principal Rene Rovirosa is affectionately known around the school, MLA has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Students throughout the years have attended classes in the portables, at Mater Gardens, at a church, and finally on the campus we enjoy today – one with three buildings and over 2,000 students. After working in the public school system for many years, Rovirosa was offered the opportunity to help open a new school. Some current faculty members have also been with the school since its start. These include math teacher Rogelio Franco, science teacher John Branas, English teacher Suzanne Reif and Spanish teacher Ibis Sardinas. The first building was built in 2010, with the cafeteria in the center, and the second building was added in 2013. Alumni Kelly Marquez, who graduated in 2011, said, “I love this school. I made so many close bonds that I will have forever. The school has developed in such a beautiful way and Rovi has done so much and worked so hard to make the school what it is now with the help of the teachers.” Jonathan Cabrera, who graduated in 2015, said “I started attending Mater Lakes in the Fall of 2010, the same year the first building was completed. The school has changed greatly throughout the years with the inclusion of new buildings and a basketball court. MLA has also added amazing teachers which really made me glad that I was attending. I am now a Florida State University student and I feel like, through all the resources that they have provided, the schoolhas sufficiently prepared me for college.”
FUN FACTS: The first class of seniors graduated in 2009.
The land on which MLA sits once housed a Florida panther.
When building the school, empty boxes of grenades and ammunition were found on the property.
The original property had dozens of mango trees.
A bunker existed where the basketball court is currently located.