Following almost two months of deliberation, MAST Academy finally has a new principal. Dr. Cadian Collman-Perez from South Miami High School has been recommended for the position and is expected to be designated at the Miami Dade Public Schools August 18 meeting, said School Board Member Mari Tere Rojas.
Collman-Perez spent the better part of a decade working in corporate finance, graduating from the University of Houston, and getting her MBA in business administration from Nova Southeastern University. According to her bio, she returned to education because she understood the difference that education could make in student’s lives and their futures. Originally a math teacher, she moved to the position of vice principal at Homestead Senior High School in 2012, and later as the principal of South Miami High School.
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Originally drawn to MAST for its focus on STEM academics and rigor, Collman-Perez said she was inspired by her daughter’s focus in the field, and wanted to address some of her parental concerns as a principal.
“I think it is only fair to engage in focus group discussions with the various stakeholders, and I want to get a better understanding of some of the school’s strengths and weaknesses, and how best to develop a shared vision across the school community,”
Collman-Perez earned the Florida Department of Education’s Model School for Mathematics award, and is known across the county for work as a mentor to other principals. She is active in the Dade Association of School Administrators.
Collman-Perez described her educational approach as student-centric. She added she is committed to transparency, working with the school’s community, and wants to make student voices heard.
Former Principal Dr. Derek McKoy departed at the end of the 2020-2021 school year for a position in labor relations for Dade Schools. While maintaining the school’s exemplary record during his three-year tenure, McKoy sometimes found himself at odds with some Key Biscayne parents, most notably regarding COVID-19 protocols.
Rojas, whose district six includes Key Biscayne, said she was happy with the appointment. “I am honored to have her representing one of the best schools in the country. She will make countless positive impacts on our students, parents, teachers, staff, and community.”
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EDITOR’S NOTE — Theo Miller attends MAST Academy and is a KBI Student Journalist