Island teacher Q & A
Maria Elena Sardiñas, or as most of her students call her, Mrs. Sardi, was born in the capital city of Cuba, Havana. She arrived in Miami when she was just two years old, unaware of the new opportunities and adventures this country would bring her.
Mrs. Sardi has lived her entire life in Miami, with the exception of three years she spent in Venezuela. With the many teachers and professors in her family, Mrs. Sardi has always felt a love for teaching. This is highlighted by the fact that she has been an educator for over 28 years.. Her excellence in teaching is backed up by her credentials. She has a Masters in Social Studies and an Educational Specialist Degree (post-Masters degree) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.
As a teacher at MAST Academy, Mrs. Sardiñas excels in the Social Studies department. Her focus is in teaching Cambridge AS and A Level U.S. History to 11th and 12th graders. In her classes, she develops student abilities through detailed, engaging lectures. She reinforces it through other forms of media.
MAST Academy requires excellence and Mrs. Sardiñas is ready to bring it while also guiding her students through it. She has been at MAST since the start of the Cambridge program, when they taught in portables by the PE field.
“I love working at MAST and do not see myself ever leaving the school until the day I retire from teaching,” she said.
For Mrs. Sardiñas, life is not all about teaching. It is the connections and memories she makes in her daily life. She is married and has two grown children. Much of her identity is also tied to the community she lives in -- Key Biscayne. She has lived in Key Biscayne for the past 15 years and loves it.
“It is a great community,” she said. “And it is especially wonderful to be able to bump into my current and former students, whom I consider my babies.” She is proud of all her students and still keeps in touch with many of them on social media or email.
Mrs. Sardiñas’ said her hobbies -- which include eating out and shopping with her friends and family -- offer a sort of therapy. Astrong balance of personal and professional goals has left Mrs. Sardiñas both a proud educator and Key Biscayne resident.
About Jonathan Mendez
Jonathan is an 11th grader at MAST Academy. As a lifelong Key Biscayne resident, he is very interested and involved in his hometown. “I love meeting new people on the Key, and understanding how the local government functions, so I hope to expand my horizons with this new Islander internship. Writing and reading are two of my biggest passions, and I hope to hone my abilities with this opportunity.