LISA S. NOFFO
Medical Academy for Science and Technology
In only eight years, Principal Lisa Noffo has led the Medical Academy for Science and Technology (MAST@Homestead) to be one of the most diverse and successful magnet programs in the state. Having grown from only 68 students in 2010 to 775 students in 2019, the school boasts a 100% graduation rate for the last three classes and an ‘A’ rating in state accountability.
Noffo truly believes in the “Saber Family” and credits all faculty and staff as playing a part in student success. MAST@Homestead was designed to be the first medical research institute to provide opportunities to excel in mathematics and science. The school’s medical theme is evident in all courses, a reflection of the involvement and commitment of both teachers and Noffo’s leadership.
Having worked at magnet schools for the arts, humanities, and computer sciences previously, Noffo witnessed firsthand how themed magnet programs have an immense effect on student success. At MAST@Homestead, her work with community partners led to the creation of simulated labs that successfully provide medical experiences, such as the HALS human patient simulators. She has provided funding for Biomedical instructors to be trained through Project Lead the Way in human body systems, biomedical innovations, and biomedical interventions. Through her leadership and support, all the magnet academy lead teachers have been trained to become CPR Instructors, ensuring that all students are certified prior to graduation. By providing the latest technologies to her student body, students are able to identify human body parts using virtual dissections, simulated therapy consultations using Resusci Anne manikins and integrate tools and software such as Polymerase Chain Reaction and Restriction Fragment length Polyphorism Gel Electrophoresis.
As principal, Noffo has impressed upon the faculty that the medical theme should be carried across the curriculum so that students are encouraged to find that their passion is interdisciplinary. But Noffo also invests in the growth of the district by serving as a mentor to other principals as well as aspiring leaders. She has increased community partnerships and contributes her time and skills to the Florida International University School of Engineering and Baptist Hospital Homestead, as well as non-profits such as Enfamilia, The Mexican American Council, and the Redland Migrant Association. Through these partnerships, students have been afforded guest lectures and benefit greatly from her endeavors outside the school. Under her leadership, MAST@Homestead has become a shining example of the positive impact on community involvement in student achievement.
Raise the level of performance consistent throughout school districts nationwide and creates a platform from which all magnet schools can flourish. Magnet Schools of America’s national certification process is designed to recognize the hard work of the best magnet schools in the nation and to help them as they grow.