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Pinecrest Academy North Campus, Mater Academy East Charter School and Mater Academy East Charter Middle School Earn 2019 National Blue Ribbon Award

FLORIDA – September 27, 2019 – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recognized 312 public and 50 private schools as 2019 National Blue Ribbon School recipients.

Eleven of those schools are in Florida, six of which are located in Miami-Dade County. Half of the schools awarded in Miami-Dade County are Academica-supported schools. Pinecrest Academy North Campus, Mater Academy East Charter School and Mater Academy East Charter Middle School are 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools. Mater Academy East is a two-time National Blue Ribbon School having earned the designation in 2010 as well.

The Blue Ribbon Award honors schools whose students achieve at very high levels, or have made significant academic progress and helped close gaps in achievement – especially among disadvantaged and minority students.

Pinecrest Academy North is ranked the #1 K-8 school in Miami-Dade County. This year marks the school’s ninth year of operation and ninth consecutive “A” grade for the school. Seventh graders scored 100% proficiency on the Civics FSA. Sixth graders scored 100% proficiency in the Math FSA and the Algebra EOC. Pinecrest North was recently designated an AdvancED STEM Certified School. The school is a member of the Pinecrest Academy, Inc. High Performing System of public charter schools.  Pinecrest Academy North is designated a National Blue Ribbon School as an Exemplary High Performing School.

Mater Academy East Charter School is located in Miami’s historic Little Havana neighborhood. The school recently completed its 17th year of operation in 2019, earning an “A” under the State of Florida Accountability Program for the 15th consecutive year. Mater East ranks as one of the highest-performing public elementary schools in Miami-Dade County. Mater East has been named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, twice. The school received the Blue Ribbon School Award in 2010 as an Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing School. Today, the school is recognized as an Exemplary High Performing School.

In 2019, Mater Academy East Charter Middle School completed its 14th year of operation, earning an “A” under the State of Florida Accountability Program. Mater East Middle offers students an advanced first-class academic program. The Academy of Finance features a college-preparatory curriculum exposing students to industry standards from an early age. The school is a recipient of the Verizon Foundation Technology Initiative Grant which provides iPads to students for use in class and at home. Mater Academy East Middle is designated a National Blue Ribbon School as an Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing School.

As part of the Mater Academy, Inc. network of high performing public charter schools, Mater Academy East and Mater Academy East Middle School are fully accredited by AdvancED.

The Blue Ribbon Awards recognition ceremony takes place November 14 and 15 in Washington, D.C. In its 37-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on over 9,000 of America’s schools. Photographs and brief descriptions of the 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools are available at

Mater East Elementary, Mater East Middle, and Pinecrest Academy North are proudly supported by Academica, an education service provider. Academica supports a total of 15 public charter National Blue Ribbon Schools.


Academica is one of the nation’s longest-serving and most successful education service organizations, providing professional services and related support to public charter schools. The Academica network of charter schools revolutionized the traditional K-12 educational path turning it into a dynamic K-16 network which provides students from all backgrounds and socioeconomic groups with access to a free, high-quality education.

Academica is at the forefront of innovation in maximizing and developing human potential and achievement.

We implement evidence-based research, practices, methodologies across the entire educational environment to challenge, engage, and motivate individuals. Academica-supported schools feature immersive college and career preparatory K-16 (kindergarten through college) learning environments. Through Academica Virtual Education (AVE) and Academica International Studies (AIS), we leverage cutting-edge technology to deliver high-quality education across the world. Our global community supports individuals through school, college, career and beyond.

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  • Posted by: Luis Beyra
  • Posted On: Sep 28, 2019
  • Category: News, School

Somerset Academy Bay celebrates its new facility

Students, parents, staff and teachers come together for the Ribbon Cutting ceremony

Miami, FL – Somerset Academy Bay hosted a ribbon cutting event on Monday, September 9th, 2019, to celebrate its new facility located at 9600 SW 97th Avenue, Miami, FL.  Somerset Academy Bay, a K through 8 tuition-free public charter school serves over 600 students in its state-of-the-art facility.  The structure was designed by award-winning architecture firm, Civica Group. The facility is approximately 40,000 square feet, offering a sprawling campus with lush botanical gardens designed by Lucas David Landscape.  Governing Board members, design and construction team members, Somerset Academy Governing Board members, Miami-Dade County Public Schools charter school operations representatives and State representatives were present to honor the school.

Somerset Academy, Inc. Governing Board Chair, Todd German, shared his excitement to finally bring this building to the “SoBay” students and families.  The ribbon cutting ceremony was a tribute to the collaborative efforts of an entire community for making the school a reality. “We are committed to building opportunity and equitable learning environments that serve the needs of all students while working in partnership with our community,” expressed German. 

Principal of Somerset Academy Bay, Saili Hernandez, exclaimed that this was really a twofold celebration. Not only were they commemorating the new building, but also a special praise was given to the students and staff on earning an “A” grade for the 6th  year in a row, and for being recognized as the top Middle School in the stare for the 2018-2019 School ratings !  “It truly is an honor to be part of this amazing school community.  This campus has always been very special.  For the last six years Somerset Bay has been a wonderful community were a sense of pride, family and support fills the air! This beautiful building is an extra bonus, which has allowed to open our doors to many new families and welcome more students to join our top educational program!

The SoBay PTO President, Susie Lopez, also shared how the special atmosphere of Somerset Bay is home to her and her two children who have attended the school since its inaugural year in 2013. 

The attendees of the event enjoyed the musical sounds of the SoBay Dolphin Band and a special performance by the SoBay Glee Club. 

Somerset Academy Bay has highly-qualified, state certified teachers with cutting-edge learning tools that are used in all classrooms along with programs designed to cultivate responsible leaders in all students.  Designated a top middle school in the State of Florida, SoBay offers a  STEM curriculum offered to students.  The elementary school provides before and after care along with strong parent-teacher partnerships.  The middle school offers a higher level preparatory curriculum in technology-rich classrooms. The school also be an array of clubs and sports for students to participate in, such as Student Council, National Honor Society, volleyball, soccer, cheerleading, to name a few.

About Somerset Academy, Inc.

Founded in 1997, Somerset Academy Charter School opened in Miramar, Florida, to humble beginnings.  Appropriately named Somerset Neighborhood, the school was housed in a two-room schoolhouse and served 50 students from Kindergarten through 5th grade. To meet parental demand, the school expanded in the years to follow but was careful to maintain a nurturing, tight-knit learning environment and multi-age/multi-level classroom philosophy that parents love and in which students thrive.

Somerset Academy now offers high-quality K-12 educational programs in Florida, Nevada, Texas and Spain that have, and continue to achieve, academic success. Although all Somerset Academy schools share a vision, each campus has a unique and enriching educational program that is tailored to the community they serve.  This formula, along with incredible support from parents, has made Somerset Academy a nationally recognized, award-winning family of high quality public charter schools.

For more information visit

Somerset Academy Bay is supported by Academica. Academica is one of the nation’s longest-serving and most successful charter school service and support organizations.  Academica works with over 200 successful charter schools across the US that have been recognized on a local, state and national level.

Contact: Saili Hernandez

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