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MaST Research Institute Faculty

Research Director, Science Department Chair, Exp. Sci. 1-4 Teacher

Mr. Andrew Harshman

Mr. Andrew Harshman graduated from the University of South Florida in 2007 with both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Chemical Engineering.  While at USF, he conducted his graduate research under the mentorship of Venkat Bhethanabotla, working on a novel approach to determine the vapor pressure of pesticides utilizing a Knudsen effusion technique.  He presented this research at the 2006 American Institute of Chemical Engineers National Conference in San Francisco, California.  Prior to his collegiate career, Mr. Harshman attended Sarasota High School and graduated from the MaST Research Institute as a Research Scholar.  His work on removal and prevention of hydrogen sulfide production in wastewater systems earned him 1st place overall at the Sarasota Regional Science and Engineering Fair, along with entry to the 2000 INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair in Detroit, Michigan.  Mr. Harshman has held positions as a civil/environmental engineering consultant, where he designed water and wastewater systems, as education staff for GWIZ – the former science museum of Sarasota County, and as a teaching assistant at USF for process engineering courses.  Being a teaching assistant solidified his love of education, and in the Fall of 2007, Mr. Harshman accepted a position at his alma mater.  A year later, he and John Stevenson were selected as directors of the MaST Research Institute and have overseen it since that time.  In 2010, Mr. Harshman was selected as 1 of 20 teachers from around the nation to participate in the Siemens Teachers as Researchers (STARs) program, where he was able to conduct research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.  In 2014, Mr. Harshman was selected by the Intel Science Talent Search to travel to Dallas, Texas to be part of a teacher team to develop research paper and mentor guidelines for that contest and in 2018, he was selected to attend the Society for Science and the Public Research Teachers Conference in Washington, D.C.  In addition to MaST courses, Mr. Harshman is the AICE Environmental Management teacher at Sarasota High.  He lives in Sarasota with his wife Krissy, and 3 sons, Zack, Carter, and Eli.

Research Director, Science Department SLC Leader, Exp. Sci. 1-4 Teacher

Mrs. Courtney Coppola

Courtney Coppola earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2011.  Upon graduation, she immediately began working as part of a grassroots research and development team at Quorum Innovations.  Their research focused on development of novel biofilm derived antimicrobials and novel methods for detecting and remediating pathogenic biofilms.  She then had the opportunity to work as a biologist at Mote Marine Laboratory in the Marine Biomedical and Immunology Research Labs under Dr. Carl Luer and Dr. Cathy Walsh.  The broad scope of research included everything from development and identification of chemotherapeutic agents derived from shark tissue and novel antibiotics derived from the mucus on the backs of stingrays to immunological health assessments of local dolphins, manatees and turtles impacted by red tide.  While the research was rewarding, Mrs. Coppola left the field of research to broaden her impact on the world through public education.  In 2013, she began teaching Physical Science as a long term substitute at SHS and was asked to teach permanently.  She earned her professional teaching certificate through State College of Florida and is certified in ESE and Biology.  In 2015, she completed coursework with the Sarasota County School Board’s Department of Transportation and is certified to drive school busses for field trips with a Class B license.  Mrs. Coppola has also taught Biology, Marine Science, Honors Marine Science, Unique Skills.  She is currently teaching both levels of Marine Science offered at SHS along with Experimental Science II-III.  She has been working with the MaST Research program since 2014 and is primarily in charge of the annual symposium.

Research Director, Exp. Sci. 1-4 Teacher

Mr. John Stevenson

COMING SOON!John Stevenson earned his Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Florida in 2003 and is currently working on his Masters in Gifted Education. Mr. Stevenson conducted undergraduate research in the chemical engineering department and interned at Tropicana facilities in Bradenton, Florida. He began his teaching career at Sarasota High in 2004 as a math instructor and in 2005 he became part of the MaST faculty. In 2006, Mr. Stevenson moved to the science department teaching chemistry and research. Along with being one of the directors of the MaST program, Mr. Stevenson teaches the AICE Chemistry curriculum in pre-AICE, AS, and A level courses. After the school day ends, Mr. Stevenson is the head coach for the boys and girls cross country teams in the fall and in the spring, he is the head boys track coach. Mr. Stevenson has multiple coach of the year awards and has coached multiple state champions in distance events. He lives in Sarasota with his wife, Abby and their two sons, Ben and Luke.

Competition Cooridnator, Experimental Science 1 Teacher

Mrs. Kristina Harshman

Mrs. Kristina Harshman earned her Bachelor of Science (B.S.Ch.E) and Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (M.S.Ch.E) from the University of South Florida in 2007.  She was a member of the USF Honors College, Tau Beta Pi, and American Institute of Chemical Engineers.  She began work on her Master’s thesis under the guidance of Dr. Norma Alcantar.  Her research focused on designing a controlled release biodegradable and biocompatible polymer hydrogel encapsulated with chemotherapy drugs that could be used in the treatment of brain tumors.  While in graduate school, Mrs. Harshman was offered a teaching assistant position in the Department of Chemical Engineering.  It was through this experience, and the influential teachers she had along her secondary and post-secondary studies, that she decided that she wanted to focus her career on the teaching component of science.  She began her teaching career as an honors physics substitute teacher at Sarasota High School in the spring of 2007.  She earned her teaching certificate through the Sarasota County School Board and has been teaching at SHS since 2007.  Mrs. Harshman is certified in both Chemistry and Mathematics and has taught Honors Physics, Earth Space Science, Physical Science, Environmental Science, Algebra I, Liberal Arts Math, Research I-VI, AICE Chemistry, and Pre-AICE Chemistry.  She is currently teaching pre-AICE Chemistry, Physical Science, and Experimental Science I-II.  She has been a part of the MaST Research program since 2008, primarily in charge of the annual symposium.

Experimental Science 1-4 Teacher

Dr. Luis Miranda

Dr. Miranda earned his Bachelor and Master of Science in Chemistry from Florida A&M University and his Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Science from the University of South Florida. He started tutoring and teaching students early in his career and considered teaching a pleasure and a privilege. During his tenure at Florida A&M University he worked as a laboratory technician helping faculty and students put together various laboratory equipment and experimental setups. His passion for experimental science lead him to develop various complex apparatus to perform intricate chemical reactions. He continued developing new experimental procedures and ultimately new technologies at the University of South Florida. At the University of South Florida, he developed a nanocomposite membrane that was be coupled to an underwater mass spectrometer. This new technology allowed him to explore chemical components in the sea and lead him to explore the Deepwater Horizon Site in the Gulf of Mexico one year after the oil spill. Dr. Miranda taught briefly at the University of Tampa and St Petersburg College until he found his passion of teaching high school students. Currently he is teaching Marine Science at Sarasota High School and is the newest member of the MaST team. He is excited to join the MaST program and use his past experimental and research experience to guide the next generation of researchers.

Sarasota High School Principal

Mr. David Jones

Mr. David Jones has been in public education for the past thirty years. During his tenure, which began in the inner city of Los Angeles, he has taught math at the middle school level (eight years) and at the high school level (eleven years). His teaching career has traversed California, Colorado, and Florida. During his teaching career, Mr. Jones served as the Mathematics Department chairman and the lead math planning team member for establishing a brand new middle school. He was selected as the Colorado Governor's Award Winner for Excellence in Education, and he authored an Algebra textbook that was widely used in Denver Public Schools. For the past eleven years, Mr. Jones has served as a high school assistant principal (3 years), a middle school principal (2 years), and a high school principal (6 years). He presently serves as the proud principal of Sarasota High School, Sarasota’s First and Finest!

Sarasota High School Assistant Principal - Science

Mr. Ryan Chase

Ryan Chase joined the SHS administrative team in September 2017 after serving as assistant principal of Woodland Middle School and assistant principal at McIntosh Middle School from 2013-2016. Prior to that, Mr. Chase was an Assistant Principal and Social Studies teacher in Manatee County. Mr. Chase is a proud Gator and received his Bachelor’s in History and Master’s in Social Studies Education from the University of Florida. He also received a Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. Mr. Chase currently serves as the Assistant Principal of Curriculum at Sarasota High and is excited to serve another year with the amazing staff, students and families that make Sarasota High School such a special place.  Go Sailors!

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