MaST – Head of Class – Northeast Times

Earlier this spring,, a nonprofit that advocates school reform, ranked more than 400 city schools based on academic performance, student attendance and safety. The project began examining data in 2011 and includes the most current official information on its website.

Across the city, some schools received low scores of 1, while others, such as MaST Community Charter School, scored at the top of the heap.

MaST, at 1800 E. Byberry Road, enrolls 1,250 students, and has another 5,646 youngsters on its waiting list. The daily attendance averages 95.4 percent. There are 1.9 serious disciplinary incidents per 100 students.

Philadelphia magazine last year named the school, which boasts a new library media center, the Top Charter School in the city. In 2007, it was named National Charter School of the Year by the U.S. Department of Education’s Center for Education Reform.

John Swoyer, CEO of MaST, believes his school scored so high on the survey because of its focus on STREAM — science, technology, robotics, engineering, arts and math.

“We’re a community school that is making a difference for every child in K-12,” he said. “We accommodate all different levels of education.”

Notable Leadership – John Swoyer

Congratulations to our CEO, John Swoyer, for being recommended to receive the 2013 Community College of Philadelphia Distinguished Leadership Award for his contribution to community enrichment and outstanding support to education at CCP’s Northeast Regional Center.  Mr. Swoyer will receive his award at an awards ceremony during the college’s Celebrating the College Family Week event.  We wish you continued success in your role at MaST Community Charter School.

PBS Teacher Innovator Award – 1st Place

Congratulations to our own Media Specialist, Suzanne Bowman on winning First Place in the 2012 PBS Teacher Innovator Awards! Along with many other PreK-12 grade teachers, Suzanne created a video to showcase how she were engages students with resources and innovative ideas to reinforce 21st century learning skills. Congratulations!

Watch her winning submission on the PBS website.

A Tour of MaST Technology

MaST is constantly changing and moving forward with technology and resources. Check out all of the technology, tools, and resources that our students use on a daily basis.

Board President Awarded

District 170, House Representative Brendan F. Boyle presents the House of Representatives Citation for Distinguished Service in Education award to Karen M. DelGuercio, Founder and Board President of MaST, for her years of service in education. Congratulations Mrs. DelGuercio!


MaST Sports Milestone – 1000 Points

Maria Farrell scored her 1000th point on Tuesday, January 22nd at 5:30pm in our home gym against Plumstead Christian. She will be the first, boy or girl to achieve this mark within our MaST sports program history.

Please share in this great accomplishment for a very deserving young woman.

Northeast Times Article

Media Center Resource Website

MaST is proud to announce the launch of the new Media Center Resource site. The new site includes many features that are useful to parents and students. Some features include upcoming events, Media Center news, student work gallery, student videos and tutorials, database access, online library catalog, recommended books, websites and apps, as well as, information on the technology available to students.

Check it out at!

Secretary Tomalis visits MaST Charter

It seems as if September 20th was MaST’s lucky day! Pennsylvania Secretary of Education, Ron Tomalis wanted to pay MaST a visit to see all of the innovative ways that MaST is enhancing their instruction. Secretary Tomalis was escorted by Mr. Swoyer, around the building, to individual student stations of all grade levels, where he was able to interact and collaborate with students, as if he was a student too! From the Media Center floor projection screen, to the Promethean Interactive Table, to iPads in the classroom, to the Mac Lab and 3D Printer, and eventually to the Fitness Center of the future for some Wii gaming, Mr. Tomalis saw first-hand just what makes MaST so special across the K-12 platform. Our students were engaged, informative, and telling of exactly what they were doing in all arenas. Overall, the secretary’s visit was a successful one, and we know that MaST was a glowing example of a Charter School for the city!

MaST Charter Opens Library

The Control Room

MaST Community Charter School, located on Byberry Road in the city’s Northeast section, formally opened its new 3-story Library & Media Center at an Open House at the school on Friday, September 16.

The top floor of this new facility provides “the technology hub of the future,” according to MaST CEO, John Swoyer. “Few, if any public schools in the area have these kinds of resources. And we hope to find ways to share them with others and encourage a stronger technological focus—regionally and even nationally—in our children’s education.”

This area includes:

Computer labs that allow instruction in Design and Technology Innovation, Video Production Basics, 3D Design Basics, 3D Product Design / Advanced 3D Product Design, Introduction to Engineering, Principles of Engineering, Animation Academy, and Introduction to Programming/Web Design/Video Journalism.

This floor also contains a full Video Studio and is home to a remarkable 3-D Printer.

Because MaST is located on a tightly bounded property that formally housed a steel mill, “we had no place to go but up,” jokes school founder and President of the Board, Karen Del Guercio. “So we did—a heroic effort in these times when funding is so difficult.”

The 2nd floor contains a magnificent Library Area that includes:

  • Elementary School Children’s Area w/Learning Classroom in Library
  • Floor Projection Area
  • “E-Learning Bar” – Research and Learning Area
  • Research Computers
  • Media Stations for Video Development and Research Studies
  • Copy-Scan-Print Area
  • High School Classroom in the Library
  • E-Reader Charging/Sign-Out Room

On the ground floor, the new multi-level structure includes:

  • an iPad-controlled board room for meetings and professional development sessions
  • before-care and after-care space that doubles as rooms for occupational and physical therapy during school hours
  • a learning center for small-group collaboration
  • Credit Due for Effort, Expertise, and Imagination

“The Library & Media Center was created and designed with input from various stakeholders who possessed creativity and imagination that would ultimately give our K-12 students a futuristic learning environment,” says CEO Swoyer. “At MaST, we want to be leaders in education, and this vision is one that will be utilized to expand student growth by providing a space that is ahead of the curve in the areas of technology and student offerings.”