Teachers of New Jersey: Mae Skrba, Marine Science Teacher at The Marine Academy of Science and Technology (MAST)

I teach at the Marine Academy of Science and Technology. We call ourselves MAST for short. It’s a vocational school in Monmouth County Vocational School District, and it’s for kids who want to go into marine science and engineering. We also have a ROTC element with the Navy as well. A lot of our students go into the Coast Guard: my husband’s a former Coastie. We’re located on Sandy Hook. I absolutely love this job. I was always fascinated with the ocean.  I grew up going to Seaside Park in the summer. I was always going to the beach and searching for sea treasures, and one day I pulled a net through the bay, and I caught a seahorse. I was just like, wow! This is the most magical creature in the world, right here in my hands!

So, I was like, “Alright, I have to learn more. I need to know more about what happens down there under the water. And I’ve been hooked ever since. It was interesting, as I experienced bias from others in the past at previous places because I was a girl. I never understood what that had to do with anything. I just ignored it and kept doing what I loved.

It is really remarkable that I even do this, because I grew up as a chubby loner kid living out in the middle of the boonies with no siblings, no cousins, and I was pretty isolated. But, now I am here teaching kids and helping them to feel connected to each other and to nature. It’s so great to see how far I have come because I found what I love, and I get to do it for a living.

Right now, we are doing the Mastering MAST programs, which has three camps based on the MAST Sandy Hook, NJ Campus. The Setting Sail is a co-ed camp for middle schoolers interested in science and technology. While the Ladies at SEA is for middle school girls interested in science and technology.  At both camps we will be utilizing the 65-foot research vessel, the RV Blue Sea, exploring anatomy through dissections, and learning about the local ecology from hands-on learning at the Jersey Shore. Interested students learn more and sign up by searching Monmouth County Vocational Summer Classes 2024.


Interview by Gregory Andrus 

Portraits of the Jersey Shore 


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