School board OKs changes to MaST agreement: No freshman class

Parent Steve Kerstein of Newport, second from right, and his son Sean share concerns in March over the school board’s decision to transition the Marine Science and Technologies Early College High School into a program with board members, left, Brittany Wheatly, and right, John McLean. The board solidified its decision April 13 by approving amendments to the memorandum of understanding with Carteret Community College regarding the school’s operation. (Cheryl Burke photo)

BEAUFORT — The Carteret County Board of Education made official a previous vote to not admit a freshman class at the Marine Science and Technologies Early College High School for the 2021-22 academic year.

During its April 13 meeting, the school board approved amendments to its memorandum of understanding with Carteret Community College to that effect. There was no discussion on the matter because it was approved along with other measures under the board’s consent agenda.

The amendments reflect action taken by the board during a special meeting in March. At that meeting, the board, citing concern over not having recurring state funds for the school’s operation, voted to transition MaST from a school into a program, but allow students already attending to continue until they graduate. With the most recent action, there will be no more freshman classes admitted as the school winds down.

The March action is among several things done by the school board that has frustrated some parents, prompting them to take legal action against the panel for not allowing children to enroll in the school. At the March meeting, the attorney representing the parents, Stacey Gahagan of Raleigh, said she was pursuing further legal action. She could not be immediately reached for comment regarding the amended MOU.

The amendments are to a MOU between the school board and CCC approved Aug. 4, 2020, for the operation of MaST.

The first amendment states there will be no ninth grade class recruited or enrolled at MaST for the 2021-22 school year. The second amendment states additional students, if qualified, will be admitted into the existing MaST classes, “one of which is expected to graduate in 2022 and the second of which is expected to graduate in 2023.”

The agreement states the board requested the amendment “to give its staff and the College sufficient time to study and potentially propose a plan that will include opportunities for high school students to be dual enrolled in vocational courses of study with a particular goal that the students, upon graduation from the College, are well trained and well prepared to enter the Carteret County workforce in good paying jobs.”

The document also calls for the board and college to “assemble administrative teams to plan for increased opportunities for high school students to be dual enrolled in vocational disciplines.”

The teams are charged with considering issues like “lowering academic barriers to college enrollment in vocational courses, suitable vocational and other college courses, transportation between the students’ home schools and the college, scheduling, staffing space, counseling and such other matters as the administrative teams deem advisable for a highly effective cooperative program.”

They are to report their recommendations to the board and CCC “as soon as practical and hopefully in time to implement increased opportunities for dual enrollment in the 2021-2022 school year.”

The board must also report the status of MaST to the State Board of Education, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction and the N.C. Department of Community Colleges.

MaST meets on the campus of CCC in Morehead City and allows students to earn high school and college credits simultaneously.

Dual enrollment also allows high school students to take community college courses and simultaneously earn high school and college credits. The difference is currently only high school juniors and seniors can take dual-enrollment courses and there is no transportation provided for those students. The school board has requested funds to transport dual-enrolled students from high schools to CCC in its 2021-22 county budget request.


Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

(5) comments


Look, you folks need alternate 'funding', nothing more. You also need to quit begging this lot to listen to anything at all, as if the past year has not proven this! These so called educators have basically thrown your children under the bus so to speak, and their priorities are MONEY FOR THEM TO KEEP ADMIN HAPPY, not the children. Its also obvious that the COUNTY SERVANTS have lost their bite, because they would rather fund the DOG POUND in newport , then your children. Here is a start you may want to e-mail? List of science minded educators.

I do not know if any of the outside funded programs would be recognized by NC as accredited though, because if their money is not in it, well, you get the picture. But, heck, at this point, a backyard garage and a few good teachers would take you further then this method your pushing for. Take charge.


Stem grants, etc,


Good luck to any student who doesn’t already have a weighted GPA of 4.0! Only 3 students in the last 20 years have obtained an Associate degree under the dual enrollment program! In only 3 years, MaST is set to have 12 students with Associate degrees before they even graduate!!! One of those students will actually have a AS and a AA before graduating high school but wouldn’t qualify for dual enrollment under the current guidelines!! (Of course it took several times of being contacted for the BOE to even acknowledge the student!)

Based on current performance and academic goals, 65 of the 94 students currently enrolled at MaST High School, could obtain an Associate degree by their graduation. SIXTY FIVE in only 4 years!!

Way to go, you’ve done a fine service for the kids in Carteret County. 👎🏼


Thanks Deadbolt! Thing is, Mast had funding from a local

Business and the school board didn't feel right taking funds of a donation of that amount and denied them! SMH

DeadBolt Truthfully, the quicker we get government OUT OF FAMILY BUSINESS, well, the more NORMAL things get. Simply removing their greedy hands will increase your kids chances by at least a factor of 100! The government has tried to RUIN AMERICA'S INSTITUTIONS, as we have all witnessed for over a year, and they are so prevalant in k-12 that, honestly , County's do not remove their ilk, this will happen again. Parents please get involved, NOW. Make it a point. Find out what your kids are being exposed to, and if you dis agree , remove them, immediately. Also, Kay, since you parents are in it to win it, i would advise you to retain counsel, yup, a Lawyer. (just a thought going forward). At the least advice from one or two. [wink]

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