Marine and Oceanographic Academy


About the MOA Program

The Westwood High School’s Marine and Oceanographic Academy (MOA) of the St. Lucie Public Schools is a high school program which targets a diverse population of students from all neighborhoods in the county. This academy, located on the campus of Florida Atlantic University’s world renowned Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, is a district wide attractor program available to students from any zone.

MOA is a model for partnering a marine research institute with a public school system for improving the scientific literacy of high school students.

St. Lucie Public Schools recognized three key advantages of this model school program:

  • Immersion. Students gain a unique perspective on why they are learning when they are in the professional environment where the learning is being used.
  • Access. Scientists, students, and instructors easily interact formally and informally when they are going to work and learn in the same location every day.
  • Smaller community of learners. Limiting the size of each grade level allows academic flexibility, an acceptable level of manageability, and the close camaraderie which encourages of common goals.

Eligibility for MOA includes demonstrated proficiency of level 3 or above in FCAT math and reading assessments (or the equivalent for students without FCAT scores), strong teacher recommendation, and excellent discipline and attendance records. A specifically selected teaching team working with a full time site administrator has been dedicated to the students and specific curriculum that makes MOA unique.

Integration of core curriculum to focus on marine and oceanographic studies is the feature that identifies MOA as an exceptional program. Each subject has been selected for its appropriateness to this integration while never compromising the need to provide each student with the background necessary for comfortable transition to the most challenging college or university programs of higher studies. Engaging, hands-on field and laboratory studies are conducted by the MOA staff in conjunction with FAU/Harbor Branch scientists who teach students for 20% of their science classes. All classes are taught at the highest level available including Advanced Placement and on campus Dual Enrollment.

Although MOA is a small learning community students are still able to participate in sports, electives, and other activities at Westwood High School.

Any student in St. Lucie County is eligible to apply and if accepted, transportation will be provided to the campus.

Strengthening Relationships

MOA offers many advanced and rigorous courses in math and science including AP and dual enrollment courses on campus. In addition many of our students go on to study many other areas including nursing, biology, education, and Spanish to name a few. Students do not need to go into a marine or oceanographic field.

MOA is a magnet high school program of Fort Pierce Westwood High School and is located at Harbor Branch: 5801 North Old Dixie Highway, Ft. Pierce, FL 34946

Who should apply?

Eligibility for WW/MOA includes demonstrated proficiency of level 3 or above in FSA math and reading assessments (or the equivalent for students without FSA scores), strong teacher recommendations, and excellent discipline and attendance records.

We are looking for students who received a level 3 or higher on the FSA ELA and Math.

How many students are accepted?

Each year MOA accepts 100 applicants per freshman class. Preference is given to those students who have previously completed MOA-Prep at Forest Grove Middle School.

Students in grades 10-12 are welcome to apply as well, however the number of students admitted will vary depending on the cohort size enrolled.

How the Process Works

The district has 2 rounds of application submission, below are approximate windows. Exact dates & deadlines are shared each year and published on the district website.

1st Round Applications Late November
1st Round Ends Early December
1st Round Notifications Mailed Out Early December
2nd Round Applications Begins Mid December
2nd Round Ends Early January
2nd Round Notifications Mailed Out Mid January


A list of our teaching staff at MOA as well as their email contact information.

The MOA Front Office phone is: (772) 468-5025.

Name Subject Email Address
Ayres, Robert Math/ Dual Enrollment
Bornak, Matthew English
Brosseau, Catherine English
Carr, Tina P.E. / Freshmen Seminar
Clark, Tara Social Studies
Iannicelli, Silvia Spanish
Macy, Sarah Mathematics
Mandigo, Patty English
Messina, Joseph Science
Posch, Helen Science
Ridlen, Michael Social Studies
Ruppert, Allen Math/Science
Sennett, Susan Science
Sposato, Patricia Science

Please Note: In order to protect instructional time, we do not transfer calls during the school day. We will gladly take a message for the teacher and leave it in their mailbox. Thank you for understanding.

The MOA Front Office Staff as well as their email and phone contact information.

Name Position Email Address Phone Number
Matthew Roy Assistant Principal 772-468-5025
Karman Nottage-Sims School Counselor 772-468-5022
Lori Anthony Campus Secretary 772-468-5025

The MAIN Campus Office Staff as well as their email contact information. FPWHS main campus phone is: (772) 468-5400.

Name Position Email Address
Joseph Lezeau Principal
Mayté Armas Assistant Principal
Jason Martín Assistant Principal
Leslie Taylor Assistant Principal
R. Fred Woltjen Assistant Principal
Mayra Ayala Executive Secretary
St. Lucie Public Schools

St. Lucie Public Schools