Year 28: Lastova prepares students for their engineering futures

Mark+Lastova+helps+Braden+Weinel+in+Introduction+to+Engineering+Design.

Jacob Bolger

Mark Lastova helps Braden Weinel in Introduction to Engineering Design.

by Jake Bolger, Reporter

Mr. Mark Lastova, an experienced teacher, can often be found playing tennis, hiking, or photographing sports after school. His favorite movies are Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Blues Brothers, and most other comedies. He is married and has two children. Lastova is passionate about teaching and works hard to prepare his students for college.

Lastova has been teaching at LHS for 28 years, and has coached both the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams over that time. He took the LHS boys’ soccer team to the state championship in 1998. When he began teaching, the school was looking for a soccer coach as well as a teacher, so he happily filled the position.

Although he no longer coaches soccer, he coached for 20 years, and coached teams from the Soccer Association of Columbia, along with the teams in the Linganore soccer program.

Lastova graduated from Northwood High School in Silver Spring, Maryland.

He attended The University of Maryland, majoring in industrial arts and minoring in architecture.

Lastova said, “I realized I wanted to teach when I was forced to pick a major at the end of my sophomore year.”

In high school, his favorite subject was woodworking because it teaches practical skills and was a very hands-on class, similar to the classes he currently teaches.

Since he began at LHS, he has taught Architectural Design 1-3, Technical Drawing 1-4, Communications and Technology, Design Production, and three of the five Project Lead the Way courses.

Of the courses he has taught, Lastova said the Project Lead the Way courses are his favorite to teach. He has been teaching Project Lead the Way since 2004.

“Project Lead the Way is an introduction to engineering. It is designed to get students into the engineering field and prepare them for college,” said Lastova. These five courses allow students to earn college credits in high school and are a great, free alternative to taking similar classes at a college.

After completing these classes, most students are accepted into the college they wish to attend and are ahead of their peers in class. Although not all go into architectural fields, students use the skills they gained from Project Lead the Way in majors such as business or communications.

Lastova is a master teacher for Project Lead the Way, meaning he was selected to be one of the people in charge of training upcoming PLTW teachers over the summer. He has been a master teacher since 2008. He was selected to win the Golden Lance award in 2015 for his work as a teacher.

When he was nominated to win an award for Frederick County Public Schools, the school system interviewed him. The interview can be found here.

Mr. Patrick Greene, said, “Mr. Lastova is fun, dedicated, and extremely knowledgeable on the subjects he teaches.”

Lastova worked for the state department, doing basic office work until he started teaching.

Lastova has already been teaching for 28 years, but isn’t planning on stopping anytime soon. “I will continue to teach at Linganore until I get voted off of the island,” said Lastova.