Alba helping Hawks continue to take flight


Mike Alba is entering his second year as principal at Viera High School. Photo by Carl Kotala.

Mike Alba may be entering his second year as the Viera High principal, but make no mistake about it: He’s always been a Hawk.

In fact, the 44-year-old was part of the school’s original administration when Viera High opened in 2006.

He served as the assistant principal in charge of facilities for six years before returning to Cocoa Beach Junior/Senior High School, where his teaching and administrative career first began.

When the opportunity to become Head Hawk presented itself prior to last year, it was one he couldn’t pass up.

“I always felt part of this school and part of the family,” Alba said. “To have the opportunity to come back … I was very excited about that.”

Knowing many of the staff and members of the local business community made for a smooth transition.

“I think it helped knowing how the various academies run, how vital the music program is to the overall success of our school, knowing the history of our athletic program … (and) knowing many of the faculty already and having their trust already,” he said. “I think it made a huge difference.”

As Viera starts its 10th year, Alba took time to reflect on his first year as principal and what lies ahead.

“I believe we had a very successful year in many areas,” he said of the 2014-15 academic year.

Alba referenced the Hawk Nation Spirit Squad and the Hawk Buddy Program, which pairs special needs students with other students to ensure every student feels they are part of the student body. He also pointed to a student-led Dance Marathon, which raised $6,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Three seniors were selected as National Merit Scholarship Finalists and 40 seniors earned Associate of Arts degrees through Eastern Florida State College to go with their high school diplomas.

This year, Viera students can earn a distinction that will help them stand out on college applications by completing the AP Capstone Diploma Program. Students must pass four AP classes of their choice, along with two new AP courses that help students research and write a long-term research paper.

“I think I’m probably even more excited about this new school year, just having built the relationship with the teachers and students and the community,” Alba said. “I absolutely see the potential of Viera High School to be, I believe, one of the best high schools in Florida.”