Mrs. Sara Bravo
    (904) 260-3911 ext. 1009

    Sara Bravo began teaching in 1999 at Landon Middle School and was fortunate to be on the faculty that opened Lavilla School of the Arts in 2000.  After eight years at LaVilla as a teacher and instructional coach, Mrs. Bravo moved back to Landon Middle as an Assistant Principal, working and learning under her mentor on the team that transitioned Landon Middle into Julia Landon College Prep Middle.  After four years as an Assistant Principal at Julia Landon and three years as the school's Principal, Mrs. Bravo was given the opportunity to lead Englewood High School where she spent five years, working with a talented team and moving the school from a 78% graduation rate to a 91% graduation rate while building the Johnson & Johnson Early College Academy and Dual Language Program.  

    Mrs. Bravo was thrilled to join Mustang Nation as the principal in June of 2020 and looks forward to continuing to work with the students, faculty and community of THE FLAGSHIP SCHOOL in Duval County.

    Mrs. Bravo and her husband have been married 19 years and have 17 year old twins, one of whom attends Mandarin High while the other pursues a drama major at Douglas Anderson.  In her "spare" time, Mrs. Bravo enjoys running, reading and spending time with her family and ridiculous number of pets.  

    Assistant Principals:
    Ms. Elizabeth Pecarek

    Ms. Pecarek was born and raised in Clearwater, Florida. Her parents, an English teacher and an attorney, made sure she grew up loving to read and listening to learn. Ms. Pecarek has many fond memories of visiting her mother’s classroom and hearing her many stories about her life as a teacher.

    At the early age of 16, Ms. Pecarek began her college experience at the University of Kansas, then returned to Seminole High School to earn her diploma. Following high school, Ms. Pecarek attended University of Florida and the University of North Florida. She earned her BA in English and MA in English at the University of North Florida.

    Shortly after earning her degree, Ms. Pecarek chose the career of an educator. Like most teachers, she felt a strong calling to invest her time and energy in providing rich and meaningful learning experiences for young people. In 2005, Ms. Pecarek began her career at Westside High School, where she taught English and Reading. After a few years, she moved into an Instructional Coach role, which allowed her to grow as a leader among teachers. As a coach, she led her teachers to show double digit increases in the school’s writing scores and college readiness indicators. After completing a DCPS leadership program, Ms. Pecarek earned her Educational Leadership credentials and served Ed White High School as an assistant principal. Here, her primary responsibilities included curriculum management. Since 2014, Ms. Pecarek has called Mandarin High School home. She loves the Mandarin community and you can find her at most MHS sports and student life events!

    In her leisure time, Ms. Pecarek watches sports of all kinds, loves to read, spoil her dogs, and travel. By far, Ms. Pecarek’s favorite place to travel is anywhere in Scandinavia. Her recent trips include exploring the sites and traditions of Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland.

    Ms. Pecarek is passionately committed to the MHS faculty and staff, its students and families, and cherishes the time she spends in service to them.

     K. Thomas
    Ms. Karen Thomas

    Ms. Thomas was born and raised in Jacksonville, Fl. She is a product of Duval County Public Schools and grew up in the Arlington community. Her grandfather was an established educator in St. Johns County who retired from the school system as the first principal of Nease High School. Ms. Thomas gives credit to her grandfather for instilling a love and appreciation for education from an early age.

    After graduating from Terry Parker High School, Ms. Thomas earned her BA in Secondary Social Science Education from the University of North Florida. She began her teaching career at her alma mater, Terry Parker, where she helped Terry Parker become one of the highest performing Title I schools in Duval County for US History. Ms. Thomas worked hard to help students outside of the classroom as well. She coached the Terry Parker Dance Team and directed the Miss Terry Parker pageant, two programs that were close to her heart and defined her own high school experience. She enjoyed being able to see students grow academically, but really loved helping them find their confidence and sense of self by participating in extra curricular activities. As Ms. Thomas grew as an educator at Terry Parker, she was offered the opportunity to host numerous interns in her class from various local college education programs. It was through this experience that Ms. Thomas discovered her desire to pursue a future in educational leadership. In 2019, Ms. Thomas earned her MA in History from the University of North Florida and was accepted in Duval County’s Aspiring Leaders program where she obtained her certification in Educational Leadership.

    As a member of the ROAR of the Jaguars for five consecutive seasons, Ms. Thomas served as an ambassador for the city of Jacksonville and DCPS. The job, for her, was about so much more than just cheering on the best team in the NFL. She enjoyed her appearances at Duval County Schools where she could speak to children as both a teacher and an NFL cheerleader. As a member of the ROAR and 2-time team captain, Ms. Thomas traveled to London five times and represented the city of Jacksonville by cheering on the Jaguars from the sidelines at Wembley Stadium for three consecutive NFL International Series games.

    Ms. Thomas loves Jacksonville and the children that Duval County Public Schools serve. She believes that a positive educational experience serves as a foundation for students to be successful after high school. This foundation, she believes, is made up of three vital components-academics, extra-curricular activities, and community involvement. When combined, these components help instill a love of both one’s school and community. She is so excited to be part of the Mandarin High School administration team and looks forward to continuing her work with the students, faculty, and community to continue growing Mustang pride!

    In her leisure time, Ms. Thomas loves to workout, fish, travel, and spend quality time with her dog, Snoop. She loves football and baseball and will never turn down an opportunity to attend a game. She has an extensive background in dance and the arts and loves any chance to see a stage production. “Hamilton” is her favorite production because it combines her two favorite things—history & the arts!




    Mr. Robert Baldwin

    Robert Baldwin arrived in Jacksonville, Florida in 1993 by way of the United States Navy. While enlisted, he served in the Persian Gulf War for eight months.  After his service, Mr. Baldwin earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Jacksonville University.  He began his teaching career at Northwestern Middle School in Mathematics, serving as grade level chair, content level chair, and math coach.  In addition, Mr. Baldwin served as the afterschool program lead as well as helped to develop the summer math curriculum for the District’s middle school math department.  He later earned his Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from American College of Education with a 4.0 G.P.A.  In addition to his classroom and curriculum experience, Mr. Baldwin served as math lead and Dean of Students at Darnell Cookman School of the Medical Arts.  

    Mr. Baldwin is excited to join Mustang Nation as a new Assistant Principal.  It is his goal and passion to serve as a visible liaison between students, parents, and teachers.  




    Mr. Tim Durkin


    Mr. Durkin was born in Battle Creek, Michigan and raised on the south side of Denver by a teacher and a cheese maker. Upon graduating from Littleton High School, Mr. Durkin attended the University of South Carolina in Columbia, graduating with a degree in Oceanography and specializing in the creation of maps. He arrived in the Jacksonville education scene through a succession of inspired conversations, insipidly cold Colorado winters, and a desire to light littles fires in the scientific imagination of young Floridians.

    Mr. Durkin began his teaching career at Highlands Middle School in 2000. He went on to teach advanced level biology at Bishop Kenny High School, where he coached the Men and Women Swimming and Diving teams to the Florida State Championship and consistent District championships through 2008. Eventually, his heart returned to the students that needed him most and he taught at Andrew Jackson High School, where he aided the team in taking the school from the worst performing high school in the state to a “B.” He has been a successful administrator at Edward H. White High School and Westside High School prior to coming to Mandarin, where his son and (soon) twin daughters attend school.

    In his spare time, Mr. Durkin and his wife of 17 years Rebecca, love to travel the country with their family looking for the perfect lunch on a sunny afternoon, kayaking the St. John’s watershed, and listening to rock n roll.