HOD English and Curriculum Coordinator
"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." This quote by Aristotle has shaped who Maria is as an educator. She believes one's focus must go beyond academics to reach a child. Building bonds with students is pivotal to their academic growth and success.
Maria's first experience working with students was through a volunteer program for autistic children. This experience paved the way for her future studies in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. As a student who also had a great love and interest in the classics, she pursued her English studies. Her first degree was a dual major in English and Education. She went into the field of Education more than 15 years ago, teaching in the state of New Jersey. As an educator, she is interested in working and making a difference in underprivileged students' lives. She spent most of her career working at inner-city schools as an English Language Arts teacher with middle and secondary schools. She served as the head After-School Program Coordinator, an initiative in her district that provided services and programs for students and their families. She received the New Jersey Governor's Teachers Recognition Recipient Award for her work and service as an educator. While working in Florida, she was recognized by the Florida State Dept. of Education as a Broward County Outstanding Teacher.
As an educator, she served as a Reading Instructor and Lead English Teacher, heading programs to prepare students for state testing. She also worked as a Test Coordinator and Test Prep Coach, preparing students for grade-level state assessments and high school entrance assessments. She worked with an Assistant Superintendent in New Jersey and engaged in restructuring and writing curriculums in elementary and high school content. She obtained an M.A. in Educational Administration and Supervision. She is currently working on a doctorate in Leadership and Innovation.