A good teacher is one who creates an environment that emphasizes learning over test scores; promotes deep understanding over rote memorization; and acknowledges that they, themselves, are never finished learning.”

Maria’s Story

Teaching Discipline


Why Mathematics

“Growing up, I had the privilege of learning from math teachers who went above and beyond their job descriptions to present math in a way that was exciting and appealing, never dull nor intimidating. Because math was introduced to me in an environment where critical thinking and understanding were prioritized and mistakes were welcomed, I gained the confidence to seek out challenges in the classroom rather than to shy away from them. During my student teaching internship, I was placed with a mentor who taught Algebra 1 classes for emergent multilingual students who had recently arrived in the United States. Through this experience, I found a specific area of education that’s severely lacking and one where I could use both my bilingual and mathematical abilities to provide a more equitable education for a rapidly growing number of immigrant students.”

Professional Experience

During her undergraduate studies, Maria spent her summers in the Dominican Republic, where she taught pre-algebra to sixth through eighth-grade students at a local school. She also spent time working as a teaching assistant at a local middle school through a partnership with Columbia University Math and the City Course. Following her graduate studies, she worked as a mechanical engineer for the Navy, where she worked on ship design, testing, and data analysis. 

Maria will begin her first year of teaching mathematics at Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, Maryland, during the 2023–2024 school year. 


In her free time, Maria enjoys spending time volunteering in the nursery at her local church, hiking, traveling, and exploring new places. 

Academic Background 

  • Columbia University (Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering)
  • Columbia University (Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering)
  • University of Maryland, College Park (Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction)