Maria grew up in Ecuador and moved to West New York, New Jersey, one of the most densely populated and diverse areas in the country, at the age of 9. There was definite culture shock when she moved to Alaska in 2001 after receiving a Master’s Degree of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. However, she quickly fell in love with our wonderful community and has made amazing connections in the last two decades. She even married a born and raised Alaskan, which guaranteed she was here to stay. Outside of work, she enjoys training for triathlons and getting outside in our great state. She’s also an avid traveler and have visited over 65 countries.
Maria joined the Anchorage School District 20 years ago and has served in a variety of roles, from high school counselor, student wellness advocate, to heading the District’s Project Management Office. She is currently the proud Principal of Steller Secondary School. Her devotion to public education flows from a core belief that education is vital to a successful community. Throughout her educational career, she has help support many at-risk students within our community. Being part of the VOA board will allow her the opportunity to help our community stay safe and healthy.