I am extremely honored to receive the Presidential Award as recognition of the commitment of mathematics teachers in providing rigorous and relevant curriculum that guarantees equity and access for all students. This award provides me the opportunity and responsibility to continue to advocate for changes in expectations and practices that will increase student engagement and achievement. Receiving this award ensures that my voice will be heard as I continue this work on behalf of all students.
Maria McClain has been teaching mathematics for the past 28 years, the last 20 of which have been at Deer Valley High School, where she currently teaches Mastering Algebra I, Precalculus, Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus AB, and AP Statistics.
Maria believes in creating a classroom environment which supports and challenges students through the use of instructional strategies designed to promote exploration, critical thinking, and discourse. In her role as Mathematics Department Chair, she supports the transition to the Common Core by facilitating professional development and collaboration opportunities for teachers. She is dedicated to providing access for all students and has worked extensively to eliminate barriers that prevent students from enrolling and achieving in higher level coursework.
Maria has served as a District Mentor Teacher for the past 16 years and is the Lead Teacher of a California Academic Partnership Program grant designed to implement the Common Core and create a seamless transition from high school to post-secondary education. Her awards include District and County Teacher of the Year, and California Teacher of the Year Semi-finalist. She is National Board Certified in adolescent and young adulthood mathematics.
Maria earned a B.A. in mathematics from California State University, Sacramento. She is certified to teach preK–12 and adult mathematics.