Maria joins Grayson’s faculty after several years teaching in Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, one of the nation’s highest-performing school districts, where she was the lead teacher of Advanced Academics courses for gifted students, as well as being the lead teacher for all of fifth grade. Prior to her work in Virginia, Miss Probasco taught in an elementary school in Warner’s Bay, Australia, an experience she found exhilarating and which she credits with strengthening her abilities to integrate technology such as Wixie and MovieMaker as well as multimedia applications into the classroom.
Creating challenging lessons for her advanced students was one of Miss Probasco’s favorite parts of teaching, so she is very enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with gifted students at Grayson. Her teaching style is highly responsive to individual students’ learning styles and abilities, and she is especially strong in differentiating through the use of flexible grouping to maximize student growth in communication and collaboration. She believes strongly that a warm and supportive classroom environment allows students to feel comfortable taking academic risks and exploring new topics.
Miss Probasco holds a Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and elementary school teaching credentials in Pennsylvania. When she is not teaching, she is passionate about fitness training; last year, she did a 12-mile obstacle run that included jumping over fire, running through waist-deep mud, climbing over a 10-foot-high wall, and getting electro-shocked while on the course (though she does admit that the latter “wasn’t very fun”). She is fairly certain that her extreme fitness training will help her keep up with her students at Grayson. She is excited to have moved back to her home state of Pennsylvania with her cat, Sydney.