Maria, a native of Cuba, began her career 30 years ago. Maria has worked throughout New Jersey and New York as a teacher of Early Childhood, Reading, Special Education and Bilingual/ESL. Maria has also served as a teacher consultant, staff developer in the areas of second language acquisition, bilingual program development, and diversity training working at higher education institutions such as City University of New York, Mercy College and Teachers College, Columbia University. Maria has made presentations at the national level at ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) as well as at NABE (National Association for Bilingual Education) Conferences. Maria enjoys hands-on work with teachers in the areas of literacy, second language acquisition, student engagement, rigorous instruction/assessment, technology embedded instruction and Common Core standards alignment. Maria received her B.A. in Early Childhood & Elementary Education from Fairleigh Dickinson University; an M.A. in Special Education with a focus on Learning Disabilities and an Ed.M. in Reading and Bilingual Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.