Background: Mary grew up in Springfield, Ill. She attended a small K-8 private school before attending Springfield High School. Upon graduation, she attended Montana State University, where she earned her bachelor's degree in Horticultural Science. She then attended Drexel University to obtain her master's degree in Library Information and Science.
"After high school, I wasn't really sure where my passion lied. I knew I loved being outdoors. I still love gardening to this day," she said. "I wanted to continue my schooling after getting my bachelor's degree, not knowing what I wanted to major in. I almost majored in math. It occurred to me after talking to my sister I really had a lifelong love of learning, and library science seemed like a natural fit because you get to learn new things every day."
Upon graduation from Drexel, Mary worked an internship at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield. She worked in oral history, paper archives and paper conservation. She helped restore some of the old Lincoln papers.
How she met Bill: Mary and Bill each grew up in Springfield and attended the same large high school, but they didn't know each other when they graduated in the same class of about 400 students. They later met through mutual friends at a park. They became best friends. When she mentioned going to college in Montana, he decided to join her. They began dating, while they each work on getting the same bachelor's degree.
How she found Prep: When Bill began studying for his master's and doctorate degrees in Medieval Studies in York, England, Mary worked as the librarian at the National Railway Museum. She worked there seven years. While in England, they had their first child (George). They decided to move back to Springfield to be closer to family after Mary's mother became sick. Mary worked for a short time doing contract work at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. In the meantime, Bill sought a career working at a high school. He attended an independent schools conference, learning of a teaching gig at Augusta Prep. They moved down south in 2015 so he could begin teaching world history. At the time, Mary was pregnant with their second child (Julia Wren). She decided to become a stay-at-home mother for awhile.
Two years later, Mary applied for the robotics teacher position at Augusta Prep. She worked part-time, teaching AP Computer Science 'A' and Upper School Robotics. She also worked throughout the school integrating technology in classrooms. Soon after, an opportunity to teach 7th/8th grade technology arose. Mary became a full-time teacher.
When Mary first started the AP Computer Science 'A' class, she had just four students. Since then, she has grown the program to include AP Computer Science Principles, which has allowed her to reach out to Middle School students. She has also added a popular Upper and Middle School Cyber team, which competes in regular competitions.
What she enjoys about Prep: "What I really like about working here is the energy of the school," she said. "Everyone I work with seems to really enjoy their job. So they bring a lot of energy to the workplace. The students, for the most part, seem to enjoy being here as well. So they bring a lot of enthusiasm.
"The school seems to always be moving forward. So when I propose something new I always get a lot of support and excitement from others, which is great."
Hobbies: Baking, Board and Video Games and Gardening.
"I've found down here that tomatoes grow extremely well," she said. "So that's probably my bumper crop."