Originally from Marblehead, MA, Maura boasts the unique quality of a first name, last name, hometown and state that all start with the same two letters. This alliteration inspired her to become an English teacher. Just kidding. Maura used to teach ESL and then ended up teaching English Lit through a series of coincidences. As a general rule, Maura dislikes canonical literature, and in her time at Bread Loaf, she has alarmed many people with her controversial literary opinions (such as her belief that Shakespeare is overrated).
Fun fact #1: Maura has a list of every book she has read since 4th grade. The list is ongoing and written on paper. In 5th grade, Maura read 105 books during the school year. This year, she read 10. She blames her smart phone and tiring job for her decreased reading habit. Her favorite books of all time are The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (reread most recently in January 2018–still excellent!) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (recently recommended to a student who read it three times in two weeks and declared that it was her new favorite book of all time).
Fun fact #2: Maura is curious/concerned about the fact that primary and secondary education in America has changed so little in the last hundred years. After 8 years working in various teaching roles in schools, Maura is interested in tackling questions such as, why do schools look the way they do? how we define learning and why do we define it that way? and how could/should schools change to better prepare students for careers/life/the complex problems in our world?
(For more people who are wondering similar things, check out the XQ Super School Project).
When she’s not plotting how to radically reshape education in America, Maura is usually walking her dog, Zora [Neale Hurston] while listening to podcasts in English or Spanish about politics, race and culture. She also loves to write and receive letters and, to the surprise of literally everyone who knows her, she is an avid watcher of the Bachelor/ette franchise. (I know, I know. But have you seen it?!)