SUBMITTED BY SUMTER CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
Maria Barboza has been selected as Teacher of the Year at Sumter Christian School for the 2022-23 school year. Barboza received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Phoenix and taught in Texas before moving to South Carolina. She began working at Sumter Christian in 2018 in the aftercare program and in the office. In August 2020, she was moved to the preschool for morning and high school Spanish in the afternoons. She also teaches girls physical education.
Maria, the daughter of Martin and Manuela Cazares, is from Fort Worth, Texas. Her husband, Robert, serves in the United States Air Force and is stationed at Shaw Air Force Base. They have three school-aged children who attend SCS. Her hobbies include jogging and spending time with family. Maria is active at Harmony Church and serves on the Missionary Committee. When asked what she likes best about teaching, she replied, "I get to make a difference, share things that I am passionate about and get to work with amazing co-workers."
When colleagues were asked to offer comments about Maria, the responses included the following statements: "Mrs. Barboza is an amazing teacher who helps her students learn and grow. She is a kind person who is always there to listen and help." "I am thankful to have such a wonderful coworker! Maria is a kind, patient teacher, and her preschool students look up to her. Her high school Spanish students thrive in her class and respect her." "She's one of the friendliest people I know, and the students at SCS love her. She is willing to help anyone in any way and is seen volunteering to help often. Not too many people can teach preschoolers and high schoolers like she does!" "Not only is she concerned about her students, but she is also concerned about the well-being of her co-workers. She puts a lot of time into the school all while handling three of her own children. She is a wonderful asset to the school." "She is like 'apples of gold in pictures of silver' (Proverbs 25:11) - such an encourager." "Mrs. Barboza is a caring and attentive teacher whether it's with the little kids or the big kids. Her flexibility is amazing." "Maria has a servant's heart, and that is evident as I see her students reach out to her and how she responds and interacts with them. She is a great co-worker and a true friend." "Her positive spirit, love for Christ, love for her students, and her ability to teach preschool and high school Spanish are all reasons she is worthy of this honor. My son loves her Spanish class because she is so creative and practical."
Matthew Marritt, SCS principal, says, "Maria's work in K3 is exemplary. Her compassion and creativity is on display each and every day with our 3-year-olds. Over the past three years Maria has been willing to help in the office, but also with last-minute day care needs and classroom substitutions. Maria is one of our most flexible teachers, teaching K3 in the morning, Spanish to high school students after lunch and Physical Education to middle school girls last period of the day. Our high school students love Mrs. Barboza as their Spanish teacher because she has made learning a foreign language fun and rewarding. Maria has done a fine job utilizing the A Beka Spanish curriculum and adapting it to the needs of her students. I appreciate all that Maria does here at SCS. She is an asset to our ministry."
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