Maria Hernandez has distinguished herself in over 15 years of service empowering and enlightening students at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and across our state.
She has implemented her belief that effective teachers must provide clear and thoughtful instruction, encouraging students to develop and explore their own ideas and mathematical methods through collaborative learning and access to technology. "Math teachers must provide engaging problems so that students have opportunities to be active participants in their own learning process," according to Ms. Hernandez. "They should engage students to ask thoughtful questions, and then encourage them to be persistent in their search for answers to those questions."
Her colleagues describe Ms. Hernandez as "an engaging and charismatic teacher of mathematics," who throughout her career, "has stretched her students, encouraging them to think for themselves and drawing from them thoughtful, reflective work and a desire to understand." Her classes are "always active... she keeps class discussions at a high level. The focus is on what is new and challenging."
Ms. Hernandez has taught both Mathematics and Computer Science at the high school, community college, and university level. Her courses range from Algebra II and AP Calculus to Differential Equations and Finite and Discrete Mathematics, as well as programming in Basic, Pascal C++, and Java. Currently at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics she is teaching Precalculus, Introduction to Complex Systems, and Multivariable Calculus with innovative methods that incorporate real world problems, the use of graphing calculators and mathematic software, as well as alternative assessments.
Committed to expanding access to exceptional Mathematics instruction, Ms. Hernandez has designed and implemented a Multivariable Calculus course for the school's NCSSM Online program. She has developed teacher training materials for Algebra II, Advanced Functions and Modeling, Precalculus, and Calculus courses. And has created webinar sessions and supporting materials for The Common Core State Standards in Mathematics for middle and high school teachers. She is a regular presenter at Mathematics conferences and workshops across the United States.
National Board Certified in Secondary Mathematics, Ms. Hernandez has served as Vice President of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics Faculty Senate and sponsors the campus chapter of Women in Science and Engineering. She has been recognized by the school with both its Outstanding Teacher Award (2011) and Keeper of the Dream Award (2012) for multicultural enrichment, as well as by the Women and Mathematics Mentoring Program as Mentor of the Year (2009). Ms. Hernandez currently serves as the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics Vice-President for Secondary Schools, and recently won national recognition with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching (2009).
Ms. Hernandez earned her BS in Mathematics at North Carolina State University and her MS in Mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.