Meet Maria Barrington, Grace Primary School Principal
In this interview series, we learn more about the administrators at Grace School. We asked our principals to answer five questions about their journey to leadership, their time at Grace and the most meaningful aspects of their division.
1. What led you to teach in the classroom, and what prompted your decision to become a principal?
My love for teaching began as a child. Growing up, I would always “teach” school to the neighborhood kids. Also, my favorite third-grade teacher, Mrs. Curtis, inspired me to become an educator. I knew I wanted to be a teacher just like her, one who naturally taught with purpose and genuinely listened and cared with her whole heart.
I taught kindergarten for 13 years, and then I became a reading recovery teacher. From there, my principal made me a team leader. He saw something in me early on and helped me develop the skills to become an administrator. With the many experiences I had, I cultivated a deeper desire to not only help students but to support teachers in their endeavors. Now, I have more than 33 years of experience in education and have loved every bit of it.
2. How long have you been a principal at Grace Primary School?
This is my sixth wonderful year as the Primary School Principal.
3. What aspects of Primary School are you most excited about regarding teaching and learning?
I have to say the literacy development. With literacy development, there’s a lot of shared reading and phonemic awareness, so the children can develop their language and early reading skills. The literacy work we do with our students starts with the Twos.
Project-Based Learning (PBL) has been fabulous. PBL in Primary School is centered around in-depth investigation on a real-world topic that students desire to learn. Students and teachers collaborate to determine what topic they will investigate, what resources they will use and how they plan to share what they’ve learned with others. Both our teachers and students have really gravitated towards PBL. For our students, PBL sparks a sense of wonder that is truly inspiring to witness.
4. What is the most important thing you would like families to know about the Grace Primary School program?
It’s important that Primary School families know that their child is loved and nurtured. I want them to know that their child is being taught in a caring environment. We believe it’s important to praise and celebrate our young students for their efforts as we guide them on their learning path. We recognize their progress and support their forward motion as they take small and big steps accordingly.
5. What do you love most about working at Grace School?
I love the people. The teachers, staff, students, and parents – the entire Grace School community is what I love most about working at Grace. It is simply inspiring to watch the teachers work, laugh, and play with their students and be able to join in on that fun with them. Being with children makes my day, especially when a hug is given, or a smile is shared.
About Grace School
Grace School is a private Christian school in Houston, Texas, serving students from ages 20 months through Grade 8. Uniquely combining a faith-based STEM curriculum, Grace School fosters an environment where children develop the skills and mindsets to become compassionate innovators, problem solvers, creators, and changemakers.