LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Maria Schembri

Position: English Teacher
School: Granite Hills High School
School District: Grossmont Union High School District
City, State: El Cajon, CA

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Maria Schembri was nominated by Alicia Corona, a member of the community.

"When I met Maria, I heard about the amazing things she is doing with her students. She is a sophomore English teacher, and she is the English teacher for our Culinary Business Pathway," said Corona. "This is her 16th year at Granite Hills. She also teaches College Prep English and has had multiple ESL and special ed students. Maria has learned how to scaffold her curriculum so all kids can succeed. She works with parents, guidance counselors and assistant principals to help students. Also, she has had multiple students and parents thank me and tell me that things finally clicked and made sense for them in my class. Maria also makes herself available for Saturday Schools to tutor students who need it."

Ms. Schembri is also the advisor for two clubs. One of them is the LEO Club, which is an international community service organization sponsored by The LIONS club. They recently donated 75 bags of food to the school to distribute to poor and homeless families who attend Granite Hills. They also keep the school pantry stocked for the social worker to distribute food to kids in need throughout the year. Within this club, she also does various community service events when needed.

The other club is the GSA, which used to be called Gay Straight Alliance, but is now called Gender Sexuality Alliance. She has organized events at The Boardwalk in El Cajon and the movie theater for kids to participate in. She assisted and teamed up with Santana High School and coordinated activities with them. Ms. Schembri also put on the Day of Silence to educate students about the harms of LGBTQ bullying and harassment. This year, she attended a Department Chair meeting and proposed that staff be trained in how to handle bullying and harassment of LGBTQIA students on campus.

East County is a hard place for these kids to grow up. After this meeting, a subcommittee was formed. Ms. Schembri was able to find someone who could train staff on current laws and ways to handle these situations. The staff will be participating in two of these trainings next semester. She has also attended multiple trainings and even was on a panel at a GSA advisor training. She has worked with GLSEN to create a safer school for the LGBTQIA community on campus. They now hold weekly meetings in her classroom. She has also coordinated guest speakers for the students. 

For the past three years, Ms. Schembri's classes have participated in the Read Imagine Create literacy contest. She has had a student place each year and receive cash prizes. Multiple students have had their work displayed in libraries across San Diego County.



Comments (238)


Brittany Chiaramonte Posted 6 months ago

I personally believe this award should go to someone like Maria. She is the perfect candidate. She’s loyal, trustworthy, kind hearted, loves helping others, the list goes on and on. I needed help with some personal issues and she was there for me every single time I needed her. Especially at a time when I was not the best person, but she was still there when she didn’t have to be. The crazy part was she barely knew who I was and still continued to be there. I will always be grateful to have met her.

Nikki Fikes Posted 8 months ago

I've known Maria since we were both recent high school graduates. She was smart, funny, and a had a caring heart. She was a friend of a friend, but I loved her from the moment I met her...and I still do! She is probably the only reason my brother graduated from high school. She helped him see how to finish that journey, even as his 20th birthday approached, when it would have been so easy to give up on that dream. I cried when he walked across that stage because I knew the struggle that it was for him. What my mom and I could never do for him, Maria did. When Maria became a teacher, it was the natural evolution of her soul's vocation. As our lives have journeyed beyond the passing friendships of youth, I still see Maria as a light in our profession.

Jill Bhowmik Posted 8 months ago

Maria is my colleague and a friend. She has been influential in my teaching practice, challenging me to grow and try new projects with her. Year after year, she shares information about contests and projects we can all participate in and that benefit students. I'm lucky to have her as a fellow teacher!

Monique Posted 8 months ago

I had Ms. Schembri for Freshman English over ten years ago. She was a rockstar teacher who cared about her students success. She was a creative teacher and found ways to teach that kept the attention of easily distracted freshman students.

Teresita Capuli Posted 8 months ago

Maria exemplifies what it means to be a teacher. She is truly committed to supporting her students and ensuring their positive development. In the almost two decades that I've know her she has devoted an enormous amount of time and energy toward her teaching career. She is highly deserving of any and all accolades.

Robert Posted 8 months ago

Mrs.schembri has changed my life a lot, not just in the ordinary English classroom. She has thought me how important is is to serve the community and how important it is and how nobody really does it for fun. At first I thought she was just trying to make me work outside of school but I have learned that helping others make me feel good about myself knowing I helped other people. I have learned from this and it feels good to help other people, especially if they are struggling physically or mentally.

Anna Knuth Posted 8 months ago

As a parent, we are always grateful when our children have a teacher like Ms. Schembri. Besides doing her job of teaching, she goes above and beyond and really cares about her students. My daughter had some rough times in school and Ms. Schembri was there to help guide her through these. I appreciate this tremendously because there are some things I just can't fix, as much as I want to. Ms. Schembri has been a true inspiration and asset to our family.

Gabriela Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri was one of the best teacher's I have ever had. She helped me with school and with personal problems. I was fortunate to have her two years in a row. She really helped me get through tough times. Its wonderful to have teachers like Ms. Schembri who really care.

Emilie Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri was my teacher in high school. Her work advocating for her students is nothing new. I was her student over 10 years ago and I have never forgotten the personal connections she formed with every student, including myself. She put books in my hands and got me genuinely interested in reading when no one else could. I am a teacher now and look back at this time with a lot of respect and admiration. I can say, without a doubt, that she has had an impact on my life and continues to do so. I hope to one day be the teacher that brings the joy of reading into my students lives as she did for me way back when. Ms. Schembri has been earning this award for over 10 years now.

yousif yousif Posted 8 months ago

I have Ms.schembri for culinary english, she is an amazing teacher, very thoughtful. She also cares a lot and is always willing to help students when they need help.

Emma Barney Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. Schembri is the nicest, welcoming teacher I have ever met. I had her for summer school English and learned a lot from her. I am glad that I had her for that short amount of time because it made me want to change the ways I have been doing things.

melody perez Posted 8 months ago

Mrs.Schembri is one the best teachers i know and she truly knows how to put a smile on your face and is a great mentor to all

Mariam Soule?? Posted 8 months ago

Mrs.Schembri is the bomb.com was good

Little Hawk Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. Schembri is an amazing teacher! She has helped me with writing and reading, she is so inspiring and kind to all her students.

Meghan Quintero Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri has given me a safe place to hang out. I am the current gsa president and have been a member of the club for three years. Throughout my three years knowing Ms. Schembri I have become a leader at my school and have learned how to help create and welcoming, safe space where everyone is welcome, like Ms. Schembri's room. Ms. Schembri has given me the confidence to reach for new schools and scholarships; she has helped me see a new and even brighter future for myself and my peers.

trinity Posted 8 months ago

she is the best teacher ever she is very involved with her students and she is very good at explaining things

Kaya Heiskala Posted 8 months ago

Hi! I'm a senior in her Culinary English class. In her class, it is very fun and exciting every day. We learn new things and I believe she makes the class feel like a team when we read or do projects.

Yousif Habib Posted 8 months ago

Mrs.Schembri is the best teacher, and she has really good teaching skills and also has a good personality. Mrs. Schembri has a really good relationship with the students.

Steward Rofa Posted 8 months ago

My favorite English teacher in all of my years in high school by far.

Lincoln Smith Posted 8 months ago

I worked with Maria Schembri to help coordinate the academic support of a student enrolled in the Viejas Tribal Education Center. Through partnership with Maria, I was able to see my student write essays on King Arthur, write biographic pieces, and learn grammatical parts of speech at a deeper level. These were all the more meaningful due to the educational barriers otherwise present with my student. It would not be an understatement to say that while there were clear roadblocks for my student to writing fluent and cohesive English, through this partnership he will be better prepared in the workforce and beyond to participate in a future postition of managerial leadership or entrepreneurship due to these efforts. Go Maria!

Amber Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. Schembri deserves this award more than anyone because she truely cares about her students and she doesn’t give up on anyone!

Leighlynn Scheidle Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri has been a great advisor for our GSA club and has done so much to support us and make us feel welcome. She genuinely cares about us makes sure that we’re all okay.

gwen curfew Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri has been a supporter of my schools GSA since my freshman year she has given me and my friends a safe and supportive place for three years. She has given me a safe place to be myself and the support needed to do so.

Courtney Williams Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. Schemrbi is one of my role models that have inspired me to support my community. She is an amazing advisor for our GSA club. She also cares a great amount for her students and builds great connections.

Marissa Cantellano Posted 8 months ago

For all three years in high school, I’ve been a part of GSA. Mrs. Schembri has been an amazing advisor. She organizes fun activities, she’s very supportive, and she helps us feel important and welcome. She really cares about us.

Rita Aflleje Posted 8 months ago

Thank you for being such an amazing advisor for GSA and making us feel included in the school! You’ve had such a positive and great impact on those of us in GSA. We love you!

Karrissa Guerrero Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri has helped us with GSA since my freshman year. Even when the club was at it's lowest, she was always there to support us and help with carnivals. She kept the club going when it seemed like no one else would.

Christine G Posted 8 months ago

Maria is one of the kindest supportive (when anyone needs a helping hand) and a positive role model. The kids and parents are lucky to have her in their lives.

Sue M Posted 8 months ago

I collaborate with Maria every week for our students in our Special Ed department. She is always so helpful and keeps us informed on all the upcoming assignments in her English classes. She truly cares about all her students, I am very thankful to work with her.

Sarah D Posted 8 months ago

Maria Schembri has a unique sensitivity to her students. She creates a classroom environment that feels like a safe space for her students to not only learn curriculum but also about themselves. Her kindness is evident in every interaction I've had with her. I'm thankful to have her as a co-worker.

Melanie Posted 8 months ago

Maria is my cousin-in-law and she is amazing! I met her for the first time 14 years ago. She is calm, thoughtful, passionate, and above all else, kind. Her students are so blessed to have her.

Jeanne N. Schembri Posted 8 months ago

Maria Louise Schembri is my daughter. She has followed in my family's footsteps and became an English teacher 16 years ago. Many members of our family chose this profession. It's a life's calling. Maria is especially talented working with high school students. She use to tell me that she really understood this age group, and that she truly believed that she could make a difference in their lives, and she has. It's amazing to me how well she done. Her students love her, and they know she will help them learn. Maria is an outstanding teacher in all ways, and her students trust her to be there for them. I am very proud of my daughter and all that she's been able to accomplish at Granite Hills High School in these few short years.

Rachael VanWormer Posted 8 months ago

I have worked with Maria's class as a guest speaker multiple times, and each time I am there I am impressed with the rapport and mutual respect that she and her students share. She goes above and beyond to offer unique opportunities for her students to learn, grow, express themselves, and experiment with creative and inventive ways of interpreting text, material, characters, story elements, poetry, and short story writing. Maria is well deserving of this recognition!

Israel Hernandez Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri is well deserving of this award, she has change my attitude completely about English.Ms. Schembri is an outstanding, caring, and a very good teacher.

Sarah Daniel Posted 8 months ago

Ms.Shembri is honestly the best, she's such a great teacher! she's a really caring teacher and the sweetest! Any student would be lucky to have her as their teacher!

Jeanne N. Schembri Posted 8 months ago

Maria Louise Schembri is my daughter. She has followed in my family's footsteps and became an English teacher 16 years ago. Many members of our family chose this profession. It's a life's calling. Maria is especially talented working with high school students. She use to tell me that she really understood this age group, and that she truly believed that she could make a difference in their lives, and she has. It's amazing to me how well she done. Her students love her, and they know she will help them learn. Maria is an outstanding teacher in all ways, and her students trust her to be there for them. I am very proud of my daughter and all that she's been able to accomplish at Granite Hills High School in these few short years.

Jake Nishikawa Posted 8 months ago

I've always enjoyed working with Maria. She is so good for students and is a wonderful role model for students who sometimes have a hard time fitting into high school. I've known her a long time, we've worked on projects together, and I look forward to working with her for years to come. Students are better off with Maria in their lives. She's just an all around good and decent person.

Isabel Diaz Posted 8 months ago

Maria, you have the best sister-in-law award in my book! I am fortunate to have you in my life. M aking a difference in people’s lives is what you do best. A lways ready to give support and words of encouragement R eality is that you are a gift to all. I initiating change and bringing people together is your strength. A ction and purpose is what you sow. S eeing the light in those around you is your super power. C ommitteed to the betterment of all, H onored and fortunate are we, whose lives you touch. E ndowed with exceptional qualities as an individual and and educator, you are the M entor with the magic touch. B ecoming the whole person you are intended to be and R ealizing the good in all, you I gnite a passion for life and elevate our souls. I love you and I am thankful for you. Isabel

John Santos Posted 8 months ago

Maria Schembri is the perfect recipient for the “Life Changer of the Year” Award. I’ll admit that I’m a little bias being her older brother, but it’s the truth. Others are going to write about how in her 16 years of teaching, she has guided her students toward scholastic success and unfolded a universe of possibilities for many who were academically challenged. Some will write about how she helped them deal with profound loss and grief that no classmate or parent should ever have to experience. There will be lots of testimonials about her dedication to creating an inclusive and safe learning environment for all of her students. Some of her peers and supervisors will speak to her professionalism and leadership skills, but I’m going to share something different. I’m going to tell you where that comes from. Maria became a life changer the day she was born as the only girl in a family of four older brothers. (Maria is 18 years younger than I am). The following year after her birth, our mother and her father divorced and Maria moved with our Mom to California. As we were much older, we were all soon on our own. Maria was raised more like an only child of a single parent. In those days the term was “latch key kid”. The experiences of being estranged from her father and alone for many hours while our mom worked gave her unique insight into the struggles that are a reality for many children. We come from an extended family of teachers, and Maria was a bright and gifted child that was naturally drawn toward learning. Our Mom retired after many years as a teacher at a local State Correctional Facility. Maria was there as our Mom prepared lesson plans, sourced teaching materials and enrichment tools to address the educational needs of her students and humanize these social outcasts. Over the years, Maria’s self-exploration, intelligence and natural curiosity has presented her with lots of learning opportunities. No matter how challenging, she has always been honest with herself and risen to the occasion. She is committed to developing healthy habits and making healthy choices. When she discovered that she was not happy in her relationship, she took responsibility and took action. Her self-reflection has led her to a clearer understanding and acceptance of who Maria Schembri truly is. Maria realized that she was responsible for her happiness and success. She had to be the Life Changer in her own life and is passing those lessons onto her daughter. So while others will point out all of the wonderful things my sister has done, I wanted you to understand how wonderful and amazing my sister IS. Thank you for considering her for this award. Sincerely, John Santos

Bill Santos Posted 8 months ago

Maria Schembri is my beloved little sister. She is most deserving of the life changer award! Maria has dedicated more than 15 years to teaching high school English. She is an advisor for many community service organizations and she volunteers her time with the community and coaches her own daughter’s sports and extracurriculars! With all of these things she does she even finds time to be the primary caregiver to our mother which takes a great deal of her time, strength and talents! Mari is loved by her family and also by her Students. Her students adore her and her love for them is obvious. She constantly nominates her students for awards and accolades. Reading the student and parent comments in this nomination speaks volumes of her character. Maria is a selfless woman who puts others in front of herself. She is committed to her career and her family. She is a wonderful woman who is a blessing to her family, community and students.

Tammy Burns Posted 8 months ago

Maria you are amazing!! These students are so blessed to have you as a role model and leader! We love you!

Mark Santos Posted 8 months ago

Maria L.Schembri, is a very special person in my life. She’s my baby sister. Ever sense she was a little girl You could tell she was going to make a difference in this world. Her love for literature and education has always been a priority in your life. I have had the opportunities to sit in one of her classes and see her interact with her students. The respect her student show her is testimony to the passion she has for each and everyone of her students. Maria is not your typical teacher, She has a diamond in the rough. I have talk to her colleagues and they express the love for her and how fortunate they are to have her at their school. Maria keeps herself very busy, involved with multiple activities ,in school an out of school and with the public and her community. She’s an incredible single mom who has the smartest little girl because of her love for Education.Our family is spread out in this country. But Maria is the nucleus that holds this family together. She single-handedly takes care of our elderly Mother and still has time to care for thousands of other people. I may be one of her older brother’s But I can always learn from her giving spirit and caring heart. If anybody deserves this award it’s Maria Schembri.

Maureen Cavanaugh Posted 8 months ago

Congratulations to Maria, such great and strong attributes. I wish she could share her qualities here in South Florida,it is sorely needed with teachers here to keep it green and true with students. Awesome job

Lisa Mitchell Posted 8 months ago

Maria you are an inspiring effective teacher always going above and beyond for your students and friends. You are inspiring and have had a positive impact on my and my daughters life. You are a hard worker encouraging always there to help someone in need! Thank you Maria!

Kellie McMahon Posted 8 months ago

Maria you are a great teacher who has amazing patience and a positive attitude. Your kids are lucky to have you as their teacher.

Alexander Arena Posted 8 months ago

I had Ms. Schembri for 12th grade English. I was adrift in high school and nearly did not graduate on time with multiple failing grades to my record. Safe to say there were more A's in my name than on my report card. Ms. Schemrbi's class was transformational as she developed and honed my writing and public speaking skills. Ms. Schembri was an enormous advocate for students, to the point where she offered extra credit to those who sent in an application to any college of the student's choosing. I had not applied to any at the time nor had plans to with the intention to pursue community college. That one school I applied to, San Diego State University, was my only acceptance and acted as the catalyst to where I am today. I double majored in political science and biology, served for 3 years as a board of director for a multi-million dollar organization, studied abroad to University of Oxford, graduated magna cum laude, took a research year at the Salk Institute with a subsequent publication in one of the most prestigious journals as a co-author, and graduated from medical school. Today, I am an emergency medicine physician resident in New York. When reflecting back how I reached this point, it was clear the point of inflection that changed my future was her class and her relentless passion and advocacy. I didn't see my future success then but she did and pushed me into where I am today. Thank you for changing my life and acting as a LifeChanger to all of your students.

Kayleen Posted 8 months ago

Ms.Schembri indeed made my sophomore year! She made me open my eyes into reading more book and poetry last year in English class. She is one of the sweetest persons I have ever met, she always looks out for her students and if they are ever struggling,she’s willing to take time out of her day to help them out! Ms.Schembri not only is an English teacher but she’s like a school mom, I can trust her with my school problems as well as friend problems and she is always giving me the best advice!

Karen Mrvich Posted 8 months ago

My son is in Ms. Schembri's english class. She is an amazing teacher who really cares about her students. She always makes time for her students outside of class and is a great communicator with parents.

Kyle Cranfield Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri is my favorite treachery and a great friend and especially a great mother

Kayleen Posted 8 months ago

Ms.Schembri indeed made my sophomore year! She made me open my eyes into reading more book and poetry last year in English class. She is one of the sweetest persons I have ever met, she always looks out for her students and if they are ever struggling,she’s willing to take time out of her day to help them out! Ms.Schembri not only is an English teacher but she’s like a school mom, I can trust her with my school problems as well as friend problems and she is always giving me the best advice!

Marguerite B Bock Posted 8 months ago

Maria is my niece. She comes from a blended family of Mediterranean, European and South Pacific Islander ancestry, but above all she wholeheartedly embodies the human family. Her vulnerabilities are the very strengths that make her approachable to all her students. In this Age of A.I. and robots her empathy and understanding can never be duplicated by algorithms. Maria is a priceless asset to education.

Sarah N. Posted 8 months ago

Maria and I volunteered together mentoring troubled youth. She has such an amazing ability to relate to teenagers. With her thoughtful explanations, you could see the light turn on for these youth again and again as they received hope from her guidance. I, too, learned a great deal from her and appreciate her willingness to share her experiences without reservation.

Kate Amos Posted 8 months ago

When I was an overwhelmed first year English teacher, Maria went out of her way to offer me support and guidance, even though I was teaching in a different district. She graciously spent her Saturdays helping me to develop both curriculum and classroom management strategies. I wouldn't have survived that first year without her mentorship!

Bobbi Posted 8 months ago

I worked with Maria at Granite Hills for over ten years. She is an amazing teacher and very good with her students. She is very dedicated to her work putting a lot of time into her lessons. She is also very personable. Always took time to ask how I was and sincerely cared. I hope she wins!

Sherri Posted 8 months ago

I have watched Maria grow from a little girl into this beautiful amazing loving woman and mother. She has always had a beautiful loving heart and I am very lucky to have her as a part of my family.

Renee stoddard Posted 8 months ago

I’ve known Maria since she was a little girl.i couldn’t hand pick a more deserving woman to win this award. She’s the kindest most thoughtful person I know,I’m proud to call her my sister-in-law ??

Lisa Bloom Posted 8 months ago

I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award. I love reading about all of Maria’s accomplishments. She’s amazing and I am proud to call her family.

Ronnie Meler Posted 8 months ago

Maria is a great leader teacher mother . I cannot say enough Positive things About her.I love her especially since we share a beautiful little girl together

Hellen Yousif Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. Schembri is one of my favorite teachers. She always has a smile on her face and cares a lot about her students. She is a really nice, helpful and chill teacher. I like how she takes it easy on us especially since it is our last year of high school and we have a lot going on like applying to colleges.

Eduardo Coronel Posted 8 months ago

Fantastic teacher! Easy to talk to. Impacted me in many ways, from following my dreams to achieving academic goals in school.

daniela Posted 8 months ago

she’s one one of my favorite teachers. she makes english more fun than it is &’ way easier.

Karinah Posted 8 months ago

Maria is awesome!

Hajir Posted 8 months ago

Maria Schembri is a funny and nice teacher. Mrs. Schembri is a really helpful teacher. She will help with anything people are confused with. She deserves to win because she is very helpful and nice.

Brock lembcke Posted 8 months ago

I love having Ms. Schembri as a sophomore English teacher. She is an amazing human being and she loves what she does and loves her students. She deserves this award.

Ramses Valenzuela Posted 8 months ago

She is the Best Teacher/Role model anyone could have.

Kyle Cranfield Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri is my favorite treachery and a great friend and especially a great mother

Mohammed A Posted 8 months ago

She is very helpful and will go out of her way to help you if you dont get something.

Tallon archer Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri is the goat! She better win.

Wyatt Cosby Posted 8 months ago

Out of all the teachers that I have had, Ms. Schembri is one of the few who is able to relate with her students well and treat all of them with the same respect. As well as she is able to make class less boring and more interesting in a variety of ways.

Evelyn Rojas Posted 8 months ago

I met Maria on a vacation trip our daughters conect first and indroduce us. We start talking about what we do and right a way notice that she is a great teacher and person, very sweet and pationate about teaching she really love what she does, she always talks about her students how she enjoyed been around them and they enjoyed been around her. She reminds me of a great teacher that I had when I was young, she was just like her very fine!! She is a lovely persone to be around...

Tiger Khun Posted 8 months ago

Schembri Time is the Best Time.

Beth Posted 8 months ago

My dear friend Maria is such a kind soul. She continues to impact the lives of her students as well as all the people around her including my own. She is humble and generous. Never says no when something is asked of her and exceeds expectations. I am so honored to call her my friend.

Angela Santos Posted 8 months ago

I’m lucky. I am actually, kinda sorta related to Maria Schembri. Related by marriage but inspired by her nonetheless. Maria Schembri is a talented and fine educator and advocate for her students. When I read about her nomination and accolades from colleagues I was thrilled for her and inspired. Maria gives tireslessly to her students, her school and her family. She’s a talented, kind and good person. Her love and passion for reading, learning and teaching spills over onto anyone she touches. I have never met anyone who loves literature like she does. She will talk about a novel in a way that makes you fall in love with book before you’ve even read it. I can’t imagine how much more I would have loved English had she been my teacher.

Brianna Quemuel Posted 8 months ago

Maria Shembri was one of my favorite teachers in high school! I really learned a lot from her throughout my years in high school. I was fortunate enough to take two of her classes, and be a member of the Leo club. She really encouraged me with every goal I tried to achieve not only in her classroom, but outside as well.

Janie Wright Posted 8 months ago

I have known Maria for about 15 years. As a retired school employee, I was privileged to observe Maria's unfettered dedication to making sure that every student's voice was heard. She truly has changed so many lives.

Melissa Velarde Posted 8 months ago

Maria was my Support Provider in BTSA the second year I was in the program; Maria was extremely helpful and she made the experience absolutely amazing. Thanks to her wonderful support, I am now a BTSA support provider this year. I am happy to say that we became friends, and she was very supportive during a hard time on my life.

Amber Erpelding Posted 8 months ago

Maria is an amazing teacher and co-worker. I had the pleasure of working with her for many years and her hard work and dedication to her students is very honorable.

Constance Reck Posted 8 months ago

I have known Maria Schembri as a colleague at Granite Hills High School, a bookclub friend as well as a fellow traveler on a tour to the Greek Isles several years ago. In all of these arenas, she is the character she needs to be: knowledgeable, charismatic, sincere, friendly, hard-working and fun. Maria has a certain demeanor that makes people feel comfortable especially with her natural listening ear. She nurtures a sense of belonging to her friends and students which is key in our society today. Congratulations Maria, for this honor is well deserved.

Dan Santos Posted 8 months ago

Maria has done a excellent job working with our students. She gives all students the opportunity to excel not just in her own classes but all other classes. Ms. Schembri is a very passionate, positive and encouraging educator. The Granite Hills community is very blessed to have her educating our students.

Heather Santos Posted 8 months ago

Maria is not only a dedicated teacher to her students, she is to all students, to all youth. She wholeheartedly strives to make this world a better place for everyone as well as to make sure everyone knows the world is better because they are in it. Maria is always smiling, always willing to lend an ear, offer advice, and do all she can to help those in need. Be it starting a equality group, staying late to help a struggling student, planning a curriculum catered to all the needs of each individual student, and all the other amazing things she does each day. I hope Maria knows how truly amazing she is and that our world really is a better place because she is a part of it.

Ryan Posted 8 months ago

Maria is an incredible teacher who really cares about her students. Always so positive and kind!

Lucy Forbes Posted 8 months ago

I know Maria from outside of school in the community. She's always smiling and has gentle nature. Doing everything she can do to better herself and her daughter's life. Very pleasant woman.

Shelby Generazzo Posted 8 months ago

I was in Ms. Schembri's class back in 2015. Honestly she was my favorite teacher. I wasnt the best student but she helped me so much. She was very personable and I really felt like she was working for her students and not for her paycheck. She got me to fall in love with poetry and literature.

Annie Buchwald Posted 8 months ago

I have known Maria for about 15 years - as a fellow teacher and as a friend. Her role as a teacher has made a positive, and I believe in some cases, a life saving influence on the students at Granite Hills High School. She and I shared a lot of students over the years that were really struggling with life. We would talk about what we knew of the kids, what we thought might help them, and how we might be part of the support these students needed. Her heart was fully committed to their needs. Her niche evolved to caring especially for the students in the LGBTQIA community. Her room was a safe place for them. She was a person they could come talk to - even if they had never had her for a teacher. She became a strong advocate for their safety and their rights to their identity. I retired over a year ago so I am away from the school scene, but I still hear about the positive effect Maria has on the students. Maria is making a difference on the Granite Hills campus and is most definitely deserving of this recognition.

Kyle croft Posted 8 months ago

Maria schembri was a teacher of mine when I was in high school. She was an extraordinary teacher and treated all the kids with the upmost respect. She goes out of her way to make sure her students are on the right track. The nomination couldn’t go out to a more deserving person.

Jessie May Posted 8 months ago

Maria is an amazing human being. She is caring and dedicated to her career. She has always expressed her gratitude for her position and her influence in her student’s lives. She has been a great support system in my life and I definitely believe she is worthy of this award.

Michelle Lanzarone Posted 8 months ago

Maria invited me into her classroom as a guest speaker. I could tell she wholeheartedly cares about her students and their future, and wants to provide them with as much information as possibly to make good choices for themselves and to succeed in life. Congratulations on the nomination!

Dylan Templeman Posted 8 months ago

She teaches me how to write

Amador Enrique De Leon lll Posted 8 months ago

My teacher has been a great impact to my acidemics aswell as my life i have always struggled in english an teachers tend to give up or fade off of me but schembri has always been their for me no matter what i asked for when it comes to school or even my life shes always helped me after school saturday school she works one on one an makes time for me an for that i am doing much more better in school she doesnt only help me with english she helps me with my other classes as well .

Nina Rosselli Posted 8 months ago

Miss Schembri is the most caring, compassionate, devoted, and inspiring English teacher/ teacher. I’ve personally never come across such an amazing person/teacher until I met Miss Schembri and I can say I’m amazed every day by her hard work. Thank you Miss Schembri for everything!!

Justin Johnson Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri is a very inspirational and enthusiastic teacher who helps her student when they need help. Ms. Schembri is one of my favorite teachers, she has a heart of gold and she is such a role model. I want to personally thank Ms. Schembri for her dedication to the school and the dedication to the students that she has to deal with every single day. Thank you!!!!

candee nunez Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri is an amazing teacher and she has really helped my love for English grow.

delaney guy Posted 8 months ago

Ms.Schembri is currently my senior culinary English teacher. She is one of the kindest people I've ever met. She is not only a good teacher, but she's like a caring friend to me. If I'm having any kind of problem, she lets me open up to her and she listens and helps me. She is also very patient. There's no denying my class is full of "rowdy" kids, but she handles it like a champ. She approaches every situation, good or bad, with kindness and an open mind. And I admire that. She encourages students to be themselves and try their hardest. She is such an Inspiration to me and I'm so thankful she has been a part of my journey in high school.

Karl Danielson Posted 8 months ago

Maria Schembri is a well respected Teacher here at Granite Hills HS, not only by her Colleagues and the Administration but also by the thousands of youth that have had her as a teacher and a mentor. She is always available for any committee or volunteer position. She is the first to raise her hand to help in any situation. I have first hand observed many situations with at risk students that Maria takes the time to mentor or just plain old fashioned listened to a student and their problems. The National Life Group would only be lucky enough to award this individual for her time, passion and honesty.

Judi Schaim Posted 8 months ago

I have know Ms. Schembri for many years. Her commitment to self growth, living a healthy life, and dedication to diversity is so commendable. We are very fortunate to having such a quality person teaching our children and connecting with all people regardless of their differences.

Rusty Wallace Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri was one of the reasons I picked up my affinity for science fiction. I used to think of reading as a chore until I was able to find a genre that peaked my interest. She encouraged her students to not just read what was required to pass but to also find things that interested them. She was also very understanding if things prevented a student from completing their work and would show genuine compassion twords a students situation.

Michelle Dysthe Posted 8 months ago

Maria is a very caring and responsible woman. She is a pleasure to be around!

Nicole Chiaramonte Posted 8 months ago

Maria is an amazing Woman! She taught my daughter in highschool. My daughter loved her!! Its awesome to see teachers out there that care about their students and their success. On top of that Maria provides a safe place for the kids to go, meet and talk openly. I met Maria through a mutual friend named Bill and we instantly had a connection!!!!! It is a small world and I'm glad we crossed paths!!!!!

Celeste Posted 8 months ago

Maria, Is a beautiful gift to her students and community. Cheers to her dedication!

Lora Posted 8 months ago

Congratulations Maria! So deserving of this honor! She is a wonderful friend, neighbor and mother as well! God bless

Tom Boaz Posted 8 months ago

Maria and I have been neighbors for the last 2 and half years. She has been very kind and friendly. I have seen what a great job she does as a mom as her daughter is very polite and respectful. Maria is always willing to help with any issues that arise. I am fortunate to have her as a neighbor.

Gavin Preston Posted 8 months ago

María is a dedicated teacher and a strong role model for the wide spectrum of students with whom she works. She is an incredibly positive force on our campus and exudes warmth and kindness toward students and staff alike. In the 5 years I've had the pleasure of working alongside Maria, I've witnessed the connection she has with her students, and it is uplifting. She is a fantastic choice and very deserving of this honor.

Julia Polanco Posted 8 months ago

Maria is an amazing English teacher. She inspires her students to love literature. More importantly, in my opinion, Maria is also an amazing teacher of compassion, inclusion and respect. Through her leadership roles in the LEO and GSA clubs she has had a positive impact on the lives of countless students.

Felica Craig Posted 8 months ago

Maria’s an amazing mom, friend and teacher. She is so sweet and caring for all and most definitely deserves this award!

Veronica Murphy Posted 8 months ago

Maria has been partnering with Write Out Loud for three years, encouraging her students to not only read literature, but to be inspired by the reading and to create something meaningful to them. She has taken advantage of all the workshops we offer in order to give her students the richest educational experience possible. She has coached her students through reciting poetry and competing in the national poetry competition, Poetry Out Loud and she has encouraged other teachers to become actively involved in these enriching opportunities for their students, as well. She is passionate about making learning an exciting and rewarding experience for all students. It has been a great pleasure to work with her and her students.

Lindsay Connolly Posted 8 months ago

I have spent the past few years not only working with Maria, but working next door to her classroom, too. Maria is very passionate, understanding and willing to go above and beyond to meet the needs of her students. She is extremely patient and has helped some of my challenged students feel successful and has given them the confidence they need to succeed! Maria is a great teacher and leader for our youth!

Tom Clabeaux Posted 8 months ago

I have had the pleasure of working with Maria for over 10 years and I have seen first hand the commitment and dedication she has towards making a difference in students' lives. Her work with students goes beyond the classroom as she devotes everyday to ensuring that students know that they are respected and loved.

Michele Miller Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Maria Schembri has successfully engaged students towards a cooperative outdoor learning activity and is a testament to her leadership and advisory skills. My name is Michele Miller, I work for the City of El Cajon and I coordinate an annual event called Arbor Day. I was given Ms. Schembri’s name as a contact for the Leo Club members at Granite Hills High School several years ago to invite to Arbor Day to offer a volunteer opportunity. Arbor Day is an event to share with the community the benefits of trees as well as an opportunity for volunteers to plant trees. The Leo Club members have participated at the Arbor Day event for several years. The students are interested and excited to roll up their sleeves, grab a shovel, get dirty and learn how to plant trees. The volunteer opportunity for the Leo Club members is made possible with the direction and advisory support of Ms. Schembri. Her guidance to the Leo Club members to be part of a safe community event and have a vested interest in the community they live shows significant trust the students have in Ms. Schembri’s leadership. I thank Ms. Schembri for connecting the Leo Club with this annual event and I look forward to future Arbor Days with Leo Club member participation.

Jacqueline Civerolo Posted 8 months ago

Maria is a fabulous teacher who is knowledgable, capable, challenging-all the things a good teacher is. But more importantly, she connects with students-all students. She is kind and compassionate. Maria cultivates students' beings, not just their knowledge. She builds bridges with her students, colleagues, and community. Maria has a tremendous impact that is far-reaching and is most definitely a life changer.

Marilyn Morse Posted 8 months ago

Maria's efforts at strengthening our culture at Granite Hills High School is very admirable. She has a true commitment to creating a safe environment for all students. She sets a great example to her students. I highly recommend her for this recognition.

Katy Posted 8 months ago

Maria is someone who always says YES. She is a selfless person who is always ready to help. She totally deserves this award!

Hailey Henry Posted 8 months ago

She’s the only teacher that never gave up on me and pushed me to accomplish my goals and to never give up! If anyone deserves this award it’s her!!

Lane Adams Posted 8 months ago

Maria demonstrates care, respect, and love for all students to feel part of a larger community and provides opportunities for growth in areas of interest! Thank you Maria!

Carrie Gaeir Posted 8 months ago

I am a colleague of Maria’s and have witnessed first hand her dedication to students. She truly cares about the well being of ALL of her students and has gone above and beyond to improve the climate of acceptance and understanding on our campus. She is the perfect recipient of this recognition.

Makayla BrOwn Posted 8 months ago

I had Mrs.Schembri as an English teacher my sophomore and senior year. Her class was always one of my favorite to go to. She made it a fun and exciting class to come learn. You could really tell that she cared and wanted the best for her students. She never gave up on her students that struggled or had a hard time on a subject. She’s a really amazing teacher.

Yasamin S Posted 8 months ago

Ms Schembri is an amazing person and teacher! I’ve known her for over 10 years now and I know she is so dedicated to the students at GHHS! Her students love her! I remember when she became the advisor for Leo Club and she was so supportive about any projects we wanted to tackle. She always helped with anything I needed while I was president of the Leo club.

Amanda Van Zetten Posted 8 months ago

Maria is an exemplary teacher and a phenomenal person. She made my time in her science fiction reading and writing class at Granite Hills High School fun, knowledgeable, and I always felt safe in her classroom. She was always inclusive with her students, and the parents alike, as well as easy to come to with any issues. She is definitely the one to win this award!

Heather Rust Posted 8 months ago

Maria is one of those teachers students remember. She continues to teach her English classes not only with rich and relevant content, but with compassion. She makes sure each student is tended to with their individual needs and makes them feel welcome.

Felicitie Podwoski Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri has helped not only me in many ways but she’s helped many others. She helped many fellow students an I fall in love with English an allowed everyone to be creative while having a curriculum. She is most definitely the life changer of the year !

Hannah Posted 8 months ago

I know Maria as "Ms. Schembri". Being my senior year English teacher, she really made my love for literature grow. She always put all of her energy into class to ensure all of her students understood the assignment and was understanding when they did not. Currently in college, I miss the kindness and patience she gave to each of us!

Jennifer Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. Schembri is such a great and respectful person. She is also the best advisor for Leo Club!

Moira Dempsey Posted 8 months ago

Maria is the type of person who will go out of her way to do anything for her students. She always looks out for the underdogs at the high school, the kids who might need some extra help or who have trouble at home or have parents that don’t show up in these kids lives. Maria shows a sense of compassion unlike any other teacher I’ve ever encountered. Kids who have never picked up a book leave her classroom at the end of the year with a new outlook on literature and poetry. Even more importantly, they know someone cares about them and hears and understands them. She is truly a remarkable teacher.

Rowan Day Posted 8 months ago

This award would be well deserved. Keep being amazing!

Mariana Beas Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri was one of my favorite teachers there! She is incredible and made me love a subject that I don't particularly enjoy! She made it fun and great for my class and everyone, I always looked forward to going to her class everyday and it was so much better to learn in an environment where everyone was having a good time while retaining the information being taught forth! This award is well deserved for her because she has worked so hard for the well being of her students to succeed in the real world!

Lolita Antoon Posted 8 months ago

As a Leo Club member, this club would certainly not be the same without her. She is the main reason that I look forward to Tuesday's Leo club meetings, where I can find out how we're planning to help the community. Mrs. Schembri is the absolute definition of what this award stands for. She is kind, passionate, and goes above and beyond in everything she does. Such an inspiration!!

Ernie McCray Posted 8 months ago

This beautiful woman is a friend of my family, via her friendship with my daughter, Nyla, when they were students at San Diego State. Being an educator I'm impressed with her contributions to students, her human approach to creating learning environments for them. Every educator should be like her.

Tanya Wood Posted 8 months ago

Maria was my daughter Jenifer Wood's 9th grade English teacher at Granite Hills High School during the 2016-2017 school year. Jenifer loved Maria and her class so much, She spoke about Maria often and about how she loved going to class everyday. I met Maria at open house in the fall and unfortunately again when my daughter passed away in April 2017. Maria was so kind and compassionate about her passing away. All of the students in her class were impacted by Jenifer's loss and she allowed them to express how they felt during that time. Her class was a safe haven for Jenifer's friends. Maria encouraged them to write notes to me about Jenifer and they decorated her desk to commemorate her for the remainder of the school year. It was a blessing and made me feel so happy to know that Jenifer had Maria and so many that cared for her. Maria's compassion for all students shows in her daily teachings, her support for activities and groups for the students. She is a tremendous asset to the school, community, friends and family. I am thankful everyday that she became a part of my life.

Christine Posted 8 months ago

Maria is awesome! She has a big heart and loves teaching!

Ruthe Anne S. Posted 8 months ago

I have known Maria Schembri for just a few years but in that short time, I have come to both appreciate and respect the the person that she is. I am in awe of all the plates she juggles as a single parent dedicated to raising her child with a solid foundation of love, an active social life, and a firm understanding that every human on earth is of value. In addition to the dedicated mother plates that Maria juggles, she has an entire cabinet of plates dedicated to teaching young adults before they leave the nest of public education with a solid foundation of of love, social advocacy and a firm understanding that every human on earth is of value. I know that Maria is changing the face of the future by instilling the values by which she lives into the hearts and minds of our future leaders.

Sani jabbar Posted 8 months ago

Thank you

Mike Fowler Posted 8 months ago

Maria Schembri's effectiveness as an educator goes way beyond her classroom. Mrs. Schembri is deeply committed to creating a safe and affirming school for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. She is respected by the entire school community which allows her to advance these very important issues. Under her leadership, Granite Hills GSA student club is thriving. Additionally, the entire faculty is scheduled to receive professional development where they will gain the knowledge and skills needed to create and sustain a safe, inclusive, respectful school environment. Maria Schembri's passion, dedication and caring nature inspires everyone around her. ~ Mr. Fowler, Principal

Lauren Henderson Posted 8 months ago

I was a student of Mrs. Schembri's only for a short while, but in that time I came to appreciate how compassionate, patient, and respectable she is not only as a human being but a teacher and a mother. She pushes students to always put forth their best work and is constantly active as an educator and school club sponsor. Mrs. Shembri introduced me to many memorable pieces of literature and increased my appreciation for the English language. She is welcoming and open to anyone she crosses paths with, regardless of their gender, ethnicity or identification. Mrs. Shembri is an absolute attribute to Granite Hills High School and our community.

Korina Nabarrete Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri helped me feel comfortable coming as a new student and it made me really like her class. She inspires a lot of students also. She helped me be myself and prosper.

Ruthe Anne S. Posted 8 months ago

I have known Maria Schembri for just a few years but in that short time, I have come to both appreciate and respect the the person that she is. I am in awe of all the plates she juggles as a single parent dedicated to raising her child with a solid foundation of love, an active social life, and a firm understanding that every human on earth is of value. In addition to the dedicated mother plates that Maria juggles, she has an entire cabinet of plates dedicated to teaching young adults before they leave the nest of public education with a solid foundation of love, social advocacy and a firm understanding that every human on earth is of value. I know that Maria is changing the face of the future by instilling the values by which she lives into the hearts and minds of our future leaders.

Kara Hallett Posted 8 months ago

I have had the pleasure of knowing Maria in a variety of ways over the past 10 years. I first worked closely with her as the president of the LEO club while I was a student at Granite Hills. We worked together to do fundraisers and community events. Then, during my teaching credential program, I began to sub at Granite Hills for her classes on occasion where I got to teach her lessons and interact with her students. Eventually, I took a long term subbing position as the Culinary Arts teacher and worked closely with Maria in the Culinary Arts pathway to create cohesion between her class and mine. It is clear to me that Maria genuinely cares about her students in a far from superficial way. She earnestly loves to teach and it shows. Her work with clubs like LEOs and GSA also show this dedication! Her students absolutely adore her, too. Thank you for everything you do Maria! <3

Don Resultan Posted 8 months ago

There is no better advocate for students than Maria Schembri. Teaching is not a job/occupation/career to Maria, but a calling. She is very passionate about student learning and achievement. She is a tremendous asset to the Granite Hills High School community.

Gerald Lopez Posted 8 months ago

Maria is always supportive of our students and their needs. She is a focused teacher with a clear lesson for each day. To call her kind but firm is an understatement. She is a cornerstone of our department and a pleasure to teach with.

Jenna P Posted 8 months ago

I have know Maria for over 20 years and over that time I have seen how dedicated she has been to becoming the best educator she can be. Above this, Maria has an inate ability to identify opportunities to help and improve people’s lives, even outside the classroom. She is a warm and caring example of what every teacher should strive to be.

Melinda Parga Posted 8 months ago

I am proud to say that I work with Maria at Granite Hills High School. She is the advisor for our GSA (Gay Straight Alliance). In this role, she has helped countless young people feel at home and accepted at school. As the parent of a transgender son, this is one of the most important parts of education (especially for those that identify as LGBTQ+). I have attended many of her meetings and it is a warm welcoming place for all students.

Isaac E. Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri is such an amazing person. She made high school a different and more positive experience. She is a very unique teacher because she is able to fulfill her duties as a teacher, while also being a mother and at the same time she watches after and cares for her students when its necessary. She makes everyone feel like they can succeed and make what they want out of life. Ms. Schembri definitely makes a difference on campus with the clubs she supports and the way she interacts with fellow teachers and students. There is a warmth that comes from the actions of Ms. Schembri that makes her my favorite teacher and also my vote as life changer of the year. We need more people like Ms. Schembri to make the world a better place one step at a time.

Amy Ren Posted 8 months ago

Still till this day Maria has been involved in my life. I met Maria in high school, she was my high school english teacher and the best I'd say. She's an amazing person to be around and to have known if anyone who doesn't know her. She's super open minded, caring, compassionate and funny. She loves to make people smile, always has an open arm when you need it. She's definitely a hard worker and such a great mother. It's been a while since I've seen her after high school but I'll always remember her and how she impacted my life in a positive way. Most genuine teacher and individual! #TeamMaria ??

Lilly J. Posted 8 months ago

She helps make learning English and poems fun. She's not intimidating so you feel comfortable around her

Gavin Hebert Posted 8 months ago

Ms.Schembri Is my English and she is probably one of the best English Teachers that I had so far. Ms.Schembri teache's us in her own way. Thank you, Ms.Schembri.

Carson Denney Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri has impacted my life by helping me through school. She has taught me was of organization in school and in life.

annie Posted 8 months ago

She is such a good teacher, she is not like others, you can always talk to her and she’s more relatable then other teachers. Her classroom is always a fun and safe environment. Hip Hip Hurray

Zachary Bishop Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri is an amazing teacher and she helps me a lot in school.

jasmine Posted 8 months ago

Ms.Schembri is not only an amazing and supportive teacher but she has helped me and I always go to her when I need an adult to talk to. She is very understanding and such a wonderful human.

Heve Yusif Posted 8 months ago

Out of all my years in school, I've always loved my English classes. Ms.Schembri is such a good teacher and I look forward to coming to school for that class. She teaches in a way that everyone can understand and It inspires me because in the future I want to become an English teacher as well.

Matthew Keeley Posted 8 months ago

She helped me maintain a good grade in the class and helped me pass my final. She is also nice.

Julius Ballo Posted 8 months ago

Great teacher!

Arringtun Giles Posted 8 months ago

One of the best English teachers (:

Kulang Pitia Posted 8 months ago

Her teaching helped me pass her final exam.

Austin Browning Posted 8 months ago

She has impacted my life this year, and this has been the best year yet!

Bawer bajelori Posted 8 months ago

She is the best she is very positive and understanding and not only that she can actually teach if it weren’t for her I would probably not even be at school

Sydney Clark Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. Schembri is one of the best English teachers I’ve ever had. She’s one of few people who I can talk to about my problems and joke around with. She’s very, very approachable and nice. She has really help me with shaping up my school year and just my life in general.

Aubrey Vaughn Posted 8 months ago

Is an amazing English teacher and has helped me out a lot with my life.

Jaila Houston Posted 8 months ago

She's been one of the best English I've had. I'm really thankful for her. She's made me actually want to get better at my writing. I love her so much!

Julie Schorr Posted 8 months ago

I am Maria Schembri's colleague and have worked with Maria for many years at Granite Hills High School. Maria Schembri is an outstanding and caring teacher. She goes above and beyond to help students on our campus at Granite Hills High School and to provide additional social and emotional support for them. She is very active with her clubs and is a leader for change on our campus. Maria is very conscientious and concerned for her students and their well-being. Maria Schembri is highly deserving of this recognition.

Peter Morales Posted 8 months ago

She is probably one of my most favorite teachers. I like that I get to start my day off with her class. She also makes English go really quick which is always amazing.

Jazmin Valencia Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri is the most caring teacher ive met. She always check on her students and keeps them focused. I highly recommend Maria for life changer of the year. Shes help so many people in many different ways and I fee lucky to have had her as a teacher for two years and now as a TA.

Sani jabbar Posted 8 months ago

Thank you

Julee Hillenbrand Posted 8 months ago

I have taught with Maria for many years at Granite Hills High. I am a special educator and my students thrive in her class. She has excellent rapport with students with special needs. She is always willing to work with the student on an individual basis which ensures success. She is a calming and positive presence at IEP meetings putting parents at ease. We are lucky to have her as a member of our Eagle team!!!

Cintah Butler Posted 8 months ago

She’s an amazing English teacher. She made me want to better my grades, and she’s very nice.

Mashel Keen Posted 8 months ago

Maria and I met through our daughters. Our girls were great friends at a local Montessori pre-school. Maria was always a supportive presence amongst the moma and kids. We spoke often and I frequently left our conversations feeling inspired, encouraged, and heard. Maria is very generous of her time, open to new people and new ideas. It is always a pleasure to work with her, as she spreads kindness and inspiration.

Andy Lowry Posted 8 months ago

Maria Schembri is my English teacher and she has changed my life in my education.

Joswe Chavez Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri is an awesome and supportive teacher and I'm glad she became my senior English teacher this year. The atmosphere is fun and everyone is cooperative. There is never a dull moment in this class and the lessons and guest speakers we get are all interesting. All in all, this she made English one of my favorite classes.

jose salazar Posted 8 months ago

Ms. schembri is the best teacher ever. Theres not a better person that can win this.

Maria Sumski, RN Posted 8 months ago

Maria Schembri dedicates her heart and soul towards the improvement of her community and the students she serves. She is always willing to be of service and has helped countless amounts of students throughout the years. She is a gift to the education profession.

ko Posted 8 months ago

I first met Maria when she was a "rookie" teacher at GHHS; she was confident then, and is confident now. Her students are more than lucky to have her as their guide. I know that she changed her life and she has changed the lives of her students; this is a well-deserved honor for her.

Erick Henry Posted 8 months ago

Beautiful person, mother and teacher working tirelessly to do so much for her students and the community.

Alicia Jacques Posted 8 months ago

Miss Schembri was ALWAYS happy and fun in the classroom. She put the students before herself and made sure we were going to succeed. She’s an amazing teacher and one of my favorite people I met sophomore year of high school. I’ve been out of high school for 3 years and I still know of people telling me how amazing and caring she is.

Jaret Patterson Posted 8 months ago

I have known Maria for nearly 20 years. In that time, I have seen a determined young woman tackle obstacles with grace, always rising to any challenge and never succumbing to her tribulations. She has taken drawbacks and woven them into wisdom. She is a compassionate and sincere person, which flows into her teaching. She shows her students respect, challenging them to strive- pushing them to be better, more learned people. Maria is the example of kindness we should all show one another. Her merit is unrivaled and I’m confident she will never stop growing and learning from her pupils, which as an educator, is a humble lesson we all might borrow from. Above all, Maria is a role-model, a beacon of friendliness and hope to the young mind and determination of will that inspires children far beyond their formative years. She helps students not only be better acedemics... but better people. In closing, I feel any accolades that did not include this wonderful woman would be remiss from representing the finest example of achievement.

Kendra Lizarraga Posted 8 months ago

I have been a close friend with Maria for many years. I met her in a gathering of women and we instantly connected. She has a lot of characteristics that I don’t see often. She is a passionate human being, and I see her work very hard to fight for what’s right in the world. She sincerely cares about her students, and works to inspire kindness and having a voice in our society. She is a strong advocater of anti-bullying, and human rights. Some teachers educate with books; however, Maria also educates her students in all aspects of life. She is a proactive, caring, and nonjudgmental mentor. I feel blessed to have her as my friend. She has definitely been there for me through the good, the bad, and the ugly. And I take notice on how she overcomes the obstacles in her life and turns it into wisdom. I really want her to be recognized for all the good things she does for our community. She has created a safer learning environment for our youth. Thank you! #TeamMaria

Maren C. Posted 8 months ago

Maria’s love for teaching and her genuine interest in her students’ learning and well being are unsurpassed. As a parent to two boys, I would feel so grateful to have a teacher like her guide them through their educational journey. And, looking back on my own high school experience, i know that Maria is truly changing lives through her unparalleled dedication to so many innovative and important projects. Her eyes light up when she talks about her students in a way I wished every teacher’s did. She is a gem of a human and an asset to Granite Hills and our educational system, in general.

Missy Roberts Posted 8 months ago

I’ve known Maria Schembri for most of my life. She’s always had a strong sense of community, a kind heart, and the strength to stand against adversity. She does this all with quiet grace and has always been known as a person you can turn to when you need a safe space for as long as I’ve known her. Nearly three decades after we first met, Ms. Schembri is still the vibrant, kind, and courageous person she always was. As an English Teacher, Advisor, and Mentor at Granite Hills High School for the past 16 years, Maria Schembri has brought that same strength of character and passion to her classroom. She is changing lives every day by ensuring that students have a safe space, a solid role model, and a compassionate educator they can turn to, no matter their needs. As an advisor for The LEO Club, she’s worked tirelessly to ensure that students don’t go hungry, stocking the school pantry and donating bags of food to be distributed to students in need. Many students rely on school to provide lunch, and for some students, this is their only meal for the day. Students who are hungry have a harder time focusing in class, and no child should ever wonder where their next meal is coming from. Ms. Schembri’s dedication to her students and her community show in her commitment to the LEO Club. By putting her energy into this club and empowering her students to make a difference, she’s helped provide meals to students that would otherwise go hungry. Ms. Schembri is also the advisor for GSA (Gay Straight Alliance). LGBTQ+ students face difficulties above typical adolescent struggles. LGBTQ+ youth may struggle to find a safe space simply to exist, and they are more likely to suffer violence and bullying than many other student groups. Without acceptance, love, and guidance from adults in their lives, LGBTQ+ students are at higher risk of self-harm. For many students who have come out to their families, school is their only safe place, and their peers can be just as brutal as their families. As the mother of a transgender child, I can tell you firsthand about the bullying, from peers and adults alike. School can be a terrifying place when you’re out, and Maria Schembri ensures these students have a safe place where they can work together with allies in the GSA. But she hasn’t stopped there. Not only is her classroom a place where no one is bullied and everyone is safe, but she took it further. Thanks to her tireless commitment to safety for all students, students on campus have been educated about the trials LGBTQ+ youth face, and training will be provided for the staff of Granite Hills High School so that everyone is up to date on laws and resources for LGBTQ+ students and their families. Through her efforts, Ms. Schembri is changing lives and making school a safe place for all. She is an amazing human being and teacher.

Robby Tuttle Posted 8 months ago

Always pleasant. Always. This is a very admirable trait these days. This is meant to be brief on purpose because I would like to drive home that point! Thank you Maria!

Jesse Metzger Posted 8 months ago

I couldn't think of an award that's more appropriate for Ms. Schembri. When I entered her class as a sophomore I wasn't a very dedicated student. Reading a book then was so boring and I much preferred smoking pot in the park with my friends than doing my homework. However, Mr. Schembri taught me things in the classroom that stuck with me forever and more importantly she set me on the path that led me to where I am today. Even my parents know what a pivotal role she played and she's the only teacher by name that they remember today. I wish her all the best and me writing this now is the least I can do after all the help she gave me during my high school years.

Dawnn Posted 8 months ago

Maria is such a wonderful person and teacher. She is also a teach advisor for several clubs on campus. Maria is an extremely caring individual and it really shows each and every day! Way to go Maria!!!

Hana McWhorter Posted 8 months ago

Mrs.Shembri is the best teacher I’ve ever had! She made coming to school everyday a treat!

Angel Barragan Posted 8 months ago

Ive known Maria since CVHS and we recently reconnected through Facebook and shes the most unselfish and nicest person ive known and she pride herself helping student reach full potential. She deserved the award.

Andrew Tompkins Posted 8 months ago

As an alumni to Granite Hills High School I always knew Maria as a great influence to students as well as teaching them to accept all people and being 3 years out of high school I still hear only the most positive things about her

Israel Hernandez Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. Schembri is a big part of the granite hills community and always makes me and so many other students feel welcome. I could not imagine another teacher who is more perfect for this award!

Juliett Fuentes Posted 8 months ago

I've known Maria for 30 years. She's an exemplary person and teacher and worthy of being recognized as LifeChanger of the Year. She goes above and beyond to be in service of her students so that they may succeed.

Taylor Zeno Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. Schembri was such an amazing teacher! She made my love for English grow in a way I never thought possible. My time in her class was so enjoyable thanks to her. I’m so greatful that I was able to have her as a teacher and so happy to watch her love for teaching grow over the years. If anyone deserves this award it is her. She has such a compassion and love for teaching and helping students grow.

Staci Organ Posted 8 months ago

I had Miss Schembri as a teacher in high school. She was always one of my favorite teachers.

Dillon Kline Posted 8 months ago

Maria is an incredible person and educator. She does an amazing job with the people in her life and I feel so fortunate to have crossed paths with her and her beautiful daughter.

MollyRoby Posted 8 months ago

Maria is student centered in her teaching approach. She engages the kids and I often smile as I hear the sounds of enthusiasm and learning through her open classroom window. She fosters an atmosphere of mutual respect, sincerity and academic rigor. A stellar person and teacher.

Kelly Hinds Posted 8 months ago

I was thrilled to see that Maria was nominated for this award. Everything that was described in the nomination, I second and believe it perfectly describes her passion & dedication. Her life events have led her to give fully to the causes she supports and she is very deserving of this nomination.

Lisa Statley Posted 8 months ago

As a counselor I really appreciate working with Maria. She takes the time to personally get to know her students. Students trust her and confide in her and she is able to make appropriate referrals to the guidance staff. Maria is passionate about teaching and although her curriculum is important, you can always see that her students are the priority. The countless extra-curricular hours hours she spends with her students is greatly appreciated by her colleagues.

Austin Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. schembri has helped my reading skills increase immediately and has always been supportive of her students. Mrs. Schembri was by far on of the best teachers in high school!

Alicia Rios Posted 8 months ago

I had the pleasure of having Mrs. Schembri as my senior year English teacher. I can honestly say that me, as well as many others in my class truly enjoyed having her as a teacher. Mrs. Schembri made learning both fun and exciting and I looked forward to coming to class every day. She genuinely cares about all of her students and goes above and beyond to help all of them succeed. Mrs. Schembri is a dedicated, hard working and amazingly caring teacher! I cannot think of a better person for this award.

Summer Posted 8 months ago

I’ve known Maria for a long time. Maria is a dedicated teacher and I’m so thrilled she’s leading the school’s GSA. Her students are lucky to have her.

Tracey Brewer Posted 8 months ago

Maria Schembri is far more than a teacher. The amount of time, care, and effort she puts in to her clubs--Leo Club and GSA--impresses me daily. Her advocacy for LGBTQ students on our campus is second to none, and they are so lucky to have her support. In the classroom, Maria inspires her students to challenge themselves through creative expression and competitions, and Maria constantly looks for new ways to inspire her students daily.

Joelle Sawaya Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri was (and still is) an excellent advisor for Leo Club when I was president from 2013 - 2015. She really invested time in her students and I appreciated her dedication to the success of Leo Club. Her love and support for the LGBTQIA community is inspiring, and I know that she makes a huge difference in her students' lives. Ms. Schembri is absolutely deserving of this award!

William Nericcio Posted 8 months ago

Memorable. Brilliant. Articulate. Savvy. Those are the words that come to mind as I reflect back on the work of Maria Schembri, a former undergraduate student of mine at SDSU and an alum of the Department of English and Comparative Literature. It comes as no surprise to me that she is now out in the community making our world a better place. She is a visionary teacher and one that deserves this award. Dr. William A. Nericcio Professor, English and Comparative Literature SDSU

Jeff McDade Posted 8 months ago

I have known and worked with Maria for over 15 years and she is a wonderful educator and an exceptional person. She has a special gift that allows her to bond with her kids and for them to feel comfortable and really be themselves. This truly allows them to blossom not only in the classroom but in life. This is a really special thing as high school is such a formative time in ones development and where young people really start to figure out who they are. I am very proud to call Maria a friend and colleague.

Amanda Richie Posted 8 months ago

Ms Schembri was one of the best English teachers I had in high school. She always took the time to help me & made sure I understood everything we were learning. She is one of the best!

Dylan Posted 8 months ago

One of my favorite teachers ever! She deserves this for all her hard work!

Noah J Posted 8 months ago

Ms.Schembri was an awesome teacher. I had her my sophomore more year and was the most caring, patient, and inspiring teachers I ever had. She got me back into reading books and getting in touch with my creative side! I will always thank her for that! The most qualified person to get this award!!!

Christina T. Posted 8 months ago

I’ve known Maria for about 5 years. Our daughters were in preschool together and now that my son is a freshman at Granite Hills, I have leaned on her for advice as a first time parent to a high-schooler. Maria is simply a wonderful human. She is so inclusive and understand that her ability to make everyone feel included and important extends from her personal life to her professional life as a teacher. I know she is very committed to her job and her students and often goes above and beyond her duties to the students and parents. She’s the definition of a giver and I’m extremely grateful to have someone like her as a friend and as a teacher at our high school. What a gift she is and so deserving of this award.

Rachel mccurry Posted 8 months ago

Maria Schembri is a favorite mentor and teacher for many students on our campus, especially those facing tough times. She supports students’ community service, values diversity on campus and encouraged students to tell their stories, to live literature and to create and perform. She’s an outstanding teacher and mother.

Emily Posted 8 months ago

Hands-down one of the best educators I’ve ever had in my life. So much is going on when you’re a high school student and you need stability love and acceptance in your life. Maria showed this To all of her students.

stacey coulter Posted 8 months ago

I worked with Maria when I worked at Granite Hills several years back. Her empathy and willingness to help any student at any time is the top reason that I loved to work with her. We co-advised the LEO club together, where firsthand I saw Maria’s selflessness and desire to improve the lives around her. She is approachable, and students know they always have a friend to talk to through her.

Kim Whitley Posted 8 months ago

I have worked with Maria for more than ten years. She is a loving, caring, capable teacher who is passionate about helping students. She is kind to her colleagues as well and she is always willing to help both staff and students. She is a very valuable resource for our special education department as she works hard to meet individual student’s needs. Maria’s positive, kind demeanor is a blessing to all who know her.

Alyssa Sandino Posted 8 months ago

I had Schembri as a English teacher Senior year and I learned a lot from that class that I still use everyday. When learning about the food industry I became more aware of how everything works. I never really liked English but thanks to her I was able see it from a different point of view.

Priscila Aguilar Posted 8 months ago

I first met Maria in 7th grade. As a non English speaker new to this country in a Pre-Algebra class given in English, Maria made me feel welcome and included both in and outside of the classroom. It is of no surprise to me to learn after reconnecting as adults that she has impacted so many lives for the better both in and out of the classroom now in a teacher role as she did for me as a fellow classmate so many years ago.

Nicole Anderson Posted 8 months ago

Maria Schembri is one of the most supportive teachers I've ever met. She created opportunities for everyone in her class to succeed and the curriculum she developed for the Culinary Arts pathway led me to finding my career and strive to do great things in the culinary industry. I cant imagine how stuck I would be as a young adult without the hard work she put into the culinary arts pathway. I think she deserves this award because of all the hard work and the support she puts into education.

Marci Posted 8 months ago

I have known Maria for close to 4 years now. She puts 100 percent of herself into all that she does and is a positive example to the community. I have volunteered with her and I have seen her give time, energy, resources, knowledge, and an understanding ear to those in need. She is also an excellent teacher, constantly upgrading her knowledge, and making herself available to her students. Teaching is not a job for Maria, it’s a calling, and she fulfills it with excellence. It’s an honor to know Maria, anyone who knows her benefits from her kindness and open heart.

Beth Posted 8 months ago

My dear friend Maria is such a kind soul. She continues to impact the lives of her students as well as all the people around her including my own. She is humble and generous. Never says no when something is asked of her and exceeds expectations. I am so honored to call her my friend.

Teresa Richards Posted 8 months ago

I’m so fortunate to work alongside such a wonderful, caring person!

Lana Vega Posted 8 months ago

I first met Ms.Schembri when I started my high school career at Granite Hills High School. She was my English teacher for my freshman and sophomore year, at the time I didn’t realize how much she would impact me. When I came into high school I despised English and did quite poorly at it, I never excelled at the subject; she changed that for me. Ms.Schembri made me have a new perspective on English and for that I will be eternally grateful. I now excel at English and it is my favorite subject in school. Because of Ms.Schembri I am now able to approach English with the tools and knowledge she has given me over the years. Throughout my schooling I have not had a teacher encourage me to the depths she has. She saw my talent and made me realize what I could do with my gift. Ms.Schembri not only has this impact on me but on all of her other students. She is patient and kind with every student she has in her classroom, and most importantly she gives everyone the same chance to succeed. She believes that everyone has the capability to excel with whatever they take on. Overall Ms.Schembri is an amazing influence and I will never forget what she has done for me in my life.

Julia Tompkins Posted 8 months ago

Mrs. Schembri has helped my confidence grow so much by always making me feel welcome to her class as well as being a safe zone for me when I need

Nyla Innuso Posted 8 months ago

My good friend Maria has undoubtedly changed the lives of her students throughout the nearly two decades she's been a teacher. She's an amazing person. I've known her for twenty years, since we were classmates at SDSU. I saw firsthand her dedication and love for learning as a student and I watched how hard she worked to put herself through school. I learned of her love of literature and her excitement at her future as a high school English teacher. Her passion as a student soon transformed into her passion as a teacher. She is engaging and dynamic as a teacher. She puts a lot of time and thought into her students and she is very involved with them. She pays attention to both their needs as well as the needs of the school and she goes above and beyond to help create a supportive and educational environment. I think it's fitting that Maria is up for the LifeChanger of the Year award and I would love to see her get it!

Alysia Spivey Posted 8 months ago

Working with Maria in our roles as GSA advisors has been a pleasure. Her passion and care for her students is at the forefront of everything she does. She has been kind and patient in helping me learn how to be a better GSA advisor and is always willing to help out, team up, give advice, and support me and our GSA students.

Nyla Innuso Posted 8 months ago

My good friend Maria has undoubtedly changed the lives of her students throughout the nearly two decades she's been a teacher. She's an amazing person. I've known her for twenty years, since we were classmates at SDSU. I saw firsthand her dedication and love for learning as a student and I watched how hard she worked to put herself through school. I learned of her love of literature and her excitement at her future as a high school English teacher. Her passion as a student soon transformed into her passion as a teacher. She is engaging and dynamic as a teacher. She puts a lot of time and thought into her students and she is very involved with them. She pays attention to both their needs as well as the needs of the school and she goes above and beyond to help create a supportive and educational environment. I think it's fitting that Maria is up for the LifeChanger of the Year award and I would love to see her get it!

Jon Blottin Posted 8 months ago

I have worked with Maria going on three years with the Leos Club. It has been My pleasure to work with Her. She has provided a happy classroom for the students to meet in. together we have raised funds along with donations for the student pantry. Christmas gifts for students in need, along with over 150 bags of food at Christmas time. Her idea for the Leos Club campus fundraiser has raised over $500.00 for Leos Club projects. Working with the schools Social worker was Her idea too. Along with food shampoos, soap, tooth paste, and other personal items have been collected, along with sweatshirts and jackets. Without Her positive attitude the Leos Club would not have been able to achieve their goals. I cant think of anyone else on this campus that is more deserving than Maria, because She will put the funds directly where they are needed.

Jennifer Bailey Posted 8 months ago

I 100% support Maria and I think she is an ideal candidate for this. Amazing woman, mother, teacher, and community member!

Leif Slabaugh Posted 8 months ago

Maria Schembri was my sophomore year English teacher at Granite Hills. I always struggled with English but her class was always my favorite and I actually did quite well. She even still uses some of my poetry as example for future students! Even after having her as my teacher, I knew I could count on her to be there for me whether I needed help with homework or just someone to talk to and gain advice from. She has always been someone I look up to and still is today. I don't know anyone more deserving of this award and I'm so thankful not only to have her in my life but to still experience all the great she does!

a.t. furuya Posted 8 months ago

Maria Schembri is an incredible teacher working hard to make sure all students have access to a safe and inclusive environment. She connects the campus to the community and and really knows how to help students access needed resources to help them thrive. She teaches on a campus that is far out in the suburbs and knows how to prioritize students needs and make the most effective change on campus. I am so thankful to have worked with her and see the ongoing support she gives and especially at Granite Hills.

Lynn Kraszewski Posted 8 months ago

Maria Schembri has always been an exceptional teacher for those students who struggle with high school in general. I have watched her transform students who have never had a good school experience into students with a purpose to succeed and feel good about themselves. Since she took over Granite Hills’ Gay Straight Alliance Club, she has become an anchor at sea for teenagers who feel marginalized because of their sexual orientation. She has allowed these kids to blossom and become strong voices on the campus, speaking out against any kind of bullying or discriminating behaviors.

Christine Phelps Posted 8 months ago

I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with Ms. Schembri and her students at the GSA. She’s an incredible teacher and truly a safe person for her students to go to! She’s passionate about what she does and an amazing role model for our youth.

Tiffany Aaronson Posted 8 months ago

Please award Maria with this award. She is definitely a life changer teacher. I know she loves her job and teaches/volunteers with her heart all in it. She takes pride in what she does and she works very hard. She lights up whenever she discusses work/students. I know she is changing lives one at a time. She deserves this award very much. Maria is a very beautiful (inside and out) person, very open and accepting and wants to help. She probably has no clue what a life changer she is!

Jill Enright Posted 8 months ago

Maria and I have been working as a team for our culinary linked learning program for 4 years now.i teach the culinary class while she teaches a thematic culinary English class. Maria willingly took on the task of creating engaging and rigorous curriculum while integrating a culinary aspect to it. She has been developing curriculum for the last four years and doesn’t stop. She keeps her standards high while integrating fun projects. To say the least we have had some of the most “challenging” students and Maria has never given up on any of them. She is always their for her students challenging them and bringing out the best in them. I am lucky to be able to have such a supportive teacher and friend to work with.

Jenna Posted 8 months ago

Maria is the by far the most deserving person I know for this award! She always goes above and beyond to make sure every student has a wonderful experience and education!!

Irina Segade Posted 8 months ago

We, GLSEN San Diego, has worked with Maria and the Gender Sexualties Alliance, where she has proven to be an activist committed to creating safe schools for all students, including LGBTQ youth. Maria is a fierce advocate for our vulnerable students and she supports, affirms and advances their cause for inclusive curriculum and a bias free education. It is with with great enthusiasm that we support Maria Schembri, for the Lifechanger if the Year Award.

Alyssia Rodriguez Posted 8 months ago

Schembri was my senior year English teacher and she deserves this award. She helped me out a lot throughout the year. As well as inviting me to the GSA club where it helped me be more comfortable with myself at Granite Hills. She is one of the most supporting teachers I met and she helps and supports me still to this day! She is passionate about what she does and I am glad I was one of her students!

TERRILL CAW Posted 8 months ago

I am in the mortgage and real estate business in the community. I have clients who have children that have been in Maria Schembri's class. Three young adults specifically have pointed out to me that she has positively impacted their lives. She made the learning experience a joy for them.

Maria Corbitt Posted 8 months ago

Maria exemplifies generosity in her time and efforts with her students. I admire how she shares her love of reading with her students encouraging even the most reluctant of readers to get excited about books. Furthermore, she is a safe haven for students to turn to with their troubles. It is no wonder she is so loved by students and staff.

Meghan Quintero Posted 8 months ago

Ms.Schembri (Maria Schembri) gives me and many other granite hills students a place to be and understand ourselves. Ms.Schembri has made me realise I can do anything I set my mind to, from organizing a booth at a school fair to attending to the university of my dreams. I am the president of the Granite Hills gsa, that Ms.Schembri advises, and am so gratefull that I have gotten to meet a teacher that cares so greatly about her students and providing a safe space for them. Ms.schembri showed me I could be a leader at our school and help students in the lgbtq+ community feel safe not only in gsa and in Ms. Schembri's room, but on the campus and in community.

Holly Crain Posted 8 months ago

It was an honor and a privilege to have Maria as my BTSA support provider. Not only did she support me in every way imaginable as I navigated my second year of teaching adult school, she was endlessly available to take my phone calls and text messages when I needed her. Maria provided a safe place for me to air my frustration, confusions, and anxieties, all the while offering real world support and solutions. I’m pleased to say that we have become friends outside of our professional lives, and where she is also a shining example of a community servant. I can think of no one else who deserves this award and recognition more than Maria.

Grace Mitman Posted 8 months ago

Maria has always gone above and beyond for her students. She makes them feel welcome in the classroom and is always treating them as if they are her own kids to set them up for success. She gets to know each individual student and what they need in life in and outside the classroom. She was a great mentor to both my brother and I, and now my bosses kid. She makes sure each student can reach passed their own academic goals and abilities. My life changing story occurred when I had a failing English grade going into her class. I came out at the end of the semester with 103%. From there on out English became my favorite subject and I learned how important it was to study hard and work for what I wanted. She helped me achieve my biggest goal. She not only set me up in my high school career but taught me what work ethic was And how anything was possible if you set your mind to it! She totally deserves this award!

Maddie McGuffie Posted 8 months ago

Ms. Schembri is the most amazing teacher I’ve had. She encourages her students, such as me, to push themselves further, and care about others. She cares for all her students and makes everyone know that she is someone they can talk to. I’ve gotten to know her through the years at granite hills and without a doubt I know she helped change my life for the best.

Angela Scott Posted 8 months ago

Maria is do deserving of this award. She gives a safe place for GSA members to meet and feel secure in knowing they will not be bullied or hurt. These students are often alienated, mistreated, and marginalized at other schools, but thanks to Maria, they don’t have to worry about that at Granite Hills. She encourages them to be themselves and stay strong in their beliefs.

Taylor Robinson Posted 8 months ago

I had the pleasure of being in Maria's Culinary Pathway English course my senior year at Granite Hills. She is not only one of the best teachers I have ever had, but also one of the best human beings I have ever met. She inspired me daily and I would be lying if I said she wasn't one of the reasons that I now want to become a teacher. You can tell that she genuinely cares about her students and wants every single one of them to succeed. She made showing up to school every day feel less like a chore, and getting out of bed so early in the morning became "worth it" in my mind. I'm so grateful I got to experience life as one of Maria's students.

Maggje Ransdell Posted 8 months ago

Maria has. Aheart of gold and looks out for all kids. Education is important to her, and she can make a usual dreaded subject seen in a new light. Our kids are growing up in a new social world, her hard work helps them and us adults adjust. No matter what our kids grow into being in ways of dating preference we have to make their environments bully free. It takes a passionate woman like Maria to help guide that.

Thaiz Ramirez Posted 8 months ago

Maria Schembri (Ms. Schembri) was my Sophomore English teacher in high school. I’m currently a sophomore in college and I still look back on the talks and support Ms. Schembri gave us all! Also being my most memorable year in high school! Even after I was out of her class she still offered the same support. Regardless of her personal needs she was always there to tend for her students in any way she could! I have many positions memories and knowledge thanks to Ms. Schembri! She really is a life changer is the most beautiful ways!

Dale Sheehan Posted 8 months ago

Maria is a fantastic "teacher" in the traditional sense of the role, but goes above and beyond to address the needs of her students outside the academic realm. She takes the time to tune into the social emotional state of her students. Maria understands that if students are dealing with stressors outside of the average academic world, they will not be able to focus or function at their fullest potential. She is astute the the various social emotional supports on campus and takes the time to refer students that she feels may need additional support. Maria possesses a robust enthusiasm for providing the optimal environment for student learning. She creates a classroom atmosphere that is inviting to all students and maintains an open-door policy for any student that wishes to "hang-out" in her classroom during breaks and lunch. On any given day, her room is filled with a diverse group of students that feel most comfortable within the walls of the supportive environment she has created.

Jennifer Denney Posted 8 months ago

Maria Schembri has gone above and beyond to guide my son through sophomore English. He has always struggled in this department and she has given him every opportunity to improve. She is a Life Changing Teacher.