Mary Smith grew up in West Virginia, spending her days exploring the woods, playing school, and reading National Geographic with her dad. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Ohio University. After graduating, Mary moved to Philadelphia, where she worked in several laboratories studying signal transduction and the role of specific biochemicals in cancer. While in Philadelphia, Mary earned her master’s degree in Molecular Pharmacology from Thomas Jefferson University. Her master’s thesis was on the role of the protein TRAIL on the disease process of asthma. Mary and her family moved to Asheville in 2001 and Mary focused her early time here raising her three small children.
Mary Smith came to FSI with eight years of teaching experience in non-traditional settings. She began her teaching career in 2011 teaching home-schooled middle-schoolers chemistry and physics. By 2014, she was also teaching high school chemistry and biology and tutoring college chemistry. Just before coming to FSI, Mary spent 2.5 years teaching physics and biology at a therapeutic boarding school. In these settings, Mary had many opportunities to hone her skills of meeting the needs of students with learning style differences. Teaching exceptional and twice-exceptional students is an area of interest for Mary, as many of her family members are twice-exceptional learners with dyslexia. Mary has completed graduate education courses at Western Carolina University and is currently working on a graduate program at Johns Hopkins University called Mind, Brain, and Teaching. Mary is dedicated to bringing research-backed pedagogy to her science classroom. She believes that all students can learn to be scientists, and she is passionate about bringing her love of the scientific process to her students. Mary is enthusiastic about the EL model and feels grateful to be teaching at FSI.
When Mary is not teaching and learning, she enjoys hiking and boating with her family, as well as music, dance, and theater. She and her husband, three children, and two dogs all love being outdoors. Mary’s oldest daughter is a junior in college; her son is a high school junior, and her youngest daughter is in 8th grade. Luckily, Mary is very fond of adolescents, as she is surrounded by them at home and school.