Maria Theodore '19

Maria Theodore '19

Black and Orange Yearbook (Chief Editor)
Voice Magazine (Editor)
Benelli Writing Center Fellow
Classics Club
Environmental Club
Global Scholar
Cum Laude Society

Hometown: Quincy
Attending: Harvard University

How has Thayer influenced you both as a student and as a person?

I have learned about the importance of balance. At Thayer, while academics is the main emphasis, athletics and the arts play a significant role in our lives as well. I feel that the students here are happier because of this. It is a scale that never tips too far one way. In the future, this balanced approach will serve me well as I hope to maintain my creative interests and my athletic endeavors with my academic pursuits. 

What was your most challenging class?

Looking back, I think Geometry was the most challenging subject material for me, especially the first semester. It was very visual and 3D-oriented, which was a complete shift from the formulaic-based algebra I had done in previous years. With a subject that seemed almost impossible to grasp at first, in the end, I was tackling those proofs without a problem. This class improved my logic and critical thinking skills towards math problems. 

Who is your favorite teacher at Thayer?

Through my years here, I have gotten to know many teachers, many of whom I could say are my favorite. One teacher, however, who is my absolute favorite is Ms. Schneider (or Mrs. Smith now!). She was the main reason I really started to enjoy Latin. Each day in class, she would come in with such a positive energy. She would tell us stories of her journeys to Latin villas, share Latin songs and poems, show us real-world connections to Latin, and make this language interesting and enjoyable to learn about. I would always love to drop by her office because she is such an approachable and supportive teacher. Each time I talk with her, I learn something new. 

What do you plan to study in college and why?

I am certainly looking to test the waters, but I am hoping to continue Classics and also to pursue Environmental Science at Harvard University. 

What will you miss most about Thayer Academy?

I will miss its unique traditions. Cheering on your grade in Winter Wars, passing by the Benelli Writing Center, reading through the Voice magazine, lying down on the teardrop, and greeting Murph at his desk — these things are what make Thayer, Thayer. I will certainly miss it all. 

What’s an interesting fact about you that most people don’t know?

I am a Greek Folk Dancer. For 11 or so years now, I have been part of a Boston-based dance troupe. We practice and perform various traditional dances from hundreds of years ago from the different regions of Greece. I'm also a competitive fencer and medaled in the Junior Olympic Fencing National Championships.

What is your most memorable Thayer experience?

My most memorable Thayer experience would have to be creating the 2019 Black and Orange Yearbook. This year, I was the Chief Editor of the yearbook, and holding that amazing final product in my hands when it arrived on campus was such a gratifying experience. Yearbook is a crucial aspect of the school, so it was important to me that it was perfect. The number of hours poured into that book was truly remarkable, whether it be fixing small details, following up with emails, managing deadlines, finding photos, designing layouts, etc. I cannot thank Ms. Blanco enough for guiding this book along the way, even when we thought the whole world was crashing down as we neared deadlines. Seeing everyone’s face light up when they saw the yearbooks was a gratifying feeling.

Who inspires you the most?

I have been lucky to have many role models in my life. However, one person who inspires me the most is my dad. Three main characteristics that I admire in him are his passion, drive, and humility. He is passionate about his work and goes about it with such great drive, doing it each day to the best of his ability but humbly. All three of these characteristics I try to emulate.  

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

One of my favorite quotes is “Hard, honest work reaps rewards,” said by Hesiod.  Whatever situation I am in, I always try to follow this advice. If there is a goal I am striving for, I need to work for it, and there is no way around it. It’s hard to beat someone who never gives up. 

In what grade did you start Thayer, and what advice would you have given yourself on that first day?

I started Thayer in the sixth grade. A piece of advice I would have given myself on the first day would be to take each day one day at a time. Never did I think that seven years would fly by so quickly and that I would now be graduating. Though there may be some stressful days along the way, take each day one at a time.