McDaniel Alumna Teaches Students to be Writers

Amber Slater

Staff Reporter

Mary Kay Nevius-Maurer is a McDaniel graduate who turns high school students into confident writers who, through academic and personal preparation, are ready to transition into college life.

MaurerOver the years, she has earned nicknames such as Devious Nevius and Chairman Mau. She is Mary Kay Nevius-Maurer, and her reputation precedes her.

She is a veteran teacher. For thirty-five years, Maurer has taught high school English. “My job is different every day,” she comments. “How many other jobs are like that?”

Though she has taught the entire spectrum of high school English courses, she most notably instructs a class which combines AP English Literature and Composition and AP English Language and Composition. Upon taking this course and passing the required tests, many of her students enter college at junior-level English.

She is an alumnus. Before perfecting the art of teaching, Mrs. Maurer attended college at McDaniel. She also received two awards from her alma mater after graduating.

“To be rewarded by the college you graduated from is touching. I received one award when my daughter, Amber, was due in two weeks. I really filled out that cap and gown.”

Amber went on to graduate from McDaniel in 2009.

She is understanding, yet demanding. Mrs. Maurer admits that in high school, she “sat, smiled, and got A’s.” She expects students to leave her class, however, with more than a grin on their face. “I want my students to be thinking human beings. I want them to be open-minded, but not manipulated.”

She is a friend. Because she sees her students as more than the scores on their AP tests, many stay in touch after graduation. Though she primarily receives emails and visits when students first begin college and during breaks, Maurer hears from some students several years after their graduation. For example, she recently received “an email from a student who is over 40 years old.”

She is a guide. “I want my students to be able to write no matter what their field,” Maurer explains. “It’s important to be able to express yourself clearly because writing is a reflection of who you are.” Through constant assignments and feedback, Maurer helps students to gain the maturity and confidence necessary to enter the world of college writing.

“The nicest thing students have to share is the revelation of all their hard work. They come back to me and say, ‘Look, I do know how to write!’”

She is a realist. “Not everyone can teach. Forget that line.” For future teachers, her advice is short and simple: “If you don’t love it, don’t do it.”

Mary Kay Neviius-Mauer is a veteran, understanding and demanding. She is a friend, a guide, a realist.

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