“Julia and Henry light up when they see Mrs. Burke. Not only do they get to explore with multiple mediums, but Mrs. Burke helps develop language skills to be able to talk about their process and work. Best of all, they have fun!”

— Michelle F.
     Washington, D.C. Parent



Maria teaches Secondary Visual Arts in Arlington Public Schools, where she has taught for eleven years, including Discovery Elementary — a net-zero energy school, where she found her passion for sustainability. Maria has served as a Mentor and Lead Art Teacher in Arlington Public Schools.  In 2019, she embarked on an educational adventure to teach Creative Arts & Design at the global startup Whittle School & Studios in Washington, D.C., where she taught art, design thinking and project-based learning.  Maria is an active member and presenter at the Virginia Art Education Association (VAEA) and National Art Education Association (NAEA) conferences. She is the recipient of the Artistic Excellence Award at George Mason University in 2009 and the 2011 Robert Rauschenberg Power of Art award from the Lab School of Washington. She has served as Part-time Adjunct Faculty at George Mason University’s MAT in Art Education program where she taught the course "Teaching Visual Thinking Through Media, PK-12." Maria holds a postgraduate professional teaching certification from the Commonwealth of Virginia, which is valid through June 1, 2029. In 2019, she attended the Loris Malaguzzi International Centre to study the Reggio Emilia Approach®. She also completed the Stanford Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.School) K12 Lab for educators. Other influential professional development experiences include: The Cloud Institute's Curriculum Design program and Constructing Modern Knowledge Summer Institute. The soon to be published NAEA book, "Real Lives 21: Showcasing the Stories of Art Educators and Contemporary Learning" by Jeff Broome, PhD and Renee Sandell, PhD, will feature a chapter on Maria's art teaching journey. 





Sustainability Through Art

School Arts, March 2021.

Making an Impact on Sustainability through Art, 

Whittle School and Studios blog, June 2020.


Design for Play: A Creative Arts & Design Project,

Whittle School and Studios blog, April 2020.

Maria C. Burke. Book Review: The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability—Designing for Abundance.

Green Schools National Network, Catalyst Quarterly, March 2018.


Maria C. Burke (2017). Students Soar with Experts in Design Thinking Challenge. Unpublished article,
Green Schools National Network, Catalyst Quarterly, 2018.


Maria C. Burke (2019). Art & Biomimicry Collide to Create “Nature’s Hideout”.

Green Schools National Network, Catalyst Quarterly, April, 2019.

See previous work done at Discovery Elementary + Whittle School & Studios:

2017-2020 Design Challenge HundrED listing