With more than 40 years of professional experience, Maria Farese Rendine had been a career switch mentor with Old Dominion University from 2005 to 2008. After her retirement from Fairfax County Public Schools in 2001, she has continued with the school system as substitute teacher and test proctor. She held a number of positions with FCPS, including theatre arts teacher mentor from 2001 to 2004, chair of the Fine Arts Department from 1999 to 2001 and an English, drama, speech and photojournalism teacher from 1982 to 2001. Earlier in her career, Ms. Rendine was the English Department chair and English and speech teacher with Wayne Township Schools in 1975, as well as a teacher with Bibb County Schools.
Ms. Rendine began her career as a student at Montclair State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1967. She continued her studies at Wright State University, completing postgraduate work. She subsequently completed postgraduate coursework at the University of Virginia and George Mason University. Ms. Rendine was certified as an English teacher in the States of New Jersey, Georgia, Florida and Ohio, and as an English, speech, public speaking and theatre arts teacher in Virginia.
A respected voice in her community, Ms. Rendine has been affiliated with a number of organizations in relation to her areas of expertise. The former president of the Theatre Arts Directors Association, she was a member of the Journalism Education Association, the Educational Theatre Association, the English Teachers Association of Northern Virginia, the Virginia Association of Teachers of English and the National Council of Teachers of English. She also served on curriculum writing teams for the majority of her career.
Among the many facets of Ms. Rendine’s accomplishments, she was known for bringing literature alive to her students by often dressing as the characters/authors in works of fiction or nonfiction, and performing as them. During the 10 years, she served as yearbook sponsor and photojournalism teacher, the publications under her guidance scored top honors from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. She also received an award citation from the VFW for her years of work with students in the Voice of Democracy Broadcast Scriptwriting Program.
One unique form of recognition Ms. Rendine received was the honor of having poems she composed commemorating and celebrating two unmanned rocket launches from Cape Canaveral printed on official NASA photographs for the Delta 180 and Delta Star launches in 1986 and 1989, respectively. Those documents were distributed to all the men and women who participated in those history making events.
Throughout her career, Ms. Rendine has been honored for her achievements. She was named a Poet of Merit by the American Poetry Association, for which she was also a grantee. The recipient of the Outstanding Achievement in Poetry Award from the International Society of Poets, she was also given the Editor’s Choice Award by the International Library of Poetry. Ms. Rendine has been featured in numerous honors publications, including multiple editions of Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Education.