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Mary began her teaching career in a first grade classroom. Her first principal, Mr Peterson, introduced her to his son, and in June of 1976 she became Mrs. Peterson. For 30 years Mary taught all grades from K-6 in Utah, Colorado, Arizona and California.

For several years Mary was an adjunct professor for California State University. This is when her love of teaching teachers and soon-to-be teachers began. Currently she conducts seminars internationally for the Bureau of Education and Research (BER). She also teaches professional development for teachers at schools and conferences across the country.