Currently, in her 21st year teaching in the Diocese of Arlington, Mary Briody has always had a love for computers. She can still recall the early days of coding, including using asterisks to create Christmas trees and the first instant messenger systems.
During her undergraduate at Georgetown, she decided to switch from math to computer science.
“Even though I took math classes in college, I loved computer science because you found answers and solutions and actually produced something,” she said. “One day it dawned on me that I wanted to combine my love for computers with my passion for education. At the time, I didn’t see it as a complete career switch, but more as a bend in the road.”
After graduating from Georgetown, she worked at American Management Systems for several years before beginning her career with Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) as a technology assistant. However, Sister Anne McGreevy, OSB wanted to hire her at Our Lady of Good Counsel (OLGC) School in Vienna, VA, where her daughter was enrolled.
“I had just signed my contract at FCPS for the next school year, and I told Sister Anne I could only work a few days during the week,” she said. “She took whatever I could give her, though. What took years in Fairfax County took only a few minutes with Sister Anne!”
She began working in the classroom and assumed additional responsibilities as a technology support assistant. Eventually, she fully transitioned into an administrative role as the IT director and served in the position for two years.
“I got into administration at OLGC, but I found myself missing the classroom,” she said. “I saw an opening at Bishop Ireton for a Computer Science teacher, and I knew the department chair, Susan Connors, from attending the Diocesan Technology Coordinator meetings.”
Both the parish and the school at OLGC are currently staffed by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, and Mary knew several of the Oblates during her time at the school.
“When I came in for my interview, I said a prayer in the chapel and saw that it’s named after St. Francis de Sales,” she said. “I recognized the photos of past principals Fr. Matthew Hillyard and Fr. William Metzger on the school walls. It felt like a real fit coming to a Salesian school.”
Her favorite Salesian quote from St. Jane de Chantal is “Doing little things with great love makes them truly great.” She is also a huge D.C. sports fan and regularly cheers on the Redskins, Capitals, Nationals, and Wizards. Her fun fact is that her husband proposed to her on the roof of Dahlgren Chapel at Georgetown University. He asked her to be his “teammate for life.”