Maria Schell, Principal
Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy is in its sixth year, and the growth over six years is nothing short of amazing. GPFAA holds the best state assessment scores in the district and in the state. GPFAA's fine art strands are bringing home state championships, national awards, and now international medals. Strands have traveled to numerous states to perform and compete such as New York, Tennessee, Washington DC, New Mexico, Colorado, California, Nebraska, and Florida. During the 2016-2017 school year, GPFAA officially went international by traveling to Italy and Scotland. GPFAA has brought in over 500 guest artists in the past five years and made connections all over the world. Overall enrollment has grown from 300 in year one to the 900 students in 2018-2019.
Being a principal is a ministry that I am extremely passionate about, and I could not imagine myself doing anything else. I am a servant leader who wants to see every GPFAA student succeed not only while at GPFAA but far beyond. We prepare them for challenges, support them through struggles, and love them always. GPFAA is a unique school with dedicated loving teachers, supportive parents, and crazy amazing students. Our vision is “Extraordinary by Design” because we want all of our students to embrace how important it is to be intentionally unique.
Welcome to GPFAA. Please let me know if I can assist you in any way.
Maria Schell was raised and educated in the Duncanville, Texas public school system. She then earned a full-scholarship to Iowa State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Education degree. Ms. Schell grew up knowing she wanted to be a teacher and her teaching experience includes all levels: elementary, middle, and high school, even a few years coaching at the university level. While teaching English and coaching at South Grand Prairie High School Ms. Schell earned her master’s degree at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.
Ms. Schell has been in GPISD since the 2000-2001 school year. She taught at SGP and has been an administrator at SGP, Dubiski, and GPFAA. Ms. Schell opened SGP Ninth Grade Center as a teacher, Dubiski as an assistant principal and Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy as the principal.
Ms. Schell has an 11-year-old daughter, Ally, who will be a 6th grader at Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy. "Being a mom is the greatest challenge of my life and the most rewarding," says Schell.