Maria was born in 1943 in London, of Greek Cypriot parentage. She is bilingual, speaking Greek and English. After leaving school, she studied Law but did not continue to qualify as a solicitor but instead became a qualified teacher.
Having had a dyslexic son, she later became interested in dyslexia and specialised in teaching children with special needs, mainly dyslexia. In the 1980s she started up a voluntary Saturday school for dyslexic children for the Merton Dyslexia Society. She taught teachers at the Hornsby Centre on the BDA (British Dyslexia Association) and RSA courses. Maria has used her specialist teaching in many sectors including, private schools, state primary and secondary schools and teaching statemented children.
Maria met Derek Piggott in 1974 when he taught her to fly gliders. She holds a Diamond for gliding and a Private Pilots Licence with about 200 hrs mainly flying vintage, open cockpit aeroplanes. Maria has found it very difficult to continue teaching whilst being a carer for Derek.
Maria found herself being a single parent bringing up a son from the age of two and has juggled several part time jobs including teaching, property management, bed and breakfasts and sales. Here interests are flying and opera.