Maria Haug, an Upvalley native, attended St. Helena public schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. She received a double major in economics and international relations from UC Davis then served five years in the U.S. Army as a Russian and German linguist. In 1994 she received her master’s degree in policy studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She then went to work at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden. She met and married her Swiss husband in The Netherlands. They moved to Switzerland in 1996 and she worked in disarmament research at the University of Geneva.
In 2004, she returned to St. Helena to manage the family vineyard and care for her elderly parents. She currently works in the hospitality industry and as a substitute teacher’s aide for the Napa County Office of Education. She and her husband continue to grow and sell grapes from the family vineyard, a tradition that began when her family came to Napa Valley in the 1940s. They also sell their sustainable farm’s produce at the St. Helena Farmer’s Market.
She has served on the Board since 2011, inspired by the public service of her father, Keith Bowers, who served 12 years on the St. Helena Unified School District School Board in the 1970s and 1980s. Her two daughters attend/attended St. Helena public schools. Her oldest graduated in 2014 and went on to receive a BS in Electrical Engineering and now works for the Department of Energy. Her youngest is in the Class of 2021. Their academic and career success is due to the strong foundation they received from their teachers at SHUSD.
She has devoted numerous volunteer hours in the classroom and is deeply committed to ensuring that all students receive a well-rounded education that allows them to compete in a global economy.