Your Neighbor: Meet Maria Kazakos
Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 5, 2019
By Mandy Haggerson
For the Clemmons Courier
Growing up in Roanoke, Virginia, Maria Kazakos always knew she wanted to have the balance of work and family life. Coming from a close family, she enjoyed the support she received when playing sports like soccer and volleyball, and excelling in academics.
Kazakos chose to study political science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. “I loved Virginia Tech,” recalls Kazakos. “I loved the football culture and the people.” During her freshman year, Maria also met her future husband, Ted, through a church youth group program. “We had to do the distance dating because he was studying at Appalachian State University,” recalls Maria.
The distance dating didn’t deter their dedication or commitment to each other. After proposing to Maria on the Blue Ridge Parkway towards the end of their college years, they both decided to pursue higher degrees. “I went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) for my master’s in education,” notes Kazakos. “Ted went to law school at Wake Forest, so the distance was much easier.” After graduating from UNC-CH, Kazakos began subbing at Reagan High School. “After a year of subbing, I began teaching history full time,” recalls Kazakos. “Reagan was amazing. I loved it. Working with the kids, building relationships, and seeing them grow and learn were very meaningful. Their staff was also fantastic.”
While Kazakos appreciated the relationships and impact she made as a teacher, she was also realizing that having young children (Ted and Maria’s first, Evangelia was born in 2011 and Konstantine in 2013) made it not as easy to manage while caring for them. “I realized that I wanted to be home more, but still maintain a professional career. I went back to school to get my real estate license at nighttime. I wanted to continue the interpersonal relationships in the community,” reflects Kazakos.
Maria credits her husband Ted with helping make that dream possible. “I always tell him that he is the better mother of the two of us,” jokes Maria. “Through this new career track, I was able to have even more flexibility with my kids while they were babies. I enjoyed selling real estate. I loved helping people through a big and exciting time, which can also be stressful. I wanted to make the process as stress-free as possible.”
After six years of learning the ins and outs of real estate at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Maria got a different opportunity. “I moved out of sales and onto the leadership team at Berkshire Hathaway. I started doing digital communications for the home office team,” mentions Kazakos. Her hard work and talents landed her the position of director of brand strategies for the statewide real estate company in July 2019.
While Kazakos is relishing in all of her roles, she truly cherishes the time she spends with her family (now a family of five, thanks to their youngest, Ruby). Whether it’s playing with their dog, Grover, or being extremely involved with their church, the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, there is never a lack for activities. “At this stage of our life, fun is at the soccer fields. We do day trips to Boone because we like to be active. But really and truly it’s time with the kids doing what they enjoy,” explains Kazakos.
Our neighbor has found a way to prioritize all the important things in her life. As the famous inventor, Thomas Edison noted, “Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.”