Deputy Minister Maria Gaidarova is among the first innovators in the secondary education system in Bulgaria. Since 1998, she has been managing “Rayna Knyaginya” Primary school in Plovdiv – officially recognized by the Ministry of Education and Science as one of the first innovative schools in the country. She is the initiator of the project “Innovative Schools” of the Municipality of Plovdiv and of “World Education Forum Bulgaria”. Gaidarova is a three-time winner of the honorary award “Neofit Rilski” of the Minister of Education for high professional achievements – in 2008, 2014 and 2020. In 2014 she also won the prize “Director of the Year” at the national competition of the Bulgarian Union of Teachers.