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April 16, 2002

Roswell Teacher Heidi Huckabee Named Christa McAuliffe Fellow; Receives $25,000 Fellowship

(Santa Fe, NM)-State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael J. Davis announced today that Heidi Huckabee, a teacher at Mesa Middle School in Roswell, has been named the 2002 Christa McAuliffe Fellow for New Mexico.

"In selecting Heidi Huckabee for this award, we were greatly impressed by her desire to enable students to become viable and participating members of their community. Her desire to improve literacy through a variety of student-produced publications is highly innovative and links directly to our standards-based school improvement agenda. Heidi has a wealth of knowledge to share about quality educational practices and classroom instruction. It is a tremendous honor to name her as the 2002 Christa McAuliffe Fellow," said State Superintendent Davis.

Huckabee was selected as New Mexico's Christa McAuliffe Fellow by a five-member committee appointed by the State Department of Education, including a previous Christa McAuliffe Fellow. As part of her recognition, Huckabee will receive a $25,000 fellowship to complete post-graduate studies. "Obtaining this degree will better enable me to service my students by opening doors for us to become writers and researchers in our community," she said.

Robert Cobos, principal at Mesa Middle School and Huckabee's supervisor for the past 10 years, said, "She understands the importance of education and broadening her own horizons for new methods of teaching. She is honest, hardworking, involved, professional and a life-long learner."

Huckabee received a Master of Arts in English in 1998 from Eastern New Mexico University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Eastern New Mexico University in 1991. She has produced numerous publications, including South Park Cemetery: Exploring Roswell's Roots in 2001 and Straight from the Heart of Roswell: A Backward Glance in 1998.

Congress established the Christa McAuliffe Fellowship in 1986 in memory of Christa McAuliffe, the New Hampshire teacher who served as an astronaut on the space shuttle Challenger in January 1986. The program honors experienced classroom teachers who love to teach and who are innovators and mentors. The Council of Chief State School Officers provides funding for the program through a U.S. Department of Education grant. Fourteen people in New Mexico have been named Christa McAuliffe Fellows.