PRESS RELEASE - February 4, 2004
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

Albuquerque to Host the World's Largest Conference On the Education of Bilingual Students

(Santa Fe, NM)--Thousands of teachers, administrators, parents and policymakers will converge on the Albuquerque Convention Center and Hyatt Hotel today through February 7 for the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) 2004 professional development conference. The annual event features work from a variety of experts and educators from all over the world.

The NABE conference is the premier event for educators of English language learners. This year marks the 33rd NABE conference. It will draw upwards of 5,000 people. Participants will have the opportunity to choose from over 400 concurrent professional workshops. NABE will also host five plenary forums and will honor New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman as Citizen of the Year and Flora Estela Sánchez as the Teacher of the Year. In addition, conference attendees will be able to visit the wide array of Bilingual Education programs that are offered in the Albuquerque and Bernalillo public schools.

“New Mexico lives up to its name as the ‘Land of Enchantment’ and is a state rich in culture and history. Bilingualism is a way of life in New Mexico. The setting and locale of this wonderful city will surely make the conference a success,” said Delia Pompa, NABE executive director.

“NABE and Albuquerque have a long history together and we’re glad to be back here celebrating Bilingual Education,” said Dr. Josefina Villamil Tinajero, NABE Executive Board president.

Confirmed speakers include Bilingual Education scholar Stephen Krashen of the University of Southern California and Charles García, author of A Message from García: Yes, You Can Succeed. Chauncey Veatch, the 2002 National Teacher of the Year, will also be in attendance to deliver the keynote address at the closing gala.

The population of non-native English speaking students is booming throughout the entire country, and NABE is confident that its conference will assist in preparing teachers all over America for the challenges that lie ahead of them.

The New Mexico Association for Bilingual Education and the Public Education Department (PED) are serving on various committees to host this event. Students from Bilingual Education programs across the state will also have the opportunity to share with the nation their language skills, arts and culture during the Spanish Spelling Bee, World Languages Festival and the Native American Language Festival.

The PED’s State Bilingual Education director, Dr. Gladys Herrera-Gurulé, said, “Although New Mexico has been recognized as a national leader in supporting Bilingual Education, our state will have a new opportunity to showcase nationally its schools, students and teachers at this conference.”

For information, please contact David Castillo III at (202) 898-1829, Ext. 105, or http://www.nabe.org/.