February 24, 2005
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Jennifer Chavez
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393

Nominate an Outstanding Teacher for Presidential Award

(Santa Fe, NM)—The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) is looking for outstanding 7-12 mathematics and science teachers for the 2005 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching — the nation’s highest honor for mathematics and science teachers.

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching Program was inaugurated in 1983 by the White House and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The program identifies exemplary mathematics and science teachers from kindergarten through 12th grade, in the 50 states and four U.S. jurisdictions. These teachers serve as models for their colleagues and as leaders in the improvement of science and mathematics education. Since the program was established 59 New Mexico teachers have been recipients of this prestigious award. Dr. Veronica C. García, New Mexico Secretary of Education said:

“Nominating teachers for these awards is an excellent opportunity for both the general public and school officials to recognize New Mexico’s outstanding math and science teachers. In New Mexico, where we have a very strong scientific and technical industry, we recognize the importance of properly preparing our students for entering this field of endeavor.”

Mathematics and science teachers in grades 7-12 are eligible to apply for the 2005 program cycle. Anyone (principals, teachers, students and other members of the general public) may nominate a teacher. Nomination forms are available at www.nsf.gov/pa. Submit your nomination as soon as possible. Teachers’ completed applications for the 2005 awards must be postmarked by May 2, 2005.

State and jurisdiction selection committees choose up to three mathematics and three science state-level finalists for recognition at the state level. Science teacher finalists for 2004 are Pita Martinez-McDonald, who teaches at Cuba Elementary School, and Mary Murray, who teaches at R. M. James Elementary School in Portales. Mathematics teacher finalists are Pamela Abreu, who teaches at Legion Park Elementary in Las Vegas, and Laurie Edeal, formerly a teacher at Taylor Middle School in Albuquerque. One math teacher and one science teacher from each state and territory will win the Presidential Award which will be awarded in Washington DC in April of 2005.

A national selection committee reviews applications of the state-level finalists and the President of the United States makes national awards. National Awardees receive a special citation signed by the President of the United States, a $10,000 award from National Science Foundation and a paid trip for two to Washington, D.C. to attend special recognition events.

Nominate an outstanding New Mexico mathematics or science teacher today. For more information visit www.nsf.gov/pa or contact Claudia Ahlstrom for mathematics at cahlstrom@ped.state.nm.us or Richard Reif for science at rreif@ped.state.nm.us.