May 5, 2005
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Jennifer Chavez
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393

White House Honors Two New Mexico Teachers
at Presidential Award Ceremony

( Santa Fe, NM)—On April 16 th, the recipients of the 2005 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching — the nation’s highest honor for mathematics and science teachers, were recognized in a White House ceremony. Ms. Pamela Abreu, who teaches mathematics at Legion Park Elementary in Las Vegas, New Mexico and Ms. Pita Martinez-McDonald who teaches science at Cuba Elementary School were the teachers selected from New Mexico to be honored in Washington DC.

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 12 th 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:

“I am proud of Ms. Abreu and Ms Martinez-McDonald; their passion in the fields of math and science is outstanding. I hope their example will stimulate the creativity of other teachers and help attract more people in New Mexico to the mathematics and science teaching profession.”

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. Presidential Awardees will also receive an array of teaching tools including: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has contributed study kits that will give students and up-close view of tsunamis; overhead projectors from 3M will add a whole new visual aspect to lessons; the JASON Foundation for Education is providing engaging math and science curricular materials focusing on the Titanic and aquatic field studies.


For more information contact Claudia Ahlstrom for mathematics at or Richard Reif for science at