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Regional math teacher wins presidential award

Regional economic growth celebrated
February 1, 2014
Vivian Valencia, (fourth-grade math teacher at the San Juan Elementary School in Espanola) recently won the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Vivian Valencia, (fourth-grade math teacher at the San Juan Elementary School in Espanola) recently won the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

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  • Kurt Steinhaus
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In late December, Vivian Valencia, formerly a fourth-grade math teacher at the San Juan Elementary School in Espanola was notified of her selection for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The award's recognizes “… teachers who develop and implement a high-quality instructional program that is informed by content knowledge and enhances student learning.” The last time a Northern New Mexico teacher was recognized for the award was in 2004.

As a result of her win, Valencia (who now teaches at the Eutimio Tim Salazar II Elementary School in Espanola) will travel to Washington, D.C. later this year to accept her prize as well as attend a series of recognition and professional development events and receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation.

Valencia has benefited from Laboratory supported, teacher development programs including completion of the three-year-long Northern New Mexico Math and Science Academy (MSA), a cooperative program between MSA and New Mexico State University. She is currently enrolled in an educational leadership doctorate program at the University of New Mexico that was designed in conjunction with MSA to foster professional leadership for rural educators.

Founded in 2000 by the Northern New Mexico Council for Excellence in Education (NNMCEE) in partnership with Los Alamos National Laboratory, MSA was established to increase student learning and achievement by improving teacher practice. To learn more about the Math and Science Academy, visit its website.

Teacher nominations currently open

You can nominate math and science teachers (including computer science) working in grades kindergarten through sixth grade for the Presidential Award through April 1. To learn more about the program or submit a teacher for consideration, go to the organization’s website.

The National Science Foundation administers the program on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.


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