Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Lab’s Math and Science Academy partners with Pojoaque Valley School District

New Mexico Highlands University will also collaborate on the teacher education program.
October 2, 2017
Students prepare their car to race at last year’s Electric Car Challenge held at Albuquerque’s Van Buren Middle School.

Lorenzo Gonzales from the Lab's MSA program works with teachers at the recent Ir-Rational Number Institute. Under the Partnership School Initiative, teachers from Pojoaque Valley School District took part in the Institute, which was also attended by teachers from six other school districts.CREDIT: David Moore


  • Director, Community Partnerships Office
  • Kathy Keith
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“This is a unique opportunity for our State and we welcome the challenge.” - Sam Minner

The Laboratory’s Math and Science Academy (MSA) has selected Pojoaque Valley School District (PVSD) to be the partnership school for its new teacher education program.

“The aim of the Partner School Initiative is to develop a model for elementary education where pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, and principals have opportunities to continually improve their practices,” says MSA Education Specialist Lorenzo Gonzales.

New Mexico Highlands University has been selected as the higher education partner in the program, which marks an expansion of the professional development work MSA has done for area teachers for 16 years.

 “Bringing together all our experience into one school will allow us to have more impact,” Gonzales says.

Pre-service teachers studying at Highlands will complete their required classroom experience at PVSD, while the educators currently teaching there will work with the MSA to learn best-practice approaches to math and science education.

“I am pleased that the Pojoaque Valley School District was selected as the Partnership School,” says Melville Morgan, Superintendent of Pojoaque Valley Schools. “The innovative opportunity to partner with Los Alamos National Laboratory and New Mexico Highlands University will help us to further develop the capacity of our teachers and leaders, for the benefit of our students. This is an exciting time for our community.”

The first step in this initiative has already taken place, with Pojoaque Valley Middle School teachers attending the MSA’s recent Ir-Rational Number Institute held at Northern New Mexico College.


MSA Education Specialist Zach Leonard works with teachers at the Ir-Rational Number Institute.

“New Mexico Highlands University is proud to have been selected as the Higher Education Institution partner for this new Partnership School initiative. This type of partnership is in line with one of the University’s strategic goals that pertains to community partnerships,” says Sam Minner, president of New Mexico Highlands University.

“The opportunity to work with the Pojoaque Valley School District and Los Alamos National Laboratory in an effort to enhance the education of pre-service and in-service teachers in a school setting will ensure that our teachers are prepared to go into classrooms ready to meet the needs of our students. This is a unique opportunity for our State and we welcome the challenge.”