Laboratory teams with Pojoaque to boost teacher prep

New Mexico Highlands University to help implement best-practices for math and science education

October 31, 2017

Lorenzo Gonzales from the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Math and Science Academy 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.

Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Math and Science Academy has selected Pojoaque Valley School District as the partnership school for its new teacher education program.

“The aim of the Partnership 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 teaching practices,” said Lorenzo Gonzales, education specialist with the academy.

New Mexico Highlands University has been selected as the higher education partner for the program, which marks an expansion of the teacher professional development work the Math and Science Academy has carried out in northern New Mexico for 16 years.

Pre-service teachers studying at Highlands will complete their required classroom experience at Pojoaque Valley Schools, while the educators currently teaching there will work with the academy 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,” said 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 Math and Science Academy’s recent Ir-Rational Number Institute held at Northern New Mexico College.

New Mexico Highlands University is proud to have been selected as the higher education institution partner for this new Partnership School initiative. The opportunity to work with the Pojoaque Valley School District and Los Alamos National Laboratory 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.” said Sam Minner, president of New Mexico Highlands University.

“STEM education is crucial to the future of the region and the future of Los Alamos National Laboratory, and we are delighted we can collaborate with our K-12 and higher education partners to bring a groundbreaking model of teacher professional development to New Mexico,” said Kathy Keith, director of the Laboratory’s Community Partnerships Office.