LANL Teams With Pojoaque To Boost Teacher Prep

by Staff Reporter / Nov 01, 2017 / comments
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. Courtesy photo

LANL Teams With Pojoaque To Boost Teacher Prep

Pojoaque Valley School District has been selected from several applicants to be the partnership school district with Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Math and Science Academy in creating a 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 also 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.

Under the new partnership, 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 Mel 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 in Española.

“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.

About Los Alamos National Laboratory (www.lanl.gov)

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, BWX Technologies, Inc. and URS Corporation for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health and global security concerns.