Four NM Educators Named Finalists For Presidential Awards For Excellence In Mathematics And Science Teaching


Four New Mexico educators are state finalists for the prestigious Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching:

Math finalists:

  • Teresa Butcher of Laguna-Acoma High School, Grants/Cibola County Schools; 
  • Marila Mancha-Garcia of NextGen Academy High School, Albuquerque Public Schools;
  • Tara Palomares of Sandia High School, Albuquerque Public Schools

Science finalist:

  • Lesha Harenberg of Eldorado High School, Albuquerque Public Schools;

State finalists represent the most outstanding teachers New Mexico has to offer and serve as both a model and an inspiration to students and fellow teachers.

Each year, a national committee of prominent mathematicians, scientists, mathematics/science education researchers, district-level personnel and classroom teachers recommends up to 108 teachers to receive PAEMST awards. 

Up to two teachers—mathematics or science—from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Territories and schools operated in the United States and overseas by the Department of Defense Education Activity receive the award. 

Teachers who are selected as PAEMST awardees receive a trip to Washington, D.C., where they attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities. They also receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, a presidential certificate, and join an elite cohort of award-winning teachers who can influence state/jurisdiction and national STEM teaching.