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June 6, 2001
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Sandia National Laboratories/Lockheed Martin honor New Mexico science teachers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Science teachers from 11 metropolitan area high schools have received Excellence in Science Teaching awards from Sandia National Laboratories and Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMC). One of the 11, Lisa Durkin, who teaches science at Los Lunas High School, was selected as the Science Educator of the Year. She received a $500 cash award to be used in her classroom or lab. Each of the other 10 received $100 for classroom or lab use.

The other award winners were: Heather Scott, Eldorado; Judy Whitwell, Sandia; Peggy Dowdy, West Mesa; Kevin Gant, Del Norte; Gale Borkenhagen, Highland; Jason DeWitte, La Cueva; Jim Pirozzi, Rio Grande; Mark Walker, Career Enrichment Center; Jennifer Coughlin, Bernalillo; Jennifer Miyashiro, Rio Rancho.

The teachers were selected on the basis of their abilities to inspire student interest and enthusiasm about science, and to serve as role models and mentors to other science teachers in their schools. All regional public schools — from Bernalillo to Belen to Moriarty — were invited to participate in the program, which LMC funded as the start of an ongoing program.

Bruce McClure, Sandia project manager for the program, said it was developed to simply recognize outstanding science teachers as these individuals have the greatest impact on creating student excitement and interest in science.

“While it’s true that education — like any complex and diverse undertaking — needs improvement in some areas, there are many other areas of excellence,” said McClure. “And Sandia and Lockheed Martin developed the Excellence in Science Teaching program as a way of reminding our community that there are many dedicated, hard-working teachers in our public schools who are doing an excellent job of educating our children.”

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major research and development responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

Media contact:
Howard Kercheval, hckerch@sandia.gov, (505) 844-7842

Sandia contact:
Bruce McClure, gbmcclu@sandia.gov, (505) 845-7075

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