ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Holy Ghost Catholic School in Albuquerque was honored Friday as the first school in the state and first Catholic school in the country to earn a National Certificate for STEM Excellence from the National Institute for STEM Education in Houston.
A school must have at least five teachers earn the National Certificate for STEM Teaching in order to qualify for this ward. At Holy Ghost, 10 teachers earned this certification, school officials said.
Based on professional development curriculum originally created at Rice University, these particular campus and individual certifications recognize implementation of evidence-based STEM instructional strategies.
“Working with the National Institute for STEM Education has moved our school to the next level of excellence,” Dr. Noreen Duffy Copeland, Holy Ghost principal, said in a statement.
STEM refers to the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math.
Mayor Tim Keller, in a statement about the award, said, “Our ability to prepare the next generation of Albuquerque’s workforce – our future leaders, workers, and entrepreneurs – is a significant factor in what this community can become. Our young people need to have all the skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics that will equip them to succeed in an economy that is rapidly changing and innovative.”
NMPED Cabinet Secretary Karen Trujillo, also in a prepared statement, said, “Effective STEM Education isn’t just about the content we teach, but how we teach it. How the teacher guides discussion and how students build understanding are key components of effective teaching and learning in STEM. I am excited to see what they are doing at Holy Ghost.”
Invited guests to the ceremony included Trujillo; Aaron Nieto, representing Mayor Tim Keller; Sofia Sanchez, representing U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland; State Auditor Brian Colón; state Sens. Mimi Stewart and Gerald Ortiz y Pino; Susan Murphy, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe Catholic School superintendent; Dr. Judy Zimny, vice president of the National Institute of STEM Education; and Rev. Hyginus Anuta, pastor of Holy Ghost.