Receiving the Presidential Award is an incredible opportunity to validate the unending support I have received from my mentors, colleagues, administrators, and community—all who share the same vision for our students. This recognition will provide me with a platform to return that support and encouragement to other teachers who share a passion for empowering all of our students through computer science.

Melody Hagaman Las Cruces, NM | 7-12, Science, 2019

The official biography below was current at the time of the award.

Melody Hagaman has been an educator for 10 years and has spent the last eight of those years teaching science and computer science at Centennial High School. She previously taught integrated science at Picacho Middle School for two and a half years. Melody currently teaches 9th-12th grade Introductory Computer Science , Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles, e-Textiles and Programmable Fashion Design (e-Textiles), and AP Computer Science A. Melody’s work in promoting computer science education has led to the creation of a computer science task force in her district. Engaging students through cross-curricular lessons is Melody's passion. She developed the e-Textiles course to introduce students from underrepresented groups to the creative side of computer science and physics. Once a year, Melody’s classes host a wearable technology fashion show to educate the community on the power of computer programming and to showcase all of the students’ projects. In her work as a facilitator for Project Growing Up Thinking Scientifically (GUTS), CompThink, and Lighthouse Tapestry, Melody leads professional development to help empower other teachers of all courses to incorporate computer science and e-Textiles into their lessons. As secretary for the New Mexico Computer Science Teachers Association, Melody helped organize her state's first two computer science professional development weeks, as well as legislate policy for the local support of computer science educators and students. She is a 2017 Golden Apple Excellence in Teaching awardee. Melody earned an B.S. in science education from New Mexico State University and an M.S. in science education from Walden University. She is a certified high school science teacher with a specialization in technology instruction.