On Monday, June 24th, the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce awarded Thornburg Foundation Early Childhood Education Policy Officer Dr. Michael Weinberg and United Way of Santa Fe President Katherine Freeman the “Excellence in Education” award for their work to help establish the Early Childhood Education and Care Department.  The Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce also named the establishment of the Department as one of the signature achievements of the last legislative session.

“No two individuals were more critical to identifying the need for this new department and building a broad coalition of stakeholders in favor of it than Michael Weinberg of the Thornburg Foundation and Katherine Freeman of the United Way of Santa Fe County,” said Dr. Paul Roth, Former Chairman and Board member of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce.  “They are consensus builders, and like us, they want results for our kids.  They want every child to be prepared to enter kindergarten, ready to learn… safe… and healthy.”

“The groundwork to develop the policy concept of the Early Childhood Education and Care Department and the extensive community outreach and policy advancement, were an enormous effort led by both Michael and Katherine.  We are delighted to see them recognized for their roles in helping advance the concept of the department and educating the public on the need to provide better coordination of early childhood services,” said Allan Oliver, Executive Director of the Thornburg Foundation.