May 14, 2015
Danielle McNamara
(510) 987-0230

Press Release


Lourdes Sanchez, a math teacher at Morse High School, in San Diego received the High School Advisor of the Year Award from a statewide math and science program.


Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) honored Sanchez for her outstanding work in assisting educationally disadvantaged students to excel in math and science. The Mary Perry Smith award is named after an Oakland Tech high school teacher in the late 1960s who became a co-founder of MESA.


Sanchez was selected from among MESA teachers representing more than 120 high schools in California. She’s been a MESA advisor for eight years.


The MESA program at Morse High School is coordinated by the MESA Schools Program at San Diego State University to support educationally disadvantaged students prepare for college in math-based majors. Morse High is in the San Diego Unified School District; seventy-seven percent of Morse High students received free or reduced lunch.


“She pushes her students to become aware of their potential to strive for more,” SDSU MESA director Luis Topete said. “From college expos and workshops to STEM professional guest speakers, Ms. Sanchez is actively searching for opportunities. Students might initially not see having a STEM career as rewarding, but with her efforts, students become motivated to know more about college and STEM.”


MESA is one of the largest programs in California to support educationally disadvantaged students so they can graduate from college with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees. MESA provides academic support and enrichment to more than 18,000 K-12 students and more than 7,800 community college and 4-year college students each year. Most MESA students are economically disadvantaged, the first in their families to attend college and attend underperforming schools.


For more information about Ms. Sanchez contact Luis Topete at or (619) 594-0310. For more information about MESA, visit or on Twitter @MESASTEM.