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MIND Research Institute Honors Marian Bergeson, Cisco, PwC, Students and Educators Who Are "Breaking the Barrier" in Math Education

Irvine, Calif., Nov 14, 2013 The nonprofit MIND Research Institute will present its highest honor, the Gordon L. Shaw Lifetime Achievement Award, to former California State Secretary of Education Marian Bergeson this month. PricewaterhouseCoopers, Cisco, Principal Bettye Johnson, and students Alejandro and César Herrera will also be honored for their commitment to math education.

"These leaders in policy, business and education are pioneering efforts to reimagine math education," said Ted Smith, chairman and CEO of MIND Research Institute. "We are honored to recognize their commitment to providing students the groundbreaking technology necessary to succeed today and to become the next generation of innovators and problem solvers."

The awards will be presented at MIND Research's Breaking the Barrier! 2013 Awards Celebration on Nov. 23 at The Island Hotel in Newport Beach. Co-hosted by Dina and Emile Haddad, the annual awards celebration will raise money to support the expansion of educational programs that help students succeed in math – a common barrier to educational and career success.

Gordon L. Shaw Lifetime Achievement Award – Marian Bergeson
Marian Bergeson began her career as a teacher in the 1950s before her election to the Newport Mesa School Board launched her into politics. When she became a state senator in 1984, she broke a barrier, becoming the first woman to have served in both houses of the California legislature. Throughout her years in politics, she remained actively involved in education issues, and an elementary school in Laguna Niguel was named after her in 1986. In 1996, she was appointed the California State Secretary of Education. It was during her service as Secretary of Education that she was introduced to MIND Research Institute and the ST Math program. After visiting schools and studying the research and work of the organization's founders, Bergeson became a dedicated supporter and board member of the nonprofit – both roles she continues today.

The Gordon L. Shaw Lifetime Achievement Award is named for the late MIND co-founder, who conducted 30 years of seminal brain research at the University of California, Irvine before launching the nonprofit to expand access to ST Math.

National Partner in Innovation – Cisco
A global leader in networking technology, Cisco is committed to making a positive impact on health and education globally. Cisco and the Cisco Foundation began their partnership with MIND Research Institute in 2004 with a grant to support the expansion of the ST Math program in two high-needs schools. Since then, they have donated, both in cash and in-kind technology grants, more than $3 million to MIND's expansion efforts and program and technology development. Their support enabled MIND to make ST Math fully web-deliverable, launched online professional development programming and equipped MIND with a state-of-the-art data center. Most recently, Cisco helped launch multi-school implementations of ST Math in Arizona and Virginia, leading to double and triple the rate of growth on state math tests at participating schools.

Corporation of the Year – PwC
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is focused on making a large-scale impact to create positive change around the globe. In 2009, PwC recognized the potential of MIND Research Institute's programs to help them achieve one of their primary focuses: improving financial literacy among youth and building strong communities. To date, PwC has invested more than $1 million in MIND Research, enabling the organization to rapidly expand its reach on a national scale. In addition to grant funding, PwC established an employee volunteer program out of its New York offices to train their volunteers on ST Math and place them in New York City classrooms to work with students using ST Math. PwC has also invested in MIND's professional development activities, and in the launch of ST Math in cities like Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Seattle.

Principal of the Year – Bettye Johnson
Betty Johnson is a career educator who served as principal of Western Avenue Elementary School for more than 13 years. Nestled in a high-poverty, low-performing area of Los Angeles, Western Avenue faced significant challenges, including a large population of English Language Learners, special needs learners, and an entire student body that qualified for federal free or reduced lunches. Johnson implemented several academic programs to improve the school's performance and enhance students' educational experience, including the adoption of ST Math – which was made possible thanks to philanthropic support from MIND Research Institute supporters Bill and Susan Bloomfield. Since committing to implementing ST Math with fidelity in 2010, the proportion of Western Avenue students proficient or advanced on the California Standards Test have increased from less than 39% to more than 58%.

Students of the Year – Alejandro and César Herrera
Sixth graders at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Anaheim, California, identical twins Alejandro and César Herrera are star pupils. For the last four years both boys have scored in the top percentile in math, science and language arts. César received a perfect score in math on the California Standards Test (CST). Alejandro is drawn to ST Math because he likes the challenge games, and thanks to ST Math's beloved penguin JiJi, he says he "loves math because it's easy to learn." César also likes the challenge games in the visually-based software, and has made it to the highest levels of Kickbox and Big Seed, which regularly stump adults. In 2012, both boys finished 100% of the ST Math curriculum, proving their deep understanding of the math concepts found in the games. César aspires to apply his mathematical skills as an architect someday. In addition to a love of learning, Alejandro enjoys making music and learning new songs, and both boys love to play soccer and basketball.

About the Breaking the Barrier! 2013 Awards Celebration
The annual gala will be co-hosted by Dina and Emile Haddad, who is president and CEO of real estate management company FivePoint Communities. Emceed by Maria Hall-Brown, the evening will feature awards presentations, videos, silent and live auctions, as well as opportunities to bid on private dinners with "Great MINDs" such as Dr. Francisco J. Ayala and Dr. Hana Ayala; Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez; and MIND co-founder Dr. Matthew Peterson. Diamond Sponsors of the event include Microsemi and FivePoint Communities and Great Park Neighborhoods. Those interested in attending or supporting the gala should contact Peggy Lamberton at or visit….

About MIND Research Institute
MIND Research Institute is an education nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world's most challenging problems. MIND's distinctive visual approach to math and problem-solving is the basis of its innovative, research-proven ST Math® programs for elementary and secondary schools. MIND's programs currently reach over 500,000 students and 21,000 teachers in more than 1,780 schools in 30 states. For more information, visit

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