Release Date: 
Monday, July 2, 2012
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind Names Catherine E. Mendez
2012 Blind Educator of the Year

Dallas, Texas (July 2, 2012): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has named Catherine E. Mendez, a teacher in the New York City School District, as its 2012 Blind Educator of the Year.  Catherine was presented with the award at the NFB’s seventy-second annual national convention, held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

Ms. Mendez has worked in education for over seven years.  She began her teaching career by gaining admittance to the prestigious Teach for America program in 2005.  Since her admission in the program, Ms. Mendez has taught kindergarten at Public School 69 in Bronx, New York, instructing up to twenty-five young students each year in all academic subjects. 

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “Catherine’s exceptional work in the education field is proof of our conviction that blind people can compete on terms of equality.  Ms. Mendez has dedicated herself to educating the future leaders of America and in so doing has become a leader and a role model herself.  The National Federation of the Blind commends Ms. Mendez for her outstanding professional accomplishments as well as her commitment to dispelling misconceptions about the abilities of blind people.”

Ms. Mendez received her bachelor’s degree in linguistics and Asian studies from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and her master’s degree in teaching from Pace University, in New York, New York.  

The Blind Educator of the Year Award carries with it a $1,000 prize.  While in Dallas, Ms. Mendez will address several hundred people and have an opportunity to share the experiences and insights that she has gained from being a blind educator.