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White House honors CU educator.

The Obama Administration honored an educator with the Albuquerque, N.M.-based New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union for her innovative work to provide financial education and job training to Latino students.

Shana Runck, assistant vice president of community relations and financial capabilities at the $1.5 billion credit union, was one of 10 educational executives participating in the Latino Educator Champions of Change program Sept. 22 at the White House. At left, she is pictured to the right of Vice President Joe Biden. Also pictured is NMEFCU SVP of Human Resources Michelle Dearholt.

Interviewed after the event by CU Times, Runck described the day as "extremely busy" and the White House as more beautiful than she expected.

"We had four layers of security to get through, including passes with explosive sniffing dogs, which was a first for me,' she recalled.

Once at the White House, Runck and the other award winners from all over the country took part in a panel discussion of their work with Latino students in the West Wing.

Runck said the experience left her feeling particularly proud of her credit union.

"I suppose I had always known it, but it wasn't until I actually arrived that I realized I was the only educator from the private sector being recognized," she said, noting that the other nine winners had all come from public schools or other public educational efforts.

"I think it says a lot for New Mexico Educators that the credit union is so committed to this community effort that its work has been recognized," Runck said.

That evening, Runck and the other winners attended a reception at the vice president's residence where they met Biden. President Obama also attended the event for a few moments.

"He couldn't stay very long, but he was there and that was special," she said.

Runck and NMEFCU won the award for her work developing the curriculum used for the Financial Services Career Exploration program, an option Albuquerque students have as part of the Running Start for Careers program, which allows high school sophomores, juniors and seniors to earn high school and community college credit.

DAVID MORRISON

dmorrison@cutimes.com

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Title Annotation:LEADERSHIP
Author:Morrison, David
Publication:Credit Union Times
Date:Oct 8, 2014
Words:361
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