Kristin Leffler, an eighth-grade social studies teacher and advisor at Lyman Moore Middle School, has been selected as a 2021-2022 Pulitzer Center Teacher Fellow. She’s among just 26 educators from around the country chosen to join the Pulitzer Center's education team for its 2021-2022 fellowship program.
“Kristin is a dedicated and talented educator who deserves recognition and celebration for this honor,” said Moore Principal Benjamin Donaldson.
The Pulitzer Center, based in Washington, D.C., raises awareness of underreported global issues through direct support for quality journalism across all media platforms and a unique program of education and public outreach. The center’s K–12 education programs and resources cultivate a more curious, informed, empathetic, and engaged public by connecting teachers and students with underreported global news stories and the journalists who cover them.
“You were selected from over 100 incredibly strong applicants from across the country to join a small cohort of multidisciplinary educators,” the Pulitzer Center said in a letter to Leffler about her selection. “We are looking forward to working together to explore underreported stories, connect with incredible educators and journalists, craft engaging classroom projects, and navigate these challenging times in community with one another.”
The Teacher Fellows will first connect with a community of educators and journalists to explore reporting and journalism skills related to the fellowship’s theme: "Journalism and Justice: Elevating Underreported Stories in the Classroom.”
They will then create, implement, and evaluate standards-aligned units that introduce students to global issues in a local context, support students in developing media literacy skills, and guide a practice of empathy. Their units will be available in the Pulitzer Center’s lesson library starting in summer 2022.
Leffler is in her third year of teaching social studies at Moore. Before becoming a teacher, she studied journalism at Ithaca College and worked as a documentarian. Her media work has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Television Academy and the Alaska Press Club. She brings her reporting experience into the classroom each day by encouraging students to explore the world through deep inquiry and enrich it with imagination. Kristin is an active member of her school’s Equity Team and serves on a district Social Studies curriculum committee. Learn more about Leffler and the other 2021-2022 Teacher Fellows here.
For more information on the Pulitzer Center’s fellowship program, and to explore units by the more than 40 educators who participated in 2020-2021 teacher fellowships, click here.
The Portland Public Schools is Maine’s largest school district, with approximately 6,500 students, and is also the most diverse. About one-third of the district’s students come from homes where languages other than English are spoken—a total of more than 60 languages. 52 percent of the district’s students are white and 48 percent are students of color. Approximately half of PPS students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.