NewsLit Nation News Literacy Ambassadors

To build our local footprint through community organizing efforts in the fight against misinformation, we have launched a News Literacy Ambassador Program. Connect with an ambassador near you for events, presentations and to identify the unique needs of educators in local school districts.

Staff

Allie Niese
Chicago

Allie Niese

AP US Government & Civics teacher and James Madison Fellow

Allie Niese is a James Madison fellow and graduate of Northwestern's MsEd program. She is committed to helping students learn to embrace and understand their role in the American political system through civil dialogue and rich understanding of the Constitution. She teaches AP US Government, Civics, US History, and AP Human Geography in Chicago public schools.

Sarah Edler
Denver

Sarah Edler

Director of speech language pathology and audiology

Sarah Edler has been a speech language pathologist for 14 years in Illinois, Missouri, and Colorado for the last 4 years. She became a speech pathologist because her passion is for everyone to have a way to communicate. Being able to share her passion of communication and the endless resources available for communication is what brought her to the News Literacy Project. Sarah absolutely loves learning and wants to spread awareness of how educators can empower students to know what they are learning and how to ensure the accuracy of that information. She loves being in the mountains and nature with her chocolate lab Georgia, and when she’s not doing that, she’s love baking and reading.

Dr James Stancil
Houston

Dr. James Stancil

Coordinator of tutoring services

Dr. James Stancil II is the Coordinator of Tutoring Services at Prairie View A&M University and a founding board member of Red Brick Academy, a proposed public charter school in Houston set to open its doors in 2022. He formed a 501(c)(3) organization, Intellect U Well, Inc., that promotes the joy of reading, media literacy, and digital citizenship in the Houston community. He also volunteers with 100 Black Men of Metropolitan Houston, which mentors young men, and with the Houston Network of Outdoor Afro, which seeks to reconnect local communities with nature and the outdoors.

Kelly Tumy
Houston

Kelly Tumy

Curriculum director for English language arts and social studies

Kelly E. Tumy is the curriculum director for English language arts and social studies for the Teaching and Learning Center at The Harris County Department of Education in Houston, TX. She holds a BS in education from Texas Tech University and an MA in humanities from The University of Houston-Clear Lake. She has taught for three different school districts in Texas: Crosby ISD, Humble ISD, and Galena Park ISD, has taught all levels of high school English including AP English Language, as well as many, many electives. She was an AP Reader and Table Leader for seven years for AP English Language. Her achievements include co-authoring the The Lighthouse Document for the Texas Education Agency, co-authoring the Laying the Foundation® Series for The National Math and Science Initiatives Group,  Co-Chairing the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Local Arrangements Committee with Dr. Diane MIller, UH-Downtown for the NCTE 2018 Convention: Raising Student Voice, and serving The College Board for more than 15 years as an Advanced Placement national consultant. Tumy currently serves as past-president for The Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts. 

Tascha Folsoi
Los Angeles

Tascha Folsoi

High school librarian

Tascha Folsoi is a high school librarian who has been working as an educator for 28 years.  She has taught elementary, middle school, high school, and adult school students. Having taught pupils from all over the world –and in nearly every age bracket, she has a strong appreciation for the role multiple perspectives plays in a person's ability to evaluate the credibility of new information. She is committed to helping students evaluate sources and examine issues through different perspectives and lenses, so they can become effective researchers and informed citizens. 

Los Angeles

Adriana Chavira

Journalism and photography teacher and PBS NewsHour's Student Reporting Labs teacher

Adriana Chavira is a native of Los Angeles and spent a decade as a newspaper reporter in Southern California before becoming a teacher 18 years ago. Adriana teaches photography, advises the news magazine, news website and yearbook at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, California, and is an educator with PBS NewsHour's Student Reporting Labs program. She holds a master’s in English Education, a Career Technical Education credential and is a Master Journalism Educator, awarded by the Journalism Education Association (JEA). She serves as a JEA mentor and serves on that organization’s Scholastic Journalism Week committee. When she's not teaching, she can be found running and hiking.

Miami

Monica Valdes

Social studies and film teacher, Social Studies Department Chairperson

Monica Valdes is a Miami Social Studies teacher with eighteen years in education. She is honored to have received numerous teaching recognitions including: 2016 WMMS/MDCPS Teacher of the Year, 2007 & 2009 DMS/MDCPS Teacher of the Year, 2008 Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Biscayne Chapter, Outstanding Teacher of American History and 2007 Miami-Dade Council for the Social Studies Teacher of the Year(Finalist). Monica is also the Founder of the (Youth) 2019 West Miami International Film Festival the (2009-2016) DocMiami International Film Festival and 2014 Florida Documentary Film Festival Series. She has curated numerous events including: Photo/Art Exhibits, Author/Film Industry Q & As and Expert Panels including hundreds of individual film screenings. 

Sandra Street
New York City

Sandra Street

New York State Councils for Social Studies Supervisory Committee, Middle School Social Studies

Sandra Street is a dedicated historian and resourceful education professional with proven ability to promote, progress and monitor student growth and instruction from K-16. She is an effective communicator and a stalwart advocate for children to have access to an educational experience that is culturally inclusive, equitable, and engaging. One of her goals is for the school community to build and maintain a responsive climate and culture, with the impact of establishing sound relationships, trust, and collaboration as global citizens with a voice. She is excited to be in the inaugural News Literacy Ambassador cohort, where she can delve into the misinformation vs. disinformation arena, to enlighten students as they pause, identify bias, and relish in the power of the First Amendment.

Jeff Kaufman
New York City

Jeff Kaufman

Computer science teacher

Jeff Kaufman started his career as a New York City Police Officer. While serving the people of Brooklyn, he attended law school. After leaving police service, Jeff went into the private practice of law.  There he served on a panel as counsel for indigent defendants in criminal and civil matters. He became involved in education issues, and in the same precinct he once patrolled, was offered a position to start a paralegal program for inner-city high school students. His passion for education led him to Rikers Island where he joined the faculty of the jail’s educational facility teaching law to high school students facing trial for serious felony offenses. Mr. Kaufman currently teaches in a Title I school in Far Rockaway, Queens, where, for the past six years, he founded and maintains a Computer Science program.  His course provided the first Advanced Placement course at the school and the first computer science program on the Rockaway Peninsula. Mr. Kaufman is committed to the Constitutional protections guaranteed to a free press and incorporates these principles in his lessons. He looks forward to his new role as a Literacy Project Ambassador, where he will help to make the resources teachers and students need in their fight against misinformation accessible.

San Francisco

Samantha Solomon

Teacher librarian

Samantha Solomon grew up in Southern California and attended college at Northeastern University where she earned a BA in Public Advocacy & Rhetoric. She moved to the Bay Area to pursue a MA in Education and her teaching credentials at USF, where she was part of the Urban Education and Social Justice Cohort. She began teaching in the Oakland Unified School District in Fall 2011 and still works there today. She taught middle school English for 6 years and then transitioned into being Teacher Librarian on the Calvin Simmons Campus where she collaborates to support research and digital literacy in grades 6-12 and across disciplines. Her favorite news literacy lesson was a partnership with a 9th grade math class called "Trash Graphs" and her favorite search modifier is searching by exact phrase. 

Sumyat Thu
Seattle

Sumyat Thu

Acting assistant professor of writing at the English department and writing programs at the University of Washington

Sumyat Thu (she/her) grew up in Burma/Myanmar and is currently an acting assistant professor of writing at the English department and writing programs at the University of Washington, Seattle. She completed her PhD in English language and rhetoric also at the UW, Seattle in 2020 and conducts research and teaching on the topics of multilingual and translingual literacies, language and race intersections, antiracist praxis, and community-engaged scholarship. She is excited to incorporate news literacy education into her teaching and helps connect the NLP resources to local K-12 and college teachers in Seattle.

Cathy Collins
Sharon, MA

Cathy Collins

Technology teacher and library media & technology specialist

Cathy Collins has worked as a Library Media & Technology Specialist for 23 years at the K-12 level. She is currently a Technology Teacher at Sharon Middle School, where she teaches Engineering & Design, 21st Century Media Skills and a hybrid science/history course called “Inventions through Time.” She holds a Doctorate in Education with a specialization in Curriculum, Leadership, Teaching and Learning; and additional Masters Degrees in Education and Library Science. Dr. Collins served on the MassCUE Board as PD Chair from 2015-2019. She has published her writing in various journals including “EdWeek,” “Library Media Connection,” “NEA Today,” and “Knowledge Quest.” She is a 2012 Reynolds High School Journalism Institute Fellow and served as a project consultant for the E-Book, “Searchlights and Sunglasses: Journalism in the Digital Age.” She received a “Teachers for Global Classrooms” fellowship from the U.S. State Dept. in 2014 and is the recipient of AASL’s Intellectual Freedom Award (2014). She was named an MSLA “Super Librarian” in 2015. She served on the MA State Science Ambassador Team and enjoys contributing to the ISTE STEM PLN Leadership Team efforts. She is passionate about STEM/STEAM and global education. In addition to coordinating the Chinese Exchange Program at Sharon High School, she has journeyed with her high school students to India, Peru and most recently Tanzania, Africa to contribute to global service-learning projects.

K. C. Boyd
Washington, DC

K. C. Boyd

Library Media Specialist

K.C. Boyd Washington D.C. Public School System.  She has previously worked as the Lead Librarian for the East St. Louis School District #189 in East St. Louis, IL., a Area Library Coordinator for Chicago Public Schools and a District Coordinator for the Mayor Daley Book Club for Middle School Students.  She is a second-generation educator and holds Master’s degrees in Library Information Science, Media Communications, and Education Leadership. The Boss_Librarian Blog documents her work with K-12 students, discusses the effective use of technology in K-12 education, and provides helpful book reviews. Additionally, she is a sought-after and popular keynote speaker and conference presenter at the local, state, and national levels. Boyd currently serves on the executive board for the District of Columbia Library Association and the Advisory Board for EveryLibrary.  She is an active committee member for the American Library Association Chapter Council representing Washington D.C., American Association of School Librarians Digital Tools, and the Washington Teachers’ Union Equity Collaborative.