News Literacy Ambassador Program welcomes six new educators


The News Literacy Ambassador Program is a national initiative to mobilize educators in the fight against misinformation and is a key component of NLP’s NewsLitNation, a network of news literacy educators. Ambassadors are essential to NLP’s effort to build a more news-literate nation, and, in turn, a more robust, equitable democracy.

Ambassadors work at the grassroots level in their communities, organizing colleagues and allies to help advocate for news literacy education. Their work is critical to turning NLP’s mission into a movement with a transformative impact on young people around the nation.

“Educators around the country often feel like they are alone in this journey, so being able to connect with a fellow educator who can relate to their experiences, knows the local education landscape and has the expertise needed to help them succeed helps empower and expand their capacity,” said Miriam Romais, director, NewsLitNation. “The ability to recognize credible information is a critical life skill, and in many areas of the country teachers lack access to quality teaching resources that are free and nonpartisan. We aim to help fill that gap.”

NLP has expanded this program to 16 ambassadors, recently welcoming six educators in key states from Ohio, Illinois, New Mexico, Texas and Utah.

Meet our new ambassadors below and visit NewsLit Nation to learn more about the entire group.

Juan Alvarado, high school ELA Educator, Texas

Juan was born and raised in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and emigrated to South Texas with his parents in 1988. He teaches at Valley View High School in Pharr-Hidalgo, Texas, as an English, STEM and Pre-AP teacher. In 2017 Alvarado became the high school journalism and ready-writing coach, and one year later his students won the first-ever Academic District Championship title in journalism.

Juan Armijo, director of social studies, New Mexico

Juan teaches AP United States government, as well as politics and principles of democracy, at Mayfield High School in the Las Cruces Public Schools System. He has participated in the development of the new Social Studies Standards and Benchmarks (High School Civics) for the state of New Mexico and was part of the Materials Review Institute for the adoption of a new social studies textbook.

Jocelyn Burlew, learning experience designer, Ohio

Jocelyn uses culturally responsive practices to cultivate a classroom environment that places students at the heart of the learning process. She taught fifth grade English Language Arts and middle school social studies. She recently designed a middle school elective focused on digital, information and media literacy to help students become competent, literate, informed participants in society.

David Doerr, high school journalism and career and technology education teacher, Texas

David has taught journalism and career and technology classes in the Austin Independent School District since 2010, serving as a faculty adviser for student publications. He is the chair of the Texas Association of Journalism Educators’ Legislative Committee and Policy Committee. TAJE supports the efforts of scholastic journalism by providing conventions, contests and resources to teachers and students.

Lesli Morris, ELA teacher, Utah

Lesli is a high school ELA teacher and instructional system design specialist for Canyons School District in Sandy, Utah. She has taught high school in a variety of settings — from youth in custody to a National Blue Ribbon high school. One of her goals is to relentlessly promote diversity and pursue equity in education through access to quality curriculum and by supporting teachers with research-based instructional practices.

Sean Scanlon, director of curriculum, Illinois

Sean, who has a master’s in educational leadership, is the director of curriculum and instruction at Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois. He created the Catholic EdTech Summit and hosted EdCamp Chicago. His passion is to help teachers integrate technology in ways that can engage students, while also helping them navigate the ever-shifting landscape of news literacy.

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