Brittany Packnett is an alumna of Teach for America and, four months ago, started a new job as executive director of Teach For America – St. Louis.
Packnett was born and raised in St. Louis and returned to the city after spending five years in Washington D.C. Beginning in 2007, her commitment to Teach for America brought her to Martin Luther King Elementary in Southeast D.C. She later went to work for Congressman Lacy Clay and as director for TFA’s Government Affairs team.
"The reason why I came home is because this is my city - it's deeply personal," Packnett said.
Packnett is focused on growing the skills of the 190 teachers that are spread across four school districts in St. Louis City and County.
"Our biggest challenge is our biggest opportunity,” she said of facing the current problems lingering in our schools. "Teaching in public school is hard, and we need people who are ready to face obstacles and create dramatic change.”
She spoke with host Don Marsh and fellowship producer Erin Williams about listening to the needs of both teachers and students, and what roles race and class play in the classroom, and how she plans to make a difference in St. Louis area education.