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Goals, Vision For New Teach For America St. Louis Director

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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.

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Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.
Mary Edwards came to St. Louis Public Radio in 1974, just after finishing her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has served the station in a number of capacities over the years. From 1988-2014 she also taught an undergraduate class in radio production at Webster University. Mary was inducted into the St. Louis Media History Foundation Media Hall of Fame in April, 2017 and received the Gateway Media Literacy Partners' Charles Klotzer Media Literacy Award in 2012. Mary retired from St. Louis Public Radio in 2018, but still serves the station as a St. Louis Symphony Producer.
Don Marsh served as host of St. Louis Public Radio’s “St. Louis on the Air" from 2005 to 2019, bringing discussions of significant topics to listeners' ears at noon Monday through Friday. Don has been an active journalist for 58 years in print, radio and television. He has won 12 Regional Emmy Awards for writing, reporting, and producing. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, was inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame in 2013, and named “Media Person of the Year” by the St. Louis Press Club in 2015. He has published three books: his most recent, “Coming of Age, Liver Spots and All: A Humorous Look at the Wonders of Getting Old,” “Flash Frames: Journey of a Journeyman Journalist” and “How to be Rude (Politely).” He holds an honorary Doctor of Arts and Letters degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

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