Congratulations to the six 2023–2024 cohort members joining the Digital Democratic Dialogue (3D) Project! Thank you to all who applied.
The newest 3D Project cohort was selected from a highly competitive candidate pool of nearly 100 secondary ELA teachers from across the country, representing a diverse array of experience and perspectives. This project builds on the strong connections between English language arts and civic learning, utilizing multimedia communication tools to connect their classrooms as they read, write, and imagine civic futures together. This project is funded by NCTE through the generosity of private donations.
Meet the 2023–2024 Cohort
Gabe Valdez teaches English and career technical education at Pacifica High School in Oxnard, California. Gabe specializes in curriculum design rooted in justice, educational technology integration, academic sports coaching, professional learning community development, inquiry- and project-based learning, equitable assessment, and mentorship.
Christopher Kline never expected to be a teacher. After 12 years as a chef, a passion for the arts, writing, and social justice called them to the classroom. In seven years at Cincinnati’s Western Hills University High School, they have taught grades 8–11 ELA, AP language and composition, and creative writing, while advising Slam Poetry, LGBTQ+ Alliance, College Writing, and Dungeons & Dragons clubs. Their classroom develops self-aware individuals who are motivated to create safe, just, supportive, and accepting communities through respectful, honest communication. They are motivated by their partner of 17 years, two phenomenally goofy children, and two incredibly muppet-ish dogs.
Shonterrius Lawson-Fountain is a veteran NBCT educator hailing from “The Magic City,” Birmingham, Alabama. She currently works as a secondary instructional coach for Jefferson County Schools. In this role and her role as a professional development consultant, Shonterrius continuously seeks to enhance the efficacy and agency of her colleagues and K–12 scholars. Through her philosophy that literacy is activism, she continues to advocate for educational equity and access, building bridges and pathways for scholars to enhance their agency and critical literacy skills through educational pursuits that honor their hidden literacies.
Morgan McGlone-Smith is an English arts teacher at Northeast High School in Maryland who is interested in student voice, writing center studies, and K–12 literacy.
Dr. Katie Wolff works for the Cape Flattery School District at Neah Bay High School, a public school in the state of Washington that is located on the Makah Reservation. Cape Flattery is the northwestern-most point of the contiguous United States and is called the “beginning of the world” by the Makah people. Dr. Wolff is the head of the English department and ASB advisor, and also serves on several leadership committees, both for the District and the state of Washington. She also teaches English courses for Central Washington University. Dr. Wolff is raising six children and a Great Dane, and according to her students, she assigns too much work.
Megan Pittman is an English teacher at Macomb High School in Macomb, Illinois, bringing a unique and diverse background to the world of education. Pittman’s academic journey began at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. She went on to earn her Juris Doctor (JD) from the University of Missouri School of Law, showcasing her dedication to civic engagement. Pittman encapsulates her teaching philosophy with the belief that education is not just about imparting knowledge, but also about empowering individuals to think critically and become lifelong learners.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FELLOWSHIP
The Digital Democratic Dialogue Project is a community of literacy educators who utilize multimedia communication tools to connect their classrooms across time and space to explore civic histories, analyze current civic challenges, and dream of equitable civic futures.
We read, write, and imagine together. We engage in cycles of planning, action, and reflection to design meaningful learning experiences for our students. We are on a journey to support youth in building an empathetic and equitable civic life worthy of their energy and curiosity.
We welcomed applications from full-time classroom teachers of students who are 13+ years of age. We sought teachers and school communities representing geographic, demographic, and ideological diversity.
Learn more about the facilitators and the previous work of the Digital Democratic Dialogue Project in these resources:
- Article: “Building Critical Civic Empathy Across Time and Space: Fostering Digital Democratic Dialogue with the NWP 3D Project“
- Feature article in the NCTE Council Chronicle
- Get a sneak peek from the videos below.
Janelle Bence, New Tech High at Coppell, Coppell, TX
Peter Haun, Oak Park High School & Center for Advanced Studies and the Arts, Oak Park, MI
Christina Puntel, W.B. Saul High School, Philadelphia, PA
Mary L. Richards, Otter Valley Union High School, Brandon, VT
Molly Robbins, Cherokee Trail High School, Aurora, CO
Antero Garcia, Stanford University
Nicole Mirra, Rutgers University
These video clips are reflections from teachers who participated in the first cohort.