Ph.D. University of Missouri Kansas City, 2018
Curriculum and Instruction; Language and Literacy Emphasis
Educational Leadership, Policy, and Foundations; Higher Education Administration Emphasis
M.Ed. Park University, 2012
Literacy Education; Reading Specialist
B.A. Augustana College, 2008
Secondary English Education; Art Education


Dr. Leah Panther is an assistant professor of literacy education in the Tift School of Education at Mercer University at the Atlanta campus since 2018. She has taught preschool through higher education across urban, suburban, rural, and international school settings. Her experiences with teaching, teacher leadership, non-profits, and research center on literacy instruction in urban educational contexts to support culturally and linguistically diverse adolescents. Her work has been published in The Reading Teacher, Teachers College Record, and The Journal of Family Strengths.


Adolescent literacies, critical sociocultural theories of literacy, disciplinary literacy, urban education, urban religious schools, culturally sustaining pedagogies, instruction for culturally and linguistically diverse students, literacy leadership and administration


Nash, K., Panther, L., & Elson, K. (accepted). Child-created book basket labels: An innovative, culturally sustaining literacy practice. The Reading Teacher.

Nash, K., Panther, L., & Arce-Boardman, A. (2018). La historia de mi nombre: A culturally sustaining early literacy practice. The Reading Teacher, 71(5), 605-609.

Nash, K., Hollins, E., & Panther, L. (2016). From best practices to high leverage early literacy practices in urban school contexts. Teachers College Record.

Warner, C., Thomas, R., Nash, K. Bell, C., Strekalova-Hughes, E. Panther, L., & Atiles, J. (2016). Complexity, context, & community: Learning teacher as an interpretive process. The SoJo Journal, 2(1), 59-74.

Pina, P., Nash, K., Boardman, A., Polson, B. & Panther, L. (2015). Engaging teachers, families, and children in culturally and linguistically responsive early literacy practices. Journal of Family Strengths, 15(2), 1-26.