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Leah Panther

Assistant Professor of Literacy Education

Leah Panther


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


Panther, L. (accepted). “This is music therapy in the real world”: Negotiating standardization, curricularizing joy. Ubiquity: The Journal of Literature, Literacy, and the Arts.

Nash, K., Panther, L., Thomas, R., McNeil, H., & Arce-Boardman, A. (accepted).  My teaching comes from them: Mediating guided reading in a multilingual classroom.  In J. Fleming, C. Thompson, & S. Carillo (Eds).  More Mirrors in the Classroom: Using Urban Children's Literature to Increase Literacy.  Lanam, MD:  Rowman & Littlefield. 

Marx, D., Torres, T., & Panther, L. (in press). This class changed my life: Using culturally sustaining pedagogies to frame undergraduate research with students of Color. Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research.

Panther, L. & Hughes, S. (2020). “Well, I took it there”: Teaching to (disrupt) the text. In Dyches, J., Sams, B., & Boyd, A. (Eds.). Acts of resistance: Subversive teaching across the discipline.

Nash, K. & Panther, L. (2019). The children come full:  From high leverage to humanizing and culturally sustaining literacy practices in urban schools. Teachers College Record, 71(2).

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.