Teacher Feature November 2022: Ken Kusactay

Each month, we’ll be spotlighting and celebrating a teacher from our SRL/StoryMaker community.

Ken Kusactay has been an educator for the past eight years and has been teaching journalism for two of those at John Henry High School in Richmond, California. He believes in preparing students to become competitive, contributing members of their communities and encourages student voice in their learning. Ken believes in the power of media literacy and production and promotes students’ civic engagement. 

Learn about Ken’s favorite StoryMaker lesson, pro-tips, and what he’s currently listening to in our Q&A below:

Name: Ken Kusactay 

Where do you teach? John Henry High School in Richmond, California (San Francisco Bay Area)

How long have you been using SRL lessons? 2 years

What’s your favorite StoryMaker lesson? I’m super excited about the Food, Family, Culture, and Community prompt because I love experiencing different cultures through the conduit of food. I’m from NYC and we always had such a plethora of different cultures and cuisines intermingling with one another; it was through food that you got to know your neighbor and experience a different point of view on life.

Links to your students’ work can be found here and  here: What’s on the ballot? ​+ New California graduation requirement focuses on ethnic studies

What’s a dream story you’d like to report on? I would love to interview Hunter S. Thompson because he has a unique perspective on American culture and politics, and I would be interested to hear what he would say about American politics and culture today.

What’s a media making tool that can’t live without? Kapwing (Learn more about Kapwing here)

What are you currently listening to? Vox Today, Explained

Piece of advice for teachers and educators just getting started on StoryMaker: The roadmaps are such a wonderful resource to help implement which lessons when. I found them all helpful and what I especially appreciate are the different organization of the lessons to teach different aspects of journalism: Broadcasting, Explainer Videos, Media Literacy

You can follow Ken Kusactay on Instagram (@mr.kusactay) and reach out to him directly to learn more about how he’s adapted StoryMaker into his classroom at kkusactay@amethodschools.org.