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The inspiring, award-winning documentary My Name Is Pedro explores what public education meant to South Bronx Latino maverick educator Pedro Santana — and what he, in turn, meant to public education. Infectious in his optimism, Santana becomes one of the most influential public-school teachers and administrators in the New York system after turning around his troubled Bronx middle school. He is unapologetic in his commitment to create change for kids, no matter the odds. When a glowing front-page New York Times article catapults him into the spotlight, he is recruited and then accepts a promotion to use his out-of-the-box and transformative practices to save a corrupt and divided suburban school district. But the political challenges there may simply be too great even for Santana. To continue his life’s mission to prove that every kid can learn (he himself was labeled “Special Ed” as a child), Santana realizes that he must venture beyond not only the restrictive four walls of the public education system but also his own neighborhood, city, and even country. My Name Is Pedro is an essential and timely reminder of the importance of the great educators who exist within our country’s public-education system. (Dir. by Lillian LaSalle, 2019, USA/Haiti, in English, 98 mins., Not Rated)