If you’re looking for an interesting documentary to watch, consider MY NAME IS PEDRO, just released this weekend. MY NAME IS PEDRO explores what public education meant to South Bronx Latino educator Pedro Santana, and what he, in turn, meant to public education. 

Infectious in his optimism, Santana became one of the most influential public-school teachers and then administrators in the New York public school system after turning his troubled Bronx middle school, MS 391, around. He was unapologetic in his commitment to create change for kids, no matter the odds. When a glowing front-page New York Times article catapulted him into the spotlight, he was recruited and then promoted to use his ‘out of the box’ practices to save a corrupt and divided suburban school district. What those in charge would allow him to do is a different story.

MY NAME IS PEDRO is an essential reminder of the difference a great educator can make. For teachers, it’s inspirational. For parents, a motivation to push for what our children deserve.

The film, directed by Lillian LaSalle, is now available to rent ($8.99 for a 3-day period) on Laemmle Virtual.