I am a freelance writer and editor specializing in public education. I spent a decade writing about urban schools as a newspaper reporter and now work as a contributing editor for The Hechinger Report, an education news service at Columbia Teachers College that partners with mainstream media. I also teach yoga, which has made me well-versed on a variety of health and wellness topics. I have a journalism degree from Northwestern University, and I live in New York City.
Freelance writer and editor | Spring 2010 to present
Write on a variety of issues involving public education, primarily for The Hechinger Report at Columbia Teachers College. Articles have appeared on the Web sites of NBC News, The Atlantic and Slate, and in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Current projects include a multi-year series about Newark school reform in collaboration NJ Spotlight and WNYC Public Radio and a yearlong project on expanded learning time. Spent the 2012-13 academic year producing an independent account of two Chicago teachers’ experience in a blended learning program through a Carnegie Foundation grant. Drafted several chapters of The Achievable Dream, a book by Gaston Caperton and Richard Whitmire on successful strategies in American education published by the College Board in June 2012. Health-related articles have appeared in Yoga International Magazine and on the online site YogaCity NYC.
Communications officer, New Visions for Public Schools | Fall 2009 to Spring 2010
Wrote and edited print and Web materials for nonprofit that runs 75 public schools in New York City. Helped run a college readiness campaign and created a student-written blog about the journey to college.
Education reporter, The Baltimore Sun | Spring 2003 to Spring 2009
Covered the 82,000-student Baltimore school district, routinely writing about state and national trends in K-12 education as well as test scores, special education and school violence. Wrote daily for the InsideEd blog, drawing an average 10,000 page views per week. Spent 18 months following the Baltimore superintendent for a three-part series published in February 2009 that was nominated by The Sun for a Pulitzer Prize and was a finalist for a Livingston Award. Also won first place for education reporting from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and a second-place National Headliner Award in 2009. Earlier stories exposed inaccuracies in the school system’s budget and school repairs that were paid for but not done. Wrote a five-part series during the 2005-06 academic year about teachers from the Philippines. From 2003 to 2005, covered Baltimore County schools and reported on issues involving care for the developmentally disabled. August 2004 article on the death of a profoundly retarded woman led to the closure of a group home provider and a Medicaid fraud investigation. August 2003 article on a problem Baltimore nightclub led to liquor board sanctions.
Education reporter, San Jose Mercury News | Spring 2000 to Winter 2003
Covered 22 school districts on the San Francisco Peninsula, writing a weekly column on school news and contributing to statewide education stories. Reporting on corruption and substandard education in East Palo Alto’s Ravenswood City School District prompted community mobilization and the ouster of a school board majority in the November 2002 election. June 2001 project about Ravenswood’s problems led to a county investigation of district finances and won the Mercury News Managing Editor’s Award for the best journalism of the quarter. Also uncovered cheating on standardized tests and the submission of fraudulent documents by Ravenswood officials to a federal court, leading to sanctions and ethics training.
Reporter and editor, The Daily Northwestern | Fall 1996 to Spring 2000
Served as managing editor of student newspaper from 1999 to 2000, supervising a 100-person staff. Promoted from city editor, assistant city editor, and beat reporter covering Evanston police and fire departments and city council.
Reporting internships: The Boston Globe, Newsday, The Virginian-Pilot, the (Terre Haute, Ind.) Tribune-Star and The New Haven Advocate
Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University
Received Bachelor of Science in journalism cum laude in spring 2000 with a Spanish minor and political science concentration.