2007 Winners of the National Awards for Education Reporting

The 2007 education journalism awards winners are announced!

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Education Writers Association (EWA), the national professional association of education reporters and writers, today announced the winners of the 2007 National Awards for Education Reporting, the prestigious national competition for education writing. The annual contest honors the best education reporting in the print and broadcast media and is the only independent contest of its kind in the United States. Contest entries were limited to stories published or broadcast for the first time during the 2007 calendar year.

A total of 326 entries were judged in this year’s contest. First Prize winners receive a cash prize of $150 and a plaque. Winners of Second Prizes and Special Citations receive certificates. The Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting includes an award of $1,000 and a plaque, and will be presented to the best of the First Prize winners. EWA also honors reporters who have done the best overall Beat Reporting in both small and large media and markets. Prizes, including the announcement of the Grand Prize, will be given at the awards banquet Saturday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m.during the Education Writers Association’s 61st National Seminar, April 24-26, 2008, at the Wyndham Chicago Hotel.

Contest judging was conducted independently, under the direction of Chief Judge Adrianne Flynn of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland. This year’s panel of distinguished judges were Mike Bowler, retired Baltimore Sun reporter; Tracey Wong Briggs, former education reporter for USA Today; Brian Edwards of Montgomery County Public Schools; Stephanie Desmon of the Baltimore Sun; Viola G. Gienger of Bloomberg News; Rob Hotakainen of the McClatchy Washington News Bureau; Andrew Mollison, freelance education writer; Frank Quine of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland; and Carolyn Spellman of the Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families. Television and radio judges were Susan Kopen Katcef of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland; and Lee Thornton of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland.

Recent winners of the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting include Jean Rimbach and Kathleen Carroll of the New Jersey Record;Kati Phillips, Linda Lutton and Jonathan Lipman of the Daily Southtown; and Joshua Benton, Holly Hacker and Herb Booth of The Dallas Morning News.

IA. Newspapers Under 100,000–Breaking or Hard News


First Prize — Greg EspositoDonna Alvis-BanksAngela Manese-LeeShawna MorrisonReed WilliamsLaurence HammackBeth MacyAnna MalloryErinn Hutkin – The Roanoke Times “Virginia Tech Shootings

IB. Newspapers Under 100,000–Feature, News Feature or Issue Package

First Prize — Rob Jordan, Miami New Times–”The Missionary

Second Prize– Kate McNeil, Daily Herald– “Merging Faith and Self

Special Citation– Luke Turf, Westword– “Last Chance High”

IC. Newspapers Under 100,000–Series or Group of Articles

First Prize — Julie Mack, Kalamazoo Gazette– “Cost-Cutters Target Teacher Benefits

Second Prize — Roy Wenzl, The Wichita Eagle –”Are We Losing Our Boys?”

Special Citation– Terry RombeckMindie Paget,and Shanxi Upsdell, Lawrence Journal-World –”Learning Outside: Home Schooling in Kansas

ID. Newspapers Under 100,000–Investigative Reporting

First Prize — Jan Murphy, Patriot-News –”PHEAA Spending

Second Prize –Ron Menchaca and Mindy HagenCharleston Post & Courier –”School Bus Breakdown”

Special Citations — Ian Morrison, Virgin Islands Daily News–”Diploma Mill

Scott Reeder, The Small Newspaper Group –” Hidden Violations


IE. Newspapers Under 100,000–Opinion

Special Citation –Diane Rado, SchoolWeek –”Memories of Mississippi

IIA. Newspapers Over 100,000–Breaking or Hard News

First Prize –Bill Bush, Jennifer Smith Richards, Jill Riepenhoff and Randy Ludlow, Columbus Dispatch–”Blemished Backgrounds: The Past of School Bus Drivers

Second Prize –Jennifer D. Jordan, The Providence Journal–”Roger Williams University

Special Citation Carrie Melago and Erin Einhorn, The New York Daily News –”School Bus Fiasco

IIB. Newspapers Over 100,000–Feature, News Feature or Issue Package

First Prize — April Jimenez, Long Island Press–”Reading, ‘Riting and Revenge

Second Prize — Timothy Egan, New York Times–”Little Asia on the Hill

Special Citation –James Walsh, Star Tribune–”Shadow Schools

IIC. Newspapers Over 100,000–Series or Group of Articles

First Prize –Robert TomshoDaniel Golden and John Hechinger, Wall Street Journal –”Cross-Currents in Mainstreaming

Second Prize  Stephanie Banchero, Chicago Tribune –”The Toughest Assignment

Special Citations –Ron Matus, St. Petersburg Times–”Saving FAMU

Dave Marcus, Newsday –”The College Quest: Seven Seniors Seven Dreams

Elizabeth Bernstein, Wall Street Journal–”Campus Quandary

II. D Newspapers Over 100,000–Investigative Reporting

First Prize –Martha Irvine and Robert Tanner, Associated Press--”Teacher Sex Abuse

Second Prize –Ron French,The Detroit News –”Michigan’s Education Time Bomb

Special Citations –Jennifer Smith Richards and Jill Riepenhoff, Columbus Dispatch–”The ABC’s of Betrayal

Chris DavisMatthew DoigTiffany Lankes, Sarasota Herald-Tribune -”Broken Trust


II. E Newspapers Over 100,000–Opinion

First Prize –Rick Green,Hartford Courant– “Pop-Up Madness

Second Prize Peter Schmidt, for Boston Globe — “At the Elite Colleges-Dim White Kids


IIIA. Beat Reporting–Small Media or Market

First Prize –Andy Hall, Wisconsin State Journal –”Beat Coverage

Second Prize Kendall Tenney and Kathy Topp, KVBC-TV –-”Kids First

Special Citation Rena Havner, Press-Register–”Education Reporting

IIIB. Beat Reporting–Large Media or Market

First Prize –Linda ShawSeattle Times –”Beat Reporting

Second Prize Karen Ayres SmithDallas Morning News –”Karen Ayres Smith Portfolio

Special Citation  Melissa Ludwig, San Antonio Express-News– “The Higher Education Beat

IVA. Magazines–National Circulation

First Prize –Susan Berfield and Anne Tergesen, BusinessWeek – “I Can Get Your Kid Into an Ivy”

Second Prize –Diane Brady, BusinessWeek –”The Holy Cross Fraternity

Special Citations — Mary Mohler, Family Circle– “So Much Homework, So Little Time

Lisa Goff, Good Housekeeping –”Send Your Kids to College Without Going Broke

IVB. Magazines–Regional or Local Circulation

First Prize Jesse Katz, Los Angeles Magazine–”The Test of Their Lives

Second Prize — Kate BeemKansas City Star Magazine–”A Higher Education


V. Special Interest, Institutional and Trade Publications

First Prize — Del Stover, National School Boards Association–”Schools and Race Series

Second Prize –Jeffrey SelingoBurton Bollag and Elizabeth F. Farrell, The Chronicle of Higher Education- – “Academe Grows Increasingly Global”

Special Citations –Lesli A. Maxwell,Education Week –”New Orleans Schools: Recovery and Reform” (Subscriber Log In Necessary)

Stephen Burd, New America Foundation–”Student Loan Scandal


VIA. Television–Hard News and Investigative

First Prize Kendall TenneyKathy Topp and Rob Klein,KVBC-TV–”Seats for Students



VIB. Television–Documentary and Feature

First Prize Brent Renaud and Craig Renaud, Downtown Community Television Center–”Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later

Second Prize –John Merrow, Learning Matters, Inc.–”Lessons of War

Special Citation — Greg GrooganMark Muller and Aprille Meek, KRIV-TV–”Denied. Special Needs in Texas”

VII. Radio

First Prize –Larry Abramson and Producer Marisa Penaloza, National Public Radio –”Northwestern High Series

Second Prize– Mills College Public Radio Reporting Class 2007, KALW-FM (Public Radio)–”The Drop Out Dilemma

Special Citation –Emily HanfordAlison JonesBen Shapiro and Deb George, American Public Media/North Carolina Public Radio – WUNC –”Put to the Test