2008 Winners of the National Awards for Education Reporting

The 2008 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 2008 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 2008 calendar year.

A total of 273 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 and for the first time this year awards prizes to bloggers and to multi-media entries. Prizes, including the announcement of the Grand Prize, will be given at the awards banquet May 2 at 6:30 p.m.during the Education Writers Association’s 62nd National Seminar, April 30-May 2 at the in Washington, D.C.

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 Sandy Banisky of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland; Mike Bowler, retired Baltimore Sun reporter; Debbie Cenziper of the Washington Post; Gadi Dechter of the Baltimore Sun; William Englund of the National Journal; Andrew Mollison, freelance education writer; Deborah Nelson of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland; Frank Quine of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland and Ron Yaros of Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland. Recent winners of the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting include: Martha Irvine and Robert Tanner of the Associated Press;Jean Rimbach and Kathleen Carroll of the New Jersey Record; and Kati Phillips, LindaLutton and Jonathan Lipman of the Daily Southtown.

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


No Winners

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

First Prize Diane D’AmicoThe Press of Atlantic City –“A Mutual Challenge: Disabled, Attending College”

Second Prize Francisco AlvaradoMiami New Times – “The F-School Bomb

Special Citations Jack StriplingThe Gainesville Sun -”Professor of Plagiarism

Ashley Wilson and Nanci Bompey, Asheville Citizen-Times – “Childhood Obesity: A Growing Epidemic” 

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

First Prize Diette CourrégéThe (Charleston, SC) Post and Courier –“Sanders-Clyde Elementary”

Second Prize Hugo RodriguesWoodstock (Ontario, Canada) Sentinel-Review –The ABCs of the EQAO

ID. Newspapers Under 100,000–Investigative Reporting

First Prize Emily AlpertVoices of San Diego.org -”The School Guru Who Promised Rescue and Brought Ruin

Second Prize Sonia SmithThe (Baton Rouge) Advocate –Deaf School Abuse


IE. Newspapers Under 100,000—Opinion


First Prize James A. HaughtThe Charleston (WV) Gazette -”Editorials on Bogus Degree”

Second Prize Margaret DowningHouston Press – “Exit Exams

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

First Prize Kathleen McGroryTrenton Daniel, and David Ovalle, The Miami Herald– “Melee at Edison Senior High”

Second Prize Megan MatteucciThe Atlanta Journal- Constitution – “Clayton Accreditation Problems

Special Citations Debra Hale-Shelton, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette – “A Secret Bonus

David HunnSt. Louis Post-Dispatch – “The Fall of an Icon


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

First Prize Lizette AlvarezThe New York Times – “From Combat to College

Second Prize Jill TuckerThe San Francisco Chronicle – “A Matter of Mathematics

Special Citation Elizabeth GreenThe Village Voice – “No More Pencils

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

First Prize Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Newsday – “School Lunch on Long Island

Second Prize Ron MatusDonna WinchesterLetitia Stein and Connie HumburgSt. Petersburg Times – “Teacher Quality

Special Citations Matt KrupnickContra Costa Times – “Community College Challenges

Rosalind Rossi and Art GolabChicago Sun-Times – “Schooled in Fear

II. D Newspapers Over 100,000–Investigative Reporting

First Prize Blake Morrison and Brad Heath,USA Today – “The Smokestack Effect”

Second Prize Bill GravesAmy Hsuan and Melissa Navas,The Oregonian – “Disciplining Oregon Teachers

Special Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry, The Seattle Times – “Victory and Ruins



II. E Newspapers Over 100,000–Opinion

First Prize Linda Lantor Fandel, The Des Moines Register – “World Class Schools for Iowa?”

Second Prize Kate N. GrossmanChicago Sun- Times – “Calming Our Classrooms


IIIA.Multimedia (Multi-media entries)

First Prize Mary WiltenburgThe Christian Science Monitor – “Little Bill Clinton Series

Second Prize David Andreatta,Max SchulteScott Sheils, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle -“Class Picture

Special Citations Alison DamastJohn ByrneFrancesca DiMeglioGeoff GloecklerLouis Lavelle and Jane PorterBusinessWeek – “B-Schools Multimedia Feature

Mary Ann ZehrChristopher Powers and Yasmine MousaEducation Week – “The Lost Years: Iraqi Students in Jordan

IIIB. Multimedia Blogs

First Prize Kent Fischer and Tawnell HobbsThe Dallas Morning News – “Dallas ISD Blog

Second Prize Jennifer JenningsEduwonkette – “Eduwonkette Blog

Special Citation Stephen Burd, New America Foundation’s Higher Ed Watch – “Subprime Student Loan Scandal

IVA. Beat Reporting Small Media or Market

First Prize Scott JaschikInside Higher Education – “Adjuncts- The Debate Evolves

Second Prize Mila KoumpilovaThe Forum of Fargo-Moorhead (ND)- “Praised Horizon Has Flaws”

Special Citations Goldie Blumenstyk, The Chronicle of Higher Education – “Understanding College Costs and Finance

Peter Schmidt, The Chronicle of Higher Education – “Higher Education Research”

IVB. Beat Reporting Large Media or Market

First Prize Rosalind RossiChicago Sun-Times – “Rosalind Rossi Beat Coverage

Second Prize Nick PerryThe Seattle Times – “Beat Reporting

Special Citation Andy GammillIndianapolis Star – “Indianapolis Schools: A Year of Challenges

V. Magazines (Including Alumni Magazines)

First Prize Adam Kissel, The Lantern – “Thought Reform at the University of Delaware

Second Prize Jeff ChuFast Company– “The Iron Chancellor

Special Citations William Selway and Martin Z. BraunBloomberg Markets – “Schools Flunk Finance

Jane WellmanChange Magazine – “The Higher Education Funding Disconnect: Spending More, Getting Less


VI. Special Interest, Institutional and Trade Publication

First Prize Libby SanderThe Chronicle of Higher Education – “The Chase”

Second Prize Sarah Karp and John MyersCatalyst-Chicago – “Class 2011



VII A. Television Hard News and Investigative

First Prize Jeremy Rogalski,David Raziq, and Keith Tomshe, KHOU-TV (Houston, TX) – “A Dangerous Lesson

VIIB. Television Documentary and Feature

First Prize Angela ShelleyBret Marcus, Alexandria Gales, Brett Wood, Michael Bloecher- KCET, Community Television of Southern California – “Inside Locke High

Second Prize John MerrowCat McGrathJane Renaud and David Wald, Learning Matters, Inc. -”Leadership: A Challenging Course

Special Citation Abbie BoudreauScott ZamostCaleb Hellerman and Mark NelsonCNN “Campus Rage

VIII. Radio

First Prize Claudio Sanchez and Cynthia Johnston, National Public Radio – “The Student Loan Crisis