Profile

Francisco Vara-Orta
Vice President (Journalists)

​Francisco Vara-Orta is a data specialist/staff writer for Education Week covering philanthropy in schools, parental and community engagement and school resources. He most recently completed a graduate school fellowship, studying data and investigative journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and working for Investigative Reporters and Editors. Prior to that, he was a reporter at the San Antonio Express-News covering education for nearly five years. He has also been as a staff writer and reporter for the Austin Business Journal, Los Angeles Business Journal, Los Angeles Times, Austin American-Statesman, Laredo Morning Times and La Prensa, a bilingual newspaper in San Antonio. He has won several awards for his stories at various papers covering educational and social justice topics, which have also appeared in the Houston Chronicle. 

Vara-Orta is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Education Writers Association, National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association, and recently served two terms as president of the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists. He describes himself as a proud South Texan, born and raised in the Alamo City, circa 1984. He holds a degree in English/Communication Arts and Latin American studies from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, where he re-founded its student paper, leading the staff to 120 awards during his tenure.