EWA Board Biographies
Scott Elliott is the bureau chief for Chalkbeat Indiana, a nonprofit news organization created by journalists who believe that an independent local press is vital to ensuring that education improves. He previously served as the education reform reporter for the Indianapolis Star. Prior to that, he wrote primarily about education as a member of the editorial board of the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News after serving as that paper's education reporter for a decade. Elliott and his colleague, Mark Fisher, won the 2005 National Headliner Award for education reporting for a series of stories about testing and No Child Left Behind.
Scott Jaschik is the editor and co-founder of Inside Higher Ed. He co-leads the editorial operations, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, resources and interactive features. Jaschik has published articles on colleges in The New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post and Salon. From 1999 to 2003, Jaschik was the editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education. He is a graduate of Cornell University.
Cornelia Grumman is the director of policy and strategic communications at the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute (UEI), where she spearheads national outreach to policymakers and educators who can put UEI’s innovative findings into action. She previously served as Executive Director of the First Five Years Fund, where for more than four years she led its federal advocacy and national communication efforts to secure greater public investment in high quality early childhood education programs, beginning at birth. Prior to the First Five Years Fund start-up, She was previously a member of the Chicago Tribune editorial board, where she won many awards, including the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for a series of editorials that led to reforms of Illinois’ criminal justice system, a 2001 Studs Terkel Award for coverage of disadvantaged communities, and 2006, 2005 and 2001 Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism for her coverage of children and families. Grumman joined the Chicago Tribune in 1994 as a general assignment reporter. She also worked at the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. and the Daily Southtown in Chicago, and as a stringer in The Washington Post’s Beijing bureau. She has a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Duke University. She lives in Chicago with her husband and two young children, where she does occasional consulting projects between making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Elizabeth Green is editor of the Education News Network. Previously she was the editor for GothamSchools, the nonprofit news site covering the New York City public schools. In 2009-2010, she was a Spencer Fellow in education journalism at Columbia University. She previously covered education for The New York Sun and U.S. News & World Report. She has also written about education for the Village Voice and The New York Times Magazine and is a 2006 graduate of Harvard.
Stephanie Banchero is a national education reporter for The Wall Street Journal. She covers national and state Kindergarten though 12th grade education issues. Prior to joining the Journal in April 2010, Banchero served as a national education reporter for the Chicago Tribune for 13 years where she covered statewide and national education issues, including student testing, teacher quality issues and the academic achievement gap. Previously, Banchero worked as a reporter at the Charlotte Observer, Philadelphia Inquirer and the Salt Lake Tribune. She has been awarded numerous citations for her work, including a 2006 first place feature award from EWA for her magazine profile of a father struggling with the care and education of his children and a 2004 first place award from EWA and the Missouri School of Journalism for her three-part series on a student transferring schools as part of the No Child Left Behind law. Both years, she was a finalist for EWA’s Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting. She also received honorable mentions from the Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families. In 1988, Banchero received a bachelor of arts from the University of Utah in Communications and in 1991 she received her master’s degree in Journalism from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. From September 2008 to May 2009, Ms. Banchero served as a Knight Fellow at Stanford University. She now resides in Chicago.
Dakarai I. Aarons is director of communications and external affairs for the Data Quality Campaign, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, national advocacy organization supports state policymakers and other key leaders to promote effective data use to ensure students graduate from high school prepared for success in college and the workplace. He leads efforts to develop and implement strategic communications, internal knowledge management, and external relations strategies designed to support the organization’s mission. Before joining DQC, Dakarai was director of education outreach and policy for CommunicationWorks, a leading national education public affairs firm, where he led award-winning messaging, outreach and interactive projects for national and regional education organizations. As an award-winning journalist, Dakarai worked as a staff writer for Education Week and The Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis, Tenn. His work has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, The Des Moines Register and The Dallas Morning News, among other publications. Dakarai is a board member of the Education Writers Association and is a former committee chairman of the National Association of Black Journalists. He also serves as coordinator of the Urban Journalism Workshop, a high school journalism program sponsored by the Washington Association of Black Journalists and The Washington Post. A native of Washington, D.C., Dakarai earned a degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he serves on the College of Journalism and Mass Communications’ professional advisory board.
Felice Nudelman is executive director of education for The New York
Times Company. She is responsible for
developing and overseeing education initiatives, including the New York Times
Knowledge Network, developed in 2007. She helped launch and is co-director of
the American Democracy Project, a collaboration with the American Association
of State Colleges and Universities to foster student civic engagement. She also coordinates the CCSSO / Gates
Foundation EdSteps project on behalf of the Times Company. Nudelman joined The
New York Times in 2000 as the college marketing manager. In 2002, she received The Times’s GrandSlam
Award for her work. She has previously served as executive director for Pace
University’s School of Education and as associate dean of academic affairs at
Bloomfield College, where she was awarded the National Academic Advising
Association’s award for Best Advising Program in the country. Nudelman serves
on the Board of Managers for Epsilen LLC, the CAEL Board of Trustees, NYU-Poly
Enterprise Learning Board, is a member of the Lesley University Leadership
Council, and a member of the IAUP Council of Senior Advisors. She has served on the University of North
Texas Board of Visitors and was Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors for The
National Teachers Hall of Fame. She is an alumna of the 1995 Harvard Management
Development Program (MDP), and holds a B.A. in fine arts and philosophy from
Allegheny College and an M.F.A. from Pratt Institute.
Christine Tebben is a consultant specializing in education policy and philanthropy. She previously served as executive director of Grantmakers for Education, a national network of 290 foundations, corporations and donors working to improve student achievement and opportunity. In this role, she worked to enhance the impact of education philanthropy by building the knowledge and networks of foundation trustees, CEOs and program officers. Collectively, members of Grantmakers for Education give away more than $2 billion each year to improve outcomes in early learning, K-12 public schools, after-school programs and postsecondary education. Tebben joined Grantmakers for Education in 2002 as program director and later served as deputy director before being appointed to lead the organization in 2008. Chris began her career at the Boston Consulting Group and has also served in a variety of roles at education research, policy and government organizations. Chris earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy from U.C. Berkeley and a B.A. in Economics with distinction from Stanford University. She resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two sons, who attend Portland Public Schools.
Greg Toppo is the national K-12 education reporter for USA Today. A graduate of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, N.M., he taught in both public and private schools for eight years before moving into journalism. His first job was with the Santa Fe New Mexican, a 50,000-circulation daily. He worked for four years as a wire service reporter with the Associated Press, first in Baltimore and then in Washington, D.C., where he became the AP’s national K-12 education writer. He came to USA Today in 2002 and in 2005 broke the Armstrong Williams “pay for punditry” story that launched a widespread look at government propaganda. Toppo also co-led the USA Today team that in 2011 looked at educator-led cheating on standardized tests. The paper’s series prompted the Washington, D.C., inspector general to investigate high erasure rates in D.C. schools. Toppo was also a 2010 Spencer fellow at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Scott Widmeyer founded Widmeyer Communications in 1988, building on a career in newspaper reporting and serving in major communications positions for President Jimmy Carter, Vice President Walter Mondale, U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, U.S. Rep. Geraldine Ferraro and the late American Federation of Teachers President Albert Shanker. He currently serves on the boards of the New York City Leadership Academy, the Contemporary American Theater Festival and Friend Factor. Widmeyer is a graduate of West Virginia University, where he has established two scholarship funds to benefit African-American and first-generation West Virginians seeking a degree in journalism. In 2005, Widmeyer and his firm established the Widmeyer Communications Professorship in Public Relations, the first of its kind in the nation. Widmeyer has served as a Visiting Professor at the P. I. Reed School of Journalism and has been a guest lecturer at Brown University, the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University. In 2003, he received West Virginia University’s most prestigious award in journalism, the P. I. Reed Achievement Award. In 2005, then-West Virginia Governor Bob Wise bestowed upon Widmeyer the “Distinguished West Virginian Award,” the highest honor provided by the state’s chief executive, and in 2010 he was named to the PR News Hall of Fame.
Each board office term is one year and may be repeated once.
Each board member term is two years and may be repeated once.
Education Writers Association
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