EWA Thanks Outgoing Board Members for Years of Distinguished Service

The Education Writers Association wishes to express its deep appreciation to three distinguished members of its Board of Directors who plan to leave the board this spring following years of voluntary service.

All three of the departing directors — Scott Elliott, Cornelia Grumman, and Dakarai Aarons — served as board officers. Elliott, who joined the board in 2009, was EWA’s board president from 2013 to 2017. Grumman and Aarons both served as vice president for community members, Grumman from 2013 to 2015 and Aarons from 2016 to the present.

“Taken together, Scott, Cornelia, and Dakarai represent a quarter-century of service to EWA,” said Board President Greg Toppo. “They all played key roles in leading EWA through uncertain times to our current posture of stability and growth. It’s been a privilege to count them as fellow board members and friends.”

Caroline Hendrie, EWA’s executive director, also praised the outgoing board members.“EWA members have benefited enormously from the contributions of these outstanding board members, and I am grateful for their leadership and support,” she said. “As much as I’ll miss them, I look forward to having them stay involved in our community in the years to come.”

As president of the board, Elliott led EWA through two major, yearlong projects: first, a rewrite of the organization’s bylaws and policies, followed by the creation of a new five-year strategic plan. During his tenure, EWA saw pronounced growth in membership, event attendance, budget, staffing, and programming, including the overhaul of EWA’s digital presence and the creation of the EWA Reporting Fellowships program. Elliott is associate editor of Chalkbeat.

Grumman, who like Elliott joined the board in 2009, made a large impact on the organization’s awards program, among other achievements. A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Grumman led an initiative to upgrade EWA’s National Awards for Education Reporting, serving as chair of the board’s Awards and Advocacy Committee and repeatedly serving as an awards judge. Grumman is director of education for the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

As vice president for community members and chair of the EWA Membership and Nominating Committee, Aarons played a leading role in guiding EWA’s membership strategy, among other accomplishments, after joining the board in 2010. He also made important contributions as one of three board members on the organization’s Diversity & Inclusion Task Force in 2017. Aarons is vice president of strategic communications for the Data Quality Campaign.

Later this month EWA’s board of directors is expected to name new board members, who will take office during the organization’s upcoming National Seminar in Los Angeles. For information about registering for the conference, visit