Finalists for 2015 EWA Awards for Education Reporting and Eddie Prize Announced
Category Winners Announced at EWA National Seminar

March 31, 2016 (WASHINGTON, DC)—The Education Writers Association is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2015 National Awards for Education Reporting and the Eddie Prize, recognizing the top education stories in print, broadcast, and online media across the country.

Thirty-eight entries earned the status of finalist from EWA’s panel of judges, who found much to praise in the work from a diverse pool of outlets that included lean three-person teams, enterprising nonprofits, and venerable news organizations.

Winners for each category will be announced on May 1 at EWA’s National Seminar, this year being held May 1-3 in Boston. The following day, May 2, EWA will announce the recipients of EWA’s new Ronald Moskowitz Prize for Outstanding Beat Reporting, which comes with a $2,500 award; the Edwin Gould Foundation’s Eddie Prize, with a $7,500 award; and the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting, which carries an award of $10,000.

More than 250 entrants submitted roughly 365 entries for 16 categories in EWA’s National Awards for Education Reporting, as well as the second annual Eddie Prize, which recognizes the best work on the challenges low-income students face completing college.

“This year’s group of finalists is incredibly inspiring,” said Caroline Hendrie, EWA’s executive director. “Deeply reported and expertly presented, these stories show that the state of the education beat is far stronger than many believe. EWA is privileged to share them with the world.”    

The finalists demonstrated trenchant writing, sophisticated visual displays and a tireless spirit to shine a light on education’s injustices and triumphs. Journalists overcame flawed data, stonewalling officials, and demanding deadlines to produce enlightening stories that genuinely serve the public interest.

The awards competition, an EWA tradition stretching back five decades, was independently judged across five rounds by 60 current and former editors and reporters. No judge reviewed an entry submitted by his or her current or recent employers. The EWA Awards Board selected the category finalists, choosing from a short-listed pool of entries picked by judges of previous rounds.

The panel of judges includes:

  • Dakarai Aarons, Data Quality Campaign (Formerly of Education Week)
  • Lauren Barack, School Library Journal
  • Kathryn Baron,
  • Dan Berrett, The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Donna Blankinship, The Associated Press
  • Venice Buhain, The Seattle Globalist
  • Sarah Butrymowicz, The Hechinger Report
  • Kim Clark, Money magazine
  • Trisha Powell Crain, Alabama School Connection
  • Julie Deardorff, Northwestern University (Formerly of Chicago Tribune)
  • Laura Diamond, Georgia Institute of Technology (Formerly of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
  • Margaret Downing, Houston Press
  • Danielle Dreilinger, | The Times-Picayune
  • Phyllis Fletcher, Northwest News Network
  • Jay Goldman, School Administrator magazine (Formerly of Syracuse Herald-Journal)
  • Emma Graney, Regina Leader-Post (Canada)
  • Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun
  • Bill Graves, Freelance (Formerly of The Oregonian)
  • Joe Grimm, Michigan State University (Formerly of Detroit Free Press)
  • David Jesse, Detroit Free Press
  • Cindy Johnston, Freelance (Formerly of NPR)
  • Jennifer Jordan, City Year (Formerly of The Providence Journal)
  • Maureen Kelleher, Freelance (Formerly of Catalyst Chicago)
  • Alyson Klein, Education Week
  • Rebecca Klein, The Huffington Post
  • Kit Lively, KERA
  • Justin Murphy, Democrat and Chronicle
  • Dan Mihalopoulos, Chicago Sun-Times
  • Denise-Marie Ordway, Harvard Kennedy School (Formerly of Orlando Sentinel)
  • Brock Read, The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Alan Richard, Freelance (Formerly of Education Week)
  • Gail Robinson, Freelance (Formerly of Gotham Gazette)
  • Hugo Rodrigues, The Cornwall Standard-Freeholder (Canada)
  • Lauren Roth, Orange County Public Schools (Formerly of Orlando Sentinel)
  • Gabrielle Russon, Orlando Sentinel
  • Stephen Sawchuk, Education Week
  • Kate Schimel, High Country News (formerly Chalkbeat Colorado)
  • Jenn Smith, The Berkshire Eagle
  • Ty Tagami, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Francisco Vara-Orta, University of Missouri (formerly of San Antonio Express-News)
  • Maura Walz, Southern California Public Radio
  • Jason Wermers, Coastal Courier
  • Brendan Williams-Kief, National Center on Education and the Economy (formerly at NBC Washington/WRC-TV)
  • Megan Williams, The News Leader

2015 EWA Awards Board

  • Stephanie Banchero, The Joyce Foundation (formerly of The Wall Street Journal)
  • Daarel Burnette, Education Week
  • Lauren Camera, U.S. News & World Report
  • Sarah Carr, The Teacher Project
  • Martha Dalton, WABE
  • Larry Gordon, EdSource
  • Cathy Grimes, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Formerly of Daily Press, Virginia)
  • Cornelia Grumman, Robert R. McCormick Foundation (Formerly of the Chicago Tribune)
  • Beth Hawkins, Education Post (Formerly of MinnPost)
  • Louise Kiernan, Northwestern University (Formerly of Chicago Tribune)
  • John Merrow, Freelance (Formerly of PBS NewsHour)
  • Christopher Quinn, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Erin Richards, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • Ki Sung, MindShift at KQED
  • Peg Tyre, Edwin Gould Foundation (Formerly of Newsweek)
  • Scott Widmeyer, Widmeyer Communications, a Finn Partners Company