Judges for the 2021 National Awards for Education Reporting

The Education Writers Association would like to express our deep gratitude and thanks to the busy professionals who volunteered their time to evaluate the entries for our journalism awards.

This group of current and former journalists spent long hours carefully evaluating their assigned subsets of the 340 entries for the 2021 National Awards for Education Reporting and the Eddie Prize. (EWA judges weren’t assigned to entries that posed conflicts of interests.)

Our veteran judges told us they were impressed by the caliber of the work from entrants despite the continued controversy over COVID and school district politics. Journalists are still producing top-notch, impactful pieces that reveal important truths about our nation’s education system.  

Here are the 2021 judges:

Jenny Abamu, former WAMU reporter

Larry Abramson, The University of Montana

Deborah Becker, WBUR

Dan Berrett,  The Chronicle of Higher Education

Leslie Brody, freelance

Daarel Burnette II,  The Chronicle of Higher Education

Ricardo Cano, San Francisco Chronicle

Wayne Carter, NBC Universal

Rose Ciotta, EdSource

Nicole Cohen, NPR

Shelly Conlon, the Argus Leader

Trisha Powell Crain,

Martha Dalton, WABE 

Cheryl Devall, freelance

Francie Diep, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Nichole Dobo, The Hechinger Report

Margaret Downing, the Houston Press

Danielle Dreilinger,  Gannett

Marsha Ducey, SUNY Brockport

Erin Einhorn, NBC News

Adeshina Emmanuel, Injustice Watch

Ron Feemster, freelance

Maritza Félix, freelance

Vince Filak, University of Wisconsin

Jason Gonzales, Chalkbeat Colorado

Vincent Gonzales, University of Southern California

Larry Gordon, EdSource 

Erica L. Green, The New York Times

Joe Grimm, Michigan State University 

Andy Hall, Wisconsin Watch

Reeve Hamilton, Cornell University 

LynNell Hancock, Columbia University

Sara Hebel, Open Campus

Tawnell D. Hobbs, The Wall Street Journal

Mark Horvit, University of Missouri 

Meghan E. Irons, The Boston Globe

David Jesse, Detroit Free Press 

David Kidwell, Better Government Association

Tyler Kingkade, NBC News

Rebecca Koenig, EdSurge

Sonali Kohli, CalMatters

Mila Koumpilova, Chalkbeat Chicago

Matt Krupnick, freelance

Frank LoMonte, CNN

Annie Martin, Orlando Sentinel

William Melhado, Santa Fe Reporter

John Merrow, retired

Dale Mezzacappa, Chalkbeat Philadelphia

Dan Mihalopoulos, WBEZ

Kaitlin Mulhere, Money

Jennifer Pignolet, Akron Beacon Journal

Justin Pope, Longwood University 

Leslie Postal, Orlando Sentinel

Chastity Pratt, The Wall Street Journal

Teresa Prout, News & Record

Diane Rado, Florida Phoenix

Sascha Raiyn, WDET 

Mónica Rhor, Chalkbeat


Dana Roberson, PBS NewsHour

Gail Robinson, freelance

Brian M. Rosenthal, The New York Times 

Bob Sacha, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY 

Ruth Serven,

Nirvi Shah, freelance

Kayleigh Skinner, Mississippi Today

Sara Solovitch, Searchlight New Mexico 

Eric Stirgus, Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Ki Sung, MindShift at KQED

Aliyya Swaby, ProPublica 

Melissa Barragán Taboada, The Boston Globe

Kenneth Terrell, AARP

Scott Travis, South Florida Sun Sentinel

Peg Tyre, EGF Accelerator 

Jackie Valley, The Nevada Independent

Julie Van Leer, Northwestern University

Marlon A. Walker, Clarion Ledger

Patrick Wall, Chalkbeat 

Matthew Watkins, The Texas Tribune

Linda K. Wertheimer, Independent journalist

Bradley Wilson, Midwestern State University

Denise Zapata, CalMatters

Bill Zeeble, KERA