New/Recent Articles

Magazine freelance stories published since December 2015

Student Press (February 2018): Student journalists in 13 states have press freedoms and protections, but administrators in the rest continue to review and censor school-sponsored publications under a 29-year-old U.S. Supreme Court decision. But officials say the tide appears to be turning, at least in some areas. Written for American School Board Journal.

Public Comments (February 2018): The public comment portion of any school board meeting can turn quickly into a communications debacle for the board and district. Over time, however, courts have ruled consistently that the public has a right to raise and air complaints during an open meeting, even when individual employees are named. Written for American School Board Journal.

Smooth Transition (January-February 2018): First-year interest groups, commonly known as FIGS, are designed to help college freshmen make a smooth transition into university life through a combination of classroom work and personalization. For international students, most of whom arrive on campus just prior to the start of classes, FIGs can help them learn to navigate the sometimes tricky transitions they encounter when moving to a new country. Written for International Educator.

Lone Star Strong (December 2017): An 11-page spread in American School Board Journal featuring more than 30 of my photographs and reporting on school district recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The package also includes a 3-minute slideshow with a separate behind-the-scenes narrative about the story.  

Clearing a Path (November-December 2017): As growth in the number of international applications to U.S. colleges and universities falls, institutions are widening their recruitment efforts to include more students who may lack advanced English language proficiency. Many have turned to pathway programs to help ease the language transition and create opportunities for students to be successful. Published in International Educator.

Health Tracker (December 2017): Schools searching for ways to curb child obesity rates are turning to wearable devices and software that provide data on student health and fitness. And when the technology is used appropriately, it is working. Published in American School Board Journal.

Federal Shifts (October 2017): As districts become more invested and reliant on high-speed networks and Wi-Fi access to educate students, school board members need to be aware of how shifts at the federal level could affect the funding and long-term effectiveness of their technology programs. Published in American School Board Journal.

Supporting Staffing Success (July-August 2017): For small and midsize staffing companies that work with large numbers of temporary and contract employees, contracting with an outside provider to provide backend support ensures payroll is accurate, on time, and in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. Published in Staffing Success.

13 Reasons Why (August 2017): The popularity of the Netflix show “13 Reasons Why,” which depicts the suicide of a teenage girl and the tapes she leaves behind, caught school districts off guard this spring. This story looks at the phenomenon, the potential legal and ethical ramifications for districts, and what schools can do to help students, families and staff be prepared.

Building Up STEAM (June, August 2017): A growing belief for many school districts is that art and science “are better together than apart.” In the June and August issues of American School Board Journal, I looked at how adding an “A” into STEM helps provide children with a well-rounded education, as well as districts that are doing so successfully.

Finding Common Ground Through Art Therapy (March-April 2017): Art therapy is a fast-growing but still relatively new practice around the world, having started in the early 1970s in the U.S. and Britain. In this story for International Educator, I looked at how this type of therapy is moving beyond the visual arts to incorporate dance, music and other forms to promote healing around the world.

Simple Logic (March-April 2017): Today, only 24 states allow students to count computer science classes as part of their high school science credits. While more than a half million computing jobs are unfilled in the U.S., just 42,969 computer science students graduated into the workforce in 2015-16. The key to solving this problem? Teaching coding and more computer science, as noted in this issue of American School Board Journal.

Aftershock (February-March 2017), a story that looks at the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election and its effect on K-12 schools, was published a week before the inauguration by American School Board Journal. The story looks at how schools dealt with threats to and protests by students, as well as how to ensure traditionally marginalized children are protected in the wake of unprecedented reports of harassment.

Apprentice Approach (February-March 2017): A freelance story that looks at how schools in Colorado are adopting facets of the Swiss apprenticeship model appears in the new issue of American School Board Journal. You can read the story the story I wrote here and see a slideshow of photos from my trip with the delegation in the Events section.

My photos from the trip also are part of the Association for Career and Technical Education's March 2017 issue of its flagship magazine, Techniques. You can see the photos and the stories they accompany here.

Act Globally (November-December 2016): Increasingly, higher education drama programs are offering international experiences for their students through academic exchanges and education abroad opportunities. This story, published in the November-December 2016 issue of International Educator, focuses on how these opportunities focus on skill development as well as social justice and global issues in the developing world. 

Leading the Leap (December 2016): Online assessments are here to stay, regardless of whether your state has embraced the Common Core Standards. In this column for American School Board Journal, I look at how a toolkit scheduled to be unveiled in December 2016 will help schools and districts assess their readiness and ability to effectively deliver these assessments.

Cracking the Literacy Code (October 2016): Cracking the code on literacy, especially in majority-minority school districts, is no easy task. As this story in American School Board Journal notes, large-scale initiatives are costly and time intensive, and the needle on achievement rarely moves quickly. Earning buy-in and support from community and business leaders is critical, as is the need to provide strong professional development to teachers and a rigorous evaluation system that can accurately determine whether a program is working. 

Technology Evolution (October 2016): In today's device-filled world, the tools students and teachers use can be terrific, but they have proven time and again to be no replacement for quality instruction. As this column in American School Board Journal notes, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is taking on the conundrum with its second revision of its technology standards for students. 

Regulating the Every Student Succeeds Act (Summer 2016): How do you make the regulatory process surrounding the nation’s largest education law interesting? Take a look at my story in the Summer 2016 issue of ASCD’s "Policy Priorities," which focuses on the development of regulations for the Every Student Succeeds Act, the long-awaited successor to No Child Left Behind. In addition to the main story, you can also read a sidebar that includes a step-by-step breakdown of the process.

enVision (Summer 2016): As one of two writers for the annual edition of enVision, the magazine for students, staff and alumni of the University of South Florida’s College of Engineering, I wrote 11 stories that are a fascinating mix of alumni profiles and features on work currently underway by students and faculty at the Tampa-based college. You can read more about the individual stories or access a PDF of all of them by clicking on this link.

The Future of the Legal Profession: 2015-16 (May-June 2016): For much of the past year, I have profiled winners of the LMJ Scholarship for the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. This feature, “The Future of the Legal Profession: 2015-16,” focuses on the current class. 

Where Are They Now? Since 2005, the Minority Corporate Council Association has awarded deserving law school students with serious financial needs up to $30,000 in aid through the LMJ Scholarship. For MCCA's magazine, Diversity & The Bar, I profiled a member of each class and wrote a "Where Are They Now?" sidebar for the rest. The profiles focus on:

2005: Patricia Astorga of New York City (November-December 2015)

2006: David Lewis of Chicago (January-February 2016)

2007: Will Nevin of Birmingham, Ala. (March-April 2016)

2008: Carly Bad Heart Bull of St. Paul, Minn. (July-August 2016)

2009: Nila Bala of Baltimore, Md. (September-October 2016)

2010: Atticus Lee of Houston, Texas (November-December 2016)

Security Goes High-Tech: Technology and security are inextricably linked in K-12 schools. From dealing with crisis situations to safeguarding student and staff data, how you use the tools at your disposal is critical. (July-August 2016)

Online Learning 2.0: Educators nationwide continue to search for ways to meld traditional and digital learning for all students. It’s a combination that has proven full of promise, with more than a few lessons—and potholes—along the way for school boards, administrators, teachers, and communities. (May-June 2016)

Comeback Season: The cover story (with accompanying photos) for the November/December 2015 issue of American School Board Journal focuses on a New Jersey district's recovery from a hazing scandal that led to the cancellation of its 2014 varsity football season. (For more on this, including a slideshow I produced for, go to my Visual Storytelling section.) 

Responding to Student Trauma: Each year, more than 46 million children are affected by trauma, with one in 10 facing five or more violent incidents in a year. In a December 2015 story written for ASCD's Education Update, I look at how children exposed to repetitive trauma are at risk for a variety of physical and mental health issues—anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, a propensity for substance abuse—that also affect their ability to learn. Available for purchase here

Coming Around Again: A look at the comeback story of Career and Technical Education, which now is firmly entrenched in federal law following Congress’ passage of the long-awaited successor to the No Child Left Behind Act. Published in the February 2016 edition of American School Board Journal