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  • New Freelance Articles, Photos

    Two new freelance articles and several of my photographs appear in the current issue of three national magazines. All have been uploaded to the website and are now available for viewing.

    • Several photos from last fall’s trip to Zurich, Switzerland appear in the Association for Career and Technical Education's March 2017 issue of its flagship magazine, Techniques. The trip focused on how Colorado schools are adopting facets of the Swiss apprenticeship model, which ACTE delves into with a feature and Q&A with the Swiss ambassador to the United States.

    You can see the photos and the stories they accompany here. For a freelance story I wrote on the trip for another publication, go here.

    Simple Logic, which is in the current issue of American School Board Journal, is a technology column that focuses on the need for more computer science and coding classes in K-12 schools. 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.

    LMJ Scholarship — Atticus Lee: The sixth in a series of stories about recipients of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s LMJ Scholarship appears in the current issue of Diversity & The Bar.

    For more stories and features I've written over the past year, go to http://glenncook.virb.com/freelance.

  • New Freelance Stories Published

    Six new freelance stories, including a profile of an acclaimed professor who has moved from the telecommunications industry to research that will reinvent laproscopic surgery, are featured in the Spring-Summer 2015 issue of enVision. The publication is produced twice annually by the University of South Florida's College of Engineering. Read the stories at http://glenncook.virb.com/freelance.

  • Stories Published in National Magazines

    Life as a freelance writer has its challenges, but the diversity of topics you get to work on is often fascinating.

    Since March, I’ve had six different pieces published by national organizations, and more are coming soon. Of those already available, five of the six are for two education associations (ASCD and the National School Boards Association), while the sixth is a piece written for the Minority Corporate Council Association (MCCA). 

    Even the MCCA story has an education component. Titled The Future of the Legal Profession and published this week, it focuses on the winners of the organization’s LMJ Scholarship. The winner who starts off the story,  Jiali “Keli” Huang, has a fascinating tale to tell.

    Here is a list of what has been published recently. (Click on the link to access or download any of the pieces, unless otherwise noted.)

    • Early Start on STEM (May-June 2015): Early colleges take on many guises and forms, ranging from separate campuses that serve small groups of students in a targeted manner to schoolwide initiatives that offer college-level courses to all eligible students. Students at the STEM Early College, a partnership between North Carolina’s Guilford County Schools and A&T that opened in 2012, will graduate from high school with up to 60 hours of college credit in their chosen field.
    • Electronic School: Tech Visits (March-April 2015): Any school leader knows that ongoing success is contingent on factors that go beyond who lives and works in your community. When your technology programs are versatile enough to be replicated in other districts, that’s even better.
    • Principal Leadership: Focus on Professional Development (Winter 2015): The days of leadership by decree are gone, as this series of stories written for ASCD's quarterly "Policy Priorities" newsletter shows. Today, successful principals collaborate, communicate, and share responsibility with their teachers and staff. They understand the job has evolved to one that puts instructional leadership first, even when the mundane, though equally important, day-to-day administrative demands threaten to interfere.

    The next two articles, written for ASCD’s “Education Update,” point you to a landing page where you can read a short sample of the article. Entire issues are available for purchase and download.

    • The Final Push Before Summer (May 2015): What schools can do between the end of standardized testing and the ringing of the last bell to set the stage for student success in the next year and beyond.
    • Reaching Them Early On (March 2015): Schools and cities are scrambling to provide early intervention as infants and toddlers suffer from the highest rates of poverty in the nation.

    Meanwhile, as part of my work for AASA’s 150th anniversary issue that was published in February, I’ve also written up and edited transcripts of interviews conducted with 16 top education leaders. The interviews, which are being archived and likely will be used online, provide a great deal of insight into the organization, its advocacy efforts over the years, and its victories and struggles.

    What is fantastic about this is that it gives readers an opportunity to see the full interviews, which had a lot of fascinating tidbits and insight that did not make it into the six features I wrote for the organization. (You can read individual stories or all six here on my website.) 

    The interviews include AASA’s current and former executive directors (Daniel DomenechPaul Houston) key former staff (Bruce HunterGary MarxFenwick English), board members who made a dramatic impact (June GablerSarah JeromeEugene White), D.C. area education leaders (Anne Bryant/Thomas ShannonGene CarterJack Jennings), state association leaders (Ozzie RoseWalt Whitfield), and longtime AASA members (Burke RoysterPeter Corona).

    Access the individual interviews by clicking on the person’s name, or see the entire set in one document here.

    Thanks for reading, and if you know anyone who’s in the market for a good writer, let me know. Right now, I don’t have much to work on, and as you can see, I like to stay busy.

  • Two Pieces Published on LinkedIn

    As a longtime journalist and magazine editor/publisher, I decided to look at the future of the print medium and — appropriately enough — post it online.

    "Association Publishing: Can Print Survive?" is the first of two essays I published on LinkedIn this week. The piece looks at the future of print in the nonprofit publishing world.

    The second piece, "Print: The New Vinyl," merges two of my favorite interests: Music and writing. This one looks at print journalism and how it compares to the rebounding vinyl record industry.

    Take a look and let me know what you think...

  • Two Magazine Cover Stories Published

    Two freelance cover stories I've written for the National Association of Secondary School Principals are now available to read on my website

    The newest, published this month, is a profile of Jayne Ellspermann, who was honored as National Principal of the Year for her leadership at West Port High School in Ocala, Fla. 

    Also posted is my November 2014 profile of NASSP's Digital Principal Award recipients and the challenges they face in infusing technology throughout their schools.

    To see and download the stories, go to http://glenncook.virb.com/freelance.

  • The Story So Far

    My professional career can be broken down into several distinct phases: nomadic gypsy, professional workaholic, and leader of “Transitions ‘r Us.”

    The first went from just after high school until the early 1990s. I started working for my hometown newspaper just after graduation, and never really stopped. Working my way through college, I took classes in the morning and spent nights chasing and covering cops, municipal governments, and anything else that came down the line.

    Today, I sometimes mourn the fact that I did not have a traditional college experience (although I’m thankful that the parental pay-as-you-go plan meant that I didn’t have any student loans), but in many ways it was the best professional development I could have sought. I loathed the low pay and the long hours, but loved the variety and the learning that took place.

    It took eight years to get a four-year degree, but when I finished college, I had eight years experience at three different newspapers in three different cities, and I was ready to move to the next phase. At this point in my mid 20s, professional boredom was akin to death for me; I gave as much as I could to each job, took as much as I could from it, and moved on.

    What I didn’t realize was the life/work conundrum I would face when I embarked on my first two management positions. Anxious to succeed, I worked tremendously long hours under conditions that weren’t exactly family friendly. By the mid 1990s, I had seen a marriage implode under a major relocation from Texas to North Carolina.

    Cue career shift, moving from the day-to-day newspaper grind into the communications world working for a recently merged school district. It was an opportunity to build something from the ground up, to do some things that had never been done.

    I was extremely fortunate to be in an environment that fostered and supported my creativity. The people I worked for did not understand the nuts and bolts of my work, and they were smart enough not to cast judgment about me personally when we did not agree.

    Jill, the kids, and I left North Carolina and moved to the Washington, D.C., area in 2001 for a variety of reasons. Kate, Emma, and Ben were little — Nicholas, then in elementary school, lived with his mom in Greensboro — and we wanted them to have the experience of living in an area rich in opportunities. The position I accepted allowed me to return to editing and writing — in many respects my first loves — as well as the chance to work for a national publication focused on education.

    At this point, I had worked for almost 18 years, and had been in no position longer than 4½. When I took the position, I never expected to work for the same organization for 12 years. Of course, I never expected the profession I trained in to implode, either.

    The first five years provided a broad palate of opportunities to learn the world of magazine publishing in a non-profit environment. When I became editor-in-chief of American School Board Journal in 2006, I felt prepared to take on the publishing world.

    And we did, for a while, winning awards and accolades for a publication that continues to be highly respected in the industry. But respect can get you only so far when the money stops coming in. The business model for publishing — especially print publishing — eroded steadily over the past seven years. At times, it has felt like death by a thousand paper cuts.

    During the “Transitions ’r Us” phase, we trimmed and cut and eventually slashed expenses and positions to protect the core product amid some of the most difficult economic times we’ve ever seen. Eventually, the transitions caught up with me, and now I’m entering another phase of my career.

    Looking for a job is not like riding a bicycle. You can’t just hop back on and think you’ll pick up right were you left off. I had not updated my resume in seven years, and had not sent out more than a couple in almost a decade. During that period, like many things influenced by the Internet, the job search market has turned upside down.

    Today, job hunting is about making connections, networking, and connecting the diverse dots in a compressed and flattened world. It’s as much about the social — the world of LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and the Web — as it is about the skill set.

    I’ve always said I’m good at selling others, but not myself. I’m learning how to do that now.

    On to the next phase.