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  • Staff

    Liz Willen is editor of The Hechinger Report and director of The Hechinger Institute. She is a former senior writer focused on higher education at Bloomberg Markets magazine. Willen spent the bulk of her career covering the New York City public school system for Newsday. She has won numerous prizes for education coverage and shared the 2005 George Polk Award for health reporting with two Bloomberg colleagues. Willen is a graduate of Tufts University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and an active New York City public school parent.


    Jill Barshay, a contributing editor, is the founding editor and writer of Education By The NumbersThe Hechinger Report’s blog about education data. Previously she was the New York bureau chief for Marketplace, a national business show on public radio stations. Barshay has worked at Congressional QuarterlyThe Asian Wall Street Journal and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She has also written for The New York Times, the Financial TimesThe Economist and The Washington Post, appeared on CNN, ABC News and C-SPAN and was a podcaster for Slate. A graduate of Brown University, the London School of Economics and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Barshay spent the 2010-11 academic year as a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in economics and business journalism at Columbia.

    Sarah Butrymowicz is a staff writer. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, as well as on Time.com and NBCNews.com. She was the winner of the 2012 New York Press Club’s Nellie Bly Cub Reporter Award. She received a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and an M.S. from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. As an undergraduate, she worked as a news editor and managing editor for the Tufts Daily, and she interned at both the Green Bay Press-Gazette in Wisconsin and USA Today.


    Sarah Carr is a senior editor. She has written about education for the last 13 years, reporting on battles over school vouchers, efforts to educate China’s massive population of migrant children, and the explosion of charter schools in post-Katrina New Orleans. She is the author of Hope Against Hope, a nonfiction account of New Orleans schools post Hurricane-Katrina, which she reported with the support of a Spencer Education Journalism Fellowship at Columbia University. Carr has contributed to the New York Times, the Daily Beast, Time, the Miami Herald, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, New Orleans public radio and numerous other media outlets.  She has won several national awards, including from the Education Writers Association for her work at Hechinger. Carr is a graduate of Williams College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.


    Sarah Garland is managing editor K-12. She has written for The New York TimesNewsweek InternationalNewsdayThe New York Sun,  The AtlanticThe Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer. She was a 2009 recipient of the Spencer Fellowship in Education Reporting at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and received her master’s degree from New York University as a Henry M. MacCracken fellow. Her first book, Gangs in Garden Citywas published by Nation Books in July 2009. Her second book, Divided We Fail: The Story of an African American Community That Ended the Era of School Desegregation (Beacon Press) was published in January 2013. She has been a guest on the Diane Rehm Show, the Leonard Lopate Show, PBS NewsHour, Word of Mouth with Virginia Prescott, Bloomberg EDU with Jane Williams, Here and Now, and appeared on MSNBC.­­­


    Joanne Jacobs is a contributing writer at The Hechinger Report and the author of the Community College Spotlight blog. Formerly an award-winning editorial writer and op-ed columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, Jacobs started joannejacobs.com, one of the first education blogs, in 2001. She is the author a book on a college-prep charter school for Hispanic students, Our School: The Inspiring Story of Two Teachers, One Big Idea and the Charter School That Beat the Odds (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005). A graduate of Stanford University, Jacobs has freelanced for newspapers, magazines and websites.

    anyasmallAnya Kamenetz, writes the Digital blog for The Hechinger Report. She is a contributing writer at Fast Company and the author of several books and book chapters about the future of education, including DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education (2010). She is a 2013-2014 Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation. Her next book, The Test, about the history and future of assessment, will be published by Public Affairs. Kamenetz was named a 2010 Game Changer in Education by The Huffington Post and received 2009 and 2010 National Awards for Education Reporting from the Education Writers Association. She’s been featured on CNN, PBS and NPR and has written for The American Prospect, The Nation, Newsweek, The New York Times, New York magazine, Salon, Slate, The Washington Post and more.

    Barbara Kantrowitz, a senior editor, is an award-winning magazine editor and writer. She worked at Newsweek for nearly 25 years in the magazine’s society section, where she wrote and edited dozens of cover stories on health, education, religion and women’s issues. Kantrowitz has also worked at People, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Newsday and The Hartford Courant, and has freelanced for many national publications. She is a graduate of Cornell University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

    Jon Marcus, higher-education editor, has written about higher education for the Washington Post, USA Today, Time, NBCNews.com, the Miami Herald, the Boston Globe, Washington Monthly, and other magazines and newspapers. He also is the North America higher-education correspondent for the Times (U.K.) Higher Education magazine. His Hechinger higher-education coverage has won national awards from the Education Writers Association and he was a finalist for an award for beat reporting from the New York chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The former editor of Boston magazine, Marcus holds a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree from Bates College. He teaches journalism at Boston College and Boston University.

    Jackie Mader is a staff writer based in Jackson, Miss. Her work has appeared in the Sun Herald and The Clarion-Ledger, as well as on Time.com and NBCNews.com. She was the winner of the 2013 Front Page Award for In-Depth Newspaper reporting from The Newswomen’s Club of New York. She received a bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Prior to attending Columbia, she taught special education in Charlotte, N.C. and trained first-year teachers in the Mississippi Delta.

    Davin McHenry is the web editor, responsible for managing The Hechinger Report website. As web editor of the Bakersfield Californian, he led thenewsroom in changing to a web-first approach and launched the breaking-news blog that became one of the most popular parts of the paper’s site. McHenry also served as assistant city editor and covered county government for the Bakersfield Californian. Prior to that, he was a reporter for The Hanford (CA) Sentinel. McHenry holds a B.A. in dramatic arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


    Joan MotykaJoan Motyka, contributing editor, honed her editing and writing skills during a 25-year career at The New York Times, where she also served as a writing coach, director of newsroom training and recruiting editor. Her work has appeared in many sections of The New York Times, including the Book Review, Travel and Business, as well as in The Boston Globe, International Herald Tribune and Business Week. Motyka is an editor of The Westchester Review, a teacher of memoir writing and co-chair of the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Center for Continuing Education. She holds a B.A. in journalism and American studies from Syracuse University.

    Sara NeufeldSara Neufeld is a contributing editor. She has been writing about public education since 2000, including a decade as a newspaper reporter for The Baltimore Sun and San Jose Mercury News. Her coverage of the Baltimore schools was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and she was a Livingston Award finalist. Sara contributed to the book The Achievable Dream: College Board Lessons on Creating Great Schools. At The Hechinger Report, her series on Newark school reform has received numerous regional awards, and her work has run in publications including The Atlantic and Slate. Sara also has experience teaching yoga to youth at risk, and she holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University

    perrymugDr. Andre Perry, a contributing writer, is the founding dean of urban education at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Mich. Previously, Perry worked in both academic and administrative capacities, most notably as CEO of the Capital One-University of New Orleans Charter Network, which consisted of four charter schools in New Orleans. A native of Pittsburgh, Perry earned his Ph.D. in education policy and leadership from the University of Maryland-College Park. Perry’s views have been featured on NBC, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera America, GOOD Magazine, TheGriot.com, The New Republic and CNN. In 2011, UNO Press released his book, The Garden Path: The Miseducation of a City.

    Salina Sanchez is the business manager for both the Hechinger Institute and The Hechinger Report, overseeing the management and reporting of all grants, budgets and spending. Since joining Hechinger in 2007, she has organized numerous professional development seminars. Sanchez holds a bachelor’s degree in literature from Purchase College, SUNY and a master’s degree in English from New York University.


    Kayleigh-SkinnerKayleigh Skinner is a senior journalism student at the University of Mississippi. She has contributed to the school’s publication The Daily Mississippian and city newspaper The Oxford Eagle. Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Kayleigh is also a member of the Ole Miss cross country and track and field team.

    Justin Snider is a contributing editor at The Hechinger Report. He is an advising dean at Columbia University, where he also teaches undergraduate writing. Snider’s research interests include school reform, press coverage of education, urban politics, mayoral control and transatlantic relations. Previously, he taught high school English and advised student publications in the United States, Austria and Hong Kong. A California native, Snider is a graduate of Amherst College, the University of Chicago, the University of Vienna and Harvard University.