Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Good News of Good New Teachers

Erin Sweeney, new third grade teacher at
Cove Elementary School. Go Erin!
Who isn't inspired by the teachers who work and plan and hope to make a difference in the lives of their students? And when asked, who of us could not name that one teacher who had a significant impact on us? Mine was Mrs. Manning, the junior high English teacher who helped me love stories and language and rhythms at a time when, well, I needed to learn to love something other than . . . my own selfish world.

So I hope this story I wrote on good new teachers in the area will remind you of that one (or two or three) who took you in a new direction. Which of course made all the difference:

Fresh faces to greet students:

Several districts report increasing number of new teachers

As third-graders at Cove Elementary School in Beverly start a new year, their teacher Erin Sweeney, 45, will be starting a new career. Her second, as a matter of fact. No, make that her third.
A former project manager for a publishing company (career No. 1) and mother of three (career No. 2), Sweeney says she’s excited to meet her students tomorrow. Armed with a master’s degree in reading from Salem State University and four years’ experience as a paraprofessional at Hannah Elementary School, Sweeney is prepared and nervous all at once.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A New Beat, A Local Story

Enough talking about journalism here—it's time I got back to doing some! Henceforth, I'll be writing (and posting) regular stories I'm submitting to our local community newspaper, The Salem News. Education stories on schools, teachers, parents, trends in the classroom, you name it, these are the articles I'm hoping to provide. Why? So Boston's North Shore might pay a little more attention to the education of our kids, and so I get the privilege of exploring my own backyard a bit more.

First story: August 13, 2012: "Down to the Wire for Required Summer Reading."

Got a good tip or story idea that's local, local, local about schools or education? Email me: jo.kadlecek@gordon.edu  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Gold Medal Journalism

New York's Columbus Circle, a few subways
stops away from Columbia University.
Maybe it was the recent inspiration of the Olympics, but lately I've been thinking about the 2012 Pulitzer Prizes awarded last spring. I once worked at NYC's Columbia University where they honor the recipients each year in an elaborate but distinguished ceremony on their City Set On A Hill campus. (Yes, it was first an Episcopalian college.) 

Two underdogs come to mind from this year's winners: Sara Ganim, the 24-year old reporter of
The Patriot-News Staff, in Harrisburg, PA,who broke the Jerry Sandusky story. (See Ganim's thoughts here.) A.M. Sheehan and Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling of the Advertiser Democrat, Norway, Maine, a weekly, who exposed disgraceful conditions in federally-supported housing and within hours, triggered a state investigation.

A few months ago, I heard Ganim's editor speak at a journalism conference along with Sheehan. Both reminded me of the need for tenacity in reporting, vision in editing and commitment to community journalism. So here's to more gold medal stories for our communities!