About

School Stories is a publication produced by students at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. The site is overseen by Barbara Kantrowitz, who teaches a semester-long seminar on education reporting.

The Staff

jason alcorn
Jason Alcorn is a multimedia journalist with more than five years of experience shaping technology and communications projects for clients including Unicef, eBay, Inc. and Americas Quarterly. He covers dual-language education for School Stories and is reporting from P.S. 24 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Currently studying at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and Graduate School of Journalism, Jason will be moving with his wife to Los Angeles, Calif., in August 2011.

Yolanne Almanzar is originally from Bronx, NY. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Florida International University in Miami. Most recently, she worked at the Miami bureau of The New York Times where she covered politics, education, Cuban-American relations, and other areas of interest in Florida and Puerto Rico. Before that, she interned at The Miami Herald and reported on municipal government. She is now a Master’s candidate at Columbia University with a specialization in digital media. Currently, she is covering immigrant education and is embedded at Manhattan International High School.
elisabeth anderson
Elisabeth Anderson covers early childhood education and is embedded at P.S. 24 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania magna cum laude with a degree in Communication, Beth worked as a corporate strategy consultant at Changing Our World, a philanthropy-focused consulting firm. This native New Yorker currently serves as a trustee of her high school alma mater, Marymount School. She spends her free time checking things off her wedding to-do list; her big day is in October this year. 
leah binkovitz
Leah Binkovitz grew up in the Midwest, attending both public and private schools before heading to U.C. Berkeley to study art history and city planning. She now covers for-profit education and spends her Mondays at a charter middle school in Harlem, Democracy Prep Harlem. She is also part of the special project team reporting on philanthropy in public education.

Amaris Castillo covers juvenile justice and is embedded at Aspirations Diploma High School. Though a Brooklyn girl by birth, Castillo has lived in Florida for almost a decade, where she earned a B.A. in Magazine Journalism from the University of South Florida. Prior to Columbia, Castillo worked as a staff-writer for her college newspaper and as a correspondent for the St. Petersburg Times. She has also contributed to several entertainment and lifestyle websites. E-mail her at casamaris@gmail.com.

Dewi Cooke is a multimedia journalist from Melbourne, Australia, and has worked as a newspaper reporter for a number of years, covering a range of topics from welfare and urban issues to natural disasters and city planning. At Columbia, she’s studying digital media and is focusing on video storytelling. Born in the Philippines, she grew up in sub-tropical Queensland but now spends much of her time exploring New York City, shooting video and looking for stories.

Amara Grautski covers Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender issues in education and is embedded at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Queens. She hails from Boston, where she earned a B.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University. She was a two-time editor and staff writer for The Huntington News, the college’s independent student newspaper, and a correspondent for the sports department of The Boston Globe.
sam guzik
Sam Guzik is a digital media student at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Prior to Columbia, he studied at Washington University in St. Louis where he worked for Student Life — the university’s independent, student-run newspaper and one of the oldest newspapers in Missouri. In addition to working as a freelance photojournalist and reporter, he has worked as a web developer for Newsday, most recently contributing to politics.newsday.com, the paper’s new interactive voters guide. To see more work by Sam, visit samguzik.com.
taryn hartman
Taryn Hartman is a broadcast concentrator from Saline, Mich. and is a graduate of the University of Michigan. She’s worked at USA TODAY, USA WEEKEND Magazine, and most recently for the Detroit Legal News—a niche publication for lawyers—and its lifestyle magazine, Motion. Taryn is embedded at World Journalism Prep in Flushing and is part of the special projects team on the teacher generation gap. Find her online at tarynha.wordpress.com and on Twitter @tarynha.
daniel johnson
Daniel Johnson covers community colleges and is embedded at Urban Academy. He wrote his first articles as a high school student in his hometown of Medford, Massachusetts. From there he double majored in film and media studies and literary journalism at the University of California, Irvine, where he also minored in Asian-American studies. At UCI he served as the editor-in-chief of the New University, the official campus newspaper. In addition to his writing he has also worked for KUCI 88.9 FM. He can be e-mailed at dcj2112@columbia.edu or followed on Twitter @dcjohnson86.
Stacey McEvoy
Stacey McEvoy covers early childhood education and is embedded at The Ella Baker School, an elementary and middle school in Manhattan. She has freelanced for newspapers in New Jersey and has worked in television production and public relations. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and three children. 
Miranda Neubauer is a digital media student at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism who has experienced education systems on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. She grew up bilingual in English and German in Bielefeld, Germany, where she received a German Abitur from the Ratsgymnasium Bielefeld, but also spent 11th grade at the New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies. In May 2010, she graduated from Brandeis University, where, as a senior writer for the student newspaper The Justice, she wrote about the impact of the financial crisis on the institution. At Columbia, she reported from Greenpoint, Brooklyn for The Brooklyn Ink and this semester was embedded in P.S. 24 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, while also covering issues related to immigration. She has also interned for CBS News in New York City and for the daily regional newspaper based in Bielefeld, the Neue Westfälische. You can see more of her articles here http://bit.ly/mirandan) and and learn more on Linkedin (http://www.linkedin.com/in/mirandan).
nick pandolfo
Nick Pandolfo is originally from Brooklyn. Before J-School, he taught ESL at a literacy center. He is now embedded at the Ella Baker School, an elementary and middle school located inside the Julia Richmond campus. He is excited to be covering the early childhood beat. 

Ramaa Reddy Raghavan is currently pursuing her third masters at Columbia School of Journalism. Previously she worked in the area of human resources, specifically in banking and consulting. Ramaa enjoys and has performed the Indian classical dance style of Bharatanatyam for various festivals in the tri-state area. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two teenage boys who are avid tennis players. Her beat at Columbia is immigrant education and is embed at the Lower East Side Preparatory High School and Manhattan International High School. E-mail her at ramaa.raghavan@gmail.com
Jason Tomassini
Jason Tomassini is a multimedia journalist based in New York City, by way of Philadelphia and Maryland. His work has appeared in The New York Times, NYTimes.com, The Washington Post, the Wilmington News Journal, Philadelphia City Paper and other publications. He is interested in how technology intersects with curriculum and is spending time at Urban Academy this spring. Follow him on Twitter @jtomassini.
clara turco
Clara Martinez Turco was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. She completed undergraduate studies in journalism at Universidad Monteavila in 2006 and has masters degree in international affairs from Columbia University. Before moving to New York City, she worked as a reporter and editor at El Universal in Venezuela. She is currently covering immigrant education and is embedded at Manhattan International High School.

The Professors

barbara kantrowitz
Barbara Kantrowitz is an award-winning magazine editor and writer. She worked at Newsweek for more than 20 years as a senior editor in the magazine’s society section, where she wrote and edited dozens of cover stories on education, family, health, 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 the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She and her husband have two grown sons.
peg tyre
Peg Tyre is the author of the forthcoming book The Good School, H. Holt, a guerrilla guide for parents on what education research says makes a good school. She is the author of the NYTimes bestselling book The Trouble With Boys and a contributor to the New York Times.