Director of Product
Becca Aaronson is the director of product at Chalkbeat. Previously, she was the first-ever product manager at The Texas Tribune, where she led initiatives such as the website redesign. She began her career as a reporter, covering health care at The Texas Tribune from 2012-2014. She later co-founded their data visuals team and led the development of several award-winning investigative projects. Becca has a bachelor’s degree in cultural theory from Scripps College.
Michael is the operations associate at Chalkbeat. Previously, he served in a variety of back office capacities at KIPP New Jersey, including marketing, communications, creative services, and talent operations. Michael studied social science education at the University of South Florida. He came to the greater New York area first as a Teach For America corps member teaching sixth grade English language arts in Newark, New Jersey.
MARTA W. ALDRICH
Senior Statehouse Correspondent, Chalkbeat Tennessee
Marta W. Aldrich is Chalkbeat Tennessee’s senior statehouse correspondent. A newswoman for The Associated Press for most of her career, Marta has covered state government, politics, business, education and other Tennessee news. She has served as news editor of United Methodist News Service and features editor of American Profile magazine. Her freelance work has been published by The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor and Dow Jones News Service, among others. Marta is a graduate of Memphis City Schools and the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
Reporter, Chalkbeat New York
Reema Amin covers New York City public schools. Before Chalkbeat, she covered city and state government for the Daily Press in Virginia’s Hampton Roads region and was a breaking news reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times. Reema received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in public affairs journalism from Columbia College Chicago.
Chief Revenue Officer
Maria Archangelo is Chalkbeat’s chief revenue officer.
Senior Reporter, Chalkbeat Colorado
Melanie Asmar covers Denver Public Schools. Asmar previously worked as a reporter for Westword newspaper in Denver and for a daily newspaper in her native New Hampshire. She joined Chalkbeat Colorado in 2015.
Matt Barnum is Chalkbeat’s national reporter, covering education policy and research. Previously he was a staff writer at The 74, the policy director for Educators for Excellence – New York, and a middle school language arts teacher in Colorado.
Director of Earned Revenue
Sky Barsch is Chalkbeat’s director of earned revenue. Her experience in media spans editorial and publishing as well as traditional and digital media. Her previous roles include associate publisher for advertising at The Nation, where she also spearheaded an e-commerce store and product development; associate publisher at Vermont Life magazine and publisher and editor of Vermont Sports magazine. Prior to that, she was a daily newspaper reporter for five years.
Reporter and Community Editor, Chalkbeat Tennessee
Caroline Bauman serves as Chalkbeat Tennessee’s community editor and writes about Tennessee schools. Bauman has a masters degree from the University of Missouri as a Thurgood Marshall Fellow. When she’s not working, you can almost certainly find her enjoying BBQ nachos at Central or live music at the Levitt Shell.
Kalyn Belsha is a national reporter for Chalkbeat based in Chicago. Previously, she covered education for The Chicago Reporter, Catalyst Chicago and the suburban Chicago Tribune. She is a former Spencer Fellow in Education Reporting at Columbia University and has taught journalism at Loyola University Chicago.
Gabrielle Birkner is a story editor for Chalkbeat Indiana and New York. She served previously as the managing editor at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and the director of digital media at the Forward. She is the co-founder of Modern Loss and the co-author of “Modern Loss: Candid Conversation About Grief. Beginners Welcome” (Harper Wave, 2018). Gabrielle lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children.
Reporter, Chalkbeat Newark | Report for America Corps Member
Devna Bose is a reporter for Chalkbeat Newark and a 2019 Report for America corps member. She is a Mississippi native and previously reported for several community newspapers in her home state. Her work — including feature writing, photography, and design — has won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Mississippi Press Association. She is a graduate of the University of Mississippi, where she was managing editor of the student newspaper, The Daily Mississippian. You can find her on Twitter @devnabose.
Jessica Campbell is a development manager at Chalkbeat. She began her career as a New York City public school teacher and has since worked on various projects that live at the intersection of education and journalism, including previously interning at Chalkbeat New York (then GothamSchools). She has been published in The New York Times, The Village Voice, and The Brooklyn Rail. Jessica is a graduate of New York University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Pace University’s Graduate School of Education, and The University of Pennsylvania.
Bene Cipolla is the editor-in-chief of Chalkbeat. She has over a decade of experience as a reporter, writer and editor and has been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Time, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated. She started her career covering the Vatican in Rome and worked as an editor at major magazines in New York, including Cosmopolitan. She has also led content development for several digital startups, most recently Birchbox, with a focus on growing readership and engagement. Bene is a graduate of Princeton University and was a Fulbright Scholar in Italy.
Philissa Cramer is editor-at-large of Chalkbeat. She previously co-founded GothamSchools, now Chalkbeat New York, and was its bureau chief until 2014. Prior to that, she was a reporter at Insideschools and contributed to the third edition of New York City’s Best Public High Schools. Philissa has also written about education issues for the Village Voice, the Nation, and the New Republic.
Meisha Cummings is the staff accountant for Chalkbeat. Previously, she worked as a junior accountant for the Lymphoma Research Foundation where she was responsible for the accounts payable process. She also assisted with the month end closing and the annual audit. She has over five years of nonprofit experience. Meisha has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the City University of New York- York College.
Sarah Darville is Chalkbeat’s national editor. She joined the team as a reporter in 2013 and then became bureau chief of Chalkbeat New York. She is a graduate of Columbia University, where she edited the Columbia Daily Spectator, and was a 2013 Google Journalism Fellow at the Nieman Journalism Lab. She has also written for the New York Daily News, the South Florida Sun Sentinel, and BKLYNR.
Senior Director of Development and Site Expansion
Scott Elliott is senior director of development and site expansion of Chalkbeat. He oversees new site selection and and provides development support to local Chalkbeat sites. He joined Chalkbeat in 2013 as the founding bureau chief of Chalkbeat Indiana, and before that was an award-winning education journalist at the Indianapolis Star and the Dayton Daily News. At the Daily News, his blog, Get on the Bus, was just the third mainstream media education blog when it launched in 2005. He was Knight-Wallace journalism fellow at the University of Michigan in 2004-05 and was president of the national Education Writers Association from 2013-17.
Reporter, Chalkbeat Chicago
Adeshina Emmanuel joined Chalkbeat Chicago in 2018 after working as a freelance journalist writing for local and national news outlets. Before freelance life, Adeshina covered race, class, and inequality at the Chicago Reporter and was a neighborhood reporter at DNAinfo Chicago, where he covered the Uptown and Andersonville communities. His first journalism job was at the Chicago Sun-Times as a wire reporter. Adeshina was born in Chicago and raised in the Uptown community by an African-American mother and a Nigerian father.
EMMA KATE FITTES
Reporter, Chalkbeat Indiana
Emma Kate Fittes is a staff reporter for Chalkbeat Indiana. She covers the legislature and statewide education issues in Indiana. Before Chalkbeat, she covered suburban schools for the Indianapolis Star and Muncie Community Schools for The Star Press. Emma Kate received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University.
Chief of Staff
Bethanie Glaser is Chalkbeat’s chief of staff. She graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in secondary education and began her career at Teach For America, first as a corps member in Kansas City and later as development associate. She then moved to Thailand, where she served as a college counselor at Chiang Mai International School, and spent two years supporting D.C. public schools as a program manager at CityBridge Foundation upon her return to the U.S.
Head of Growth
Alison Go is Chalkbeat’s head of growth. Previously, she was a product manager at Amazon, Facebook, and Rent the Runway. Alison received her MBA from the Wharton School and went to the University of Michigan for undergrad. In a former life, she was a reporter and copy editor at U.S. News & World Report, the Boston Globe, and the San Jose Mercury News.
Managing Editor for Local News
Eric Gorski is one of Chalkbeat’s managing editors for local news. He was previously bureau chief of Chalkbeat Colorado. Before joining Chalkbeat, Gorski worked as a reporter for The Denver Post – covering everything from K-12 education and religion to marijuana legalization – and as a national writer for the Associated Press.
Catherine Green is the engagement editor at Chalkbeat. Previously, she was a senior editor at The New Republic, where she oversaw engagement and audience development, and managing editor of The Atlantic’s website. Prior to her move back east, Caty was deputy editor at Voice of San Diego, an investigative news nonprofit, and reported on green tech for the L.A. Times’ Business desk during a summer fellowship in 2013. She won Best Online Feature during the L.A. Press Club’s 2011 awards, and was an Emerging Journalist Fellow in 2014 through the Journalism and Women Symposium. She earned a master’s degree in text journalism from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.
Co-founder & CEO
Elizabeth Green is co-founder and CEO of Chalkbeat. She previously co-founded GothamSchools, now Chalkbeat New York. Elizabeth has also written about education issues for The New York Times Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, and many other publications. Her New York Times bestselling book, Building a Better Teacher, was published in August 2014 by W.W. Norton. In 2009-2010, she was a Spencer Fellow in education journalism at Columbia University, and in 2011, she was an Abe Journalism Fellow studying education in Japan.
Full Stack Developer
Chris Hickerson is Chalkbeat’s full stack developer. Before joining Chalkbeat he worked as a WordPress Engineer at DEG Digital and a front-end developer at Penton Media. He was also part of a team that won a 2014 Pulitzer Prize at the Colorado Springs Gazette.
Bureau Chief, Chalkbeat Detroit
Lori Higgins is the bureau chief for Chalkbeat Detroit. Previously, she covered K-12 education for nearly two decades as a reporter for the Detroit Free Press, was a reporter and editor at the Green Bay Press Gazette, and a reporter at the Manhattan Mercury. She is a native of Chicago and product of Chicago Public Schools.
Katie Jimenez-Gray is the executive assistant to Chalkbeat’s CEO, Elizabeth Green. Originally from Northern California, she worked as an Educator at the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco before moving to Washington, DC. She has also worked in public school classrooms in Ohio and Stockholm, Sweden, where she spent a semester studying abroad. Katie graduated summa cum laude from Kenyon College with degrees in English and psychology.
Bureau Chief, Chalkbeat Tennessee
Jacinthia Jones is Chalkbeat Tennessee’s bureau chief. She previously was content strategist and metro editor for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis and also has worked at the Birmingham Post-Herald. She has covered local government, social services, education, and criminal justice issues. Jacinthia is a graduate of the University of Memphis.
Director of Finance
Jennifer is the director of finance for Chalkbeat. She previously served as the Finance Officer of the Colorado Rural Health Center. Jennifer has a BSBA in Accounting from the University of Tulsa.
LAURA FAITH KEBEDE
Reporter, Chalkbeat Tennessee
Laura Faith Kebede covers Memphis schools. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and most recently covered county government, schools and religion at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia.
Reporter, Chalkbeat Chicago
Yana Kunichoff is a reporter for Chalkbeat Chicago. Prior to joining Chalkbeat in 2018, she produced feature-length documentaries and a pop-culture web series for Scrappers Film Group; worked as a fellow with City Bureau, where she won a March 2016 Sidney Hillman award for an investigation into fatal police shootings; and most recently lived and reported in Moscow, Russia. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Atlantic, Pacific Standard, and Chicago magazine, among others. You can find her on Twitter @yanazure.
GABRIELLE LAMARR LEMEE
Gabrielle LaMarr LeMee is a designer/developer on Chalkbeat’s product team. Previously, she was a news applications developer at ProPublica where she redesigned the Election DataBot, an app that compiles and displays campaign activity. She began her career as an information designer, making confusing financial and health insurance information easier for consumers to understand. Gabrielle has a bachelor’s degree in communication design from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s degree in information design and visualization from Northeastern University.
Reporter, Chalkbeat Detroit
Koby Levin joined Chalkbeat Detroit in 2018. He previously was a county reporter for The Joplin Globe in southwest Missouri and an intern for the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. His work at NECIR was named a finalist for an investigative reporting award from EWA. He is a graduate of Swarthmore College, where he was editor in chief of the student newspaper. Koby is Michigan native and is fluent in Spanish.
Senior Operations Manager, Revenue
Paula Matias is Chalkbeat’s senior operations manager of revenue. She has a diverse marketing, business development, branding and event/conference planning experience working within national and global environments. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and is a fluent speaker of one of the most popular romance languages; Portuguese.
DYLAN PEERS MCCOY
Reporter, Chalkbeat Indiana
Dylan Peers McCoy is a staff reporter for Chalkbeat Indiana, where she covers Indianapolis Public Schools. Previously she covered education for the Lafayette Journal & Courier, the Daily Hampshire Gazette and American RadioWorks. Her reporting on parks and regional policy also has appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She came to education reporting by way of public radio, and her documentary work has aired on WCAI, Latino USA and Studio 360. Prior to pursuing journalism, she worked in tech, politics and law. She graduated magna cum laude from Smith College with a degree in government, and she attended the Transom Story Workshop.
Managing Editor for Local News
Carrie Melago is one of Chalkbeat’s managing editors for local news. She came to Chalkbeat from the Wall Street Journal, where she was most recently the editor overseeing newsroom training programs. Before that, she was the digital editor of the WSJ’s Greater New York section, where she managed the online footprint for the paper’s metro coverage. Carrie worked at the New York Daily News for nine years, starting out as a street reporter and going on to cover crime and education beats before becoming a city desk editor. She holds a master’s in American Studies from Columbia University and a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Maryland.
Bureau Chief, Chalkbeat Colorado
Erica Meltzer is bureau chief of Chalkbeat Colorado, where she also covers the legislature and statewide education issues. Erica previously covered government and politics for the local news site Denverite. Before that, she covered everything from housing and energy policy to crime and courts for newspapers in three states. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay.
Sharon Noguchi is story editor for Chalkbeat Chicago and Colorado. She worked at the San Jose Mercury News for three decades, as an education reporter, op-ed editor, editorial writer, and copy editor. Earlier in her career, she was an editor for English-language newspapers in Tokyo, and she later spent a year in Japan as a Fulbright fellow reporting on migrant workers from South America and Southeast Asia.
Samuel Park is Chalkbeat’s digital producer. He recently graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where he was a Posse Foundation scholar. Before joining Chalkbeat, Sam interned at Warner Bros. and Instagram.
Junior Staff Accountant
Danielle Perez is the junior staff accountant for Chalkbeat. She was previously a staff accountant with Kuoni Destination Management. Danielle has five years of accounting experience. She possesses an A.A.S in Business Administration and is working towards her B.S in Accounting.
Senior Marketing Manager
Kary Perez is Chalkbeat’s senior marketing manager. Previously, she worked with brands like Google, ESPN, Feeding America and Plan International to help them build a relationship with their target audiences via social good initiatives at DoSomething Strategic (the consulting arm of DoSomething.org). Before moving to the nonprofit sector, she got her start in book publishing and edited niche non-fiction titles at Penguin Random House.
Reporter, Chalkbeat Colorado
Yesenia Robles is Chalkbeat Colorado’s suburban reporter looking at changes happening in Denver’s suburban school districts. Yesenia grew up in Denver, graduated from CU Boulder and is fluent in Spanish. She previously covered suburbs, education and breaking news for The Denver Post.
Director of Operations
Myra Rosenbaum is Chalkbeat’s director of operations. Myra has over 20 years of experience working for organizations focused on social justice and the promotion of high quality family support, youth development, and education programs for low-income families and communities. She has served as Vice President for Policy & Planning at Safe Space, Director of Program Evaluation & Planning at Good Shepherd Services, and Associate for the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation’s Program for Children. Myra received her M.P.A. from the University of Washington and her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Alyssa Ross is a development manager at Chalkbeat. She previously worked as a grantmaker at the Open Society Foundations, where she worked on international labor migration and refugee issues. She has a BA from Brandeis and an MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics.
Chief Operating Officer
Rebecca Ross is Chalkbeat’s chief operating officer. Rebecca has over fifteen years of experience designing innovative programs and products that create social impact and building the capacity of organizations that execute them. She has been a Vice President at ideas42 and Seedco where her work focused on issues of poverty, education and financial services for the poor in New York City and nationally. Rebecca has a BA from Vassar College and a MPA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government.
Managing Editor for Style and Standards
Emiliana Sandoval is the managing editor for style and standards for Chalkbeat.
Senior Reporter and Community Editor, Chalkbeat Colorado
Ann Schimke is Chalkbeat Colorado’s senior reporter and community editor. Schimke launched her journalism career as a copy aide, eventually becoming a freelance writer for The Washington Post in 1997. In 2000, she moved to Michigan and became the primary K-12 education reporter at The Ann Arbor News, covering issues ranging from school re-segregation to the impact of the No Child Left Behind Act. After covering education issues for five years, Schimke went on to earn a master’s degree in education policy from the University of Michigan. Subsequently, she worked as a family advocate in Ann Arbor, helping homeless students in several area districts access transportation, financial assistance and academic help. In 2008, Schimke moved with her family to Colorado, working as a freelance writer and editor for several local publications. She joined Chalkbeat (then EdNews Colorado) in 2012.
Director, Development and Major Gifts
Kimberly Spencer is Chalkbeat’s director of development and major gifts. She has spent her career working with mission-based organizations to raise strategic support and increase brand awareness. She has held a variety of leadership and fundraising roles; most recently, she led the business development and audience engagement teams for Public News Service. The child of a math teacher who grew up in rural Maine, Kimberly has seen first hand the critical importance of local news to report on education issues. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Leadership for Nonprofit Organizations from Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Julie Topping is story editor for Chalkbeat Detroit and Tennessee. She formerly worked at the Detroit Free Press, where she supervised operations of sports, features, entertainment, education, health, and enterprise reporting.
Reporter, Chalkbeat New York
Christina Veiga is a reporter for Chalkbeat New York covering early childhood education, school diversity and the Department of Education. She previously covered K-12 education for the Miami Herald.
Melissa Villanueva is Chalkbeat’s operations assistant. Before joining Chalkbeat, Melissa was the office manager at Families for Excellent Schools, and she also bring many years of HR experience in the retail sector to the team. She has a B.A. in Classical Humanities from Rutgers University.
CASSIE WALKER BURKE
Bureau Chief, Chalkbeat Chicago
Cassie Walker Burke is Chalkbeat’s founding Chicago bureau chief. She joined Chalkbeat from Crain’s Chicago Business, where she was assistant managing editor, opinions chief, and served on the editorial board. She’s the former executive editor of Chicago magazine, co-founded the online magazine Middleouest, and her writing has appeared in Politico, O, the Oprah Magazine, Elle Décor, and Interior Design. She has an M.S.J. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and she has taught magazine writing and editing at both Medill and DePaul University.
Senior Reporter, Chalkbeat Newark
Patrick Wall is a senior reporter for Chalkbeat Newark. He was previously interim bureau chief and a reporter for Chalkbeat New York. Patrick started his career as a fourth-grade teacher in Chicago Public Schools before earning a master’s degree in journalism from CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism. He’s been published in The Atlantic, Mother Jones, and DNAinfo, among other publications. He was a Spencer Education-Reporting Fellow at Columbia University and won a national beat reporting award from the Education Writers Association.
Bureau Chief, Chalkbeat Indiana
Stephanie Wang is the bureau chief for Chalkbeat Indiana. She previously covered education and diversity issues for the Indianapolis Star, and she has also worked for the Tampa Bay Times. Stephanie is originally from Boston and is a graduate of Northwestern University – Go Cats!
Senior Associate of Development
Laura Wendorf is Chalkbeat’s senior associate of development. She received her B.A. in International Affairs from James Madison University and a M.S.Ed. in Childhood Education from the College of St. Rose. She has worked as a fundraising assistant in higher education and at a family-run nonprofit, as well as a special education paralegal. Most recently, Laura worked for a charter school network in upstate New York as a 1st grade teacher, reading specialist, and office manager.
Senior Development Director
Lee Whack is a senior development director at Chalkbeat. He manages the New York and Newark bureaus. As a former Chicago Tribune local news reporter, communications professional and most recently the spokesman for the Philadelphia public schools, Lee has a unique mix of professional experiences that have prepared him for this role. Other highlights include serving as a press secretary for the Democratic National Convention and communications director for the D.C. Housing Finance Agency. He is a graduate of Morehouse College and has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.
Reporter, Chalkbeat New York
Alex Zimmerman joined the Chalkbeat team in 2016. He was most recently a staff writer at the Pittsburgh City Paper and previously reported for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His work has appeared in the Village Voice, Vice, Atlas Obscura and the investigative nonprofit PublicSource.