Welcome aboard

Stacy-Marie Ishmael joins Chalkbeat’s Board of Directors

Chalkbeat is thrilled to announce the expansion of its Board of Directors with the appointment of Stacy-Marie Ishmael, a leader in digital media and the future of journalism. The addition strengthens a growing organization that is now reporting on education in five local communities, bolstering Chalkbeat’s ability to meet expanding need for local news about education.

Ishmael, a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, joined the Chalkbeat board in September 2016.

“Our mission is to arm American communities with the information they need to build more equitable schools. We couldn’t have found a better leader to help us achieve our mission than Stacy-Marie,” said Chalkbeat board president and cofounder Sue Lehmann. “Her expertise in digital media, product, and news strategy will help Chalkbeat connect our award-winning, high-impact stories to broader audiences.”

Chalkbeat currently serves communities in four locations — New York, Colorado, Tennessee, and Indiana — and will launch in Detroit in January 2017. Chalkbeat’s reporting has spurred changes in education funding, legislation, policy, and practice and is regularly cited or republished in dozens of publications, including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Vox, the Commercial-Appeal, The Denver Post, The Detroit Free-Press, The Indianapolis Star, and more.

Ishmael joins a board that also includes Lehmann, cofounder and chief facilitator of the Student Success Network; Gideon Stein, the founder and CEO of LightSail Education; Jill Barkin, a vice president of board governance at Teach For America, and Kang-Xing Jin, a vice president of engineering at Facebook. Chalkbeat is led by cofounder, CEO, and editor-in-chief Elizabeth Green.

Ishmael, most recently managing editor for mobile at BuzzFeed News, is now researching mobile infrastructure for newsrooms at Stanford University as part of her JSK fellowship. At BuzzFeed News, Ishmael led the launch of and the editorial team for the BuzzFeed News apps on iOS and Android. She was also responsible for developing best practices for news on mobile across platforms.

Prior to BuzzFeed News, Ishmael worked at The Financial Times in various roles, including the first vice president for communities, where she created and led strategies to deepen meaningful relationships with global audiences.

Ishmael earned her undergraduate degree in international relations at the London School of Economics.

“At this pivotal moment in US history, strong schools and strong local journalism are more important than ever,” Ishmael said. “I’m proud to be able to join the board of an organization that is singularly focussed about a topic I care deeply about, and to help them build a sustainable path for journalism.”

“At Chalkbeat, we are determined to build a sustainable local news organization that can help steer the country toward stronger schools. We can’t do that without the strongest possible leaders,” said Elizabeth Green, Chalkbeat cofounder, CEO, and editor-in-chief. “Stacy-Marie brings us the vision and leadership we need to succeed.”

A previous addition to Chalkbeat’s board of directors was announced in December 2015.

About Chalkbeat:

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news organization committed to covering one of America’s most important stories: the effort to improve schools for all children, especially those who have historically lacked access to a quality education. Founded in 2013, Chalkbeat has bureaus in New York, Colorado, Tennessee, Indiana, and Detroit, with plans to expand to a number of new markets in the next five years. We believe that every child deserves an excellent education, and that a strong press is vital to making that happen. Our mission is to provide deep, unbiased, local coverage of education policy and practice to inform the decisions and actions that lead to better outcomes for children and families. Chalkbeat’s work has been written about by The Nieman Lab, USA Today, and The Columbia Journalism Review.

share your story

Looking for inspiration to share your Detroit schools story? Watch us share one of our own

Erin Einhorn takes the stage at the Charles H. Wright Museum.

Chalkbeat believes in telling stories: The stories of teachers, the stories of parents, the stories of children, and the stories of our schools.

Now we’re inviting readers to share their experiences with Detroit schools — submit yours here. We’ll publish the best on our site plus select a few to be told live on stage at the Charles H. Wright Museum on March 17 at our upcoming event hosted by Satori Shakoor of The Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers. (Get your tickets here before they sell out.)

For a preview, watch this video of last week’s Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers, where Erin Einhorn, our senior reporter in Detroit, shared a story about the moment she realized Detroiters needed new and better ways to get information about their schools. Her story begins at the 7-minute mark.

Raise your voice

Passionate about education? Want to help improve our journalism? Join Chalkbeat’s Reader Advisory Board

Support our journalism by joining Chalkbeat's Reader Advisory Board.

Dear Readers,

It’s a busy time at Chalkbeat. We’ve officially expanded to Detroit, where we plan to continue and strengthen our work of elevating underrepresented voices and keeping communities informed.

As we grow, we want to ensure that our reporting always represents the perspective of you, our dedicated readers. Will you help us as we continue this work?

We’re looking for 2-3 representatives from each of our five locations (Colorado, Detroit, Indiana, New York, and Tennessee) plus a few national representatives to join our Reader Advisory Board.

Serving on this board means you will help guide our coverage, hold us accountable, and help us build strong relationships in the communities we cover. We are asking members to commit to a two-year term that requires participating in three 90-minute video conference calls with Chalkbeat editors and reporters per school year (six in total for a two-year term).

In these meetings, we’ll discuss upcoming projects, brainstorm new angles and source opportunities, discuss how our team is working towards sustainability, and hear your feedback, amongst other things. Members should anticipate some light work between meetings, including regularly reading Chalkbeat stories.

You should apply if you:

  • Care deeply about education
  • Want to see your community reflected in our journalism
  • Are excited by and want to support our core values
  • Can commit to three evening video calls per school year

Interested readers can apply via the application below (or in a new tab here) or send any questions to [email protected].