Posted in Announcements

Additions to AP’s Education Reporting Network

, by Nicole Meir

AP Education Reporting Network Director Chrissie Thompson has announced two additions to the network aimed at deepening education coverage by the AP and across the news industry.

Here is her memo announcing Mike Melia as education news editor:

Please help me congratulate Mike Melia for his new job as AP’s education news editor.
Mike has spent years covering education part-time as a reporter and editor. He co-led the previous version of the education team, while bringing his steady, calm and good-natured leadership to AP’s Connecticut coverage, and often to its New York report as well. He has a deep knowledge of education data, a broad grasp of trends and a personal drive to center students’ voices and elevate equity issues. I’m thrilled that he’ll be devoting his full time to this topic. Mike is fluent in Spanish and formerly served as a correspondent in Puerto Rico – assets to our team’s efforts to reach diverse audiences. He’s skilled in collaborating across the AP’s wide network and with nonprofit education newsrooms. Mike will continue to be based in Hartford.

Here is Thompson’s memo announcing Bianca Vázquez Toness as education reporter:

I’m thrilled to announce education reporter Bianca Vázquez Toness will join our Education Reporting Network. Bianca is one of the top education reporters in the country, most recently serving on The Boston Globe’s “Great Divide” investigative team. She’s known for using vivid storytelling for accountability reporting, and for relentlessly centering her reporting on children and families. She is well-sourced in low-income communities and communities of color, especially among Spanish speakers. Last year, Bianca won the Education Writers Association’s top award for her beat reporting, which focused on the pandemic’s disruptions on learning and its disproportionate impact on low-income families. That kind of equity-centered work is our highest calling as education journalists, and the mission of our new education reporting team.
Isaac Adjei aligns desks in his classroom at Pleasant Run Elementary School, Feb. 8, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Bianca is bilingual in English and Spanish and can read and speak basic Portuguese. She has worked as a public radio and wire service reporter, so she’s familiar with the needs of a wide range of AP’s customers. Her breadth of journalism experience is impressive. She has worked as a reporter in Mexico City and New Delhi. She has covered tech, agriculture, immigration and injustice. She has held both the Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the International Reporting Project Fellowship at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies. She has covered education since 2017. Bianca will be based in Boston.