Jonna McKone | WYPR

Jonna McKone

Reporter

Jonna covers education, youth and housing for WYPR.   She's also a documentarian, media artist and educator. Her stories and audio documentaries have been broadcast on All Things Considered, Here and Now, Marketplace, The World, Living on Earth, WAMU and Virginia Public Radio.  In 2014 Jonna was awarded an Equal Voice Journalism Fellowship.  A Maryland native, Jonna is a graduate of Bowdoin College and holds an MFA from Duke University.

 

Nearly 200 hundred years after Harriet Tubman’s birth, a visitor’s center, byway and state park near her birthplace in Dorchester County, honor her memory and work as an Underground Railroad operative and later, as a spy and nurse during the Civil War. 

 

The Bucktown Village store, at a crossroads of what was a bustling agricultural region in Tubman’s day, is one of dozens of byway sites open to visitors. It had fallen on hard times before Thomas Meredith’s family bought it 20 years ago and began restoring it to its original appearance.

 

Baltimore County's school board bemoaned the loss of Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance at its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night. Dance abruptly resigned earlier that day. WYPR's Jonna McKone covered the meeting, and told Nathan Sterner some of what happened.

Photo courtesy of movoto.com

Will is a second grader in Anne Arundel County schools, and already he’s on his third school since kindergarten; not because he moved, or his old schools closed, but because he has a disability that leads to behavioral problems. And the behavioral problems have led to suspensions.

He was suspended six times from Jacobsville Elementary in Pasadena as a kindergartner. His mother, Lori Cornwell, says the school didn’t recognize his disability.

Gov. Larry Hogan used a visit to a Baltimore charter school today to make good on his promise to veto an education reform bill passed by the General Assembly.  

Hundreds of students filed into the auditorium of the charter school, Baltimore Collegiate School for Boys, to watch Governor Hogan wield the veto pen at a school assembly.

"We’re proud to stand with you by vetoing this legislation right now," said Hogan. "And then I’m going to personally hand carry it right back to the General Assembly this afternoon."

Nearly 200 years after her birth, Harriet Tubman, who led escaped slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad, was honored over the weekend with the opening of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center near her birthplace in Dorchester County.

The $22 million park on the edge of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, was eight years in the planning. Then-President Barack Obama named the site a national monument in March of 2013, the 100th anniversary of her death. The visitor center rises from the marshes, fields and woodlands that still look much as they did during  Tubman’s life.

Some parents, teachers, students and administrators in Baltimore City Schools spent the week trying to convince state and local lawmakers to plug the schools’ $130 million dollar budget gap.

The search for money to “fix the gap” started in Annapolis on Monday where Mayor Catherine Pugh staged a press conference. “We have not heard yet what the governor's commitment is going to be,” she said, calling for the state to pitch in more funds.  “And he knows how important our school system is and how important our children are.”

Students at predominately white Westminster High School fought back Wednesday after administrators removed posters promoting diversity. More than a third of them showed up wearing T-shirts modeled after the posters.

But things didn’t go exactly as planned at this Carroll County school that’s 87 percent white. A bomb threat led to the evacuation of the school in the afternoon just as thunderstorms rolled into Westminster. The students returned about a half hour before dismissal, some of them rattled by the threat.

Miles, a Frederick Douglass High School student, takes us on a journey through his experience of mentorship. From his tight-knit relationships with his brothers and friends to a neighbor who served time in prison as a teenager to the remarkable story of his Uncle Jamie, Miles explores the ways these people have shaped him.

Frederick Douglass High School student, Miles, takes us on a journey through his experience of mentorship.

  

In today’s episode Chanel, a Frederick Douglass High School student, produced and narrated a radio diary about her identity as a gender non-conformist. Chanel, who also goes by Cory, is committed to dispelling stereotypes about gender identity and expression.

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