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.

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.

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.

 

 

Jonna McKone

With Baltimore city schools facing a $130 million shortfall-- roughly 10 percent of the annual budget—schools CEO Sonja Santelises has warned of painful cuts, including teacher layoffs.

Some of the specifics are beginning to take shape as school principals received their budgets last week.

Job Grotsky, the principal at Mount Royal Elementary in Bolton Hill says next year’s budget is significantly smaller than in the past.  He’s probably going to lay off nine people, some of them teachers.

“As a result we basically have to build the school from the ground up,” he said.

Today we premiere a new series that will air on On the Record every Tuesday in February. More Than Words is a collaborative youth media group, radio project and podcast produced and reported by Baltimore City Public School students. The show hands over the microphone to youth so they can report and tell personal stories they feel journalists sometimes neglect or get wrong. 

Deneira moderated a discussion with her co-reporters about adults’ perceptions of youth. The students had an honest and lively discussion about their experiences being stereotyped and how they feel adults could be more understanding and helpful to young people.


Jonna McKone

For the fifth time in ten years, a Maryland teacher is one of four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year award.  Athanasia Kyriakakos is the first Baltimore City teacher to reach those heights.

Kyriakakos, the only visual arts teacher at Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School, or Mervo, was chosen for her dedication to her students and her commitment to teaching art as a critical thinking skill.

She started at Mervo, the biggest high school in Baltimore, four years ago and found the school didn’t do much in the way of proudly showcasing its students’ work in the glass display cases that line the halls.

Flickr Creative Commons // Elvert Barnes

Jake Naquin, a 10th grader at Bard High School Early College in West Baltimore, was waiting at Harford Road and The Alameda for a bus home to Hamilton one day last November when  three teenagers came up to him.

“Basically me and two of my friends were at the stop,” he explained. “They asked us what school we went to.  And we answered. “

So, Jake and his friends, unnerved, headed for another bus stop. They got about half-way there when the same group stopped them and demanded his phone. He says he thought they were joking.

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