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New roles within The Post’s education team

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Announcement from Local Editor Mike Semel, Assistant Local Editor Maria Glod, Education Editor Adam Kushner and Assistant Education Editor Janel Davis:

We are thrilled to announce new study desk roles for Hannah Natanson, Karina Elwood and Nicole Asbury. Hannah has taken on a new pace by covering some of the political controversies around American education. Karina is covering Virginia schools, especially those in Alexandria and Arlington counties, Fairfax and Loudoun. And Nicole is covering Maryland schools, especially those in Montgomery and Prince George counties.

In this new role, Hannah is reporting on the proliferating laws regulating what teachers can say about race and gender, the efforts to limit access to controversial books in school libraries, the acrimony that separates school boards, the movement for give parents more say in what their children learn and other future debates as they take shape.

Hannah had an illustrious three-year job as The Post’s Virginia education reporter. She recounted the fierce fighting that made Loudoun County schools the face of the nation’s education culture wars and Virginia’s vitriolic fight to mask students in school. Her report on the failure of Fairfax County public schools to implement online learning at the start of the pandemic earned a national first place award from the Education Writers’ Association. She also participated in The Post’s coverage of the January 6 events, helping author a profile of Ashli ​​Babbitt that was part of the package that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

While covering the local news, Hannah took the time to explore how the culture wars were shaping education across the country, producing a first-of-its-kind analysis that showed 25 states passed laws limiting lesson topics and students’ rights at school. She has also written compelling narratives about people whose lives have been embroiled in the political frenzy, including a white teacher fired for arguing about white privilege in Tennessee and teenagers coming together to teach each other sex education in a post-war world. Roe. Hannah has spent much of the last year investigating the historic surge in efforts to ban and challenge books. Her stories revealed that school officials were secretly ripping books off shelves and monitored how misinformation led to a book being banned in schools across America.

Hannah, who started at The Post as an intern, grew up in Washington and earned a BA in English from Harvard University, where she played on the varsity soccer team and was managing editor of the Harvard Crimson.

He lives with his partner, Patrick, in Alexandria. Outside of work, she enjoys cycling, running, reading, climbing and solving puzzles.

Karina arrived at The Post in 2021 as a summer intern on the local government and policy team. Since then, she has covered the news in Virginia, Maryland and the District as a general assignment reporter. She has featured in coverage of the 2021 Virginia governor’s race and has held stints in government coverage of Prince George, Montgomery, and most recently, DC. Karina reported on the legalization of marijuana in the region and regularly jumped on breaking national news like the University of Virginia shooting in November and the trucker convoy in March.

Karina holds a BA from the University of Florida, where she served as editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, the Independent Florida Alligator. During her time as a student, she interned at the Miami Herald, the South Florida Sun Sentinel and the Orlando Sentinel.

Born in Melbourne, Florida, Karina isn’t quite winter adjusted yet, but she is excited to see the seasons change here. She lives in Columbia Heights, where she enjoys cooking, saving and browsing the Facebook Marketplace. Lei Karina has two grandchildren, one who lives nearby and with whom she loves to spend the weekends, and a third grandchild on the way.

Nicole has been a constant member of the education team, first as an intern and then, since January, on a contract basis. She has often filled in to report on schools outside her coverage area. She was integral to the team’s coverage of school reopenings amid the pandemic, including her stories of coronavirus testing requirements in DC schools and Montgomery County students coping with the trauma of the pandemic through quilting. She has covered anti-Semitism in Montgomery County schools and has written extensively on leadership issues, critical audit findings, and ongoing internal feuds in Prince George’s schools.

Nicole arrived at The Post in the summer of 2021 as a Metro intern covering social issues, including residents of a Germantown mobile home park who were being charged excessive water fees by the owner. While she attended the University of Kansas, where she earned a journalism degree, she worked as a breaking news intern and government reporter for the Kansas City Star.

When she’s not working, Nicole, who lives in Columbia Heights, enjoys taking walks around town, doing yoga, and spending time with her family. She is originally from Leavenworth, Kansas; his older sister and her parents still live in the state.

Please congratulate Hannah, who started her new assignment earlier this year; Karina, starting today; and Nicole, who began her tenure late last year.

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