I remember the story pitch vividly: “We could write about how Ms. Richter also works as a cashier at Central Market because she can’t support her family on a teacher salary alone.” This story had to be told. Though Ms. Richter didn’t know me, I reached out to her and asked for an interview. As we spoke and Ms. Richter shared her deeply personal story with me, I couldn’t help but feel connected. This is because Ms. Richter put a face to the universal truth facing Austin ISD teachers: They just aren’t being paid enough to make ends meet in this city, with a cost of living that is now 10% higher than the state average. This feature served the dual function of highlighting the dedication of McCallum teachers who work two jobs, while also addressing a larger issue about the treatment of educators.

Recognitions: First place – newsprint feature story, SIPA (2023); Second place – news feature, ILPC (2023)

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