Star Tribune names new Minneapolis schools reporter

School’s start is just around the corner, and earlier this month, the Star Tribune named its new reporter to cover the 34,000-student Minneapolis district.

He’s Corey Mitchell, who hit town July 6 as part of the Strib’s staff-up for new weekly sections in Dakota and Washington counties. (You can read his suburban work here.)

In the staff memo (below), editors note Mitchell — newly sprung from grad school — covered education in Saginaw, Mich. and won a sportswriting award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

He’ll start work next Monday, a week before the school year begins Aug. 30.

Mitchell replaces Emily Johns, who left last month to go to law school. He’ll jump right into a complex district with no shortage of issues and cultures, plus a school board election in November. Mitchell will be the Strib’s fourth Minneapolis-schools beat reporter in a little over two years; by comparison, Minneapolis City Hall has been an island of coverage stability this millennium, with Rochelle Olson and then Steve Brandt holding down that granite fort.

Here’s the memo from assistant managing editor Kate Parry and Minneapolis team leader Larry Oakes:

Corey Mitchell moves to Minneapolis schools beat 
 
We are very pleased to announce that Corey Mitchell will be our new Minneapolis schools reporter.
 
Corey has made a strong start in our South bureau — describing the community unease after a rare homicide in Rosemount and exploring the decline of fluent Dakota speakers in the state. But the minute we learned we would have an opening for a Minneapolis schools reporter, we knew Corey was a top prospect for the job. 
 
Before arriving here, Corey distinguished himself in Michigan for powerful coverage of education issues. He described how a tenured teacher in the Saginaw schools repeatedly threatened students, stagnating scores among local high school students on college admissions tests and students who were passed on to the next grade despite report cards full of failing grades. He wrote an award-winning breaking news story on the death of a middle school honor student struck down in a drive-by shooting. The Michigan AP awarded him first place for investigative reporting in 2008.

Just last week he received a Salute to Excellence Award for sports reporting from NABJ — he had won that award for features reporting the year before.
 
Please join us in congratulating Corey. He will move to the Minneapolis newsroom and begin work on the beat on Aug. 23.

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