Jenny Brundin

Jenny Brundin is the education reporter for Colorado Public Radio. She joined CPR in 2011 after spending 16 years at KUER in Salt Lake City. Before her career in radio, Jenny worked as a literacy teacher at a refugee center in Alberta, Canada.

Education:
Bachelor’s degree in political science, McGill University; Master’s degree in journalism, University of California, Berkeley. Jenny also holds a graduate diploma in adult education from the University of Alberta, Canada.

Professional background:
Jenny joined Colorado Public Radio as education reporter in July 2011 after spending 16 years at KUER, Salt Lake City, as senior reporter and news director. While at KUER, Jenny provided far-reaching coverage on a number of topics, including education, politics, immigration, health care and business. As news director, she also developed projects and series focused on issue-specific forums, citizen-based projects, commentaries and youth-produced stories.

Before her career in radio, Jenny worked as a literacy teacher at a refugee center in Alberta, Canada, where she developed curriculum and participated in the country’s first program designed to help refugee children and teens adapt to life in Canada.

Awards:
Jenny has won numerous national awards from Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, regional Murrow awards for news seriesand was named Best Radio Reporter six times by the Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists. In 2013 and 2015, Jenny won first prize nationally for education beat reporting in the Education Writer’s Association contest and third prize for her report on violence in Denver schools.Jenny won second prize in the nation in beat reporting in EWA’s 2014 contest.Jenny also served as senior fellow in NPR’s Economic Training Project in 2009.

Q & A

Why I became a journalist:
I lived near a library and spent lots of time in the periodicals room reading newspapers from around the world. I loved how newspapers connected me to different perspectives, ideas and issues. I wound up in journalism because I enjoy learning from people all the time and having the privilege of being let into their lives to tell their stories.

Why I got into radio:
Radio is a magical medium to me. My love for it began on cold winter nights in Montreal, sitting in the dark, watching the radio lights flicker from CBC’s “Brave New Waves,” an underground music show. Later, someone gave me a shortwave radio. I was entranced by the pops, crackles and headlines from around the world – Cuba, the Netherlands, India. As an intern at KQED in San Francisco, I did my very first radio piece on the city’s amazing mural art. I loved the challenge of describing a visual art form on radio. Many years of long nights in the “radio zone” followed, working with tape and a razor blade trying to make stories come alive. Twenty years later, I’m still excited by radio’s possibilities.

How I ended up at CPR:
I met CPR’s News Director Kelley Griffin years ago at a conference and was impressed by her dedication to long-form story telling and willingness to try new approaches. The education beat is very rich and it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. My family loves hiking, camping and skiing. So, we packed our bags and headed to the other side of the Rockies from Utah.

  • Could endless hours spent in front of computer and phone screens be reducing kids’ attention spans? Teachers think so, according to two new studies. Also, a new book suggests that character — not performance on standardized tests — is a greater predictor of a child’s success in life.
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  • The school day and school year are about to get longer for 5,000 Colorado students. The state is taking part in a five-state pilot program to extend the school year by an extra 300 hours.  Here is a transcript of CPR education reporter Jenny Brundin’s report.
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  • Buy low, sell high. That’s just one of the mantras more than a thousand Colorado high school students recited while participating in the Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge recently. CPR’s education reporter Jenny Brundin took a peek into the chaotic world of teenaged high stakes trading and filed this report.
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  • Elbert School District Superintendent Kelli Loflin celebrates election victory with children around the school’s flag pole.  “Grateful” and “thrilled” were the two words repeatedly echoed by school leaders as they described how they felt late Tuesday night.
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  • Trevista mom helps her daughter find her name on student class list. Last spring, Colorado Public Radio chronicled the tumultuous final months of the school-year at Trevista –a Kindergarten through 8th grade school in northwest Denver.
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  • School districts across the state are asking voters to decide on more than a billion dollars worth of spending this election. Denver’s request alone is about half a billion.  Host Ryan Warner talks with CPR’s education reporter Jenny Brundin about what school districts from Jefferson County to St. Vrain say are their most pressing needs.
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  • Big ol’ blisters and altitude sickness didn’t faze a Boulder high school student in her recent attempt to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain at over 19-thousand feet.
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  • In this era of high-stakes testing and high drop-out rates, public schools are focusing heavily on reading, writing and arithmetic. Some are worried that arts are getting short shrift. A report issued this fall showed that many Denver students, especially low-income kids, don’t get a high-quality arts education.
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  • Did you ever dissect a frog in high school science? It turns out those “hands-on” labs might not have been the most thought-provoking way to teach science.
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  • Conifer High students work on the PhET simulation “Build An Atom.” Most Colorado students are not doing well in science – less than half score at grade level on state tests and many of them lose interest in the subject by 3rd or 4th grade.
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  • Sixth grader Joey Rodriguez adjusts wind power blade for his experiment at the Stem Magnet Lab School. Studies show that by fourth grade, a third of students have lost interest in science. A school in the Adams 12 district is bucking that trend.
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  • For months, you’ve been hearing the now almost predictable back and forth between the presidential candidates on jobs and the economy. We’re going to spend the next few minutes comparing the candidates on a topic you’ve heard much less about: education.
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  • Douglas County Schools operates in one of the wealthiest counties in the country. And the district is in turmoil. It faces a high-profile lawsuit over vouchers. Its teachers are working without a contract, because the school board is at loggerheads with the union. Board members have even suggested cutting ties with the teachers union.
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  • A task force charged with eliminating barriers to success in college and public school is recommending only three bills for Colorado’s next legislative session. Lawmakers say they’re cautious because it’s an election year and don’t know whether they can count on support.
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  • School has started for most Colorado children. On the minds of many kids is whether they will be bullied. Colorado has strong laws to prevent bullying, but not all districts follow the part of the law meant to protect students on the basis of sexual orientation.
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  • Park rangers say they want families to put visiting a national park at the top of their minds over, say, a trip to Disneyland. The National Park Service’s goal is to connect a quarter of the nation’s school children with nature.
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