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.

  • Denver’s school district has captured the national spotlight for reforms like closing schools and reopening them with bold turnaround plans. The changes didn’t come easily. It took rancorous debate and a slim majority vote on Denver’s seven-member school board.
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  • For a young person, reciting Shakespeare is a lofty challenge: the language is at times beautiful and subtle, at times dangerous and passionate. On Sunday, students from across the state competed to recite Shakespeare’s words with feeling and clarity.
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  • More and more kids in the state are choosing online schools. And when they do, they’re going on your dime. Just like you pay for the public school down the street, you pay for these virtual campuses. But are they a good investment of tax dollars?
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  • As competition increases between schools to attract students, the pressure is on for principals to raise test scores and retain good teachers. Yesterday, we spent time with principal Peter Sherman as he got ready for the new school year.  The 9-year principal is fresh off a training fellowship.
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  • As pressure builds for school reform, the spotlight is shining brightly on principals. A good one can raise test scores and retain families and good teachers. Today we’ll visit with one principal who has made great strides. But Peter Sherman’s not resting yet.
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  • Coloradans marked the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks at several events across the state. Colorado Public Radio Reporters Pat Mack and Jenny Brundin attended two of the largest gatherings and have this report. Here are the transcripts of their reports. [Photos: Pat Mack and Jenny Brundin/CPR] Reporter: I’m Pat Mack.
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  •  On 9/11, all over Colorado, classroom teachers scrambled for how to react to the day’s horrifying events. In fact, they’re still trying to figure it out today.  For one student, just watching how his veteran teacher responded that day would have a lasting impact on his own future.
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  • Probably most families with kids in school know how hard it is to catch the school bus every time, especially if they have chosen a school further from home.  Parents in northeast Denver found the traditional bus system wasn’t working. So they began pushing for a  more flexible bus system with more options.
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  • A year ago, low test scores, poor morale and dwindling enrollment plagued Lake Middle school in northwest Denver. Parents began pushing for change.
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  • It was the end of an era of sorts, for those who oversee the tests teachers and students sweat over every spring. For the 15th and final time, education leaders yesterday released the CSAP results. The tests measure how students are doing in reading, writing, math and science.
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  • Are Colorado’s kids getting the kind of education required by the state constitution? A Denver district judge will consider that question starting today and her decision could have a huge impact on how the state funds schools —  and how much it spends. We’ll interview the family that helped spark the lawsuit.
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  • Douglas County is trying something no one’s tried before in order to give public money to support students in private schools.  The idea is to create a charter school – unlike any other charter school in Colorado. It’s only goal? To run a voucher program for students to attend private schools.
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  • More students than ever are entering college in the U.S. But once they get there, many drop out. That ends up costing states a lot of money,  because tuition’s often subsidized. And it means employers aren’t getting the highly skilled workers they need.
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