Stella M. Chávez | KERA News

Stella M. Chávez

Reporter/Blogger

Stella Chávez is KERA’s education reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35. The award-winning entry was  “Yolanda’s Crossing,” a seven-part DMN series she co-wrote that reconstructs the 5,000-mile journey of a young Mexican sexual-abuse victim from a small Oaxacan village to Dallas. For the last two years, she worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she was part of the agency’s outreach efforts on the Affordable Care Act and ran the regional office’s social media efforts.

Ways to Connect

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

With a new school superintendent taking over this fall in Houston, every one of Texas’ eight largest cities now has a Latino running the school district. That’s a big deal in a state with a surging Hispanic population and a history of political underrepresentation. In the first chapter of a statewide collaborative series, KERA digs into the implications for students, schools and the politics of education.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Finding fresh food can be tough in neighborhoods without easy access to grocery stores. Residents of Vickery Meadow, a refugee-rich neighborhood in northeast Dallas, are making healthy food more accessible by growing it themselves in their community garden.

andem / flickr

In recent weeks, several North Texas school districts have held or considered having tax ratification elections.

This week, in an American Graduate series called “The First Week,” we’ve been listening to conversations about race after a summer of racial turmoil in America and police shootings in Dallas. We’ve heard from parents, students and a teacher. Today, it's Gregg Anderson, a school resource officer who’s building relationships in the  Carrollton-Farmers Branch school district.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Over the next five days, in a series called "The First Week," we’ll listen in on the conversations students, parents, educators and police officers are having after a summer of racial turmoil in the U.S. and police shootings in Dallas. First, we look at race through the perspective of a black family in Arlington.

Ken Bennett / Wake Forest University School of Law

Two North Texas universities recently decided to no longer enroll new students in their evening law school programs.

UNT Dallas

The UNT Dallas law school program is in jeopardy of not receiving accreditation from the American Bar Association. 

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Around the country, it’s been challenging for law school graduates to find jobs as lawyers. As a result, law school enrollment has gone down in some places. That’s not deterring one North Texas school. The UNT Dallas College of Law is trying to attract a different type of student.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

In the days since a gunman shot and killed five police officers in downtown Dallas, group after group has called for a new kind of conversation about police and race relations.

KC Ivey / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday that the Texas Voter ID Law violates the Voting Rights Act. The lawsuit challenging the law was born in North Texas.

Patrick Zamarripa's photo via Facebook

One of the five police officers killed in the July 7 downtown Dallas shooting was laid to rest at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery on Saturday. As part of KERA’s series, “Remembering the Fallen,” we look at the life of 32-year-old Dallas Officer Patricio "Patrick" Zamarripa.

Javier Giribet-Vargas / KERA News Special Contributor

More than 1,000 people gathered for a candlelight vigil in downtown Dallas Monday night to remember the five officers who died during last week's shootings.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Police have identified the shooter as Micah Xavier Johnson, a 25-year-old Army veteran who lived in Mesquite. On Friday, Dallas Police Chief David Brown said Johnson was upset about recent police shootings. KERA visited Johnson’s neighborhood and spoke to neighbors there.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

It’s summer, but that doesn’t mean kids are off the hook from learning. One Dallas camp is teaching its students about character – and this week, the focus is on beauty. KERA News tagged along with one group as they trekked around the Trinity River Audubon Center.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA

David Kapuku came to the U.S. with his family in 2013 after his mother won the Diversity Visa Lottery. KERA reporter Stella Chávez met David while reporting on immigrant students in North Texas for a series called “Generation One.” She recently caught up with David, who’s just graduated from high school. He talks about how the past few weeks have been filed with triumph and tragedy.

Photo: Nada Atieh

When school's out, Texas schools are giving low-income kids free meals in the summer. The problem is five out of every six kids who are eligible don’t show up. However, the Arlington school district is trying to turn that around. 

Gus Contreras / KERA News

The Orlando shooting hit two groups especially hard. The shooter was Muslim. And most of the victims were gay. Two leaders of the Muslim and gay communities in North Texas talk about how the two groups can work together.

U.S. Department of Education / flickr

There’s a rating Texas schools do not want – improvement required. Under a new state law, schools that have received this rating at least two years in a row have to come up with a plan that explains how they will get better. Schools are trying creative ways in the hopes of turning things around.

Shutterstock

From Alaska to Maine, Texas to North Dakota, public schools have dramatically changed during the past two decades. Walk into these schools and you’ll likely find that the majority of students are children of color.

Lara Solt

For the past month, you’ve been hearing from North Texas high school juniors. Their stories are part of KERA's American Graduate series, “What’s Next for the Class of ’17?” Alex Gutierrez is a student at the International Leadership of Texas high school, a charter school in Garland. Alex has been struggling with math and as junior year ends, a big test looms.

Mark Birnbaum

Chance Hawkins has all the junior year challenges of his classmates at Fort Worth’s Dunbar High School. His personal challenge is even bigger – he’s battling a degenerative muscle disease. Chance is one of the students KERA has been following for its American Graduate series, “What’s Next for the Class of ’17?” In this latest installment, Chance talks about how this school year has been and what he’d like to do in the future.

Shutterstock

The Obama administration on Friday issued guidelines to protect transgender students from discrimination. In a letter to school districts, the departments of education and justice said transgender students should be allowed to use bathrooms or locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. The announcement has been met with applause and anger.

Lara Solt

The Class of ’17 — a group of North Texas students that KERA began following three years ago — is wrapping up its junior year. And it’s crunch time, which means these students are starting to make decisions about what will come after graduation.

Burlingham / Shutterstock

Early voting ended May 3 for a number of North Texas school board and bond elections. Here's a look at some of the items on Saturday's ballot.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

On May 7, McKinney voters will head to the polls to decide on a $220 million school district bond package. It includes plans for school upgrades, new technology and a 12,000-seat stadium and event center.

Shelly Adams/DFW Scanner / Twitter/@DFWScanner

The Wylie Independent School District called off school on Tuesday – a day after hail the size of baseballs broke windows and caused other building damage.

 

wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock

In Dallas County, more than 30,000 eligible children are not enrolled in pre-K. The education nonprofit Commit and nine area school districts have teamed up this week to early register thousands of students for pre-K in the fall. Jaime Hanks Meyers is director of early education at Commit.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Dade Middle School in Dallas has had a history of problems. Some community leaders want the Dallas school district to boost neighborhood involvement and turn Dade into what’s called a community school. Some folks believe more community and parental involvement would make a difference there.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Funeral services were held Thursday for Jose Raul Cruz, the North Texas teen killed Sunday by an off-duty Farmers Branch police officer.  At Cruz's funeral, one man shared his story about the teen.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

The Dallas Independent School District is trying out a new approach to discipline in six of its schools. It’s called restorative discipline. Instead of suspending kids from school or sending them to the principal’s office, teachers first get students together to talk about the problems they’re having, or causing. 

Pages