Melanie is the New Jersey education writer, based in Mount Laurel, focusing on issues and trends in public and charter schools.

Latest Stories

How a South Jersey family made a difficult life-ending decision for woman with the coronavirus

Eleven days after Shirley B. Jones, of Edgewater Park, was hospitalized with the coronavirus, her doctor asked her husband: What do you want to do? Hours later, he decided to have her removed from a ventilator, and in a few minutes his wife of nearly 50 years had died.

First female police chief in Atlantic County wants to open doors for other women

Donna Higbee made history five years ago when she was appointed the first female police chief in Galloway Township. Today, she remains the only female serving in that role in Atlantic County.

A N.J. man was a decorated African American in the Marines. His trunk ended up in an estate sale in Conn.

A Connecticut teenager wants to return a trunk that once belonged to one of the country’s first black Marines to his relatives in New Jersey. It was acquired in a red-tag sale.

How teachers are using technology to keep in touch with students during coronavirus school closures

By 9 a.m., Jill Hammel’s kindergarteners can log in online to get their assignments. Twice a week, they get special time individually with her to read a favorite story and share their new normalcy outside of the classroom.

Parenting in the time of coronavirus: How do you manage work and supervising kids?

“It’s really hard to keep them contained. They’re just like magnets, when they know you’re doing something important,” said Monica Gilson, of Collegeville. “It’s definitely hitting some additional nerves.”

As coronavirus closes schools, wealthier districts send laptops home with students. What about poorer districts?

“You’re going to have districts that are much better resourced to do something like online learning than other districts,” said Mark DiRocco, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators.

They found love in grief after his sister was killed in Pulse nightclub shooting

Philadelphia native Patience Carter discovered her now-husband in the unlikeliest of scenarios.

She once stood before a judge as a juvenile delinquent. Now, she’s practicing law.

Carmen Day, a South Jersey woman who got a second chance as a juvenile delinquent, fulfilled her dream to become a lawyer and wants to inspire others.

Haddonfield schools chief stepping down at end of school year

Board President Adam Sangillo said Superintendent Lawrence Mussoline “grabbed the reins of a district in need of major rebuilding and clear leadership.” He said Mussoline had “righted the ship" and credited him with leading long-range strategic planning and promoting diversity.

West Chester University cancels all in-person classes because of coronavirus, instruction will go online

West Chester is the largest university in Pennsylvania's state system, serving more than 17,000 students. About 5,100 of them lived on campus, but most will not be permitted to return after spring break.