Mallory Falk

Former Education Reporter

Mallory Falk was WWNO's first Education Reporter. Her four-part series on school closures received an Edward R. Murrow award. Prior to joining WWNO, Mallory worked as Communications Director for the youth leadership non-profit Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools. She fell in love with audio storytelling as a Middlebury College Narrative Journalism Fellow and studied radio production at the Transom Story Workshop.

Ways to Connect

Family photo / The Atlantic

In her first few years as a young teacher in New Orleans during the 1970s, Kathleen Whalen was overwhelmed by classroom management. As both a newcomer to the city and a white woman teaching in historically black schools, the language and cultural gaps made it particularly challenging to communicate effectively with the students at times.

What My Students Taught Me

Sep 11, 2017
Christopher Powers / Education Week / Zak Bickel / The Atlantic

In parts of New Orleans, Michael Ricks is a legendary educator—known for his full girth and even fuller heart. Most people just call him “Big Mike.” For years, Mike’s formal title was academic and behavioral interventionist, although in practice he serves as a combination between disciplinarian, social worker, and friend.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

Throughout the county, many schools have scaled back physical education classes and cut down on recess time. But kids need a chance to release their energy and express themselves through movement. That's what Chanice Holmes believes. She's a dance instructor at ARISE Academy and teaches elementary school students to communicate and channel stress through dance.

Chanice Holmes was placed at ARISE Academy tbrough Up2Us Sports, a national sports-based youth development program, and the local nonprofit Dancing Grounds.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

Eric Parrie teaches history at G.W. Carver Collegiate Academy. Recently, he gave his students a broad writing assignment: tell the story of a meaningful moment and just tell it as powerfully and beautifully and in as detailed a way as you can.

Those stories are published in a new book called History Between These Folds. Parrie partnered with the non-profit Big Class and the writer Kiese Laymon to launch a personal history project, collecting stories from about 80 juniors at Carver.

The Listening Post at Carver Collegiate Academy in New Orleans East.
Thomas Walsh / The Listening Post

This past winter WWNO’s education desk looked at how local schools are dealing with trauma in their classrooms. To wrap up their series they collaborated with The Listening Post to bring their questions to Carver Collegiate Academy in New Orleans East. Reporter Mallory Falk and producer Claudia Lopez take a listen to the results.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

New Orleans might soon become the first city without a single traditional public school. The superintendent and school board decide later this month whether to charter the last five schools, which means they’d be publicly funded but privately run. That has at least one family concerned.

Clarence Williams

WWNO’s series Kids, Trauma and New Orleans Schools looks at how trauma shows up in the classroom. Our reporting has focused on one New Orleans pre-K through 8th grade school, Crocker College Prep, as it makes changes to account for high levels of trauma in the city’s children. New Orleans kids screen positive for PTSD at rates three times higher than the national average. Our final story in the series takes a closer look at what it takes to run a trauma-informed school.

Clarence Williams

New Orleans kids show up to school having experienced trauma at rates several times higher than the national average. For the series “Kids, Trauma and New Orleans Schools” WWNO’s Eve Troeh and Mallory Falk spent time at one school making changes to account for high levels of trauma: Crocker College Prep. Eve Troeh shares this profile of Nicole Boykins, the school's new principal.

Clarence Williams

In our series “Kids, Trauma and New Orleans Schools,” we’ve been reporting about New Orleans kids, how they deal with levels of trauma many times higher the national average, and how schools respond to that.

Clarence Williams

In New Orleans, children screen positive for post-traumatic stress disorder at three times the national average. There are many sources: experiences around Hurricane Katrina, exposure to violent crime, the buildup of family stress due to high poverty.

WWNO’s Mallory Falk and Eve Troeh have teamed up to report on the ways New Orleans schools have dealt with that trauma.

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