The Alabama Education Lab is a team of journalists dedicated to covering K-12 education through the lens of what we can do to help our state’s kids achieve their potential.
We’re dedicated to solutions-based reporting and talking to educators, parents, students, advocates and business leaders around the state about efforts to improve schools and increase learning.
Learn more about the Alabama Education Lab and how you can support our work by visiting our website.
Ruth Serven Smith joined AL.com in January 2021. Before moving to Birmingham, she was a health and education reporter, and an editor for a daily newspaper in Charlottesville, Virginia. She attended the University of Missouri School of Journalism and is originally from Oklahoma City.
Trisha Powell Crain is an education reporter who launched a nonprofit news organization, Alabama School Connection, as a way to put more information and data into the hands of parents, before joining AL.com in 2016. She is a lifelong resident of Hoover.
Rebecca Griesbach joined in June 2021 and is a Report for America corps member, and is covering efforts to address opportunity gaps and increase equity in schools. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama and a Tuscaloosa native. She served as editor-in-chief of The Crimson White, where she led multiple investigations into administrative turnover at the state’s flagship university. Her work also has appeared in The New York Times, ProPublica and Chalkbeat Tennessee.
Savannah Tryens-Fernandes joined in June 2021 and is a Report for America corps member, covering efforts to address child mental health and wellness inside and outside classrooms. She has degrees from Columbia University and Villanova University. Before completing her master’s, she was a senior associate at Human Rights Watch, where she tracked conflict and political issues across Africa and did field reporting in South Africa covering xenophobic violence.
Kalyn Dunkins joined AL.com in 2022 as an Advance Local Media fellow and works on reporting and audience engagement efforts. She is a native of Birmingham and a graduate of Denison University.