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On Alex’s anniversary with EdNC

Four years ago tomorrow on December 1, Alex Granados started working at EdNC. Referred by my friend and colleague Amanda Martin to be a freelance reporter, we met at Joule Coffee — our then office — and, well, I took to him immediately and hired him to be our very first reporter. Six weeks later, we launched. And here we are four years in — almost a personal record for Alex with any employer, which I count as a win for me.

Alex builds relationships better than any reporter I know. He is relatable. And — along with his solid, day-in-and-day-out reporting — he is respected and trusted not just by me and our team, but by the teachers, principals, superintendents, legislators, and communities he covers. He also is respected by his peers.

658 articles later, including his early column The Monday Missive and his current column Grumblings and Rumblings, this is his work I am most proud of…

This was Alex’s first article on principals:

Problems exist with principal salary structure in North Carolina

Live United is a short documentary Alex produced about a food and cultural exchange between students in Hatteras and Conetoe:

His series on “A” schools looked at 17 schools with 50 percent or more free-and-reduced-price lunch students that received a school grade of A.

Alex teamed up with WRAL reporter Kelly Hinchcliffe through a collaboration funded by the Center for Cooperative Media to write this series about our Restart schools:

Restart program gives some low-performing schools flexibility to help struggling students

Alex’s in-depth reporting on migrant education, just released this week, was conducted over the past year with the support of Education Week’s 2017 Gregory M. Chronister Fellowship. Alex was the inaugural recipient of the fellowship and worked closely with Education Week editors and staff to complete the project:

An inside look: Schooling migrant families

Most mornings, while he is walking his dog, Maggie, Alex calls to check in on me. If he doesn’t get me, he often sings to me on the voicemails he leaves me. One year, for Boss’s Day, he wrote this song for me thinking it was my birthday. Classic.

One time, taking a photo I wanted, this happened:

Along the way, as Alex has traveled our state, he has had a few adventures and consumed a lot of Cheerwine and pizza.

Two misadventures — one involving pizza and the other a drone — involved law enforcement!

I am really happy Alex loves his job.

Thank you for choosing us (note Alex asleep in this photo at a recent team meeting).

Alex, every day, I am proud of you and I am thankful for you. Our students and our state are lucky I found you. Our future will be greater for your work with us. #loveAlex #loveNC

Mebane Rash

Mebane Rash is the CEO and editor-in-chief of EducationNC.