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Cathy Carter

Reporter

Cathy Carter is the education reporter for WUSF 89.7 and other Florida public radio stations.

Before joining WUSF, Cathy was the local host of NPR’s Morning Edition for Delaware Public Media and reported on a variety of topics from education to the arts.

Cathy also reported for WAMU, the NPR news station in Washington D.C, was a host at XM Satellite Radio and wrote arts and culture stories for a variety of newspapers, including the Virginian Pilot and the Baltimore Sun.

Her work has been honored by journalism organizations such as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Maryland Press Association and the Delaware Press Association.

A graduate of Boston’s Emerson College, Cathy is a Massachusetts native, meaning that like all residents is under state mandate to be a Boston Red Sox fan.

Contact Cathy at 813-974-8638, on Twitter @catcartreports or by email at ccarter@wusf.org

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Courtesy Carlos Childs

The first thing you notice at Campbell Park Elementary School in St. Petersburg are all the signs. An oversized poster reads "No Fear, No Limits, No Excuses" in big block letters. A wooden plaque is inscribed in flowering cursive with the phrase, "Always Be Kind." The affirmations are just a part of an effort to transform the school's culture in the wake of a newspaper investigation on failing majority black schools in Pinellas County.

Cathy Carter/WUSF News

For baseball fans, spring training means winter is almost over and pennant dreams can be renewed.  But in Florida, baseball’s six week warm-up means big business.

The Florida Senate has voted on a plan that will bring sweeping changes to the state’s higher-education system.

Pooneh Ghana

The country's top three music festivals grossed about $130 million dollars last year. But several other well-known multi-day music events managed to lose money and some were outright canceled.

But the same can't be said for two relative newcomers to the festival scene, and both are in Tampa Bay.

Courtesy Melinda Hohman

A state appeals court has overturned a ruling concerning school testing in Florida.

The judgment is a major setback for the “Opt-Out” movement.

Creative Commons

Beginning this fall, Florida students can go to any public school in the state. Seen as a victory for proponents of school choice, the new law was signed by Gov. Rick Scott last year. It allows students to cross county borders as long as a school has room, and parents provide their own transportation. 

The azaleas are in bloom -- that means the legislative session in Tallahassee is just around the corner. What’s likely to happen, and how will it affect you?


Lee Demorris

It’s family game night at Davis Elementary School in Clearwater, but there's not a Monopoly board or a Jenga block in sight. Instead, kids and parents are playing math games.

Kara Goldberg

After 10 years and 10 plays, an epic production in St. Petersburg will soon take its final bow.  

With its current production of “Joe Turner's Come and Gone" by August Wilson, American Stage is now one of just 12 theaters in the world to complete the late playwright's "American Century Cycle."

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Waving signs reading “Nasty Women Unite,” and “Choose Love,” thousands of marchers poured into downtown St. Petersburg Saturday to support women’s issues and civil rights. It was one of hundreds of “sister marches” happening the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, as a protest to his agenda. 

Amy Weintraub

Organizers say an estimated 17,000 people plan to demonstrate in St. Petersburg Saturday.

The event is one of hundreds across the country that will coincide with the National Women's March on Washington.

Cathy Carter/WUSF

A St. Petersburg teacher was surprised with an award and a $25,000 prize during an all-school assembly Thursday.

Lukas Hefty, a science and math coordinator at Douglas Jamerson Jr. Elementary School, is Florida's only recipient of the national Milken Educator Awards. Its aim is to encourage early to mid-career education professionals.

Wiki Commons

Gender identity and bathroom use was a hot button issue in 2016. Last May, the Obama administration sent guidelines to the nation's public schools about restroom use for transgender students.

School districts - including several in Florida - have grappled with the issue. And the U.S. Supreme Court has now entered the debate agreeing to hear a case where a Virginia school district fought the directive.

Harrison McNeill/Flickr

The Pinellas County School District is investigating a trio of school bus accidents that occurred Tuesday.

On the first day back to school following winter break, one school bus driver was charged with a DUI after her bus was rear-ended.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Hispanic artists have long been part of the visual landscape in Florida and in other parts of the country. But often, Latino art is overlooked. That's why the Smithsonian American Art Museum is growing its collection of Latino art and created an exhibit to reflect America's evolving culture. That show is now on the road and currently in St. Petersburg. 

As 2016 winds down, we’re taking another listen to some of the best news stories we discussed on Florida Matters throughout the year.

WUSF Public Media

Republican Joe Negron was sworn in as the new President of the Florida Senate last month and he recently laid out his priorities for education in the state. That includes more money for higher education and boosting the reputation of Florida's universities.

Courtesy Calvin Royal III

A dancer for New York's American Ballet Theatre will receive the keys to the city of St. Petersburg on Saturday.

A new bishop will lead The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint Petersburg, which serves Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties.

On Monday, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Gregory Parkes to the Diocese.

He succeeds Bishop Robert Lynch, who has headed the St. Petersburg Diocese since 1996. Lynch is 75, the age at which Catholic bishops are required to turn in their resignation to the pope.

Cathy Carter

Several public schools in Pasco County are filled to capacity - and that means school boundaries must be redrawn to ease overcrowding.

At issue are two separate rezoning matters taking place at the same time in Pasco County: one in the Trinity area and one in Wesley Chapel. Jeffrey Solochek, an education reporter for the Tampa Bay Times, says rezoning committees have made their recommendations.

If you're giving a PowerPoint presentation to hundreds of teenagers and the focus is financial literacy, you might want to consider booking a rock band as the opening act.


Quincy Walters

The Friday night lights were shining over Skyway Park in Tampa last month as the Cambridge Christian School Lancers ended their season undefeated with a 45 to 6 win over Carrollwood Day School.

The team's victory celebration ended as it always does when the players and coaches gathered for a post-game prayer.

To the team and the school community, prayer is more important than who wins or loses. That's why before every kickoff,  a prayer is said over a public address system.

Cathy Carter

Commuting in Tampa Bay can be challenging. Often, drivers can get stuck in traffic and endure plenty of red lights.  But in a few local spots, commuters are seeing those mundane gray signal boxes transformed into colorful, vibrant canvases.

Traffic box art isn't a new thing. They’ve been successful public art projects in cities like Tampa and Fort Lauderdale. And now an arts group in Clearwater is jumping on the trend with a signal box public art project called "Thinking Outside The Box." 

Cathy Carter

A capacity crowd of 700 filled the State Theatre in St. Petersburg Saturday night to hear Jon Bon Jovi make his case for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The musician played some acoustic versions of his hits and reminded the audience how Florida in the past has decided the outcome of the presidency.

Cathy Carter / WUSF Public Media

Civil rights icon, U.S. Rep. (D-GA) John Lewis joined former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for several "get out the vote" events in St. Petersburg Wednesday.

At a Q & A town hall event at the University of South Florida, the longtime Georgia congressman said the negative tone of the current election cycle is the "worst he's ever seen." 

"Maybe our foremothers and our forefathers all came to this great land on different ships. But we're all in the same boat now,” he said. “So I think in America today, we need to humanize our politics."

Cathy Carter / WUSF News

Hillary Clinton spent her 69th birthday in Tampa.

The Democratic presidential nominee was at Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa Wednesday to urge Florida voters to take advantage of in-person early voting.

Lottie Watts

The product that helped define Tampa will face new competition under an executive order issued on Friday by the Obama administration.

The directive lifts the $100 limit on Cuban cigars that travelers can bring into the U.S., which could spell trouble for the last operating cigar factory in Tampa.

Melinda Hohman

The day before school let out in May, 9-year old Hailey Everett brought home a certificate for making the honor roll at Chocachatti Elementary School in Hernando County.  The next day, her grandmother and guardian Pam Everett got a call from the school's principal telling her Hailey would not be promoted to fourth grade.

These days, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy works as an analyst for "NBC Sports' Football Night in America." But he's also the founder of "All Pro Dad," an organization committed to bringing "intentional focus" to fathers. 

Florida Department of Education

The Florida Board of Education has approved a budget request for the coming fiscal year.

The proposal also recommends against renewing 49 million dollars for the state's controversial teacher-incentive plan.

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