Patrick O’Donnell was a reporter at The Plain Dealer for more than 27 years, the last nine covering the Cleveland Municipal School District and state education issues in Ohio. He spent much of the last year covering the effects of the pandemic on Cleveland’s schools for The 74 Million.

In his time at The Plain Dealer, he covered two teacher strikes, three school shootings, and expansion of the Say Yes to Education college promise program to Cleveland. He won state awards for his 2015 coverage of attempts by Ohio’s online charter schools to evade the consequences of their poor performance and for his overall coverage of schools in 2019.

He was an Education Writers Association fellow in 2018, allowing him and a colleague to visit Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands to learn how European models of apprenticeships and internships could be adapted here in the U.S. His fellowship project will expand on that work and look at how Cleveland and the country can provide more meaningful career pathways for young people, particularly through work-based learning.