My work

Tom Marshall / writer / teacher

I am a writer and school administrator based in Sofia, Bulgaria. My interests run to travel, education, arts, history and culture, with a bit of photography and Liverpool football thrown in for good measure. I appreciate a good read and hope to construct a few in the years to come.

I have spent 10 years teaching and working with student teachers at the middle and high school levels. Among the schools where I’ve taught are the Shady Hill School in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Flood Brook Union School in Vermont;  St. John’s International School in Belgium; and Shanghai American School in the People’s Republic of China.

I have also mentored new teachers at Summerbridge/Breakthrough Collaborative in Cambridge, Mass.; run workshops on memoir writing with students at international schools in Zambia, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia; written about South African students as a communications intern with the Institute of International Education; and served as teaching fellow on an Earthwatch/UNESCO solar energy development project in rural Kenya.

Since the fall of 2012 I have served as a contributing writer for The Learning Network, the blog for teachers and students at The New York Times. I have also written about higher education in Eastern Europe for The Hechinger Report and NBC News.

I have also written about education as a full-time staff writer for the St. Petersburg Times, Florida’s largest daily newspaper. Among the highlights:

  • I covered reform efforts in the 192,000-student Hillsborough County school district, including their $202-million partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation;
  • With generous support from the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media at Teachers College, Columbia University, I wrote about doctors who struggled to restart their careers after entering the United States with legal refugee or asylum status;
  • In 2010 I published a groundbreaking investigative report on arsenic in apple juice marketed to children, which has since been validated by similar product testing by other news organizations and Consumer Reports;
  • I wrote about troubling police procedures that sent some Florida middle school students to jail without parental notification or legal warnings, in apparent violation of state law, and myriad problems in the student loan industry;
  • I produced a variety of features on life in America, including a travel story on our family road trip from Florida to Texas; a Cuban girl who overcame language barriers to advance in a public speaking contest; student musicians who played their way to a world record; and an assistant principal who used to be famous.

I have also covered education and municipal affairs as a journalist for the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Massachusetts and the Brattleboro Reformer in Vermont. And I worked as a New England-based freelance journalist, contributing stories or reporting to The New York Times, Associated Press, Hartford Courant and WFCR public radio.

I hold a bachelor’s degree in government and English from Hamilton College (N.Y.,) and master’s degrees from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

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