This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Notebook publisher and executive editor Maria Archangelo is leaving the Notebook in late June to take a new position with Chalkbeat, a national nonprofit news organization covering public education.
Archangelo joined the Notebook in March 2016 as the successor to Paul Socolar, who co-founded the organization and led it for more than 16 years.
“Leading the Notebook has been such an honor and a privilege,” said Archangelo, a Philadelphia native who returned to the city to take the Notebook job and will stay in the area. “I have worked in several news organizations that do good work, but the Notebook is special. It gets under your skin, and the issues it covers are so urgent and important that it is hard to let go. Even if I am not a Notebook staffer, I will always be a Notebook supporter.”
Archangelo oversaw many changes at the Notebook, including a move to being a digital-first operation, raising the profile of the nonprofit, putting a stronger focus on social media, expanding sponsorship opportunities, adding staff reporters, and helping to lead the Notebook’s most successful year-end fundraising campaigns.
During her tenure, the Notebook became part of ReSolve Philadelphia — a collaborative with 15 media partners in the city that produced the Reentry Reporting Project and is now working on Broke in Philly, a poverty and economic justice reporting project.
The Notebook also was among the first group of grantees of the new Lenfest Institute for Journalism in 2017, receiving support to produce a digital version of the Notebook’s popular guide to high schools.
The Notebook was a co-founder of the Philly School Media Network with the Philadelphia Writing Project and the School District of Philadelphia. It offers students and teachers opportunities to learn about journalism and writing by publishing student newspapers for their schools and for a broader audience on the Notebook website.
“We’ve benefited significantly from Maria’s leadership over the past two years,” said Notebook board chair Katey McGrath. “Her strong journalistic and editorial skills, her ability to build relationships, and her commitment to helping the Notebook thrive in the changing world of nonprofit media, have been a gift to us and to the Philadelphia public education community.”
Archangelo said she is especially proud of the Notebook’s coverage of trauma-informed techniques, foster care and education, District building and facilities issues, and the change in District governance.
“The Notebook has an outstanding staff and supporters who really value what we do,” said Archangelo. Yet, she added, the Notebook still faces financial challenges.
“While we are grateful to all of the funders, individuals, and advertisers who support us, the Notebook still faces serious financial pressures each year – which is why it’s essential that we expand our base of members and contributors,” she said.
Archangelo urged readers who value to the Notebook to become members today.
“If everyone who reads the Notebook supported the Notebook, it would go a long way toward ensuring sustainability,” Archangelo said.
Notebook development director Lauren Wiley will take over the helm of the organization as interim executive director, McGrath said.
“Lauren is a great choice; she has been with the Notebook for several years, has a background in journalism, and is a current District parent,” McGrath said. “The board knows her experience will serve her well in running the organization.”
Archangelo echoed McGrath’s comments.
“Lauren has been my right-hand person on so many projects since I joined the Notebook. She has the passion, intelligence, and integrity the Notebook needs,” Archangelo said.
Archangelo’s last day in the office will be June 15, but she will continue to work as a consultant on projects for the Notebook through the end of September.
She starts her new position as senior director of partnerships at Chalkbeat on July 2.
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To attend the Notebook’s annual event – an evening of food, drink and excellent conversation to support local education journalism – this year on June 5, click here.