The daughter of a public school teacher and a journalist, Dean grew up surrounded by books, magazines, and newspapers. She loved to read them — when she could sit still.
A born-and-raised North Carolinian, Dean was a reporter for The Daily Tar Heel, the University of North Carolina’s student newspaper, where she absolutely loved to break news. Dean joined Teach For America after college and taught first grade at a charter school in New Orleans for four years. From there, she shifted into policy, working in Sacramento on some of the biggest challenges facing California’s 6.2 million public school students. She also served as a senior staffer on the most expensive United States Senate race in history.
Dean has extensive experience in journalism, policy, politics, and education. Her sweet spot is right at the intersection of all of those. She’s committed to working hard to tell great stories that help make life better for all kids.
It’s pretty easy: Kids. Dean is fueled by a few cups of coffee and a saying from Nelson Mandela: “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
You can usually find Dean chatting with her old friends or making new friends. If she’s not doing that, she’s probably playing on her kickball team (shortstop, occasionally catcher), watching Tar Heel basketball, or learning the latest from her wife, Jessica, an education policy researcher.
Dean has a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina in journalism and religious studies, and a master’s in education policy from Harvard.