Hannah Colton

Interim News Director, Public Health Reporter

Currently serving as interim news director at KUNM, Hannah Colton covers education, Albuquerque politics, and anything public health-related. She started at KUNM as a substitute news host in 2016, and worked as a freelance reporter and host for KSFR Santa Fe Public Radio and National Native News before joining KUNM full time in  2018. She's grateful to have gotten her start in radio at KDLG (another 89.9 FM) in Bristol Bay, Alaska. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

The U.S. Air Force will host a public meeting Thursday night about the cleanup of a decades-old jet fuel spill north of Kirtland Air Force Base. Military officials say the cleanup is proceeding as planned, despite a reported reduction in the project budget this year. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Let's Talk New Mexico, 4/25 8a: This month, at least ten people have been killed in acts of violence or child abuse in Albuquerque alone. Each sudden death is a deep loss, and the ripple effects are felt throughout New Mexico families, neighborhoods and schools. How have you or your community been affected by violence? What kinds of support do you need? This week on Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll remember those lost to violence and discuss ways to cope with grief and community trauma. To share your experience, email LetsTalk@kunm.org or call in live during the show.

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

There are as many pathways to a job or career in New Mexico as there are people. Some face more obstacles, though, and if regular high school doesn’t work out, the path can be especially steep. That’s where alternative schools and adult education programs can help. KUNM has this look at one charter high school inside a trade school.

Jake Schoellkopf / NMDOT

The state is looking to hire hundreds of new employees over the next two weeks. Agencies will accept walk-in applicants at “rapid hire” events in Carlsbad, Roswell, Farmington, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Let's Talk New Mexico 4/11 8a: From the film industry to welding to culinary arts, technical training programs can help people find careers. This week, we’re talking about apprenticeships and vocational training, and we want to hear from you. 

What kind of career and technical education would be helpful for you? Have you been in a program like this? How accessible are these opportunities to job-seekers of different ages and backgrounds? Call in live during the show or email LetsTalk@kunm.org

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Whether it’s losing a family member, getting bullied, or witnessing violence, traumatic stress early in life can affect a person’s emotional health well into adulthood. KUNM visited a mental health worker at an alternative high school in Albuquerque to find out how some young adults are working to recover.

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Whittier Elementary School in southeast Albuquerque is making a comeback. In 2017, the state Public Education Department designated it as among the worst of the “failing” schools. Albuquerque Public Schools came up with a plan to turn things around at Whittier, including increased staffing and afternoon extracurricular time called Genius Hour. KUNM visited a Genius Hour recently when the drama club presented its play.

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

This winter, a pipe burst at Coronado Elementary in downtown Albuquerque, damaging the school library. The city public library responded by issuing library cards to all Coronado students. Librarians presented the cards last week, and KUNM spoke with some fourth graders there.

Hannah Colton/KUNM

School districts in New Mexico have options when it comes to trying to protect students and staff from violence. Rio Rancho Public Schools recently rolled out armed security guards, and not everyone is happy with that decision.

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

On Friday, lawmakers advanced a bill that would make it easier for New Mexico school districts to recruit retired law enforcement officers to work as school security guards. The proposal took form in the wake of the December 2017 school shooting in Aztec, in which two students were killed. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission will hold a series of public hearings throughout March to gather reports of mistreatment of Native American students in K-12 schools in and around the Navajo Nation. 

NM Legislature webcast

With a little over a week left in the session, some lawmakers aren’t ready to give up on a proposal to devote more Land Grant Permanent Fund earnings to early childhood education. A bill that would have put the idea to voters died in the Senate Rules Committee earlier this week. But Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham showed up at a committee hearing this morning to push for a scaled-back version.

Ammodramus / Creative Commons

Nearly a quarter of New Mexicans live in rural areas, where things like high-speed internet, free meeting spaces and educational opportunities can be scarce. Public libraries are sometimes the only place to access those resources, and most are run on shoestring budgets or with volunteer support. Lawmakers have been looking at a bill to provide a permanent source of funding to rural libraries, but state Senators took most of the money out before passing it on the Senate floor on Friday. 

Ken Lund / Creative Commons

Let's Talk New Mexico 2/28 8a: Public charter schools play an important and often controversial role in our education system. On the show, we'll ask how charter schools can be great at meeting students’ unique needs, even while the charter school system can exacerbate inequalities between public schools. Do you or someone you know work at or go to a charter school? How did that go? We’d like to hear from you. Email LetsTalk@kunm.org, tweet your comment with the hashtag #LetsTalkNM, or call in live during the show.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Tucked inside a major education bill New Mexico lawmakers are considering is an age cap that would ban public schools from getting funding for students older than 21. The idea is that anyone 22-and-up could pursue the GED instead of a high school diploma, but staff and students at Gordon Bernell Charter School (GBCS) in Albuquerque are calling for lawmakers to spare their program.

Navajo Tech

Tribal colleges are the only public higher education institutions in New Mexico where students cannot use the state lottery scholarship. A measure approved by the Senate Education Committee on Friday morning would change that.

New Mexico’s Indian Education Act just got an update. A bill signed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday spells out how school districts must study the needs of their Native American students and come up with systematic ways to address them.

The new measure requires school districts with Native American students to develop frameworks and budget priorities to help those students succeed.

Adam Herrada / U.S. Navy

Let’s Talk New Mexico 2/7 8a:  Early childhood is a crucial time for learning and development. It’s on the minds of many lawmakers this session, and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has declared universal pre-K one of her top priorities. But where will funding for those programs come from? And how can the state better coordinate the various services to ensure kids don’t miss out? We’d like to hear from you! Email LetsTalk@kunm.org, tweet us using the #LetsTalkNM hashtag, or call in live during the show.  

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Albuquerque school district residents are voting on property tax increases that would raise about a billion dollars for projects over the next six years. The special mail-in ballots must be received in the Bernalillo County Clerks’ office by Tuesday, February 5th.

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Albuquerque Public Schools is grappling with how to respond to critics who say the district disrespects and ignores Native American culture and history.

A public meeting APS held last week underscored a disconnect between what the district is promising and the systemic changes that many people want to see.

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Albuquerque Public Schools held an open meeting Thursday night in response to the October incident in which students say a Cibola High School teacher used a racial slur and cut the hair of a Native American student. Parents, students and advocates told school officials that the district’s response has been too little and too late. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM Public Radio

Let’s Talk New Mexico 1/24 8a: Fixing inequalities in New Mexico’s public school system is a top priority for lawmakers this year. This Thursday morning we’ll explore how to do this huge, complicated task and balance the needs of so many diverse students.  Are you an educator, an administrator, a student, a parent? Do you have your own ideas on how to create equity in public schools? We'd like to hear from you! Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org or call in live during the show.

Office of the New Mexico Governor

This is the year for an overhaul of New Mexico’s public education system. That was at the heart of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s message to lawmakers during her State of the State remarks.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Public education is the top issue as state lawmakers begin their 60-day session on Tuesday, and there’s oil and gas money to spend.

Rawpixel VIA Unsplash / Unsplash License

Among the federal agencies left unfunded by the partial government shutdown is the Indian Health Service, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Aaron Cantú, a staff reporter for the Santa Fe Reporter, has been trying to understand how that’s affecting Native American health care in northern New Mexico. 

APS

Albuquerque Public Schools is asking voters to increase taxes to pay for capital projects, and due to recent changes in election law, that ask is coming in the mail. Tuesday Jan. 8, 2019,  is the last day to register to vote in the special mail-in election. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

This week, nine people were appointed to a committee to represent survivors of priest sexual abuse in negotiations with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. It’s an early step in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization process that’s meant to settle many sexual abuse claims at once. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s bankruptcy process is underway, and a window is closing for survivors of priest sexual abuse to ask to be on a committee that will represent all survivors in negotiating a settlement with the church. A federal official is expected to select the committee members sometime early the week of Dec. 17.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

The Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province on Friday released the names of 42 Jesuits they say have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. One of the men identified has ties to a parish in Albuquerque’s Old Town.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Albuquerque Public Schools is giving substitute teachers pay raises in an effort to recruit hundreds more of them.

APS posted a notice Tuesday that substitute teachers will get pay increases of 24-30 percent come January 1. The new salary schedule is as follows. 

The district currently has about 1000 substitute teachers, and wants to hire 500 more. They also want a couple hundred more substitute educational assistants, who will get a 15 percent raise.

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