Ann Dornfeld



Ann Dornfeld reports on issues of racial inequity for KUOW. She previously covered education for the station. Before that, Ann was a roving freelance public radio reporter, focusing on environmental issues, for KUOW and national shows including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Environment Report and Marketplace.

Ann has reported on a rare bioluminescent bay in Puerto Rico, penguin habitat loss in South Africa, mangrove destruction in the U.S. Virgin Islands, coral reef conservation in Bonaire and invasive lionfish in the Bahamas. She covered a major earthquake in Sumatra, Indonesia, for NPR News and The World. Ann also worked as a reporter and Morning Edition host at KLCC Public Radio in Eugene, Oregon, after internships at KUOW and Alaska Public Radio Network.

She got her start spinning hip-hop records at the radio station of Oregon State University, where she majored in biology and environmental sciences.

She has won awards for her reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists, The Associated Press and Public Radio News Directors Incorporated. Ann has also received both investigative and data reporting awards from the Education Writers Association for her coverage of ongoing recess cutbacks and physical education shortages in Seattle-area schools. Her photography has appeared in exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

To see more of Ann's past KUOW work, visit our archive site.


  • Seattle Schools Chief Opposes Charter Initiative

    Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda says he’ll vote “no” on Initiative 1240, which would legalize charter schools in Washington state.I-1240 would allow up to 40 charter schools in Washington state over five years. Proponents of I-1240 say it would give parents and students more school choice.But Superintendent Banda says he doesn’t see enough parents and community members supporting the initiative. Instead, campaign finance reports show that I-1240 is backed mainly by wealthy donors like Bill Gates, Paul Allen and the parents of CEO Jeff Bezos. Much of the campaign is also funded by out-of-state donors.Banda says that’s not who should bring charters to Washington. "I would hope that if a charter initiative is really what this community and what this state wants, it would be funded more grassroots or you would at least have more community and parent groups in support of it. I don’t see that so far," he says.Banda came to Seattle Schools this year from a district in Anaheim, Calif., where charters are allowed. "I think once they come in, if there’s not a clear accountability and a way to make sure that they meet the needs and the goals that they’ve set out, that there be a clear way that the charter could be revoked," he says. "And I know it’s easier said than done, having seen charters operate in California."The Seattle School Board is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a resolution opposing the charter initiative.Washington is one of nine states that don’t allow charter schools.

  • Insurance May Only Pay School District Fraction Of Misspent $3.1M

    Seattle Public Schools’ attorney says the district will likely only get a $280,000 insurance settlement after the $3.1 million financial scandal involving former district official Silas Potter.Potter led the district’s Regional Small Business Development Program and the Small Works Roster Program. Audits released last year and this year found that as head of those programs, he authorized about $2.8 million in sketchy contracts to small businesses, construction companies and community organizations.Potter and two associates were charged with first-degree theft for allegedly funneling another $280,000  to themselves. District General Counsel Ron English says that $280,000 is the only money the district expects to receive from insurance, because it’s classified as a “loss.” The other $2.8 million is just considered “misspent,” so English says it can’t be recovered through insurance. English told the School Board Executive Committee that more money could potentially be recovered through restitution.Potter’s felony theft trial is scheduled for February. He’s scheduled to appear alongside co-defendant David A. Johnson, who allegedly benefited from fraudulent contracts Potter authorized. A second co-defendant, Lorrie Kay Sorenson, pleaded guilty to first-degree theft in June.