Lisa Rowan.
Lisa Rowan.

As of today, Cardinal News has an education reporter — Lisa Rowan. She will be the only full-time education reporter in the state west of Richmond.

We started in September 2021 with two full-time staff reporters — political reporter Markus Schmidt in Richmond (the only full-time journalist in the state capital year-round representing a news organization west of Richmond, as we like to say), and business reporter Megan Schnabel in Roanoke (since promoted to managing editor). In July 2022, we added Grace Mamon in Danville. In September, we added Susan Cameron in Bristol. We’ve also brought on Erica Myatt as a part-time copy editor and Brooke Stephenson as a full-time digital audience engagement editor. In January, we added a reporter in Martinsville — Dean-Paul Stephenson.

Now we add our sixth reporting position, meaning our reporting staff has tripled since our inception.

Lisa was most recently an editor and senior reporter covering consumer finance and the economy at Forbes Advisor, a subsidiary of Forbes Media, which speaks to the quality of people we’re able to attract. Lisa has written about personal finance and small business for a variety of publications over the last 10 years, and her first book, “Money Hacks,” was released in 2020. She got her start in journalism in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and has worked for outlets in Washington, D.C., and St. Petersburg, Florida. She’s now moved to Roanoke and is eager to get started covering education for Cardinal. She can be reached at

Cardinal is able to add this position thanks to the generosity of our readers. You’ll recall that we pointed out last year there’s no full-time education reporter west of Richmond. To fund the position, Dominion Energy provided a matching grant that was met through NewsMatch and our end-of-year campaign in asking readers to commit to recurring donations. Those readers came through, enabling us to move forward with hiring Lisa. We aim to be good stewards of donations and good employers: We don’t hire anyone until we have a guaranteed multi-year funding stream to support a position.

Cardinal News is based on a public broadcasting model and is entirely supported by donors who have no say in news decisions: see our policy.

We’re currently raising money for three other positions. We’d like to add a technology reporter to cover the growing tech sector in the region. We’d like to add a health care reporter; there’s currently no full-time reporter anywhere in Virginia committed to covering health care. And we’d like to add a reporter in Lynchburg, the second biggest metro in our region and a community where at the present we have only freelancers. You can help us fund those positions. Cardinal News is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit. Here’s how to donate.

Yancey is editor of Cardinal News. His opinions are his own. You can reach him at