Making Schools Work with Hederick Smith about the program

Hedrick Smith Productions staff

Hedrick Smith Productions staff at a seminar on education reform. From front to back: Jenny Smith, web editor; Courtenay Singer, field producer; and Rick Young, producer.



Rick Young, Senior Producer

Starting his career with PBS in 1991, Mr. Young's credits include more than 15 programs for the PBS flagship documentary series, Frontline. In 2002, he joined Hedrick Smith Productions as producer for the Emmy Award-winning PBS Frontline investigative report, The Wall Street Fix. Since then he has collaborated with Hedrick Smith as producer on two more Frontline programs, Tax Me If You Can and Is Wal-Mart Good for America? In 2001, he was producer and correspondent for Gunrunners, a documentary about the illegal small arms trade that launched the PBS series Frontline/World. His work has garnered five Emmy nominations and his stories and commentaries have appeared on National Public Radio (NPR) and in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun. Prior to turning to television production, Mr. Young served from 1983-1989 as an investigator on the staff of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Sarah Colt, Producer

Ms. Colt spent seven years working for PBS at David Grubin Productions in New York City before joining Hedrick Smith Productions to produce Making Schools Work. Her credits for PBS include Kofi Annan: Center of the Storm, a ninety-minute profile of the United Nations secretary general; RFK, a two-hour biography of the Robert Kennedy; and The Secret Life of the Brain, an Emmy award winner for Outstanding Science, Nature and Technology Programming. In 2004 she was awarded a Pew International Journalism Fellowship and traveled to Namibia to produce a piece on the racial imbalance of land ownership fourteen years after independence from South Africa. Colt began her career with PBS in 1994 working for the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. She earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1992.

Carol Slatkin, Editor

Ms. Slatkin has worked on a variety of award-winning documentaries over the past 20 years that have been broadcast on PBS, National Geographic Television, Discovery, CNN, NBC and TBS. In 2004, she co-edited With All Deliberate Speed, a feature-length documentary about the Brown vs. Board of Education decision, which was nominated for a Prime Time Emmy. She has edited several Hedrick Smith Productions documentaries including Frontline's Is Wal-Mart Good for America?; Critical Condition: The Uninsured; Challenge to America and Juggling Work and Family. Other credits include Who Plays God?, broadcast on PBS; Frontline's Inside the Drug Cartels; and National Geographic's Wild Chimps with Jane Goodall.

Penny Trams, Editor

Ms. Trams has been editing documentaries for 20 years. Her work includes projects for PBS, NBC, ABC, National Geographic, Discovery and several independent documentary productions. They have won numerous national and international awards including several Emmys, a Peabody, the BACA award for Outstanding Documentary, and many Gold awards from film festivals. Recent productions include With All Deliberate Speed, a theatrical documentary produced by Discovery Communications; First Ladies: Private Lives Public Expectations, an election special for PBS; and Vietnam: Pictures from the Other Side, for National Geographic.

Corey Ford, Field Producer

Mr. Ford has collaborated on 15 films for the PBS documentary series, Frontline. Two Frontline shows about the events surrounding September 11, 2001, Target America and Gunning for Saddam, won the duPont-Columbia Gold Baton Award for excellence in journalism. Ford is no stranger to producing films about education. Before working on Making Schools Work, he was Associate Producer of Misunderstood Minds, a two-hour PBS special for WGBH/Boston about learning differences and disabilities and Producer and Director of Reading With Your Kids!, a film that was distributed to families of Boston Public School students. His other projects include films for National Geographic and UNC-TV. His work also includes shooting, editing, graphics and DVD production.

Courtenay Singer, Field Producer

Ms. Singer is a freelance filmmaker who began her career at the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Since then she has worked on programs for the National Geographic Channel, MSNBC, HGTV and PBS. Her production credits for National Geographic include Field Producer for Catastrophe: Surviving Hurricane Floyd; Booking Producer for Inside Base Camp; and Associate Producer for the Taboo series. Prior to her filmmaking career, she worked as a Communications Specialist for the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and as Director of Communications at the National Department of Health in Pretoria, South Africa. She holds a B.A. from Cornell University, an M.P.H. from the University of California at Berkeley, and a certificate in documentary filmmaking from George Washington University.

Alicia Woodard Green, Associate Producer

Before joining Hedrick Smith Productions, Ms. Green was an investigative producer for WTTG, the Fox affiliate in Washington, D.C. There, she won an Edward R. Murrow Award and three Emmys for her investigative work. Prior to that, Ms. Green produced WTTG's morning show and served as a writer for its 10 p.m. newscast. She began her journalism career at Sky News in London before becoming the 10 p.m. producer at WMBD, the CBS affiliate in Peoria, Ill. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and holds a Master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Sam Hornblower, Production Assistant

Mr. Hornblower joined Hedrick Smith and Rick Young in February 2004, on the PBS Frontline program Is Wal-Mart Good for America? Previously, Sam was a researcher on another Frontline production, The Plea, which won a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. He began as a reporter for two small daily newspapers in Massachusetts, before being picked up by Frontline to do a web site on the life of Lee Harvey Oswald. He graduated from Harvard University in 2002.

Jenny Smith, Principal Researcher and Web Editor

Ms. Smith conducted the initial research for Making Schools Work and was instrumental in developing a web site in conjunction with the show. She has worked on numerous award-winning PBS documentaries with Hedrick Smith Productions including Juggling Work and Family, Seeking Solutions and Surviving the Bottom Line. Her writing credits include Education and Public Health, a book for educators, and A Spark in the Dark, a children's book co-authored with her husband. She has also written several professional development courses for teachers through the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. Previously Ms. Smith worked at Placer County Mental Health Department as a Program Coordinator. She has an undergraduate degree from Boston College and an M.A. in the field of psychology from John F. Kennedy University.

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