EdNews reporter joins school district communications team

Darren Svan

Reporter Darren Svan is leaving Idaho Education News this month to join Lake Pend Oreille School District as the district’s community liaison.

EdNews has begun a search to fill the full-time, reporting position with a salary near $70,000.

For the last year and a half, his reporting focused on charter schools, career technical education, teachers and students, feature writing and North Idaho. Last fall, he opened a northern bureau for the organization in Coeur d’Alene but returned to the Treasure Valley to cover local events and help with legislative coverage.

Prior to joining EdNews in 2022, he worked more than 20 years for the United States Air Force in Europe and Asia; the last 12 years as a middle school English teacher for the Department of Defense Dependents Schools at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

“The North Idaho lifestyle is really unique and I’m happy for the chance to move back,” he said.

This month, his photography was honored by the Idaho Press Club, a statewide association of journalists. He took first and third place in “spot news” and second place in “light features.” The press club hosts an annual competition each year to honor the best journalism from the previous year.

Winner: First Place Spot News.

“I’ve enjoyed the chance to meet so many interesting people and travel the backroads and rural areas of the state,” he said.

In January, the Education Writers Association awarded him a national grant to investigate the state’s push to boost workforce training. His reporting produced a series of in-depth articles examining the growth of career technical education.

“I can’t say enough about how impressed I am with the state’s effort to train teenagers for good paying jobs,”  he said.

Winner: Third Place Spot News.

Idaho’s people and places piqued his interest the most, like the group of farm kids from Filer who combined their STEM knowledge and agriculture background to earn a spot at the world robotics competition in Houston. Five Idaho farm kids faced teams from China and Israel — and 30 other countries. 

Or the courageous, sight-impaired teenager, Josh Holub, who displays a wonderful attitude in the face of so much personal adversity. Holub was instrumental in helping secure a grant to pay for a section of audio, Braille and large-print books for sight-impaired students at the Lake Pend Oreille Alternative High School library.

Winner: Second Place Light Features.

He examined a highly-successful alternative school in a remote logging town at the edge of the national forest in central Idaho. The school targets high school dropouts from every corner of the state with structure and military-style discipline and training.

“Not every teenager gets off to a great start so it’s nice to know there’s a program here that will lift up the most troubled ones, and give them a second chance,” he said.

Then there’s the one-of-a-kind teenager, June Manville, who is chasing the unusual dream of attending Canada’s École Nationale de Cirque, a prestigious school that trains some of the world’s top circus artists. A self-described 5-foot-2-inch, 95-pound “freakishly strong” circus artist, Manville trains in aerial arts at Asana Rock Climbing & Bouldering Gym in Boise.


Idaho EdNews Staff

Idaho EdNews Staff

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