Omaha World-Herald newsroom staff directory

Joe Dejka


Position: Education reporter

What I do: My beat is education, focusing on pre-kindergarten through high school. I write about how government decisions affect parents and children. This means monitoring federal, state and local decision-makers, and also keeping tabs on what's going on in classrooms. A good deal of what I do involves examining budgets, laws and policies for their impact on families. I try to translate what I refer to as "edu-speak" into everyday language people can understand and act upon, should they wish. I make every effort to highlight education successes, so they can be replicated, and to expose failures, so they can be avoided. I feel a great deal of responsibility to write about the achievements of outstanding kids, who are our future.

About me: Born and raised in San Diego, Calif., I have two older sisters and two younger brothers, both adopted. My father, William, was an electrical engineer at the Naval electronics laboratory in Point Loma. He spent his entire career trying to outwit the Russians. My mother, Carol, was a homemaker, who spent her life trying to outwit us kids. My wife, Paula, who was raised in Fremont, Neb., teaches third grade in the Omaha Public Schools. We have three children: Andy, Molly and Adam. They are the most precious things in our lives. I have a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I will never, ever get over the 1982 Penn State out-of-bounds catch.

Phone: 402-444-1077


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