Kevin Lavery

Education Reporter

Kevin Lavery is WKAR's Education reporter. In 2018, he began a year-long focus on the challenges of improving literacy in Michigan schools.  He also reports general assignment stories, produces news features and interviews for Current State and serves as an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."

Prior to coming to WKAR in 2006, Lavery was a reporter at KWMU (St. Louis Public Radio), covering local politics, government, and biotechnology issues.

Lavery's journalism career began in the U.S. Navy. He studied journalism at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana; worked as news director and television producer for American Forces Network-Japan; and served in Antarctica as radio program director at the McMurdo Station Research Facility on Ross Island.

Ways to Connect

high school principal
Courtesy / Haslett Public Schools

The Haslett school community is mourning the sudden loss of its longtime high school principal, Bart Wegenke.


Michigan weather map
Courtesy / National Weather Service

Mid-Michigan is bracing for what could be a historic winter storm this weekend.

The National Weather Service says the Lansing area could see as much as three inches of snow and sleet, and one-quarter to three-quarters of an inch of ice during the storm.

“We’re expecting our heaviest ice accumulation very late tonight through Saturday morning, and then again with a second round Saturday evening into the overnight hours,” says National Weather Service meteorologist Heather Orow. 


pills and bottle
Courtesy / flickr/The Javorac

A bill on its way to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s desk would let people pick up prescription drugs from sites not staffed by a licensed pharmacist. 

horsehead pump
WKAR File Photo

Editor's Note: A public meeting will be held Thursday, Jan. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Vevay Township Hall.

A private oil and gas company is hoping to drill at a new site near Mason. 


Traverse City-based Jordan Development is seeking a state permit to drill in a 120-acre unit in Vevay Township near Mason.

It’s in an untapped area that lies within a historically productive oil deposit.

civil rights leaders
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

Civic and faith leaders gathered on the Capitol steps in Lansing Tuesday to pray for Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who recently announced his battle with cancer. 


school hallway
WKAR File Photo

The Lansing school board has tapped a veteran educator to become the district’s new interim superintendent. 


man standing near buses
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

Every day, 25 million American kids board that big yellow school bus with emotions running the gamut between excitement and anxiety. That's especially true for students with physical or emotional challenges. Now, some Michigan bus drivers are putting on blindfolds and riding as passengers to better understand their riders’ experience.


helicopter bay
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

The Michigan Army National Guard will host a town hall Thursday to talk about chemical contamination at its post in Grand Ledge. 


Dick Thelen photo
Kevin Lavery / WKAR

A Lansing man who survived one of the most infamous tragedies of World War Two will be honored Monday in Lansing.  U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) will host a ceremony for Dick Thelen.  In July 1945, Thelen was an 18-year-old sailor aboard the U.S.S. Indianapolis, the ship that delivered the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.  As the ship headed for the Philippines, it was struck by two Japanese torpedoes and sank.


WKAR’s Kevin Lavery met Mr. Thelen in 2015 to ask him about his life-altering experience.



church window
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

A nearly century-old Catholic church in Lansing may not see its centennial anniversary. 


AIDS awareness ribbon
Courtesy / flickr/NIAID

The Ingham County Health Department is launching a new public outreach campaign in hopes of dispelling myths about people living with HIV. 

WKAR File Photo

The Lansing School District and the city are joining a new partnership to help its youngest students save for college. 

clock tower
WKAR File Photo

Almost two-thirds of female undergraduates at Michigan State University say they were sexually harassed in the 2018 academic year.  That’s according to an independent survey of the campus climate at MSU. 


two people talking
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

A Michigan public policy research firm says long-term disinvestment by the state is hurting municipal revenues. 


smiling woman with book
Kevin Lavery / WKAR-MSU

Three times each year, Michigan students in grades K-3 take a series of reading assessment tests.  These tests serve as checkpoints to ensure students are meeting specific literacy goals.  Typically, students who fall below the standard are placed on a tailor-made reading plan to help them develop their skills.