Neal Morton is the Western education reporter for The Hechinger Report, covering 10 states in the West: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Neal most recently reported on persistent problems — and promising solutions — in Washington’s public schools as part of the Education Lab team at The Seattle Times. Before that he covered the nation’s fifth-largest school district — Clark County, in Nevada — after starting his love affair with the education beat along the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas. He also spent three years in San Antonio reporting on the hospitality, manufacturing and retail industries. A child of the West, Neal has lived in Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Washington. He graduated from a Las Vegas high school before heading to Reno for journalism school and calls Sin City home. He once prompted the evacuation of that high school after sneaking a fog machine into his world history class for a group project on folk stories. Neal currently lives in Seattle, exploring the PNW via its classrooms and hiking trails.