To suggest a story, email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To ask questions about membership or a donation, or for general information, email us at email@example.com.
Public Health Reporter
Allen Siegler comes to Mountain State Spotlight from The Tacoma News Tribune, where he worked first as an intern and eventually as the Education/Breaking News Reporter. Prior to that, he interned at The San Diego Union-Tribune and wrote freelance articles about refugee resettlement in North Carolina.
Originally from San Diego, Allen earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Yale University and an applied epidemiology master of public health diploma from The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. As a long distance runner, he likes to explore the various mountain trails throughout the state.
Deputy Managing Editor
Duncan Slade came to Mountain State Spotlight as Audience Manager before being promoted to Deputy Managing Editor in February 2023. Before joining the team, he was the editor-in-chief of the Daily Athenaeum, the independent campus newspaper of WVU. That year, he more than doubled the publication’s readership through analytics, audience engagement and a digital-first newsroom restructuring. He previously worked as a public radio reporter and freelance photographer. His reporting work has been published by the Washington Post, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and NPR.
Erica Peterson has more than a decade of experience as a reporter, editor and newsroom manager in both West Virginia and Kentucky. She started her career as a reporter with West Virginia Public Broadcasting, then covered energy and the environment for years as a reporter at Louisville Public Media where her reporting took her into rivers, coal mines and World War II-era bunkers.
Most recently, Erica oversaw the large local and regional newsroom at Louisville Public Media as the director of news and programming. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Carleton College and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.
Community Watchdog Reporter
Erin Beck is a native West Virginian with more than a decade of journalism experience. Growing up, she lived in Doddridge and Ritchie counties, then she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in public health at West Virginia University. Her work has appeared in the Charleston Gazette, Register-Herald, and several other West Virginia publications. She earned multiple West Virginia Press Association awards and spent one year completing an Association of Health Care Journalists fellowship. She enjoys swimming, live music and poetry. Her own poetry has been featured in West Virginia’s Goldenseal magazine.
State Government Watchdog Reporter
Henry Culvyhouse is a seasoned journalist who has served at small town dailies in West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia and Kentucky. He is a native of Inwood, West Virginia, where he graduated from Musselman High School in 2010. He received a BA in print journalism from Marshall University in 2014.
He is the proud father of a step-daughter and the husband to the best wife in West Virginia. When he’s not on assignment, Culvyhouse can be found in the woods doing God knows what.
Ken Ward Jr.
Co-founder and Senior Editor
Ken Ward Jr. is senior editor and co-founder. He is also a distinguished reporting fellow with our partner, the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica. Ken spent nearly three decades reporting for The Charleston Gazette on the impacts of coal mining, chemical manufacturing and natural gas drilling on his home state of West Virginia. In 2018, he received a MacArthur Fellowship – the so-called “Genius Grant” — for “revealing the human and environmental toll of natural resource extraction in West Virginia and spurring greater accountability among public and private stakeholders.” He grew up in Mineral County and graduated from West Virginia University. He lives in Charleston with his wife, Legal Aid Attorney Elizabeth Wehner, and their son, Thomas.
Economic Development Reporter
P.R. Lockhart is joining Mountain State Spotlight after a two-year stint as a freelance journalist reporting on communities of color for various outlets, including NBC News and The Guardian. A former military brat, she has lived in several states, but has called Virginia home for more than a decade. Prior to freelancing, P.R. worked as a reporter covering race and politics for Vox and as a Ben Bagdikian Editorial Fellow at Mother Jones. Her interest in reporting on marginalized communities was born at Duke University where she studied Psychology and spent way too much time standing in line for basketball games.
Environment and Energy Reporter
Sarah Elbeshbishi covers environment and energy for Mountain State Spotlight. Prior to joining the team, she worked at USA TODAY for three years, first as a politics intern before joining as a general assignment reporter, then later as a politics reporter. During her time at USA TODAY, Sarah covered issues including education, religion, health and politics. Most recently, she covered Congress, the 2022 midterms and the lead up to the 2024 presidential election through the lens of real-world impact on everyday Americans. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public policy from the University of Maryland, College Park.
A lifelong West Virginian, Trey Garlow has spent most of his life in Kanawha and Putnam counties. With nearly ten years of experience in Office Administration from Garlow Insurance, Trey brings a blend of knowledge and expertise to help Mountain State Spotlight’s newsroom function efficiently and effectively. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Geneva College and a minor in graphic design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.
Tyler Dedrick is a career pivoter from digital communications and has grown online communities for a variety of companies, including e-commerce stores and a national nonprofit organization. Prior to joining Mountain State Spotlight, he reported on the suburban communities of Madison, Wisconsin for Adams Publishing Group. His reporting work has appeared in Wisconsin Watch, Wisconsin Inno and Cronkite News. Tyler holds a master’s degree in Investigative Journalism from Arizona State University and a bachelor’s in Journalism and Mass Communication and certificate in Digital Studies from University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Our Board of Directors
Ben Bailey, Chairman
Amar Rajwani, Treasurer
Suzanne Weise, Secretary