Ashton Marra

Ashton Marra covers the Capitol for West Virginia Public Radio and can be heard weekdays on West Virginia Morning, the station’s daily radio news program. Ashton can also be heard Sunday evenings as she brings you state headlines during NPR’s weekend edition of All Things Considered. She joined the news team in October of 2012.

During the legislative session, Ashton focuses on the state Senate, bringing daily reports from the inner-workings of the state’s upper house on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s nightly television show The Legislature Today.

Ashton comes to WVPBS from ABC News’ morning program Good Morning America where she worked as a production associate. Ashton produced pieces for the broadcast, including the first identified victim of the Aurora, CO, movie theater shooting and the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, as well as multiple entertainment news stories.

Before her time at GMA, Ashton worked as an intern on ABC’s news assignment desk, helping to organize coverage of major news stories like the Trayvon Martin case, the Jerry Sandusky trail, tornadoes that ravaged the South and Midwest and the 2012 Presidential election. She also spent 18 months as a weekend reporter for WDTV based in her hometown of Clarksburg, WV, breaking the story of missing Lewis County toddler Aliayah Lunsford. Ashton’s work from that story was feature on HLN’s Nancy Grace in October of 2011.

Ashton graduated summa cum laude from West Virginia University in May of 2012, where she was named WVU’s Reporter of the Year. She covered government for the P.I. Reed School of Journalism’s bi-weekly newscast WVU News and also served a semester as the WVPBS bureau reporter.

When she isn’t reporting, Ashton enjoys cooking and is an avid supporter of the arts, including theater, music and dance. She is a huge fan of musicals and touts her collection of Playbills from the Broadway musicals she’s attended, which grew by nearly 30 in her 9 months living in New York City.


Ashton Marra / ideastream

Supporters of ECOT—the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow—say the online charter school could reopen if the Ohio Supreme Court rules in its favor during a Tuesday hearing, but students have found alternative classrooms in the three weeks since its closure.

Students gather around a laptop computer in an Ohio State University classroom.
Ohio State University

International students make up 23 percent of the enrollment in Ohio graduate programs, but new data shows, nationally, that number took a hit last year and is trickling down to Ohio schools.

A Cleveland student places an orange on her tray during lunch.
Ashton Marra / Ideastream

Monday is the final day to comment on proposed changes to federal nutrition standards for school meals. The Trump administration proposed the changes meant to give schools increased flexibility after it said school officials and food providers struggled to meet the standards.

Ashton Marra / ideastream

“School’s just never felt right to me since I was in Kindergarten,” said 18-year-old Abbey Lopez, laughing.

Ohio U.S. Sentators Rob Portman, left, and Sherrod Brown.

Both of Ohio’s Senators want to meet a Friday deadline to avoid a partial government shutdown.

Members of Congress are working on a short-term funding bill to keep the federal government open, but are still debating the inclusion of some controversial measures that likely won’t make the final resolution – like fixes for insolvent workers’ pensions and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, or DACA.

A pair of Barberton High School students test their virtual reality technology.
Ashton Marra / ideastream

Teachers and professors have been working for decades to integrate the latest technologies from computers to laptops to tablets for reading electronic textbooks. Now immersive technology is being tested for application in the classroom.

Supporters say it could change the face of education, but only if educations can push students beyond the exhilaration of a virtual world and into real-life learning.

Google Creative Commons

The Ohio classes of 2019 and 2020 could be allowed the same alternative options for earning a high school diploma as this year’s seniors.

The Ohio Board of Education voted 16-1 Tuesday to allow students to graduate by pursuing alternative pathways, like completing a senior project or obtaining an industry credential.

U.S. Supreme Court
Flickr / Creative Commons

As we head into the new year, Ohio teachers’ unions are keeping a close eye on a U.S. Supreme Court case that could negatively impact membership numbers.


The Ohio Department of Education is awaiting approval of its education accountability plan that was handed to federal education officials in September. But while the state waits for the government review, a national education advocacy group says Ohio’s plan is one of the best in the country.


Members of a General Assembly education committee will be looking to simplify Ohio’s school report cards in the new year.