Peter Medlin

Education Reporter

Peter is an education reporter for the station and host of WNIJ's Teachers' Lounge podcast. He is a graduate of North Central College where he was the news editor of their student-run news magazine and website “NCCLinked,” as well as a host for their pure rock radio station WONC. After graduating, he reported for Naperville Community TV, before hopping back into radio at WNIJ. He loves comic books, writing, running and basketball; and can often be found walking his dog, who is very cute.


Immigration and Customs Enforcement had announced that international students must take some of their classes in-person. If not, they could be deported from the United States.

Peter Medlin

Coronavirus concerns cast a shadow over the primaries on election day in Illinois. Ohio canceled their polling locations.

Election judges in DeKalb and Aurora were both pleasantly surprised with the turnout.

In Chicago, midday voter totals were around half of what they were during the 2016 primary.

Jacob Chan is an NIU student voting in DeKalb. He said he saw the difference at his polling location.

"I was gonna come out because it's important, but the biggest impact is that it's empty," said Chan.


Illinois’ population dropped for the sixth year in a row. And Illinois students leave the state for school at higher rates than almost anywhere else. Rockford is trying to leverage its engineering and manufacturing industry to get people to stay.

Half of the state’s manufacturing workers are retiring in the next 10 or so years. The Illinois Manufacturer Associations says that’s going to leave a glaring need for production workers and engineers. 


Documents illustrate what happens when a student is put in an isolation room.

It’s a few minutes before 10 a.m. and a student at Circuit Breaker School in Peru, Illinois is trying to escape the classroom. The child hits and kicks the glass window on the door, and doesn’t respond well to redirection and choices offered by staff. So staff takes the student to the timeout room, where the child screams and hits their head against the floor for two minutes.

What happens when universities see enrollment plunge year after year? For many Illinois schools, they focus on how to hold on to the students already walking their halls. Students often leave between their first and second year.

Teachers' Lounge Coming Soon

Jul 29, 2019

Beginning August 2nd, WNIJ launches a new podcast called Teachers' Lounge on WNIJ telling the stories of education in Illinois with the help of stories from Illinois educators. Join reporter Peter Medlin every other Friday (payday!) for a new episode. 

If you are a teacher, you know a teacher who you think should be on the show, or have a story about a teacher that inspired you -- send us an email at to join the conversation. 

Also, feel free to send us your ideas for stories and topics for the show to cover.

Peter Medlin

For a moment, it was difficult to tell if they were chanting “F-V-V” or “M-V-P,” but to this crowd it might as well have meant the same thing. Of course, the hundreds of Rockford residents gathered around the City Market Pavilion were chanting “F-V-V” for hometown hero and basketball star Fred VanVleet.