It's amazing what you can accomplish in one year and five months. Yes, that's the amount of time we've shared together.We've had 67 publications together. I have a hard time grasping that. Each week is spent trying to provide the best possible publication. A brief sense of accomplishment comes with each completed newspaper before I begin digging up the next week's scoop.And while I've absolutely enjoyed my time here, it's time for me to bid adieu.
Those are words that are particularly hard for me to utter. In fact, those are words I've been avoiding and ones that won't really sink in until I close my laptop at The News-Gazette for the final time.
I had no idea this freshly-out-of-grad-schooler would land a job as your editor. If you asked me in 2012, when I joined the workforce as a bank teller right after college, I probably would have turned to look behind me to see just who you were asking because it couldn't be me.
But here I am. This didn't come easily. It took support from my family and a lot of sleepless nights to just get here. And it may not be The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times or even The Washington Post, but it's certainly a feat for me, and one that I'll never forget.
College grads, do you remember when you finished that first semester? Do you remember how you thought to yourself, "I survived?" That first semester of learning feels like a year's worth compared to high school curriculum.
Well, this seemingly brief stint we've shared together has felt like years of learning compared to college, grad school and past jobs; it's been the most rewarding experience I've honestly ever had.
In November 2017, The News-Gazette's then managing editor, Dan Corkery, took a chance on me. And today, I owe a great deal of gratitude to Jim Rossow, vice president of news, and David Burleson, assistant news editor, for continuing to believe in me. I'd also be remise without thanking the likes of Mike Goebel, managing editor; George Dobrik, deputy managing editor; J.J. Lockwood, copy editor; and former Mahomet Citizen editor Fred Kroner for all they taught me.
I've had a lot of fun putting this paper together each week. Don't get me wrong, I've had my fair share of sleepless nights meeting deadlines or making sure a story is crafted just right. But I've loved every second of it.
Perhaps my favorite memories are the interactions I've had with you, the reader. Thank you to Jane, who sent such a kind thank-you note. I hope you don't mind me sharing your first name, but your time spent putting thanks and words of encouragement to pen mean a great deal to me.
I also appreciate anyone who ever approached me at an event, especially the few who actually knew where my native Athens is on the map. You wouldn't believe me if I told you, but it's in the same area code.By far, my favorite moments as your editor were times spent sharing the good in this community. Thank you to those who invited me into their homes, their classrooms, their meetings, their events. You're what makes this place, this publication special.In the words of Fred Rogers, "The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile."
Well Mahomet, you are worthwhile. I've felt that every second of every day. What wonderful things you've shared — ones that I'm sure your next editor will continue to share. It's been a pleasure to be but a byline in your story.