In reflecting on my life this Thanksgiving, I have so much to be thankful for, with my wonderful family at the top of the list.
This year’s Thanksgiving marks a turning point in my life as I move into a new career and a new chapter of my life with Kent County Public Schools. So, this is my final issue as editor of the Kent County News.
I have been a journalist for 15 years now, having started at a weekly newspaper covering coastal Delaware. I have been with APG Media of Chesapeake since 2013, first in Caroline County, then Talbot County.
For nearly 10 years — a milestone I will miss by five months — I have been the editor of the Kent County News, a role in our community that I absolutely cherished.
I grew up on the Eastern Shore’s local newspapers and community journalism. Raised in Easton, I loved The Star Democrat — especially the comics. I was so excited more than a decade ago when I got the opportunity to come back from the Delaware beaches and write for a sister publication of my old hometown paper.
A few years into that, and I was sitting in the news editor’s chair in Easton, coordinating stories with reporters for The Star Democrat while focusing my own reporting on local, state and federal politics.
Already living in Chestertown at the time, I hoped one day to take on the role of Kent County News editor. That opportunity presented itself much sooner than I could have anticipated and I have been here ever since.
I have covered every town, the county and the schools here in Kent County at different points over the last decade. I looked at national conversations and sought out folks who could help show how these issues may affect us here in our community. I’ve told your stories and shared some of my own.
So this Thanksgiving, I want to let you know how thankful I am for all of you.
I am thankful for the support you have shown me, our team and the Kent County News itself.
Thank you for reading, for subscribing, for advertising and for recognizing the important role a truly local newspaper plays in the community.
Thank you for inviting me into your businesses, your churches, your schools and your homes to share your stories, your celebrations and your challenges.
Thank you for writing, for emailing, for calling and for sharing with us your thoughts on today’s events, the latest stories and the newspaper itself. Your feedback — your participation in the newspaper — has always been valued.
I have loved being a reporter these last 15 years, from my first story assignment covering an outbreak of fire ants at the beach, during which I got sprayed with a little bit of the bug killer, to my last expected story, a congressional candidate profile.
Who knows how many years of my life the accumulated hours of local government meetings amounts to. I think the longest public session meeting was a lengthy debate over a comprehensive plan in Dewey Beach that lasted around eight hours. The longest meeting for total time was here in Kent County, lasting about 13 hours, most of which was in closed session. I stuck around for seven or eight hours.
And the photos, I have so many photos of people and places and wildlife here in Kent County. It’s your faces I wanted in the Kent County News. In the days before cellphone cameras could take high-quality photos, I kept my camera in my car at all times. I was always on the lookout for an interesting photo, whether it was a construction crew working on a church steeple or a family of ducklings waddling up High Street.
I am thankful for my time at the Kent County News and everyone here that I have worked with. Every person in this office on High Street has been a part of my family. I am especially thankful for Trish McGee, whose dedication to community journalism is unwavering and from whom I learned so much since I walked through these doors.
And I am thankful for the support of everyone at APG Media in my efforts to continue the tradition of community journalism that has been a hallmark of the Kent County News.
Thank you all — each and every one of you — and I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving!