I am excited to be a part of School News Network. I was away from journalism for a bit while I worked in an unfulfilling clerical position in state government to help with the household cash flow. Circumstances allowed me to retire and do something I liked, so here I am.
My first dive into education reporting landed me in Cassopolis following a contentious teacher strike and right before most of the school board members were recalled from office. On my way to cover my first school board meeting in January 1988, I ended up in a ditch off the road in a snowstorm. Somehow I was able to get myself out and get to the meeting, the last one before the school board members were recalled. Needless to say, it wasn’t the best start. But once I got into the schools, it was a different story …
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, I wrote for daily and weekly newspapers mainly covering schools and government and also writing features. I eventually branched off into graphic design creating newspaper advertisements and later working for printing companies and creative agencies. I loved this work but needed something more flexible that would allow me to spend more time with my growing family. Enter The Grand Rapids Press. From 2000-2004, I covered Lowell for the Press community news section. I enjoyed the variety, meeting people and establishing relationships. I especially liked getting into schools and meeting kids and teachers in order to tell their stories.
Since then, needing a more regular paycheck, I worked in desktop publishing, closed captioning, and then state government before coming back to journalism again, and I couldn’t be happier.
In my retirement, besides telling the stories of Sparta schools and keeping up with my four grown children, I love to travel, read, draw, swim, skate and shoot archery.