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Thank you for three great years

January 09, 2014
This is it. Some three amazing years later, this is my farewell to The Grosse Pointe News and its readers. It seems like yesterday — has it really been three years? — I met with general manager and editor Joe Warner about joining the newspaper's staff as the education reporter.

At the time, the idea of an education reporter seemed foreign to me, a 20-something whose journalism experience prior to then had consisted of a couple basic university classes and some freelance gigs as a sports writer. I had little background in writing about anything other than sports and almost no experience with newspaper design and page layouts.

Yet, Joe still gave me a chance and, for that, I'm forever grateful. Because, thanks to him, I got to meet some of the best teachers and administrators in education and interview some outstanding, accomplished students, from my first article about Grosse Pointe North High School student Myles Harlan performing at the White House to my last about University Liggett School senior Mostafa Shanta earning a full-ride scholarship to Yale University.

In the meantime, I was lucky enough to cover a couple school board elections, a superintendent search, principal hirings, countless visits from local celebrities, national celebrities, politicians, authors, entertainers, musicians and much, much more. It's quite mind-boggling to think back on all the amazing things that happen in the public, parochial and private schools in Grosse Pointe any given day.

None of these opportunities would've been possible without the support from everyone in the schools — you're all remarkable and inspirational people — and from all my colleagues at the newspaper, past and present, who helped make this a worthwhile, entertaining and enjoyable experience. They include the editorial department — Bob St. John, Brad Lindberg, John McTaggart, Ann Fouty, Karen Fontanive, Kathy Ryan, Dianne Morelli and Debra Pascoe; the production team — Ken Schop, Dave Hughes, Mary Schlager, Penny Derrick, Paul Barnard, Carol Jarman and Nicole Ward; classifieds department — Barbara Yazbeck Vethacke, Autumn Hirzel, Nora Ezop, Melissa McAlister, Emily Alber, Amy Panski, Genna Hall, Kris Barthel and Sara Birmingham; advertising representatives —Scott Chambers, Melanie Mahoney, Erika Davis, Shelley Owens, Julie Sutton, Chris Drumheller, Lauren McLaughlin, Kathleen Stevenson, Peter Birkner and Kathryn Andros; and others like Bridget Thomas, Patrice Thomas, Renee Landuyt and anyone else who I may not have mentioned.

This community is lucky to have or have had you all working to deliver the news creatively, effectively and effi ciently each week.

It's been an honor and a pleasure, and I can't thank everyone enough for making these past three years so memorable. As I prepare to embark on a new career — ironically, as a teacher — I'd like to reiterate something I wrote in April 2011, a few weeks into working at The Grosse Pointe News: "As I get better acquainted with people and (the) schools, and see how nice and committed residents are to the schools and the community, it makes me proud to say I'm part of this community."

Three years later, those feelings haven't changed. I'm still proud to say I'm part of this community. After all, Grosse Pointe truly is a special place and those who live and work here are truly special people. Thank you all for everything.

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