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Celebrating six years in Franklin County

It’s been a milestone six years for me in Franklin County.

This is my third career role since college, starting with one year as a staff reporter in Alexander City, followed by two years in Opelika as the associate editor.

This job represents my longest tenure, my longest time in one place so far – and I’m still loving it.

I am so thankful to have landed this job, in such a wonderful county. I have loved learning every nook and cranny of our communities over the past six years; I still have plenty to learn, and considering how much Franklin County has to offer, that might always be true.

During my time here, I’ve had the honor and joy of covering so many stories. I guess they don’t all qualify as “hard-hitting journalism,” but can I tell you a secret? I didn’t go into this field for the hard-hitting news stories.

Way back in high school, when I first started trying to imagine myself majoring in journalism and pursuing a print media career, I never pictured breaking big stories. I never dreamed of working my way up the ranks until I was the top dog at one of America’s biggest publications.

Some people have those dreams, and there’s nothing wrong that. Those are often the people we most admire and for good reason.

For me, though, I’m doing exactly what I have always wanted and – along with the aid of staff reporter Ciera Hughes and several stellar freelance writers – sharing the news I have always wanted to share.

The first practice news article I assigned myself as a high school junior was story about our church’s Vacation Bible School, scrawled out on a spiral notebook as I sat on the floor in my bedroom.

That’s the kind of story I wanted to write then – and now.

My heart is in community journalism – in the small-town businesses, the city ordinance controversies, the local arts grants, the school programs. I love covering the people, places and events that make our county special.

It’s what I’ve tried to do for the past six years, and where I’ll continue to focus in the future.