Eleven years ago I sat in Mr. Dean Hume’s classroom at Lakota East High School and learned that I was going to become co-editor of the high school’s magazine–the Spark. I was elated. I was shocked. I was completely blown away that he had chosen me, out of a staff of more than 100 students, to lead this 80-page, award-winning magazine to its monthly publication. The selection felt like an honor. I was over the moon. And yes, as you might have guessed, I was a bona fide nerd in high school.
While I may not have been the coolest girl at Lakota East, I was madly in love with working on the Spark. I spent deadline weekends inside the school’s computer lab (a crowded room of 20 temperamental Mac computers), and chose to forego football games and parties for time spent writing, editing and coaching our newest staff members. I loved interviewing fellow students and writing features about their lives outside of the classroom. I loved learning from our team of designers and photographers, and going to journalism conventions to meet kids from all over the country, who were equally as passionate about their high school publications. To say I felt on top of the world is an understatement. A part of me may or may not have felt like I was the editor of the New York Times at just 17 years old.
Fast forward several years to my time as an undergrad at Miami University, when it dawned on me that there might not be a lot of money in the journalism industry (unless of course you ARE the editor of the New York Times). Upon graduating from Miami, I had a marketing degree in my hand and very much looked forward to climbing the corporate marketing ladder. Although I still loved writing, I was comfortable leaving my future journalism career by the wayside to become a young professional inside of corporations.
For six years I spent time with multiple companies, building marketing plans, creating content and planning events. I had fun and learned a lot, but was yearning for something more. Last October I left a full-time job to start my own marketing company, which now includes a lot of–you guessed it–writing. Some people told me I was crazy for going out on my own, but I’ve never felt more excited in my life.
When I had the opportunity to write for West Chester & Liberty Lifestyle last January, I jumped at the chance to interview Chef Michelle Brown of Jag’s, and was thrilled to write my first of many stories. Each month I’ve continued to re-find my inner journalist, writing about unique people within our community. I’ve truly enjoyed every second of it.
That’s why when our Publisher, Michelle Moody, asked me if I would like to become Editor of West Chester & Liberty Lifestyle, I was once again filled with the same excitement and elation that I felt eleven years ago in front of Mr. Hume at Lakota East. The school girl inside of me jumped for joy at the thought of leading a team of amazing writers and photographers to produce this magazine. I’ve been well trained by our former editor, Tera Michelson, who is an exceptional leader and one of the most down-to-earth people you’ll ever meet. She has worked tirelessly with Michelle over the past year to build a strong team of committed community members who produce the content of this magazine each month.
I hope that you, our devoted readers, will continue to enjoy the magazine each issue, learning about your fellow community members, finding new hot spots around the area and enjoying uplifting stories about the ever-growing West Chester and Liberty Township. Never in a million years did I imagine I’d be back in West Chester, editing a magazine, but I couldn’t be more excited for this next adventure. It feels even better than the New York Times.