I knew I wanted this job when I saw it online at the beginning of 2021. I saw the location, I read the description of the job and I knew that’s where I wanted my next stop to be. Fortunately, shortly after I applied I had a chance to interview over Zoom with my editor, Lora Scripps. I had other offers on the table at the time, some closer to my home state of Michigan, but after interviewing for the position and meeting with Scripps and Amy Henderson, our regional editor, I was sure I wanted to be here.

I make career decisions based on what I believe is the best situation for me as a person and as a journalist to learn and grow. So, when I found out last week that Scripps is leaving for another position at the end of this week, I was sad. But more so than anything, I was excited for her. If anyone deserves this, it’s her. She is the hardest-working, funniest, nicest and most helpful editor I have ever had. I have learned so much from her and from the people in this newsroom.

I learned a lot in Montana. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t take that job and power through it despite some personal struggles I had out there. I needed to go out to Montana to prove to myself that I not only wanted to be a journalist, but that I could be a journalist. I proved both of those, and many thanks goes out to my old publisher, my editors, and the very few people I met in my time out there.

Scripps has been at The News Courier 11-plus years. She has worked her tail off, and now she has a chance to work less, make more and spend more time with her family, which I know is most important to her. Above all else, no matter what job you’re in, your health and family should always come first.

I’m thankful about where I am in my career. I’m thankful every day for what I have been able to do. I’m thankful for the people who took a chance on me, including Scripps. I’m not perfect. I screw up, I make mistakes, and some days are a lot more difficult than others.

But there hasn’t been one day under her leadership where I haven’t learned something. There hasn’t been a day since I have been here where I haven’t laughed, and there hasn’t been a day since I have been here where I haven’t enjoyed working under the guidance of Scripps. She’s a great editor, lays out of one heck of a paper, and is an even better person.

I'm thankful to her for giving me a chance and I'm a better journalist and a better person because of her. I'm forever grateful.

—Devlin can be reached at travis@athensnews-courier.com

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