Moving on soon
It seems like most people in Saranac Lake already know, but for those who don’t, I am leaving my job at the Enterprise after Friday, June 25.
Somewhat ironically, that is also graduation day for the three Tri-Lakes high schools. I, too, will graduate after more than 16-and-a-half years editing the only daily newspaper published in the Adirondacks.
The folks at Ogden Newspapers, our parent company, are in the process of hiring someone to take my place. We don’t know who that will be, but we look forward to hearing soon.
Back in 1997 when I graduated from college, my goal was to become a high school English teacher — but not right away. I wanted to do some other things before going back to college for my master’s degree.
Now, 24 years later, I’m finally pursuing that old goal. I’ve been accepted to SUNY Potsdam’s master’s program for teaching grade 7-12 English. I’ll still live in Saranac Lake, including after I graduate in a year-and-a-half. I’ll look for work as close to here as possible. Who knows if all that will go according to plan? But I’m setting out on the adventure anyway.
I’m inspired by my wife, Michelle, who went back to school at North Country Community College a few years ago and is now a nurse; also by my grandfather, Tom Kenedy, who always thought I should be a teacher; and also by all the teachers in my family, including both parents and two brothers.
In 1999, I was two years out of college and at the point where I had to move somewhere and find work. I chose the Adirondacks, a place I loved, and found myself in Saranac Lake, where I had been coming all my life to visit my grandparents and go to summer camp. I got a restaurant job in Lake Placid but was curious about working for the local newspaper. I had loved being arts editor of my college paper, and besides, what else can you do with an English major?
That August, on my third time applying, Andy Flynn hired me as a reporter for the Lake Placid News. The pay was the same as I had been making as a line cook, and it was hard, high-pressure work — but I was drawn in. Then five months later, I followed Andy over to the Daily Enterprise — he as managing editor, me as reporter — and I grew to love it even more.
Things happened — marriage, kids, volunteer work with refugees in Georgia, a newspaper job in California — and by fall 2004 I was back at the Enterprise as managing editor. I’ve been here ever since.
As older people have told me over the years, you just know when it’s time to move on. If you don’t know, it’s not time.
Now, though, I know.
I am going to be obsessed with this newspaper for the rest of my life, whether I work here or not. I have a very deep sense of how important it is for the community here to have this agent of their curiosity, this place to learn verified local news and information, this forum for expressing views, this marketplace for goods and services, and this place to read the best and most entertaining local writing. The Enterprise is critical. I feel responsible for that. I will miss working here and regret not doing more while I was here.
Also, I will miss working with this fantastic group of people. Those who will work so hard with so much public scrutiny for so little money are a special breed. I feel guilty for leaving them. But I also know it doesn’t have to be me. While I’m good at some aspects of this job, there are things someone else would do better. I look forward to seeing that.
As word gets out about me leaving, people are asking how to submit news. As before, the best ways to submit news, opinion pieces or inquiries are either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by submitting it on our website by clicking “Submit News” at the top of the page right under the Adirondack Daily Enterprise nameplate. Whoever is on news duty checks those six days a week.
For years, people have also sent things to me at email@example.com, but that address will be no good after June 25. If you need to reach me personally after that, you’re welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org — but please don’t send me press releases.
I’ll be here another two weeks, and I hope to contribute writing to the Enterprise for a while to come. We’ll see what form that will take.
Meanwhile, thank you for reading the Enterprise. Please subscribe, if you don’t already. Please advertise, if you want to get the word out about something. Please share news tips and tell the staff what you think people here need to know. Please share your perspective in the Opinion forum. While other media might cover certain niches, this newspaper is the all-purpose tool for everyone in the Tri-Lakes area — people of all interests, all ages, all political inclinations. It’s where we come together, whether we agree or not. Nothing else does the job. The more divided we get, the more we need something like the Enterprise so we don’t write each other off. And on top of being “important,” it’s also genuinely interesting — and, hopefully, a pleasure to read.
Through the Enterprise we learn what’s happening and learn to live with each other. It helps build community. It’s never perfect, but it’s ours.