To avoid burying the lede, I’ll cut to the chase:
After almost three years at the helm of Newton Patch, I’m officially signing off. My last day is this Friday, May 10.
Later this month, I’ll be moving on to a brand new role at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where I will be producing digital content and working on social media.
So, as I say "so long" to you, how do I sum up my time here in Newton?
I could sum it up in the number of articles I’ve written: 4,985 as of May 7.
I could talk about some of my favorite stories I've covered (the Innovation Lab), some of the hardest (the disappearance of Franco Garcia), or the quirkiest ( Wolverine, the fearless Green Decade mascot).
I could also talk about all the great people I’ve met in this city, but there are too many to thank.
I guess I'll just tell you a little bit about how it all started.
In the summer of 2010, I got the call from Patch telling me they’d like me to come on board as a local editor. They asked me if I had a preference where I’d like to work...and I didn’t have a clue. I had friends who lived in Upper Falls so, hey, why not Newton?
Fast forward a few weeks to my first meeting with a large group of my soon-to-be co-workers and managers.
“You’re the new Newton editor?” one woman asked. “Do you know how important that city is?”
She had a point. I was 22, fresh out of my first full-time reporting gig in Central Mass. and really had no idea what Newton was all about. I knew it had a couple of stops on the D Line and that was about it.
Then there was the realization that the city had something called aldermen...and apparently they were pretty important, but I had never heard of one.
Nevertheless, I was ready to hit the ground running.
During the summer of 2010 I went around to everyone at City Hall and folks in the School Department to make sure I knew the right people. I shook a lot of hands and handed out a ton of business cards. I racked up some serious mileage driving around the city and spent months walking as many sidewalks in the 13 villages that I could.
Of course, the beginning wasn’t easy. But after almost three years I hope I’ve succeeded in my mission to build Newton Patch into a quality, reliable community news and information site this city deserves.
Now that I’m heading out, it’s time for you, the readers, to keep this website robust and make Newton Patch the community outlet you want it to be. So many of you have contributed fantastic blog posts (ahem, Jerry Reilly) and consistently posted to our announcements page and calendar (thank you Jeannie Smith!) -- I know you can keep it up.
Remember: See something interesting around town? Post a photo. Have a random thought you’d like to talk about? Post a blog. Did your high school graduate earn a great scholarship? Tell us about it in the announcements page. Yard sale? The events calendar is there for you.
Your content is what transforms Newton Patch from simply a news site to a community forum.
Brooklyn Lowery will be taking over the editor duties here at Newton Patch starting Monday, May 13. Brooklyn is a fabulous reporter and editor -- my #1 pick to run this site. Like many Patch editors, Brooklyn will be managing two sites, both Wayland Patch and Newton Patch. That means the rich, community content you provide is going to have an even bigger role.
So, I’d like to think of this sign-off as not only a transition for Brooklyn and myself, but also a transition for you, the readers. It’s time for you to take the reins and own your Patch!
See you around (probably at Coffee Corner) --
P.S. A much deserved shoutout to Patch Columnist Wendy Schapiro, who is also leaving Newton Patch this month. There are too many thanks to say here, Wendy, but the bottom line is: this site couldn't have reached this level of success without you. Thank you for all that you've done!
Also, a special shoutout to the Board of Aldermen for the very sweet recognition and goodbye at Monday's meeting -- I was truly embarrassed. Thank you.