Last April I had the chance to meet new Prosper High School Principal John Burdett. He sat down with me and we had a conversation about what it means to change and why smart change is healthy.
“We can’t plateau (as a high school),” he told me. “We have to keep growing. And I say it that way because that’s what we have to do. Because if we plateau, you don’t plateau for long, the next step is you start regressing.”
Those words stayed with me. I’m a person who can easily get too comfortable where I am. Initiating change is hard for me, though I’m often up to the task if people ask me to take on a challenge that will change my routine.
As I’m sure many of you know, for the past year I’ve been serving as the managing editor of Texoma Marketing and Media Group’s three weekly newspapers: The Anna-Melissa Tribune, the Prosper Press and the Van Alstyne Leader, and spending my weekends designing the Sunday edition and parts of the Weekend. I’ve had a lot of fun this past year. I’ve been able to meet so many new people and stretch myself in ways I never thought possible. I’ve led my team of writers in tracking down breaking news and tried to breathe some new life and content into these weekly publications I oversee. It’s been an absolute blast.
I firmly believe any good job should sufficiently challenge you, and this one has to be sure. But with Burdett’s words ringing in my ears, I realized I’ve reached a point when I had to initiate a change or risk regressing. As important as that idea is in education, it’s also important in journalism. Change helps keep us moving in the right direction. It helps us stay relevant in this business.
That is why I’ve decided to make my own change. I’ve accepted an editor position with Community Impact newspapers based in Frisco. I’ll be taking over the Grapevine/Colleyville/Southlake publication as they create a paper for the Lewisville/Flower Mound area. I’ll still be covering hyperlocal news and using my abilities as a page designer, while also overseeing the news content brought into the publication, just like I’m doing now.
There should not be a hint of doubt, however, that I am just bursting with pride from what I’ve seen this team of fine newsgatherers do over the past three and a half years I’ve worked in Texoma, and that I’ve been able to be a part of it. Readers, I hope you realize how lucky you are that you are blessed with news coverage from people who care so much about this job, who do it because they love it and because they want to initiate change. They want to inform and inspire our readers. They believe in the power of the printed word. They believe and have seen how an informed community is a united community. I’ve seen a whole lot of passion in the scope of my job, which I’m not sure many people are blessed enough to say.
It’s a privilege to have been a part of these communities this past year. I’ve seen community leaders initiate tough discussions, educators passionately pitch new equipment for their students, residents stand for what they believe in. I’ve seen the people in these areas unite over a common issue, or take the time to celebrate together. It’s meant a lot to me, and I won’t forget my time here and what I’ve learned.
Thank you for having me.
Miranda Wilcox is the managing editor of the Anna-Melissa Tribune, the Prosper Press and the Van Alstyne Leader. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.