When I went to interview for my first newspaper job I was very late. I’d never been to Yelm and online directions had me circling a road randomly out in the county.
I remember thinking, “Man, what kind of newspaper is this?”
After making a call to the office I was seeking, I was redirected to its location right in the middle of town.
I came in 20 minutes late with my tail between my legs, not expecting anything to come of this experience.
Boy, was I wrong.
That interview was with Keven Graves, now incoming publisher for Whidbey Island’s community newspapers.
Keven gave me my first newspaper job. I consider him a mentor.
I worked at the Nisqually Valley News for five years and during that time I learned community journalism.
College teaches you the fundamentals. Keven taught me the heart.
News came much to my surprise last week that he would joining our staff here next month on Whidbey.
I’ve been honored to work with two great publishers so far in my career.
Leaving Yelm was hard for me, but I was eager for new experience and growth.
Working with outgoing publisher Kasia Pierzga has been a great experience. She understands the importance of a newspaper’s role in the community.
It’s been just three short months with Kasia, but she has taught me some valuable lessons and skills.
Kasia is an asset to this community and it will be hard to see her go. Olympia is lucky to have her as she makes her way south for new career opportunities with the state Department of Revenue.
While we are all sad to see her go, I think the community is earning another valuable asset.
I think Keven and Kasia are cut from the same cloth in a lot of ways.
They both share a mutual love and respect for community journalism.
Keven is an island boy. He started his career here and it’s exciting to see him return.
When I left Yelm several months ago I always figured our paths would cross again in the future.
To my surprise it only took a few months. Sometimes it’s funny how the world works.
— Megan Hansen, Editor