We don’t often speak one-on-one, you and I.
Maybe we’ve talked for a story — sat down over coffee, exchanged emails or phone calls, so that I could help you tell the community about something close to your heart. Maybe we met at one of the hundreds of events or board meetings or forums I’ve attended since I started this job in 2006. Maybe you sent a note telling me you liked something in the paper, or, more likely, something you didn’t like.
But odds are this is the only interaction you’ve had with: through the words on these pages.
When we first met, I was just a kid — 24 years old, in my first big-girl job as the editor of the Liverpool Review. Short of a few articles for my high school paper (in the days before Liverpool High School’s Lifeguard) and two pieces for the now-defunct Hamilton-Morrisville Tribune, I had no journalism experience. The first few months were a trial by fire, but I stumbled my way through. In these pages, we eventually managed to make a connection, you and I, through the stories I wrote — your stories — and my column, which I titled “Girl Next Door,” meant as a nod to my roots in the community.
I kept that column head throughout my tenure at Eagle — as I took on the editorship of the North Syracuse Star-News, and then as Review and the Star-News combined into the Star-Review. After I had my first child and left the papers for a bit, I took up the “Girl Next Door” moniker again when you welcomed me back with open arms in July of 2011. I was the same girl in 2014 when I took over the Baldwinsville Messenger, and in 2015 when I had my second child.
And you were all there, through all of it, reading the stories of our neighbors, telling me stories of your own, expressing your support and delight at the stories taking place in my own life.
But I haven’t been a girl for quite some time, so it’s disingenuous to continue to call myself one. So this next step for me is only appropriate.
While I have loved being your editor — taking your stories from words on a page to something with wings — I’ve been offered the opportunity to take over the editorship of Syracuse Woman Magazine, another publication of Eagle Newspapers, and I’ve decided to take it. It was a choice I didn’t make lightly — I would hope that by now you all know how much these papers means to me and how much of myself I have put into them over the years — but all little girls must grow up, and it’s time for me to tell some different stories.
I’m not sure yet who will be taking my place, but Ashley Casey will be filling the gap in the interim. I’ll still be accessible at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, and I hope to continue to be in contact with many of you in that role. Feel free to reach out at any time with a story idea or just to chat.
I will miss you all and these community more than I can tell you. Thank you for helping me to grow into what I have become. I have loved telling your stories. This was the best first grown-up job I could ever have had, and I love you all for it.
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.
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