A fond farewell after five years at the Sky-Hi News | SkyHiNews.com

A fond farewell after five years at the Sky-Hi News

Lance Maggart and his son, Ansel

After five wonderful years covering the news and colorful characters of Grand County as a reporter, this week will be my last.

On Thursday, I gathered my belongings, cleared out my desk and said a fond farewell to an institution that I truly love and which has given me more than I ever expected. I am leaving Sky-Hi News and the world of journalism to enter a new chapter in my life with a transition into a career in education. I will begin working as a paraprofessional at Middle Park High School this fall, and I hope to become a teacher in the near future.  

This decision was not one I arrived at lightly, though it is one I have wrestled with for many years. I have contemplated a career in education since before becoming a journalist, but my youthful heart was drawn to the gritty, often-confrontational nature of reporting and the opportunity it provided to live and work as a writer, which was a dream of mine since childhood.

Journalism is an exciting and fulfilling profession, but as an industry it is largely filled with transient souls. Reporters tend to stay at one publication for a few years before moving on. I too have a wandering spirit, but it has found its home here in Grand County. As I approach 40 years on earth, I realize that the two most important things in my world are my family and time, and for all the joy and adventure journalism has brought me, it does not always allow much space for those two paramount priorities. 

I plan to enjoy more free time in the future, spend more days snowboarding, more summers hiking and more mornings fishing on the lake. I will miss the hustle and bustle of the newsroom, the insanity of deadline days and the adrenaline that comes from chasing down a breaking story. I will not miss the hours and hours spent sitting in public meetings, important as they are, nor will I miss the difficult, often painful conversations I have had with various individuals, typically shortly after they lost loved ones.

My transition out of journalism is being made all that much easier because of the strength and stability I believe Sky-Hi News will have for many years to come. Over the past five years that I have been with the paper we have undergone significant changes, and as many readers will remember, the paper struggled through some challenging periods, including a three-month stint where I was the only person here. But for the past three years, I have felt like Sky-Hi News has experienced a new breath of life.

Our Publisher Emma Trainor is as stalwart of a community member as any paper could hope to find and her steady leadership was much needed. While I realize many readers are not yet familiar with our new editor, Eli Pace, I believe he will soon become a favorite of the local community. He, like me, is a Colorado native and grew up not far from where I did out on the Eastern Plains. He understands Grand County in a way that is borne out of his experiences in rural communities. 

As I write the final lines of my decade long career in journalism my only hope is that you, our readers, have trusted my reporting and that you felt you could rely upon the information I provided. I have always felt the community had faith in my work and for that I am thankful. I have made mistakes and the fault for those belongs to no one but myself. But I am human, and susceptible to the same human failings as anyone else. 

You will likely continue to see my byline from time to time in the pages of Sky-Hi News as I plan to keep writing freelance for the paper, so long as they will allow me.

As my journey in journalism ends, I want to thank you, all of you who have read my work and supported what we do here at the paper. I want to express a special thank you to Lt. Dan Mayer of the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, whom I have come to consider a friend as well as a source, and to former Sky-Hi News editor Drew Munro, for hiring me in the first place.

In closing, I am reminded of the words of those Gen X bards called the Semisonics.

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

I hope to see you around.


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