After four years of writing for and editing the St. Albert Gazette, I'm finally at a loss for words.
Monday was my last day at the Gazette, as my husband has been posted up North. It feels like the end of an era for me. When I wrote this column, it still hadn't really hit me yet that I'm leaving – perhaps by the time it's published, it'll have sunk in.
I started at the Gazette back in 2017, covering city hall. It was my dream beat at a paper I highly respected, and it let me walk the neighbourhoods of St. Albert, immerse myself in the issues of the day, and get to know many of you in our community. In 2018, I transitioned into my role as editor.
In this job, I came to know the intense pride with which many of us talk about this city. St. Albert is full of lovely people who are doing amazing, life-changing things; who care so deeply about each other that they go out of their way to lend a hand; and who come together during times of crisis.
I'm blessed to count myself a member of this community, and to have directed this newspaper for three wonderful, challenging years. I know I'll be back whenever I can for a walk along the Sturgeon River or an evening at Grandin Pond.
I owe thanks to a lot of people, not least being my tireless coworkers, staff, and managers at the Gazette. This newsroom is full of storytellers who are deeply committed to St. Albert. Kevin, Scott, Anna, Jen, Jessica – you are all fabulous and I've been honoured to lead such a talented group of journalists. You are the beating heart of the Gazette and our community is lucky to have you.
I'm also immensely grateful for the reporters and photographers who are no longer with the Gazette, but who made our pages sing during their time here: Jeff Hansen, Chris Colbourne, Dan Riedlhuber, Hannah Lawson, and Brittany Gervais all helped make the Gazette routinely one of the best community papers in the country.
There are many exceptional people behind the scenes whose names don't get mentioned often enough, but without whom our paper would cease to function. Judy and Kris are masters of production, and their creativity and devotion to their jobs allows us to produce visually impactful papers and beautiful features.
To all our diligent sales reps who work round the clock to fill our pages with ads, I say a big thanks. Sara, Sherry, Sherri, Greg, Tera, and Kelly – our paper wouldn't be the same without you. When the going got tough during COVID-19, these people doubled down and sold ads anyway, keeping our paper above water in the process. It's a beastly tough job – for all my experience as a reporter and editor, I don't think I could successfully step into any of their shoes for a day – but they do it with the best interests of their community and customers at heart.
Now, as I sign off, I know the paper is in good hands with our new editor, Barb Williamson. She has miles of editing experience, and I'm excited to see what she does with our beloved community newspaper.
Though I can't possibly fit all the people I'd like to thank in this farewell column, I want to acknowledge all of you in St. Albert who have reached out, in friendship, anger, curiosity, and despair; sometimes just for a listening ear. Thank you for your candour and your perspectives. All your feedback helped shape the Gazette into what it is today – a paper I'm fiercely proud of, full of nuanced reporting. I hope you're proud of it, too.