So long, Carroll County

Friday, May 31, 2019

By Kelby Newcomb

My last week with the Carroll County News is coming to a close, and I can hardly believe it.

I started working here as a reporter a little over three years ago. It was my first full-time writing job, and Iím so grateful to my editors, Scott Loftis and Samantha Jones, for bringing me on board. At my previous job, I felt like just another rung on the corporate ladder, but at the Carroll County News I got to be part of an amazing editorial team who are friends as well as co-workers.

Over the past few years, I have learned so much about how to write for my audience, how to conduct interviews, how to build community relationships and how to handle and respond to criticism. Thanks to a wonderful team of co-workers, I had the freedom and guidance to learn these lessons and grow as a reporter. I will forever be grateful for that opportunity.

But now, itís time for me to move on to a new opportunity.

Next week, I will step into my role as the new staff writer for Lyon Collegeís public relations department. Iím excited to return to my alma mater and use the skills Iíve learned here to help Lyon share its story. Iíll be working with friends and former professors, and Iíll get to live in the same city as my sister and brother. It was too good to pass up.

Still, I was hesitant to apply for the job because of everything Iíll be leaving behind. Northwest Arkansas is an amazing place to live and has easily become my favorite area in the state. The rivers, mountains and hiking trails provide an endless supply of adventures. Iíve made so many great friends and connections here, and I wish I could bring everyone with me.

Sadly, I donít think my apartment has enough room.

Iím going to miss living and working in Carroll County. This community is so welcoming and so giving. If you look around at the nonprofits and civic organizations, youíll see the same faces pop up again and again. The volunteer spirit in this area is incredible!

Iíve also been impressed by the quality of the local school districts. My main story beat has been education, and Iíve gotten to work closely with the Berryville, Green Forest and Eureka Springs school districts. The teachers, staff and administration do an amazing job providing the best opportunities to their students.

It feels like I am at the schools every day, interviewing students about winning state recognitions, receiving college fellowships or giving back to their community. The high caliber of students shows what an outstanding job families and school staff are doing to prepare the next generation of community leaders.

Most of all, Iím going to miss my coworkers at the Carroll County News. Having a ďwork familyĒ has made coming into the office each day a treat. As Iím writing this, weíre getting ready to have our annual Memorial Day cookout. Working on the holidays isnít so bad when you know David Bell will be grilling.

Getting to enjoy the company of the people you work with is a treasure.

Iím excited to start the next step in my career, but Iím sad to say goodbye to this community and all the wonderful people I know here.

So long, Carroll County, and thanks for all the memories!