I broke into community journalism when the school beat was the backbone of the newspaper. Schools were — and remain — a fountain of news and features that everyone can relate to whether we’re interested in test scores or football scores, tax rates or technology. In my past life as a community newspaper reporter and editor, I covered two suburban Seattle school districts, Highline and Federal Way. I can’t say that I miss attending marathon school board meetings, but I knew I was doing important work as the eyes and ears of the community – a watchdog role that is sadly disappearing as newspapers cut staff to stay afloat.
But covering meetings was just one part of the job. The best part was going into schools to write about classroom successes and challenges. Schools are exciting places to visit. Sure, you see some things that make you scratch your head, but you also see things that impress and inspire. That’s why I’m happy about a recent opportunity to write online features for the Tacoma School District – my present hometown school district. Here are a couple of links: