It’s sometimes hard when reporters leave the nest

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It’s never easy when an employee leaves the Nisqually Valley News.

If it’s under less-than-desirable circumstances, it’s a sad occurrence — disappointing, but probably necessary.

If it’s a case in which an employee is moving on to new challenges and greater opportunities, it’s still sad, but it’s also reassuring.

This was assistant editor Megan Hansen’s last week with the NVN. She was hunted down and offered an excellent job as an editor by a longtime colleague of mine.

And yes, I am still speaking to that colleague — for the most part.

The first time I met Megan, she was extremely late for the job interview. She was fresh out of college and had a spark in her eye that is thrilling to see in a young journalist, especially in this day and age.

After fully verifying Megan’s explanation for being late and conducting a rigorous interview, I hired her as a reporter.

That was about five years ago.

In Megan I saw the same personal drive to learn and grow that led me to the publisher’s chair.

I never intended to have an assistant editor, but soon found that I was able to assign her editorial tasks that freed my time for other responsibilities.

The end result was Megan created the assistant editor job, then asked me to name her to that position.

As one character stated in the movie Jurassic Park just before he was ripped to shreds by a velociraptor, “clever girl!”

Megan and I are both stubborn, but we are both reasonable professionals. We collided over various issues over the years, but got over ourselves and our “wounds” healed quickly.

I like to believe I won on every count. I’m sure Megan likes to believe that she won on at least one count.

Megan is not the first on my staff to move on to an editor position, and hopefully she won’t be the last. The newspaper industry needs new blood at the top to keep it alive and relevant.

To any employee who has told me they were even considering moving on to a new job, I have said I would never begrudge anyone pursuing any opportunity or career growth.

That’s part of the game.

I am proud of Megan. I like to believe she will take some of what she has learned here and make an even greater success of the two newspapers she’s taking on.

Coincidentally, Megan is taking the reigns of the newspaper I started my reporting career at in 1987, and also the newspaper I co-founded in 1994.

I have no doubt our paths will be crossing again.

Megan, here’s wishing you fair winds and following seas.

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