Storytelling comes in many forms. So do storytellers. I’ve been blessed with opportunities to play many roles as a storyteller.
I worked as a journalist for 18 years. I wrote thousands of stories over that time, covering a variety of beats including city government, police/fire, and lifestyles before settling in as an education reporter for half of my reporting career.
Being a journalist taught me to dig for truths and write them in a way that people would understand. I had the privilege of digging for truths in big stories like pollution caused by an egg farm and a statistically high number of leukemia cases on a high school campus located on a former military installation. I didn’t always make people happy, but I earned their respect by being fair and objective.
My favorite part of being a journalist was telling people’s stories. I also liked explaining to people why things like a community’s battle against poverty should matter to them. Being a journalist taught me the power that stories hold.
A desire to become more involved in the community led me to become a school communications director. I wanted to promote how an area school district prepared students for their future and explain why people should value education.
I’ve worked as a school communications professional in two school districts. I love telling students’ stories. I find joy in sharing how schools engage with students to make their education come alive and prepare them for success in life.
Storytelling isn’t always about the positives. There are stories that school districts would rather not be told, mainly because they are afraid the stories will change the image people have of schools. Being a communications director gave me experience in managing how schools tell their stories and making sure their truths are told in such instances.
I decided to set out on my own and become a writer-for-hire to bring in extra income. I continue to write freelance stories to expand my writing experience and use my writing skills to help agencies, businesses, and educational programs tell their stories.
My content writing experience includes writing press releases for clients around the world. I’ve written marketing kits for self-published authors, explainers for legal publications, resume guides for job seekers and website copy for companies. The skills I learn through freelance writing help me write copy as part of my “day job.”
I occasionally step outside of my role as a storyteller to serve as a board member for organizations. I’ve served on the boards of a local Boys and Girls Club and a college access network. I'm eager to join agencies that serve children and help their stories have positive endings.
I am starting my third two-year term as a board member and director of communications for the Ohio School Public Relations Association, which helps school communications professionals around the state share their stories. I appreciate having the opportunity to belong to a board dedicated to facilitating trust in education through comprehensive communications and public relations efforts.