The greatest reward a teacher can get is seeing former students succeeding in the real world.
So it was with deep satisfaction that the Roadshow recently visited the Sanford Herald where long-time pals Publisher Bill Horner III and Editor R.V. Hight have just hired Zach Potter, my star graduate from the UNC J-school class of ’14.
This past spring semester, Zach served with distinction as co-editor of the Durham VOICE, our inner-city urban youth empowerment community newspaper. But putting out a twice monthly is nothing like working full-time at a daily with a two-story-a-day quota.
Happily, Zach has lived up to his clippings, so to speak.
His favorite story? Interviewing local D-Day vets, whose personal stories of the Normandy Beach invasion “blew my mind,” he confided, adding that after hearing about the hardships they endured — never again would he complain about little things like a bad-hair day.
His toughest story? Walking the fine line of accuracy, objectivity and fairness on a local Rodney King-type story.
Zach’s growth makes the ol’ perfesser mighty proud.
The Sanford Herald, general excellent winner for the third year in a row in its category, deserved the best of my Community Journalism class. Zach is that promising “cub reporter” now quickly growing into senior reporter status.
And a shout-out to Bill and R.V., who realize that a nurturing newsroom like theirs makes for the best graduate school of community journalism.
Onward and upward.