Me and my first editor Gary Kauffman in the office of The Advance-Leader in Ligonier, Indiana, in 1987.
Twenty-five years ago, Jan. 4, 1993, I started working at The Goshen News.
A cub reporter, fresh out of Goshen College, I had a lot to learn. Fortunately, between editors, co-workers, sources and readers I never lacked guidance — nor correction.
I was not one of those people who had to go through a few careers or majors before finding “the one.” I’ve wanted to be a news reporter since middle school.
At West Noble Middle School, we had a student newspaper and yearbook. The newspaper was printed via — wait for it — a mimeograph. Yeah, I’m that old. Better than stamping by hand I suppose.
Anyway, it was there that I fell in love with the publishing industry, specifically journalism. Any of my West Noble friends can attest to that — and my penchant for writing teen romance novels.
In high school, our only publication was the yearbook, so I worked there usually with classmate Traci Gee (now Runge). Knowing how much I enjoyed reporting, my high school set up a senior internship at the local newspaper, The Advance-Leader. There was a change in editors between when the agreement was made and when I started. So when I popped in on my first day (the last period of the school day), poor Gary Kauffman got a shock. He’d inherited me and no one had told him.
Gary rolled with it, though, and became a teacher, mentor and lifelong friend.
Because The Advance-Leader was owned by Kendallville Publishing Co., once a week I would head over to The Kendallville News-Sun to help put the weekly together. There I got to know Dave Walter and Wayne Steffen. Longtime readers of The Goshen News might recognize both names.
I would go sit on Dave’s desk and chat while he was supposed to be working. Dave, only recently out of college, would tease me by singing “Oh, Sheila.” Over the course of my senior year, we got to be friends.
Wayne, formerly of Kendallville, worked at The Goshen News. I was a Wayne fan. I enjoyed his writing and wanted to learn everything I could from him. Little did I know he was also a heck of a guy. Gary, Dave and Wayne took me under their wings, taught me what they could; helped me through college (and life) and we remain friends today. I could not have had better professional teachers. Thanks guys!
At Goshen College, my journalism classes were with Stuart Showalter. Again, another great teacher just landed in my lap. Both Wayne and Dave were at The Goshen News, so I had an in there. I did some freelance work during college and when it was time to graduate I got an internship at The News.
Fortunately for me, when my internship was up, The News needed a couple of reporters. They hired me and Marshall V. King. You might know his name, too.
I’ve been around ever since, covering pretty much everything.
I hope you’ve enjoyed having me around as much as I’ve enjoyed being here.
Sheila Selman can be reached at Sheila.firstname.lastname@example.org at 574-533-2151, ext. 311. Follow her on Twitter at @sselman_TGN.