Time for me to take my leave

Published 11:42am Tuesday, November 12, 2013

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

Six years ago, the plans I had for my life took a sharp turn.

In November 2007, while still in college at Auburn, I attended an Alabama Press Association event at UAB, where I met Tim Prince, publisher of the Shelby County Reporter. We had a great conversation, and he asked me to come up to Columbiana and chat some more. That chat turned into an hours-long conversation with Tim and other Reporter employees, which culminated in a job offer I wasn’t expecting.

Before the offer, I never thought I’d work at a weekly newspaper. Really, I never thought I’d work in community journalism. I’m so glad I was so wrong.

In my five and a half years working at the Reporter, I’ve experienced so much. I’ve covered high school football games, written about criminals and heroes alike, met people who made me laugh and people who made me cry and learned what it truly means to be part of a community.

I’ve helped to birth a successful community magazine, Hoover’s Magazine, which focuses on the city of Hoover and is a worthy cohort to our own Shelby Living magazine. I’ve worn a lot of hats here at the Reporter, and every single one of them fit me well. I’ve been so blessed.

About eight months ago, the plans I had for my life again took a sharp turn.

My husband and I found out we were pregnant with our first child. As soon as our shocked joy abated, we began discussing our future plans, and decided the best thing for our family would be for me to stay at home. Ever since we made that decision, we’ve never looked back.

Now, my due date is approaching quickly, and it’s time for me to take my leave and get ready for our little girl to come into this world. Leaving is bittersweet, though. The people I’ve worked with here, day in and day out, have made every moment of this job an amazing experience, and I am sad to leave them. I hope they know how much they mean to me.

However, I’m not leaving you, Shelby County. I am a resident and a member of your community, and I am so glad my child has a chance to grow up here, in one of the greatest places I’ve ever known. Thank you — both for these wonderful past few years, and for the hope I have for the years ahead.

Amy Jones is the Associate Editor for the Shelby County Reporter.

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