I hope all of you noticed a new column contributor on the opinion page of the Peabody Gazette-Bulletin this past week. We are pleased to announce that Paige Barnes, a junior at Peabody-Burns High School, is coming on board to give a youthful view to some of what goes into the newspaper. It has been many decades since I have had a youthful view on anything and even though Janet Post, over in the sports department, is fond of noting that I will ALWAYS be her elder, she is not a young spring chicken either.
So we are glad to have Paige on board and hope that you will enjoy her contributions. Paige told me several years ago, at about the ripe old age of 11 or 12, that she wanted my job. (Too bad she is so shy, huh?) That made me sit up and take notice. No one else has ever said that.
Years ago we printed a letter she wrote to a soldier in Iraq and the letter she got from him in return. I noticed then that she was capable of stringing a sentence together better than most youngsters. I think she might have been a fourth grader at the time. She caught my eye and I have followed her accomplishments. Over the years I have had conversations with some of her teachers about her maturity, sense of responsibility, and enthusiasm. I got rave reviews from all of them.
Paige will be covering some features and informative articles about school issues, students, and teachers and she will paying her dues with straight old dull items that are rarely exciting, but need to be included in any community newspaper. She has some ideas of her own about topics she’d like to cover and I have a few things I would like to toss her way.
She also says she still wants to take over my weekly opinion column so I assume she has some thoughts she wants to share. (And I am not one bit surprised!) We will have to see how it goes. I would be glad to have her go off to college and get her degree and come back to be the hometown editor.
I am a bit attached to this chance to tell you what I think every week, but I must admit that sometimes coming up with a topic is just about impossible. On those occasions perhaps you will catch an opinion from the young lady who wants my job. Good for her. Community newspapers need the Paiges of the world. Community newspapers will not survive without them.
Be sure to read her columns and let her know what you think. She will need to hear from you. Welcome, Paige.