Column: When everything is said and done


My time at the Ledger has finally come to an end

By Stephen Cook

As I sit down to write this with a lump in my throat, I can’t help but think back on my time at the college, which only releases a floodgate of memories into my mind.

Looking back to the very beginning (fall of 2012), when I was just taking classes here, I can see how much the Ledger has changed me. For the better, of course.

I have learned about leadership, becoming a better journalist, time management, effective communication, working under stress and so much more. I have learned so much about myself this past year and a half.

Although this isn’t an award acceptance speech, I would still like to thank everyone involved at the Ledger for this past year. I am very blessed to have been apart of this newspaper and to be able to meet each of you.

To Corbin Crable: Thank you for being an example of what honest, pure journalism should be. Your guidance has affected me for life, and I know I will forever be a better writer, professional and human being because of your example.

To the ed board and designers: Jessica, Mike, David, Valerie, James, Courtney, Andrea and Brianna — thank you for making production nights unforgettable. No matter the stress, the deadlines or problems at hand, you have made me love my job.

To writers, photographers, circulation team and everyone on staff: Thank you for being the support team that help keeps everything moving along.

To the students and our readers: Thank you for being a constant reminder of why we do this in the first place. Without an audience, there would be no Ledger.

To all the administrators, faculty and those on the Board of Student Media: I am extremely grateful for this college’s strong journalism program and the ability to work in an exciting student news organization. And, thank you for your trust as well as for the opportunity to serve as editor-in-chief.

To each of the editorial board members:

Jessica: Thank you for your steadfast effort and initiative. Thanks to your leadership, I have been confident the paper has been in good hands when I am out of the newsroom. Throughout these several short months I have seen you grow, and I know you will be successful in whatever you put your mind to do in the future. I am extremely fortunate to have been able to work alongside you over the course of this year.

Mike: Your enthusiasm for journalism (and life in general) and willingness to expand your skills is encouraging. You’re a breath of fresh air and I wish you only the best for next year as you take on the role of editor-in-chief.

David: You are an outstanding writer with a brilliant mind. With your top-notch reporting skills, flexibility and ability to assemble a story in difficult conditions, any publication will be fortunate to have you on board. Although I’ll see you at KU, I’ll no longer need to yell, “David!” as you respond in panic, noticing your computer is automatically restarting for no reason.

Valerie: You are an extremely fast learner. With no prior journalism experience other than taking Reporting for the Media in the fall, you have been an example of somebody who shows natural talent. You’ve hit the ground running, and, no matter what profession you choose, you will excel. I wish you the best for your time on staff next year.

James: Your knowledge of all things sports and ability to cover them sets you apart. Your humor and crazy antics make the SNC a better place. Your zeal will take you far.

Courtney: You are a fantastic graphic designer and I am confident you will be able to land whatever job you set your mind on. My confidence has only grown in you throughout the year as you demonstrate your ability to not only come up with great ideas, but also solve difficult problems relating to Ledger layout and appearance. Your internal drive, self-motivation and sense of humor take a lot of stress out of production nights.

While I am going to miss JCCC, I am extremely excited for the future as I will be studying journalism at KU in the fall as well as continuing my freelance photography and media work.

This marks the end of a wonderful, memorable chapter in my life; and as Corbin Crable, our adviser, said, you only Ledger once.

Contact Stephen Cook, editor-in-chief, at


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