Since I began as a reporter in Highland I have been covering the schools and reporting the two public school districts serving Highland students.

As editor, I decided to give up the school board assignments in order to stay more connected to the city’s activities. The City Council and Planning Commission are on the same meeting schedules as the two boards of education.

The decision was made with a little reluctance as I have greatly enjoyed covering the education beat.

I grew up in Redlands and spent a good portion of my life in Redlands schools. So, it’s been a pleasure returning to the district to get a more behind-the-scenes look at how the dedicated and impressive teachers, staff and administrators serve students in the highly respected district. It has also been exciting to see the great strides and advances San Bernardino City Unified School District has made on the road to becoming an exemplary district. It was once a very challenged district and, thanks to Superintendent Dale Marsden and its board of education, it has made great improvements within the past five years that I have been reporting on the district.

One of my earliest assignments as a Highland reporter was attending a meeting of Highland principals with city and public safety officials.

New to Highland, I entered not knowing anyone and sat at the first seat available, my back to the door. As people continued to arrive to I heard a voice I thought I recognized. So, I turned to look over my left shoulder and saw no one I knew. When I straightened in my seat Mr. Lock, my first journalism teacher, was seated directly at my right.

Surprised to see each other nearly 10 years since I had his class, Lock asked what I was doing there. I told him I was a newspaper reporter. A minute later, introductions were made and he was introduced as Dr. Lock. It was a fun moment.

Peter Lock was then vice principal of Beattie Middle School, but I knew him as a Cope Middle School English teacher and faculty advisor of the school’s newspaper, The Talon.

It was in Lock’s eight grade journalism class that I was introduced to news writing. It’s an experience I’ve always been grateful for as it gave guidance to my love of writing and gave me an idea early on what I wanted to do. It’s been a profession I’ve greatly enjoyed.

I’m also grateful to my seventh grade teacher Mrs. Needleman who insisted I apply for the school paper. While in college, I learned it was a unique opportunity to be introduced to journalism and a school newspaper as early as middle school.

Highland Community News will continue to report on Highland schools, but Highland Community News’ new reporter, Corey Evan, and Redlands Community News reporter Katie Trojano will share much of the coverage.

It’s a beat I’ll miss.

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