Editor's Note: Purcell has covered Schenectady County for Spotlight Newspapers since being hired more than two and a half years ago.
Finding out Spotlight Newspapers wouldn’t be covering Schenectady County wasn’t news I had expected to hear anytime soon, and it took some time to sink in.
When I was hired as the Schenectady County reporter it was honestly a dream come true. Covering your hometown is a unique experience and I’ve learned a lot about the county I call home. The countless people and stories I’ve covered weren’t just an assignment — it was a passion.
You know you’re a reporter when you look forward to Town Board budget debates and reviewing school spending plans with a fine-toothed comb. Then there are the times you get to go where the public doesn’t, such as riding atop a tank, flying in a bomber or seeing the president speak. Going to town organizational meetings on New Year’s Day might not be a welcomed experience, but a reporter is there so you don’t have to be.
I wanted to share my gratitude to the people who have opened up to me over the years and allowed me to tell their story. It’s hard to walk away from something you and many others have worked on for several years. I hope you’ve felt The Spotlight was a valuable outlet to become informed on your community, your news.
Though I won’t be covering Schenectady County anymore, I hope you’ll still look for my work elsewhere in the Capital District and in a new capacity online at spotlightnews.com.