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Jeanie Groh column: Bring on year No. 2

One year ago today, I moved to Salisbury and started my job at the Post.

It’s been quite a year, to say the least – it’s amazing to see how much can change in 12 short months, not only in my own life, but at the Post as well.

Not only does today mark the end of my first year at the Post, it also signifies the end of my first year as a full-fledged adult.

I’ve grown a lot, both professionally and personally over the last 365 days – I’ve rented my first apartment, started paying bills, and I even have my own full-sized Christmas tree this year.

In the workplace, I’ve gained a lot of confidence, developed relationships and become a better (and faster) writer.

I gleaned so much sitting behind Emily Ford up until a few months ago, when she left to work at the Research Campus in Kannapolis. Her dogged determination to get the facts encouraged me to do the same, and her professional wisdom saved me a lot of grief more than once.

I’ve figured out how to sift out the important information from a lengthy school board meeting, and who my go-to contacts are on a myriad of education issues.

I’ve learned more than I ever thought I would about education, and I’m even more grateful for the teachers who took the time to pour into me over the years.

I’ve come to appreciate the witty newsroom banter, all the crazy things I hear on the police scanner and Shavonne Walker’s odd crime stories.

There have been times when I felt like I was in over my head, as I’ve spent hours trying to decipher complex reports and budgets (there’s a reason I didn’t major in statistics or accounting).

I’ve lost cell phone service and GPS signal in the far corners of the county and proceeded to get completely lost.

I’ve written about things that make me excited, like the cupcake column I wrote earlier this week, but I’ve also had to write about crimes that have broken my heart.

I’ve taken on more with the education section, and even started the weekly “In the spotlight” features starting this school year.

I’ve begun to see how my fellow reporters and I fit into the community.

It’s been a big year for Rowan County, especially its schools. Catawba launched a $60 million capital campaign, North Hills Christian School started a large expansion project and Hood Theological Seminary welcomed Vergel L. Lattimore as its new president. The Rowan-Salisbury School System received funding after 20 years for a consolidated central office, as well as for two other capital projects, and the district launched a one-to-one digital conversion, which will put an iPad or laptop in the hands of every teacher and student in third through 12th grade.

Not only have I changed, but the Post has changed as well over the past year.

We’ve said hello and goodbye to a number of fantastic coworkers, adjusted to a new company, launched a new website and switched content management systems. We’ve learned to adapt and do more with less.

My goal for this next year is to take what I learned during my first year here at the post and do things smarter, faster and better.

I’ve figured out the organizational systems, interview styles and writing conditions that work best for me.

Now that I’m in the swing of things, I’m actually looking forward to the graduation tab in May. What seemed absolutely intimidating last year now seems like an exciting challenge that allows me to share special stories from each high school.

I’m also excited to see what happens with the two new members on the Board of Education this year, and any other interesting stories Rowan County might throw my way.

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