By Deb Henton, Ed.D., superintendent
Last week I was informed that MaryHelen Swanson will no longer be your editor at the Post Review.
I’ve known MaryHelen for just a few short years but more than long enough to have an idea who she is and what a loss her departure will be for this community.
The life of a superintendent and the life of a newspaper editor are very similar I should think. The hours are incredibly long for a newspaper editor…I know this because I see MaryHelen at most of the same events and meetings that I attend.
Being a newspaper editor is a high-pressure position that is subject to a great deal of scrutiny. When there are errors or complaints, they go to the editor. And, much like a superintendent, whatever decisions are made, a newspaper editor is sure to leave some people unhappy, even while others are made to feel satisfied.
What separates MaryHelen in my mind is the degree to which she cares about the communities she covers, and the individuals whose reputations and futures are placed in her hands. Not, as some may assume, just those she agrees with, or gets along with; but all of the people who put themselves in the public realm by holding office or job title. She is careful to always remember that the people she covers are human beings, not just news subjects.
In an age where editors and columnists are almost constantly rushing to give us their spin, its almost a curiosity that I have no idea where MaryHelen falls in her own beliefs. While some wear opinions on their sleeve, MaryHelen holds her own close to the vest so that all receive fair treatment. That is a rare quality these days and, with her departure, even more so.
The next editor of the Post Review will have large, and well-worn, shoes to fill indeed. Caring about the people who make news, as MaryHelen does, would be a great start.
— Deb Henton is superintendent of North Branch Area School Dist. 138