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Even Stephen: Again I bid farewell to the Observer newsroom

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — I feel like the boy who cried wolf, but it’s true: I am leaving the Observer for a second time in just under a year’s time. I have always considered this newspaper my home away from home and found solace in it as my family tried to find its footing in the face of several health issues. I can honestly say there has never been a dull moment and I have enjoyed covering the City of Rio Rancho and Sandoval County. In fact, I have enjoyed covering the county so much that it is where I will be heading as the new public information officer in place of the great Melissa Perez, now the communications manager for Rio Rancho Public Schools.

Everything up to this point has made me take stock in my journey over the past few years. I feel fate has led me to this crossroads and in some odd way made me who I am now. I was entering into my last two semesters at the University of New Mexico when I realized I had to travel to Rio Rancho to take my last two required classes. This would’ve been a hardship for anyone living in Albuquerque, but I lived in Bosque Farms, so the journey to class was ominous, to say the least. It was at these two classes I ran into my dear friend and teacher Laura Burton. Burton was implementing a unique capstone course at that time, which involved course work alongside a real world project.

Being that I had experience in journalism working at the New Mexico Daily Lobo, Antoinette Vigil, who used to work for the county, picked me to do a series of articles to appear in the, you guessed it, the Rio Rancho Observer. It was in this class I met many people I would go on to have great working relationships with later on. After graduation, based on my internship, then-publisher Rocky Hayes offered me a position as a staff writer, which I gladly accepted. So you see those long trips to Rio Rancho began to pay off. I learned my beat covering the county and worked alongside Gary Herron, my close friend Antonio Sanchez and learned page design from our editor-in-chief, Argen Duncan.

After a couple of years I was so impressed with Rio Rancho and its school system that I relocated my family here, buying a home that we have now completely renovated and remodeled. So far, my life here has been great and I see more positive things happening in the future. So I bid you a farewell for the last time and hope to see many of you, my friends and colleagues, at the occasional county commission meeting or upcoming event. I am sure I will see you again, if fate has anything to do with it.

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