It kind of makes me laugh how cyclical a lot of people’s careers are.

Two weeks ago, I was writing in this space how I was on the hunt for our next Advance Leader reporter. That next week, I had the job filled, bringing Sheryl Prentice on, whose name you may have already seen popping up in bylines.

Sheryl had most recently led Noble County’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, but she also had a long background in newspapers. Combining her extensive knowledge of Noble County and the region with her writing and editing skills made it a no-brainer to lock her in.

But tying back to my original point, bringing Sheryl back on was a homecoming. She had worked for The Star in Auburn, also under KPC Media Group’s ownership, for many years, went into marketing/tourism for a bit, went back to newspaper in Fort Wayne, went into tourism and now is back here at KPC, this time in our office.

Since I’ve been here, I’ve found a lot of people who will tell me they worked for KPC at one time or another, whether it was in the newsroom, in advertising or creative, or back in production or distribution. And, it turns out, a lot of people end up coming back at some point.

We have two ad designers/paginators who worked here in the past, left for a while, and now are back. One of our business people upstairs left for a while and then came back.

But this phenomenon doesn’t seem limited to just our company, as I’ve discovered recently.

One of the first assignments I gave Sheryl was to interview the director at the Community Learning Center in Kendallville and get an update on renovations to the old middle school building. The director, Julia Tipton, started her career at East Noble Middle School, went on to be a teacher and principal at other locations around the region and, now, she’s right back at the same building where she started.

On Wednesday, I went to Avilla Elementary to talk to Principal Dave Pine, who is retiring at the end of this year after 40 years in East Noble. He started as a teacher in Avilla, went on to LaOtto, came back to Avilla, went to Rome City, and is back at Avilla for a third time.

Those are just two recent examples, but I know over my more than 10 years in news I’ve written lots of other features about people who ended up back where they started.

Somewhat coincidentally, one news story that popped up in my browser the other day was from the Harvard Business Review titled “Why You Should Have (at Least) Two Careers,” detailing the benefits of growing different skills, meeting new people and uncovering new ideas by diversifying your work.

Nowadays, it’s rarer and rarer to find someone who spends their entire career at one place. My generation especially, Millennials, are more open to changing jobs for new opportunities than past generations were.

I mean, I’ve only been out of college for 11 years and working here is my third newspaper job (although I can now see myself being here for the long run with the commitment and investment KPC has made in me and vice versa).

Regardless, I can definitely see the value in this cyclical thing, which is why I have high hopes that Sheryl will be with us for a good while, putting her vast work and social experience to use.

And, hopefully, you’ll be seeing some columns from her instead of me in this space soon, where she can share some of her stories with you.

Steve Garbacz is editor of The News Sun and The Advance Leader. His longest time at a job was 4 1/2 years, which he’ll eclipse at KPC by the end of this year. Email him at

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