Veteran journalist joins staff
Telling people’s stories sets journalism career
Joining the staff of the Record this week is reporter Sheila Kelley. In time-honored tradition, we asked her to play both reporter and source to introduce herself the the community:
What did you want to be when you grew up? I figured since I was smart and hardworking, I’d be a millionaire. Easy as that, right? Not so much.
I decided to become a journalist. My thought process was, “I can always talk, write, and tell stories, so journalism is the job for me.”
In high school, I was part of a journalism staff where I wrote stories, took pictures and developed film, learned layout and design principles, and sold advertisements.
After getting my associate’s degree in marketing, I began to sell ads for one of the local weekly newspapers.
Due to personnel cuts many little newspapers were experiencing, I started taking on other responsibilities until I was editor.
The newspaper was sold, so I went back to college to get my bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations.
My most memorable episode at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley was standing in front of a radio class of traditionally aged college students, being nine months pregnant, and butchering the names of famous composers.
After graduation, I was off to the University of Nebraska West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte, Nebraska.
My degree helped me in my role as liaison between 26 counties’ media outlets and researchers from the center.
During my tenure there, I decided to return for my master’s degree at the University of Nebraska.
I was part of the initial class using Internet to complete the degree. I actually went to the campus only three times — to meet my adviser, defend my thesis, and graduate.
I was off to Minnesota, where I used my degree to promote the University of Minnesota 4-H program and, later, to build awareness of my screen printing and embroidery shop.
For the last 11 years, I worked for Colorado State University as the Elbert County extension director.
With my media background, I was often tapped to edit projects for county and state programs.
With my passion for writing, I was able to supply the 60-plus extension offices with timely, accurate, and informational stories to boost their media resources.
My latest endeavors involved writing stories for a community publication about early Elbert County history and a weekly editorial for a local paper.
I enjoy public speaking as well as writing and reading. Gardening and feline rescue help me relax in my leisure time.
My husband, John, and I are enjoying our move to Marion. We look forward to becoming active participants in local events.