I mentioned recently that I have worked at the paper for 20 years. Noting that milestone elicited a bit of nostalgia, but when I sat down last week for a farewell lunch with our reporter, Anton Adamek, our conversation brought on a similar feeling as he explained what he is taking away from his experiences at the newspaper.

When he came to work for us just over a year ago, we knew that Anton would be with us for only a short time as he prepared to go on a mission for his church. He contacted me at a time when we were in need of another reporter and I knew he would be a quality addition to our staff as he had worked for us as a summer intern for two years.

Anton is not only a good writer, he is intelligent and thoughtful and his stories presented an unbiased viewpoint to each issue he covered. Whether it was a news story or a human interest feature, the articles were well-crafted and served as a good source of information. He was a wonderful conduit for area residents to share their stories and a talented reporter of local news.

Anton also provided new ideas and a younger energy to the newspaper. His additional viewpoint in both the news and editorial areas of the paper brought a refreshing change. His excitement and commitment to our local newspapers rejuvenated this editor as well as a few others on our staff.

As we shared lunch last week, Anton told me one of the greatest experiences during his tenure here has been the connection he has made to the people in our area. He was excited to have been invited into many local homes to meet with those who lived there.

He also expressed that covering news at Fillmore Central, his alma mater, provided a level of comfort for him. As a Harmony graduate myself, I understood his feelings as I, too, continue to feel a certain connection to my school and the students who attend there - even now that it is Fillmore Central.

My conversation with Anton reminded me of what is important in community newspapers - the stories about the people who live in our coverage areas and presenting the news in our communities so our readers are informed and entertained. I have never forgotten that fact, but I think being reminded of the importance of our role in the community is always a good thing.

As Anton moves on to his new mission, I will send him off with my gratitude for the work he has done in the past year and with my encouragement and support for the mission he is about to embark on.

Looking back on my 20 years at the newspaper involves a lot of change - from the way we lay out the paper to the way photographs are formatted to the way we share our news.

When I first started editing the paper, which was about a year after I started working as an office manager in Harmony, I travelled to Spring Valley every Tuesday where we physically pasted news copy onto a large sheet of paper. Black and white film was developed in a dark room and we had to choose photos from a limited number of shots using a loop to magnify small images on a proof sheet.

Fast forward to today and I lay out out pages for the newspaper entirely on the computer and we send our pages electronically to the plant where our papers are printed. Our photos are all digital and choosing the best shots can be done on our large computer screens. The number of photos we take seems to have multiplied exponentially as we are no longer limited to the frames within a roll of film. Sometimes that presents its own challenges as the space in our papers is limited to only a few images from each event, so selecting the ones which best represent the event can be difficult.

Beyond technical changes at the newspaper, conveying the news involves more than publishing a paper - we have a website and pages on Facebook to report breaking news or to highlight certain stories from our publication.

Personally, I've been blessed to have the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people - both staff at the newspaper and members of our communities. Each one has contributed to the editor I have become as well as the person I am today.

While Anton shared his reflections at a time when he is leaving the newspaper, perhaps my own reflections will better serve me as a reminder to why I love my occupation and have rejuvenated my own commitment to our community newspapers.

I am excited to see what changes and advancements come our way in the upcoming years. I won't promise you another 20, but I won't count it out, either!