The Elsberry Democrat proudly welcomes Adam Presswood as its new staff reporter.
As those of you who follow Elsberry sports probably already know, Presswood has spent the last year working part-time as a sports broadcaster for the Indian Sports Network.
“That opportunity came along at just the right time,” said Presswood. “I had been pursuing a dual bachelor’s degree in journalism and history at Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis, but the drive and full-time course schedule were just not working out for me at this stage of my life. I put school on hold, but I couldn’t put my dreams on hold. It was only a matter of a month or so before I was working for the paper as an independent contractor.”
Presswood plans to return to school and finish his degree on a part-time basis, but he isn’t sure where or when.
For now, however, he said he’s in no particular hurry.
“It’s important for me to get the degree finished and maybe even move on to a master’s degree, but in the meantime I’ve fallen in love with local news reporting and with life in Elsberry in particular. My degree will be taken care of in God’s good time.”
Presswood is originally from Troy, but his family moved to Silex when he was in the fourth grade.
He finished high school there in 1993 and went on to receive a bachelor’s degree and then a master’s degree in communication disorders from Fontbonne University in St. Louis.
After practicing as a speech and language pathologist for the better part of a decade, Presswood decided it was time for a change.
“Writing and history had always been my first loves,” said Presswood. “I went into speech pathology for other reasons and after running with that ball as far as I could I decided to put on the brakes and hit the reset button. It’s never too late to start over or learn something new.
For Presswood, hitting the reset button started with simply announcing Elsberry varsity sports on the newspaper’s website and then quickly progressed to writing weekly feature stories for the paper’s sports section.
“For me it was a way to combine some of the things I love,” said Presswood. “I got to watch sports, talk sports and write all rolled into one job.”
During the course of the last several months Presswood has been broadening his horizons in terms of the number and types of articles that he has written.
“I’ve tried to average two articles per issue since softball season,” said Presswood. “In addition, I’ve been working on a number of stories lately that are not related to sports.”
Some of the stories to which Presswood has been assigned recently include Sheriff Cottle’s question and answer session at Rachel’s Restaurant last month and the Dec. 12 Christmas Concert at Clarence Cannon Elementary School.
“I’m very grateful for the fact that Michael Short and others at the paper believed in me and in my writing enough to give me those extra opportunities,” said Presswood. “They not only bolstered my confidence, but they also gave me the chance to get to know more people within the community. Getting my name and face out there early is going to make a big difference now that I’m on board with the newspaper full-time.”