Happy anniversary to me! This issue marks my fifth anniversary as editor of the Ohio Valley Parent, now known as the OV Parent, magazine.
Five years ago, I was a little nervous but also excited as I wrote my first Editor's Journal entry. I was asked to take the helm of the magazine after founder and publisher Kathy Fuller, now Kathy Shapell, left to devote herself full time to directing the Augusta Levy Learning Center, an autism school she founded in Wheeling.
I was about four months pregnant with my daughter, Emma, and had just moved with my husband Dave into a "new-to-us" home in Martins Ferry. I remarked in my journal entry that while spring typically is a time of new beginnings, fall of 2005 was a season premiere for me!
Looking back, there've been some changes to the magazine. Most notably, back in October 2005 the magazine had paper, not glossy, covers. We moved to glossy covers, along with a whole new look created by design editor Phyllis Sigal, in January 2008. We also added four pages at that time and launched the Just for Kids eight-page pullout section, which allows the kids to have the puzzles and activities while Mom and Dad hang onto the articles, columns and calendar pages.
Flipping through that issue, I see many familiar names and faces. Our community partners have been so faithful - namely, Oglebay Good Zoo, the SMART Center and Oglebay Institute, all of which continue to provide fun and educational features for kids each month. Hasn't it been fun to read about Phyllis Sigal's kids in My, How They've Grown and watch them grow up? When she started that column in 2001, Amanda Rose and Leland Alexander were young teens. They were junior attendants in my wedding 11 years ago, and as I write this I am looking forward to having the privilege of being a guest at Amanda's wedding on Oct. 2!
Heidi Maness Hartwiger's informative and homey Natural Parent, Natural Child series; Rick Epstein's unparalleled Dad's Eye View; Marge Eberts and Peggy Gisler's Dear Teacher and Donna Erickson's Prime Time With Kids - all have been the meaty mainstays of our publication.
We have had a few different children's book reviewers over the years, but I am thrilled with our current rotating slate of librarians: Lee Ann Cleary from Ohio County Public Library; Misty Teasdale of the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County; and Lisa Millhouse of Martins Ferry Public Library, all of whom didn't hesitate when asked to fill the role.
We welcomed St. Clairsville native Shasta Clark's Mommy Moments along the way, as well as the Editor's Picks picture page from the online CU galleries. My favorite pages to compile are the Parenting Matters and Healthy Kidbits pages, where I get to share tips, reviews, new product information and more.
We've also added the monthly contests, which I wish more readers would take advantage of! We have brand new items every month to offer readers who e-mail me their entries (name, address and phone number - that's all it takes!). I put all the names in a bowl and pull out winners. Take a look at this month's giveaways on page 4. There's usually something there for everyone!
And, most exciting of all, OVParent.com launched about two years ago, featuring local bloggers, calendar, features, news, polls and more. The 2.0 version is coming soon so stay tuned!
The best part about being the OV Parent editor is meeting readers - moms and dads, grandparents and professionals in our community who are striving toward the same goal of raising and encouraging healthy, confident, happy and productive children. I've met you at community events, the schools and classes my daughter has attended, at the park or just through e-mails or phone calls at the office.
I'd like to extend an invitation to any and all readers. If there's anything you'd like to chat about or changes/additions you'd like to suggest for the magazine, please don't hesitate to e-mail me, email@example.com or call me, 304-233-0100, ext. 389. I would love to hear from you!
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the October issue as much as Phyllis and I have enjoyed putting it together for you.