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About Me

Jackie grew up on a farm in eastern North Dakota. From an early age, she enjoyed being outdoors. She carries many memories of going on walks with her parents and siblings around the farmstead, learning the names and descriptive words for the plants, animals, and natural wonders around her.

After graduating from high school, she continued her education at a local community college where she earned an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts. Since then, she has moved all around North Dakota, having many adventures, building a career in communications and making lots of new friends along the way!

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Throughout my time as a full-time student, I had been highly involved in many extracurricular activities, which helped me develop interpersonal and communication skills. I earned the title of salutatorian of my high school class as well as graduating with honors from a local community college in the spring of 2003. From there, I transferred to a state university where I had been taking summer courses since 1999.

After trying on a variety of majors from Management Information Systems to Business and Music, I decided it was time for a break from formal education. I moved back to a small town where I worked part-time at the local newspaper. During that time, I also worked two other part-time jobs (bartender and retail) to support myself. From my experiences in working at the newspaper, I knew that communications is the field for me.

In need of a full-time position, I searched across the state for a job in journalism. Finding an opportunity out west, I drove across the state for an interview, found an apartment and moved there two weeks later. I was initially hired on as a sports writer because that is where I had the majority of my experience. However, I found myself wanting to expand my skills into other types of reporting. I shared my thoughts with the editor and moved into covering business, law enforcement, and political subdivisions once basketball season was finished. During that time, I also covered the local park board, convention and visitor’s bureau, and the county commission.

Working for that newspaper was an excellent experience for me. The managing editor and sports editor were two talented teachers channeling my passion for writing into polished newswriting skills. I not only strengthened my skills as a writer, but I also got to see first-hand how governing bodies function and local business grow and expand. In all my reporting positions, I have worn a number of hats from reporting on the local blood drive to the state legislature and everything in between.

I have always been a very independently-driven worker and my inquisitive nature has served me well in all aspects of my life. In college, I began teaching guitar and piano lessons. I developed my own lesson plans, utilized active listening skills to help students learn and I kept organized records for up to 20 students at one point. In all of my reporting positions, I have had to manage my own schedule and be responsible for meeting deadlines.

My inherent curiosity has allowed me to be a quick learner in a variety of arenas from the computer screen to the commission chambers. It is that same curiosity that compels me to utilize the resources I have available to seek out answers and to help others do the same.

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