About

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My best buddy Sage and I at Pike's Peak near McGregor.

I have been interested in journalism since I was in high school in the early ’70s when I helped write sports stories and took pictures for the local newspaper. My newspaper career took me to a variety of places Iowa, such as Postville, Mount Vernon, Cedar Rapids and my hometown Vinton. Shortly after I got married in 1996, my wife, Angie, and I moved to Kansas and both worked at newspapers in Junction City and Leavenworth. When we returned to Iowa in 2004 and I started a weekly newspaper in Vinton. More on that later…

In March 2008, my main outlet for my love of writing got taken away, but I’ve decided to go ahead and join the blogger world and bring back responsible commentary to local media. We call this little operation “Watching The Wheels” which will be the news commentary counterpart to v-ssportz.com.

My biggest joy and inspiration comes from my son, Sage, who has been diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder – NOS and ADHD. I am currently working on my masters degree in special education so I can help other children like my son succeed.

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2 Responses to “About”

  1. cathy beke Says:

    Great columns — just wondering where you’re getting your master’s in special ed. I’m a current and former journalist (currently stringing for the Gazette, formerly a daily copy editor in Mass. and Conn.) who also works in special ed — 18 mos. in a Level III autism room, now in a Level II room. Funny to find at 46 that I picked the wrong career! I love these kids, the challenge of working with them, and the successes they can achieve. People have told me to go back and get my degree (cuz the master’s in journalism isn’t getting me very far any more) in special ed, but I haven’t figured out how to do it with one going to college in the fall, a son with Asperger’s, an elementary student, two jobs and a house to keep up!

    • Jeff Says:

      Cathy:

      Thanks so much for your comments. I’m in a Level III room right now and occasionally help out in a Level II. I have bounced back and forth between teaching and journalism for a long time, but Sage gave me the inspiration to really get at it and get my Masters. I guess I never look at journalism as the wrong career — God knows I got out at the right time — but it pushing me out the door the last time is was really got me going in my true direction and that is to work with kids like Sage and help make their lives the best they can be.
      I’m actually doing this through the University of Phoenix. It’s strange doing it online, but it’s worked so far. It’s nice to be able to do class whenever I can work it in.
      The process hasn’t been easy, but I know the result will be great. Hang in there and if you get the chance, go for it!

      Thanks again,
      Jeff

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