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Saturday, July 13, 2024 at 5:07 AM

How i'll remember it

STAFF COLUMN | Hunter Dworaczyk How i'll remember it

This column represents the thoughts and opinions of Hunter Dworaczyk. This is not the opinion of the Taylor Press.

I was taking a University of Texas sports-reporting class the very first time I heard about Taylor.

My professor for the class, Cedric Golden, regularly called Kirk Bohls “Duck” on an Austin American-Statesman podcast I listened to. One day after hearing the unique nickname, I decided to ask Golden for an explanation once his lecture ended.

“Kirk went to Taylor High School,” he explained. “They are the Ducks.”

I remember thinking it was neat that a school had such a unique mascot, but “Taylor” was still just a word then.

Today I can confidently say that it’s more than just those six letters. This town means a great deal to me now after spending this past year as a general assignment reporter for the Taylor Press.

Despite what Facebook group discourse would have you believe, Taylor is a town filled with people trying to make positive differences in their schools, offices, churches and their community.

As a reporter, I often felt inspired during interviews just by listening to what opportunities or events residents thought to create or put on.

Taylor went from just a town I vaguely knew about to so much more in 365 days.

So much good is going on here and in Hutto, Granger and Thrall. It’s a big responsibility to draw attention to these efforts, and hope I was adequate in doing so.

With that being said, it’s time for some news. I accepted a state-agency communications position two weeks ago in order to work closer to home, meaning this is my last issue and my last set of Taylor Press bylines.

This wasn’t a decision I made lightly or one I can make without all sorts of complicated emotions. The newspaper was tremendous to me, and I will miss working here dearly.

To say I grew as a storyteller at the Taylor Press would be an understatement. I entered the role fresh out of college with potential, but not with results nor experience.

I feel differently now. I was taught well by my mentors and developed my craft during my tenure. My hope is that this growth will pay off in my career for years to come.

None of it would be possible without the people I worked with. My coworkers are amazing individuals who supported me with stories, listened to personal situations and filled the newsroom with laughter and warmth.

I could tell you stories about how each one of my colleagues made a difference this year. They’re the type of people I relied on when I had car problems, experienced loss or desperately needed a lift.

They make the Taylor Press a hard place to walk away from. I cannot thank each of them enough for everything that’s been done on my behalf.

As I enter this new chapter of my career, I know “Taylor” will never again be just a word to me. It’s a place that has impacted me as a man. I will not forget these memories.

I’m going to turn in this column now and figure out how to sign up for a Taylor Press subscription. Maybe I’ll help Area Editor Jason Hennington shop for 3-on-3 tournament prizes in the

meantime.

“I want to be great like they are, but I have my own way and my own path to do it.”

— C. J. Stroud


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