When the time comes, it’s nice to have smart, talented people who can step up to the next level.
We’re moving a couple of the Daily Mail’s staffers to new positions. We’re excited about what they’ll be doing, and they are too.
Whitney Burdette, political reporter, is shifting into the Opinions section. She’ll be an editorial writer and will contribute additional opinion content. She’ll also be a member of our editorial board.
Whitney has a nice background to observe the West Virginia political scene. She was a West Virginia Statehouse reporter both at the Daily Mail and, earlier, at the State Journal. She’s covered 4 regular legislative sessions, plus the special session on redistricting in 2011. She’s also covered seven or eight statewide elections (special primary and general elections following Manchin’s departure to Senate and special primary and general 2011 special gubernatorial election, plus primary and general 2012 and 2014 statewide elections).
That’s plenty of sessions to sit through. Now she gets to contribute opinions about the national, state and local scene.
“I really became interested in politics my senior year of high school, when I took AP government,” Whitney told me. “I had an awesome teacher, Mr. Moynahan, who really fostered my interest. He made learning about politics, which I previously thought was a boring topic, interesting and fun. When I got to Marshall and had to declare a minor, I chose political science. I had several more great teachers at Marshall who taught me a lot about political philosophy, political history and state and federal government process. I relied on that background heavily when covering statehouse for the State Journal and Daily Mail.”
Whitney, 26, is a Riverside High School and Marshall University graduate.
Samuel Speciale, who has been our education reporter, is moving to the Statehouse beat, where he’ll join Joel Ebert.
Sam got a taste of life at the Capitol this past winter when he invested lots of time covering hot issues like charter schools and Common Core legislation.
“I started paying attention to politics during my senior year of high school into my first year of college, which happened to be an election year,” Sam recalled. “While I’ve payed attention to major stories over the years, I didn’t actively follow politics until last year when I started covering local and state education departments for the Daily Mail. I became more interested — in that I wanted to pursue political reporting full time — after writing about several education bills during the past legislative session.”
Sam, 25, is a graduate of Elk Valley Christian School and Marshall University.
Good job and good luck to both.