Posts Tagged ‘Samuel Speciale’

Whitney Burdette to opinions; Samuel Speciale to Statehouse

Monday, May 4, 2015

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 Burdette

Whitney Burdette

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.

Samuel Speciale

Samuel Speciale

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.



Hey, who’s the new education writer?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

If you’re a regular reader of the Charleston Daily Mail, you probably notice new names from time to time. You see the work and the name, but we don’t always tell you much more.

SAMThe Daily Mail has a new education writer, Samuel Speciale — a Kanawha County native and a graduate of Marshall University.

Sam started here Feb. 10. On his third day of work, he had a marathon state school board meeting. On his fourth day of work, he was snowed in by 7 inches of overnight accumulation.

Look for him for coverage of Kanawha County schools and other West Virginia education issues.

Wanna know more? Read on:

Name:  Samuel Speciale

Lives in: Elkview, WV

Hometown: Elkview, WV

Position at the Daily Mail:  Education Reporter

Graduated from: Marshall University

With a degree in: Print Journalism

Twitter handle: @WVschools

1. What was your first job? Fast food.

2. What made you want to become a journalist? A love for storytelling and slim job opportunities for creative writing majors.

3. What do you like most about your job? The least? Telling stories about interesting people. Covering long meetings.

4. What do you do in your spare time? Photography, dabbling in graphic design, binge watching Netflix or playing guitar.

5. What’s your favorite journalistic effort you’ve produced? Writing and designing Huntington’s 160-page comprehensive plan.

6. Name a personal item that is or will be on your desk: A good pen and leather notebook.

7. Your favorite blog you read or Twitter feed you follow: @chicagobulls

8. What’s your TV show? Book? House of Cards. The Divine Comedy.

9. What’s your favorite place in West Virginia? Capitol Street in Charleston.

10. What’s one newsroom quirk you were surprised about? The list of refrigerator rules.