Dave Messner recently announced that he is leaving his post as principal of the Lake Placid Middle/High School. Both the community and the Lake Placid News is losing an individual who is truly dedicated to the Lake Placid school district.
One of the things I have striven to achieve since taking over as the editor of the Lake Placid News nearly three years ago, was to provide a stronger balance of community-related articles and features about the people of Lake Placid and its surrounding region. A main target has been — and will continue to be — giving coverage of the area’s students — and a big part of that is school functions and activities including plays, student projects and achievements.
While many larger newspapers do not have the manpower nor space to cover local school events, it has become the niche of smaller papers, especially weeklies such as the LPN. I strongly believe that when students see their work and efforts in print, it provides them with an additional incentive to do well. It is certainly positive reinforcement, and sparks a sense of the pride whose value truly cannot be measured.
But the Lake Placid News cannot take all the credit for student articles and features that have been on the pages of the LPN over the past three years. It could not have been done without the help of Dave Messner.
Dave was always providing or helping with story ideas and giving feedback. He was usually part of the process behind the scenes to make sure an idea — whether his own or the newspaper’s — moved along until it made it to print. If the newspaper relied on a staff member or student to get information or a photo to the paper, Dave made sure they came through.
And if the LPN had to take a photo of any particular student or group of students, Dave could always be counted on to make them available.
If another faculty or staff member was needed, he would often say “come with me” as he led me down the school hallways to meet them in person — each time being conscientious enough to give a proper introduction, regardless of how busy he was at the time. It’s those small things that help build strong bonds.
Also, the Student Photo of the Week was initiated by Dave as he realized there would be a steady flow of photos by students eager to see their work published. The new LPMHS column would not be on the LPN pages if not for Dave’s efforts.
Replacing Dave Messner as LPMHS principal will be Katherine Mulderig. Hopefully she picks up where Dave left off helping the Lake Placid News publicize all the good work done by students. Getting items in the newspaper has been a two-way street and the incoming principal should be excited to continue the bond and excellent working relationship that has been established between the LPN and Lake Placid Middle/High School.
And for the record, the Lake Placid News isn’t just losing a school administrator. It is losing a friend. Good luck Dave.