Thank you, Star readers – it’s been a great experience

Michael Sudhalter

Michael Sudhalter

When I arrived at The Star in the summer of 2014, I knew very little about the Fort Bend community.

Sure, I’d briefly worked for another newspaper in the community in the spring of 2012, but this was The Star – a publication with a great deal of tradition and prestige.

With that said, I decided that I wasn’t going to try and fill the shoes of the late, great Bev Carter. She was truly one of a kind.

I would just try to do the job to the best of my availability, and in doing so, we introduced sports coverage to The Star. And we added such features as the Civil Servant of the Week and the annual Star of the Year.

Throughout my time at The Star, I had the opportunity to meet, interact and get to know the people who make Fort Bend County a great, place to live and work.

We laughed and cried together.

We discussed political controversies, education policy and examined economic development.

We reminisced over Valentine’s Day stories and worked together to encourage improvements for a local post office.

Most importantly, I will be forever grateful for the support I received from Star readers during my darkest hour – when my wife and I lost our beloved daughter, Evie Sudhalter, last November.

I planned on spending many years with The Star, but when opportunity knocks you have to answer the door.

On Thursday, I will begin working as the Communications Coordinator for Stafford Municipal School District. The chance to work for the great community of Stafford and SMSD Superintendent Dr. Robert Bostic was too great of an opportunity to pass up.

Although I’m looking forward to an exciting new chapter in my life, I will sincerely miss working as The Star’s editor.

I’d like to thank Star Publisher Jonathan McElvy and Associate Publisher Frank Vasquez for their friendship, guidance and mentoring, and most of all – their strong belief that print journalism has an important role in Fort Bend County.

We have a great staff at the newspaper – from our newspaper carriers to sales staff (Darlene Massington, John Sazma and Diane Strehl), production manager Joey Belleza and office manager Lisa Long.

Luckily, The Star will be in good hands as longtime community journalist Joe Southern will be taking the reins as Editor, beginning on March 4.

Aside from being a Denver Broncos fan, Southern is a pretty good guy.

A Fort Bend resident, he comes to The Star from The Sealy News in neighboring Austin County.

Fort Bend is a great community because of the people here and their dedication to its success.

During my time as editor, I heard many different ideas about how the community can improve.

Continue those conversations – they’re very important.

I’ve worked in many different places throughout my life, but none of them can match the generosity, friendliness and diversity of Fort Bend.

For that, I’m happy to be staying in the community – albeit in a different capacity.

Thank you for the memories at The Star. You truly enriched my life and made these past 18 months the most meaningful era of my 15+ year journalism career.

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