VANDALIA, Mo.—Friends, family, and co-workers gathered Friday afternoon at the Vandalia Leader office to give a fond farewell to the paper’s publisher, Ron Schott, who was also the publisher of the Louisiana Press-Journal and the Bowling Green Times.
Last week, Schott published his last issue as publisher and wrote his last “Shott in the Dark” column for you, the Leader’s readers. Over the past 11 years, Schott worked hard to produce one of the best community newspapers in Missouri. Some of the people who knew him during his time at the helm of the Leader, noted how much they were going to miss his enthusiastic coverage of the Vandalia community and the surrounding townships. During the celebration, he eagerly introduced his wife and children, pointing to one of his sons, noting the boy was born just days after he and his wife arrived in Vandalia. Seeing his dad at the Leader office was all he’s known.
In his column, Schott noted how much he enjoyed covering this community. He wrote, “I want to say thank you to each and every one of our readers who expressed their comments to me, both positive and negative, through the years.”
That’s an important message from any publisher. It says how much they have learned from the member of the community during their time with the newspaper. Publishers can learn a lot from positive and negative comments. Through them, they learn about the likes and dislikes of a community. Incoming Publisher Robert Leininger, said he is eager to get to know Vandalia, as well as the Bowling Green and Louisiana communities. Leininger is the publisher of all three papers, recently taking over the weeklies for Lakeway Publishers, the owner of the publications.
Schott wrote that he publicly supported the many volunteers who work tirelessly year in and year out on Vandalia’s community events. It is these volunteers who are the backbone of any community.
He also confessed his deep love of his family and in his religious beliefs. It is those beliefs that made him the man he is and the publisher he became. It also aided him in making the decision to move on to the next stage of his life. Even though he had no new job lined up when he made his decision to move on, Schott said believed he made the best decision for himself and his family. He will continue to live in Vandalia with his family, he said, unless a new job requires him to move elsewhere.
As a former football player, Schott truly enjoyed covering all the sports this community had to offer. He said if you see him in town, stop and say hi.