After nearly 12 years of serving area newspaper customers and advertisers, Publisher Ron Schott has announced his plans to resign from his position with The Vandalia Leader, Bowling Green Times, and Louisiana Press-Journal.
Schott served as general manager/editor for The Vandalia Leader from October 2007-July 2018 before being promoted to publisher.
After Linda Luebrecht left her publisher position in Pike County to become Bowling Green’s city administrator, Schott was selected as Luebrecht’s successor at the Bowling Green Times and Louisiana Press-Journal.
“I have spent a lot of time on my knees in prayer and shed many tears seeking clarity from an almighty God in making this decision,” Schott said. “He has given me an unwavering peace that this is the time for me to step aside. Like many athletes claim to ‘leave it all on the field’ in giving 100 percent effort during a career or a big game, I can truly say that I’ve emptied my energy tank serving in my current position. My reserves are depleted and it’s time for a new person to come in and provide these three newspapers a renewed energy and vision to best serve our area advertisers and readers.”
Schott said he will be assisting Lakeway Publishers of Mo., Inc., the owner of the three publications, as the search is ongoing for a new publisher.
“As I prepare for the next step in my journey of life, I will also be assisting with this transition,” he noted. “Please extend to this new person the kind generosity and friendliness you have shown me through the years.”
Schott added that he will miss the countless advertisers and customers he has met during his tenure. He will also miss his role in documenting events and accomplishments from the area over the past 12 years.
“I have been blessed to be a part of reporting on many major news stories, student success stories inside and outside of the classroom, and covering countless festivals and other activities through the years,” Schott noted. “I’ve watched so many of our young people grow up from elementary school and move on to adulthood, where I’m putting their college graduation notice in the paper, or putting a picture of their child in the paper from a baby show. We might even be friends on Facebook these days. I’ve seen countless folks I became friends with through the years move away from the area, who take time to visit when back in town or talk to me on the phone when renewing a subscription. I’ve also shed many tears preparing obituaries for people I know personally or said prayers for the families affected by the loss of a loved one with an obituary published in the paper. A lot of the circle of life went before my eyes on a desktop computer, where it was arranged, sent to the presses, and eventually published.”
Schott added that he will miss the many colleagues he worked with for nearly 12 years at The Vandalia Leader and the past five months working at the two Pike County publications.
“I have been extremely blessed through the years to have some hardworking folks work closely with me in helping us get a product on the street every week, not counting their efforts in running an office supply store in Vandalia or their help with print jobs for customers,” Schott said. “All of them have become an extended part of my family. Many of us have shed tears together, prayed together, and were stressed out together. These experiences bring you closer and helped each of us to push each other day in and day out to get the job done in what can be a stressful environment filled with deadlines.”
In ending his goodbye to the community, Schott wants to publicly thank his family for their support with this decision and for the past 12 years.
“I took the job in Vandalia almost to the exact day my son Josiah was born in 2007,” said Schott, who is the father of Dylan Schott (18), Isaiah Schott (14), Josiah Schott (11), and Lydia Schott (5).
“Through nearly 12 years, my family had to put up with a father being gone many Saturdays and late Sundays at work, a father gone many week nights covering events, and put up with their exhausted father falling asleep on a couch while they try to watch a movie with him. Not to mention, the countless times falling asleep while playing toys with them on the floor. With staffing changes through the years, many things did get better, helping our family catch up on a lot of lost time, in which I am forever grateful. A lot of my favorite pictures have involved our family participating in community activities. So yes, I got paid to take pictures of my family while working. The job did have some nice perks. My kids put up with a lot, but they loved dad through it all. I love each and every one of them and look forward to what this next chapter brings in our lives together.”
In his last curtain call, Schott wants to publicly thank his wife, Kristy (Forman) Schott.
“Tears are in my eyes as I type my own quotes for this story,” Schott notes. “My wife is my best friend, my biggest fan, and I am so thankful for who she is as a person and as mother to my kids. She sure has made countless sacrifices through the years and we have shed so many tears together, during the good times with my job and the bad. I love you Kristy Schott. I thank you for being an amazing woman who loves me, supports me, and prays for me. I still pinch myself wondering why God has blessed me with such an amazing wife. I am extremely humbled by how God blessed me with you so many years ago. I know this journey in 17 years of the newspaper business has had many ups and downs, but there is no other woman whom I would have want to been on the journey with than you. Thank you! I love you!”
Schott’s final day of employment is March 12, though he plans to temporarily assist with the transition as time permits up to and after that date.