Evie, daughter of our new staff writer Keith Morrill, peeks behind her father’s computer while he works.

Welcome staff writer Keith Morrill to The News

Keith Morrill was born and raised in Vermont and never got very far—geographically speaking.

He earned two degrees from the University of Vermont: his bachelor’s degree in English in 2005 and his master of arts in teaching in 2011.

He’s been a library worker at the University of Vermont and a high school English and Latin teacher in Vermont’s public schools. But these days he’s strictly a freelancer writer and editor and stay-at-home dad—with a little teaching on the side.

Welcome Keith!

He is the owner of Little City Editing, the senior editor for Addison County’s Zig Zag Lit Mag, and a copyeditor for the Hugo-nominated speculative fiction e-zine, Strange Horizons.

He currently resides in Vergennes with his wife, Devon, and their three children: Emerson, 7, Elias, 4, and Evangeline, 11 months.

When he’s not bound to a desk and a laptop, he’s enjoying gardening and chess and likes to get out (in any season) hiking, camping and basking in the beauty of Vermont’s great outdoors.

John Hammer retires from The News board; Rachel Allard joins it

At its April 20 meeting the Charlotte News board of directors accepted the retirement of John Hammer from the board and welcomed new board member Rachel Allard.

John joined the board in 2001 and is, by far, the longest serving member in the board’s history. Over those 16 years, John worked with 10 different editors of the paper—starting with Laura Cahners in 2001 and finishing with Lynn Monty this year. And for the past eight years John served as the board’s secretary, recording the minutes of every board meeting and organizing and maintaining the board’s extensive digital and paper records. His work as secretary was such that at its April 20 meeting the board elected two of its members to do the work John had previously done alone.

John Hammer

In addition to his board service, John has written for The News since 1992, when his first piece, an article “on the conservation implications of the Charlotte Town Draft Subdivision and Zoning Regulations,” appeared in the December 17 issue. His work as a writer for the paper reached its zenith in 2012 when he accepted the job of being the paper’s regular volunteer Selectboard reporter. Having sat through innumerable hours of Monday evening Selectboard meetings over the past five years and then staying up late on Monday nights and into Tuesday mornings to write up the story in time to meet publication deadlines, John (and doubtless his wife, Dorrice, as well) is now quite ready to pass that particular task on to a new reporter.

In recognition of his extraordinary service to the paper, the board unanimously bestowed on John the first-ever title of emeritus director. Having bestowed the title, current board members will feel somewhat freer to call on John—at least occasionally and only as needed—when we need to know where the rest of the bodies are buried.

Rachel Allard

Our newest member Rachel Allard grew up at the foot of Camel’s Hump, graduated from Mount Mansfield Union High School and Boston University’s School of Communication and is currently vice president for operations at Union Street Media, a Burlington-based digital marketing service and technology provider for the real estate industry. She is also the vice chair of the board of directors of the North Country Federal Credit Union and volunteers on the leadership team for Girl Develop It Burlington, a nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for women interested in learning web and software development.

Rachel brings to the board extensive digital expertise that will help us make Charlotters’ stories accessible to everyone—on the web as well as in print. And while Rachel works in Burlington and lives in Williston, she has a special connection to Charlotte—she and her husband, Eric, were married on top of Mount Philo on May 30, 2015, in a ceremony officiated by her grandfather. “It was,” she said, “magical.”