Reimer says farewell to NEW Media readers

Graduating from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in a pandemic was an interesting experience in my life. Businesses weren’t open, people were staying indoors and nobody was looking to hire a recent college grad. After six months of not being able to find a job, I came across a posting for a newspaper reporter position in Shawano County.

I started here at NEW Media on March 1, 2021. Twenty-seven months later, I am writing to inform everyone that my time at NEW Media is ending. I accepted a position to become the communication and engagement coordinator for the Two Rivers School District, where I will start on June 1. That means that my last day as a newspaper reporter will be May 30.

What I thought would be a good start to my professional career turned into a job that I am beyond thankful for having. After my interview, I was wide-eyed and ready to learn about Shawano and surrounding cities, towns and villages, as this area of Wisconsin had given me so much before I even stepped foot in it. I have extended family in the area and even more than that, Shawano is where both of my parents started their professional careers, as well as where they first met.

I quickly became accustomed to a lifestyle that I was unfamiliar with, as I had lived my entire life in De Pere. Obviously ideologies, industry and the overall way of life is different, even though De Pere and Shawano are only 40 minutes apart. That was something that intrigued me about this job. I was excited to learn about things and ideas that I was clueless on.

Learning those differences is something that means the world to me, as in my mind, people are meant to explore. They are meant to try different things. They are meant to meet different people and build lasting relationships with anyone and everyone, regardless of age, gender, political identity, or work experience, and for that I can’t thank everyone enough who I have built a relationship with.

As you all know, I spent a lot of my time in the Wittenberg-Birnamwood area. Whether it was at Britt’s Candy and Ice Cream Shop, at Wittenberg Village Board meetings, or at Chet and Emil’s, everyone I met had a smile on their face, was willing to talk through story ideas with me, and just in general was willing to build a relationship with me.

One thing that I would never give up is my experience working with schools in the area. Over the last 27 months, I regularly covered the Wittenberg-Birnamwood School Board, as well as the Gillett School Board, occasionally popping into other school board meetings, as needed.

What really stuck out to me about covering those meetings, is witnessing how much time and effort goes into making sure our youth are set up to be successful in their futures. I sat with school boards for many hours, sometimes until 9 or 10 at night, listening to them discuss how new curriculum will benefit high schoolers, or how a day-care program could get children started learning even sooner than pre-K. For that I commend all of the board members, administration and teachers’ efforts.

I got incredible experience in my time here that I don’t know many 22-year-olds (when I started; I am now 25) would ever get. I learned what a government budget is, I learned how the court system works and overall I learned how to be a professional.

With that, I want to reach out and say thank you to each and every one of you who has supported me on this journey and everyone who has helped me get to this next step in my career and in my life. I know for a fact that I could not have done it without the relationships that I have formed.

I will still be on with the newspaper in a sense, as I will continue our Green Bay Packers coverage, in which we have a lot of exciting features coming that I think you all will enjoy. You just won’t see me in the community nearly as often.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here, and every one of you have given me more than you could have ever known. I hope you all enjoyed my coverage as much as I have enjoyed covering Shawano, Oconto and Menominee counties, and I hope I didn’t make too many people upset with stories.

Thank you all and, until we meet next time, farewell.

Luke Reimer is a news and sports reporter for NEW Media. Readers can contact him at