Two new hires have joined the Homer News staff. Megan Pacer, 24, started July 17 as staff writer. Office coordinator Bridget Maryott, 42, started July 24.
Pacer fills the reporter position vacated by Michael Armstrong when he was appointed editor. She will cover public safety, government, schools, arts and sports. Among other tasks, Maryott’s duties include taking phone calls, placing classified and service ads, taking subscriptions, greeting customers, and helping with payments and billing inquiries.
Born in Chicago, Pacer grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She graduated in 2015 from Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, with a bachelor of science degree in anthropology and journalism.
Shortly after graduating, Pacer moved to Kenai, where she worked for the Peninsula Clarion, a sister paper of the Homer News in the Morris Publishing Group, covering public safety and city government.
She said she’s looking forward to become a Homerite this month along with her cat, Moose.
“I’m glad to be switching gears and learning what it takes to produce a weekly newspaper,” she said. “More than that, I’m excited to get to know the community that’s always seemed so welcoming and full of life.”
A Tucson, Ariz., native, Maryott moved to Homer almost a year ago with her husband, Zachary Peck, and daughter, Lucinda, an 8th grader at Homer Middle School. Maryott most recently worked at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center as marketing and events coordinator. Maryott has an associate of arts in visual communications from Collins College, Tempe, Ariz., and is working on a bachelor of science in technological entrepreneurship from Arizona State University.
Previously, Maryott worked as a histologist for Roche Pharmaceuticals doing companion diagnostics — identifying biological markers on cancers to help target drug treatment. She also has a certification in histotechnology from the American Society for Clinical Pathology.
She first came to Homer to visit her brother, Sean Maryott, after he moved to Homer in 1983.
“I’ve always wanted to get up here. I tried once when I was 20 and it fell through,” Maryott said. “I’m excited to start a new chapter,” she said of her job at the Homer News.
Armstrong said he appreciates the enthusiasm and experience Pacer and Maryott bring to the Homer News.
“I’ve enjoyed working with Megan on stories with the Clarion, and have been impressed by the quality and care of her journalism,” he said.
“Bridget did an excellent job at the chamber keeping us informed of everything from Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby updates to staff changes,” Armstrong said.
In addition to the Homer News, Morris Publishing Group’s other holdings in Alaska include the Peninsula Clarion in Kenai, the Juneau Empire, the Capital City Weekly, the Alaska Journal of Commerce, the Chugiak-Eagle River Star and the Equipment Trader.
The company has owned the Homer News since 2000.