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Steve Newton – tv reporter, meteorologist, OC alum

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“My story is unique because I chose OC twice. I was in Running Start and I returned after getting a bachelor’s degree to learn journalism to become a TV reporter and meteorologist.”

Why did you originally choose OC?

My story is unique because I chose OC twice. After my sophomore year in high school, I realized I only needed six credits to graduate. I enrolled in Running Start to get my final six credits and graduate a year early. I did my final English and History requirements at Olympic College, which helped me with university composition classes. When I returned after earning my bachelor’s degree, it was to learn about journalism and expand my resume to make myself more appealing to TV stations looking to hire a meteorologist and a field reporter.

What was your favorite professor at OC?

That is a tough question. I’ll put the draw between Mike Prince’s Intro to News Writing, Tim Hagan’s Public Speaking, and Kirie Pedersen’s English 101 classes.

What has been your educational and career path?

My first time through Olympic College helped me earn my high school diploma (through Running Start). The second time got me part way to my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. Even after the second time through, and now that I’m working in my career field, I’m not ruling out going back to school and earning my Master’s degree in a few years.

What are you doing now?

Right now, I’m the weekend Meteorologist/Reporter at KFBB-TV in Great Falls, Montana. Before moving to Montana, I was a contributing writer at The Olympian (OC student) newspaper and also worked as a math tutor in OC’s Math Study Center. My interest in weather forecasting came from when I was younger. I saw the forecasts on TV being wrong on a near constant basis. I wanted to do what I could to make the forecasts more accurate.

Broadcasting wasn’t even a goal for me until my junior year at UW when an internship opportunity opened up at KOMO 4. Getting the chance to work with Steve Pool and the forecast team there gave me a boost in confidence to attend OC to pursue a job in broadcasting. Being a reporter is probably the toughest part of my job. Every day is not guaranteed to be a day where there’s a story waiting for you to go chase down. I don’t think I’ve had a slow weather day. There’s always something to talk about when it comes to the weather.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Sometimes in my field it feels like I don’t have any spare time. When I do get the time, my hobbies are similar to what they were when I was at OC. I write screenplays, play video games once in a while, and keep in shape by hitting the gym.

Are you involved in the community?

While attending OC the first time, I was involved in Scouting. I served as an assistant scoutmaster and weather merit badge counselor for a couple years while attending UW. I’m working on becoming a weather merit badge counselor again out in Montana, and will be doing some outreach with local schools to educate them on the weather.

What was your upbringing like?

I lived in Kitsap County for over 20 years before moving to Montana. After completing high school at 17, I went to UW and pursued a degree in Atmospheric Sciences. I returned to Kitsap after earning that degree to save money and look for a job. I believe many news directors saw my age and youthful appearance as a negative aspect. It was about 14 months after sending out my first application before I heard back from a station.

With stations showing no real interest in me after almost 18 months, I opted to go back to OC and apply to start graduate school in the fall of 2011. I was still applying for jobs during my time at OC, and by the time I was offered a job, I probably sent out between 100 and 150 applications in all 50 states.

How has OC inspired you?

OC inspired me to be more sociable. When I started at OC, I was very closed-off and unwilling to talk to other people. I wanted to do my classes and move on to a university as quickly as possible. The environment and people at OC made me feel that I was among friends all the time. I feel that OC is a great way to network and meet people with similar interests in a manner a student may not get in high school or a person may not get in the workplace.

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