Debi Ryan

Debi Lowery Ryan

It started with a call from Ferris Fain about an opening for a typesetter at The Daily Sentinel back in 1985. Now after 34 years of both uplifting and heartbreaking stories, deadlines and late nights, my time at The Daily Sentinel is coming to an end.

I’m a lucky girl to have had such a career, chronicling life in Nacogdoches and working with brilliant, witty people. I won’t bore you by going into a list of names reminiscent of an Oscar acceptance speech, but I will forever treasure the people who have come and gone through the years. I have worked with and learned from some of the best.

Over three decades, I’ve had the honor of helping tell the stories of the beauty and strength of the people in this community. How they pull together in times of tragedy and how they celebrate in times of triumph. Along with the good news, we’ve also had to shed light on situations that needed to change. That’s what good newspapers do.

We’ve done it all. The biggest story that comes to mind is the Space Shuttle raining down over this community and the aftermath of that tragedy. We’ve brought you stories of fires, floods, hurricanes, politics, elections, businesses, weather, education, health, features on a wide array of people, local government decisions that directly affect lives — the list is endless.

In a time when criticisms are harsh and divisiveness is prevalent, I want to thank those of you who have sent words of encouragement and kindness over the years. It’s meant the world to me.

I will miss the excitement and the challenges the news business brings. I’ll even miss the debates with our regular letter writers on both sides of the aisle. Each thinks I favor one side over the other, so I guess I did something right.

I leave the news in capable hands. Josh Edwards is talented and will lead a stellar group of journalists — Nicole Bradford, Tim Monzingo, John Krueger and Jack Bryant. Nothing fake about this team. Each of you have brightened my days and made a tough job more tolerable. I will miss you.

We welcomed a new reporter this week. Nathan Wicker is a former intern with us and a newly minted SFA graduate. He’s going to fit in nicely.

I truly look forward to what may come next. Time with family and friends is first on the list — a period of time with few responsibilities, some decompression and relaxation. And then, who knows, but I do plan to stay in the area.

Most of all, thank you loyal readers for sticking around as we reshaped this newspaper to fit changing times. You make it all worth the effort.

If you would like to contact Debi, email her at

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