Former Rifle reporter now tells the story of Re-2
RIFLE – She’s a sports enthusiast, a community volunteer and the voice of the Re-2 school district.Theresa Hamilton of Rifle is no stranger to the community.Hamilton, 37, has lived in Rifle since 1994 and can often be seen announcing at athletic games for Rifle High School, operating a camera for local Channel 13, working out at the gym, playing softball or training her dogs in canine agility.For the past three years, she has worked as the director of districtwide services for the Re-2 school district, where she is responsible for putting out newsletters, press releases, grant writing, maintaining the Web site and creating recruiting videos.Her background as a longtime reporter for the Citizen Telegram helped land her the job with the district.
“It’s still all about telling a story, but about the Re-2 school district,” Hamilton explained. “Whether its teachers, kids or parents – we’re still trying to relay a message in a story.”She says one of the perks of her job is the time she gets to spend with the kids and the opportunity to learn new skills.”I’m not sure I have more kid time, but I certainly enjoy the kid time that I get,” Hamilton said. “And I like that I’ve been given the opportunity to learn new skills – such as video editing. I love that I’ve been given the tools and ability to expand my skills.”She was born at Ft. Irwin in Barstow, Calif., where her father, Barry, was stationed in the Army. The family later moved to central Illinois where Hamilton, her father, her mother, Janice, and brother, Sam, lived on a 180-acre family farm.
Hamilton graduated from Armstrong Township High School in 1986, in a class of 28. She then went to college at the University of Illinois, where she majored in kinesiology – the study of human movement – with an emphasis in sports medicine.She graduated in 1991 and then continued her studies at San Jose State University in California, took a year off, and went back to school at Purdue University in Indiana. During that time, Hamilton’s father decided to relocate and was looking at a variety of places to live.”Somebody told him about Rifle. He said he saw a horse walking down Railroad Avenue – and nobody cared,” Hamilton recalls with a smile. “Then he saw a pile of horse (dung) a little further down the street – and nobody cared. He decided that’s the kind of community where he wanted to live.”Hamilton followed her family to Rifle in the summer of 1994 and started as a reporter for the Citizen Telegram in 1995 – a position she held for six years.
“They needed a graphic designer and because of my computer skills, I was able to start,” said Hamilton, who is a self-proclaimed technology junkie. “But I couldn’t hold my tongue and I wanted to start writing about things I was interested in.”With her interest in sports, Hamilton reported extensively on athletic programs at Rifle High School. A volunteer for Rifle Community Television (Channel 13) for the past six years, Hamilton still announces RHS games and can often be found operating one of the cameras.Hamilton has also been named as this year’s chairperson for the Relay For Life – an annual fundraising event for the American Cancer Society.”We honor cancer survivors and remember those who have fallen to the disease,” Hamilton said. “Everybody has been touched by cancer. We all have friends, family members or acquaintances who’ve had it. This is our small way as a community to help this fight.”When she’s not volunteering, she can be found enjoying sports herself with softball, volleyball and basketball being her favorites.
“In the summer, if you’re looking for me, you can probably find me on the softball field three nights a week and the weekends,” Hamilton said with a smile.Or out doing canine agility training with her two dogs, Wotan, 2, and Danika, 8, both German shepherds.”Canine agility involves working as a team with the dog,” Hamilton explained. “You give them the skills to negotiate an obstacle course, take directions and navigate the course. Your dog has to learn to read you, and you have to learn to read your dog.”But most of the time, Hamilton can be found at the Re-2 district office on Whiteriver Avenue.”I spend a lot of time at work,” she admitted. “I love the staff – the people I work with are phenomenal – not just in this office, but in the district.”
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