Mike Adams, an editor who knows the system
Today is the last day at The Sun for more than 40 of my colleagues who accepted a voluntary buyout. One of them is Gina Davis, who's done a great job covering Baltimore County education the past few years. Someone else leaving has been integral to this blog, though you've never seen his name on the site.
Mike Adams, a quarter-century veteran of the newspaper, served as our education editor, and since I started covering the Baltimore schools three years ago, he's been my direct supervisor. In recent months, he overcame his aversion to technology to edit and schedule our daily postings.
A native of Turners Station, Mike comes from a long line of educators in Baltimore city and county public schools. I first sent him an interoffice message when I was working in the Towson bureau and trying to land an interview with his cousin, who was principal of Woodlawn Middle School at the time.
Mike was a terrific choice to oversee a young out-of-towner like me because he has so much institutional knowledge to share – about our workplace, the city schools and Baltimore in general. And as a white reporter covering a predominantly black school system, it was extremely helpful for me to have an African-American editor with whom I could frankly discuss racially sensitive issues.
I love how Mike knows the history of seemingly every person whose name is on a Baltimore school building. The first time I wrote a story about Dr. Samuel L. Banks High, he told me about how Sam Banks used to write long-winded letters to the editor of The Sun using the biggest words in the dictionary. Once, when an article of mine mentioned Tench Tilghman Elementary, Mike was upset he didn't know who Tench Tilghman was. We had to stop right there and look it up. (We learned that Tilghman was an Army officer in the Revolutionary War who was born in Maryland.)
Can you tell we had fun?
Mike's wisdom and insight helped me to tell stories with greater nuance and sophistication. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with him.