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May 2024

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Editor’s Letter February

Introducing Our New Editor: Mikayla Ortega

I was born and raised in Questa, and I will always feel fortunate to have grown up in a community where everyone knew me, and similarly I knew everyone. I attended kindergarten through 12th grade with a core group of people and I still talk to many of them to this day.

I graduated from Questa Jr/Sr High School in 2008; one of the biggest highlights from my time in Questa was representing our community as the 2007 Reina de Questa Fiestas. When I left Questa in 2008, I went to school at the University of New Mexico where I studied Strategic Communication and Journalism. I worked for six years in the non-profit sector where I was lucky enough to run the statewide Pennies for Patients program, coming back to Questa every year to host assemblies and run the program with local teachers. I then went on to work for United Blood Services where I worked with QHS teacher Maria Cintas to bring the community Blood Drive to Questa Jr/ Sr High School.

In 2015, I went on to work for KOB Eyewitness News 4 under Tom Joles and Stuart Dyson. It was one of the biggest honors of my life to sit and learn alongside idols I grew up hearing on TV. In 2017, I went on to work for Denver7 News where I was nominated for four Emmy awards and won three Emmies in Breaking News, Best Evening Newscast in a Large Market, and Best Investigative Series. One of the biggest and most fulfilling part of my time in journalism was when I garnered coverage about the community of Questa and things that matter to its residents. It’s always been my goal to educate people about the place that raised me and in my twelve-year career, I felt like I achieved that goal.

In 2021, I transitioned to communications where I currently work as a Communications and Outreach Manager for the Denver Office of Emergency Management. While my job is fulfilling, I realized that I feel a gaping hole in my heart and a lapse in my passion, and I’ve come to recognize that I am lacking the connection to my community in Questa.

For this reason, I actively pursued the Managing Editor position with the Questa del Rio News and with a gracious heart, I can say that I am so honored to have been awarded this role, held by Lou McCall, who will be retiring this year. Of all the things I’ve done in my career, this will undoubtedly be one of the biggest highlights of my lifetime. I will be doing this position remotely from Denver with monthly trips back home as I’ve been doing since leaving Questa.

I am so excited to reconnect with my community and cover stories that matter to you. If you have a news idea or a story pitch, please reach out to me. I am so excited to hear about what matters to you! Please email me at editor@questanews.com.

Mikayla Ortega
Managing Editor