Now, after 10 years of witnessing and writing about the joys and pains of the world and her community, the Tribune reporter is taking her leave.
Her accomplishments and contributions over the past 10 years were recognized Monday by the Sparks City Council as they presented her with a certificate of commendation and their own personal thanks.
“We are going to miss Janine,” Sparks Mayor Geno Martini said. “She has always been fair in her reporting and she will be very tough to replace.”
As she covered city government, Kearney worked closely with City of Sparks public information officer, Adam Mayberry.
“She has brought a lot of dignity and class to her position,” Mayberry said. “She has always been very methodical and kind. She has a lot of rare and positive qualities that you don’t often see in her field.”
After leaving the Tribune, Kearney will use her positive qualities as a religion teacher at Bishop Manogue Catholic High School in south Reno. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Kearney will also act as the Assistant Director of Campus Ministry at Manogue.
The veteran Sparks reporter says she enjoys the ministry, loves working with kids and is looking forward to her new adventure.
Kearney began her career as a reporter as Janine Simonoski, a senior in the University of Nevada, Reno journalism school. For several years, the inquisitive woman had worked as a copy editor and variety editor at UNR’s student newspaper, the Nevada Sagebrush.
“Working for the UNR paper was a great experience,” Kearney said on her UNR social networking site.
As she considered her future after journalism school, Kearney looked to an internship at the Sparks Tribune. Her skills impressed then-Publisher Linda Brown and she got the position. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in December 1998, Kearney was hired as a full-time beat reporter, covering local government and events.
“Reporters really become a part of the community they cover, so to lose a reporter of 10 years is like losing part of the community,” said current Tribune Editor in Chief Nathan Orme. “I am sure that for quite some time people will be asking us 'Where's Janine?’ ”
June 2000 proved to be another landmark in the young journalist’s life as she married David Kearney, changing her name from Simonoski. Several co-workers commented that they were thankful for the simpler name change.
In 2003, Kearney was promoted to managing editor, a position that she will hold until her final day at the Tribune on Friday.
Each member of the Tribune newsroom agreed that they will miss Kearney and wish her all the best in her new endeavor.