Courtney Cutright covers the K-12 education beat out of our Roanoke newsroom. Before taking on that beat, she covered Bedford County and worked as a reporter on our Laker Weekly section.
Hometown: Troutville, Va.
College, major: Hollins University, B.A. in Communication Studies
Why journalism: A couple of seventh-grade teachers roped me into helping launch The Patriot Press when I attended Botetourt Intermediate School. I was hooked immediately and became an editor the next year. I grew up reading the Roanoke Times, including News Fun. When I was a small child, my parents subscribed to the paper’s evening edition. By the time I was a teenager, my dad and I would fight over who got to work the crossword puzzle in Extra. I was uncertain journalism was in my future from the time I went to high school until I was in my mid-20s. I took the one and only journalism class offered at Hollins and realized (again) that journalism is where my heart is. My first job at the Roanoke Times was as a part-time weekend editorial assistant while I was still in college.
Years in journalism: Six
Years at The Roanoke Times | roanoke.com: Six
Proudest journalism accomplishments: Writing stories that impact readers. When a story is printed and I get an e-mail or phone call because a reader was moved, wants to help, or has his or her own story to share, I feel like I have done my job. In 2010, I especially enjoyed working on a story with the McConnells and Robertsons, two families of daughters with autism. And writing about the Clarks, a homeless couple, who spent nearly a year sleeping in churches and parishes through the Roanoke Valley Interfaith Hospitality Network.
Journalists you admire and why: My colleagues at this newspaper, who work hard every day to tell the stories of Roanokers, and Jay Mathews of the Washington Post.
Favorite books: Fiction and memoirs, but there are too many to count. A few I have enjoyed recently: ”House Rules” by Jodi Picoult, “Crossing Oceans” by Gina Holmes, “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls and “Three Little Words” by Ashley Rhodes-Courter
Interests outside of work: My family, our dog Myla, reading, cooking and scrapbooking
Interesting fact about you that few know: I worked at a dry cleaner (doing everything from manning the cash register to pressing shirts) for a few years after high school and attended Virginia Western Community College until I figured out what I wanted out of life. You would be surprised by what people leave in their pockets: cash, coins, receipts, phone numbers, toothpicks, tissues, pills and illegal drugs.