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First let me say that this column is probably more for me than anything else, so please forgive me in advance as I take a few column inches to reflect on my time doing something that I love.
This week marks the final time that I will be able to call myself a journalist, a title I have worn for nearly 15 years and a title that I never thought I would give up.
Alas, it is time to officially announce that I am moving on to greener pastures. I’m taking my ball and going home. I’m turning out the lights one final time as I walk out the door for good. I’m not sure how many more clichés I can think of at the moment, but I’m sure there are some others.
My journey down this road began back in high school writing for the Oak Leaf at Live Oak High School and took me through San Jose State with some detours through Morgan Hill and Gilroy. It brought me to the deserts of California and finally back to Morgan Hill and Gilroy where I finally hang ’em up.
This job has allowed me to tell so many amazing stories, meet some incredible people and experience life through the eyes of countless people.
Their stories have made me laugh and have inspired me and have angered me and have made me cry.
I’ll never forget the story of a woman whose doctor misdiagnosed breast cancer, calling it a cyst that needed vitamin E to clear up. And not a month later, I did a story on a high school girl who survived cancer and was donating her hair. She inspired a kindergartner to do the same.
This job has that yin and yang where you are utterly depressed one day and uplifted the next.
It has caused me to lose more sleep and forced me to pull more all nighters than I ever did in college.
This job allowed me to travel all over this state, meet politicians and sports celebrities. This job let me cover the Stanley Cup Final. This job helped me meet my wife.
It was fun.
Now I’m going to take my leap at a new profession of teaching.
Thank you to everyone who made this journey so much fun to be on. Thank you to Walt Glines for giving a college sophomore a chance.
Thank you to Nathan Ahle and John Watkins who gave me my first full time job in the business.
Thank you to Mark Derry for giving me a chance to come home.
To Scott Forstner and Michael Moore at the Times, to Emanuel Lee at the Freelance—a true brother in arms in covering sports—to new friends and old at the Dispatch, and especially to Dan Pulcrano—owner of the New SV Media group—thank you for the opportunities over the last couple years. Thank you for the laughs and the encouragement. Thank you for the support you’ve shown and the ability to really express myself at this paper and to bring the stories of the schools and teams to light.
Thank you to Brett Paolucci, CJ Goularte, Mike Kiefer and everyone at Live Oak who have helped me over the last year to make this change possible.
And thanks to my coworkers past and present for making this job a little more enjoyable at times.
Everyone at Live Oak and Sobrato and Gilroy and Christopher and Oakwood and Gavilan you are all great and it has been my pleasure to have worked with you all.
And because I have to reference the Simpsons whenever possible, please let’s listen to a rendition of Jazzman as I head out.

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Cheeto Barrera is the sports editor for the Morgan Hill Times and Gilroy Dispatch.



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