Several people have already noticed a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed community member bumbling around Granite Falls and Clarkfield with a camera in tow. This assumed-loiterer is not a teenage delinquent, but actually a hired professional.
Ethan Groothuis, the newest addition to the Advocate Tribune staff is used to being mistaken for a teenager.
“I’m 22 and still get carded for R-rated movies,” Groothuis said. “I’ve already been asked several times if I’m the new high school intern.”
Despite the fledgling and naive looks, Groothuis spent several years working for his college newspaper at Luther College, located in Decorah, Iowa. Eventually he worked his way up to become the managing editor, which he claims was the most eventful and stressful learning experience so far in his life. With that experience, he intends on continuing the integrity and professionalism of the Advocate Tribune.
“I spelt my own name wrong in my first byline and it went to print, so it can only improve from here on out,” Groothuis said.
Groothuis was born and raised in the neighboring town of Montevideo. After graduating from college with a degree in Communication Studies, he returned to the lush river valley of his formative years with the simple goal of finding a job.
Fighting against high unemployment rates for recent college graduates, Groothuis thought his only hope was to move to a big, booming metropolis in order to find a job. But rural Minnesota had other plans for him when an opening for the sports editor position came across his computer screen after three months of fruitless searching.
“I think it is great that I could find a job not only in a field that excites me, but also in the same area I already know and love,” Groothuis said. “You really can’t beat the atmosphere of Southwestern Minnesota.”
Raised on a healthy diet of Minnesota sports, Groothuis identifies the strongest as a Twins fan, although he intends on learning to read and recite every kind of box score and stats.
Smiling faces, cozy personalities and fresh air aside, what Groothuis looks forward to the most is the opportunity to be a part of a new community.
“Even though I grew up 12 miles away, I have so many people I have yet to meet,” Groothuis said. “It is a challenge, a privilege and I look forward to doing right by this community.”