Notes from the Publisher and Editor

I have always been thankful for the team of dedicated people who create this newspaper each and every issue.

Each and every one of them contribute because they care deeply about their community and want to share what they see—the beauty, inspiration and challenges of living here in changing times.

Today I’m very thankful for and excited to introduce Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin as news editor. Many of you will know Alex from GO GREEN, Safe Grow Montgomery, Kentlands Kingfish, the Village at Kentlands & Lakelands or Z Yoga. It’s obvious that she cares deeply about this community, but that’s only one of the reasons I’m so happy she has come on board.

Working with Brent Pernak of Cruising Altitude Photography LLC, she created an award-winning video on Kentlands and Lakelands last year. (You can check it out on She is founder of Stavitsky Media, and worked for years as a news editor and senior producer for Associated Press and Worldwide Television News in the U.S. and abroad. She’s a highly skilled journalist.

I will continue with copyediting the Gaithersburg paper while also transitioning more into advertising sales. I will also continue as editor of our Urbana paper, which we brought back when I became publisher nearly two years ago. As a resident of Urbana, I have seen the community grow like never before in the past few years and this seemed a good time to resume publication.

When founding and longtime publisher Diane Dorney, together with her business partner Matt Danielson and her sister and sales director Leslie Kennedy, entrusted me with keeping the paper going when they retired, I didn’t write about this transition in the paper. My reasoning was that the paper is about and belongs to the community—well, that and the fact that I’m a lifelong introvert who very much prefers being writer and not subject. Diane, Matt and Leslie continue to help me immensely, offering advice and support as I find my way in a new role.

That’s the thing about this paper.

Like the Kentlands and Lakelands and close neighboring community Quince Orchard Park, it has a strong heart.

Sure, it’s a business in that we need to cover costs and would love to bring in more advertising to increase our page count and produce more stories. But it’s a lot more than a business. It’s a third place, a forum for and reflection of a special community. And in an era when print is struggling and digital is taking over our media landscape, I think it’s pretty cool to have a community paper that has published continuously for 16 years.

—Pam Schipper, Publisher

Thank you, Pam Schipper, for the opportunity to be the news editor for The Town Courier. At a time when local news coverage and newspapers are so rare, I know the importance and value of having an independent and trusted source of news!

I look forward to working with the writers and photographers to bring you readers stories, online and in the paper, that you find interesting. The aim is to keep you informed about what is going on locally in your neighborhoods and in the City of Gaithersburg. We will continue to focus on local sports, arts, music, food, businesses, schools, and local environmental updates as well.

Please do send Letters to the Editor if there is an issue that you want to raise and email me if there is a story you think The Town Courier should cover.

Warm regards,
Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin
Town Courier News Editor
T. 202 360-7166