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Vachon returns home to become system’s grant writer

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 SHEPHERDSVILLE - Juliann Vachon has made many contacts in her first week as a grant writer for Bullitt County Public Schools.

The Bullitt County native will work to secure funds from federal and state organizations along with foundations and private organizations to enhance the student learning environment.

“I am looking forward to the challenge,” she said.

Juliann graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and a minor in political science.

For the past 21/2 years, she worked in Bluffton, South Carolina at The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet as a reporter covering two municipalities in the Lowcountry region with a combined population of 22,700.

“I also covered police and court beats and wrote a weekly feature on business openings, closings and changes in the area,” she said.

Journalism is all about clear, concise writing under a tight deadline as well as the ability to produce a compelling narrative. While grant writing is more of persuasive writing, the skill set is basically the same.

Blufton is in close proximity to Hilton Head Island, a popular vacation spot. Despite her hectic schedule as a reporter, Juliann made time to experience the area’s beautiful natural surroundings. 

“I was always just a short drive from the beach and all the gorgeous nature the Lowcountry has to offer,” she said. “But I’m excited to be back in the bluegrass state, close to family and longtime friends.”

Newspaper work was in Juliann’s repertoire throughout college. She served as news editor of the Kentucky Kernel (UK’s daily student newspaper) and was responsible for budgeting, managing and editing the news section of the 17,000-circulation newspaper during the year the Kernel won the Pacemaker award, which recognizes the top college publications in the country.

While at UK, Juliann also worked as the UK Administration beat reporter covering and writing all UK administration stories and serving as the general assignment reporter for the Kernel.

South Carolina is not the only state where Juliann has newspaper experience.

She spent a few months in 2007 serving as an intern for The Kentucky Post out of Cincinnati, Ohio, covering and writing general assignment pieces, breaking news and feature stories.

Her next internship took her to the Cape Cod Times in Hyannis, Mass., where she worked as a copy editing intern.

Her final internship was with Newsday at the publication’s Washington, D.C. bureau, where she spent four months regularly contributing articles. 

“I covered congress and wrote articles related to U.S. representatives and senators serving Long Island, New York,” she said. Assignments included coverage of the presidential election and the government’s $700 billion bailout of financial companies.

Juliann’s writing skills have earned numerous awards.

In 2008, her work with the Kentucky Kernel brought recognition from the national Hearst Journalism Awards Program, where she earned 14th place in the collegiate division for spot news writing.

The South Carolina Press Association recognized her with First Place in Beat Reporting and Third Place in News Feature Writing in 2010 and Third Place in Beat Reporting in 2009.

Juliann captured two First Place awards for Feature Story and Enterprise or Analytical Story in 2007 from the Kentucky Press Association’s collegiate division.

She earned First Place in Personality Profile and Honorable Mention in Investigative Reporting from the Kentucky Intercollegiate Press Association in 2007.

Bullitt County Public Schools has over 13,000 students in grades kindergarten through 12. There are 25 school facilities, a certified staff of over 900 and a classified staff of over 850 working every school day to make the district the leader in educational excellence.