I’m the new kid in the newsroom, and I have to say, it feels good to be here.

This week, I started as regional editor for Duluth Media Group, which means I'll be overseeing the Superior Telegram, Pine Journal and Lake County News-Chronicle.

My interest in journalism began in high school. I grew up in Door County, Wisconsin, or as we lovingly refer to it, the thumb of the state.

I’ve been reporting professionally for eight years. After I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I worked at a small newspaper in Watertown, Wisconsin, but I spent the bulk of my career working for The Post-Crescent in Appleton.

Most recently, I reported on solutions to problems in Wisconsin communities in collaboration with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Ideas Lab. I also planned community events to complement some of the newsroom’s biggest projects, such as town hall meetings about youth mental health and a panel discussion with farmers and industry experts about the state of dairy farming.

I’m still an education reporter at heart, though. The education beat is where I cut my teeth and honed my skills. It allowed me to cover hard news, like budgets and taxes, and write feature stories about local educators and students.

Despite the turmoil local news has faced over the years, one thing has always been clear to me: People care about what happens in their communities. The way we consume news has shifted, but we still want to know what’s going on: how our tax bills will change year-to-year, what businesses are opening or closing, how local preps teams are faring.

That’s why we do what we do — to keep you informed.

I got into journalism because I love reporting on real people and their lives. I’ve stayed in journalism because I believe it matters now more than ever.

My husband, Dan, and I live in Superior with our dog, Maverick. If you see me out and about, say hi and introduce yourself.

Or, catch me on one of the formats below:

Jen Zettel-Vandenhouten can be reached at 218-720-4102, jzvandenhouten@duluthnews.com or on Twitter @jenvandenhouten.