Aila Boyd

Aila Boyd has assumed the editorship of “The Fincastle Herald.”

Boyd is replacing long-time editor Edwin McCoy who has been in the role since 1984 and is retiring. A Patrick County native, Boyd’s first day on the job was December 10, at which time she started acclimating herself with the coverage area. “Even though I’ve only been in the area for a little over a week, Botetourt County already feels like home,” Boyd said. “I’ve had the chance to explore the area and meet some of the citizens, both of which I’ve found to be utterly delightful.” Boyd, 25, spent the past year and a half as an adjunct English instructor at Guilford Technical Community College and Ferrum College. Before teaching on the college-level, she taught theatre and chorus in two North Carolina public schools. Despite the fact that Boyd has spent the last few years in education, she’s worked as a reporter at a wide variety of community newspapers, ranging from weeklies to dailies. She started off her newspaper career shortly after graduating from Radford University with a bachelor’s of sciences in theatre and media studies at “The Southwest Times” in Pulaski. While there, she received second place from the Virginia Press Association in the category of Feature Series or Continuing Story for a series of articles about young professionals who moved back to Pulaski in order to raise their families after moving to more metropolitan areas following college. Following her stint in Pulaski, she worked at the “Martinsville Bulletin” and “The Mount Airy (N.C.) News.” Boyd is also a graduate of the master’s of fine arts in writing program at Lindenwood University, which is based in St. Charles, Mo.

“I want members of the community to feel free to wander into the office or to shoot me an email if they hear of something of news value,” Boyd said. “The paper has a strong track record of high quality community journalism, I want to keep it that way.” McCoy’s retirement follows a 40-year career with community newspapers, the last 34 as editor of The Herald. Before coming to Botetourt he was news editor of the “South Hill Enterprise” and prior to that served as editor for three weekly newspapers in West Virginia. “Community newspapers across the country are disappearing, so Botetourt is fortunate to have a committed ownership that has a focus on community journalism,” McCoy said. “There are many great things that happen here, and it’s always pleasant to report on the persons, organizations and churches involved in those activities. “But keeping an eye on local government, the schools and the evolution of the county has also been important to us, and I’m sure Aila will continue doing that— whether pleasant or controversial.”