Melissa Hale-Spencer

Melissa Hale-Spencer got her first reporting job at her parents’ Adirondack weekly newspaper, The Lake Placid News, in 1975.

Her father, the late Ed Hale, a newspaperman from the old school, taught her how to write by editing her work with a thick, black copy pencil. She grew up believing words could change the world.

She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wellesley College.

Since 1987, Hale-Spencer has worked at The Altamont Enterprise, where she has won many awards for her work from the New York Press Association, ranging from columns and editorials to in-depth news and features.

She is the paper’s editor and 11 times has been named to the Golden Dozen for superior editorial writing by the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors and twice won the Golden Quill.

She won the 2019 Sigma Delta Chi Award for editorial writing (for daily newspapers with a circulation up to 100,000 and non-daily papers) from the Society of Professional Journalists.

She became co-publisher of The Enterprise in 2015.

Hale-Spencer is married to Gary Spencer, spokesman for the New York State Court of Appeals. They have two children, Magdalena and Saranac. Both are alumnae of Cornell University: Saranac, a philosophy major, is a reporter for in Philadelphia; Magdalena, with degrees in law and veterinary medicine, is an intellectual properties lawyer.

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