Tabitha Stark is a hometown girl, and she cares for the town like her career.

Tabitha Stark is a hometown girl, and she cares for the town like her career.

She took on the role of the multi-media sales executive for The Carthage Press in February 2012, and found her passion.

“I didn't know I was going to love it as much as I do,” she said. “I'm passionate about it because I love Carthage and I want our local paper to succeed.”

Stark has experience in sales with AT&T, and previously worked as a CNA for Carthage Health & Rehab. She says she always loved writing and at one time wanted a journalism career, but as a single, working mother she chose to put her family first.

“Honestly, I had come here (The Carthage Press) for a carrier position, but Tausha (Hayes) told me there was an advertizing position open,” Stark said. “I applied, and didn't think I was going to get it – but I won everyone over.”

She's not stopping her momentum either.

“I'm working right now on my business degree through Crowder, and after that I'll finish at MSSU,” she said. “Then I want to get my master's at either Missouri State or University of Arkansas.”

Stark says The Carthage Press helped her find her talents, and keeps her sharp with daily challenges.

“My job here has made me want to pursue my business degree,” she said. “I'm good at it, I'm competitive and I want our local businesses to support each other. I don't think people see the newspaper as it once was. I'm on an uphill treadmill every day changing that opinion, but I try to stay extremely positive and let people know that The Carthage Press isn't going anywhere, we're not going to a weekly, we are trying to restore the paper's reputation.”

Stark says her upbeat outlook is something The Press thrives on.

“I'm very personable – I love what I do,” she said. “I'm passionate about my job, my hometown and everything that goes in it. I want attention drawn to our town, because when people see an ad or an article about events or people in Carthage, it's extremely important for us to put that out there because of the fast networking world we live in.”

Stark, who was with the CHS Class of 2004, has a daughter, Heaven, 6, and she is a student at Steadley Elementary School. Stark is the daughter of Kathy Thompson and Rocky Riddle (stepfather), Teddy Stark and Teresa Stark (stepmother).