David Danzis – Hopatcong High School Graduate – 2002
I’m a full-time general assignment reporter for the New Jersey Herald. I cover a news beat of several towns and education stories in Sussex County. Being a reporter is a tough job. It requires good communication skills, patience, humility and intelligence. Most of all, it requires thick skin because every story we write, no matter how small, gets criticized. No one is ever happy with the work we do and everyone always thinks they can do it better. But, it is always rewarding when we get calls, emails, texts and social media replies from people thanking us for what we do. The good most certainly outweighs the bad.
I am also a freelance sports television operations/production assistant. I’ve worked with ESPN/ABC Sports, Turner Sports, CBS Sports, Fox Sports and Time Warner Sports. I’ve covered everything from the NBA All-Star Game to Monday Night Football to the Major League Baseball playoffs to the U.S. Open. Honestly, working in television may be the greatest gig in the world. I get to travel, meet famous athletes and celebrities, make REALLY good money and, generally speaking, don’t work too hard doing it.
I’d be lying if I said I’ve reached the pinnacle of my career goals. But, for now, I enjoy what I do. No two days are the same and, for me, that’s a reward in itself because I loathe monotony.In fact, my dislike of repetition has been a common theme throughout my life. It’s part of the reason I’ve lacked consistency in any area of my life, whether it be education, work or relationships. I struggled in grade school because I was bored and uninspired; I jumped from restaurant job to restaurant job after school because I was disinterested. I was a good student and employee when I wanted to be, but more often than not, I didn’t want to. I honestly thought I knew better than everyone else and things would work out somehow, someway.
It wasn’t until I was 25 years old that I finally woke up. Better late than never, right? I went to County College of Morris to make sure college was what I wanted to do. I learned more about myself during those two years than I did about any subject I studied. I found out that when something caught my interest, I became almost obsessive about it.
That’s how I got into journalism. I love finding the truth, I enjoy learning everything I can about a given subject and I still get a rush when a story comes together.
I was a reporter, the sports editor and, eventually, the editor-in-chief for CCM’s newspaper, The Youngtown Edition. I racked up a half-dozen writing awards from the New Jersey Press Association, graduated Magna Cum Laude from CCM in 2012 and earned a couple scholarships to Rutgers University.
I graduated with Honors from Rutgers in May 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies, a concentration in sports journalism and a minor in digital communication, information and media.
I graduated from Hopatcong High School in 2002…barely. My biggest obstacle in high school was me. I had a handful of people who, despite my best efforts to prove them wrong, continued to believe in me and push me in the right direction (I’m looking at you, Mr. Pierson).
I owe a huge part of my success to the amazing teachers and staff in Hopatcong. I still remember the countless times they appealed to my “potential” and tried to make me see something I was too blind and too stubborn to listen to. Thank you for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself.
My wife, Karen, and our two children, Kaylee and Dominic, are my inspiration these days. I worked hard to have the life I want and my only regret is that I waited so long to go out and get it.
I spent most of my life in Hopatcong. At 31 years old, I now recognize what a truly special place Hopatcong is. I actually have the privilege of covering Hopatcong for my news beat at the Herald and I love coming back to a place that gave me so much over the years.