Chronicle reporter Isabel Vander Stoep, a 2016 graduate of W.F. West High School, has been promoted to assistant editor of the newspaper.
Vander Stoep, 24, started as an intern at The Chronicle in March 2021 and became a full-time reporter three months later.
“Isabel is a special part of our newsroom,” said Editor-in-Chief Eric Schwartz. “She distinguishes herself as a reporter with a remarkable work ethic, intense appreciation for the community and skilled writing. She strengthens our news gathering abilities and is a joy to work with. I look forward to making even more use of her considerable talents by placing her in a leadership position.”
Vander Stoep attended Western Washington University for a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in psychology. She completed a communications fellowship at Starbucks headquarters in Seattle in 2019 and worked on radio advertisements during an internship with the Washington Health Care Association.
At The Chronicle, Vander Stoep’s initial focus was on writing feature stories, but her beat quickly expanded to include East Lewis County, county government and any news items that interested her.
“Despite living in Chehalis for most of my life, that was a fun challenge and felt like joining a new community,” Vander Stoep said of her East Lewis County coverage, which included comprehensive updates on the Goat Rocks Fire in 2022.
Vander Stoep was a driving force behind The Chronicle’s "Headwaters to Harbor" project to document the Chehalis River from Pe Ell to Grays Harbor while highlighting people and issues connected to the river along the way last year. She’s also a co-host of The Chronicle’s News Dump podcast.
Vander Stoep joins Regional Editor Justyna Tomtas and Schwartz in leading the editorial efforts of CT Publishing, which purchased The Chronicle in January 2021.
In the past year, The Chronicle also promoted Centralia High School graduate Jared Wenzelburger to photo editor and former sports reporter Alec Dietz to sports editor. Former sports editor Aaron VanTuyl remains on staff in a part-time capacity as associate editor.
“The Chronicle’s editors are fortunate to have a skilled and dedicated team of reporters who work relentlessly to fill our newspaper with local news,” Schwartz said. “Isabel’s familiarity with the community and her copy editing abilities will help in producing even more accurate and clear reporting on local matters.”