Hometown: St. Charles, MO
Birthday: July 6
Bio: Kalen Ponche is a journalist who lives to tell interesting stories. She grew up in St. Charles County, then attended Truman State University and earned a degree in Communications Journalism. She spent time at the Poynter Institute in Florida before returning to St. Charles to cover government, politics and education for the Suburban Journals. Now she's editor of St. Charles Patch and is excited to cover a growing, historic community.
When Kalen's not writing, she likes baking pies, building furniture, running and reading.
At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism. However, we also acknowledge that true impartiality is impossible because human beings have beliefs. So in the spirit of simple honesty, our policy is to encourage our editors to reveal their beliefs to the extent they feel comfortable. This disclosure is not a license for you to inject your beliefs into stories or to dictate coverage according to them. In fact, the intent is the opposite: we hope that the knowledge that your beliefs are on the record will cause you to be ever mindful to write, report and edit in a fair, balanced way. And if you ever see evidence that we failed in this mission, please let us know.
Politics: How would you describe your political beliefs? Moderate.
Are you registered with a certain party? I'm an independent voter.
Religion: How religious would you consider yourself? (casual, observant, devout, non religious) Casual. I was raised in the United Methodist Church. My husband and I were married by an African Methodist Episcopal minister. Now we attend a Unitarian church. I believe religious and spiritual beliefs are a very personal thing and can influence who people are and the decisions they make. I like to learn about other people's beliefs and traditions.
Local Hot-Button Issues
What do you think are the most important issues facing the community? As a historic city with an eye toward the future, St. Charles has to balance the need for growth and development while respecting the past. Issues like putting in a permanent pavilion in Frontier Park or increasing the number of bars/restaurants on North Main Street illustrate this struggle between maintaining what St. Charles has and what it could become.
Where do you stand on each of these issues?
I think it's important for city leaders to really listen to the voice of the community on each of these issues, but also keep an overall vision for the future. Residents then have the duty to pay attention to what's happening and let elected officials know what they think - before it's too late.