By Luke Cavanagh, TSB Staff
When we are young, we dream of becoming astronauts, doctors or news reporters. As we grow older, responsibility and general life obstacles separate our childhood dreams for reality. Most of us will live happy lives that we never imagined we would live as children. A lucky few, like McKinney’s own Allison Harris, actually achieve the job they had always dreamed of.
Harris, who has attended public schools in McKinney since grade school, is a television reporter at KXII-TV, Channel 12 in Sherman. KXII-TV broadcasts to Ada, Ardmore, Durant, Sherman, Denison, Gainesville and more. Allison said, “I do general news assignments, so I’ve covered anything and everything from murder trials, to disc golf, to economic development”.
Harris, a 2008 McKinney Boyd gradaute, explained how living in McKinney has been such an integral part of shaping who she is and her dream.
“I have lived in McKinney my whole life,” she said. “I am so proud to be from McKinney because the people and organizations there have given me so much. My dad’s business, Metro Linen, has been rooted in McKinney for more than 25 years, so my family has always been dedicated to the McKinney community.
“My dad is currently on McKinney City Council, after years serving on numerous municipal boards. And, growing up, my mom was always volunteering for every school event or project she could get her hands on. I’m very thankful for that.”
Without the guidance of dedicated MISD teachers creating opportunities for Harris to practice her craft, she may not have realized her dream was obtainable.
“The McKinney Boyd High School debate coach at the time, David Clayton, was also starting up the broadcast journalism program,” Allison said. “He encouraged me to get involved, telling me that I could go and get a job as a reporter right then and there. I enrolled in his video tech class, auditioned and was selected to be a co-anchor for the district’s Inside McKinney ISD and also became the co-anchor for Bronco News Network. That was my first experience presenting the news.”
After graduating from Boyd, Allison attended the University of Oklahoma and studied at the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
“The OU journalism program is one of the best in the nation,” she said. “I was honored to receive 1st and 2nd Place Best Student TV News Anchor from the Broadcast Education Association two years in a row. I also received the highest honor from the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters”.
It takes hard work, dedication and focus to achieve any goal, but out of the hard work comes gratification. Allison said, “It’s really the best feeling in the world. I can’t say much other than that. I am so proud of myself for taking time to try different things and explore what it is I want to do with my life. I believe I have found my true purpose and calling in journalism.”
Advice? She’s got that, too, as she’d like to help those coming through the ranks.
“I would encourage any young person — not like I’m not young myself — to do everything, take on various jobs and volunteer positions until you learn exactly what it is that makes you come alive. I did that during my time at MISD and in college and it has turned out to be one of the best gifts I will ever give to myself.”
Allison is a perfect example that with great schools, encouraging teachers, a great community, and work ethic, any childhood dream can become an adulthood reality.