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Viewpoints: Karla’s Juggling Act

Last Tuesday El Paso had its first significant thunderstorm activity at the beginning of our monsoon season. ?Doppler? Dave Speelman had the night off. Weekend forecaster Karla Huelga was filling in on the primetime shift. With lightning cracking and rain pounding much of the city, I marveled as Karla demonstrated maturity, professionalism and more importantly, her hard-earned weather knowledge. Karla has come a long way since the day she first walked in the station in 1999.

She was a UTEP student and we hired her as a ?runner.? She ran errands, making bank deposits, and other clerical work.

After graduation, Karla landed a great job working for the ABC network in Burbank. Los Angeles was too big. A year later we welcomed her back to KVIA as program director. In that position (which Karla still maintains) she handles the negotiations, acquisition and maintenance of all syndicated (non-network) programming on KVIA including our ABC and CW affiliations. For several years, Karla also served as our Community Relations Director and as my right-hand assistant.

All the while, Karla began developing an interest in the weather. At KVIA, we are serious about providing accurate weather coverage. We have exclusively hired degreed meteorologists the past ten years, with one exception. I told Karla she could do some fill-in weather on the air provided that she began earning a meteorological degree.

The past three years, Karla has been taking accredited meteorological certification courses online through Mississippi St. University. The M.S.U. program is not a diploma mill. The degree requires completion of a host of upper-level math and science courses including radar training. Karla has continued to grow as a forecaster and one year from now we will all be proud to call her a meteorologist.

Karla still handles programming and does some community service for KVIA. Somewhere along her busy way, I unfortunately lost a very good assistant.

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