Sandra Sanchez has been named opinion editor of the McAllen (Texas) Monitor and Mid-Valley Town Crier. A 25-year newspaper veteran, Sanchez, has worked for such varied publications as USA Today, Waco Tribune-Herald and the Austin American-Statesman. She will help drive a new emphasis on opinion and public discourse in the pages of both the Monitor and the Mid-Valley Town Crier effective mid-July, Monitor publisher Stephan Wingert said.                                                       

“There’s an old maxim that a good opinion page is the soul of a newspaper, so we’re delighted to bring Sandra aboard to help fulfill our mission of becoming a thought leader in the Valley,” he said.

Sanchez most recently has been the assistant opinion page editor of the Waco Tribune-Herald, where she also wrote a weekly column. Her objective in the Valley is to create a venue – within the pages of the Monitor and Mid-Valley Town Crier, based in Weslaco – for civil public discourse aimed at getting a variety of local voices to weigh in on issues affecting the community.

One goal, which she oversaw in Waco, is the implementation of a “board of contributors,” using the expertise and diversity of people living in Hidalgo County to contribute written commentary and contribute to the ongoing debate over national and state issues in general, but local issues, in particular.

"I’m proud of helping to assemble a stable of a variety of local experts who graciously agreed to share their expertise by writing for the benefit of the community,” Sanchez said of her experience in Waco – an experience that she said she hopes to replicate in McAllen and the mid-valley region of South Texas.

Sanchez is a graduate of The American University in Washington, D.C. and began her career in broadcasting, working for ABC News’ Washington bureau. After a brief clerical stint at The Washington Post, Sanchez worked for the Fort Myers (Florida) News-Press, USA Today and as assistant national editor for the Austin American-Statesman. She is also a published author who wrote a book about the history of Waco’s McLennan Community College.