Author Archives: studentpress


Lauren Dezenski of Eden Prairie High School has been named the 2010 Minnesota State Journalist of the Year. Dezenski and 35 other State Journalists of the Year were recognized at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Portland in April. All 36 students competed for the National Journalist of the Year award. A listing of all state award recipients can be found here.

Laurie Hansen, director of the Journalism Educators of Minnesota and judging coordinator of this year’s Minnesota Journalist of the Year contest, provides the following report:

Lauren Dezenski, editor-in-chief of The Eyrie at Eden Prairie High School is the Minnesota State Journalist of the Year. Dezenski has been involved with The Eyrie since her freshman year, but her first paper, she said, dates back to the time her family’s sink clogged and overflowed, and she felt compelled to tell the story to her family members. The then-third-grader grabbed her gel pens and started her reporting career.

Dezenski knew she wanted to be a journalist from that early age. She said instead of pretending with her playmates, she preferred listening to adults. “Their conversations were infinitely more interesting, plus I always learned new information.” She wanted to be the one people went to for information. Dezenski said what validates her as a journalist is when “the staff feels the same passion for journalism that I do and is successful because of it.”

Dezenski plans to study journalism and political science, and she wants to focus on covering politics. Her dream career is to be the White House Press Secretary, and she also plans to pursue an editorship of a major publication or magazine.

In addition to her duties as editor-in-chief, Dezenski also has a weekly column Generation E.P. in the Eden Prairie News.

The second place winner was Chelsey Falzone, co-editor-in-chief of the Pony Express newspaper from Stillwater Area High School. Third place honors went to Alexandra Schwalbe, editor of The Crier at St. Francis High School and Katie Rawls, copy editor for the St. Louis Park High School Echo received Honorable Mention.

Photo: Courtesy/Dezenski, pictured center

Entry is now open for the 2010 MHSPA Gold Medallions, recognizing outstanding work by Minnesota high school journalists. Download the entry form here.

MHSPA member newspapers, literary magazines, yearbooks, broadcasts and online publications are eligible to enter. All entries must be received by Sept. 10, 2010 (Web sites have a deadline of June 15, 2010). Mail to: MHSPA Gold Medallions, 2221 University Ave. SE, Suite 121, Minneapolis, MN 55414. Winners will be recognized at the MHSPA State Journalism Convention at the University of Minnesota on Oct. 12, 2010.

Entry is also open for the 2010 MHSPA North Star Awards, formerly known as the All-Minnesota Awards. Download the entry form here.

Students on the staff of an MHSPA member publication are eligible for the North Star Editor, North Star Journalist or Distinguished Journalist awards. Entries must be received by May 7, 2010. Mail to: MHSPA North Star Awards, 2221 University Ave. SE, Suite 121, Minneapolis, MN 55414. Qualified entrants will be mailed a certificate.

The 2010 JEM/MHSPA All-State Publications Contest is now open. Download the entry form here.

All high school publication staffs in Minnesota are encouraged to enter. Entries must be submitted by Sept. 10, 2010 (Web sites have a deadline of June 15, 2010). Mail to: Laurie Hansen, Stillwater Area High School, 5701 Stillwater Blvd., Stillwater, MN 55082. Winners will be recognized at the MHSPA State Journalism Convention on Oct. 12, 2010.

Nominations for the Minnesota Journalism Educator of the Year are now open. You can nominate yourself or one of your colleagues from around the state. Entries must be received by April 16.

Download the form here

Send all materials to: Minnesota Journalism Educator of the Year, 2221 University Ave. SE, Suite 121, Minneapolis, MN 55414. E-mail Logan Aimone with questions at

The winners have been posted on for the 2010 MHSPA/Guthrie Theater Event. View them here.

Questions about the event details may be directed to Laurie Hansen, Journalism Educators of Minnesota director and the event coordinator, at

From the Minnesota High School Press Association Minnesota Wild student media event held Jan. 26, 2010 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

Broadcast winner: Luke Braun & Ryan Linne, Lakeville South High School.

Story winner: Ryan Williamson, Eden Prairie High School.
Wild Story Winner 2010

Photo winner: Maddie Butler, St. Paul Academy and Summit School.

Winners have been invited to attend the March 14 Minnesota Wild game and sit with the professional press.

Download the entry form PDF

Minnesota High School Press Association and Journalism Educators of Minnesota, in cooperation with the Guthrie Theater, will hold a review writing contest on Feb. 24, 2010, at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Students selected to participate in this contest will have the opportunity to attend and report on a performance of “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare on the Wurtele Thrust Stage, tour the theater facilities, learn from a professional arts editor/writer and write a review of the performance on deadline.

Participants will meet in the theater lobby at 9 a.m. on Feb. 24.

Interested writers should submit two published story clips (preferably reviews) of at least 250 words, along with a brief résumé detailing staff experience and the entry form below, by Jan. 29, 2010.

Twenty-five selected participants will be contacted and given final details concerning the contest by Feb. 10, 2010. Each participant must pay a $30 fee to cover admission and lunch. Fees will be due by Feb. 17. Do not mail entry fee with application. Advisers may reserve tickets to accompany their selected students.

The winner will have his or her story published on the MHSPA Web site. Direct questions to Laurie Hansen, event coordinator, at hansenl (at) or (651) 351-8128.

Download the entry form PDF

The 2009 MHSPA State Convention is Oct. 20 at Coffman Memorial Union on the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus. Registration begins at 8 a.m. The day concludes by 2 p.m. Join us to keep the year heading in the right direction!

Jason DeRusha
Jason DeRusha

Our line-up of professional speakers includes professionals who have worked in newsrooms around the nation; members of the faculty at the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication; yearbook publishing professionals; and experienced Minnesota media advisers.

Information for the state convention was mailed to MHSPA members and recent members in August. The deadline for the reduced rate of $10 per delegate at the MHSPA State Convention is Oct. 13. After that, rates will increase to $15 per delegate. Non-members pay $20. Registering for the convention obligates your publication to pay for the number of students registered (no refunds, but substitutions are OK). We have some fantastic local journalists lined up, including keynote speaker Jason DeRusha, a reporter for WCCO-TV, who is active on Facebook, Twitter, his blog and Web cam. We’ll also announce the state winners of best publication and the winners of MHSPA Gold Medallions.

Download the registration forms:

2009 State Convention Flyer

2009 State Convention Registration Form

Let’s kick off the school year! Whether your classes have started or are about to, you need a break. Come learn more about plans for this school year and meet your peers at the “Welcome Back” no-host social on Sept. 3.
Who: Minnesota journalism educators
What: A chance to network and relax before the school year gets too crazy
When: Sept. 3, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Where: Psycho Suzi’s
Why: To build a network and share ideas
How: Food, beverages and conversation

Directions, menus and more are at the Psycho Suzi’s Web site.

Please RSVP with Emily Griesser at emily(at)studentpress(dot)org. At Psycho Suzie’s ask for Logan Aimone, or look for the group of journalism people having fun. Call Logan at (612) 770-2266 if you get lost.

Welcome Back 09 Flyer

We know one of the most significant factors in the success of student journalists is the adviser working with them. Good training and resources are vital. That’s why MHSPA, the Journalism Education Association and its state affiliate, the Journalism Educators of Minnesota, have combined for a special offer. New or returning members to JEA can qualify for a 50 percent discount on membership dues — a savings of $25. Download the attached flyer, complete it and return with payment.

Who qualifies:

  • Teachers advising scholastic student media at a Minnesota high school or middle school/junior high school in 2009-10
  • Can not have been JEA member at any time during the 2008-09 school year (prior years OK)

If you qualify, complete the form at the right. Send the form with your $25 check (payable to JEA) to:
Logan Aimone
2221 University Ave., Suite 121
Minneapolis MN 55414

We’ll take care of the other half of your membership fee and send it all to JEA. Direct any questions to logan(at)studentpress(dot)org or (612) 625-7359.

Act quickly, because this offer is limited to the first 25 qualified people who apply. Help us reach our goal of 25 more members in 2009-10!

JEA-MHSPA new member deal 09-10

The Minnesota High School Press Association is proud to present its 2009 Journalism Educator of the Year honor to Nick Fornicoia of Eastview High School in Apple Valley and adviser to the Flash and 4Cast broadcast programs. Fornicoia was honored at the broadcast department’s end-of-the-year banquet at the school on May 31, 2009.

Few scholastic broadcast organizations are as accomplished as Eastview’s and few also demonstrate as much journalistic excellence. It takes a committed educator to establish the expectation for both quality production and journalism. As a result, the Eastview Flash and 4Cast have been among the top-recognized programs in Minnesota and nationally:
•    17 Regional Emmys
•    Awards from Student Television Network and Channel One
•    Winners in MHSPA broadcast contests with Minnesota Wild
•    MHSPA Gold Medallion winners
•    Featured on Web sites and broadcasts locally and nationally
•    More than 250 students participating in broadcast journalism this year
•    Dozens of students earning high honors and pursuing careers in broadcast journalism

His colleague in the broadcast department, Dr. Tyler Krebs, says Fornicoia is “a tireless worker and is well admired by our faculty, administration and all of his students. He has the unique ability to use his humor and intelligence in the classroom and in the athletic arena to relate to a wide ability range of students.”

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