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Aug. 27, 2010
Dear Minnesota journalism educator,

As you begin the new school year, we’re also making a fresh start for the Minnesota High School Press Association. Based on adviser feedback, we’ve worked to increase the strength and quality of Minnesota journalism over the past few years. Now, we are ready to really turn up the heat!

It starts with you. Help us serve you by committing your membership and involvement by updating your information. Let us know if the adviser or contact information has changed. We’ll use that information to maintain an updated directory of Minnesota journalism programs. You can send updates to info@studentpress.org.

Expect opportunities for your students to refine their journalism skills through intense and enriching seminars and workshops. We kick off the school year with our annual state convention on Tuesday, Oct. 12 at Coffman Memorial Union at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. It’s a full day of learning and sharing from the best journalists in the region — and at an affordable price. Plus, a day on campus in October is sure to be a fun experience. Download a registration form here. Please return that form as soon as possible, so we can make this year’s convention a great success. Download the convention flier here.

If you’ve been active in MHSPA, thanks for your continued support. If you haven’t, we want to assure you we always keep in mind the reasons why MHSPA exists: to serve the students and advisers of Minnesota, to help them improve and to develop an interest in journalism. Download the MHSPA membership form here. Membership in MHSPA is just $39 per publication or broadcast, and it’s included for members of the National Scholastic Press Association, where basic membership is $109. For more information and forms, visit our Web site: nspa.studentpress.org.

Preparing to host the national convention. A group of advisers met last spring and over the summer to lay the groundwork for the 2011 JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention. The official kickoff will be Sept. 25 at 9 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis. There are planning roles for every level of commitment and regardless of where you live in Minnesota. Local co-chairs Laurie Hansen and Lori Keekley have already done a great job of organizing things.

Get some help or share your knowledge. Participate in the state mentorship program, which is called “MNtors.” Whether you are a new teacher or even someone who’s taught a while but is taking a new assignment, we can match you with someone experienced in that area. And, if you’re an experienced veteran, we need you to share what you know!

The 2010-11 school year will be more exciting time than ever to be in student media in Minnesota. I hope you’ll be part of making the programs successful.

Sincerely,

Logan H. Aimone, MJE
Executive Director

P.S. — We’re on on Facebook! Look for Minnesota High School Press Association and become a fan. Stay in touch and network with your peers. You can let us know if you’re attending our events and discuss issues of concern. So can your students, so tell them, too!

Upcoming important dates to remember:

Sept. 10, 2010: Deadline for MHSP Gold Medallions awards. Download the entry form here. Deadline for All State publications contest. Download the entry form here.

Sept. 25, 2010: Local Committee meeting for 2011 JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention, Hyatt Minneapolis, 9 a.m.

Oct. 12, 2010: State Convention: Coffman Memorial Union, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Download the registration form here.

Nov. 11-14, 2010: National High School Journalism Convention, Kansas City, Mo. Download the promo brochure here.

The Minnesota High School Press Association has presented its 2010 Journalism Educator of the Year honor to Lori Keekley of St. Louis Park High School and adviser to the Echo newspaper. Keekley was recognized during the newspaper class at the school on May 24, 2010. She has been teaching at St. Louis Park High School since 2002.

Selection criteria for the award include teaching/advising preparation, experience and ability; relationships with students and others; contributions to the profession; promoting appreciation for journalism and as a career; and support for the First Amendment.

The newspaper program at St. Louis Park has long been among the top in Minnesota and in the nation. The Echo is an avenue for free expression for students and a vehicle showcasing outstanding reporting, writing and design both in print and online. Recent awards for the staff of the Echo include Second Place in the Best of Show contest at the national convention in Washington, D.C., in November 2009. In 2007, the paper was a finalist for the top national award, the Pacemaker, from the National Scholastic Press Association, and in 2006, it earned a Gold Crown from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Individual students have also earned numerous honors.

One of her colleagues, Laurie Hansen of Stillwater Area High School, the 2008 Journalism Educator of the Year, nominated Keekley for the award. “It has been satisfying and exciting to share time with a person of her caliber and talent, and I am merely one teacher of many who has had the privilege of working with her.” Other journalism teachers from around Minnesota shared the praise for Keekley.

Keekley is an accomplished educator and recently earned certification as a Master Journalism Educator through the Journalism Education Association. She teaches editorial leadership at the summer workshop sponsored by the National Scholastic Press Association at the University of Minnesota. She has also taught workshops and convention seminars around the nation.

Keekley holds a master’s degree in journalism education through the University of Missouri, Columbia, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University, where she was a copy editor for the newspaper and editor in chief of the yearbook. She taught high school journalism for three years in Indiana, before joining the staff of the National Scholastic Press Association in Minneapolis as its director of national contests and critiques from 1998-2000.

Congratulations to the students selected as the 2010 MHSPA North Star Editors, North Star Journalists and Distinguished Journalists. The MHSPA North Star Awards recognize student journalists who have excelled as journalists, leaders and scholars.

North Star Editors served on their publication’s staff for at least two years, including one year in an editorial position, and achieved at least a 3.75 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

North Star Journalists served on their publication’s staff for at least one year and achieved at least a 3.75 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

Distinguished Journalists served on their publication’s staff for at least two years and achieved at least a 2.75 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

2010 North Star Editors:

Alana Patrick, Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, Minn.

Anne Hart, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, St. Paul, Minn.

Devon Sandberg, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, St. Paul, Minn.

Katie Sauer, Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, Minn.

Laura Gengler, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Leah Sorensen, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, St. Paul, Minn.

Liga Krievans, Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, Minn.

Mackenzie Pacovsky, Orono HS, Long Lake, Minn.

Maddie Butler, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, St. Paul, Minn.

Molly Placeway, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Rosalind Mowitt, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, St. Paul, Minn.

2010 North Star Journalists:

Allison Wang, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, St. Paul, Minn.

Breanna Schlegel, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Brigid Kelly, Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, Minn.

Edward Xie, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, St. Paul, Minn.

Holly Johnson, Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, Minn.

Jennifer Gardner, Orono HS, Long Lake, Minn.

Lyly Nguyen, Columbia Heights HS, Columbia Heights, Minn.

Meera Goswitz, Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, Minn.

Mollie Day, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Rachel Kinney, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, St. Paul, Minn.

Rebecca Xu, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, St. Paul, Minn.

Rob Wietecha, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

2010 Distinguished Journalists:

Alex Wieber, Columbia Heights HS, Columbia Heights, Minn.

Amy Palmby, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Andrew Melroe, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Anna Eskola, Orono HS, Long Lake, Minn.

Anthony Sicoli, Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, Minn.

Ashley Engstrom, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Averi Haugesag, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Ben Paulus, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Brian Patten, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Cristina Anfang, Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, Minn.

Gabbi Stienstra, Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, Minn.

Genevieve Cossette, Orono HS, Long Lake, Minn.

Grace Haugen, Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, Minn.

Hayley Trace, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Iman Jafri, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, St. Paul, Minn.

Jordan Wipf, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Joseph Goldfarb, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, St. Paul, Minn.

Joseph Nelson, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Julia Mitrenga, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Katelyn Schnobrich, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Katrina Harper, Columbia Heights HS, Columbia Heights, Minn.

Kelly Uhrich, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Lauren Panzer, Orono HS, Long Lake, Minn.

Libby Kruse, Orono HS, Long Lake, Minn.

Liz Hawkins, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Madeline Karon, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, St. Paul, Minn.

Maggie Ellis, Orono HS, Long Lake, Minn.

Marissa Hernandez, Orono HS, Long Lake, Minn.

Matthew Mittelsteadt, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Melinda Mataya, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Nadja Leonhard-Hooper, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, St. Paul, Minn.

Naja Harvey, Orono HS, Long Lake, Minn.

Nicholas Sinn, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Nicole Trummer, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Rachel Wilensky, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, St. Paul, Minn.

Samantha Anderson, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

Scott Sikich, Eastview HS, Apple Valley, Minn.

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 logan@studentpress.org.

The winners have been posted on StarTribune.com 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 hansenl@stillwater.k12.mn.us.

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) stillwater.k12.mn.us 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

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