Anna Morris, co-editor-in-chief of The Pony Express at Stillwater High School in Stillwater, Minnesota, has been named the 2012 Minnesota Journalist of the Year by The Journalism Education Association of Minnesota.

As a junior, Morris was just looking for a way to meet new people. Morris said, “I was drawn to the idea of what I thought journalism was: people with pencils behind their ears, reporter’s notebooks in hand, briefcases in tow and an affinity for red pen. What I found when I joined my school paper was a group of students who cared about the world around them and what was going on in it.” Morris immediately thrived under the pressure of deadlines and knew she had discovered a passion.

As editor-in-chief of a staff of more than fifty students, Morris encountered several tough situations; from staff not fulfilling their duties to former staff defaming the publication. With the support of her adviser and the editorial board, Morris worked through each challenging situation.

Adviser Rachel Steil said, “Anna’s work stands out for her highly articulate approaches towards complex issues. Not only can she write with confidence and maturity, she can discuss and dissect complex issues.”

Morris’ skills extend beyond good writing; her photography, editing, and design abilities are assets to all sections of the newspaper and make her an outstanding journalist. Morris said, “Journalism has helped shape who I am as a person and has taught me about the importance of teamwork, responsibility, dedication, perseverance, focus and leadership.” Morris will continue taking journalism classes at Wheaton College in Chicago this fall. Morris hopes to ultimately use her journalism skills in an International Relations career.