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