Banks takes second in the Minnesota Journalist of the Year

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Banks takes second in the Minnesota Journalist of the Year

Senior Abby Banks stands next to newspaper teacher and advisor Rachel Steil after receiving award for second place in the JEM Minnesota journalist of the year contest.  Both are excited for such a great accomplishment for a Pony Express Editor-in-Cheif.

Senior Abby Banks stands next to newspaper teacher and advisor Rachel Steil after receiving award for second place in the JEM Minnesota journalist of the year contest. Both are excited for such a great accomplishment for a Pony Express Editor-in-Cheif.

Photo by Hannah Sween

Senior Abby Banks stands next to newspaper teacher and advisor Rachel Steil after receiving award for second place in the JEM Minnesota journalist of the year contest. Both are excited for such a great accomplishment for a Pony Express Editor-in-Cheif.

Photo by Hannah Sween

Photo by Hannah Sween

Senior Abby Banks stands next to newspaper teacher and advisor Rachel Steil after receiving award for second place in the JEM Minnesota journalist of the year contest. Both are excited for such a great accomplishment for a Pony Express Editor-in-Cheif.

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After three years venturing into the world of journalism and a lifetime of perseverance, senior Abby Banks takes second in the Minnesota Journalist of the Year contest sponsored by Journalism Education Association. This achievement is a true honor in terms of recognition and excellence. 

Being granted second place from a competition of this prestige is an accomplishment for senior Abby Banks. The Minnesota Journalist of the Year contest, although intimidating, brought on great things for Banks, who has been involved in the world of journalism for three years. Banks has been involved with her school newspaper for three years, taking the role of Editor-in-Chief for two years.

“It’s a big honor. Our state has some of the top news programs in the country, so I think it’s very exciting to be in a state where the competition is fierce and it’s a big deal to win any final spot,” senior Abby Banks said. “When I go to college I will definitely be involved in whatever campus publication is offered, but in terms of career path, it’s still up in the air.”

“I think Abby is one of the most hardworking, talented and passionate kids that I’ve had in newspaper in a very long time. She is not only interested in the writing, but also the design, press law, visuals and social media,” Rachel Steil, English teacher and newspaper advisor said. “She has a vested interest.”

It’s a big honor. Our state has some of the top news programs in the country, so I think it’s very exciting to be in a state where the competition is fierce and it’s a big deal to win any final spot.”

— Abby Banks

The time, effort and pure precision this process took were ultimately “worth it” for Banks. She took the skills that had accumulated over her years on the school newspaper and put forth a display of her greatest work. After receiving and inspecting a portfolio containing the best representation of Banks’s writing, design, leadership and multimedia, the judging panel was thoroughly impressed. The amount of depth shown in Bank’s work sealed the deal for victory.

“She’s a very driven person. She seems really organized and I like watching her work with other students,” Laurie Hansen, English and Journalism teacher and Minnesota journalist of the year judging panel member said. “Looking at her portfolio she sent into the judges, one thing that stood out was how much better of a research writer she was then any of the other contestants.”

Although shocked at the results, Banks had been waiting for this payoff. The placement she took in this competition directly mirrored her determination and grit. Pursuing a career in journalism, or not, this experience would catapult Banks’s already stellar resume to the highest degree. Journalism is in her blood and that form of academic awareness will take her far in whatever career path she chooses. 

“Journalism will be a part of my life in some way, shape or form,” Banks said, “even if it’s just me being that cranky old woman writing letters to the editor.”

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