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Minnesota Scholastic Journalism

Pony Express Editor earns Minn. Journalist of the Year

Paul Hudachek is the 2014 Journalist of the Year for the State of Minnesota. He is one of three co-editors in chief of the Pony Express newspaper at Stillwater Area High School.

Paul Hudachek is the 2014 Journalist of the Year for the State of Minnesota. He is one of three co-editors in chief of the Pony Express newspaper at Stillwater Area High School.

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Paul Hudachek is the 2014 Journalist of the Year for the State of Minnesota. He is one of three co-editors in chief of the Pony Express newspaper at Stillwater Area High School.

Paul Hudachek is the 2014 Journalist of the Year for the State of Minnesota. He is one of three co-editors-in-chief of the Pony Express newspaper at Stillwater Area High School.

Paul Hudachek from Stillwater Area High School’s The Pony Express is the Minnesota State Journalist of the Year. Hudachek is one of three co-editors-in-chief for the print edition of The Pony Express.

Bound for the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Hudachek plans to pursue a graphic design career. The judges from the JOY contest agreed  this would be a wise decision. The judges felt Hudachek’s sense of design and use of color is exceptional. In addition to his graphic prowess, the judges said the writing in his portfolio was equally strong. One judge said, “Every lead was engaging and made use of the “drop the reader into the story” concept that hooks the readers and keeps them reading.”

Huduchek said he almost did not enter the contest, but after encouragement from his adviser Rachel Steil, he submitted his 34-page portfolio. Included in his portfolio were several examples of his graphic design and logo work. Hudachek has gotten a head start on his career by starting his own graphics business. Some of his clients include James Gill, a high-end hairstylist; Lookup, a non-profit organization; and Nelson’s Ice Cream in Stillwater, MN.

The most rewarding part of being editor-in-chief for Hudachek is in seeing the products that come from his efforts, and that those products come in many forms. “Sometimes it’s the physical publication, maybe an article you wrote or helped another staff member write. It might be seeing an individual growing over the year, and it can be as simple as having an eye-opening conversation with a staff member,” Hudachek said.

Despite the many roles of an editor-in-chief, Hudachek is drawn to the design aspect of his publication. Working on The Pony Express lead him to discover his passion and future career path. Hudachek said, “Design is everything. No matter where we go, or what we do, we are constantly making choices and snap judgments because of design. Designers create the world and the systems around us. They facilitate how humans operate, what people think of a product. I really want to be a part of that.”

In the meantime, Hudachek spends hours in the SAHS publications office designing pages and refining stories. After school, he kicks into high gear editor mode as he guides his staff in producing their award-winning newspaper.

At the national convention in San Diego, Hudachek was honored at the JEA awards ceremony on Saturday, April 12 and to add to the honor, The Pony Express also won 8th place in the Best of Show competition.

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A joint resource for JEM & MHSPA
Pony Express Editor earns Minn. Journalist of the Year