Four Little Hawk Writers Win the Top 10 Emerging Journalist Award

The Little Hawk wins several awards in the IHSPA, including multiple top 10 emerging journalists.


Jack Rogers ’26, Tai Caputo ’25, Esther Puderbaugh ’25, and Wisdom Konu ’24, stand in the journalism lab, where they created their stories.

Naomi Hemley, Feature Editor

Out of the Top 10 Emerging Journalists that were awarded by the IHSPA, four of those winners were Little Hawk journalists.

“I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t exactly expecting it just because I wasn’t really aware of the types of awards that are given to journalists or when they come out. So I definitely wasn’t expecting to get that email and it was super exciting,” Tai Caputo ’25 said.

Lots of hard work goes into getting the Top 10 Emerging Journalist award. According to the IHSPA, the award is given for “the overall quality of their work, the impact on their school and community, the students’ understanding of the fundamentals of journalism, and the level of experimentation. Each winner is offered a $100 scholarship toward the cost of attending the  University of Iowa Summer Journalism Workshops for High School students or the Drake Media Now summer journalism camp.”

The Little Hawk journalists believed a consistent work ethic helped them get things done and win the award.

“When it comes to cycles for the newspaper, I often pump out a lot of stories easily. So I just write about what I like,” Wisdom Konu ’24 said.

To get this award, their advisor Mr. Rogers, submitted their best three pieces of journalism for the year. The award is also meant to encourage them to apply for Writer of the Year, Designer of the Year, and Photographer of the Year in the future.

“I did my journalism, as Rog [tells us] everyday,” Esther Puderbaugh ’25 said. “And [it’s] cool that I got an award for doing [that]. [It’s] really rewarding.”