The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

Staff Profile
Estelle Hartz
Estelle Hartz
Assistant A&E Editor

LH Staff Profile: Esther Puderbaugh

LH+Staff+Profile%3A+Esther+Puderbaugh
Grace Kirschling

6th grader Esther Puderbaugh dips her head to bow to the audience, her arms resting on the shoulders of surrounding actors. She sees camera flashes throughout the Opstad Auditorium as City High School journalists cover the spring production of Les Miserables.

“I first learned about the Little Hawk when I was a kid in the ensemble of City’s musical in 2019, Les Miserables. I remember loving that experience, a lot of people who were in the play were journalists. They created a little video of us that’s still up on the Little Hawk today,” Puderbaugh said.

The moment that Puderbaugh got to City High, she hit the ground running with the Little Hawk publication. Three years later, she is the Arts & Entertainment Editor, Website Executive Editor, and Social Media Co-Editor. 

“It’s really cool that with journalism and other programs here at City, you can be involved in them and be an active part of them no matter your age or experience,” Puderbaugh said.

Puderbaugh’s journey to the positions she now holds has been nothing short of hard work. It continues to challenge her every day, from constantly cycling through the website and checking for errors, to communicating with editors and supervising sections.

“My number one advice is to work really hard. Other than that, get out there and explore what you want to do. Make sure that you’re happy with and apply to the section you want to be in. I don’t want to do sports stories all the time. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a great section but maybe that’s not [the section] for me [to write in all of the time],” Puderbaugh said.

Outside of journalism, Puderbaugh excels in her musical background. She plays the viola, piano, and is highly involved in voice, regularly attending competitions. Esther also participates in Mock Trial, is a City High Ambassador, and attends student senate, running the ‘PERIOD.’ chapter for the school, an organization that helps to end period poverty.

“I wrote a period poverty feature, which was [a lot of fun], and the graphics for that were a lot of fun to work with. I was able to talk to the school board and I believe I helped get free period products in the bathrooms so that is something I’m always going to be grateful for and very proud of,” Puderbaugh said.

In Puderbaugh’s time as an editor, her musical endeavors have inspired her to work for more of an appreciation for the arts at City, especially by increasing coverage in the Arts & Entertainment section of the newspaper and website.

“I did a piece on All-State auditions last fall which was very long and a lot of work. I interviewed like 10 different people. My goal was to reflect to people the scope of how much work All-State auditions are, and I think that I successfully did that,” Puderbaugh said.

Even though she still has two years left with the Little Hawk publication, Puderbaugh has future plans to attend college and will likely double major in Music and International Relations.

“Leadership opportunities are available to anyone who wants them and they teach you a lot. I know I’ve learned a lot in the last year and a half and I think I will continue to learn a lot,” Puderbaugh said.

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Your donation will support the student journalists of Iowa City High School. For 2023, we are trying to update our video and photo studio, purchase new cameras and attend journalism conferences.

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About the Contributors
Hattie Conover, Reporter
Journalist by day... tennis prodigy by night
Grace Kirschling, Broadcast Editor and Social Media Co-Editor
GK on the big screen, that is the dream!
Donate to The Little Hawk
$1750
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