In a tribute to her talents, Sharon Roznik of The Reporter, Fond du Lac’s daily newspaper, was chosen as the winner of the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) District Boards Association 2007 Media Award.
Roznik was nominated by Moraine Park Technical College for a feature she wrote in September 2006 about Moraine Park’s new Culinary Arts Center, culinary arts students and faculty, and the student-run Park Terrace restaurant.
“Both her original article about the groundbreaking and then the completed project showcased the spirit of technical college education – hands-on learning, side by side with talented instructors, in the best facilities to support learning,” said Dr. Gayle Hytrek, Moraine Park president, as she addressed those at the July 13 awards ceremony. “But this article is only one example of Ms. Roznik’s excellent and unbiased reporting of Moraine Park and educational issues. She serves our communities well with insightful writing. The news media can be proud to call her a colleague and I am proud that Moraine Park Technical College can call her a friend of technical education.”
Moraine Park District Board member Peter Sensenbrenner and Marilyn Grainger, WTCS District Boards Association Marketing/PR & Awards Committee chair, also addressed the audience. Grainger presented the award to Roznik.
“One of my favorite beats as a reporter has been education,” said Roznik. “Newspapers and schools both serve the community in different ways, and it is always a pleasure to join forces in letting people know about new opportunities. The public relations people at Moraine Park always make sure I am aware of what's going on at our area technical college.”
Roznik joined The Reporter in 1999, focusing on education ranging from K-12 to college-level issues. She had been a school board member in Campbellsport for five years. Covering an area that includes 13 public school districts, Roznik has received an annual media award from the Wisconsin Association of School Boards several times, nominated by school districts that include Fond du Lac, Kewaskum and Oakfield. She was the first-place winner this past year in the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Awards for best feature page design and writing in the state.
“One of Sharon's gifts as a writer is the knack for finding those stories that are off the beaten path,” said Avi Stern, executive editor of The Reporter. “She has an eye for recognizing the great local-interest features – the kind of pieces will never make the national networks, but certainly mean the most to people who call Fond du Lac home. She also has the brilliant ability to relate to those about whom she writes. ... She can interview a 21-year-old student, turn around and talk with a 20-year professor and then pop into the dean's office on the way out the door. And they'll all talk to her like they've known her for years. Her ability to move between these worlds, often effortlessly, has contributed to her success. Finally, we thank Moraine Park Technical College for recognizing Sharon's efforts.”
Roznik holds a photography degree from Milwaukee Area Technical College. She currently lives in Fond du Lac and has two grown children.