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Pilar Pedraza

POSTED: 03:26 AM CST Dec 24, 2013    UPDATED: 12:32 PM CDT Oct 09, 2013 
Pilar Pedraza

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I literally grew up in a newsroom. Off and on throughout my childhood, my mother was a newspaper reporter, columnist and editor.  I can remember falling asleep under the light tables while they were laying out the paper, I made my first beat calls on a red plastic toy phone, and acted out arguments at village council meetings with my dolls. It's safe to say, news is in my blood. But, I fell in love with television when I attended a summer program at Iowa State Universityin high school. We were at WOI-TV to meet and learn about the meteorologists, but I instantly fell in love with the anchors and reporters. From then on, I knew what I wanted to do.

I studied for a semester at the Universidad de Valladolid in Spain on my way to earning a Bachelor of Arts from Iowa State University in Broadcast Journalism and Spanish, graduating cum laude in December of 1996. While still in college, I began working at WOI-TV on a part-time basis, running studio cameras, ripping scripts, editing show tapes and anything else I could do that would keep my foot in the door. I interned at KABC in Los Angeles and was offered a position in their Apprenticeship Program before I left. However, I had my sights set on fieldwork, reporting and shooting. After graduation, I went full-time at WOI and began to work my way up the ladder, earning awards for my producing along the way.

While there, I married my college sweetheart, a wonderful man from Moers, Germany. We now have a brilliant son (so I'm a proud mom, shoot me!) as well as two dogs and three cats, all rescue pets. Animal adoptions save lives.

In 2001, I followed my husband to Wichita and continued my career in news at a Wichita TV station as a producer and newsroom manager. But, in 2006 my son was old enough to begin school and I left news in order to have a schedule that matched his more closely.  I became a high school Spanish, and later Journalism, teacher at Andale High School.  I adore working with youth.  I'd been in charge of the internship programs at both of the stations where I worked by the time I left. I'm also actively involved in my church's youth program. So it was an easy transition for me to make.

But, you can take the girl out of the newsroom, but you can't take the news out of the girl! During my six years in teaching, I would often find myself noting story ideas that I came across and more than once called the story idea in. When it became clear it was time to end my teaching career, going back to news was an obvious choice. I've been blessed by the opportunity to not only return to the newsroom, but to do it by returning to my first love within news, reporting and shooting, here at KWCH.

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