CAF&DM Journalists Win BIG at FSPA State Competition

Patricia Passwaters and Paulina Picciano

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Journalism students and advisers from all over Florida, District 1 to District 7, gathered at the Wyndham Orlando Resort to attend the Florida Scholastic Press Association on April 25 – April 27. Over 1,000 students attended the convention this year for one purpose and one purpose only, to share their passion for journalism. Founded in 1964, FSPA is made up of more than 300 student publications ranging from school newspaper to television broadcasting.

Forty-two students from the five different publications at CGHS that make up the Communication Arts, Film, & Digital Media Academy, Catharsis (Literary Magazine), highlights (Newspaper), Cavaleon (Yearbook), Gables Live! (TV Production) and CavsConnect (Online News), were not only able to attend sessions to learn about new media in the world today, but were also able to show off their talents and compete amongst other journalists around the state in a wide variety of contests.

Returning staff members began their preparations for FSPA 2013 since the ending of FSPA 2012 in May of last year. “After we received the feedback on the contests we entered, we started planning on who would be the best choice to participate in certain contests, certain tips to keep in mind what we wish we would have known beforehand, and just having an overall strategy to win and play at everyone’s strengths,” Michelle Tapia, Cavaleon Editor-in-Chief, said.

The first day at the convention began with an opening ceremony at 6:00 p.m with keynote speaker Michael Newman who spoke about his experience in the journalism field. “In this journey I have learned three lessons that have shaped my life and they are ambition, passion, and faith,” Newman, said.

Those who attended FSPA for their first time were in awe at the constant motion of their surrounding peers as well as, the constant reporting, constant filming, and constant pressure of competing. Although it was just their first time, it definitely won’t be their last.

“I thought it was a really good chance to learn from other publications around Florida. Unlike other school events I’ve been to, FSPA was a lot more fun since all the people there were much more outgoing which probably has to do with the fact that they’re part of a publication and normally have to talk to strangers. I met a lot of interesting people that I hope to stay in touch with and see again next year,” Alexander Duran, sophomore on the Cavaleon staff, said. 

Wasting no time, contests and sessions began straight away on Thursday night. Those not competing in the various On-the-Spot contests had the opportunity to attend insightful sessions dealing with certain aspects of journalism. This allowed students to learn about skills that will assist them in improving their own publications when they return back home.

“Colleen Bennett began an informative discussion during the session ‘Keep Calm and Meet Deadlines’.  It was interesting to see how her publication was organized and then compare it to ours, which has allowed me to help my publication restructure our activities,” Katya Sarria, junior on the Catharsis staff, said.

Sessions concluded early on Friday afternoon, giving students and advisers plenty of time to get ready for the convention’s annual banquet. Afterwards, middle school students were taken out for a fun night of bowling while high school students were given the choice of attending a dance.

“I don’t love to dance, so naturally, I skipped that option. I spent my time playing football in the dark with a few friends and scoring game winning touchdowns. As a senior, it was a very emotional night for me, mostly because everything is nearing its end and it finally dawned on me,” Mario Olivares, CavsConnect Editor-in-Chief, said.

The closing ceremony was opened with the winning first place Edit-to-the Beat video produced by Gables Live! “The moment I saw the brackets open to reveal our video, it was like we had already won,” senior Raul Flores said. “Edit to the Beat was the reason I came to this year’s convention. When I heard my peers chanting my name, I knew I had made both them and my school proud.”

FSPA 2013 Spring Digital Contests: Gables Live! (Broadcast/TV Production) 

All Florida

  • Video Demo Reel, Raul Flores
  • Special Effects Photo, Catarina Ruggiano

Excellent

  • Public Service Announcement, Raul Flores
  • Sports Photo, Catarina Ruggiano

Honorable Mention

  • Computer Drawn Illustration, Samantha Shore
  • Graphics Reel, Raul Flores

FSPA 2013 On-the-Spot: Gables Live! (Broadcast/TV Production)  

  • 1st Place, Edit to the Beat: Raul Flores, Samuel Tapia, Diana Galiano, Andrea Salas, Saira Membreno, Marvin Reyes, Daniela Karaki-Suarez
  • 1st Place, Collaboarative Commercial: Raul Flores

FSPA 2013 Spring Digital Contests: Cavaleon (Yearbook)

Alfonso Freire

  • Personality Portrait-Honorable Mention
  • Hand-Drawn Illustration-Excellent
  • Special Effects Photo-Honorable Mention
  • Tom Pierce Photo Portfolio-Honorable Mention

Margarita Rentis

  • Back to School Photo (Fall)-Honorable Mention
  • Feature Photo-Excellent
  • Spot News Photo-Excellent
  • Personality Portrait-Honorable Mention
  • Special Effects Photo-Honorable Mention
  • Sports Photo-Honorable Mention
  • Tom Pierce Photo Portfolio- Excellent

Maria Melendez:

  • Feature Story: Honorable Mention

Rachel Puentes:

  • Review-Honorable Mention

Sabrina Lopez:

  • Yearbook Student Life Copy- Honorable Mention

Alexander Duran:

  • Review-Excellent

Michelle Tapia and Hanna Payne:

  • Yearbook Student Life Spread (Coming of Age/Fall)-Excellent

FSPA 2013 On-the-Spot: Cavaleon (Yearbook)

Hanna Payne: Mixed Company-Third Place

Michelle Tapia, Valerie Montesino, Mariah Rapazzo, Michelle Robles, Oliver Robles, and Cathryn Cordes:

  • Team Yearbook (Photography)-First Place
  • Team Yearbook (Overall)-Honorable Mention
  • Team Yearbook (Design)-Third Place

Alfonso Freire: Infographics-Third Place

Ali Band: Press Conference Story-Third Place

FSPA 2013 Spring Digital Contests: Highlights (newspaper)

FSPA evaluation – All-Florida rating with one mark of special distinction

All-Florida

  • Nicolas Rivero – Editorial Writing
  • Brooke Donner – News Story
  • Deanna Breiter and Audrey Fernandez – Newspaper page design
  • Cyrus Zeledon – Print Commentary

Excellent

  • Maggie Rivers – Feature Story
  • Christina Parodi – Spot News Photo
  • Casey Breznick – Print Commentary

Honorable Mention

  • Raquel Braun – Feature Story
  • Maggie Rivers – Newspaper page
  • Laura Acosta – Personality Portrait
  • Ali Stack – Newspaper Front Page

FSPA 2013 On-the-Spot:Highlights (newspaper)

Cyrus Zeledon – Honorable Mention -Mixed Company

FSPA 2013 Fall Digital Contests: CavsConnect

Multimedia Event Coverage, Julian Martell and Raul Flores, All Florida and Best of the Best**

Fall Freshmen First Impressions Story, Mario Olivares, Honorable Mention

 

FSPA 2013 Spring Digital Contests: CavsConnect (Online

  • Website Homepage, All Florida
  • Review, Aliyah Symes, All-Florida
  • Print Commentary, Aliyah Symes, All Florida
  • Review, Nicolas Dabby, Honorable Mention
  • Sports Game Coverage, Molly Smith, Honorable Mention
  • Every Student Has a Story, Arlet Aguiar, Honorable Mention
  • News Story, Maria Victoria Paredes and Julian Martell, Honorable Mention
  • Print Commentary, Maria Victoria Paredes, Honorable Mention
  • Feature Story, Maria Victoria Paredes, Honorable Mention
  • Commentary, Carlos Austin-Adams, Honorable Mention
  • Sports Game Coverage, Mario Olivares, Honorable Mention
  • Profile Story, Patricia Passwaters, Honorable Mention
  • Feature Story, Patricia Passwaters, Honorable Mention
  • News Story, Patricia Passwaters, Honorable Mention
  • News Story, Diana Galiano and Genesis Asencio, Honorable Mention
  • Feature Photo, Christopher Arias, All Florida
  • Personality Portrait, Christopher Arias, All Florida
  • Special Effects, Christopher Arias, All Florida
  • Sports Photo, Christopher Arias, All Florida
  • Sports Photo, Christopher Arias, All Florida
  • Spot News, Christopher Arias, All Florida
  • Spot News, Christopher Arias, All Florida
  • Personality Portrait, Christopher Arias, Excellent
  • Spot News, Christopher Arias, Excellent
  • Feature Photo, Christopher Arias, Honorable Mention
  • Feature Photo, Christopher Arias, Honorable Mention
  • Sports Photo, Christopher Arias, Honorable Mention
  • Personality Portrait, Christopher Arias, Honorable Mention

FSPA 2013 On-the-Spot CavsConnect (Online)

Team Photo Essay, Diana Galiano and Christopher Arias, Honorable Mention

Steven Jay Thor Mixed Company, Patricia Passwaters, Second Place

Nature Photography, Christopher Arias, First Place

FSPA 2013 Fall Digital Contests: Catharsis (Literary Magazine)

  • Back to School Photo, Christopher Arias, Excellent
  • FSPA 2013 Spring Digital Contests: Catharsis
  • Literary Magazine Spread, Stephanie Elmir, All Florida and Best of the Best**
  • Literary Magazine Cover, Katya Sarria, Honorable Mention
  • Personality Portrait, Rinita Rasheed, Excellent
  • Literary Magazine Prose, Rinita Rasheed, All Florida
  • Literary Magazine Prose, Katya Sarria, Honorable Mention
  • Feature Photo, Rinita Rasheed, Excellent
  • Literary Magazine Poetry, Marianne Eisenhart, Honorable Mention
  • Literary Magazine Spread, Katya Sarria and Rinita Rasheed, Excellent
  • Literary Magazine Spread, Stephanie Elmir, Excellent
  • Special Effects Photo, China Opland, Honorable Mention
  • Personality Portrait, China Opland, Honorable Mention
  • Feature Photo, China Opland, Excellent
  • Literary Magazine Prose, Bianca Perez, Honorable Mention

FSPA 2013 On-the-Spot Catharsis (Literary Magazine)

Team Literary Magazine-Overall, Second Place

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