The CAF&DM Students Attend FSPA in Orlando

The CAF&DM students dressed to attend the Florida Scholastic Press Association Banquet.

The CAF&DM students dressed to attend the Florida Scholastic Press Association Banquet.

The Florida Scholastic Press Association (FSPA) is a non-profit organization whose members consist of more than 300 student publications, online media teams and broadcasting programs from around the state.  The students of  Communication Arts Film and Digital (CAF&DM) academy, which includes Cavsconnect, Cavaleon, Gables Live!, Highlights and Catharsis, attended a conference which took place from April 11-13  in Orlando, FL.

Patricia Passwaters
The Cavsconnect staff attended the FSPA opening ceremony.

The students were able to choose the sessions that they wanted to attend to further improve their publication. In these sessions, CAF&DM students learned how to implement AP Style into their writing, as well as improve their leadership, interview and writing skills.

The convention offered different workshops to help accommodate the various media platforms that attended. The assembly was conducted by a specialist on the subject or a current Editor-in-Chief of a publication who shared their expertise on running a publication smoothly.  CAF&DM students took notes throughout each assembly to use this information to improve the quality of their own publication’s content.

“Overall, I was very pleased with this year’s FSPA field trip. It was an insightful experience allowing me to view journalism from all kinds of angles. Not only was I able to have tons of fun with my friends, but I was also able to learn new ideas from them that will hopefully play a role in boosting my journalism skills from here on out,” junior Kluivert Suquino said.

Upon arrival, the students attended the opening ceremony that gave hope to young aspiring broadcasters. The keynote speaker, a Georgia State graduate, struggled to land a stable job after finishing his education. His big break came over twitter, when some of his broadcast videos were retweeted thousands of times, catching the attention of media companies who offered him positions in his dream field of sports broadcasting. In his speech, he explained the trials he had to overcome through this career and the tips he picked up on his way to professional success.

FSPA also allowed students to bond with their publications over the three-day long conference. Over the weekend, they spent most of their time together, from sessions to a FSPA award ceremony to nighttime ice cream trips.

On Friday, after a busy day filled with sessions, students attended a dance hosted by FSPA with music and a photo booth. The participants shared dances with their friends while listening to a music from a variety of genres.

Daniel Toll
The Cavsconnect team having lunch at Chuy’s.

“At FSPA I grew closer to many people both inside and outside of my yearbook class and I also ended up learning a lot about journalism that I can apply to my spreads next year. I definitely want to go again next year because it was such a great experience,” freshman Sabrina Bonavita said.

On the last day, the convention gave out multiple awards to the winners of the on-the-spot contests in categories ranging from short stories to reviews, captions,and more. Students from around the state, including some from our very own Coral Gables High School, were honored for their success under tight time constraints and with unpredictable prompts.

With a multitude of sessions to choose from, the CAF&DM students gained technical knowledge as well as insight into journalistic practices that will benefit their staffs in the years to come. All the CGHS participants had an unforgettable time, and they hope to bring back the lessons they learned their respective publications to make even further improvements.

The following Coral Gables Senior High students received awards:

CavsConnect – Gold (Adviser: Ana Suarez)

Adriana Castro – All-Florida – General Feature Story

Daniela Parra Del Riego – Excellent – Commentary: Off Campus

Andres Velasco – Honorable Mention – Spot News Photo

Trey Riera – Honorable Mention – Review

Natalia Rodriguez – Honorable Mention – Commentary: Off Campus

Alexander Yagoda – Honorable Mention – Review

Natalia Rodriguez – Honorable  Mention – Review

Highlights – All Florida (Adviser: Melissa Gonzalez)

Sunshine Standout Award for the 2018-2019 Magazine for the entire state of Florida! Out of all of the All-Florida publications, they chose highlights as the best news magazine!

Best of the Best: Dylan Carol – All-Florida – Profile Story

Best of the Best: Alexander Sutton – All-Florida – Commentary Off-campus

Best of the Best: Alejandra Orozco, Sutton Payne – All-Florida – Newsmagazine Front Page

Dylan Carol – All-Florida – Commentary Campus

Dilan Denham – All-Florida – Commentary Off-campus

Hanna Ebrahimi – All-Florida – Commentary Off-campus

Sara Ebrahimi – All-Florida – Profile Story

Audrey Weigel – All-Florida – Sports Profile

Alex Anton – Excellent – Profile Story

Hanna Ebrahimi – Excellent – Off-campus News Story

Ruben Escobar – Excellent – Sports Feature

Ruben Escobar, Thomas Morcillo – Excellent – Multimedia event coverage

Melanie Nunez – Excellent – Commentary Off-campus

Sutton Payne – Excellent – Newsmagazine multipage spread

Alejandra Orozco – Excellent – Newsmagazine Front Page

Alexander Sutton – Excellent – Off-Campus News Story

Alexandra Torres – Excellent – General Feature Story

Dilan Denham – Honorable Mention – Editorial

Thomas Morcillo – Honorable Mention – Sports Action Photography

Thomas Morcillo – Honorable Mention – Personality Portrait Photography

Thomas Morcillo – Honorable Mention – Feature Photography

Arianna Pena – Honorable Mention – Review

Grace Rodriguez – Honorable Mention – Spot News Photo

Oraida Rodriguez – Honorable Mention – ComputerDrawn Illustration

Cavaleon – All-Florida – 2018 yearbook evaluation (Adviser: Ana Zuniga)

Best of the Best: Eliza Beltran – All-Florida – Nature photo

Elliza Beltran – Excellent – Personality Portrait

Elliza Beltran – Honorable Mention – Sports Action Photography

Elliza Beltran – Honorable Mention – Personality Portrait

Elliza Beltran – Honorable Mention – Feature Photography

Elliza Beltran – Honorable Mention – Spot News Photo

Gabriela Jimenez – Honorable Mention – Sports Action Photography

Gabriela Jimenez – Honorable Mention – Feature Photography

Gabriela Jimenez – Honorable Mention – Sports Reaction Photo

Daniel Fernandez, Maria Abrahamyan, Maxwell Dickinson – Excellent – Yearbook Academics/Organizations Module

Daniel Fernandez, Maxwell Dickinson, Max Rego – Honorable Mention – Yearbook Academics/Organizations Module

Catharsis – All Florida – 2018 Literary magazine – Continuum (Adviser: Michelle Zaldivar)

On the Spot:

Malika Mckenney – First Place – Hand Drawn Illustration

Devon Rall – Honorable Mention – Poetry

Sabrina Bonavita – First Place – Copy and Caption Writing  

Rachel Dopico – Second place – Short Story

Jana Four – Honorable Mention – Review

Ana Capiro Steven J Thor Mixed Company – First Place