Student journalists win at local press convention

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This article was written by Carrie Kuecks, class of 2019.

From experienced guest speakers to fascinating workshops, the Florida Scholastic Press Association (FSPA) District 7 convention developed lasting impressions on student journalists. This year’s convention theme was “Your Story,” to emphasize that through reporting and interviewing, journalists will learn stories that are life changing and become a part of the journalists’ stories as well.

The annual District 7 convention, which encompasses Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties, took place at the Nova Southeastern University, Oct. 22.  Opening ceremonies included guest speaker Hunter Franqui who has won Best Writer and a Creativity Scholarship. Franqui is currently a Segment Host on the cooking television show, “SoFlo TASTE” on WPLG Channel 10, where he tries and reviews foods in South Florida. In addition, he is is a member of the Live Productions for the Miami Heat and Miami Dolphins. Franqui tied his speech to the convention’s theme by discussing his life story and his experiences in the journalism career.

This year’s convention had a wide variety of competitions to enter. There were contests to enter before the convention and On the Spot (OTS) competitions which took place during the convention. The contests were intense and competitive. Topics for the OTS competitions are not given to students until the day of the convention. Heritage received many awards at the convention including:

Heritage’s Yearbook, Spotlight

1st Place Deadline Module: Emily Irigoyen and Dalya Ackerman

2nd Place Candid Photo: Antonella Colon

Honorable Mention OTS Action Photo: Ana Escalante

Heritage’s online newspaper,

1st Place Deadline Web Coverage:  Vanessa Ryals and Asa Zaretsky

1st Place Publication Home Page: Vanessa Ryals

Heritage’s print newspaper, The Patriot Post

2nd Place Computer-Drawn Illustration:  Asa Zaretsky

2nd Place OTS 100 Word Photo Story: Lauren Quintela

2nd Place News Writing: Zihan Kabir

2nd Place OTS Personality Photo: Carrie Kuecks

3rd Place Doubletruck: Elysa Goldberg

3rd Place OTS Entertainment Writing: Conner McLeod

3rd Place OTS Creative Writing: Lauren Hutton

3rd Place OTS Infographics: Katie Quesada

Honorable Mention OTS Editorial Writing: Andrew Kolondra

Honorable Mention OTS Infographics: Amanda Wasserman

Heritage’s broadcast news show, WAHS News

1st Place Student Leader Profile: Sophia Donskoi

1st Place Deadline Broadcast Commentary: Adrianne Morales, Alec Studnik and Elysa Goldberg

1st Place Weather Photo: Jianhao An (Andy)

1st Place Reality Show Pitch: Bailey Braeseke, Gianna Sanchez and Landon Lupo

2nd Place Student Leader Profile: Sofia Osio, Noah Brunner and Maggie Oriol

3rd Place Reality Show Pitch: Jack Kleinstein and Alec Studnik

3rd Place Student Profile: Gianna Sanchez and Sophia Donskoi

2nd Place OTS Illustration: Astrid Maldonado

3rd Place OTS Live to Tape: Noah Brunner and Sophia Donskoi

3rd Place OTS Broadcast Commentary: Alec Studnik, Theodore Rackauskas and Ruhi Mansey

Honorable mention Creative Writing: Alycia Cypress

The convention was learning experience for many student journalists. To learn more about FSPA, click here:

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