All-Florida recognition for both publications, a Teacher of the Year award, a Photojournalist of the year award, and a top three nomination in the state for the Writer of the Year made Apr. 27-29 a successful weekend for the 15 students from the Blueprint and Fusion staffs at the Florida Scholastic Press Association conference.
Over 1,300 students from schools all over the state competed in contests and participated in sessions covering newspaper, yearbook, broadcast and literary magazine. The contests focused on the theme ‘Ignite: Fuel the Future,’ which represents student journalists and the future of journalism.
“There are a lot of talented people there,” senior Bailey Fisher said. “Normally you wouldn’t expect all this from high schoolers but, FSPA really shows how much talent there is in the state.”
Fisher was awarded Photojournalist of the Year, earning a $200 scholarship. For him, this was proof that hard work really does pay off.
“It shows that I’m better than I think I am, although there is always room to improve,” Fisher said. “It was huge for me to see that I won something that big,”
After winning Teacher of the Year at the district conference in October, journalism adviser Brit Taylor was named FSPA’s Teacher of the Year.
“It was a pretty big honor to be nominated as Teacher of the Year for district three,” Taylor said. “It was very humbling to be named journalism Teacher of the Year in a state that has so many good journalism teachers.”
The Blueprint’s Managing Editor Peyton Whittington was nominated Writer of the Year and sees the nomination as a step in the right direction for her future plans as a journalist as she attends the University of Florida in the fall as a journalism major.
‘Ignite: Fuel the Future’ was coordinated by the Blueprint’s Editor-in-Chief Jeannie Williams who was the student chairwoman for the conference. This was Williams’ second year on the board as she served as the student representative for district three last year.
The two publications have had continuous success as shown in years past, and will continue to learn and improve all journalistic aspects.
“I feel like we are one of the premier programs in the state and it shows through the hard work we put in and the things we do,” Taylor said.