Our Journalistic Jags Take a Bite out of Central Florida

   “If you find something you love to do and it becomes your job, you’ll never work a day in your life doing something you love.” Keynote speaker and former NBC reporter Kerry Sanders did not shy away from preaching his adoration for journalism. As a genuine professional with strong wisdom in this area, attendees truly felt his presence at this year’s Florida Scholastic Press Association(FSPA) Spring Convention. 

   Yearbook and Newspaper programs from schools all over the state came together for this annual event in the shiny city of Orlando. Speaking of shiny, this year’s theme was “Stars Align” to symbolize each school as stars that connect together, illuminating the year’s journalistic success in Florida. 

   This event is relatively new for Charter, as only three kids participated last year. Their experience influenced the drastic increase in attendance and it proved to be worth the hype. “[The people who went last year] made it seem really fun,” Yearbook Class Editor Megan Prygelski said, “I went because of them and I got to enjoy all the events, so I don’t regret any of it.” FSPA gave students more than enough activities, keeping them busy for all three days.

   From “On the Spot” contests to lip-sync battles, young journalists had no chance to stay bored during the weekend. The CHAT’s own Sports Editor Adam Abougendia shot his shot at a contest. “The prompts weren’t too difficult,” he said, “But it was nerve-racking knowing how much writing talent I was surrounded with.” 

   Adam ended up taking home an honorable mention from the contest. In total, Pines Charter took home more than 20 awards, ranging from honorable mentions to All-Florida.

   Along with contests, sessions were held where journalists got to volunteer their time to spread knowledge concerning their respective professions. Ranging from analysts from NBC News all the way to the college ranks of UCF. Sessions such as “How to be a College Football Reporter” and “How to make your voice heard as a writer”, were on display for students to enjoy, take notes and ask questions. 

  With sessions going on all day, the day of knowledge, learning and connection-building all led up to the highly-anticipated evening banquet. While everyone dressed to impress, the real eye catcher was the award ceremony where Valerie Questell and Daniel Morrison competed to jump from All-Florida to “Best of the Best”. 

   While each school left Central Florida with numerous recognitions, our CHAT staff also arrived back in Pines with an experience more valuable than bronze, silver, and gold.