2014 Convention Opening Session

March 23 udpate: We have again closed registration for the convention due to reaching capacity limits.

March 12 update: Registration is open again for publications that got shut out of the banquet. The student discounted price is $65 per student without a banquet ticket. You get access to everything else at convention, all the contests, breakout sessions and the dance, go to online registration.

Registration is open for the 2015 FSPA State Convention on April 23-25, 2015, at the Wyndham Orlando Resort. Here are the details and steps you will need to take to bring your student publication:

  1. Convention Invitation & Information (2015 Convention Invitation in PDF format)

  2. Register for convention at our online registration site (Early registration closes March 9). Contact Executive Director Wayne Garcia if you need assistance.

  3. Read the Adviser Survival Guide, along with the student behavior contract and adviser responsibility contract (Download the 2014 document as a .pdf file as a guide, but please do not use last year’s form. The 2015 update will be published in February).

  4. If you are a high school publication, download the 2015 hotel form. You book your rooms directly with the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive using the 2015 hotel form.

  5. If you are a middle school publication attending all three days of the convention, download the 2015 middle school hotel form. You book your rooms directly with the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive using the 2015 middle school hotel form.

  6. Register for contests that we will hold on Thursday at convention, our annual On The Spot Contests. The On The Spot convention contest registration closes on March 22.

Documents for convention:

FSPA Adviser Contract-Behavior Contract-Guide 2015

2015 OTS descriptions

Convention At a Glance

2015 Convention Invitation

2015 middle school hotel form

2015 hotel form

FSPA Sponsor Contract 2015

2015 FSPA sponsor information


Let’s get ready to rumble! Pardon the Interruption, the sports-debate contest based on an ESPN show of the same name, is back. This year, debaters had to submit a qualifying video for a chance to compete at the state convention. We’re pleased to announce the following finalists, who will debate on Friday, April 24 (time TBD).

American Heritage Boca/Delray, Wild Horse Productions: Jacob Solkoff and Andrew Rubin

American Heritage Plantation, WAHS News: Brett Khan and Conner Guidry

Christopher Columbus High School, CCNN Live: David Perez and Daniel Villaneuva

Cypress Bay High School, Lightning Round: Jake Fuhrman and Evan Kessler

Hagerty High School, BluePrint: Ben Clyatt and Nathaniel Kauffman

West Broward High School, The Lynx: Scott Gelman and Nicholas DeRosa


logo_UOR_tcm13-48662Universal Studios in Orlando has offered FSPA a great deal on its group youth tickets at a substantial discount from the regular price — plus two complimentary chaperone adult tickets.

Details are on this Universal FL Scholastic Press Order Form.15, and you MUST arrange tickets ahead of time. No showing up at the gate with this form and hoping for the discount. We hope you can take advantage of this tremendous offer while you are in Orlando for convention.


The first place winner of Feb. 23-Feb. 27 #SJW2015 is:

The Lynx Newspaper (@TheLynxPaper) of West Broward High, which was mainly represented by Scott Gelman (@Gelman_Scott) & Yolany Paz (@YolanyPeace).

The most active and creative participants in our social media challenge, The Lynx staff truly rose to the occasion day in and day out. Multiple staff members were highly active on social media and achieved the goal of the campaign, which was to raise their own and others’ awareness of the power of scholastic journalism. We were pleased to see the variety of actions The Lynx staff took that week from photographing their staff at work to treating their advisers to donuts and a thank you card. The Lynx took the social media challenge to heart and took action offline.

The Lynx Newspaper will be rewarded with a pizza party for their efforts. We look forward to seeing their social media activity continue once their pizza arrives.


#SJW2015 Runner-Ups: (in alphabetical order)

Bloomingdale Yearbook
Bloomingdale High School

For its active and thoughtful participation, Bloomingdale yearbook receives an honorable mention.


Christopher Columbus High School

For CCNN’s high profile coverage of Barack Obama’s visit to Florida International University and actress Diane Guerrero, we recognize CCNN’s cutting edge coverage and active use of the power of the press.


We have hit our threshold for banquet tickets for the 2015 Convention and we have temporarily taken down the online registration. So what does this mean if you wanted to attend but have not registered yet?

You will still be able to attend convention but we will likely not be able to accommodate you with banquet tickets. You will have access to all other aspects of the event, including the opening and closing sessions, contests, and speaker sessions. We will send out an email once we reopen the convention-no banquet registration options and registration.


We’re proud to announce the finalists for the Todd C. Smith Florida Student Journalist of the Year award.

These seniors submitted portfolios in writing, design, photography, broadcast journalism and online media, and they all showed excellence in student journalism. Judging was supervised by a highly qualified, out-of-state professional involved in scholastic journalism. Our judge wrote: “I was VERY impressed with some of the web sites the students set up. Keep building those and use them as your portfolio to get into college and to get jobs. This is a GREAT start. And it’s something I wish my college students would emulate.” Good advice for all journalism students, not just our finalists.

Congratulations to our four finalists this year, listed here in alphabetical order:

  • Kristi Cook, American Heritage School
  • Erika Orstad, Cypress Bay High School
  • Elina Rodriguez, Hillsborough High School, Tampa
  • Aaron Michael Sortal, American Heritage School

The winner will be announced at the state convention awards dinner on Friday, April 24, and will represent FSPA at the national level. Three of Florida’s winners in the past decade have been honored as finalists for the Sister Rita Jeanne Scholarship,  the national Student Journalist of the Year competition.

Follow us on social media on Facebook or Twitter for more convention and award updates throughout our April 23-25 convention at the Wyndham Orlando Resort. We use the hashtag #FSPA2015.


Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 11.31.52 AMWe’ve got a full week ahead, beloved FSPA members. In honor of the Journalism Education Association’s Scholastic Journalism Week, which starts on Monday, we’re launching a state-wide social media challenge. The staff that participates the most in creative and engaging ways will win a pizza and ice cream party, courtesy of FSPA plus special recognition at #FSPA2015 convention in April.

We’ve chosen a theme for each day of Scholastic Journalism Week (Feb. 22-Feb. 28) and we’re asking you to tweet, Facebook, Instagram and or Vine us according to that day’s theme.

Without further ado, here are our themes for each day of Scholastic Journalism Week:

Your staff at work: show us how you get stuff done during your daily grind. Be creative!

Tell us your favorite story: send us your favorite journalism (design, writing, broadcast, etc.) and we will highlight them all in a Storify at the end of the day.

First Amendment day: tell what you appreciate most about the amendment that protects arguably our most important freedom—freedom of speech.

Superhero Day: as journalist, we look up to our own set of superhero reporters and editors. Share with us who is your favorite journalist and why?

Treat Yo’ Self: pamper yourself and your adviser. Show us how you treat yo’ self.

Please make sure to include the hashtags #SJW2015 and #FSPA2015 in your tweets, Vines or Instagrams. On Facebook you can either tag us or share your post directly on our Facebook page.
We look forward to your participation!


The late Todd C. Smith, for whom Florida's Student Journalist of the Year contest is named. Smith was killed while on assignment in Peru covering the drug war. The late Todd C. Smith, for whom Florida’s Student Journalist of the Year contest is named. Smith was killed while on assignment in Peru covering the drug war.

Get those Student Journalist of the Year applications in by midnight tonight and be in the running for hundreds of dollars in awards and possibly competing at the national level.

And for students who have never been to convention and who have demonstrated financial need there are 12 $150 Foundation Scholarships to help pay for convention in April. We have extended the deadline to Wednesday at midnight. Apply on our Foundation Scholarships page.



Here are the forms to register for rooms at the convention hotel, the Wyndham Orlando Resort. You must use this form and contact the hotel directly. FSPA does not book or reserve hotel rooms for the convention.

2015 middle school hotel form

2015 hotel form


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