Gables High communications students win big at Journalism Day
Eighty-eight students in the Communication Arts, Film and Digital Media Academy at Coral Gables Senior High School attended and competed at the Florida Scholastic Press Association’s District 6 40th Annual Journalism Day, held at Florida International University on Saturday, Oct. 20.
Approximately 300 middle and high school students from all around the county came to learn about journalism and compete in a variety of categories.
The day kicked off with NBC 6 news anchor Adam Kuperstein as the keynote speaker in the opening session. Kuperstein shared with students where his passion for journalism began:
“I remember I always loved sports, but I couldn’t play because I was just OK, but while I would watch TV with my dad and I’d name who I loved, they were all broadcasters.”
Kuperstein also spoke to students about the significance of versatility and convergence; he gave advice on the most challenging aspects of the field and the most rewarding.
“Don’t give up on your dreams because people will always try to sway you and you don’t want to regret anything later in life. The most challenging thing about it is that you have to be willing to make sacrifices and be in uncomfortable situations,” Kuperstein advised.
For both returning and new students he served as an inspiration.
“I not only felt inspired, but it gave me hope that in every corner there is an adventure awaiting me. From a pair of flip flops flying down from Ohio to a suit and tie working for one the nation’s major news channel, his passion for telling stories and his determination is worthy of great admiration. I am more than happy to have heard his story,” freshman Maria Victoria Paredes said.
The remainder of the day was divided into three different sessions, which were about an hour long, where students were able to pick which session they wanted to attend depending on what they wanted to learn. Speakers varied from actual students who spoke about the life of a journalist on campus to people who have already succeeded in the field.
“Attending the sessions was a great and fun experience because I was able to gain insight on how to approach my writing from speakers who took their time to try and create a friendship with us instead of a regular student-teacher class,” senior Maria Melendez said.
Students also participated in competitions that were held and judged throughout the day. The categories varied according to publication and type of journalism.
At the end of the day, students and advisers met in the ballrooms to hear the announcement of awards, and Cavalier spirit was at an all- time high as the Gables High communications students took home awards in nearly every category:
• Catharsis, Literary Magazine (Camile Betances, adviser)
China Opland: 3rd Place Special Effects Photography
Christopher Arias: 2nd Place Action Photography
Katya Sarria: 1st Place Literary Magazine Carry-In Layout
• Cavaleon, Yearbook (Ana Zuniga, adviser)
Margarita Rentis: 1st Place Special Effects Photography
Margarita Rentis: 1st Place Feature Photography
Michelle Tapia: 1st Place Yearbook Student Life Carry-In Layout
Hanna Payne: 3rd Place On-the-Spot Newswriting
• CavsConnect, Online News (Camile Betances, adviser)
Christopher Arias: 2nd place in Special Effects Photography.
• Gables Live!, TV Production (Nicole Munoz, adviser)
Daniela Karaki-Suarez: 3rd Place Broadcast Anchor
Gables-Live! Crew: 3rd Place Carry-In Broadcast Show
• highlights, Newspaper (Melissa Nieves, adviser)
Gene Liu: 2nd place Feature Photography
Mariana Londono: 3rd Place Action Photography
Deanna Breiter and Audrey Fernandez: 1st Place Double Truck Carry-In Layout
“It’s conventions like these that open your eyes and make you realize that the people you’re with have some sort of gift to share with you. It’s beautiful how the different publications were all able to come together and support each other. Winning is completely unexpected and I was so proud to be representing Gables,” senior Margarita Rentis said.
Also, Gables High teacher Camile Betances, adviser to Catharis literary magazine and news website CavsConnect, was named the Miami-Dade County Journalism Teacher of the Year and will represent the district at the state convention in Orlando in April.
“When they called my name I was happy, but completely overwhelmed. Sometimes it’s hard to be recognized because you feel that what you do is just what everyone should be doing. I am honored to be Teacher of the Year. There are so many great journalism teachers in Miami and at Gables, and to be honored out of all of them is really something special,” Ms. Betances said.
Congratulations to all of the students and advisers from Coral Gables Senior High!
Patricia Passwaters is executive editor of CavsConnect at Coral Gables Senior High School.