Canes go statewide

Elijah Goring, Photo Editor


The Hurricanes went to the FSPA statewide convention on April 13. In the past, groups of Hurricanes, including current News Editor, Medjinha Pierre-Louis, have gone to the FSPA District 7 meetings at various high schools and colleges. But this year is the first time they went to the state convention, funded by Inlet Grove High School CEO, Dr. Emma Banks.

“I’m feeling tired,” Medjinha said. “But I’m looking forward to this trip and what’s in store, and I hope I have a great time, because we’re going to Orlando. FSPA, yay!”

The Canes arrived at the Wyndham Orlando Resort at 12:17 PM. In attendance was Editor-in-Chief Erna Delice, Design Editor Jason Eugene, Sports Editor Jessica Bureau, Photo Editor Elijah Goring, News Editor Medjinha Pierre-Louis, and Staff Writers Alaja Depina, Lovely Marcelus, Kaylee Mason, Kailee Mason, and Joshua Hernandez-Sanders, along with their chaperones Ms. Roodlyne Mason and Mr. Hanif.

Lovely Marcus and Joshua Hernandez-Sanders said that the convention was “crowded,” but Joshua remarked that it was “decent.”

The convention kicked off with vendor exhibits from various yearbook and school magazine companies who sponsored the event. The canes reunited with District 7 Director and Inlet Grove Yearbook Advisor Sarah Lerner. They also bumped into a guy outfitted in a dinosaur costume.

“He was so big,” said Alaja Depina. “I thought he was about to attack me.”

The opening session on Thursday featured guest speaker Kerry Sanders. According to the official FSPA program, Sanders was “NBC’s Miami-based correspondent” for 32 years. Sanders worked as a general news reporter, traveling to all 50 states and 65 countries, covering topics such as puffins, Instagram trends, and homeless students. The session also revealed some winners for the 2023 FSPA Spring Digital Contests.

“It was decent,” said Jessica Bureau. “I liked the videos that he presented. Especially the one with the girl who was homeless. Some of the videos were heart-touching.”

Following the opening session was the start of the digital contests. Young journalists in attendance were given hours to complete challenges in areas including photography, broadcast, design, writing, and more. Jessica, Jason, Elijah, and Alaja completed an entry for the Yearbook Team contest, with the prompt “create a double-page spread that covers the convention as you see fit.” They submitted the entry two seconds late.

“I got into journalism because I was very interested in it and I wanted to see what I could do in the industry,” said Orlando Miguez, a student from Christopher Columbus High School. “I’m in the Collaborative Commercial [contest]. I want to try to get first place, and get the award, and learn from my teammates because they know a bit more about the subject than I do. I want to see if I can get any better in the subjects I’m worse in.”

The next morning opened with the Friday sessions. At 10 Am, all the Canes split up and attended two 50-minute assemblies of their choice. The sessions were taught by industry professionals in journalism fields such as yearbook, cinematography, and advertising.

We just did the design session,” said Jason. “It was very nice, we were learning more about design, white space, eyelines. I did it even though I’m a senior, I’m still gonna be needing design further in the future. It was good practice.”

At around 1 PM, the Canes went to lunch at the world’s largest entertainment McDonald’s, EpicMcD. Inside, they played arcade games, climbed a large slide, and munched on chicken nuggets, burgers, and fries.

“It was nice,” said Kaylee Mason. “There was an arcade. We played air hockey.” Her sister, Kailee Mason said “Little kids are filthy.”

At 3 PM was the yearbook critique for this year’s yearbook and last year’s yearbook. The Canes got feedback on design choices and organizational modes from the advisor, Callie Williams, a teacher at Astronaut High School in Titusville, Florida.

“I liked it,” said Erna Delice. “She gave us great advice for next year, and she critiqued us very well, because she pointed out minor mistakes.”

Everyone headed back to their rooms to prepare for the banquet at 6 PM. At the banquet, students were fed a salad, dinner rolls, a slice of chocolate cake with half a strawberry, and lasagna. More Spring Digital Contest winners were also announced.

“The food was very mid,” said Medjinha Pierre-Louis. “The salad was good.”

The day ended with the High School Dance and the Middle School Event. Hundreds of students gathered in the Palms Ballroom and bopped to “generational” music mixed by a DJ. The Canes settled down at a table and played a round of Uno.

“The party was ok, I feel like the songs could’ve been better,” said Medjinha Pierre-Louis. “The DJ played the songs the entire time, I feel like he should do his job as a DJ.” “We were there for 2 hours, he didn’t start playing the good music until there were 10 minutes left.” said Kaylee Mason.

The next morning, at 3AM, all the Canes got back into the van and said their goodbyes as they were dropped off at their homes.

“For nearly a decade the Multimedia Hurricanes have attended our Florida Scholastic Press Association’s District 7 conferences, at Nova Southeastern University or Florida Atlantic University (see here and here),” said Mr. Hanif. “Thanks to our CEO Dr. Banks we finally achieved the goal of attending the FSPA State Convention. It was another great milestone in our award-winning Multimedia Journalism program. I’m super proud of Editor-in-Chief Erna Delice, Design Editor Jason Eugene, and all rest the student publications team. They earned it and deserved it and represented us well.”