West Shore will wield more power than usual at the upcoming Florida Scholastic Press Association’s statewide journalism convention because junior Gianni Valenti has been elected to serve as the District 3 student representative. District 3 encompasses Brevard, Indian River, Lake, Osceola, Okeechobee, Orange, Seminole, St. Lucie and Volusia counties.
“Basically my main job as rep was to attend the Winter board meeting and plan the spring competition, which I’m currently working on,” Valenti said.
Valenti proposed the eventual theme for the conference: “Ignite; Fuel the Future.”
“I came up with the theme idea because I believe that journalism doesn’t only light a spark in our readers and viewers, but in ourselves as journalists,” he said.
Valenti currently is organizing a lip-sync battle competition that will be held at the conference.
“Day One will be competitions and lip-sync battle, Day Two is workshops, a banquet and a dance. Day Three is awards and closing ceremony,” Valenti said. “I’m not competing in any competitions this year because I will be too busy running the competitions behind the scenes.”
Valenti said attendees can expect to stay busy throughout the convention.
“No matter how much experience in Journalism you have, you can always learn more and you can always get inspired by something new,” he said. “Journalism 1 kids have the most to gain, because the earlier someone is exposed to this high caliber of talent and collaboration, the more they have to gain. Every year I go, I learn something new. It’s great.”
Yearbook managing editor Alyssa Feliciano, along with her staff, already has been gearing up for her specific events.
“I’ve been really making sure that all of our spreads are perfect so we can submit them for the competitions before the actual convention,” the senior said. “Everyone who had worked on a spread can submit one, but some that really stand out to me as ones that could win an All-Florida (award) is definitely the election spread. We also have, our fall sports spread and our pop culture spread.”
Feliciano likes the team she helped assemble.
“We have an all-star staff this year, so I’m super pumped to see how we do,” she said. As for competitions, I’m doing this one I did last year where you work on a newspaper spread with two to three other kids you never met before. I love it because it gives you an opportunity to see how other publications work and how kids think.”
Throughout the long process, the excitement is what keeps Feliciano excited for convention which will be held April 27-30.
“Seeing how they’ve incorporated the theme and all of the other aspects really gets my adrenaline going and gets me ready for the long hours of competition that await ahead,” she said.
By Jerry Sola