Gulf Breeze High Takes Home Dozens of Awards at FSPA


Ken Killam

The 2022 convention Florida Scholastic Press Association was the first in-person convention held since 2019.

Kristen Thompson, Editor-in-Chief, Online

  Florida Scholastic Press Association, better known as FSPA, hosted their 2022 statewide convention in Orlando from April 21-23.

   Student journalists across the state submitted their work in hopes of winning awards, including the top All-Florida, Excellent, Honorable Mention and the overall Best of the Best award. 2,602 pieces were submitted this year, with 469 winning All Florida’s.

   Gulf Breeze High School had the most All Florida wins in our school’s history this year, with nine. “The Blue and Gold” newspaper held eight of the wins, while “The Morning Breeze” ITV also held an award.

   Sophomore Jon Rose topped GBHS’s All Florida list, with four wins, while Kristen Thompson followed with two. Rose also won the most All Florida awards for photography at FSPA.

   Alongside Rose and Thompson, GBHS All Florida winners included Elle Bobb and Corban Gobble of “The Blue and Gold” and Zas Pitre of “The Morning Breeze.” Additionally, “The Blue and Gold” held six Excellent wins and 11 Honorable Mentions, while “The Morning Breeze” ITV won five Excellents and 18 Honorable Mentions and the “Cetacea” yearbook won two Honorable Mentions.

   During each night of the convention and Saturday morning, FSPA announced the winners of the Best of the Best awards, which All Florida winners were eligible for. Jon Rose received a Best of the Best award for Sports Reaction Photo.

   “Winning the Best of the Best award was really exciting because it shows that all of my challenging work was worth it and an award came to fruition,” Rose said. “I am really happy that I can see the impact that ‘The Blue and Gold,’ as a team, made on FSPA.”

   The FSPA convention was held at the Wyndham Hotel Resort in Orlando. At the convention, students from across the state competed in On-the-Spot contests, such as creating yearbook spreads, writing poetry and prose for literary magazines and customizing Instagram stories.

   From these contests, Alexis Flowers and Sophie Nicholson of “The Morning Breeze” placed third for Edit to the Beat; Derek Scott, Elle Bobb, Kristen Thompson and Jon Rose of “The Blue and Gold” won an Honorable Mention for newsmagazine spread; Bobb and Emma Hartman Sumrall won an Honorable Mention for literary magazine team spread, under the “Angle of Reflection” literary magazine.

   During Thursday night’s opening ceremony, FSPA attendees heard from keynote speakers Carmella Boykin and Chris Vazquez of the Washington Post TikTok. Their presentation included tips on how to spread important news through TikTok and social media to keep people informed, while also entertaining them. Boykin and Vazquez’s presentations also gave insight on how they got into their careers and advice for students who want to continue journalism beyond high school.

   Congratulations to our Gulf Breeze High School FSPA winners. We are excited to see what our student journalists accomplish next year.