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SCSPA never fails to impress

Posted: October 12, 2017 3:54 p.m.
Updated: October 13, 2017 1:00 a.m.
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October is not just the gateway month to the holiday season, but also means the return of the S.C. Scholastic Press Association Conference (SCSPA). This annual event is hosted at University of South Carolinas’ (USC) Russell House. High school students from around the state gather to share their journalistic work and, ultimately, compete for awards. Attendees are invited to participate in classes ranging all the way from photography to writing -- and even social media. It is the one time of the year when high school journalists can compare, share, and learn from USC’s journalism staff. 

When I was a freshman, this was an eyes-wide-open event. I spent more time being in awe of seeing, in person, the advances I had heard about in other schools. At that point, my only frame of reference was what went on within the walls of my school. This being my fourth year in attendance, it is still hard not to be impressed by the caliber of talent that exists in our state’s high school journalism programs. It is evident that Lugoff-Elgin has benefitted from attending SCSPA.

This year, our yearbook adviser, Jenny Proctor, was invited to teach a class on staff organization at the SCSPA. The invitation was the result of our yearbook’s improvement based on SCSPA judges’ review. Although she is far too humble to tell you, Mrs. Proctor was asked to teach this class because she helped to bring our yearbook up from an honor rating to a superior rating in a single year. 

Among the other classes offered, one of them was a class on fake news and how to decipher fact from fiction, which is a timely topic in journalism today. For seniors, a class that was relevant to us was a college survival guide. This class encouraged and guided us in various ways to participate in college journalism. Another class that attempted to tackle a real world problem dealt with recruiting responsible staffers to not only fill a position, but to do the assigned work to their best ability. It taught us to recruit the dedicated staffers, so that 10 percent of the people do not end up doing 90 percent of the work. It seems as though that is not just a high school journalism problem.

Being able to attend the SCSPA conference for the past four years has helped me grow and come to better understand the bigger picture of yearbook development. Hopefully, we have paved a path for those coming behind us to make even bigger improvements. All in all, for me as a yerd (yearbook nerd), the best part is being able to meet like-minded high schoolers and bounce our ideas around.

Who knows? Maybe this will open a door for me to continue being active in the press world during college.

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