Amist a pool of 15 other applicants, senior Tyler Risopli won the Todd C. Smith Florida Student Journalist of the Year award.

On Friday, April 28, 2017, Florida Scholastic Press Association will recognize Rispoli; second place winner Annie Aguilar, Hillsborough High School (Tampa); and third place winner Karina Blodnieks, Cooper City, at the annual convention at the Wyndham Orlando Resort.

Each winner will receive a scholarship from FSPA: $1,000, $600 and $400, respectively. The winner will also represent Florida in the Journalism Education Association’s national SJOY competition.

“There’s a lot of other amazing journalists out there. Even though it’s a competition, we all have potential and each has strengths. We aren’t necessarily ‘better’ then each other, just different,” Rispoli said.

Rispoli is the second consecutive winner from Boone; 2016 graduate Matthew Casler won the state JOY award and was a national runner-up in 2016.

“I was estatic to hear that I won. I never thought three years ago that I’d be that into the program that I’d be able to apply for such a prestigious award. I thought it’d be a high school class where I took pictures in it. Then I realized all the other opportunities that came with being involved in the class,” Rispoli said.

Each year the FSPA names one student journalist of the year based on a comprehensive portfolio they present to a panel of judges that entails a collection on the student’s work through the student’s journalism career thus far. It includes a self-analytical essay, a resume, a transcript or counselor statement, including journalism classes taken, grades and current GPA, as well as an action photo of the student involved and up to three letters of recommendation.

“I enjoyed some aspects of creating the website. It was awesome to see all of my work from the last three years and how far I’ve come, especially not having Journalism 1, and how I have such a variety. I am not just a photographer or one thing. It was cool to see stuff in all of the areas,” Rispoli said.

Rispoli will submit his portfolio for national competition by March 15. This provides him time to make adjustments or corrections to the one he submitted for the state competition. JEA will announce the National Student Journalist of the Year on Sunday, April 9, in Seattle, Wash.

Every state winner will compete against one another for the national title and a $3,000 scholarship. The runners-up (up to six runners-up awards are usually given) receive a $850 scholarship.

“I am incredibly proud of Tyler for winning the state journalist of the year title. I think he’s the whole package related to journalism.  Tyler can shoot photos; write copy; design a layout; write, plan and execute sales commercials or rivalry hype videos; broadcast an event live; and keep our social media feeds current and timely.  He truly is talented in all areas related to jouralism, which makes him such an asset to Boone Pubs. I think he’s the perfect choice to represent our school and state,” Renee Burke, journalism adviser, said.

Rispoli is the Legend digital media editor. During his time on staff he has won 14 awards, including but not limited to: two National Sweepstakes winner spreads (Quill and Scroll International Journalism Honor Society),  First place for Commercial and Poster (FSPA), Third place for spread design (FSPA), a Pacemaker, and a Gold Crown.

Rispoli is also a member of National Honor Society, Academy of Information Technology Honor Society, Quill and ScrollFellowship of Christian Athletes, Math Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Ocean Activist Club, and is the historian for the Savvy Seniors Club.

Rispoli is now the third Boone Publication student to win this award. Lindsey Alexander, the Hi-Lights editor in chief, won in 2013, and Matthew Casler, the Legend editor in chief won in 2016.

“I think it’s cool to see my videography skills combines with the other skills, like writing, photography and design all come together. People often forget that you can tell a story with video too. I like that I’m using these skills in a different way. I want to tell stories in a cisual way versus verbal, which is what I see most JOY doing,” Rispoli said.

Florida Scholastic Press Association is an organization that promotes scholastic journalism statewide. They named the student journalist of the year award for Todd C. Smith, a Tampa Tribune reporter killed while reporting a story in Peru.

To see more of Tyler Rispoli click here.

By Sofia McGrover

I'm in newspaper and am on the swim team.

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