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Wando senior named Journalist of the Year

By Justin Brouckaert, scholastic media assistant
Posted March 13, 2017


Sophie Winnick, a senior at Wando High School (Mount Pleasant), has been named the South Carolina Journalist of the Year by SCSPA.

Winnick, the editor-in-chief of Wando’s Legend yearbook and a lowcountry representative on the SCSPA executive board, will receive $500 and recognition at the 2017 SCSPA Spring Conference. Her portfolio will also represent South Carolina in the Journalism Education Association’s National Journalist of the Year competition.

SCSPA annually recognizes one graduating senior for his or her outstanding contributions to scholastic journalism. Applicants are judged by their journalistic portfolios, which display skills in writing, videography, design, photography, entrepreneurship and online/social media, as well as by their involvement in their community.

“Ms. Winnick has a mature photographic eye and an elegant design sensibility that successfully merges texts and images in compelling ways,” said one judge. “Her editorial interests seem to range across a variety of issues, all of which, however, keep the human subject front and center.”

In her time at Wando, Winnick has served as sports editor, photo editor and editor-in-chief of Legend, which earned an All-Southern rating and Best in State at the 2017 SIPA Convention.

Winnick has won her fair share of individual awards, too.  In 2016, her honors included First Place for Feature Photography from SCSPA, First Place for Sports Writing from SIPA and Third Place for Environmental Photograph of the Year from the National Scholastic Press Association.

Phillip Caston, the Legend yearbook adviser, called Winnick “the most decorated student in Wando yearbook history” and praised her not only for her journalistic skills, but for her leadership abilities.

“Despite our enormous and bustling staff, Sophie takes time to pull staff members aside and sit down with them to review their story or spread design. She pours emphatic praise on them for stellar work and guides them with constructive criticism on how to improve,” Caston said. “She is a natural leader.”

Winnick will continue her education at the University of South Carolina in Fall 2017. She plans to double major in international business and sports management and hopes to one day become an NFL agent.

SCSPA had ten strong applicants apply for 2017 Journalist of the Year. You can view their portfolios below: