By Kailey Cota, SIPA assistant
Posted March 16, 2021
The South Carolina Scholastic Press Association named Olivia Potter the 2021 South Carolina Journalist of the Year.
Potter is from Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and is currently one of three co-editors-in-chief of the Legend yearbook.
Being selected as a co-editor-in-chief “set me more steady in my desire to pursue a career in journalism,” Potter said.
Potter will receive $500, and her portfolio will 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.
Outside of her role as the editor-in-chief, Potter is a journalism teaching assistant, a 2021 SIPA officer, has created marketing campaigns and finalized business sales and was a 2019 Washington Journalism and Media Conference Youth Correspondent.
She has also received awards from SCSPA, SIPA and Quill and Scroll.
Even though Potter didn’t always know that journalism was the career for her, she has always had a desire to get to know the people around her.
“When I was younger, I had this tendency to ask everyone I met an array of random questions, trying to find something interesting about them or discover something no one else knew. I still have that desire now, but I’ve funneled it into my passion for journalism,” Potter said.
Potter’s adviser, Phillip Caston, has known her since she was placed in his Journalism 1 class during her freshman year.
“As an editor-in-chief, she has collaborated with her co-editors to create a book completely unique compared to our previous volumes and one that not only addresses challenges we have faced this year due to COVID but one that also brings solutions to coverage we lost as a result of the pandemic,” Caston said.
Caston said she is committed to the craft, yet also “loves mentoring and guiding others to better themselves.”
Not only has Potter grown in her journalistic abilities throughout her high school journalism career, but she has also gained confidence in herself.
“I will continue to work to share people’s stories as I always have, and watch myself grow as a writer, leader and human being from all the connections I get to make with others who inspire my stories and who I am away from the keyboard and pen,” Potter said.