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A Four-Year Journey: Dubiski Career High School BPA Broadcast News Production Team Places #1 at BPA State Leadership Conference

Dubiski Broadcast News Production Team Places #1 at BPA State
The Dubiski BPA Broadcast News Production Team led by Saul Reyes, Susana Lozano, Eugenia Padilla, and Cristal Franco placed #1 at BPA State on March 9, 2019! Only the Top 2 Teams advance to BPA National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, CA in their event. Their journey over four years together is a story for us to all to celebrate.  

Broadcast News Production Team Members

  • Saul Reyes, Senior Engineering SLT and SkillsUSA District 6 Representative
  • Susana Lozano, Senior Graphic Communications and BPA State Reporter
  • Guadalupe (Cristal) Franco, Senior Media Technology student and Miss 2018-2019 Teen Texas Latina
  • Eugenia Padilla, Senior Media Technology student and SkillsUSA District 6 Reporter

Background History

Freshman Year: Eugenia, Susana, and Saul met during the first BPA Kick-Off meeting. As first-year members, they knew they wanted to compete in a team event and chose Broadcast News Production Team due to their desire to film human interest stories. It was natural for Eugenia and Saul to work together as they've known each other since Pre-K! The team of 3 later invited Andrea Aldape (Engineering student) to join them as the fourth member. They had no expectations their first year and giggled when they recall editing their video in iMovie. Logos and graphics were created using Microsoft Word! Their feature stories were compelling along with their presentation which earned them a spot to State competition. They presented before the Chamber of Commerce Luncheon that February and received praises and useful feedback. At the state competition, they did not advance to finals, but it gave them confidence for their sophomore year.

Sophomore Year: With state experience behind them they chose to highlight a community event promoting Flight of the Monarch event in Grand Prairie as their feature story that year. I connected them with an interview with Mrs. Mae Smith who coordinated the event for the City of Grand Prairie Parks and Recreation Department. That year they experimented with using more video angles and added B-roll to enhance their video technically. During Regional competition, the team placed 3rd and missed going to State that year due to an unfortunate mistake made with technical scores outside of their control. The team was devastated by the news and of course heartbroken. They ended up losing one team member, Andrea Aldape who chose to compete in another event the following year. Eugenia, Susana, and Saul did not let the misfortune steal their joy for long. They were even more determined to work harder their Junior Year to get back to State Competition.

Junior Year: At the start of their Junior Year the three original members asked Cristal Franco, Eugenia's Media Technology pathway colleague to join the team due to her poise, anchor voice, and good camera presence. Their focus was on making it back to State and decided to take their skills to the next level. By now, Eugenia had learned how to edit in Adobe Premiere Pro and AfferEffects while Susana in Graphics had learned more about Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. Eugenia and Cristal both convinced Mrs. Dee McCown, Media Pathway Instructor to allow them to film using the greenscreen studio along with using better equipment such as a SonyXD camera with Flip Q Teleprompter and the Tri-Caster Switcher. Mrs. McCown had so much faith in their ability and helped coach them along. The team placed 2nd at Regionals and advanced to State competition. At State, the news came that they had advanced to the Finals Round which meant they were in the Top 8 in Texas. They recall having so many mixed emotions standing on the stage when the announcer had called, "And in 3rd Place is Dubiski Career High School." They had missed a spot to attend Nationals that year which was hosted at the Gaylord Texan by one spot! They later expressed how relieved they were to have made it to finals and to place 3rd at State. Placing 3rd affirmed them as being worthy of being on stage with the other top schools in Texas. By the way, the two teams that had beaten them ended up placing #1 and #3 at BPA Nationals!

Senior Year: Summer of 2018 the team met up and began talking about feature story topics and how to increase their productivity entering their Senior year in high school. They knew they were up against some challenges with busier schedules, leadership roles, college admissions, scholarship applications, internships, and work. They all held leadership positions this school year:

  • Saul is the Engineering SLT and SkillsUSA District 6 Representative. He also serves as the MC for multiple CTE events throughout this school year.
  • Susana is the BPA State Reporter which requires her to travel to industry events representing Texas BPA Association along with hosting Fall Leadership Conference and State Leadership Conference with her state officers.
  • Eugenia is a Media Pathway leader and SkillsUSA District 6 Reporter and has been instrumental in planning the Fall Leadership Conference and SkillsUSA District 6 Conference.
  • Cristal is the Miss 2018-2019 Teen Texas Latina. She has weekly speaking engagements and events as a pageant representative.

Taking A Risk 
The team knew they had to prioritize time to stay competitive and make this the best year ever! Anytime they had together at school was spent focused on perfecting their video and presentation. They took a strategic risk this year to not focus on a human interest story and decided to interview Martha Minjarez, a Telemundo 20-year veteran in the news industry. The reason why they chose the Evolution of Reporters as their feature story is because Cristal Franco wants to pursue a career as a TV reporter. This story had a purpose and meaning to them.

Lessons Learned
They attribute much of their success to perseverance and belief in one another. The life lesson learned is how vital everyone's roles and responsibilities are to make a well-balanced team. Saul's leadership and project management skills helped keep the group focused; Susan's graphics expertise created a professional aesthetic appeal to the video; Cristal's poise and camera presence along with her pageant connections enabled her to secure an interview with Ms. Martha Minjarez at Telemundo TV Station. And, Eugenia's expertise as the technical director and video editor pulled all the components together. 

Their journey does not end here...they are on their way to represent GPISD and Texas in Anaheim, CA at BPA National Leadership Conference in May!