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COOPER BROCK 1711 South Summerlin Avenue Orlando FL, 32806 ckw.brock@gmail.com (407) 284-9973 May 27, 2011 Renee Burke Hi-Lights Newspaper Advisor 2000 Mills Ave. Orlando FL, 32806 Dear Mrs. Burke: I understand that the Hi-Lights newspaper staff is losing a lot of experience heading into this coming year. I believe my two years of experience in journalism would be of value to you in this predicament, and I ask that you accept this resume for your consideration. As an experienced asset to my current high school paper, I effectively manage deadlines, have experience behind the camera, and experience behind the keyboard, designing pages. As a staffer, I have not specialized in a certain area of the publication, instead allowing myself to become well rounded in all fields of journalism. As such, I would be able to fill any position available, and perform any task required of me. Creativity is one of my strengths that I can apply directly to your publication. I enjoy the endless possibilities a good knowledge of adjectives provide, as shown in my FSPA All Florida award for newspaper reviews in 2011. I am very opinionated, which is reflected in my editorial pieces, printed in my high school paper. A position on your staff would give me a chance to gain experience working with others, and writing out of my comfort zone. Although this letter and included resume can give you a basic idea of what I can do for you, I’d like to elaborate in person. I feel a chance to speak with you in person would paint a better picture of my skills and how I can be an asset to you and your publications. Respectfully yours, Cooper Brock


COOPER BROCK 1711 South Summerlin Avenue Orlando FL, 32806 Ckw.brock@gmail.com 407-284-9973

OBJECTIVE To pursue creative interests in writing and design, produce an award winning publication, and promote the flow of information as a member of the 2012 Hi-Lights staff. EDUCATION Completed two years at William R. Boone High School Graduation date: May 2013 GPA: 3.0 EXPERIENCE Boone Hi-Lights Newspaper Staff • August 2009 – present. Wrote over 12 stories as a part of staff. Participated in rasing funds and taking photographs for the publication. Chic-fil-a • May 2011 – present. Served at front counter as a cashier, taking orders, providing food, and providing further assistance. Christie Distribution • February 2011 – April 2011. Unboxed, packaged and labeled fair trade products created in India and Indonesia to be shipped nation-wide. RELEVANT HIGH SCHOOL STUDIES Journalism II, Journalism III, Spanish I, Spanish II, Spanish III, English II Honors Gifted, and English I Honors Gifted. HONORS, AWARDS, AND MEMBERSHIPS • FSPA All Florida Award: Newspaper Reviews 2011 Award given in recognition of well written review. Highest FSPA honor in this category. • American Legion Award 2009 Award given to those who show qualities of leadership, academic excellence and good character. • Scholar Athlete Award Award presented to student athlete with highest highest GPA and involvement in athletic programs.


After finishing up my second year on staff, I have come to realize that journalism has become so much more

than a class, or a club to me. It has become my life. I have put more time and effort into the newspaper staff than I have into the rest of my classes combined, but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is, that I have thoroughly enjoyed every second of it.

I became interested in journalism at the end of 8th grade, when I was trying to figure out what I was going

to do for the next four years of my life. My sister suggested it, but I never gave it serious consideration until Madison Smith and Elizabeth Cartwright, the Editor in chiefs of staff at the time, came into my English classroom and enticed me with their stories of wacky misadventures on staff. I was immediately drawn in after talking at length with my sister about the benefits of staff. After applying, and getting accepted, the following year would be one of the toughest but most rewarding years of my life.

I skipped the pre-requisite Journalism I class, which meant I was to pick up the rules and protocol over the

course of the year. It was a disastrous year, filled with missed deadlines and truck loads of stress for those trying to help me. It was this past year that I began to achieve success, starting with making my first met deadline on a story that ended up winning an FSPA All Florida award. I found myself able to answer the numerous requests for help from the newly enlisted members of staff. Not to say that I wasn’t plagued with a bit of trouble this year, but I feel I have taken large steps to get where I am now.

Coming into this next, third year on staff, my feelings towards journalism have changed, and stayed the

same. I still harbor a love for journalism, just a different kind of love. In my freshman year, I was anxious to learn and become a part of the journalistic process¬, and after finishing up my second year, my passion has gained an understanding of what journalism really is. I look to next year impatiently, eager to share what I have learned with those taking their first steps into journalism.


This was the more productive year of my two as a member of staff. I learned a lot about making deadline,

organizing, and setting time aside for work.

During my second year, I made my first two deadlines, a feat I had not previously performed. A lot of the

reason I actually made deadline, was because I was proactive about getting the story done. I gathered the necessary information before peer edits, and I worked on the story at home between deadlines. I learned that being on staff is a full time job, and requires efforts to be made in and out of school.

Organization was another department I made strides in. Although the first few deadlines didn’t show it, by

the end of the year I felt I had finally figured out the system of writing and submitting stories. In my last two deadlines, my sports stories were well written (although very late) because I had gathered all the interviews and statistics I needed before the final deadline.

Mainly, I learned that everything starts with being proactive. If you can get your interviews done before peer

edits, do it. Having a head start will be immensely helpful if you fall behind later in the deadline. Writing your story while you have time, before it’s due, makes the rest of the deadlines less about writing, and more about tweaking.

Getting an early start can also help for ad sales, as I learned the hard way this year. I waited until August to

start selling ads, and by then, my street had virtually been bled dry of money. Beating the cross country team and yearbook is one of the best advantages you can give yourself, and not taking that advantage is being very unwise.

Overall, this year was less about learning new things, and more about tweaking what I already know. Hope-

fully, next year will be the year I can perform at maximum capacity, without missing deadline.


My restaurant review of Bananas was without a doubt my most significant piece of work this year. It was

well written, descriptive, and had a logical flow of ideas. It also received an FSPA All Florida award for Newspaper Reviews 2011.

My purpose for writing was to give a detailed and thorough opinion about Bananas. I think went above

and beyond in the descriptive sense. It was not as difficult as I anticipated, trying to piece together all my thoughts about Bananas, as I discovered a logical order to arrange them in. The hardest part was trying to find space in the story for all the banana puns I came up with. The title, “New restaurant gains appeal,” was the single greatest punheadline I have ever conceived. I was so proud of this story, and to give it such a great headline seemed only fitting. The story came a long way from the first draft. My first draft filled only one of the three columns provided, and didn’t give the reader any sort of idea about the restaurant. By the third deadline, I had more of an idea of how I was going to organize the piece. Metaphors and creative similes were scattered evenly throughout the review, I tried to describe each dish in as much detail, as creatively as possible, and I think I did a satisfactory job of helping the reader visualize the food. “This harmonious blend of savory eggs and fresh avocado creates a symphony of flavor and texture in one’s mouth.”

What I enjoyed most about writing this story was realizing after going to final that I hadn’t rated the res-

taurant. I took a copy of my review, read it over, and I couldn’t find any sort of negative comments about the restaurant. I was so happy to give the restaurant five stars, because they had really earned it, and it felt good to write such an appraising review.

Out of both my years on staff this has become my most significant piece, and the only piece to be recog-

nized by the FSPA in my name.


My sports feature on the boy’s and girl’s golf team was my least favorite story this year. I was not happy

with the final product, it was not factually sound, and it was choppy. I would make several adjustments to the story if given a chance to redo it.

I don’t enjoy reading the story, and I doubt anyone does. The quotes aren’t always relevant to the informa-

tion in the previous paragraph, all of the statistics are incorrect, and it doesn’t read smoothly. That being said, I learned a lot from writing this piece. I learned that you should always double, or even triple check your statistics online (if available), or with the coaches. I learned that you should only interview athletes relevant to the information presented in the story, not just because they’re good. Finally, I learned that if you don’t make the effort to go out to the actual game, match, etc, you’ll have a much tougher time writing about what happened, because you weren’t there.

This story went through a lot of design changes, so the first draft was a single column, facts-only descrip-

tion of the season. It eventually evolved into a three column, quote filled disaster. The players I interviewed weren’t very informed, so almost all of my statistics and dates were wrong. Looking back, I would have done this differently by reconfirming all dates and stats with the coach.

My main problem with this story is that it didn’t read well. It seemed to jump around from a date to a quote,

and then from a statistic to another quote without any sense of flow or logical order. If given the chance to change this, I would have added more information on the girl’s team, and would have tried to make a more graceful transition between the two teams.

I’m not very happy with how I did on the golf story. I (and others) found many errors plaguing the entire

piece, and it doesn’t sound like something I would write. I am grateful for the lessons it taught me though, because it helped me avoid these problems in the future.


I am very proud of this picture.

It was printed in the October issue in the sports section, for the golf story. It has a good center of visual interest, which is the golfer himself, and it has a good flow to it. By that I mean, the eyes follow the club to the flying chunks of grass, and end up at the ball. The photo is crystal clear, and has a nice background. It fills the frame completely, and I’m attracted to this shot because of the way it captures the golfer just after his drive.


As a member of the 2011 Hi-Lights staff, I have shown my commitment and dedication to the staff numer-

ous times and in numerous ways. I have represented the staff in club events, helped raise funds and was a productive writer.

Throughout the course of the year, I participated in several events under the flag of the 2011 Hi-Lights

staff. These include the Reservation Run, Green Up Boone, and Relay for Life. In each event, the time I spent and money I raised was recorded under the Hi-Lights staff, not only helping the event cause, but also showing that the Hi-Lights staff had a dedicated work force. I raised 20 dollars for the Reservation Run, raised 100 dollars for and spent 14 hours at the Relay for Life, and I worked for three hours at Green Up Boone. Time and time again, I made sure that the Hi-Lights staff was represented at multiple school functions.

I also took the time to help raise funds for staff throughout the year. In the summer before school, I took 4

hour shifts to panhandle outside of Publix to raise money for camp, although my fee had already been paid. When candy sales started, not only did I sell two boxes for staff, but I sold more 150 dollars worth of other staffers candy, totaling at over 200 dollars towards staff. During the rummage sale, I worked both shifts, even though only one was required. I stayed until the end of the day to clean up the leftovers as well. At the end of the year, I was 32 dollars over what was asked of me.

As a one year veteran on staff, I was an asset to the actual production of the paper in many ways. I provided

good stories, although not always on time, I was rarely marked off for content. Although my timing could have been improved, the pieces I contributed were well written, and had a logical flow of ideas. I was also a helping hand when it came to newbies in distress. My experience on staff provided useful information and helped newbies learn to be self sufficient once I taught them a process.


I received a lot more than the recommended dose of hardships and problems this past year. Time and time

again I was plagued by procrastination, disorganization, and distractions.

Although winning the “Biggest Procrastinator” award at the Publications banquet should have sent a clear

message that I needed to set aside time for my work, I still had trouble making deadline. I made deadline only twice this past year, and I was aiming (realistically) for four. Peer edits via Google Docs, although intended to save paper and time, ended up giving me another excuse not to be on time. There was a much more dire sense of urgency when four hard copies of your peer edits had to be brought to class for every deadline. I have now learned that I will simply have to write the story before it is due to be successful on staff.

I was also very disorganized this year, another problem I had hoped to have solved by now. My story-writing

process was not as efficient as I would have liked to have it, with interviews still being done by the time the story was due to the Copy editor. Next year, I will attempt to do things in a much more logical order, and early if possible. My goal for next year is to final stories early so I can help our very young staff on it’s way to meeting deadline.

A familiar problem from last year gained a new face this year. I became easily distracted during workdays

when I was around my co-worker, peer, and best friend Thomas Egan. We both became aware of this dilemma early in the year, when everyone yelled at us about it. As much as I tried to remain focused on my work, we would always find a way to distract each other, and I’m not proud of that. Even when I made the extra effort to meet deadline in the may issue, and succeeded in my first story, I prevented the paper from going to press on time because of my second story. From another year of missing deadlines, I learned that headphones can be your best friend.

I have made progress, but I still didn’t perform as I wanted to this year, a mistake I don’t plan on making

a third time. As the staff loses it’s seasoned seniors, I understand that there is a void of leadership, and those able will have to step up to the challenge. With two years of experience under my belt, and multiple lessons learned, my response can be described by the phrase, “Challenge accepted.”


In the newspaper midterm, I was asked what my greatest weakness is, related to publications. I answered

“maintaining focus.� In the time since then, not only have my work habits improved, but I have stayed focused in class to greater extent than seen in the past.

During the workdays following the midterm, I spent the majority of my time staring a computer screen,

desperately trying to make deadline. I wasted as little time as I could, and after showing up and eating, I sat down, and did my work as best as I could. I am happy about cutting down time goofing around in class, but I wish I would have made more progress in meeting deadlines.

I only met one deadline after the midterm, but I feel like I put a much more focused effort into all my sto-

ries. The content was better, and the stories read well. When my stories were graded, they were mainly marked off for being late, not for being bad stories. I felt my voice as a writer really defined itself this year, and now my writing is recognizable as my work.

I am disappointed in the fact that only one deadline was made after the halfway mark. I feel I put a signifi-

cantly better effort into that portion of the year, but looking back, there was still room to go up. I understand that I wasn’t focused 100% of the time, but I still feel I put in a better effort than before, and sincerely feel I have improved since August.

I did not improve as much as I would have liked to, but improvements were made. The quality of work went

up, the effort put into the work went up, and the time spent goofing around went down. Looking to next year, I hope to keep working on this weakness until I can effectively be a leader on staff.


"The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together." - Obi-wan Kenobi


Finishing up my second year on staff, it is only now that I see how much I have grown. Looking back in my

previous portfolio, I see that I have made advances in my writing ability, design and overall quality of work.

Being a newbie on staff, I had not had the chance to fine tune my writing, so my stories and reflections

were sub-par at best. This year, my voice as a writer began to emerge, and I noticed I had developed a certain style of writing by the last issue. I had become comfortable enough with my writing ability to start attempting to include creativity throughout my stories. Puns and headlines quickly became my favorite aspect of writing, because I could draw attention to my story with a clever lead in. My restaurant review of Bananas quickly became my most accomplished work, as I turned it in on time, and it was actually a very good story.

My designing ability has also grown since last year, with a more sophisticated and modern portfolio design,

and two spreads exhibiting my growth. I was able to take a more active role in designing my pages during the year as well, as shown in both my golf and water polo feature. My track story had my most interesting secondary coverage, and I enjoyed the layout of the story, which allowed for a large dominant graphic.

As an overall staffer, I feel I made the most progress, jumping from no deadlines met, to two deadlines met.

Not very impressive, but the joy that came with meeting the first one, inspired me to continue to focus and work hard for the rest of the year. I am completely happy with the final version of all but one of my stories, and I feel like I covered the subjects thoroughly.

My portfolio design isn’t more complicated, but I think it has a better style and look to it. I am very happy

with how it turned out, and I look forward to exceeding it again next year.


Cooper Brock 2011 Portfolio  

Newspaper Portfolio

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