PHOTO COURTESY DELEON SPRINGS COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION INC. BACKPACKS FOR MCINNIS STUDENTS — Counselor Sara Montalvo and Principal Paul Struska of McInnis Elementary School in DeLeon Springs accept backpacks donated by the DeLeon Springs Community Association Inc. for students at the school. Ninety backpacks were donated through the efforts of DSCA Inc. and the help of Christian Church at DeLeon Springs and Family Health Source.

Volusia County Schools has announced that after surveying principals, VCS has made the decision to require that all adults, including employees, parents, volunteers and other visitors, wear a face covering (mask or shield) in VCS schools and facilities.

This will apply to adults who are indoors and where social distancing of 6 feet or more cannot be maintained. Appropriate accommodations will be made for medical purposes on an individual basis in accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The requirement began Aug. 12, and will be in effect for 30 calendar days (through Saturday, Sept. 11). This decision will be re-evaluated by Superintendent Dr. Scott Fritz as more information comes in, and VCS will relax the requirement as soon as it is practical.

Face coverings for students will remain optional. Dr. Fritz is strongly recommending that all students wear a mask or face shield when they are indoors and near other people at school.

Families have the right to choose the option of not wearing a face covering for their student(s), and no one should be harassed to do so, per the Florida Department of Education emergency rule.

To provide as much information as possible, VCS has created a COVID-19 information website to share information about health and safety protocols and to answer frequently asked questions.

The VCS website and social-media pages are a great source of information. The website is, while the social-media sites are as follows: Facebook:; Twitter: @volusiaschools; Instagram: @volusiaschools; and YouTube: Another source for information is the Parent Guide found at

Uniforms are no longer required in Volusia County public schools. The dress code requires proper dress for school, including shoes that are safe and appropriate.

Shorts, jumpers and skirts must be at least mid-thigh or below in length. Upper garments must be long enough to stay tucked in.

More information about the dress code is available online at

School Way Cafe will serve meals (breakfast and lunch) at no charge to all Volusia County Schools students attending in-person classes this school year.

Even so, parents are asked to complete the free/reduced-meals application to receive the letter of eligibility and to help VCS qualify for federal education funding. Apply at

INNES HONORED — Members of Landmark Lodge No. 383 F&AM in Deltona present Galaxy Middle School teacher Brian Innes a plaque in recognition of his decades of outstanding service as an educator. Innes, a teacher for 28 years, is one of the founding creators of the STEM program at Galaxy, as well as the Olympiad program. With Innes is the Lodge’s Worshipful Master Richard Dowling and Galaxy teacher April Krob.

DeLand Wrestling Club

The DeLand Wrestling Club begins its fall season for boys and girls in the fourth grade and up on Wednesday, Sept. 8. Team practice takes place 6-7:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays in the old gym at DeLand High School.

Registration costs $25, and athletes must be Amateur Athletic Union members. You can purchase membership for $14 at

The fall season will run through Oct. 27.

If you have questions, email coach Chris Folsom at

West Volusia high-school football

The football schedule for Friday, Aug. 27, has DeLand at Mainland, Deltona at Orange City University, Pine Ridge of Deltona at Flagler Palm Coast, and Pierson Taylor playing host to Halifax Academy. All these games are at 7 p.m. Deltona Trinity Christian will travel to Seven Rivers Christian for a 7:30 p.m. game.

On Thursday, Sept. 2, DeLand will play Orange City University, at 7:30 p.m. at Spec Martin Memorial Stadium.

On Friday, Sept. 3, Pine Ridge of Deltona greets Father Lopez, Pierson Taylor plays host to Winter Park Trinity Prep, and Deltona Trinity Christian goes to Leesburg First Academy. Those three games are at 7 p.m. Deltona High travels to Mount Dora for a game at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 2.

West Volusia junior-varsity football play has DeLand hosting Orange City University at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1, and Pine Ridge of Deltona greeting Spruce Creek at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 2. DeLand plays its home junior-varsity football games at the Sperling Sports Complex.

Southwestern Middle School

On the day that all teachers and staff returned to school at Southwestern Middle School in DeLand, they were greeted with a breakfast supplied by Holiday Inn Express & Suites DeLand.

DeLand High School

DeLand High School alum Heather Seidel has been nominated for an Emmy Award in the category “Outstanding Graphic Design and Art Direction in a Documentary.” Seidel is a motion graphics artist and art director for NBC News. She completed four years of video production while at DHS, and was a member of the Class of 2011.

DeLand High School athletics

In autumn, the DeLand High School Bulldogs have boys’ and girls’ golf, volleyball, boys’ and girls’ swimming, boys’ and girls’ bowling and cross-country.

On Saturday, Aug. 28, the cross-country team travels to the Spikes and Spurs Invitational (presented by Flagler Palm Coast High School in Bunnell) for a 7:40 a.m. start.

On Monday, Aug. 30, the bowling teams go to Flagler Palm Coast at 3:40 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 31, sends the volleyball team to Spruce Creek for games at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. (junior-varsity and varsity). The boys’ golf team goes to Eustis at 4 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 1, brings the DeLand bowlers home to Sunshine Lanes against University at 3:45 p.m., while the Bulldog boys’ golf team goes to Flagler Palm Coast at 4:30 p.m.

The DHS swim team, on Thursday, Sept. 2, goes to the Deltona Family YMCA pool to face University at 4 p.m., with the volleyball team playing at Sanford Seminole at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

On Friday and Saturday, Sept. 3 and 4, the volleyball team competes in the Nike Tournament of Champions.

On Saturday, Sept. 4, the DeLand cross-country team plays host to its own DeLand Invitational at 7:30 a.m. at the Sperling Sports Complex off of Marsh Road. This meet usually draws around 20 of the best Central Florida high-school teams.

Stetson University Athletics

Stetson University Athletics has reported that Mark Weaver has been added to the Athletics Communication staff as an athletics-communication assistant.

Weaver is a graduate of Susquehanna University, and he earned an MBA at the University of Lynchburg, where he served as the graduate assistant sports-information director. He also was a member of the baseball team and the track and field team at Susquehanna.

The Stetson University Hatters football team opens its 2021 season by playing host to Warner University in Spec Martin Memorial Stadium at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4.

College honors

SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT — Daytona State College student Ryanne Gouveia, a member of Phi Theta Kappa, has been named a 2021 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar. The scholarship program helps new Phi Theta Kappa members defray educational expenses while enrolled in associate degree programs. Scholars receive a $1,000 scholarship, and are encouraged to assume leadership roles by participating in society programs. Selections are based on scholastic achievement, community service and leadership potential. After obtaining her degree from Daytona State, Gouveia, who is a member of the Quanta-Honors College, is planning to attend Stetson University with a long-term goal of living in Japan as an English teacher.

Morgane Spears-Blackwelder, of DeLeon Springs, and Chasidy Ruth, of Seville, have been recognized for distinguished achievement in academics during the summer term at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia.

Nadine Khalaf, of DeBary, has been inducted into Phi Beta Kappa honor society at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Khalaf, who graduated in May 2021, earned a bachelor’s degree in political science.

— Send school news to Tony Tussing via email: at


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