GENEROUS CONTRIBUTION — Food Brings Hope was the recent recipient of a generous contribution from 71MVP and Daniel Dye Racing. A check in the amount of $10,000 was presented to Food Brings Hope Vice Chair Nellie Hosseini Lupoli, left, by DeLandite Daniel Dye and Nikki Risley, treasurer of 71MVP. Dye, a senior at Father Lopez Catholic High School, who proudly holds the title as an ARCA and Super Late Model driver, is known as one of the youngest drivers in the ARCA series. He won the first ARCA Menards Series race at Berlin Raceway in July.

Volusia County Schools will not be holding classes Monday, Sept. 6, so that all can observe the Labor Day Holiday. All school offices will be closed as well. All students return to class Tuesday, Sept. 7.

The next day away from school for students will be Monday, Sept. 20. This is a professional development day for teachers and marks the midterm of the first quarter of the school year.

Volusia County Schools and FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools have announced the 2021 Principals of the Year. Selected as the Secondary School Principal of the Year is Thomas Vaughan of Heritage Middle School in Deltona, while the Elementary School Principal of the Year is Andrea Hall of Spruce Creek Elementary School in Port Orange.

SECONDARY PRINCIPAL OF THE YEAR — Volusia County Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Fritz, left, presents the Secondary Principal of the Year award to Thomas Vaughan, who was principal of Heritage Middle School in Deltona. Vaughan was selected for the award for his commitment to professional growth and authentic professional development for each teacher to improve instructional practices. He was recently promoted to student services director for the Volusia County School District.

Again, Volusia County Schools and FUTURES have also announced the 2021 Superintendent’s Outstanding Achievement Award (SOAA) recipients. The non-school-based SOAA winner is Dennis Pullen, mechanic helper at DeLand Student Transportation Services, while the school-based SOAA winner is Jill Rogers, activities director at Mainland High School in Daytona Beach.

The SOAA awards were initiated to honor staff members who have demonstrated outstanding commitment, teamwork, cooperation and innovation in their jobs.

There were 26 nominees for the SOAA this past year. Those from the West Volusia area were Dana Monteleone of Citrus Grove Elementary in DeLand, Cathy Von Talge of Manatee Cove Elementary in Orange City, Cassandra Dotson of Southwestern Middle in DeLand, Norma Ruiz-Moret of McInnis Elementary in DeLeon Springs, Krissy Catalano of Deltona High, Toni Slabodnik of Deltona Lakes Elementary, Teresa Tegge of Galaxy Middle in Deltona, Joanne Canicatti of Pride Elementary in Deltona, Emalix Infante of Sunrise Elementary in Deltona, Lisa Parker of Timbercrest Elementary in Deltona, Audrey Delio of Information Technology Services, and Charity Sauskojus of School Way Cafe.

Each of the winners of the four awards mentioned above received a plaque and a check for $250 from FUTURES, while each nominee received a $20 gift card, compliments of Burntwood Tavern, which recently opened in Ormond Beach.

Volusia County Schools has also recognized its Volusia County School Wellness Champions. The Wellness Champions are a key element of the VCS Vitality Wellness Program sponsored by Florida Health Care Plans.

Each school and VCS department is assigned a Wellness Champion, who serves as the voice of wellness at their site(s) for the employees. The program has named Gold, Silver and Bronze Champions, as well as those earning Honorable Mention.

The Gold Level Wellness Champions are Selina Jones of Edgewater Public School, Nicholas King of Southwestern Middle in DeLand, Kemisha Rainge of DeLand Middle, and Sarah Smith of Volusia Pines Elementary in Lake Helen.

There were two Silver Level Wellness Champions from West Volusia: Dixie Larsen of Osteen Elementary, and Paula Phelan of DeBary Elementary.

There were five Bronze Level Wellness Champions from West Volusia: Adriana Albano of Forest Lake Elementary in Deltona, Lawrence Beal of Teaching, Leading and Learning, Julia Carson of Deltona High, Diana Farrell of Pride Elementary in Deltona, and Joan Plavchan of Woodward Avenue Elementary in DeLand.

There were six individuals earning Honorable Mention Champion status from West Volusia: Karen Bishop of the Volusia County School Board, Melissa Curran of Taylor Middle-High in Pierson, Tehmina Flowers of Blue Lake Elementary in DeLand, Kathryn Marsh of George Marks Elementary in DeLand, Michael Nycz of Sunrise Elementary in Deltona, and Willie Williams of Starke Elementary in DeLand.

Burntwood Tavern in Ormond Beach donated 20 percent of all sales on Aug. 26 to FUTURES Foundation. It was the tavern’s grand opening.

West Volusia high-school football

On Friday, Sept. 3, West Volusia football teams are scheduled to play, with Pine Ridge of Deltona hosting Father Lopez, Pierson Taylor hosting Winter Park Trinity Prep, and Leesburg First Academy greeting Deltona Trinity Christian Academy, with all games at 7 p.m.

On Friday, Sept. 10, DeLand plays host to Clearwater Academy International, Deltona greets Matanzas, Pine Ridge of Deltona hosts Palm Beach Christian Prep, Orange City University goes to Seabreeze, and Deltona Trinity Christian Academy goes to Orlando Faith Christian, with all games at 7 p.m. On Thursday, Sept. 9, Pierson Taylor travels to Windermere Prep.

DeLand High School athletics

The DeLand High School Bulldogs boys’ golf team had its first match of the season and came away with a solid victory over Mainland, 189-251. Jackson Schrier, a Bulldog junior, was the medalist for the match with a nine-hole round of 39. The team is coached by Roger Bismore.

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

On Saturday, Sept. 4, the DeLand High cross-country teams play host to the DeLand Cross Country Invitational at the Sperling Sports Complex off Marsh Road in DeLand at 7:30 a.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 7, has the DeLand bowling team hosting Atlantic at 3:45 p.m., the DeLand boys’ golf team hosting Eustis at 4 p.m., and the DeLand volleyball team greeting Seabreeze at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 8, sends the Lady Bulldog girls’ golf team to Crane Lakes at 4 p.m., while the Bulldog boys golfers are at Atlantic at 4:30 p.m. The DeLand bowling squads host Seabreeze at 3:45 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 9, brings Lake Brantley to face the Lady Bulldog volleyball teams at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., with the DeLand High swimmers greeting Flagler Palm Coast at 4 p.m. in the YMCA pool.

On Friday and Saturday, Sept. 10 and 11, the DeLand junior-varsity volleyball team competes in the Lyman Junior-Varsity Tournament, with the times to be determined.

Saturday, Sept. 11, sends the DeLand cross-country teams to the Astronaut Invitational in Titusville at 7:20 a.m., while the DeLand swimmers go to the Port Orange Invitational at 7 a.m.

University High School

Jennifer Cherry, who teaches marine science and AP environmental science at University High School in Orange City, has been named the 2020 Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the National Marine Educators Association.

Cherry created and sponsored the Ecology Club, whose students participate in volunteer programs such as the Ocean Conservancy Coastal Cleanup Day. She also sponsors the University High Earth and Surf Club and the Envirothon Team.

Stetson University

Stetson University had its opening convocation virtually Aug. 18. The keynote speaker was Ashley Rutherford from Stetson’s Class of 2012. She is a captain in the U.S. Air Force and, in 2017, was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force Biomedical Sciences Corps.

At the convocation, Mercedes Tichenor, Ed.D., professor of education, was honored as Stetson’s 2020-21 Advisor of the Year.

Hala ElAarag, Ph.D., 2021 recipient of Stetson’s McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching, presented the convocation address to the university community.

Stetson University Athletics

Steve Trimper, Stetson University’s head baseball coach, filled out his staff for the 2021-22 season, with Shane Opitz as the volunteer assistant coach, Colt Chrestman as director of player personnel, and Nick Saven as director of operations.

Donald Payne, former Stetson Hatter football player who was a three-time All-American, has signed a free-agent contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

The Stetson Hatters football team plays host to Warner in Spec Martin Memorial Stadium at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4, followed with another home game Saturday, Sept. 11, against Ave Maria, also at 6 p.m.

Send school news to Tony Tussing via email: at


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