The West Volusia Historical Society has captured the essence of Edith I. Starke’s legacy and passion for leading students toward success, and a local elementary school bears her name.
On Aug. 21, at Bill Dreggors Park in DeLand, Delicia Bent, a student at Stetson University, graced the audience with her presence and talent by portraying Starke’s life in character. The event was sponsored by the Historical Society.
The sophomore and native of Cape Coral was unfamiliar with Starke’s life before casting, but became a fan after learning about the DeLand educator’s accomplishments and unwavering kind heart.
“I learned that she loved teaching, being around people and helping people learn. She was a true leader for many,” Bent said.
More than 40 years after her death, Edith Irene Starke remains a significant figure in our community. She was an outstanding educator and community advocate who truly left a mark in DeLand.
Starke was the first principal of what was called Parsons Street Elementary School, which was later renamed Edith I. Starke Elementary.
“I remember her walking the halls in our school and expecting our best,” said Linda Jackson, a local leader.
There is more to come, as shared by Deborah McShane, president of the West Volusia Historical Society. Ladies Taking Liberty, a play celebrating the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, will be performed Nov. 2 and 3 at the Athens Theatre in DeLand.
“Our current focus is on women in our community. Edith was the choice this summer to commemorate the 19th Amendment,” McShane said.
For more information, visit delandhouse.com.
— Cameron, a longtime educator, lives in Orange City. Email her at email@example.com