Isabel Astacio

Isabel Astacio, a 2020 graduate of University High School in Orange City, has become the senior student team leader at Nova Southeastern University’s Fischler Academy Educational Skunk Works project. Astacio is coordinating a series of projects focused on developing innovative solutions to issues identified in the K-12 educational system.

Now in her junior year at NSU, Astacio was originally hired under the federal work-study program to help develop and implement Shark Speak, an English-language acquisition project for elementary school children in Broward County schools. Now, as the senior team leader, she is coordinating a team of education majors tackling problems such as applying fifth-grade math, a mentorship program for students in juvenile detention, and a presentation for high-school students, “I Wish I Had Known Before I Went to College.”

Astacio is a music and education major. According to the NSU website, this is a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree program designed for traditional first-time-in-college students who wish to become teacher leaders.

Hope House received an outdoor makeover courtesy of the women’s basketball team at Daytona State College. In addition to the landscaping, the team assembled bags of school supplies to be used for a future school-supply drive for underprivileged children in the community.

Hope House is an initiative of Food Brings Hope, with the objective of providing unaccompanied youth, enrolled in Volusia County schools, with a safe and stable living environment, ensuring their graduation from high school and success in their personal lives, and ultimately helping them become productive members of society.

Fourteen team members, along with head coach Tron Griffin and assistant coach Sherranda Reddick, cleaned up and enhanced the landscaping and backyard deck area of Hope House.

West Volusia high-school football

During the games on Oct. 8, the DeLand High School Bulldogs retained the trophy representing the winner, 29-15, of the DeLand/Deltona football game, while Pine Ridge of Deltona was topped by Bishop Moore, 47-12, and Deltona Trinity Christian was downed by Bishop Snyder, 30-6. The Orange City University/Flagler Palm Coast game and the Pierson Taylor/Interlachen game were postponed due to the huge downpour earlier that evening.

On Friday, Oct. 22, DeLand will host Flagler Palm Coast, at which game the High Schools of DeLand Sports Hall of Fame inductions will take place, and the Bulldog band will be honored.

Also on Oct. 22, Pine Ridge of Deltona will play host to Seabreeze, while Orange City University travels to Winter Springs, and Pierson Taylor goes to Keystone Heights. Deltona and Deltona Trinity Christian have open evenings. All games are at 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 29, marks the next-to-last week of regular-season football games. DeLand will travel to Sanford, while Deltona greets Bishop Moore. Pine Ridge of Deltona travels to Holy Trinity Episcopal, Orange City University plays host to Lake Howell, and Pierson Taylor travels to St. Joseph.

Volusia/Flagler Freshman/Sophomore Cross-Country Championships

Matanzas High School recently played host to the Volusia/Flagler Freshman/Sophomore Cross-Country Championships, with Matanzas winning the girls’ title and Flagler Palm Coast High School claiming the boys’ title.

The girls’ teams from West Volusia found Orange City University in fourth and DeLand in sixth place, while Deltona and Pine Ridge of Deltona didn’t have complete teams.

The boys from West Volusia had DeLand in fourth, Orange City University in sixth, and Deltona in eighth, while Pine Ridge of Deltona didn’t have a complete team.

The boy runners from West Volusia were led by sophomore Carlos Cerrud of Deltona in fourth place overall, with a time of 18:04.41. Orange City University’s Corey Johnson was eighth, with a clocking of 18:33.47, and DeLand’s Diego De La Vega was 10th, with a time of 18:35.93. Pine Ridge’s top runner was Rolan Yagual in 26th place at 19:43.07.


Morgan Harvill of Orange City University was the top runner from West Volusia, with a fourth-place finish at 20:34.12, while DeLand’s Kylie Neira was 13th at 22:26.31. Deltona’s top runner was Emma Noel in 38th, with a 25:06.50 time, while Pine Ridge’s Zora Brazao was 63rd at 28:09.87.


Teacher of the Year nominees

Several of the schools in West Volusia have announced their nominees for Teacher of the Year. These include Christina Goodin of Pine Ridge High School in Deltona, Holly Glaspie of Heritage Middle School in Deltona, Megan Foster of Orange City Elementary School, and Rosita Cosio of Pierson Elementary School.

Volusia County Middle-School Cross-Country Series

In the fourth race of the Volusia County Middle-School Cross-Country Series, both the boys and girls of Ivy Hawn Charter School in Lake Helen won their competition. The girls’ division found DeLand in second, Orange City’s River Springs in sixth, Deltona’s Galaxy in eighth, Deltona’s Heritage in ninth, and DeLand’s Southwestern in 10th. Deltona competed but didn’t have a full team.

The boys’ race found River Springs in third, Galaxy in fifth, Southwestern in sixth, DeLand in ninth, and Heritage in 12th.

Desianna Lemay

Desianna Lemay of Ivy Hawn won the 3K race, with a time of 12:54.55, while DeLand’s Emma Quick was fourth at 13:31.03. She was followed by Galaxy’s Memphis Derby in sixth at 13:43.23, Lilah Fusco of Heritage in eighth at 13:54.05, Hyla Daughenbaugh of River Springs in 14th at 14:28.48, and Southwestern’s Alexis Martinez in 24th at 15:07.01.

Connor York of Ivy Hawn won the boys’ race with a 10:59.95 clocking, while Galaxy’s Lowell Cummings was fourth at 11:18.73. They were followed by John Luebbert of River Springs in 11th at 11:41.34, DeLand’s Erick Mosqueda at 12:21.59 in 22nd, Caleb Garrett of Southwestern in 23rd at 12:26.25, and Heritage’s Nehemiah Peraza in 36th at 13:20.43.

Starke Elementary School

Recently Starke Elementary School in DeLand observed Hispanic Heritage Night with many activities, including a parade, food sampling, displays, salsa dancing, sugar-skull coloring, face painting, soccer and reading in Spanish.


Countries and territories represented in displays included Paraguay, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Argentina, Spain, Peru, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Cuba, Colombia and Costa Rica, while there were foods from Mexico, Peru, Guatemala and Puerto Rico for tasting. Students and parents had an enjoyable evening, while the DeLand High School Leadership Committee assisted.

DeLand High School

The Volusia Manufacturers Association hosted its annual “Robot Brawl,” with eight schools participating at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach.

DeLand High had six robot entries. Merrick B. won first place in the 3-pound weight class, winning $1,000 in prize money, while Chris M. and Donald M. took second in the same division, claiming $500 in prize money.

Michael D. took third in the 15-pound division, earning $250 in prize money.

DeLand High School athletics

The DeLand High School Bulldogs swim team took first place in the Five Star Conference Swimming Championships, while the Lady Bulldogs swam to second place. Earlier in the week, the boys downed Spruce Creek, 102-68, to go undefeated in dual competition, while the girls were victorious over Creek, 97-73.

The bowling squads of DeLand High split during the week, defeating University, 5-2, for both genders, while losing to Atlantic, 5-2. Mial Baldwin rolled a 255 game, while Aaliyah Alexander had a 195.

The girls’ golf team at DeLand High was defeated by Seabreeze, 186-194, with Sydney Fosnow carding a 47. The team then topped University, 185-215, with Sydney Knight having a 44, while McKenzie Coody of University had a 40.

The DHS boys’ golf team has been battling the injury bug lately, losing its top three golfers. The team lost to University, 188-194; defeated Deltona in a rain-shortened round by 13 strokes; beat Deltona Trinity Christian and Crooms, 191-228-240; lost to Lyman, 187-197; lost to University a second time, 185-198; and took fourth in the Greater Halifax Invitational Tournament with a score of 412 for an 18-hole tournament score.

Both the boys’ and girls’ cross-country team placed second at the Coach Joe McKinney Classic sponsored by New Smyrna Beach High School. James Gannon was sixth for the Bulldogs with a 18:04.30 timing. Sydney Neira was third overall for the girls, while Magdalena Schricker was fourth, with times of 20:24.5 and 21:05.9, respectively.

The Bulldog athletic calendar begins to thin out, with many fall sports winding down to their district competition. On Saturday, Oct. 23, the Bulldog cross-country teams play host to the Five Star Conference Championship at Sperling Sports Complex at 8 a.m.

On Monday, Oct. 25, the Lady Bulldog golfers and the Bulldog golfers compete in their district tournaments.

On Friday, Oct. 29, the Bulldog cross-country teams will play host to the District Tournament at Sperling Sports Complex at 7:30 a.m., while the swimmers will be at their district meet at Lake Brantley High School.

Deltona High School

The Deltona High School Wolves competed in the NSB cross-country meet, with sophomore Carlos Cerrud taking fourth place overall with a 17:57.9 time, while Diana Pineda led the Deltona girls in 29th at 25:52.6.

Stetson University

Dr. Mercedes Tichenor has been named Stetson University’s Faculty Adviser of the Year for 2020-21.

Stetson University College of Law received the 2021 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

The full schedule for the Virtual Homecoming, Nov. 1-7, has been released. It can be found at Stetson’s Homecoming website.

Stetson University Athletics

The Stetson University Hatter men’s soccer team stopped Jacksonville, 1-0, with Lewis Scattergood getting the lone goal.

The Lady Hatter volleyball team topped Jacksonville, 3-0, with game scores of 25-20, 25-15 and 25-20.

The Marist football team defeated the Hatters, 34-3, while the Hats go to Drake in Iowa on Oct. 23, and to Presbyterian in South Carolina on Oct. 30. The team returns home Saturday, Nov. 6, to face Dayton for Homecoming. All three games are at 1 p.m.

At Homecoming, the Stetson Hall of Fame players will be announced for the 2021 class.

The Hatter athletic calendar has the men’s soccer team greeting Bellarmine at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23. On Friday, Oct. 29, the volleyball team faces Jacksonville at 6 p.m., while on Saturday, Oct. 30, the team plays host to North Florida at 6 p.m.

— Send school news to Tony Tussing via email: at


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