PHOTOS BY LIZBET VILLA PARADE OF COUNTRIES — Students at Starke Elementary School in DeLand continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Night with a Parade of Countries for their parents to enjoy. From left are Xitlaly Rodriguez, Stevie Mango, Joshua Ramirez, Joleyna Holland and Mark McMillan.

The current DeLand High School Bulldog baseball team will have an exhibition game with the Bulldog alumni on Saturday, Nov. 6, at noon on the DeLand High baseball field. This is a fundraiser for 2022 Bulldog baseball.

At this writing, it is believed that at least 20 DHS baseball alumni will participate in the game, with more to come.

The suggested cost of attending the game is a $5 donation. If you are an alumni baseball player wishing to play (which costs $30), email your information to

The easiest way to get to the DHS baseball field is to enter the parking lot off of East Plymouth Avenue.

Volusia County Schools has announced the nominees for 2023 Teacher of the Year. This event is sponsored by VCS, FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools and the Daytona Tortugas, and is presented by AdventHealth, the official health care champion of VCS.

Each Volusia County public school completes a formal process to select its Teacher of the Year. The Teacher of the Year will be announced Jan. 23, 2022; that person will then be nominated for state Teacher of the Year honors.

The elementary-school nominees who teach in West Volusia are as follows: Barbara Rankins Stevens, Blue Lake Elementary in DeLand; Ryan K. Spears, Citrus Grove in DeLand; Brittany LaCorte, DeBary; Wendy Warfield, Deltona Lakes; Amanda B. Griggs, Discovery in Deltona; Paige Shinsky, Enterprise; Kelly Boulware, Forest Lake in Deltona; Tracy Kruszeski, Freedom in DeLand; Dylan Campbell, Friendship in Deltona; Laura K. Hoard, George Marks in DeLand; Nicole Eck, Manatee Cove in Orange City; Wayne A. Smith, McInnis in DeLeon Springs; Megan Foster, Orange City; Heather B. Lefils, Osteen; Rosita Cosio, Pierson; Melanie Roberts, Pride in Deltona; Mikeeta Ephraim, Spirit in Deltona; Amy Cervantes, Starke in DeLand; June Black, Sunrise in Deltona; Deanna Deyne, Timbercrest in Deltona; Jaaqua R. Hunt, Volusia Pines in Lake Helen; and Abigail Fisher, Woodward Avenue in DeLand.

The secondary-school nominees who teach in West Volusia are as follows: Brittany Braly, DeLand High; Tammy Fletcher, DeLand Middle; Joseph Brennan, Deltona High; Hyacinth Forrest Ellison, Deltona Middle; Amanda Whited, Galaxy Middle in Deltona; Holly Glaspie, Heritage Middle in Deltona; Kim Brislenn, Hospital Homebound; Christina M. Goodin, Pine Ridge High in Deltona; Trae Weiss, River Springs Middle in Orange City; Jennifer Raynor, Southwestern Middle in DeLand; Kinsey J.H. Berger, Taylor Middle-High in Pierson; Brandon Haught, University High in Orange City; and Mariana Bianco, Volusia Online Learning.

Volusia County Schools will host two free School Choice Fairs to inform parents of their school-choice options. The School Choice Fairs will allow Volusia County parents to learn more about the quality programs offered at district elementary and middle schools, including the district’s online program.

The first of these free events is scheduled for 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, for families in East Volusia. The School Choice Fair for families in West Volusia will be 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30, at the Wayne G. Sanborn Activity Center, 815 S. Alabama Ave. in DeLand.

Principals, assistant principals and staff from participating schools, along with program specialists, will be at these fairs to answer any questions about school options for the upcoming school year. Families who attend a School Choice Fair will receive priority placement in their school choice for the 2022-23 school year.

Aside from being informative, the School Choice Fairs will be fun for families, with free entertainment, an art exhibit, door prizes and giveaways. Admission and parking are free at both events.

For questions or interviews, please contact Choice and Charter Specialist Sandra Tweedy, at 386-734-7190, ext. 20667, or email

The elementary schools participating in the westside School Choice Fair are Blue Lake, Citrus Grove, DeBary, Deltona Lakes, Discovery, Starke, Enterprise, Forest Lake, Freedom, Friendship, George Marks, Manatee Cove, Orange City, Osteen, Pierson, Pride, Spirit, Sunrise, Timbercrest, Volusia Pines and Woodward Avenue. The participating middle schools are DeLand, Deltona, Galaxy, Heritage, River Springs, Southwestern, Taylor and Volusia Online Learning.

There will be no school on Thursday, Nov. 11, so that all can observe Veterans Day. School will be held on Friday, Nov. 12.

Five-Star Conference Cross-Country Championships

For the first time in its existence, the Titan boys’ cross-country team of University High School in Orange City claimed first place in team honors for the Five-Star Conference Cross-Country Championships. The Titans took the title with a 3-point advantage over Flagler Palm Coast, while Seabreeze was another 5 points back.

University scored 63 points in the meet. DeLand was fourth, followed by New Smyrna Beach, Spruce Creek of Port Orange, Pine Ridge of Deltona, Atlantic of Port Orange, Deltona, Pierson Taylor and Mainland.

The top finisher in the boys’ race was Tyler Herndon of Seabreeze High, who covered the 5K course in 16:39.83. Royce Eggert of University finished second overall, with a clocking of 16:45.94.

The girls’ title was grabbed by the Spruce Creek Lady Hawks with 50 points, while Seabreeze was 6 behind them, and the Flagler Palm Coast girls were third with 59. DeLand finished fourth, followed by New Smyrna Beach, University, Taylor, Mainland and Pine Ridge, while Deltona did not have a complete team. The winning girl was Jada Williams of Flagler Palm Coast, who ran the 5K course in 19:18.50.

The top runner for each of the West Volusia girls’ teams is as follows: Magdalena Schricker of DeLand in seventh at 20:26.00; Morgan Harvill of University at 20:46.80; Linda Aviles of Taylor at 22:46.40; Naomi Tibbetts of Pine Ridge at 23:27.90; and Diana Pineda of Deltona at 23:58.50.

The top runner for each of the West Volusia boys’ teams is as follows: DeLand’s Ethan Myrick in third at 16:53.97, followed by Deltona’s Carlos Cerrud in sixth at 17:34.36; William Steinebach of Pine Ridge with a time of 17:58.73; and Taylor’s Arnulfo Cabrera Lopez running the course in 18:31.46.

District volleyball

Three West Volusia volleyball teams won their District FHSAA Tournament, earning them the right to advance toward the state tournament by participating in their individual regional tournaments. The district champions were DeLand High in the 7A-District 2 tournament, Pine Ridge of Deltona in the 5A-District 4 tournament, and Pierson Taylor in the 1A-District 8 tournament.

DeLand upset favored Lake Brantley, 3-1, in the championship game, while earlier defeating Lake Mary, 3-1, and Oviedo, 3-1. The match scores in the title game were 25-21, 25-17, 11-25 and 25-14.

Pine Ridge of Deltona defeated Mainland in a long battle for the championship, 3-2. Earlier in the tournament, they defeated Menendez, 3-1. Their match

scores in the championship game over Mainland were 25-22, 25-23, 20-25, 22-25 and 15-13.

Pierson Taylor first defeated Hawthorne in the semifinals, 3-0, then downed Williston, 3-0, while the match scores in the title game were 25-22, 25-13 and 25-14.

West Volusia high-school football

NEW MEMBERS OF HALL OF FAME — On Oct. 22, four new members of the High Schools of DeLand Sports Hall of Fame were inducted during the DeLand High/Flagler Palm Coast football game halftime. On the far left is DeLand Mayor Robert Apgar, and on the far right DHS Principal Dr. Melissa Carr. The inductees, from left, are Shellie Robinson, Class of 2011, and the current head softball coach at Stetson; Toussiant Roberson, Class of 1991; Walter Anderson, Class of 1967; and Rick Calkins, Class of 1971. The three men were football and track athletes at DeLand who also excelled on the college level. Robinson was a softball, volleyball and soccer athlete.

On Oct. 22, Deltona High had the night off, while the only West Volusia team to win was Orange City University, bouncing back from their lone defeat by shutting out Winter Springs, 47-0. Pine Ridge of Deltona lost to Seabreeze, 54-0, while Keystone Heights beat Pierson Taylor, 50-7, and the Bulldogs of Flagler Palm Coast topped the Bulldogs of DeLand, 35-0.

Friday, Nov. 5, marks the end of the regular season for all high-school teams in Florida. Those playing on will be those who made the district tournaments.

On the last night of the regular season, DeLand greets Pine Ridge for Homecoming, Deltona goes to Lake Mary, and Orange City University travels to Kissimmee Osceola, while Pierson Taylor travels to Jordan Christian Academy. All games begin at 7 p.m., except that Orange City University plays at 7:30 p.m.

Starke Elementary School

GUATEMALAN FLAG AND KITE — Damani Lacey, a third-grader from Dr. Zena Ramsey’s class at Starke Elementary, holds up the Guatemalan flag and a barrilete, which is a paper kite, during Hispanic Heritage Night.

Starke Elementary School in DeLand will be observing Veterans Day at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 12, with the DeLand High School band performing. Be sure to check in at the office if you are participating in this event.

ECUADOREAN FLAG — Bella Paulino and Ariana Partin hold up the flag of Ecuador during the Parade of Countries at Starke Elementary. The girls are second-grade students from Linda Huerta’s class.

DeLand High School athletics

On Friday, Nov. 5, those DeLand High School swimmers who made it out of district will be competing, and Saturday, Nov. 6, the cross-country runners compete in Gainesville to advance to the state meet.

Stetson University

There was a new John B. at the Stetson University football game Oct. 2. John B. is Stetson University’s mascot. His social media accounts will soon be revived so students can follow him and engage with him throughout the academic year.

The new John B. improvements include better foam construction, with a fan in the hat to cool the inside on hot Florida days.

Stetson University is putting together a time capsule, sponsored by history honor society Phi Alpha Theta, to be opened 50 years from 2022. The time capsule will be placed under the new construction of the Cici & Hyatt Brown Hall for Health and Innovation, whose construction will soon be completed.

This is an opportunity to literally cement a physical object and a personal message for historical preservation. Twenty lucky members of the Stetson community will be selected to contribute to the time capsule via a random drawing of tickets sold. Ticket sales began in October and continue through November. The random drawing will take place Friday, Jan. 14. The entire Stetson community is invited to participate.

There will be two different ticket colors, with the tickets of 10 students and 10 non-students being drawn.

For more information, go to

Stetson University Athletics

The Stetson University Lady Hatter soccer team defeated Jacksonville, 3-2, with Chloe Washington scoring twice and Evie Wysong getting the other goal.

The Stetson football team received a forfeit victory over Drake, 2-0, due to health problems at the Iowa school. The Hatters return to Spec Martin Memorial Stadium in DeLand to face Dayton for Homecoming at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6.

On Tuesday, Nov. 9, the Stetson men’s basketball team will play host to Florida Memorial University at 7:30 p.m. in the Edmunds Center. The Hats then take to the road to face Georgia Tech Nov. 12, with game time to be determined.

— Send school news to Tony Tussing via email: at



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