deland high cheer team
DELAND CHEER TEAM — These are the members of the DeLand High School Competitive Cheer Team directed by Elizabeth Morgan. The team placed eighth nationally at the UCA High School Nationals and fourth at the FHSAA State Championships. Starting from left, bottom to top, are Hailey Monohan, Payton Hart, Alexis Feher, Adalyn Foster, Annie Davidson, Niobe Adobe-Ortiz, Kacey Keeling, Starling Bryant, Morgan Schoolcraft, Ava D’Aquino, Elyse Wilgers, Kylie Taylor, Camryn Daley, Kaylee Kennedy, Allison Tran, Geneva Medford, Christian Lott, James Arnaiz, Conner Hernandez, Anthony Mederios, Sabastian Coley, Carsyn D’Aquino and Ryan Keeling. PHOTO COURTESY ELIZABETH MORGAN

The Volusia County School Counselor Association has honored selected school counselors as School Counselors of the Year on the elementary-, middle-, high-school and alternative-education levels, while also including three school-counselor advocates.

Those selected as Counselors of the Year are Lisa Carter, DeLand High School; Beverly Gadson, Holly Hill School; Rachel Jefferis, Cypress Creek Elementary School in Port Orange; and Rosalind Little, Alternate Education.

The three school-counselor advocates honored are Dr. Scott Fitz, superintendent of Volusia County Schools; Dr. Eidie Velez, principal of Friendship Elementary School in Deltona; and Jessica Cacoilo, Extended Day Enrichment Program site facilitator at Cypress Creek Elementary.

On March 1, early registration for the Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) program opened. Parents can register their children between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

The following elementary-school sites may be selected during registration: George Marks Elementary, DeLand; Spirit Elementary, Deltona; Westside Elementary, Daytona Beach; and Read-Pattillo Elementary, New Smyrna Beach.

VPK will operate 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, from June 12 through Aug. 4. Although breakfast and lunch are served free to all children, transportation is not provided.

To participate, a child must be 5 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2022; be a resident of Volusia County; and have a current valid Summer 2021 Certificate of Eligibility from the Early Learning Coalition of Flagler and Volusia ( or 386-736-5010).

For more information on VPK, call 386-734-7190, ext. 20505, or visit On the left under menu, choose Voluntary Prekindergarten Summer.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Athletics hosted Food Brings Hope Night Feb. 9. Food Brings Hope KidsZone, TeenZone and FBHonors students attended the women’s and men’s basketball games that day at Embry-Riddle.

ERAU athletes from the baseball, golf, rowing and volleyball teams greeted the students as they arrived and served them pizza, juice and dessert. More than 500 students, sponsors, administrators and chaperones attended the games.

This year marks the 12th year that the ERAU Athletic Department and Food Brings Hope have partnered in hosting children involved in the FBH after-school programs. Each student was thrilled to receive his or her very own basketball at the conclusion of the event. As he was leaving, Roberto Pacheco from Pierson’s KidZone program said, “Thank you! This is the first basketball I ever had of my own!”

All the high schools in the Volusia County public-school system have determined when their Senior Awards Night will take place. For those in West Volusia, these are the times and dates: DeLand High, 7 p.m. May 23; Deltona High, 6 p.m. May 17; Pine Ridge High in Deltona, 7 p.m. May 19; Taylor Middle-High in Pierson, 6:30 p.m. May 19; and University High in Orange City, 6 p.m. May 18.

The Volusia County school calendar for March has students not in school Friday, March 11, which is a Teacher Duty Day, a student holiday, and the end of the third grading period.

On Monday, March 14, Spring Holiday begins; students will return to class Monday, March 21.

Early-release days for March include March 9, March 23 and March 30.

Report cards will be distributed Monday, March 28, which is the same day grades will appear on the Parent Portal.

DeBary Elementary School

DeBary Elementary School has selected Jordan Shasteen as its First-Year Teacher of the Year.

Friendship Elementary School

Friendship Elementary School in Deltona will have its Friendship Lucky Charm Dance 6-8 p.m. Thursday, March 10. All students must be accompanied by an adult/guardian, with no more than two adults/guardians per student/family.

The students will pay $1, while parents may attend for free. Pizza and soda will be sold at the event for $1 each.

George Marks Elementary School

On March 1, the first-graders at George Marks Elementary School in DeLand celebrated 100 Days of School. They mastered numbers 1-120 by completing 120-day projects and presenting them in a parade.

From 5 to 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, George Marks Elementary will celebrate literacy at the DeLand Regional Library with activities that include a scavenger hunt and learning about library resources. Each student will also get his or her library card.

Orange City Elementary School

Orange City Elementary School will have its spring Title I parent information meeting 4:30-5 p.m. Thursday, March 10, in the media center.

Heritage Middle School

Heritage Middle School in Deltona will have Mad Science Shows and Hands-On Discovery Stations at Science Night, 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, in the school cafeteria.

The event is free to all Heritage Middle School students, their families and positive role models. An adult must accompany all students attending.

As required by Mad Science, a mask must be worn.

Students will be able to make their own alginate worms, cell models, trebuchets, lab explorations and magnificent magnets.

The Daytona Beach Museum of Arts & Sciences is bringing its 30-foot-by-30-foot portable planetarium.

DeLand High School

If you’re a DeLand High School student and need a place to study, need tutoring or need to bring your grades up, you are encouraged to come to the DHS media center, which is open 3:30-5 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays. Tutoring will be available there, on specific scheduled days and times, in English/language arts, biology, chemistry, earth space environment, Spanish, algebra I and II, geometry, math mixed levels, reading, SAT Camp and other areas.

For more information, visit

DHS seniors interested in taking the SAT on the In-School SAT Day, Wednesday, April 13, can register by going to and completing payment by April 1. The cost is $55, but, for those who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, the cost is $8.

The DeLand High School Academic Team gained three wins hosting the teams from Deltona High, Mainland, Atlantic, Pine Ridge, Spruce Creek, Seabreeze, New Smyrna Beach, Orange City University and Pierson Taylor. The DeLand team defeated Atlantic, 255-170; Mainland, 225-170; and University, 210-150.

Deltona was stopped by Spruce Creek, 230-225, and by Seabreeze, 295-185. University downed Atlantic, 175-150. Spruce Creek defeated University, 240-145.

Taylor outscored Mainland, 230-205, and Pine Ridge, 230-180. New Smyrna Beach defeated Taylor, 185-150; and Pine Ridge was topped by New Smyrna Beach, 305-120, and by Seabreeze, 240-175.

DeLand High School athletics

The DeLand High School competitive-cheer squad placed second in FHSAA regional competition, and finished fourth in the state competition in the medium coed division in Gainesville. This qualified them to go on to the Universal Cheer Association National at Walt Disney World.

The DeLand team competed against 43 teams from 32 states, and finished eighth overall. The squad also participated in Game Day competition, and finished ninth.

The squad is composed of Starling Bryant, Ava D’Aquino, Christian Lott, Alexis Feher, Morgan Schoolcraft, Adalyn Foster, Payton Hart, Allison Tran, Kacey Keeling, Annie Davidson, Camryn Daley, Kaylee Kennedy, Elyse Wilgers, James Arnaiz, Conner Hernandez, Anthony Medeiros, Sabastian Coley, Hailey Monahan, Annie Davidson, Niobe Adobe-Ortiz, Kylie Taylor, Geneva Medford, Ryan Keeling and Carsyn D’Aquino. The coach is Elizabeth Morgan.

The DeLand Bulldog boys’ weightlifting team recently played host to Atlantic, with the Bulldogs winning the match, 57-14. Those taking first place were Christian Moller, Clayton Juhl, Lane Wishart, Isaiah Steitz, Jayden Lewis, Jaycee Kane, Tripp Koshiol, Thomas Rogers, Austin McRunnels and Dyllon Kimsey. Those lifting to second-place honors were Rogers, Reed Wilgers, Sean Hulsman, Aidan Fedigan and Ahmad Knaio.

BULLDOG WRESTLING TEAM — The DeLand High School Bulldog wrestling team takes a break after placing third in the FHSAA District Tournament. Fourteen wrestlers competed, with 12 qualifying for regionals. Those in the first row are assistant coach Christian Lohsen, Gauge Hopton, Marco Selph, MJ Smokes, Grady Bryant and Lane Wishart. In the second row are statistician Roger Reid, junior-varsity coach Jacob Toledo, Kellen Chapman, Mathias Franz, Gavin Rodriguez-Cayro, Joshua Folsom, Zane Canada, Noah Falk, Phoenix Krauth, Andy Knowles, head coach Chris Folsom and assistant coach Ray Knowles. Not pictured is Paul Derosby.

The Bulldog wrestling team placed third in the district FHSAA match at Gainesville Buchholz High School, with 12 qualifying for the FHSAA regionals. MJ Smokes and Grady Bryant each won his weight division, while Mathias Franz took second. Those taking third were Gauge Hopton, Marco Selph, Lane Wishart, Kellen Chapman, Gavin Rodriguez-Cayro, Phoenix Krauth and Andy Knowles, while Joshua Folsom and Paul Derosby had fourth-place finishes. Zane Canada and Noah Falk competed but did not advance. The squad is coached by Chris Folsom, who is assisted by Christian Lohsen and Ray Knowles, with Roger Reid serving as statistician.

Mason Perkins took fifth at the junior-varsity high-school state wrestling tournament. He was the only DHS wrestler to get in the top 10 at this tournament.

The DeLand High girls’ tennis team opened the 2022 season with a 1-3 mark. They defeated Mainland, 7-0, but lost to New Smyrna Beach, 4-3, Flagler Palm Coast, 4-3, and Spruce Creek, 7-0. Those winning matches in the first four outings were Jazmin McShane, Clara Wait, Leah Jensen, Sabrina Headley and Persephone MacGinnis.

The Bulldog male tennis players opened with a 2-2 mark by downing Mainland, 7-0, and New Smyrna Beach, 6-1, but losing to Flagler Palm Coast and Spruce Creek, 7-0. Those players winning matches so far this season are Duane Headley, Corbin Brown, Joey Sauer, Alexzander Opreanu and Joshua Shea.

Two former Bulldog basketball players are experiencing success on the college level. Alize Munn is playing at Salem College in North Carolina, and in eight games is averaging 2.4 rebounds and 10.1 points per game, while shooting 52 percent from the floor.

Brodgie Gordon is at Hiram College in Ohio, where he is averaging 13.3 points per game, leading the team in scoring. He also has 73 rebounds and 70 assists, which also leads the team. Gordon graduated from DHS in 2018.

On Saturday, March 5, the Bulldog track team will be at home hosting the annual Big D Relays, which have been taking place since the 1960s. Field events begin at 9 a.m.

On Tuesday, March 8, the baseball team plays Horizon.

The DeLand freshman/sophomore track team will compete in the Volusia/Flagler Freshman/Sophomore Championships at Matanzas High School in Palm Coast at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 9.

On Thursday, March 10, the DeLand softball and baseball teams play at Deltona High at 4:30/6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.

FHSAA regional boys’ basketball

The DeLand High School Bulldogs faced Orlando Evans in the first round of FHSAA regional competition, and came up on the short end of the score, 63-47, to close out their season with a 21-7 mark.

The Pine Ridge Panthers faced Discovery and came out the winners, 77-74, to advance to play Lake Highland Prep the following week.

Taylor Middle-High School

Taylor Middle-High School in Pierson has a new volleyball coach, Kinsey Berger. She is a Taylor graduate, teaches sixth-grade science, and has been the assistant coach since 2017.

Berger was named to the All-Area First Team by The Daytona Beach News-Journal, and was honored with the Top in Kills award from Taylor.

Stetson University Athletics

Stetson University student-athlete Diogo Marques has been named the ASUN Conference Tennis Player of the Week for men’s tennis, and Nadejda Maslova has received the same honor for women’s tennis.

Alyssa Hargrove has been named the ASUN Freshman of the Week for women’s basketball.

Stetson men’s golfer Truman Keppy has been named the ASUN Golfer of the Week.

Stetson sophomore Gabby Padilla has been selected to attend the Puerto Rican women’s national soccer team training camp at Albergue Olimpico in Salinas, Puerto Rico.

The Stetson softball team stopped Maryland, 8-3, Georgia State, 7-6, and FIU, 4-0, but lost to UNC, 3-1, and Ohio State, 10-2. Juls Schumacher had a home run against Maryland and collected two RBIs against Georgia State, while Jordyn Stanfill homered against FIU.

The Stetson baseball team opened the season with a win over Delaware, 4-3, by scoring a run in the bottom of the ninth inning, but then lost to Notre Dame, 5-3.

The Lady Hatter basketball team defeated Jacksonville, 65-55, with Tatiana Streun scoring 14 points, Alyssa Hargrove adding 12 points, Jamiya Turner getting 11 points, and Kiya Turner and Yazz Wazeerud-Din each getting 10 points. The team had its eight-game winning streak stopped by Liberty, which is 24-2 on the season. The final score was 65-53, with Hargrove getting 18 points and K. Turner adding 10.

The Hatter men’s basketball players were stopped by Jacksonville, 67-45, with Chase Johnston scoring 12 points and Alex Crawford adding 11. The Hats then played Liberty close before losing, 88-82. In that game, Johnston had 38 points and seven rebounds, being the first Hatter in 26 years to go over the 35-point mark. Christiaan Jones scored 19 points with eight rebounds, while Stephan Swenson scored 10 points.

On Friday, March 4, the Hatter baseball team faces Sacred Heart at 6:30 p.m. on Melching Field. The Lady Hatter softball team meets USC Upstate at 3 p.m. and FIU at 5 p.m. that same day on the Stetson softball field.

On Saturday, March 5, the softball team faces FIU at 3 p.m. and USC Upstate at 5 p.m. The baseball team greets Bethune-Cookman at 6:30 p.m. that same day.

Also on March 5, the Lady Hatter tennis players face the College of Charleston at 10 a.m. at the Stetson campus tennis complex.

Sunday, March 6, has the softball team meeting Bethune-Cookman at noon and the baseball team facing Sacred Heart at 1 p.m.

On Monday, March 7, the lacrosse team hosts East Carolina at noon on campus.

On Tuesday, March 8, the baseball team again meets Sacred Heart at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 9, has the baseball team playing at USF at 3 p.m. That same day, the women’s tennis team faces UNC Greensboro at 10 a.m. and the men’s tennis team hosts Radford at 4 p.m.

College honors

Kyle Newark, of DeLand, graduated with a master’s degree in health administration from Ohio University’s College of Health Sciences and Professions in the fall of 2021.

Emily White, of DeLand, has been named to the dean’s list for fall 2021 at Ohio University’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Da’Jah Parker, of DeLand, has been named to the President’s List for fall 2021 at Tallahassee Community College.

Darius Palmer, of Deltona, and Cor’Deja Bryant, of Deltona, have been named to the dean’s list for fall 2021 at Tallahassee Community College.

— Send school news to Tony Tussing via email: at


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here