briana germes
HELPING AN ASPIRING TEACHER — Stephanie C. Parks, program coordinator of FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools, presents a certificate and check for $1,000 from FUTURES’ James T. “Tom” Russell Memorial Scholarship Fund to Briana Marie Germes, a student at University High School in Orange City. Russell, a former Volusia County Schools superintendent, was a passionate advocate for all students during his 28-year career. After his death in December 2020, FUTURES Foundation and generous donors created the James T. “Tom” Russell Memorial Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships to public-school seniors who want to become teachers. PHOTO COURTESY STEPHANIE PARKS

The Gannett Sports Awards were presented in the latter part of May. They were sponsored by The Daytona Beach News-Journal, which was assisted by Halifax Health and Amish Home Furnishings. The award area included Volusia, Flagler and St. Johns counties, along with separate awards for the greater Jacksonville area.

Those from the West Volusia area receiving awards were boys’ Basketball Player of the Year Elijah Zuniga of Pine Ridge High School in Deltona; Softball Player of the Year Aminah Vega of University High School in Orange City; and Dre Schulz of University High School, who was presented the Kayne Finley Courage Award.

Children in kindergarten through fifth grade can beat the summer brain drain by taking part in the Volusia County Public Library’s summer-reading programs. Registration for “Oceans of Possibilities” began May 30 at

Starting Monday, June 6, and going through Friday, Aug. 12, kids can track their summer reading online with the digital platform Beanstack. Those reading at least four days a week over the summer will earn prizes from the library and can record their reading for their local public-school goals.

READING CHALLENGE WINNER — The DeLeon Springs Community Association Inc.
was proud to present its ninth annual Ride Into Reading Third Grade Reading Challenge winners with new bicycles and helmets at McInnis Elementary School in DeLeon Springs. Third-grader RJ Lundy, with his obviously proud parents Liz and Ron, shows his certificate. RJ was the boys’ winner with an astounding 1,005 points through this reading-incentive

The Volusia County Public Library system will continue its popular “Lit Kits to Go!” and “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” services.

The library system will also offer a lineup of free programs, streaming resources and online databases this summer.

Select branches will offer free Summer BreakSpot meals for children age 18 and younger beginning Monday, June 13.

“Lit Kits to Go!” is an award-winning program designed for children from birth through fifth grade. After completing a questionnaire at their local library or on, parents can check out a weekly lit kit bag for each child. The bags include library books, crafts, reading suggestions and educational materials. Bags may also be requested without library books.

Children from birth through age 6 can take part in the “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program, which is designed to help build pre-reading skills necessary for kindergarten. Register at

Mancilla, a 2022 graduate of both T. DeWitt Taylor Middle-High School in Pierson and Daytona State College, holds her certificate that states she was awarded a $2,500 scholarship from Florida PEO Scholarship Chapter DT (DeLand) of PEO at the Taylor Senior Awards Ceremony.
Mancilla will be attending the University of Central Florida, majoring in business management. Over the past 28 years,
Florida PEO Scholarship has awarded more than $1.7 million to young women who attend a Florida university and
have met the requirements of scholarship, character and

Registration for the summer-reading challenge and details about the library’s summer offerings are available online at By going to the same online address, you can find the location and hours of the libraries in Volusia County. At the top of the banner, click on hours and locations to get the addresses of libraries in DeBary, DeLand, Deltona, Lake Helen, Orange City and Pierson.

This column has mentioned several children’s sports camps being offered by the City of DeBary Parks and Recreation Department. Disc Golf and Tennis Camps begin Monday, June 20, and Tumbling and Cheer Camps begin Monday, June 27. Call 386-601-0206 for additional information.

Now that the 2021-22 school year has been completed, parents soon will be wondering when school will begin for the 2022-23 school year. The tentative date is Monday, Aug. 15. The Volusia County School Board will be considering revisions to the calendar at its June 14 meeting.

DeLand High School

At this year’s DeLand High School senior awards event, the Jennifer White Service Scholarship presented by the Junior Service League of DeLand was given to Anna Beal and DeLaney Brosen.

The Eagles Soar School Scholarship was presented to Gage Sigman and Ryleigh Feliciano. This award is given by the PTA of Citrus Grove Elementary School in DeLand to students who attended Citrus Grove earlier in their school career.

Stetson University Athletics

Two members of the Stetson University Hatter baseball team were named to the ASUN All-Freshman Team: first baseman Jake Bullard, and pitcher Dominic Stagliano.

This year, the Stetson Lady Hatter tennis team gained the highest ranking ever. In the final Division 1 Women’s ITA Collegiate Tennis National Team Ranking, sponsored by Tennis-Point, Stetson was placed 60th. The team had a 20-3 record for the 2022 season.

Among other tennis teams, Texas was ranked No. 1, while the University of Florida was 16th, UCF was 21st, and FSU was 33rd. Stetson had the highest ranking for the ASUN Conference, with Florida Gulf Coast being ranked 71st.

College honors

Aidan Sharkey, of DeLand, has been named to the spring 2022 honor roll at McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas.

Evan Busby, of Deltona, has been named to the dean’s list for the spring 2022 semester at Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia.

Kylianne Philip, of DeLand, has been named to the President’s List for the spring 2022 semester at Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia.

Duncan DeMarsh, of DeLand, has graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from James Madison University. The school is in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

— Send school news to Tony Tussing via email: at


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