LOTS OF SHOES — Third-graders at St. Peter Catholic School in DeLand participated in the school’s annual shoe drive, collecting 515 pairs of shoes. The shoes will be donated to Save the Earth Projects or STEP, founded by University of Central Florida junior Olivia Russo-Hood. The students had an original goal of 400 pairs of shoes. They were able to use what they learned in their math, religion and geography classes for this project. In the photo on the lefthand side are Ben Hogan, Ryan Carrasquillo, Michala Noe, Maddox Michaud and Bryce Martin. On the righthand side are Eleanor Rice, Anamaria McCorkle, Alex Guzman, Conor Almonte and Abby Staggs. In the front row are Xavier Rodriguez, Tenley Munson and Riley Carrasquillo, and at the top of the photo is Russo-Hood. PHOTO COURTESY ST. PETER CATHOLIC SCHOOL

On Friday, Jan. 20, one of five finalists will be named Volusia County’s Teacher of the Year. The five finalists are Valerie Marcus, a fifth-grade teacher at DeBary Elementary School; Dodi Gaines of Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, who is a Cambridge AICE facilitator; Tamika Harvard, a math coach at Westside Elementary in Daytona Beach; Vonda Morris, a probability and statistics/AP statistics teacher at Spruce Creek High in Port Orange; and Cassandra Stewart, media specialist at R.J. Longstreet Elementary in Daytona Beach.

West Volusia elementary-school teachers who were nominated for Teacher of the Year were Cecelia Helton, Blue Lake Elementary in DeLand; Wendy Lynn Fontaine, Citrus Grove Elementary in DeLand; Valerie Marcus, DeBary Elementary; Heather Mooney, Deltona Lakes Elementary; Dominique Clark, Discovery Elementary in Deltona; Natalie Maynard, Enterprise Elementary; Erica Jeria, Forest Lake Elementary in Deltona; Angie Vogelzang, Freedom Elementary in DeLand; Robin Shank, Friendship Elementary in Deltona; Margaret Tambini, George Marks Elementary in DeLand; Holly McPherson, Manatee Cove Elementary in Orange City; Emily Naghdi, McInnis Elementary in DeLeon Springs; Cheryl Turner, Orange City Elementary; Jaime Potts, Osteen Elementary; Evelyn Irizarry, Pride Elementary in Deltona; Ashley McCormick, Spirit Elementary in Deltona; Christa Bryant, Starke Elementary in DeLand; Judy Picone, Sunrise Elementary in Deltona; Brad Culpepper, Timbercrest Elementary in Deltona; Jennifer Algard, Volusia Online; Shandris Hinson, Volusia Pines Elementary in Lake Helen; and Samantha MacHardy, Woodward Avenue Elementary in DeLand.

West Volusia secondary-school teachers who were nominated for Teacher of the Year were Michele Bishop, DeLand High; Heather Robinson, DeLand Middle; Kristy Garthwaite, Deltona High; Cecilia C.M. Lott, Deltona Middle; Jacqueline Drescher, Galaxy Middle in Deltona; Joshua Jordan, Heritage Middle in Deltona; Holly Taylor, Pine Ridge High in Deltona; Luz Maiella Sullivan, River Springs Middle in Orange City; Victoria Langston, Southwestern Middle in DeLand; Jamie Davis, Taylor Middle-High in Pierson; and Linda Berner, University High in Orange City.

Because of hurricanes Ian and Nicole, there will be no early-release Wednesdays, Jan. 18 and 25.

The next holiday for students and teachers will be Monday, Jan. 16, for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, followed by Monday, Feb. 20, so all can observe Presidents Day.

SPELLING BEE CHAMP — George W. Marks Elementary School in DeLand recently had its annual spelling bee. The students worked their way through the Scripps National Spelling Bee words to crown fifth-grader Owen Badeau the winner. With 22 students participating, the winning word was “ceiling.” Fellow fifth-grader Elijez Williamson was runner-up. In the photo are Assistant Principal Joselyn Baker, spelling-bee winner Owen Badeau, runner-up Elijez Williamson and Principal Shannon Young.
PHOTO COURTESY ERICA CARTER

Orange City Elementary School

The Student Government Association at Orange City Elementary School will meet 2:35-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17.

Spirit Elementary School

From 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, Spirit Elementary School in Deltona will have a Chick-fil-A Spirit Night at the Chick-fil-A in Orange City.

DeLand Middle School

The School Advisory Council at DeLand Middle School will meet 5:15-6:15 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23.

Deltona Middle School

Deltona Middle School has developed a new route for student drop-off and pickup. If your child attends Deltona Middle, please make yourself familiar with the new routing.

Southwestern Middle School

Yearbooks at Southwestern Middle School in DeLand have been on sale since the start of the school year. If you are a parent of an eighth-grader and wish to recognize your student with an ad in the yearbook, the ad must be submitted by Tuesday, Feb. 14. Check with the school on format and what is needed.

DeLand High School

DeLand High School will have its annual BulldogPalooza 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23. This is for incoming eighth-grade students and parents to make them aware of what the school has to offer in IB, AP, Career Academies, Career and Technical Education, JROTC, extracurricular activities, and fine and performing arts.

Deltona High School

Deltona High School will have its Ninth-Grade Showcase 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17. This event is for incoming eighth-grade students and parents to make them aware of what the school has to offer.

Blake Hinson, a Deltona High grad who plays basketball for the University of Pittsburgh, has been named the ACC Co-Player of the Week. He had a double-double in Pitt’s win over Syracuse, with 25 points and 13 rebounds.

Pine Ridge High School

Pine Ridge High School in Deltona will have a Future Panther Night 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, for incoming eighth-graders and parents.

University High School

Sneak Peek at University High School in Orange City will be 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, and is similar to Future Panther Night and BulldogPalooza.

DeLand High School Athletics

During Winter Holiday, the DeLand High School Bulldog boys’ basketball team hosted its annual Gus Gibbs Memorial Holiday Basketball Tournament, with American High School of Hialeah, Orlando University High, Leesburg, Orange City University, Orange Park Oakleaf, McKeel Academy of Lakeland, and Bridge to Independence in Orlando participating.

In the first day of three, the scores were American over Orange City University, 68-60; Leesburg over Orlando University, 56-40; Oakleaf over McKeel, 64-26; and DeLand topping Bridge to Independence, 50-46.

The second day saw Orlando University defeating Orange City University, 62-50; McKeel over Bridge to Independence, 81-27; American over Leesburg, 53-47; and Oakleaf over DeLand, 66-27.

The final day of the tourney found Orange City University earning seventh place by topping Bridge to Independence, 85-57; Orlando University claiming sixth place with a 58-36 win over McKeel; Leesburg earning third place by downing DeLand, 53-37; and Oakleaf claiming the championship by outrunning American, 62-36, to move to 11-1 on the season.

The DeLand squad, which has six freshmen, five sophomores, one junior and one senior on their varsity team, found sophomore Nathan Ricko as the top scorer for the Bulldogs in their first game, with 14 points, while freshman Beegie Gordon and sophomore Jack Costa each had 13 points.

In the Bulldogs’ second game, Ricko was the leading scorer with 7 points, while in the final appearance of DeLand in the tournament, Gordon led with 9 points, and Ricko added 8.

Nigle Cook, who was one of DeLand’s top players last year as a junior, is playing for DME Academy in Daytona Beach this year. In one game, he scored 18 points for the academy.

Brodgie Gordon, a DeLand graduate, a senior who plays collegiate basketball for Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio, is currently averaging 16.5 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game, while collecting 65 assists, 18 steals and two blocked shots so far this season. Hiram is 8-4 on the season and plays in the North Coast Athletic Conference in Division III competition.

The University of Maryland will have Avantae Williams, a DeLand High grad, playing football for the Terrapins in 2023. He played two seasons at the University of Miami, before entering the transfer portal. At Miami, he recorded 27 tackles and one fumble recovery.

The athletic calendar for the Bulldogs has the wrestling team at the Space Coast Tournament Friday and Saturday, Jan. 13 and 14.

The boys’ basketball team faces Dunnellon at Spruce Creek in the Martin Luther King Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 14, and Calvary on Monday, Jan. 16.

Also, on the 16th, the boys’ junior-varsity soccer team will be at New Smyrna Beach at 5 p.m.

On Tuesday, Jan. 17, the boys’ soccer team is slated to play at Jacksonville Mandarin at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., while the girls’ soccer team plays host to Winter Springs at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, the boys’ basketball team will greet Seminole at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; the girls’ soccer team plays at FBC Academy at 6 p.m. for junior-varsity play only; the wrestlers are at home for the Chuck In-School match at noon Jan. 18.

The boys’ soccer team will host Crescent City at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, and the girls’ soccer team will compete at Taylor at 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. that same day.

Stetson University Athletics

The Stetson University Hatter men’s basketball team opened ASUN Conference play with an overtime win over Lipscomb, 86-80. At the end of regulation, the score was knotted at 69. The Hats scored 17 points in overtime for the win.

Stephan Swenson led the way by scoring 22 points while making six assists. Jalen Blackmon added 21 points, Josh Smith scored 15 points while grabbing 13 rebounds for the double-double, and Luke Brown scored 11 points.

On Saturday, Jan. 14, the Lady Hatter basketball team plays host to North Alabama at 1 p.m., and the men are at Eastern Kentucky at 3 p.m.

On Thursday, Jan. 19, the men’s basketball team plays host to Kennesaw State at 7 p.m., and the Lady Hatters play at Liberty at 7 p.m.

College honors

Concetta Johnson, of DeBary, has been named to the dean’s list for the fall 2022 semester at the Orlando branch of Columbia College.

— Send school news to Tony Tussing via email: at flacoach43@hotmail.com.

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