STORYBOOK PARADE — Grace Leonard, a student at Citrus Grove Elementary School in DeLand, takes part in the school’s Storybook Parade. Grace is dressed as Camilla Cream, the main character in the book "A Bad Case of Stripes," who loves lima beans but won’t eat them because of peer pressure. Read what happens to her as she deals with this dilemma. PHOTO COURTESY SHANELLE ANDERSON

The 56th annual Tomoka Regional Science and Engineering Fair took place under the direction of Secondary Science Curriculum Specialist Jeremy Blinn. Winners were announced at a special gathering after the fair ended.

This year was the start of a new competition for the Tomoka Cup, which is based on a point system of the students’ success at the regional fair. For the inaugural presentation, Spruce Creek High School and New Smyrna Beach Middle School were the recipients of the cup.

There were two first-place finishers this year from the west side of Volusia County, with both being selected to compete on the state level. These were Kaden Janania of River Springs Middle School in Orange City and Lilly Downs of Galaxy Middle School in Deltona.

Kaden’s project won in the Physics and Astronomy Division, while also winning the Manatee Festival Committee Award for taking first, the sixth-grade Rookie of the Year award, and the EEE Institute Award.

Lilly’s first place was in engineering, and she also won a Manatee Festival Committee Award for taking first, as well as the Lemelson Early Inventor Prize.

The title of Lilly’s project was “Optional Gear Ratio of a Gravity Battery,” while the title of Kaden’s project was “How Different Materials Affect Sound Absorption.”

Others from Galaxy Middle earning awards at the Tomoka Regional Fair were Jaybelis Velez with a third in chemistry and Matthew Hoang with a second in engineering. From River Springs Middle were Ella Watson with a third place in plant science and Jacob Scott with a second in plant science.

Gabriel Isaacson of DeLand High took second place in plant science.

The winners from Heritage Middle School in Deltona were Leah Castillo, with an honorable mention in behavior science and a first-place honor from the Heart of Volusia; Hazleigh Zillman, who gained a sixth-grade Rookie Award in physics and astronomy; and Sara Rapp, who earned the Young Bear Environmental Consulting Award in earth and environmental science.

Romila Brown of Southwestern Middle School in DeLand won an honorable mention in physics and astronomy.

The DeLand Parks and Recreation Department has several deadlines rushing up, including spring youth soccer and spring youth flag football. To register for either of these programs, visit the DeLand Parks and Recreation Office at Bill Dreggors Park, 230 N. Stone St. in DeLand. Registration hours are 8:45-11:45 a.m. and 1:30-4 p.m. Mondays-Fridays. Call 386-626-7280 for information.

The Youth Soccer League is for boys and girls ages 4-16, with players divided into age groups. The cost of the league is $60 per player, and registration closes Tuesday, March 7. Practices and games will be at the Sperling Sports Complex on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

The Youth Spring Flag Football League is for girls and boys ages 7-16, with a cost of $65 per player. The deadline for registration is Wednesday, March 8. There will be three age-group divisions, with practice and games played at the Sperling Sports Complex Monday and Wednesday nights.

On Monday, Feb. 20, there will be no school so that all can observe Presidents Day. Classes resume the next day.

The Florida Prepaid College Savings Plans are an affordable college-savings program for students of Florida. There are different plans.

To find out information and obtain an application form, go to or call 1-800-552-Grad (4723).

McInnis Elementary School

The PTA at McInnis Elementary School in DeLeon Springs needs more volunteers, and is offering an opportunity for volunteers to win prizes. Each time you volunteer with the McInnis PTA, you will earn a raffle ticket to win a gift basket full of gift cards and prizes sponsored by local businesses valued at more than $150. Go to to volunteer for upcoming events. The next event will be the Spring Dance on Friday, March 3.

Pride Elementary School

The School Advisory Council/PTA at Pride Elementary School in Deltona will have its next meeting at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, in the media center.

Spirit Elementary School

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

Volusia Pines Elementary School

The School Advisory Council/PTA at Volusia Pines Elementary School in Lake Helen will have its next meeting at 2:45 p.m. Thursday, March 9, in the media center.

DeLand Middle School

The School Advisory Council at DeLand Middle School will have its next meeting at 5:15 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, in the media center.

DeLand High School

HEADING TO BETHUNE-COOKMAN — DeLand High School football player Steven Mosley, seated, has signed to play college football at Bethune-Cookman University. He is pictured with family members, including, from left, Nita Harris, Caleb Carey, mom Veronica Bell, Jamey Bell and Marceles Carey.

DeLand High School graduating seniors need to stop by Student Services to verify the spelling of their name on their diploma. The deadline is Friday, Feb. 24.

DeLand High teachers offer a large amount of tutoring in most subjects offered at the school. If you need tutoring, check with your subject teachers or with the Guidance Office. The media center is open until 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and offers a quiet place to study.

The writing staff for The Growler, DeLand High’s monthly newspaper, includes Tyler Brozio, Logan Buscher, Vanessa Grant, Maggie Hurta, Aleesa Janey, Asher Johnson, Chris Jones, Karissa Kirkland, Sydney Knight, Aiden Leahy, Marina Meretz, Sydney Neira, Logan Pedersen, Nicolas Rios, Suzette Salas, Emma Vermillion and Nick Wolfson.

Deltona High School

The School Advisory Council at Deltona High School will have its next meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the Learning Commons.

Deltona High has highlighted some of its staff with monthly honors. This month, Nicholas Beecher was named the Teacher of the Month, Liza Ferrer has the Classroom of the Month, Sgt. Maj. Louis Brown and Lt. Col. Gregory Finn were honored for Spirit of the Month, Kaleb DuBose is Newcomer of the Month, and School Resource Deputy Jose Agosto is Staff Member of the Month.

Deltona High congratulates four athletes on being granted a scholarship to continue their education and activity in sports at the college level: Morgan Davis, who will attend Polk State College; Veronica Puckett, Jacksonville University; Carson Nichols, Morehead State University; and Isaiah Robinson, Wayne State College.

Pine Ridge High School

Pine Ridge High School in Deltona will have FSA Algebra 1 retakes testing Feb. 21-24.

University High School

From left are Samuel Gomez, Royce Eggert, Annalyn Duncan, Thomas Lobasso, Aidan McBride and Tyler Parent.

Six athletes at University High School in Orange City have received scholarships to continue their education and participate in college athletics: Annalyn Duncan, softball, Florida Gulf Coast University; Royce Eggert, track and cross-country, Valdosta State University; Samuel Gomez, soccer, Spartanburg Methodist College; Thomas Lobasso, soccer, University of West Florida; Aidan McBride, baseball, State College of Florida; and Tyler Parent, baseball, Bryant & Stratton College.

University High offers tutoring to students, with after-school sessions for students in all grades 3:45-4:45 p.m. Monday-Thursday in the media center. Credit retrieval is 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday in the media center, also for all grades.

ACT-NCR Bootcamp for select seniors is 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays in the media center.

DeLand High School Athletics

DeLand High School Lady Bulldog weightlifter Mia Rhodes automatically qualified to compete in the state meet by winning both the traditional- and Olympic-style lifting competition in the FHSAA regional meet at Oakleaf High School. She lifted a total of 410 pounds in traditional and 420 pounds in Olympic in the 154-pound division.

Teammate Addison Ruocco also was picked to go to state, taking fifth in the Olympic division with a total of 265 pounds.

Katyah Ross placed seventh in her division.

Two DeLand High football players recently signed scholarships to continue playing football and get a college education: Gabe Snyder and Steven Mosley. Snyder will play at Stetson University, and Mosley will play at Bethune-Cookman University.

The DeLand High Bulldogs basketball team topped Innovation Montessori, 72-15, with freshman Beegie Gordon scoring 10 points, and sophomore Jack Costa had five rebounds and three blocked shots. The entire team scored points in the game.

The Bulldogs were then stopped by Mainland, 56-25, with sophomore Nathan Ricko getting 9 points and six rebounds.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal has named DeLand High quarterback TJ Moore one of the top 10 players for the Volusia/Flagler/St. Johns area for next season.

The Bulldog boys’ soccer team lost in the semifinals of the FHSAA District Tournament to Lake Mary, 1-0, to close out their 2023 season with a 4-10-1 mark.

The Lady Bulldog basketball team lost to West Port in the district tournament, 44-18, to end their 2023 season with a 1-18 mark.

Amberleigh Sauer, a DeLand High grad who is on the track team at Embry-Riddle, won the weight-throw event at the Celebration Pointe Classic Indoor Track meet with a throw of 47 feet, 3 inches.

Spring sports are upon us, and the DeLand High Bulldog boys’ weightlifting team opened with two wins over New Smyrna Beach High School. The Bulldogs won the traditional division, 51-34, while claiming the win in the Olympic competition, 59-19. Those taking a first-place division win were Erick Gilbert, Johan Rodriguez, Noah Hatcher, Gabe Cyr, Jayden Lewis, Jaycee Kane and Vincent Chen. Picking up second place were Ayden Burns, Abdullah Knaio, Reed Wilgers, Dante Mascio, Jackson Oldham, Wyatt Dunne and Rasheed White, while Ryan Hurd and Sam Trivett earned thirds.

On Saturday, Feb. 18, the DeLand wrestlers will be competing in the district tournament, followed by the regionals Feb. 25 and 26, with the state tournament taking place at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee March 4 and 5.

Stetson University

Stetson University’s Master of Accountancy and Master of Business Administration programs have been ranked among the best in the country for 2023, according to U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report assessed online programs at more than 1,800 colleges and universities.

Stetson University Athletics

STETSON-BOUND — DeLand High School student Gabe Snyder sits in front of his parents as he signs to play football for Stetson University upon his graduation this spring. Snyder also plays basketball and throws the discus on the DHS track team. His parents are Daniel and Michelle Snyder.

The Stetson University Hatter football program has reported the hiring of Norman Joseph as the offensive coordinator. He has had numerous coaching positions, including working at Vanderbilt, Louisiana Tech, Northwestern State in Louisiana, and Mississippi College.

The Stetson men’s tennis team has won two matches, 7-0, over Charleston, and, 4-1, over The Citadel.

The Lady Hatter tennis team lost to Southern California, 4-0.

The Hatter men’s basketball team stopped North Alabama, 79-57, with Jalen Blackmon scoring 22 points, Wheza Panzo adding 19 points, with three blocks, and Mahamadou Diawara getting 10 rebounds.

The Hats followed this with a win over Central Arkansas, 99-80, with Blackmon getting 27 points, Josh Smith 16 points and 11 rebounds for the double-double. Stephan Swenson doubled with 15 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds, and Panzo got 11 points and eight rebounds.

The Lady Hatters basketball team picked up two wins over teams in Jacksonville. They topped North Florida, 65-51, with Jamiya Turner scoring 19 points with eight rebounds and two steals. Kiya Turner had 13 points with one blocked shot, and Jordan Peete dropped in 10 points.

They then defeated Jacksonville University, 57-48, with Jaelyn Talley scoring 18 points with six rebounds, J. Turner getting 13 points with two steals, and Khamya McNeal with 11 points and two assists.

On Saturday, Feb. 18, the women’s basketball team hosts Lipscomb at 1 p.m., and the men travel to Florida Gulf Coast to play at 7 p.m.

The men, on Wednesday, Feb. 22, welcome Austin Peay at 7 p.m., with the women traveling to Jacksonville State Thursday, Feb. 23, to play at 7 p.m.

Home events for other Stetson athletic teams have the softball team facing Mercer at 2 p.m. and Fairfield at 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17, with the baseball team greeting Manhattan at 6:30 p.m. that same day.

On Saturday, Feb. 18, the softball team plays Fairfield at 3 p.m. and Mercer at 5 p.m., and the baseball team again faces Manhattan at 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 19, places the lacrosse team hosting Canisius at noon, the softball team playing against Monmouth at 12:30 p.m., and the baseball team facing Manhattan at 1 p.m.

The UCF softball team comes to DeLand on Wednesday, Feb. 22, to face the Lady Hatters at 6 p.m.

On Thursday, Feb. 23, the women’s tennis team meets USF at 2 p.m.

On Friday, Feb. 24, the Stetson beach volleyball team meets Mercer at 10 a.m. and FAU at 2 p.m., the lacrosse team plays George Washington at 3 p.m., the softball team faces Cornell at 5:30 p.m., and the baseball team plays Delaware at 6:30 p.m.

College honors

Brooks Chandler, of DeLand, was named to the 2022 fall semester dean’s list for exemplary academic performance at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.

Abigail Crevoiserat and Paige Scuro, both of DeBary, were named to the 2022 fall semester dean’s list at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.

Skylar Peterson and Lauren Fantone, both of DeLand, were named to the 2022 fall semester dean’s list at The University of Tampa. Peterson is working on a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Fantone is working on a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.

Zachary Harris, of DeBary, and Mattie Watson, of DeLand, have been named to the 2022 fall semester dean’s list at Tallahassee Community College.

— Send school news to Tony Tussing via email: at


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