KID MAYOR — St. Barnabas Episcopal School student Damian Roberts got to serve as DeLand’s Mayor for a Day June 5. Roberts deliberates with Mayor Chris Cloudman ahead of the City Commission meeting that evening. Roberts sat right next to Cloudman during the City Commission meeting that night and helped by calling speakers up during the public comment period. Roberts didn’t stay for the entire meeting, though, which ran until 11:30 p.m., well after the young mayor’s bedtime.


St. Barnabas Episcopal School is grateful to DeLand Mayor Chris Cloudman, DeLand city commissioners and the City of DeLand for allowing fourth-grade student Damian Roberts to be “Mayor for a Day.” It may have been just one day, but the memory will last for a lifetime.

“Mayor Roberts” was given a tour of City Hall by Mayor Cloudman, met city officials and learned about their roles. He then was able to participate in the behind-the-scenes planning of the City Commission meeting. The pinnacle of the day for “Mayor Roberts” was presiding over the City Commission meeting and being presented with a DeLand crest pin, the very same one that Mayor Cloudman wears.

Mayor Cloudman is committed to youth. On his website, he outlines, “One section of our population I will focus on first is our youth, because they are the future of our city.” Mayor Cloudman is clearly making an investment in our young people. This is one beautiful example of this. An experience like this can change the trajectory path of a young person.

We are grateful “Mayor Roberts,” one of our St. Barnabas Crusaders, had this memorable opportunity. Thank you, Mayor Cloudman, city commissioners and the wonderful City of DeLand. This is what makes the city of DeLand one we are proud to live in.

— McAskill is director of marketing and development at St. Barnabas Episcopal School in DeLand.

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Raised in Miami Beach, Margie moved to DeLand after graduating from Florida State University. She has a master's degree in community mental-health counseling, and retired after 12 years in substance-abuse treatment. Having worked at the DeLand Sun News during the 1980s, Margie came to The Beacon in 2002 in search of a second career. She helps the reporters; compiles obituaries, the calendar of events and religion news; and deals with a mountain of emails each day. Margie is the proud Nana to two grandchildren, Sophia and Alex.


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