SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT — P.E.O. Chapter DT of DeLand presents outstanding graduating senior Magdalena “Maggie” Schricker with a scholarship at the DeLand High School awards ceremony May 30. Schricker received the $2,000 Betty Viar Memorial P.E.O. Scholarship, presented by members Dr. Judy Wall and Judy Ross. Schricker plans to attend the University of Florida in the fall, majoring in environmental engineering.

The Volusia County School District has developed the school calendar for 2023-24. Teachers will return to school Tuesday, Aug. 8, with students starting the 2023-24 school year Monday, Aug. 14. The last day of the upcoming school year will be May 31, 2024, for students, and June 4, 2024, for teachers.

Professional development or teacher duty days, on which teachers will be in school but students won’t be, are Sept. 22, 2023, Oct. 16, 2023, and Jan. 2, 2024, and March 22, 2024.

The DeLand Pop Warner Program is a youth football program that also includes cheerleading. For additional information, visit

Practice begins Tuesday, Aug. 1. Athletes must be registered to play; all required paperwork must be turned in by July 31.

Football practices are held at DeLand Middle School, cheer practices in the DeLand PAL gym. Practices are five days a week until Labor Day, when they change to three days a week. Home games are played Saturdays at the Sperling Sports Complex.

The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) has announced the 29th annual Florida Dairy Farmers Academic All-State Team, and there is an athlete from Volusia County on the list. That athlete is Ava Ramos, who graduated from Taylor Middle High in Pierson. She earned a 4.0 GPA and ranked third in her class at Taylor, and earned four varsity letters, in each of the following sports — cross-country, volleyball, basketball, weightlifting and softball — for a total of 20 varsity letters.

Ramos also was a member of the National Honor Society, the Beta Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

She is the daughter of Tony and Tanya Ramos, and will continue her education at St. Johns River State College, working on a degree in communication and broadcasting.

To be eligible for the Florida Dairy Farmers Academic All-State Team, a student must be a graduating senior with a minimum 3.5 unweighted GPA and have earned a minimum of two varsity letters in at least two different sports during their junior and senior years. Each recipient will receive a $1,700 scholarship and commemorative medallion. One boy and one girl out of the 24 All-State Team members will be named the Ronald D. Davis Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Volusia County Schools has named their Principal of the Year for elementary and secondary schools for the past year, along with the Superintendent’s Outstanding Achievement Award. The Principal of the Year for elementary schools is Lonnie Tidmarsh from Timbercrest Elementary School in Deltona. The Principal of the Year for secondary schools is John Cash from Creekside Middle School in Port Orange. The 2023 Super intendent’s Outstanding Achievement Award went to Kristie Merklin, an office specialist at Port Orange Elementary School.

The West Volusia Historical Society is offering a Pioneer Fiber Camp for youth. This camp, which is for 9- to 14-year-olds, will be 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, July 31, through Friday, Aug. 4.

Call 386-734-6813 for information on enrollment, cost and program material.

DeLand Suns baseball team

The DeLand Suns is a baseball team in the Florida Collegiate Summer League. The team plays its games at Conrad Park in DeLand, with some local athletes competing. The remaining Suns home games are July 11 with Winter Garden, July 15 with Sanford, July 17 with Sanford, July 20 with Leesburg, and July 21 with Leesburg. All games are at 7 p.m.

DeLand Lightning Bolts Track Club

The DeLand Lightning Bolts Track Club participated in the Memorial Day Bash in Florida at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, sponsored by Power House Athletics. The DeLand club earned 18 top-three finishes in the meet. Those taking individual event first-place finishes were Cornelius Dunn Jr., Lane Roberts, Jhene Broughton (2), Edward Bland (2), Kadren Chisholm, Levi Johnson and Delise Johnson, while Alan Allen, Chance Thomas, Tysin Willacy and Dunn Jr. teamed to win a relay. Jamil Cunningham, Chisholm and Roberts finished in second place, while Roberts, Allen, Kalyn Bland (2), Chisholm and Willacy earned third-place honors.

DeLand High School Athletics

Two changes have been made on the DeLand High School football schedule, including the location where the games will be played. The Kick-Off Classic on Friday, Aug. 18, has West Orange coming to DeLand at 7 p.m. The other change has the Battle of the Bone being played at Deltona High at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6.

Stetson University Athletics

The Stetson University Lady Hatters tennis team, at the end of their 2023 season, were ranked ninth in the Southeast Regional by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The Lady Hatters placed behind Georgia, Florida, Miami, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Florida International, Central Florida and South Florida.

The Stetson volleyball program has added Selin Kalkan to their roster. Kalkan transfers from South Florida and comes from Ankara, Turkey.

College honors

Hydi Maqousi, of Deltona, earned a Bachelor of Science in laboratory management from the University of Maryland Global Campus in spring 2023.

Adeline Franz, of DeLand, and Sydney Healy and Paul Troxler, both of Orange City, were named to the dean’s list for the spring semester 2023 at The University of Alabama.

Kat Blazetic, of DeLand, a graduate of DeLand High School majoring in business administration, was named to the dean’s list for the spring 2023 semester at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio.

Adam Benalla, of Deltona, earned a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at Wichita State University in Kansas.
— Send school news to Tony Tussing via email: at


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