Tony Tussing
Tony Tussing

Daytona State College has been selected as an education partner for Amazon’s Career Choice Program, providing Amazon’s hourly employees with prepaid tuition reimbursement to further their education at Daytona State.

Amazon’s Career Choice Program is an education benefit that empowers employees to learn new skills for career success at Amazon or elsewhere. The program meets individual learners where they are on their education journey through a variety of education and upskilling opportunities, including prepaid college tuition, industry certification designed to lead to in-demand jobs, and foundational skills such as English language proficiency, high-school diplomas and GEDs.

In the U.S., the company is investing $1.2 billion to upskill more than 300,000 employees by 2025 to help move them into higher-paying, in-demand jobs.

Amazon’s Career Choice Program has a rigorous selection process for third-party partner educators, choosing partners that are focused on helping employees through their education programs, assisting them with job placements, and overall offering education that leads to career success.

Daytona State College offers more than 100 certificate, associate and bachelor’s degree programs. It is the leader in education and workforce training needs of Volusia and Flagler counties and beyond.

The college enrolls about 23,000 students a year at its seven campuses, with graduates serving in critical fields including health care, emergency services and public safety, business, education, hospitality, engineering, project management, accounting, computer science, digital media and more.

Volusia County Schools has a program called Parent Portal. The Parent Portal is a great way for parents/guardians to stay connected to their students’ grades, attendance and assessments, and now offers a convenient way to pay for field trips and other school-related activities. The payment feature became available July 24.

The “Purchase and Pay” feature allows parents to pay for their child’s student activities using a debit/credit card. This feature will be offered at a convenience fee of 3.5 percent, which is a savings of 0.5 percent based on the rate you paid in the past.

If you haven’t already done so, VCS encourages you to set up your Parent Portal account by following this link: or call the help desk at 386-734-7190, ext. 25000.

A reminder that all kindergartners and seventh-graders have certain immunizations that need to be completed before entering school this year. The Daytona Beach and Orange City branches of the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County offer no-cost immunizations.

Appointments are strongly suggested; call 386-274-0509 for an appointment for Aug. 8-10. The hours have been extended on these days to 8 a.m. through 6 p.m.

Another reminder with school starting Monday, Aug. 14, that Volusia County Schools will continue to provide free school breakfast and lunch for all students during the 2023-24 school year. These meals are made available through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.

For more information, call School Way Cafe at 386-734-7190, ext. 50832, email to or visit

The Florida High School Athletic Association has announced that July 31 was the starting date for high schools’ first practice for bowling, cross-country, golf, swimming and diving, volleyball and football, which is not to have contact until Aug. 5. Aug. 14 is the opening date for preseason classic events for football, bowling and cross-country.

DeLand High School

The DeLand High School Class of 1978 is preparing for its 45th reunion. On Friday, Oct. 27, the Alumni Tea and Alumni Growl will take place at DHS at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., respectively, followed by the Homecoming Parade at 2 p.m. After the parade, there will be a gathering at the Elks Club until the start of the football game at 7 p.m.

The Reunion Party will be at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28.

For registration and more information, contact Terri Tennant Clifton. Registration and payment must be made by Oct. 6.

DeLand High School Athletics

The DeLand High School Lady Bulldog volleyball team will host an Alumni Game noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, in the Bulldog gym.

Pine Ridge High School

Christina Marrero, an Exceptional Early Childhood Education teacher at Pine Ridge High School in Deltona, has been named by the Florida Association for Career and Technical Education as the association’s Rookie Career and Technical Teacher of the Year.

University High School

Maureen Mack, an engineering teacher at University High School in Orange City, has been named by the Florida Association for Career and Technical Education as the association’s 2023 Teacher of the Year.

Stetson University Athletics

Stetson University golfer John Houchin played in the 77th Florida Open Championship at the Golf Club at Crown Colony and Cypress Lake Golf Club. He finished with a 206 score, which tied him for seventh, while leading all amateurs in the event.

Stetson lacrosse goalie Sydney Heimann has been awarded the NCAA award for Ground Balls Per Game with 3.94. She recorded 67 ground balls this past season for the Lady Hatters.

The Stetson women’s basketball program has added Kristina Baugh to the coaching staff. She most recently has served as the head coach at Barry University and the University of Massachusetts – Boston.

The beach volleyball team at Stetson has earned the 2023 U.S. Marine Corps and American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award. The team also earned the Team Honor Roll distinction. The award marks the 11th time in program history and the sixth consecutive year that the Hatters have earned the team academic award. The award goes to the team that maintains a yearlong GPA of 3.3 or above on a 4.0 scale. The Honor Roll award is given to teams who finish in the top 20 percent of GPAs for their division.

Stetson University has named the Hall of Fame Class for 2023: beach volleyball player Kristin Lind, 2017; softball player Jessie TenBroeck, 2017; and baseball players Brooks Wilson, 2018, and Logan Gilbert, 2018. The new members will be inducted on the evening of Oct. 20 during an official ceremony at the Wayne G. Sanborn Activity Center and during the Stetson football game Oct. 21.

The Stetson women’s rowing team has four members who have earned 2023 CRCA Scholar-Athlete honors: Katrina Early, Asia Erickson, Mallory Holland and Germaine Smart-Marshall.

The women’s softball team at Stetson has added Becca Taylor to the coaching staff as pitching coach. She has spent the past five years at Northwest Florida as an assistant coach.

The indoor volleyball team at Stetson has also been named as a 2023 U.S. Marine Corps and American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award winner. This is the fifth time in program history.

College honors

Avinab De, of Deltona, has been named to the dean’s list for the spring semester 2023 at Youngstown State University in Ohio. De is majoring in biological sciences on the BaccMed track.

Veronica Marin, of DeLand, has been named to the 2023 spring quarter dean’s list at Palmer College of Chiropractic’s Florida Campus in Port Orange.

Andrew Korkus, of DeBary, has been named to the dean’s list for the spring 2023 semester at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.

Aiden Trapani, of Deltona, has been named to the dean’s list for the spring 2023 semester at Northern Vermont University.

— Send school news to Tony Tussing via email at


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