The Iota Kappa Kappa Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. is hosting its annual International High School Essay Contest. College scholarships will be awarded to the top four essayists.

The contest is open to all college-bound high-school seniors, who submit an essay application through a chapter of the fraternity. The essay must be original and neither previously published nor secured by copyright. The essay must be 700-750 words in length, typewritten and double-spaced, and submitted via the U.S. Mail or by email in Microsoft Word.

The essay title is: “With politics gaining the bulk of discussion, what can the younger generation do to ensure that elected leaders understand the impact of gaining their vote?”

The manuscript must be postmarked, or time-stamped on the email, no later than midnight Oct. 12, 2023, and sent to P.O. Box 212, Daytona Beach, FL 32115 or by email to A must-have completed application form can be obtained by emailing the chapter.

All submissions will be reviewed by Iota Kappa Kappa Chapter and then forwarded to the international office. Do not change or shorten the essay topic.

First place will receive a $5,000 college scholarship; second place will get $3,000; third place, $2,000; and fourth place, $1,000.

Stetson University reports that it has been named one of the best undergraduate institutions in the nation and in the Southeast for the ninth consecutive year by The Princeton Review in the 2024 edition of The Best 389 Colleges. The schools selected for The Princeton Review comprise only 15 percent of America’s four-year colleges and universities.

Volusia County Schools reports that on the first day of school, Aug. 14, there were more than 63,000 students and more than 4,000 teachers. On that day, 159 bus routes were driven, and the schools served 8,114 breakfasts and 27,080 lunches.

Superintendent Dr. Carmen Balgobin has stated that Volusia County Schools wants to emphasize its focus on safety and recommit to ensuring the security of students and staff when they are on campuses each day.

Some of the ways the school district is helping keep campuses safe include guardians and school resource officers or deputies on all campuses, updated emergency plans, regular drills and exercises, infrastructure improvement, investment in fencing, access control, visitor management systems and security cameras, and equipping school buses with 10 cameras each.

Parents and guardians are asked to emphasize to their child the importance of only bringing appropriate items to school each day.

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Another school policy that parents and students need to deal with is the dress code. Pursuant to 1006.07 (d) Florida Statutes and Volusia County Schools Dress Code Policy 208, any student who violates the provision of the dress-code policy that prohibits a student from wearing clothing that exposes underwear or body parts in an indecent or vulgar manner or that disrupts the orderly learning environment is subject to disciplinary action. School Board Policy 217 Student Appearance, Dress, which outlines in detail the dress-code policy can be found on the district website under “School Board Policies.”

All the schools will be having an open house. One week is reserved for middle schools, a second week for elementaries, with a third week being saved for high schools. Check with your school or with your school-age child for a flyer as to when their school’s open house will be.

River Springs Middle School

River Springs Middle School in Orange City will have its open house at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7, for all grades.

Student picture day will be Friday, Sept. 8.

West Volusia high-school football

On Aug. 18, all the local high-school football teams participated in Preseason Jamboree action. DeLand High downed West Orange, 42-21, with Javon Ross scoring four touchdowns. Deltona lost to Oviedo, 49- 0. Pine Ridge of Deltona topped Celebration, 44-16, by scoring 30 first-quarter points. Orange City University outscored Auburndale, 34-7, while Pierson Taylor was topped by Cornerstone Charter, 27-7.

The Friday, Sept. 1, games have DeLand on the road to Port St. Lucie to face Centennial, Deltona going to Spruce Creek, Pine Ridge of Deltona at St. Cloud, Orange City University at Oviedo, Pierson Taylor at St. Francis Catholic School in Gainesville, and Deltona Trinity Christian hosting Warner Christian Academy. All games are at 7 p.m., except that Pine Ridge plays at 7:30 p.m.

DeLand High School Athletics

The DeLand High School athletic calendar, which should always be checked before traveling to out-of-town locations, places the Lady Bulldog volleyball team at the Nike Tournament of Champions Saturday- Sunday, Sept. 2 and 3, while the Bulldog cross-country teams play host at the DeLand Invitational at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, at the Sperling Sports Complex off of Marsh Road.

On Tuesday, Sept. 5, the volleyball team travels to Hagerty High for matches at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., with the girls’ golf team hosting Spruce Creek at 4 p.m. The swim teams go to Spruce Creek at 4 p.m.

On Wednesday, Sept. 6, the boys’ golf team travels to Lake Howell at 3:30 p.m., and the girls’ golf team competes in the 9-Hole Challenge, with location and time to be announced.

On Thursday, Sept. 7, the junior-varsity football team greets Pine Ridge at 6 p.m. at the Sperling Sports Complex.

The Florida High School Athletic Association has announced that the state swim meet will be held at the Florida Aquatics Swimming and Training Center in Ocala. The Class 3A and 4A meet will be on Friday-Saturday, Nov. 10-11.

DeLand Dawgs

The DeLand Dawgs have represented DeLand as a competitive youth football and cheerleading team for more than 25 years. In recent years, the program has been affiliated with the PAL (Police Athletic League), but recently, it has been re-established as a nonprofit organization, the DeLand Dawgs Youth Sports Inc.

The mission is to serve the community one player at a time. The organization serves an at-risk youth population and wants to keep our players and cheerleaders engaged in life-building activities year-round.

There are several age-group teams involved in the football program. Their next outing is Saturday, Sept. 2, at the Orlando Outlaws, with the rookies playing at 8 a.m., followed by the freshmen at 10:30 a.m., sophomores at noon, juniors at 2 p.m. and the seniors at 4 p.m.

DeLand Pop Warner football program

This is another age-group youth-football program in DeLand. On Friday, Sept. 2, the teams go to Merritt Island, with the 6 and under (6U) playing at 8:30 a.m., 8U at 10 a.m., 10U at noon, 11U at 2 p.m., 12U at 4 p.m. and 14U at 6 p.m.

Stetson University

Stetson University students returned to campus Aug. 19 to find that renovations had been made in the Lynn Business Center, the Cross Culture Center, Davis Hall, Chaudoin Hall, University Hall, the Wendy Stoll Tennis Center, and some classrooms.

Stetson has a new director of student counseling services, Kristie Perez. The program provides a haven for students to feel safe and welcome and receive top-quality mental-health care and support.

Perez started Aug. 8. She earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a Master’s of Science in social work from Grand Valley State University. She owned a mental-health agency for 20 years covering northwest Indiana.

Stetson Homecoming is Friday-Sunday, Oct. 20-22. The Homecoming schedule can be found by going to

Stetson University Athletics

The Stetson University Hatter men’s basketball team will be participating in the Sunshine Slam, to be played in Daytona Beach, Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 21-22. The teams taking part in the tournament include the University of Las Vegas, Siena, Richmond, Central Michigan, Florida State, Milwaukee and Colorado.

The Stetson women’s soccer team faced USF in an exhibition, losing, 3-0, and then in regular-season action, lost to Miami, 3-0. The team was just nipped by Air Force, 3-2, with Annika Seem scoring both goals unassisted.

The men’s soccer team in exhibition tied Daytona State, 3-3, and then knotted up a match with Georgia Southern, with Andres Mata scoring for the Hats.

On Friday, Sept. 1, the Lady Hatter volleyball team goes to compete in the College of Charleston Invitational, facing the host, George Washington and Georgia Southern.

The men’s soccer team greets St. Thomas at 7 p.m. Sept. 1, while the cross-country teams are at FAU.

On Saturday, Sept. 2, the Hatter football team opens its 2023 season by hosting St. Thomas of Florida in Spec Martin Memorial Stadium at 6 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 3, has the women’s soccer team hosting Green Bay at noon. Then on Monday, Sept. 4, the men’s soccer team greets North Carolina State at 7 p.m.

College honors

Laura Loht, of DeLand, graduated in May from Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania.

— Send school news to Tony Tussing via email: at


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