Volusia Schools Select Teachers of the Year

Teacher of the Year graphic

DELAND – Volusia County Schools’ 70 Teachers of the Year were announced and honored in a special outdoor ceremony at the Jackie Robinson Stadium on October 14, 2021. The event was hosted by VCS, the FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools, The Daytona Tortugas, and presented by AdventHealth, the official healthcare champion of VCS.

Each of Volusia's public schools completes a formal process to select its Teacher of the Year. The winners, chosen by their peers, are nominated to compete for the honor of Volusia County Schools’ 2023 Teacher of the Year, to be announced on January 23. The current Volusia County Teacher of the Year is Frank Garaitonandia, who teaches art at Citrus Grove Elementary School. Garaitonandia was also recognized as a Top 5 finalist for Florida Teacher of the Year.

Garaitonandia and 2020 VCS Teacher of the Year Ian Jackson were among the VIP speakers at Thursday evening’s all-star-themed Teacher of the Year reception held at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. School Board Chair Linda Cuthbert brought greetings on behalf of the School Board, and Superintendent Dr. Scott Fritz praised the Teachers of the Year for exemplifying excellence in teaching. FUTURES President Heather Bond Vargas thanked the many sponsors who make the Teachers of the Year program possible.

The 2023 district Teacher of the Year winner will be announced in January and will be nominated for the state Teacher of the Year program. The Teacher of the Year nominees and their schools are:

  • Michael Plummer, Alt. Education – Daytona Juvenile Residential Facility
  • Kari Nagus, Atlantic High
  • Sara Ambrosio, Beachside Elementary
  • Barbara Rankins Stevens, Blue Lake Elementary
  • Keisha Wallace, Campbell Middle
  • Erica Bond, Champion Elementary
  • Madison Miller, Chisholm Elementary
  • Ryan K. Spears, Citrus Grove Elementary
  • Kim Quigley, Coronado Beach Elementary
  • Kristin Bender Polizzi, Creekside Middle
  • Camille Long, Cypress Creek Elementary
  • Brittany LaCorte, DeBary Elementary
  • Brittany Braly, DeLand High
  • Tammy Fletcher, DeLand Middle
  • Joseph Brennan, Deltona High
  • Wendy Warfield, Deltona Lakes Elementary
  • Hyacinth Forrest Ellison, Deltona Middle
  • Amanda B. Griggs, Discovery Elementary
  • Casie M. Mort, Edgewater Public Elementary
  • Amy Cervantes, Edith I. Starke Elementary
  • Paige Shinsky, Enterprise Elementary
  • Kelly Boulware, Forest Lake Elementary
  • Tracy Kruszeski, Freedom Elementary
  • Dylan Campbell, Friendship Elementary
  • Amanda Whited, Galaxy Middle
  • Laura K. Hoard, George W. Marks Elementary
  • Holly Glaspie, Heritage Middle
  • Joseph M. Vetter, David C. Hinson, Sr. Middle 
  • Jennifer Samar, Holly Hill School
  • Sherry Williams, Horizon Elementary
  • Kim Brislenn, Hospital Homebound
  • Crissy Norman, Indian River Elementary
  • Courtney Parlett, R. J. Longstreet Elementary
  • Kristie J. Long, Mainland High
  • Nicole Eck, Manatee Cove Elementary
  • Wayne A. Smith, Louise S. McInnis Elementary
  • Raquel Heath, New Smyrna Beach High 
  • Ann Bellantoni, New Smyrna Beach Middle
  • Megan Foster, Orange City Elementary
  • Candace E. Haynes, Ormond Beach Elementary
  • Natalie M. Demchak, Ormond Beach Middle
  • Heather B. LeFils, Osteen Elementary
  • Amanda Talton, Palm Terrace Elementary
  • Joan Wheeler, Pathways Elementary 
  • Rosita Cosio, Pierson Elementary
  • Christina M. Goodin, Pine Ridge High
  • Bobbi Reamer, Pine Trail Elementary
  • Anna McComb, Port Orange Elementary
  • Melanie Roberts, Pride Elementary
  • Lucy Altmann, Read-Pattillo Elementary
  • Trae Weiss, River Springs Middle School of Technology & Innovation
  • Eli Freidus, Seabreeze High
  • Suzanne Boss, Silver Sands Middle
  • Kelly H. Miller, South Daytona Elementary
  • Jennifer Raynor, Southwestern Middle
  • Mikeeta Ephraim, Spirit Elementary
  • Vanessa Emers, Spruce Creek Elementary
  • Shon Duncan, Spruce Creek High
  • Gary Van Auken, Sugar Mill Elementary
  • June Black, Sunrise Elementary
  • Lisa Kiesel, Sweetwater Elementary
  • Kinsey J.H. Berger, T. DeWitt Taylor Middle-High
  • Deanna Deyne, Timbercrest Elementary
  • Mindy Moor, Tomoka Elementary
  • Nikki Metakes, Turie T. Small Elementary
  • Brandon Haught, University High
  • Mariana Bianco, Volusia Online Learning
  • Jaaqua R. Hunt, Volusia Pines Elementary
  • Meshia Bolden, Westside Elementary
  • Abigail Fisher, Woodward Avenue Elementary

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