School Board Meeting Highlights - June 7, 2021

Crime Stoppers poster winners

DELAND – The Volusia County School Board on Monday reviewed the timeline and process for its 2021-2022 District Accreditation Review by Cognia, a nonprofit accrediting organization for K-12 schools.

The goal of accreditation is to evaluate, verify, and improve a school district’s quality. The process is an external audit of a district’s school improvement processes and is conducted every five years.

Volusia County Schools’ next accreditation review will be March 7-10, 2022, with a focus on three main domains: leadership capacity, learning capacity, and resource capacity. The upcoming accreditation review will be conducted remotely. Points will be awarded based on performance on dozens of standards related to leadership, learning, and resources.

All VCS stakeholders will be involved in the process, which will include review of documentation, surveys, interviews, and walk-through observations at schools. "The district has assembled three teams to prepare for the upcoming accreditation review," said VCS Superintendent Dr. Scott Fritz.

Also Monday, the School Board:

  • Approved the appointments and transfers of district administrators, principals, and assistant principals.
    • Dr. Joe Phillips was appointed Chief Information Technology Officer. He comes to VCS from Kansas City Public Schools where he was Chief Information Officer.
    • Lisa Snead was appointed Chief Financial Officer. She previously was budget director and acting CFO.
    • Thomas Vaughan was appointed Director of Student Services. He previously was principal of Heritage Middle.
    • Nick Fidance was appointed principal of Heritage Middle. He previously was principal intern at Heritage Middle.
    • Joshua Jackson was appointed principal of Pathways Elementary. Jackson comes to VCS from Kentucky with 15 years of experience as a principal.
    • Katie Kearn was appointed principal of Horizon Elementary. She previously was assistant principal at Spruce Creek Elementary.
    • Jackie Bynum was appointed assistant principal at Seabreeze High. She is returning to VCS after serving as the ESE assistant principal of iFlagler.
    • Denielle Dutil was appointed assistant principal of Heritage Middle. She previously was teacher on assignment and dean of students at Heritage Middle.
  • Celebrated and recognized FFA students at DeLand High for winning the state competition. Student Nicolas Bordeaux received the highest score in Florida in the Agricultural Technical Mechanical Systems event, which includes welding, electrical wiring, and small engine competition. The DHS FFA Livestock Team won first place in the Livestock Evaluation Career Development Event; team members are Megan Christopher, Payton Smith, Tyler Watson, and Cheyann Wilkins. Their agriscience teachers are Brett Brandner and Lori Smith. They will be recognized at the Florida FFA State Conference next week.
  • Recognized 10 VCS administrators for graduating from the Principal Intern program. They are Eilene Ahr, Edith I. Starke Elementary; Holly Bailey, Blue Lake Elementary; Nicholas Fidance, Heritage Middle; Laura Figueroa, Sugar Mill Elementary; Jennifer Holmgreen, Indian River Elementary; Kristina Kania, Sunrise Elementary; Dr. Melani Johnson, Turie T. Small Elementary; Jay Strother, Creekside Middle; Paul Struska, Louise S. McInnis Elementary; and Dr. Eidie Velez, Friendship Elementary. Read the full news release for more details.
  • Presented a Certificate of Appreciation to the Port Orange Community Trust for its partnership with Volusia County Schools. Since the nonprofit’s inception in 1995, it has donated more than $300,000 to the 11 schools in its service area, including $33,000 in college scholarships for students. The Port Orange Community Trust has supported band and chorus trips, sports teams, clubs, the backpack brigade, back-to-school shoes for students with financial need, and many other initiatives.
  • Recognized nine students for their winning entries in the 2021 Crime Stoppers Poster Contest. The elementary winners are first and grand prize for the 7th Judicial Circuit: Kaylina Rodriguez, 3rd-grader at Enterprise Elementary; second: Destini Solano, 3rd-grader at Enterprise Elementary; and third: Isis De La Rosa Berrios, 4th-grader at Friendship Elementary. The middle school winners are first: Ilyse Ratliff, 6th-grader at New Smyrna Beach Middle; second: Emma Hopkins, 6th-grader at New Smyrna Beach Middle, and third: Brianna Parsons, 8th-grader at T. Dewitt Taylor Middle-High. The high school winners are first: Logan Laguer, 9th-grader at DeLand High; second: Anya Raymond, 10th-grader at DeLand High; and third: Tristen Avallone, 9th-grader at New Smyrna Beach High.

For other agenda items and discussion, watch the entire June 7 School Board meeting.

Together, We Are Stronger

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