FUTURES Names First Year Teacher Award Nominees

FUTURES Names First Year Teacher Award Nominees

Daytona Beach – FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools announced its 2021 First Year Teacher Award nominees. To be considered for the recognition, nominees must have earned a Baccalaureate degree, started a full-time teaching career on or after Jan. 1, 2020, performed outstandingly based on standards established by Volusia County Schools and been nominated by their school principal.

“The First Year Teacher Awards is an opportunity to celebrate the new teachers in our school district and highlight their success stories. As first year teachers, these nominees accepted the challenges that came along with the pandemic and rose above the adversity to teach, support, and love their students,” said Christy Mahaney, Volusia County Schools’ Coordinator of Recruitment & Retention.

From these 47 nominees chosen to represent their schools, the 2021 Elementary and Secondary award winners will be announced at FUTURES Foundation’s annual First Year Teacher Awards Celebration on Tuesday, April 6, at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. Volusia United Educators (VUE) has joined FUTURES Foundation in sponsoring this celebration.

In speaking about these nominees, Superintendent Dr. Scott Fritz shared, “These amazing First Year Teacher Award nominees are at the top of their first-year class. They are shining examples of excellence in education at the start of their teaching careers. We want our First Year Teacher nominees to know how much we value how hard they have worked, and we are proud to have them on our team.”

FUTURES Foundation Board President Bob Ludlow added, “FUTURES Foundation has a strong 36-year tradition of recognizing and awarding excellence within Volusia County Schools through programs like the First Year Teacher Awards. We are proud to honor this year’s award nominees who have skillfully navigated their first year of teaching during the pandemic. We applaud them for their dedication in excelling within their classrooms during this uniquely challenging year.”

This year’s 29 Elementary First Year Teacher nominees include: 

Marlena McNeil - Blue Lake Elementary

Lori Moulton - Champion Elementary

Carmen Mele - Chisholm Elementary

Brian Levine - Citrus Grove Elementary

Paula Ramirez - Coronado Beach Elementary

Gina Calbeto - DeBary Elementary

Kennedy Lawrence - Discovery Elementary

Katie Zinzi -Edith I. Starke Elementary

Brittney VanPatten - Enterprise Elementary

Judith Gonzalez - Forest Lake Elementary

Brianna Cupp - Freedom Elementary

Angela Williams - Friendship Elementary

Bryan Rush - Manatee Cove Elementary

Jasmin Felix - Louise S. McInnis Elementary

Amy Smith - Orange City Elementary

Brooke Turulski - Palm Terrace Elementary

Courtney LaCates - Pathways Elementary

Mayra Galvan - Pierson Elementary

Savannah Fischer - Port Orange Elementary

Ciana Desimini- South Daytona Elementary

Kelsey Maldonado - Spirit Elementary

Kila Ortiz - Sugar Mill Elementary

Foley M. Flood - Sunrise Elementary

Kayla Manchette - Timbercrest Elementary

Benjamin Corn - Tomoka Elementary 

Sheanna James - Turie T. Small Elementary

Christina Morgan - Westside Elementary

Michelle Hudimac - Woodward Elementary

This year’s 18 Secondary First Year Teacher nominees include:

Chelsea Chaya Ward - Atlantic High

Bree'shawn S. Watson - Campbell Middle

Shane Story - David C. Hinson Middle

Shelby Radford - DeLand High

Keith L. Strickland - DeLand Middle

Isabella Glessner - Deltona High

Kelvin Kerrutt - Galaxy Middle

Sheldon Martin - Heritage Middle

Emily Weiss - Holly Hill School K-8

Karina Victoria Nunez - Mainland High

Crystal McCaddon - New Smyrna Beach High

Megan Paytas - Pine Ridge High

Heather Picos - River Springs Middle

Christy Transier - Seabreeze High

Kimberly George - Spruce Creek High

Dayana Hughes - University High

Amy Graydon - Volusia Online Learning

FUTURES Foundation is a nonprofit, direct support organization founded in 1985 to support Volusia County Schools. Its mission is to engage business and civic leaders to promote and achieve educational excellence for Volusia County Public Schools. The Foundation’s 26-member board of directors consists of area business and civic leaders who direct and raise funds to facilitate a variety of programs in the school district. Through business and individual donations, FUTURES presents programs such as the First Year Teacher Awards.  For additional information about FUTURES, please contact Executive Director Cynthia Ramirez at 386.255.6475, ext. 50730, or caperric@volusia.k12.fl.us, or visit its website at www.FUTURESVolusia.org