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Now browsing: Hometown News > News > Volusia County

FUTURES programs reward student achievement
Rating: 2.47 / 5 (36 votes)  
Posted: 2013 May 31 - 06:11

By Erika Webb

While attitude adjustments may be their own reward, a little added incentive goes a long way.

The FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools recognized the outstanding accomplishments of this year's middle and high school Turn-Around students May 29 in a ceremony at Jackie Robinson Ball Park.

FUTURES Executive Director Kelly Ferguson said for many of the students it was the first time they'd ever won an award.

"They may have been getting referrals or having an issue with attendance," Ms. Ferguson said. "These are kids who showed a marked change on paper, from maybe not meeting goals to really functioning at a great level now, in terms of grades and how they treat others."

Ms. Ferguson said at the beginning of the school year students are informed of the Turn-Around application process. They are instructed that taking certain steps -- to complete the application and improve academically, behaviorally and socially -- can yield tangible rewards.

"These students enjoy a recognition ceremony with their families and a Daytona Cubs ballpark meal and game as part of their congratulations," Ms. Ferguson said.

The principal of each school, with teacher and guidance counselor input, recommends three students per grade level whose behavior and grades have shown a marked improvement throughout the school year -- or from one year to the next, Ms. Ferguson explained. Based on written recommendations, a committee established by FUTURES reviews the nominations and selects one student per grade for formal recognition.

All nominees will receive a certificate -- different from that of the winners -- which is mailed to each student's school in April with a request that it be presented to the student during an appropriate school program, she said.

Honorees have demonstrated a dramatic achievement in at least two of the following areas: attendance, attitude, grades and school involvement.

"We applaud these students for the work required to become selected as Turn Around award recipients," she said. "And a big thank to Daytona Cubs and TD Charitable Foundation, two important sponsors of this wonderful effort."

The term used to describe prevailing conditions that led to the formation of FUTURES in 1985 is "benign neglect." A segment of the school population was "at risk" and while not being harmed, they were not exactly being helped.

The organization was established to increase business and community involvement in public schools by providing programs and activities beyond the financial capabilities of the school district, according to futuresvolusia.org.

It is the only organization that provides assistance to all public schools in Volusia County.

"It's so rewarding to see how much it means to them," Ms. Ferguson said. "They go to Jackie Robinson with their parents, siblings, grandparents...all dressed up. It's so exciting to see they actually care."

In addition to Turn-Around, FUTURES programs include: Educator Intern: First Year Teacher Awards; Mini-Grants; New Teacher Breakfast; Principal of the Year; School Matching Grant Program; Superintendent's Outstanding Achievement Award; Teacher of the Year; Tomorrow's Leaders; and Take Stock in Children.

Sheila Rees is the mentor coordinator for Take Stock in Children.

The program provides deserving low-income children with scholarships to college or vocational school in addition to caring-mentor guidance.

"Sadly, 30 percent of Florida's children grow up in near- poverty," Ms. Rees said. "Their college hopes are dashed at a very early age. Once children give up, they drop out of school, fall prey to drugs or violence and may end up in jail."

TSIC gives students access to their dreams and aspirations before they give up, finds ways to keep them in school and gives them a chance, a way out of defeating thoughts, behaviors and circumstances, allowing them to become productive, successful citizens.

"But first, they must honor their end of the bargain," Ms. Rees said.

The program's 2017 class of students has been selected and TSIC is in need of mentors for various Volusia schools.

For more information about FUTURES, visit www.futuresvolusia.org.

FUTURES Turn Around Winners for 2013:

DeLand Middle

Principal - William Dunnigan

6 -Austin Hoyt

7 - Kevin Gains

8 - Kawayna Sanders

Southwestern Middle

Principal - Mamie Oatis

6 - Evan Arreseigor

7 - Cielo Salgado

8 - Jarret Woide

Taylor Middle

Principal - Ron Pagano

6 - Jose Lopez

7 - Erick Cervantes

8 - Keyla Parada

DeLand High

Principal - Mitch Moyer

9 - Ryan Matthews

11 - Dariyana Castro

12 - Aaron Anderson

Taylor High

Principal - Ron Pagano

9 - Briana Adams

10 -BrittneyAdams

11 - Samantha Dotson

12 - Noel Bueno

Deltona Middle

Principal - Jim Bambrick

6 - Shane Cote

7 - Joshua McCray

8 - Donovan Caton

Galaxy Middle

Principal - Julian Jones

6 - Luke Wathen-Miller

7 - Zion Jones

8 - Cameron Myles

Heritage Middle

Principal - Carolyn Carbonell

6 - Joshua Garay

7 - Arthur Higgins

8 - Sade Clay

River Springs Middle

Principal - Stacy Gotlib

6 - Charles Correro

7 - Ashley Seidel

8 -Thaddeus Filipek

Deltona High

Principal - Susan Freeman

11 - Damien Rodriguez

Pine Ridge High

Principal John Adkinson

9 - Joseph Green

10 - Eric Navarro

11- Gina Benitez

12- Jean Reyes

University High

Principal - Dennis Neal

9 - Kyle Tierney

10 - Sadie Sohan

New Smyrna Beach Middle

Principal - Joseph Rawlings

6 - Jacob Hager

7 - Brandon Barrow

8 - Branden Kowall

New Smyrna Beach High

Principal - Jim Tager

9 - Jordan Baker

10 - Cody Sanford

11 - Zachary Hillier

12 - Mersadi Ayala

Campbell Middle

Principal - Craig Zablo

6 - Herbert Pinckney, Jr.

7 - Roshanda Lee

8 - Maurice Headen

Hinson Middle

Principal - Lesley Sileo-Robinson

6 - Empress Overstreet

8 - Mathew Whitehouse

Holly Hill School

Principal - Julie Roseboom

7 - Austin David

8 - Drake White

Ormond Beach Middle

Principal Matt Krajewski

6 - Hunter Anderson

7 - Holly Hudome

8 - Benjamin Canney

Riverview Learning Center

Principal - Kevin Tucker

8 - Belinda Adams

Atlantic High

Principal - Theresa Marcks

9 - Kiara Smith

10 - Dakia Johnson

11 - Asia Smith

12 - Nichole Ellis

Mainland High

Principal - Cheryl Salerno

9 - Franklin Hardwick, Jr.

10 - Shayoni Williams

11 - Shab'ner Waldon

12 - Kersilyn Roundtree

Riverview Learning Center

Principal - Kevin Tucker

12 -Austin Vance

Seabreeze High

Principal - Bob Wallace

10 - Deyona Tucker Seay

12 - Benjamin Robinson

Creekside Middle

Principal -John Cash

6 - Jaylon Endicott

7 - Zachary Strassel

8 - Hunter Delucia

Silver Sands Middle

Principal - Rose Roland

6 - Keith Daffern-Wooton

7 - Thomas Manning

8 - Keyonte Upton

Atlantic High

Principal - Theresa Marcks

9 - Kiara Smith

10 - Dakia Johnson

11 - Asia Smith

12 - Nichole Ellis

Spruce Creek High

Principal - Todd Sparger

9 - Sandwanna Washington

10- Bigem Tamer

11 - Hailey Hayes

12 - Rachel Jakovenko

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