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DELAND – "We’re excited to announce the five teachers selected as finalists for the Volusia County Schools Teacher of the Year! The finalists are:

  • Eli Freidus, Science Teacher, Seabreeze High School

  • Kristie Long, Science Teacher, Mainland High School 

  • Madison Miller, Academic Coach, Chisholm Elementary

  • Keisha Wallace, Math Coach, Campbell Middle School

  • Joan Wheeler, Blended Pre-K Teacher, Pathways Elementary

Volusia County Schools Teacher of the Year will be announced in January at a celebration hosted by the FUTURES Foundation. 

The Teacher of the Year winner is selected through an application process. Each of Volusia’s schools nominates a teacher, who completes an application to vie for the district title. The full list is here:

A full committee comprised of parents, business owners, community members, teachers, and administrators selects the five finalists. Another sub-committee will rank the finalists after observing them in their classrooms and conducting individual interviews. The winner’s name is kept confidential until the announcement at the celebration in January.

The VCS Teacher of the Year will be nominated for the state Teacher of the Year program and will serve as Volusia’s representative of quality education. The current Volusia County Teacher of the Year is Frank Garaitonandia, Art Teacher at Citrus Grove Elementary. Mr. Garaitonandia even became one of the top state finalists for Florida’s Teacher of the Year!

Congratulations to all five finalists. What a great way to start the holiday!

We had a very special surprise visit today for each of the top five finalists at their schools. Check out the Facebook live videos on the Volusia County Schools Facebook page at" 

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