Teacher of the Year

Frank Garaitonandia, an art teacher at Citrus Grove Elementary School, is the current Volusia Teacher of the Year and was in the top five finalists for Florida Teacher of the Year.

Volusia County Schools’ 70 Teachers of the Year were honored in a special outdoor ceremony at Jackie Robinson Stadium Oct 14.

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 Jan. 23. The current Volusia County Teacher of the Year is Frank Garaitonandia, who teaches art at Citrus Grove Elementary School. He also was recognized as a Top 5 finalist for Florida Teacher of the Year.

Mr. 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 at the 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

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 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

Amy Cervantes, Edith I. Starke Elementary

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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