News from FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Public Schools
Celebrating 26 Years of Support for Volusia County Public Schools
Established in 1985 to increase business and community involvement in public schools and to provide programs and activities beyond the financial capabilities of the school district, the nonprofit foundation is the only organization that provides assistance to all public schools in Volusia County.
Volusia County Schools
Upcoming Events
December, 2011
7th - Mini-Grant Reception @ Mainland High
9th - Tomorrow's Leaders Seminar Economic Development/ Education
13th - TSIC Leadership Council

January, 2012
19th - Tomorrow's Leaders Seminar Government/Diversity
25th - TSIC Mentor Luncheon

February, 2012
6th - Turn Around applications distributed
10th - Teacher of the Year Banquet
14th - TSIC Leadership Council
16th - Tomorrow's Leaders Seminar - Criminal Justice

March, 2012
7th - Tomorrow's Leaders Workshop
7th-9th - Educator Intern Program

For details, visit

FUTURES thanks our Regents Club Members

FUTURES thanks our Chancellor Club Members

FUTURES thanks our Presidents Club Members

Cottage Row Counseling

Florida Hospital Fish Memorial

Jon Hall Chevrolet, Inc.


Publix Supermarkets

Radiology Imaging Associates

Root Company

Teledyne Oil & Gas - Ocean Design Inc.

USTA Florida

FUTURES thanks our Deans Club Members
Bogin, Munns & Munns

Bomar Construction, Inc.

Brent Milliken & Company

Bright House Networks, LLC

Civic League of the Halifax Area, Inc.

Cohen, Smith & Company, P.A.

File Tech

Florida Capital Bank

Gateway Bank

Hayward Brown

Microflex, Inc.

Perryman Properties, Inc.

Reunion Bank

Rotary Club of Daytona Beach

Dr. Gina Sevigny MDPA

The City of Daytona Beach

The University Club of Volusia County, Inc.

Many thanks to our

License for Learning

The License for Learning auto tag is available for purchase at all local Volusia County tag offices.  FUTURES receives $20 from each purchase. Put Volusia County students on the road to success - buy a License for Learning Tag today!

How do you buy or renew the License for Learning?

1.  Go to

2.  Select Fundraising Events  - go to the bottom of the License for Learning page and click on link.

3.  Simply select the option to purchase a tag on the webpage "How to Buy the Plate".

FUTURES Executive Board

Bobby Thigpen, President
Chris Hill, President Elect
Sam Willett, Vice President
Brad Giles, Secretary
Paula Gregory, Treasurer
Rosaria Upchurch, Past President

FUTURES Board Members

John Mark Adkison
Eric Albrecht
Edwin Best
Doug Booth
Linda Bradley
Jeff Brok
Michael Ciocchetti
Karen Duncan
Brad Gordner
John Guthrie
R. Jeremy Hill
David Kendall
Dustin Leek
Miguel Maldonado
Len Marinaccio, III
Ryan Renee Marks
Mike McKee
Susan Mendez
Gary Moothart
Josh Pope
Cynthia Ramirez
Deborah Ridgeway
Mikelle Streicher
Daryl Tol
Larry Volenec
Craig Wells

FUTURES wishes to announce and welcome three new members to its board:

Edwin Best of Dickens & Associates, David Kendall an Emeritus Board Member and
Daryl Tol of Florida Hospital in DeLand.

"Our mission is to support educational quality for the Volusia County Public School System by directing resources toward areas of identified need, increasing community involvement and support, and encouraging open communication between the community and our schools."



October/November/December, 2011
FUTURES Delivers for Public Education
Dear FUTURES Supporter,

FUTURES has been busy since August providing programs for Volusia County Schools' students and staff, including:
  • Implementing FUTURES School Match program, funding over $35,000 in school grants supporting academic achievement.
  • Committing to distribute almost $60,000 in mini-grants to classroom teachers in December.
  • Continuing to oversee the progress of 118 students in our Take stock in Children college scholarship program, and keeping in contact with the 41 former students who have graduated from college.
  • Organizing an Educator Intern shadowing program pairing community leaders with district or school-based administrators.
  • Implementing the Tomorrow's Leaders leadership training program for high school juniors
  • Announcing the Elementary Principal of the Year Marie Stratton of Ortona and Osceola Elementary Schools, Secondary Principal of the Year Mamie Oatis of Southwestern Middle School, and Superintendent's Outstanding Achievement Award recipient Rhonda deCillis of Cypress Creek Elementary School.

Tomorrow's Leaders Program

Tomorrow's Leaders students completed their first seminar, "Health Care & Social Services" in November.  They are gearing up for Seminar 2 - "Economic Development/Education" scheduled on December 9th.


"Low Ropes Course" - Leadership Training -
Team Building and Problem Solving - Collaboration at
Stewart Marchman-Act Behavioral Healthcare

We recently caught up with two of our past Tomorrow's Leaders participants who received the Daytona Beach Leadership Council scholarship during the school year 2009-2010.

Read about Anetta Kazakova - 2010 graduate from Seabreeze High School:  (control/click the link below)  
Read about Georgina Thompson - 2010 graduate from Mainland High School:  (control/click the link below)

Mini-Grant Update

FUTURES awarded 121 mini-grants to Volusia County School teachers on December 7th.  A total of almost $60,000 was awarded to teachers in amounts ranging from $150 to $1,500.  For a list of recipients, 
Over the past 24 years of community support, FUTURES has funded over 2,448 Mini-Grants for Volusia teachers, totaling over $1.2 million.

Special awards announced were:  The Superintendent's Mini-Grant Award was given to Deltona High School teacher Kimberly Cove for "Dying To Learn To Read:  Forensics for High School Students!"

The following Creative Awards were awarded: Enterprise Elementary School teacher Marci Wiltz for "Tapping Time Travel, 100 Years of History through Music"

Freedom Elementary School teacher Tiffany Blushiy for "Native Florida:  A Wildlife Festival and Butterfly Adventure in the Dark".

Port Orange Elementary School teacher Margaret Williams for "Tiger Artists Trading Card Night"

Starke Elementary School teacher Amy Alvarez for "Word Up"

Woodward Elementary School teachers Jennifer Robins and Angela Grover for "BSI:  Bully Scene Investigation (Banishing Bullying)"

Campbell Middle School teacher Patricia Richmond for "Out of the Box and Into the Books Oh My!"

DeLand Middle School teacher Emily Strickland for "Food Waste to Good Taste"

New Smyrna Beach Middle School teacher Valencia Robinson for "C.E.L.E.B.R.A.T.E. Literacy"

Ormond Beach Middle School teachers Sharon Martin and Pamela Hampton for "Take the Sunshine Challenge!"

Deltona High School teacher John Clark for "NASCAR Racing Challenge"

Seabreeze High School teacher Lynne Seeber for "Seabreeze Signers"

Teacher of the Year Finalists Announced

In December, Volusia County Schools announced five finalists for 2013 Teacher of the Year from a pool of candidates nominated by every public school in the district.  (For a list of the 72 school-level Teacher of the Year nominees, (control/click the link below)

The five finalists are:
Kip Dickens-Best - Pine Trail Elementary
Leslie Birney - Citrus Grove Elementary
Heather Henderson - University High
Melissa Marple - Edgewater Public
Sandra Tweedy - Spruce Creek High

A teacher of the Year sub-committee spent more than a week reading every application to select the top candidates.  Those applications were then read and ranked by a larger committee who chose the five finalists.

The finalists were visited by a team responsible for deciding the district's winner, based on observing teaching in the classroom and an interview with each candidate.  The winner will be named at an awards ceremony at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, February 10, 2012, at the Daytona Beach Hilton Oceanfront Resort.  The district honoree then will be nominated for the state Teacher of the Year program and will serve as Volusia's representative of quality education through the 2011-2012 school year.

The Teacher of the Year celebration is co-sponsored by FUTURES Foundation and the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Welcome to Island Time on April 27 for FUTURES' 8th Annual Caribbean Party

FUTURES' is currently planning its eighth annual Caribbean Party on April 27th and to gather support from local businesses and individuals. Make plans to attend and enjoy gourmet island cuisine and complimentary beer, wine and beverages.  The cost is $60 each, and all money raised will support FUTURES Programs.  For Caribbean Party sponsorship opportunities, contact Kelly Ferguson, FUTURES Director, at (386) 255-6475 ext. 50730.

Take Stock in Children Program

Take Stock in Children was selected to participate in the Holiday Magic:  Festival of Trees by Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City.  Each contestant was provided a 6 ft pre-lite tree to decorate with the mission of their organization.  The decorated trees will be on display for judging through December 15th in the hospital lobby. Funds raised will benefit cancer patients in the community.

We wish to thank all of the Belk employees who so graciously donated their time and effort in preparing the tree decorations and decorating the tree!


Take Stock in Children is a comprehensive program that helps Volusia County Public School students who meet certain economic criteria by providing college tuition scholarships, volunteer mentors and student support, while encouraging parental and community involvement.
Take Stock in Children has a proven state-wide record for assisting ambitious, goal oriented students to graduate from high school, attend college, and become productive citizens in our community.

To make a donation or sign up to be a mentor, please contact Sheila Rees, Mentor/Coordinator Fundraiser at (386) 255-6475 ext. 50724.

Mentor Statement- Josh Poertner
A Volusia County native, Josh Poertner began his career at Express Printing in 1999, shortly after earning his degree in Graphic Design. He eventually became an Outside Sales Representative for Express, and it was through his involvement with the Deland Area Chamber of Commerce that he first heard of the Take Stock program. He always had an interest in mentoring, and the program seemed like it would be a great fit. Josh started mentoring his first student, a sophomore, in 2008, and had the opportunity to see her graduate with honors and proceed with her education with a full scholarship to the University of Florida. This year, he became a mentor for two more students. As a mentor, he finds it rewarding to have the opportunity to help young people who work hard to succeed despite their obstacles. He and his wife Cassandra have been married for ten years, and they have a six year old daughter, Katie.

TSIC Scholar- Christopher Evans
My name is Christopher Evans and I have two biological brothers named Demontre Johnson and Daniel Evans, and an adopted brother named Denzel Freeman, and we are raised by our mother named Miss Tina Freeman. I am an International Baccalaureate student at Spruce Creek High School.  I'm 6'2" and I am a varsity athlete of football, basketball, and track & field. In basketball, my primary position is Small Forward/Shooting Guard, in football my positions are Free Safety, Wide Receiver, and all special teams, and in track I am a High Jumper. In the future, I plan on majoring in business and/or accounting and one day becoming an accountant because of my strong abilities in math. While I am in college, I plan on playing either basketball, football, or track if the opportunity presents itself.

TSIC Scholar- Monica Reece 
I am a senior in the Academy of Design at Mainland High School. The academy at Mainland High School, is preparing me for a career as an AGA Compliant Interior Designer, which would allow me to design houses for the handicap. I am very active in extracurricular activities which includes AFJROTC program, NTHS and the Academy of Design. I have completed over 160 community service hours and hold a 3.5 GPA. I have been involved in AFJROTC for 3 years and I have held a selected staff position for 2 years. This year, I am in charge of planning our Military Ball for our program and other Volusia County Schools programs as well. I am currently the commander of the Kitty Hawk Air Society, which is the top academic cadet.


Announcing the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series -2012 DIS Budweiser Shootout NSCS on Saturday, February 18, 2012. 

Daytona International Speedway is offering a special package deal for Volusia County School employees.
  The package includes:
  • General Admission ticket with infield access
  • Pre-race/Sprint FANZONE access
  • $10 Daytona Dollars
  • Price:  $55 per person (regular price is $94 per person)
  • Children 12 and under are admitted free for this event
FUTURES will receive $10.00 from each ticket sale.

Many thanks to Daytona International Speedway for their support!