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FUTURES names First Year Teacher Award Recipients

  • FUTURES names First Year Teacher Award Recipients
  • FUTURES names First Year Teacher Award Recipients
  • FUTURES names First Year Teacher Award Recipients
  • FUTURES names First Year Teacher Award Recipients
  • FUTURES names First Year Teacher Award Recipients
  • FUTURES names First Year Teacher Award Recipients

FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools announced its 2019 First Year Teacher Award recipients during its annual recognition event April 23 at Mainland High School’s Auditorium.  Emily Budzilek, a kindergarten teacher at Palm Terrace Elementary School, received the Elementary level First Year Teacher Award while Haleigh Smith, a World History teacher from Mainland High School, received the Secondary level First Year Teacher Award. Palm Terrace and Mainland High School are both located in Daytona Beach. This year’s reception, co-sponsored by FUTURES and Volusia United Educators (VUE), featured refreshments prepared and served by the Mainland High Culinary Academy.

Mrs. Budzilek and Mrs. Smith were selected for their awards from 51 nominees who were chosen to represent their schools. To be considered for the recognition, nominees must have earned a Baccalaureate degree, started a full-time teaching career on or after Jan. 1, 2018, performed outstandingly based on standards established by the Volusia County School District and been nominated by their school principal.

In recommending Mrs. Budzilek for this award, Palm Terrace Elementary Principal Tucker Harris stated, “Mrs. Budzilek comes to school each day not only to teach standards at a high level, but to smile, hug and love her students. Each day she starts with a warm welcome to each of her students and focuses on ensuring that the children have a safe environment, where they are truly loved.”

Mainland High School Principal Dr. Cheryl Salerno stated, “As a new teacher entering mid-stream, Mrs. Smith was dropped into her PLC, but rather than being swept away or drowned in the details and drama, she popped to the surface and became a leader in her PLC. Her practice is a beautiful example of what Marzano refers to as the “art of teaching”. She takes research-based practices from the science of education and naturally weaves them into her craft making them her own.”

Christy Mahaney, Specialist from the Volusia County Schools Professional Learning & School Improvement, provided insights into each nominee’s enthusiasm and dedication to their students as they were recognized on stage.  Nominees received a special motivational speech by 2020 Volusia County Teacher of the Year Ian Jackson from Taylor Middle-High School in Pierson. Two additional special guests included Melissa Diamond and Julian Gutierrez, the 2018 Elementary and Secondary First Year Teachers Award recipients, respectively, who also addressed the nominees and presented the 2019 awards to Mrs. Budzilek and Ms. Smith.


This year’s Elementary First Year Teacher nominees included: 

Blue Lake Elementary School - Jamie Grover

Champion Elementary School - Courtney Kirk

Citrus Grove Elementary School - Elissa Cohen

Cypress Creek Elementary School - Alicia Melendez

Deltona Lakes Elementary School - Kathryn L. Buday

Edgewater Public School - Ryan Burkhalter

Enterprise Elementary School - Paige Shinsky

Freedom Elementary School - Katina Hurst

Forest Lake Elementary School - Jillian J. Larriviere

Friendship Elementary School - Elianis Nunez

George Marks Elementary School - Karen Smith

Holly Hill School - Taylor Berry

Horizon Elementary School - Jennifer Pugh

Indian River Elementary School - Patricia Crouse

R.J. Longstreet Elementary School - Stacie Snyder

Manatee Cove Elementary School - Danielle Staudte

McInnis Elementary School - Katie Hazel

Orange City Elementary School - Samantha Williams

Osceola Elementary School - Shelby Seaman

Palm Terrace Elementary School - Emily Budzilek

Pathways Elementary School - Tara Floyd

Pierson Elementary School - Tayla Kelly

Pine Trail Elementary School - Dusty Buck

Port Orange Elementary School - Haley Seay

South Daytona Elementary School - Mallory Smith

Spirit Elementary School - Danielle Bertossa

Starke Elementary School - Laney King

Sunrise Elementary School - Shannon Shontz

Timbercrest Elementary School - Christopher Collier

Turie T. Small Elementary School - Porscha Morrow

Westside Elementary School - Christina Murray

Woodward Elementary School - Samantha MacHardy


This year’s Secondary First Year Teacher nominees included:

Atlantic High School - Diana Skerrett

Campbell Middle School - Taneshia Williamson

David C. Hinson Middle School - Allison L. Tanner

DeLand High School - Kristin D'Aquino

DeLand Middle School - Shayla S. Stoughton

Deltona High School - Nathacha Curras

Deltona Middle School - Julie Tussing

Galaxy Middle School - Cory Rowe

Heritage Middle School - Shelby Flowers

Mainland High School - Haleigh Smith

New Smyrna Beach Middle School - Georgia Corr

Ormond Beach Middle School - Ashley King

Pine Ridge High School - Kelly-Ann Hammerdorfer

River Springs Middle School - Luke Gonyea

Silver Sands Middle School - Caleb Rich

Southwestern Middle School - Victoria Arnold

Spruce Creek High School - Griffin Fuller

T. Dewitt Taylor Middle/High School - Amber Dees

University High School - Susanna Alires-Medina

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