Pair of Flagler Palm Coast High School Students Semifinalists for National Merit Scholarships

Earlier this month, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in its 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Two students from Flagler Palm Coast High School are on that list. They are Elizabeth Wolcott and Liying Wu. Both Wolcott and Wu now have the opportunity to compete for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring.

According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, over 1.5 million juniors entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 PSAT, which is an initial screen of program entrants. Those students who qualify as Semifinalists represent less than one percent of high school seniors.

Elizabeth Wolcott is the vice president of FPC’s Future Problem Solving program. She also dances at Mia Bella Academy of Dance. Elizabeth says her dream school would be Yale University but is also eyeing the University of Florida and Vassar College. She plans to major and pursue a career in mathematics.

Liying Wu has plans to attend the University of Chicago upon graduation. She is currently the vice-president of the school’s Bridge Club as well as a member of Future Problem Solvers, Mu Alpha Theta, and the Flagler Youth Orchestra.

Both young women are also enrolled in the FPCHS International Baccalaureate program.


National Merit Scholarship winners of 2020 will be announced between April and July. Since its inception in 1955, more than 345,000 young people have earned the Merit Scholar title.

Superintendent James Tager Announces Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year

No tricks, just treats for a pair of school administrators this Halloween. Flagler Schools Superintendent James Tager announced the district’s Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year on Halloween morning.

LaShakia Moore, principal at Rymfire Elementary School was tapped as the top school administrator while iFlagler’s Erin Quinn was selected as Assistant Principal of the year.

“In both LaShakia and Erin, you have two people who consistently reach beyond their school in collaboration,” says Superintendent Tager.

LaShakia Moore graduated from Bethune-Cookman University in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in exceptional student education and earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from St. Leo University in 2017. Of her nearly 15 years in education, 12 of them have been with Flagler Schools. She was a teacher and then a teacher support colleague at Rymfire Elementary before moving to the district’s Teaching and Learning office as a curriculum specialist. A year after that move, Superintendent Tager chose her to return to Rymfire as the school’s principal.

“For me to be able to be out front, leading alongside such amazing faculty and staff is such an honor,” Moore said after she was announced as the District’s Principal of the Year. “I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to lead such an amazing group of people.

It’s almost as if we are a hidden secret so my job is to just expose them to the world and expose the world to the great things happening here at Rymfire Elementary School.”

Superintendent Tager says of Mrs. Moore, “Her enthusiasm is infectious. When you sit down and talk with her, you know she has a plan in place and rolling to give every one of her students every opportunity to succeed. She has parents and community leaders buying into her plan so there is no stopping her.”

Erin Quinn has been the assistant principal for iFlagler for nearly four years. iFlagler, now in its tenth year, is a virtual learning environment and a franchise of Florida Virtual School. In Flagler County, students enrolled in iFlagler have access to Flagler Schools teachers whenever additional help is needed.

“During Erin’s tenure as assistant principal of iFlagler, the program has been recognized as the best small district Florida Virtual School franchise in the state two out of the past four years,” says Superintendent Tager. “That goes to show just how great a leader Erin is. She has been able to assist our students through the very unique challenges of a virtual learning environment, and those students are succeeding.”

Quinn is “one of our own,” a 1997 Flagler Palm Coast High School graduate. She went on to Florida State University where she graduated in 2001 as a communications major. Quinn earned her Master’s from Stetson University in 2016 educational leadership.

“I am just so grateful and honored to be recognized,” said a surprised Quinn. “As a graduate of Flagler County Schools, it’s great to be able to come home and give back to the community and the students and just help our team.”

Diane Dyer, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, as well as serving as iFlagler’s principal says of Erin, “In the virtual world, the school never closes, and Erin spends many, many hours at night and on the weekend in communication with parents. She will often reach out to a parent before the conversation becomes a tough one, and is very skilled at getting the parent’s full support.”

Both LaShakia Moore and Erin Quinn will be honored at the District’s Teacher and Employee of the Year Gala, January 16th which will be held at Flagler Auditorium beginning at 6:00 pm.

Parent Magazine