As we enter the festive holiday season and the slightly cooler winter days, I am delighted to share some exciting district happenings that warm our hearts during this time of year. The past few weeks have been filled with inspiring events and remarkable accomplishments, showcasing the dedication and enthusiasm of our students, staff and community.

While the schools are decorated with bright lights and colorful holiday decorations, our students have been shining on our school stages with outstanding band and choral performances, captivating plays and unforgettable presentations. Their hard work and energy have delighted audiences, shown true talent and showcased the importance of the arts in our curriculum.

We recently celebrated significant milestones and collaborations across VCS and with some of our outstanding partners.

In partnership with Daytona State College, Food Brings Hope and a $500,000 donation from L. Gale Lemerand, local entrepreneur and philanthropist, we officially started our Lemerand Center of Excellence program in Daytona Beach. This after-school tutoring and enrichment program offers growth and learning opportunities for our students and families from Palm Terrace and Turie T. Small elementary schools. This program symbolizes our collaborative community and commitment to providing every student with the support they need to thrive academically.

At our “Principal for a Day” event, we opened our doors to over 70 community partners and local leaders, inviting them to experience a day in the life of our schools. These “new principals” were put to the test, acting alongside our “real principals” for half a day. Many were so good that we are thinking of hiring them! The event was a tremendous success, fostering a stronger connection between our district and our supportive community.

We also had an official ribbon cutting for our new Dual Language programs at Freedom and Discovery elementary schools. This initiative, along with our new French Immersion programs, reflects our commitment to promoting multiculturalism and bilingualism, offering our students an invaluable opportunity to become global citizens.

As a community, we inspire new ideas and make good things happen, all to brighten our students’ futures. Above all, what brings us the most joy as a community is seeing our students happy and thriving.

As we wrap up this year and head into the holiday season, I want to extend my warmest wishes to you and your families. Thank you for your continued support. I look forward to the exciting opportunities and achievements the next year will bring. Wishing you all a joyful and safe winter season.

Dr. Carmen J. Balgobin
Superintendent of Schools