Happy New Year, Volusia County families! As we embark on the journey that is 2024, I am filled with excitement and anticipation for the incredible opportunities that lie ahead for our students, staff and community. The start of a new year is not just a marker in time but a symbol of new beginnings and fresh perspectives.

As we head into the New Year, I want to reiterate our commitment to safety and security for all students and staff. As such, beginning this semester, I am proud to share that we will have one full-time school resource deputy at all of our secondary schools, rounding out the last seven that did not have them. All elementary schools continue to have trained guardians on their campuses. These additional officers also come just in time for us to celebrate Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on Jan. 9, in which we recognize the dedicated individuals who work to ensure the safety of our schools and community.

I am also thrilled to honor our exceptional educators during the Teacher of the Year Celebration later this month. Our teachers play a pivotal role in shaping the future, and this is a moment to acknowledge their dedication. One Teacher of the Year from each school will be honored, and from these site winners, we will name and honor our District Teacher of the Year!

We are also gearing up to immerse ourselves in Literacy Week from Jan. 22 to 26. During this week (and all year long!), we will focus on fostering a love for reading and promoting literacy initiatives across all grade levels. Many of our schools are hosting reading challenges, storytelling sessions and guest speakers to highlight the importance of reading.

In addition to these events, I am excited to share that we have updated our Strategic Plan to better align with our commitment to academic excellence. Our overarching goal is clear: high-quality learning every day. This goal is our guiding principle, shaping our actions and decisions in every department. From administration to custodial staff, from technology specialists to teachers, all of our departments are united in their support of this fundamental objective. The plan reflects our dedication to providing an enriching, challenging and nurturing environment for every student.

As we embrace the opportunities of the New Year, let us come together as a community to support our shared vision of high-quality learning. Together, we can create an environment where every student thrives, every teacher inspires and every member of our community contributes to the success of our schools. Thank you for your support. I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful start to 2024!

Dr. Carmen J. Balgobin
Superintendent of Schools