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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, May 3, 2021 1 month ago

Pathways Elementary recognized for its gardening, STEM focus

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by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

Pathways Elementary was recognized at the Volusia County School Board meeting on April 27 as part of the district's monthly School Spotlight. 

Pathways Principal Holly Bailey, Music teacher Jessica Palmer and a group of students shared their school's efforts to feed and grow minds and bodies through its gardening/STEM focus, a press release reported. Students performed a song titled, "Plant a Tree," and read "If You Plant a Seed" by Kadir Nelson. They also gave School Board members a plant for National Arbor Day. 

Empty the Shelters program

The Halifax Humane Society is among 200 animal shelters participating in the National Empty the Shelters adoption event May 5-9, with reduced adoption fees of $25 or less sponsored by Bissell Pet Foundation.

“We are thankful to have been chosen once again as a qualifying shelter for the Bissell Empty the Shelter adoption event,” said Barry KuKes, community outreach director of Halifax Humane Society in a press release.

Empty the Shelters is the foundation's biggest program and it cannot continue going and growing without donor support. Since the program was created in 2016, the foundation has found forever homes for 49,360 pets.  The foundation is seeking donations to continue to expand ETS to more areas, and 100% of contributions will go directly to fund pet adoptions. Visit

VCS Generous Support award

The Volusia County School Board recently honored business leader Craig Conway with the district's Generous Support award for his support of the annual Teacher of the Year program, the FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools and public education.

Conway is the owner of Daytona Kia, Daytona Mitsubishi and Diamond Motors and Marine in New Smyrna Beach, according to a press release. He has provided a new vehicle for the Teacher of the Year to drive at no cost for the last 12 years. He also donates cash for the program.

He was presented his award by Cynthia Ramirez, FUTURES Foundation executive director.

“This is a great honor for our companies," said Conway, according to a press release. "My wife and I have always supported education...Our companies are proud to be supporting this situation. We always give the teachers a brand-new car. It’s really a small thing. We’re glad to do it."

Conway has also served as a board member for the FUTURES Foundation since 2015. 

Animal Services receives award

Volusia County Animal Services received the Florida Animal Control Association's 2021 Outstanding Cooperative Team Achievement award as a result of its partnership with the University of Florida's Veterinary Forensic Sciences Laboratory. 

According to a press release, the partnership helps to ensure that cases involving animal cruelty, welfare or suspected abuse "are handled with the highest level of care and professionalism, said Animal Services Director Adam Leath, who serves on the board of direcors for the National Animal Care and Control Association and is a courtesy assistant professor for UF's college of veterinary medicine. 

“The working relationship that we’ve been able to develop with the Veterinary Forensic Sciences Laboratory really has resulted in enhanced animal services in Volusia County,” Leath said. “We’re improving the lives of pets and people by combining the strengths and resources of both organizations. It’s a true partnership in every sense of the word, and we’re very proud that the Florida Animal Control Association has recognized the shared efforts and impacts of our teamwork.”   UF's veterinary forensic sciences laboratory is committed to assisting and supporting animal cruelty investigations, and the university has helped to train Volusia County animal control officers in skills like crime scene investigation, excavation of clandestine graves and how to identify, document and perform forensic examination of animal abuse victims. 

Knights of Columbus help local ESE programs

The Knights of Columbus Prince of Peace Council 8791 distributed $3,150 in grants to five Ormond Beach schools, two local charities and one statewide charity, from its annual Campaign for Citizens with Disabilities fund.

The grants are from the proceeds realized by the council selling Tootsie Rolls at Prince of Peace Catholic Church and its Like New shop. The amount raised this year is about one-half of what has been raised in previous years due to COVID-19 restrictions, a press release stated. 

“Through the efforts of our council members and the incredible generosity of area residents and visitors, we are pleased to again provide much needed-funds to help local students and citizens with learning and developmental challenges,” Grand Knight Charles Armstrong said.

The recipients this year are the exceptional student education programs at Ormond Beach Middle School, Pathways Elementary, Pine Trail Elementary, Tomoka Elementary and Osceola Elementary, as well as the Special Olympics Voluisa/Flagler Counties, ARC of Volusia and Florida Knights of Columbus Charities, Inc. 

PEO distributes first scholarship

The Ormond Beach Chapter GQ of the Philanthropic Education Organization recently awarded its inaugural $1,000 Faye Council Memorial Scholarship to Melanie Price, a junior honor student at Daytona State College.

Price, of Deltona, is studying education. The scholarship is made possible thanks to funding bequeathed by Faye Council, a longtime Ormond Beach resident, after her death in 2017. PEO is an international organization for women. 

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