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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, May 10, 2021 1 month ago

VCS Teacher of the Year a finalist for Florida Teacher of the Year

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by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

Volusia County Schools' Teacher of the Year has been selected as one of five finalists statewide for Florida Teacher of the Year, a press release announced.

Frank Garaitonandia, the art teacher at Citrus Grove Elementary School in DeLand, became a teacher 16 years ago. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and started teaching at Citrus Grove in 2014. Garaitonandia is a Cuban immigrant who believes “there is no greater creative act than sparking a child’s mind,” according to the press release, and he was named VCS Teacher of the Year in January from a field of 71 nominees.

The Florida Teacher of the Year will be announced on July 22 in Orlando.

SMA merges with behavioral health agency

SMA Healthcare and The Centers, a behavioral health agency out of Marion County, will merge under the SMA Healthcare name, effective July 1.

A press release announced at the SMA board of directors recently voted and agreed to the merger. SMA entered into a strategic consulting agreement with The Centers in August 2020, and the two organizations then entered a period of "due diligence, collaboration, and exploration in December, with the goal of an agreed merger." 

“We are thrilled to expand our continuum of services into Marion and Citrus County,” said SMA Healthcare CEO Ivan Cosimi. “We know this merger will afford us the opportunity to meet the behavioral health needs of those individuals in our areas of operation.”

Vets Create program is extended

Daytona State College recently announced an extension of its Vets Create program in the Mike Curb College of Music, Entertainment and Art, thanks to funding by the Margaret McCartney and R. Parks William Foundation.

This program allows veterans and their immediate family members to enroll in creative courses as a mean of expression, social reintegration, healing and learning, a press release explains. The extension covers enrollment in courses through June 30, 2022. The grant will provide scholarship funds to cover course credits, lab and required fees, as well as tool kits and art supplies specific to each class. The scholarship amount varies depending on which course. 

Veterans interested in being part of the Vets Create program should contact Trent Berning at [email protected]. They must qualify for in-state tuition. 

Welcome Sadye!

Life is Ketaful is adding a new board-certified family nurse practitioner to its work family.

Sadye Dexter has over 10 years of nursing experience. Courtesy photo

Sadye Dexter has over 10 years of nursing experience, according to an announcement, and she has worked in both intensive care, cardiovascular intensive care units and most recently, in family practice. Dexter received her bachelor's at Daytona State College and her master's at Chamberlain College of Nursing. She is a member of the Florida Association of Nurse Practitioners and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Dexter and her husband Craig have been together for 11 years and have four children. When not working, she enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends as well as getting creative in her sewing room.

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