Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Skip Navigation LinksHome > News
A+ A- Reset

Volusia County Selects Outstanding School Volunteers


The 2016-2017 Outstanding School Volunteer Award winners have been selected and will be honored during a School Board recognition event on April 25. Zilliah C. Gould, Volusia County's Outstanding School Volunteer in the senior category, was named the Outstanding School Volunteer in the same category by the Florida Department of Education for Region III (Central Florida).

Mrs. Gould, a retired Volusia County teacher, began volunteering in 1994. In 2005, she and Donna Adams — the kindergarten teachers she currently volunteers for — were selected as Volusia County Schools Elementary Teacher/Volunteer Team of the Year. She works with several kindergarten teachers at Read-Pattillo Elementary and approximately 50 to 75 students each year. Kindergarten teachers often need a second person in classrooms to help with learning centers or practice necessary reading and math skills in which children are not secure, and that is where Mrs. Gould is utilized. She gives one-on-one support and encouragement to children who have no one to help them at home and contributes many ideas for the students to ponder. At 84 years young, she continues to share things that she did as a little girl — each year, she buys between 80 and 100 t-shirts so the children can make reindeer shirts, and also gives about 60 teachers and staff members a homemade jar of strawberry fig jam. The quality of her service is exceptional and benefits the developmental growth of the young children at Read-Pattillo Elementary.

Hannah Arieti, a sophomore at New Smyrna Beach High School, won the Outstanding School Volunteer Award in the youth category. Hannah has been serving Chisholm Elementary for approximately five years, and has played a pivotal role in transforming the media center into an engaging space for learning focused on a love of literature and reading. Under the direction of the school's Media Specialist Nicole McDonald, Hannah has created a Reading Counts tree to provide students with an engaging visual to track their progress. As a result of her efforts, approximately 85 percent of the student population is now engaged in the program. Her work in the media center has also involved the creation of a "reading boat," where students have an opportunity to escape from the traditional desk and chairs and enjoy reading in a small boat, allowing for a sense of adventure and possibility. Hannah is a valuable asset to Chisholm Elementary and its community. Her ability to create fabulous bulletin boards and eye-catching documents works to create a love of reading throughout the campus and provides a creative resource for teachers and staff.

John Sutherland, an exceptional school volunteer at Freedom Elementary, won the Outstanding School Volunteer Award in the adult category. Mr. Sutherland has been a School Advisory Council member for seven years. He has also been the school's District Advisory Council (DAC) representative for six of those years. He provides valuable input to SAC and takes a lead in problem-solving and collaboration for many important school issues. Mr. Sutherland is also very involved with the Freedom PTA; he has spent countless hours organizing fundraisers, including the school's first Walkathon fundraiser two years ago. He works with the PTA to support teachers and a positive school environment. Mr. Sutherland secured a donation of plants from a local nursery and maintains ongoing landscape labor around campus, making the school a beautiful place for students and teachers to spend their time each day. Lastly, Mr. Sutherland spends time directly involved with students, assists teachers with class projects and celebrations, and is always willing to go the extra mile to support teachers with anything they need to be successful in the classroom.

Marla Griffin, guidance counselor, and Fran Dyer, volunteer, were selected to receive the Teacher/Volunteer Team Award at the elementary level. The team was nominated by Chisholm Elementary for their work in providing food to students through the Hi Five Weekend Snack Program.  If it were not for the Hi Five Program many students would not have access to food in the pantry over the weekend and this team ensures students receive the nutrition they need.

Amanda El Shemi, teacher, and Randi Parsell, volunteer, were selected to receive the Teacher/Volunteer Team Award at the secondary level. The team was nominated by Creekside Middle for their continued efforts in helping the school's chorus program. Thanks to this team, the choir program has grown from 80 to 143 students. They also raise scholarship funds to help the students attend events and competitions. Teaching students how to give back to the community by involving them in different drives and activities sets this team apart from the rest.

For more information on volunteering with Volusia County Schools, contact Annette Hood, facilitator for volunteers/partnerships programs, at (386) 255-6475, extension 38381.

Download Photos of the Outstanding School Volunteer Award Winner Photos (via Dropbox)​

Show All Articles
VCS Outlook Web Access
VCS Staff Applications