It was back to graduating in person and tacking stock of a year of absences, losses and sorrows, but also of resilience and triumphs as 1,036 FPC and Matanzas High school students held their graduation ceremonies at the Ocean Center in Daytona Wednesday.
Matanzas High School
Here are the winners of the annual student photography show at the Flagler County Art League, including Best of Show Briana Aguiar. Like everything else in the past year, the show at the Flagler County Art League was in part restricted by the pandemic, though it’s online and the top three works will be on display at Galleria d’Arte in Palm Coast.
Joseph Washington, 18, was arrested in January after Matanzas High faculty learned of a song he’d uploaded, threatening Tom Wooleyhan, a dean, by name. He was sentenced to 18 months’ probation on a third-degree felony charge, a plea deal the judge found surprising for its leniency. The charge will be dropped if Washington fulfills its terms over the next 18 months.
In a first for Flagler Schools, this year’s District Teacher and Employee Celebration was held entirely online. In all, 17 employees and 11 teachers from across the district were honored.
Joseph Washington, a senior at Matanzas High School, wrote, sang, recorded and posted a song about a Matanzas administrator who’d suspended him over a dress-code violation. The song is a succession of obscenities, racism, sexual put-downs, misogynism, and explicit threats to kill not only the administrator but his family.
The Flagler County School Board this evening reversed its April vote and added “gender identity” to its anti-discrimination policy, ending a year-long and at times controversial and embittered debate over the identity and rights of LGBTQ students.
Jeff Reaves has been principal at Matanzas High School since 2017. He’s been in education for 15 years, 12 of those in Volusia County. Stacia Collier is a 2000 graduate of Flagler-Palm Coast High School.
Attendance at FPC will be limited to 640 people in the stands, or about 13 percent of the stadium’s capacity of 5,000. No tickets will be sold at the gate, no interactions between fans and athletes will be allowed.
There’s been 184 new cases in the last 14 days alone in Flagler, and 28 positive cases in the Flagler County school district through today since school reopened on Aug. 24, half of them at Old Kings Elementary, as a renewed spike has the local health department chief concerned.
Fewer than half the district’s students took seats in actual classrooms and 10,000 attended one of Flagler schools’ three options overall, a 23 percent decline from the district’s usual enrollment. If there was a measure of excitement about being back, there was also apprehension, uncertainty, many unanswered questions.