DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 30, 2019) - Daytona State College's School of Education was recently recognized with two notable achievements: according to the Florida Department of Education, the Bachelor of Science in Exceptional Student Education program is ranked 1st in the state, and alumna Emily Budzilek was named the 2019 First Year Teacher of the Year winner.image of DSC alumna Emily Budzilek was named the 2019 First Year Teacher of the Year winner

The Bachelor of Science in Exceptional Student Education program achieved this ranking based on the 2019 Annual Program Performance Report (APPR) which includes factors such as retention, placement, and standardized assessment scores. With a score of 3.70 (out of 4.00), DSC is tied for the top spot along with the University of Central Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, and Nova Southeastern University.

Emily Budzilek, a kindergarten teacher at Palm Terrace Elementary School, received the elementary level 2019 First Year Teacher Award. The FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools selected her from 51 nominees who were nominated by their school principal and displayed outstanding teaching based on standards established by Volusia County Schools.
Daytona State is also proud of the many alumni who were nominated for the award:

  • Jamie Grove, Blue Lake Elementary School
  • Katina Hurst, Freedom Elementary School
  • Katie Hazel, McInnis Elementary School
  • Tayla Kelly, Pierson Elementary School
  • Haley Seay, Port Orange Elementary School
  • Mallory Smith, South Daytona Elementary School
  • Christopher Collier, Timbercrest Elementary School
  • Porscha Morrow, Turie T. Small Elementary School
  • Samantha MacHardy, Woodward Elementary School
  • Kelly-Ann Hammerdorfer, Pine Ridge High School

In addition to our BSED alumni, two EPI graduates were also nominated:

  • Dusty Buck, Pine Trail Elementary School
  • Jillian Janiec Larriviere, Forest Lake Elementary School

"For more than 10 years, we have been committed to producing highly effective teachers and are thrilled to receive recognition for our graduates' and faculty's hard work!" said Dr. Amy Ringue, Academic Chair for the School of Education. Daytona State College offers seven Bachelors of Science in Education Programs, pathways for those already holding a four-year bachelor's degree to earn a 5-year Florida Teaching certificate, and courses for teacher recertification and reading endorsement.

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MORE: Offering more than 100 certificate, associate and bachelor’s degree programs, Daytona State College is the leader in education and workforce training needs of Volusia and Flagler counties and beyond for more than 60 years. The College enrolls nearly 25,000 students a year at its seven instructional sites, with graduates serving in critical fields including healthcare, emergency services/public safety, business, education, hospitality, engineering, technology, digital media, and more. 

Daytona State has been recognized as a leader in higher education numerous times, consistently by U.S. News & World Report, which ranks the College among the Top Tier Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. The U.S. Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency Center has ranked DSC among the top 50 most affordable public four-year institutions in the country, with less than half the tuition of the national average. Community College Week, a leading publication in higher education, annually continues to feature the college in its list of Top 100 Associate Degree Producers. And U.S. News & World Report has ranked DSC among its Top Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans multiple times.

For enrollment information, visit Admissions’ Frequently Asked Questions page.


Chris Thomes,

Marketing & Communications,

A Member of the Florida College System

Daytona State College prohibits discrimination and provides equal opportunity in employment and education services to all individuals without regard to age, ancestry, belief, color, disability, ethnicity, genetic information, gender, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status. For more details, read our policy at or contact Lonnie Thompson, Director of Equity and Inclusion, (386) 506-3000  ext. 3973, or The Office of Equity and Inclusion is located at 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL 32114.