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The Direct Connection

the direct connection

April 24, 2019

Good Wednesday morning, Teachers, Staff and Administrators,

Today is Administrative Professionals’ Day. Throughout my 28 years of service in Volusia County Schools, I have worked with and met many truly exceptional clerks. They have been diligent, professional and just all-around great human beings.  What would our schools and district offices be like without these co-workers? Take some time today and express your gratitude to the clerks that work in your building.  Everybody likes to hear “thank you.”

This week is dedicated to Extended Day Enrichment Program (EDEP) employees throughout the state of Florida.  Forty elementary schools have such a program where some very talented people work. Our EDEP employees are special because they are patient, caring and there for the students. They may be with students for only a few hours a day, yet our EDEP employees truly make a difference.

Enjoy the rest of this week,

Tom Russell

It’s a lot easier to do good work when you have good words to say and work with good people.
~Mark Harmon

Mr. James T. Russell

Superintendent of Schools


386/734-7190, extension 20210

Fax:  386/734-2842


June 3, 2019

Good Monday morning, Teachers, Staff and Administrators,

Thank you so much for the many kind words and thoughts you have sent my way over the past few weeks.  It has been a challenging time, and yet I am grateful and proud of our accomplishments as a district.  As I had the privilege of watching 4,274 seniors graduate over the last few days, I am reminded of just how special our profession is and of how their achievement is something that each one of you has had a hand in. Thank you all for the many ways you have helped our graduates over the course of their years in Volusia County Schools. Their accomplishments are really accomplishments of which we can all be proud. 

Thank you for all of the hours you will be spending in the next few days and weeks to prepare for our next set of students and for the year ahead of us.  Our Clerical Institute will take place on June 5th and 6th, and I hope to see many of you there.  We will have the humor of author Neila Connors to open our event on the morning of June 6th.  She has a wonderful sense of humor and a deep understanding of public schools. One of her most popular books is If You Don’t Feed the Teachers, They Eat the Students I sincerely hope you will enjoy the morning.

Finally, I want to thank every employee in Volusia County Schools for a wonderful 28 years. I have learned so much from all of you, and I truly feel that I have worked with the finest people in education. The weeks and months ahead will bring change to our district, but I know that you will keep striving for excellence in all that you do and in the way you serve our students. 

In the space of less than five years, we have worked together to move our district from a C to a B and overcome tremendous financial challenges.  We are only five points away from an A--and I am very optimistic we will be even closer to that A when school grades are released by the state next month.  While I won’t be here with you when those grades are released, remember that you have been part of the team to make these great things happen for our students.

Keep your focus on the positive. I wish you the very best success in your careers.

With gratitude,

Tom Russell

“Virtually nothing is impossible in this world if you just put your mind to it and maintain a positive attitude.”

~Lou Holtz


 Mr. James T. Russell
Superintendent of Schools


386/734-7190, extension 20210

Fax:  386/734-2842


The Direct Connection (2018-2019)

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