Anna Gonzalez, Director of Student Life

Anna Gonzalez has been named the new Director of Student Life at DME Academy, a role in which she will excel. Anna comes with a wealth of experience and knowledge that will be invaluable to the students at DME. She has a proven track record of success in student affairs, having helped students at DME for the past few years. During this time, she has led several initiatives to improve student engagement and retention rates, and she has demonstrated a strong commitment to creating a positive campus culture.

At DME Academy, Anna will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of student life, including student organizations, residential life, and campus programming. Her experience and expertise in student affairs will undoubtedly help the academy to continue to foster a welcoming and inclusive community that supports student success. With her leadership, the academy will be well-positioned to provide students with the resources and support they need to thrive academically and personally.

“Keeping kids busy makes for happier kids, and happier students perform better,” says Mike Panaggio, Co-Owner/Founder of DME Academy. “DME now has the best Director of Student Life who will keep our students entertained. Last week during spring break she went swimming, paintballing, and to an arcade with our students who stayed on campus. I can’t even keep up with her. Thank you, Anna, for all the great things you do for DME Academy!”

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Anna is known for her warmth and empathy, and she has a natural talent for building strong relationships with students, faculty, and staff alike. Her enthusiasm for her work and her commitment to the student’s well-being will be a great asset to DME Academy. The academy is fortunate to have Anna Gonzalez as its new Director of Student Life, and her appointment will be a positive development for the entire campus community.

DME Academy’s Girls’ High School National and Boys’ High School Gold Teams Win Sunshine Independent Athletic Association State Championships

DME Academy, a prominent athletic institution located in Daytona Beach, Florida, recently made headlines for its outstanding performance in the Sunshine Independent Athletic Association (SIAA) state championships. Two of DME’s basketball teams, the Boys’ High School Gold, and Girls’ High School National emerged victorious and claimed championship titles in their respective divisions.

The boys’ basketball team, led by head coach Hocine Graham, had a remarkable season. They dominated their opponents throughout the year, showcasing their superior skills and teamwork. The team worked well together and it was apparent they had been training all season for a championship battle against Montverde Academy. The final score was a close 50-49, with Traye Sturm leading the way with 19 points. DME Academy’s victory allowed them to claim the Sunshine Independent Athletic Association’s trophy for the 2022-2023 season.

Similarly, the Girls’ High School National team, coached by Michael Panaggio, put up a stellar performance in the championship game against Central Pointe. The team was led to victory by Olivia Schmitt who had 15 points in the 52-42 victory. Schmitt was also declared the SIAA league, tournament, and game MVP. The win crowned DME Academy as the SIAA state champions for the second year in a row.

DME Academy Girls High School National Team coached by Michael Panaggio, Tia McMillian, and Anthony Roberson. Photo by Claude Riban

“Watching our girls’ basketball team win the state championship was one of the proudest moments of my coaching career. Winning two years in a row is something to be proud of,” said Panaggio. “Their dedication, hard work, and perseverance throughout the season paid off, and they proved that anything is possible with determination and teamwork.”

The victories of both teams are a testament to the hard work and dedication put in by the coaches and players. Both coaches had carefully crafted game plans, and the players executed them with precision and focus. The academy’s emphasis on rigorous training and development of their athletic skills has undoubtedly paid off, and the teams’ success is a source of pride for DME Academy.

It is a significant achievement that will be remembered for years to come. Congratulations to the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams for their exceptional performance and for bringing home the SIAA state championship hardware!
Interested in learning more about DME Academy’s proven basketball programs? Check them out here!

Most Valuable Players

Check out the highlights from the Girls’ National win over Central Pointe here!

Olivia Schmitt has been nominated to win the 2023 Florida Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year Award!

Olivia Schmitt, Number 3 on DME Academy’s Girls High School National Team

Olivia Schmitt has been nominated to win the 2023 Florida Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year Award! A talented player, Olivia has been a standout throughout her high school career with DME, whose hard work and dedication have earned her numerous accolades. Earlier this year, she was named MVP at the Mecca Showcase in New York City.

Schmitt is a member of the High School National girl’s team at DME Academy. She has been having an amazing season on and off the court. She averages 14 points, 5.6 assists, and 3.1 steals per game, while also shooting 38% from the 3-point line. Schmitt’s season-high point total was 26  against Rutherford in a 69-45 win on November 23rd, 2022.

Olivia’s consistency on the court has led her team to numerous victories and helped establish new records. Her determination and passion for the game are inspiring, and her talent has not gone unnoticed by coaches, fans, and players alike. So please join me in supporting Olivia Schmitt by casting your vote for her to win Florida’s Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year. Let’s recognize her hard work and exceptional talent by giving her the recognition she deserves.

Dominika Paurova Made Her Senior National Team Debut At 18 Years Old Playing For the Czech Republic Against Ireland.

Dominika Paurova, Number 12 on DME Academy’s Girls High School National Team

Dominika Paurova is a talented basketball player from the Czech Republic who is currently attending DME Academy. She has been honing her skills on the court for years and has become one of the most promising young players in the country. Currently, she plays for DME’s High School Girls’ National team. Last weekend, Dominika had the opportunity to bring her talents to the global stage and represent her home country as a member of the Czech Republic basketball team.

Playing for the Czech Republic team is a dream come true for Dominika. She is thrilled to have the chance to compete on an international stage and represent her country at the highest level of basketball. Dominika’s hard work and dedication to her sport paid off, as she played an important role in helping the Czech Republic team succeed. She had 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists! Her outstanding performance on the court was a testament to her talent and her passion for the game.

Paurova is also taking her talents to the next level here in the United States next year. She recently committed to the University of Minnesota to play for the Golden Gophers Womens Basketball program! 

Want to see how DME’s basketball program can help you play at the highest levels like Paurova? Check it out here! 

The Czech Republic Senior National Team

DME Academy to Host Defensive Academy’s Lacrosse Camp June 19th-June 22nd

DME Academy, the premier basketball, soccer, volleyball, and baseball Academy in Daytona, Florida, is expanding its horizons by hosting a lacrosse camp this summer in partnership with Defensive Academy.

DME has gained a reputation for excellence in high school athletics and academics, with top-level coaches, state-of-the-art facilities, and records to match. With the addition of the lacrosse camp, the school aims to provide young athletes with a new and exciting opportunity to develop their skills.

The lacrosse camp will take place over a four-day period, from June 19th to June 22nd, 2023. The camp will be open to boys aged 12-18 who want to excel in the defensive positions of lacrosse. These include long-stick midfielders and defensemen. Participants will receive top-level coaching from professional lacrosse coaches including Kyle Hartzell, who currently plays for the Redwoods Lacrosse Club, is the head coach for the University of Texas and is a USA Gold Medalist. They’ll also utilize DME Academy’s world-class training facilities, dormitory, and cafeteria, and have the opportunity to experience surrounding attractions, like Daytona Beach.

“We’re excited to be branching out into lacrosse,” said Dan Panaggio, Owner and Founder of DME Academy. “We’re always looking for ways to provide our athletes with new opportunities to grow and develop, and lacrosse is a natural fit here in Florida. We’re confident that the camp will be a great success, and we look forward to welcoming young athletes from across the country.”

Registration for the lacrosse camp is now open, and interested athletes can sign up on the DME Academy website. Spaces are limited, so interested parties are encouraged to register as soon as possible.

DME 11U Baseball Team Runs Annual Deland “United in Strength” MeStrong 5k

DME Academy’s 11u baseball team

DME Academy’s 11U baseball team ran the 2023 “United in Strength” Deland ME STRONG 5k this past weekend. In its 11th year, this race continues to raise both awareness and funds for families in the Central Florida area that have been affected by cancer.

The 5k run was a great way for the young DME baseball team to come together and show their support for a worthy cause. Also, this event allowed our athletes to showcase their athleticism and determination while demonstrating the importance of teamwork and making a positive impact in their local community. The event was not only a fun and challenging experience for the team, but it also inspired others to get involved and support the cause.

Demonstrating their hard work, dedication, and teamwork, the team embodied what it means to be a role model in their community. This is an event that will be remembered for years to come, and it will inspire others to follow in their footsteps and make a positive impact in their own ways.

Congratulations to Coach Michael Main and #11 Brandon Warrel for finishing on the podium!

Over 35 Student-Athletes, Coaches, and Parents From Budapest, Hungary Came to Visit DME Academy

Student-Athletes From Hungary under the Daytona Beach Sign

Last week, DME Academy hosted two teams with a total of 35 student-athletes, coaches, and parents from Budapest Hungary. Through these trips, we have found that hosting International teams is an invaluable experience for both groups, on and off the pitch, and we are so thankful for our local host families for giving our International visitors the full American experience.

“At DME, we truly believe that friendly competition through athletics is the best way to meet with other cultures and create friendships that last,” says Mike Panaggio, Co-Founder of DME Academy. “The Hungarian people are wonderful and they enjoyed mixing with DME students, eating in the cafeteria, and competing against our teams.”

Mike Panaggio, Co-Founder of DME Academy presenting to Hungarian Student-Athletes

While the Hungarians were in Daytona, they visited our beaches and played multiple games against the DME Academy teams. They fully immersed themselves in the American culture and left the states with a team of new friends.

Kioki Hutchings, Asst. Director of Soccer at DME Academy

The Hungarian team’s trip to DME was so successful that they have invited 12 adventurous DME students to represent our academy on a trip to Hungary this upcoming Summer, to experience their culture! They will stay with local families, eat authentic Hungarian food, train together, and most importantly, create a lasting bond of friendship between the athletes of the two countries.

At DME Academy, we believe in going the extra mile. In this case, an extra 5,192 miles.

DME Academy’s First Annual Homecoming Spirit Week Was a Success!

Home Coming banner on the lawn at DME Academy

For each high school student, homecoming has a different meaning. 

For incoming freshmen, it sets the stage for an amazing and eventful year ahead along with the excitement of the many memories they will make over the next four years. 

For Seniors, homecoming can be sentimental and serve as a reminder that their time in high school is about to come to an end. It is a moment to reflect on the past four years of accomplishments, struggles and opposition they faced leading them to where they are now. Although bittersweet, it also serves as a reminder of the amazing journey that lays ahead in college.

During DME Academy’s first annual homecoming spirit week, campus was full of school spirit as students dressed up for each themed day: Jersey Day, Twin Day, International Day, Pajama Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Day. 

They also had the opportunity to participate in a student versus faculty dodgeball game, a pep rally, and a “glow” themed dance.

“DME’s first ever homecoming was so much fun. We learned things we can do differently for next year, but overall it was a blast! It was a really cool experience for our international students who have never been to a Homecoming Dance before!”, says Haley Toler, Student-Life Director.

With over 30 countries represented on DME Academy’s campus, the goal of homecoming week was to unite the student-body. We are grateful to have such a diverse campus that gives us the opportunity to grow together and learn from one another.

We are looking forward to making homecoming spirit week a tradition for years to come. 

Make sure to follow us on social media to stay up to date on all the exciting things happening on our campus this year!

DME Academy to hold its first ever homecoming week!

It’s not always hard work and no play at DME Academy. The school year has already been filled with exciting scrimmages, tough practices and countless hours in the classroom. Now it’s time for us to have some good, old-fashioned fun. 

2022 is a milestone year for DME Academy. The young school is holding its first ever Homecoming week! The theme is “Let’s Glow to HOCO!” where all things neon are welcome. 

DME’s 2022 homecoming week will kick off October 24th and run through October 29th. Haley Toler, DME Academy’s Student Life Director, has been working hard to plan a memorable week for each student-athlete.  The week will be action-packed, beginning on Monday with “Jersey Day” in which students are encouraged to wear the jerseys of their favorite professional sports team. Tuesday is “Twin Day” when students will pair up with their friends to dress similar to one another followed by “Pajama Day” on Wednesday. Thursday is “International Day” and is one of the most important days of homecoming week. DME has an extremely diverse student-body with over 30 countries represented so this day gives our international student-athletes the opportunity to show their pride by wearing their country colors. We’ll round out the week with  “Breast Cancer Awareness Day” when students are encouraged to wear pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.

“Planning DME’s first ever Homecoming alongside Haleigh Panaggio (Student-Life Advisor) has been so fun! We are excited to introduce our international students to a traditional American High school event.” says Toler. “The students are excited and have been signing up to participate in our dodgeball game and all of the activities we have planned. I hope this can become an annual tradition for DME!”

Not only is the campus gearing up for an incredible homecoming theme-week, DME Academy staff will be competing against students in the first-annual dodgeball tournament. Teams of six will compete in a round-robin style of play to find out who will make Patches O’Houlihan proud. 

Saturday is the grand finale. Beginning at 10AM, each DME basketball team will face off against one another. The final game of the day, a showdown between the High School National Team and the Post Grad Blue, will be DME’s first “blackout pep rally” encouraging spectators to dress in all black with tip off at 5pm.

Following the game, there will be food trucks and a UV face painting station in honor of the Neon Dance which will include a DJ and will be the final event of the homecoming week celebrations.

Follow all the excitement on DME Academy social channels!

The Spirit of the Congo

How Mike Panaggio and DME Academy are helping young athletes with the guidance of NBA player, Bismack Biyimbo


On July 31st,  Mike Panaggio, co-owner of DME Academy in Daytona, Florida, set off to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa for a 2 week stay. The DME co-founder was accompanied by Bismack Biyombo, who plays in the NBA for the Phoenix Suns and Xabi Zusperreguy from France.  The purpose of the trip was to change the lives of young athletes by helping Bismack organize and execute a basketball camp for the youth of the Congo, in which two lucky athletes would be selected to attend DME Academy for the 2022-23 season on a full scholarship. 

On what motivated Panaggio to award two full scholarships to DME Academy he explains, “Whoever gives, needs to feel as good as the person receiving the gift of a scholarship. We are looking for two fortunate athletes who want to come to America, have a high degree of respect for education, will put their all into trying something new, and have a certain discipline of family culture.” 

The two students who will be attending DME Academy on a full scholarship will be learning benchmarks in English, physicalities on the court, how to adapt to American style of basketball, and how to make lifelong friends with other student-athletes in the US. 

For the last two years, The Biyombo Family Foundation has not been able to host any camps due to the sweeping Covid-19 pandemic. Panaggio acted as an assistant counselor to Bismack to make sure that the first year back was an unforgettable experience for the young hopeful athletes. 


On the first day of camp on August 2nd, almost 120 kids ventured across the Congo, some traveling as far as 4 hours, to show off their skills to their nation’s hero, Bismack Biyombo. The next 3 days were filled with drills, shooting, working on physical benchmarks and playing pick up games against each other.  The last day of camp, August 6th, held the most excitement. The team held an all stars skills competition consisting of a slam dunk contest and 3 point shooting competition to test their accuracy. Both girls and boys competed in the cutthroat competition.

“The final day of the basketball camp in Lubumbashi, with over 3,000 locals watching, was incredibly powerful and touching,” says Mike Panaggio. “It is amazing how everyone shares the same love I have for basketball. We always felt safe and very welcome by the people of Lubumbashi, even though we were the only foreigners” 

After exploring the cities of Kinshasa, Lubumbashi and Goma, completing a successful three day basketball camp, and making countless memories, Bismack brought Mike and his crew to his mother’s house for a true, homestyle Congolese dinner to wrap the trip up. 

Mike was the only one to make the trip from DME Academy this year, but he is hopeful that his son, Matt Panaggio, will accompany him next year to appreciate the Congo and find the next two future DME Academy attendees. 

Each year moving forward, DME will sponsor 2 new athletes from the Congo in partnership with the Bismack Biyombo Foundation to give them a chance at a better life. 

During the trip, Panaggio, Biyombo and Zusperreguy were accompanied by a video crew. They will be releasing a documentary in the coming months of their experience in the Congo and will name it “The Spirit of Congo”. Watch out for it on the DME Academy social channels! 

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