DME Academy is pleased to highlight two outstanding students who have made a significant impact on our community during the month of October.
Ceylone Brooks, a postgraduate student from Columbus, Ohio, is not only excelling in her studies but also leaving her mark on the basketball court as a key player on DME’s girls’ prep team. Beyond her athletic achievements, Ceylone is recognized for her leadership and support for her peers. Her inclusive approach creates an environment where everyone feels comfortable and heard.
Seif Kirker, a high school student from Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, brings his passion for basketball and a global perspective to DME’s High School Gold team. As a shooting guard, Seif stands out not only for his skills on the court but also for his appreciation of the diverse community at DME Academy. He actively contributes to fostering an inclusive atmosphere where students from different backgrounds thrive together.
Both Ceylone and Seif go beyond their roles as athletes; they are outstanding citizens who make a positive difference every day. Their commitment to supporting their peers and contributing to the inclusive culture at DME reflects the values that define our academy. We congratulate Ceylone Brooks and Seif Kirker for their exceptional achievements and contributions to the DME community.
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On November 8, DME Academy celebrated a momentous National Signing Day as six exceptional student-athletes officially committed to continuing their academic and athletic journeys at esteemed institutions.
Jaylen Robinson, a 6’6″ forward, chose the University of Richmond’s academics and men’s basketball program over a distinguished list of finalists, including Princeton, Mercer, Yale, Penn, and Columbia. Matt Panaggio, Director of Men’s Basketball at DME Academy, expressed his pride in Jaylen, stating, “I am very proud of Jaylen and excited to see his future at the University of Richmond. He’s very unselfish, coachable, and hardworking.”
Olivia Schmitt, a 5’5″ point guard from Staten Island, is heading back to her home state to study and play women’s basketball at Syracuse University. Head coach Felisha Legette-Jack said, “She has a certain toughness about her. She can pass that ball; she can shoot that ball, and one thing I love about her is she has no problem going in with the trees and trying to make things happen.”
Keira Scott, a 6’1″ four-star forward and daughter of Syracuse football alum George Scott, will be joining DME teammate, Olivia Schmitt, at Syracuse University. Legette-Jack said, “Once we learned how incredibly gifted she was both academically and athletically, and she’s also got a connection to being Orange, it was a no-brainer that we were going to go after her as if she was the best player in the world.”
Tahj Bloom, a highly rated 6’3″ forward for DME Academy, signed with Mississippi State University as a four-star recruit, ranking No. 41 overall and No. 9 among forwards by Premiere Basketball and espnW HoopGurlz. Head Coach Sam Purcell said of Bloom, “She brings a dynamic skill set and competitive mentality each time she steps on the floor. Most importantly, Tahj comes from a great family and will be a great addition to the culture we are building at Mississippi State.”
6’2″ forward from Melbourne, Australia, Tabitha Betson, signed to the University of Colorado. A four-star recruit, Betson holds the No. 80 spot on ESPN.com’s top 100 list. Colorado head coach, JR Payne, said, “Tabs is one of the most skilled and well-rounded players we have recruited here at Colorado. Her basketball IQ is off the charts and will be a perfect fit for our offensive system.”
Ines Goryanova, a 5’8″ point guard from Sofia, Bulgaria, chose Baylor University. Ranked No. 49 on ProspectsNation and No. 71 on espnW, Goryanova impressed Baylor head coach Nicki Collen with her exciting guard abilities, deep shooting range, and the overall toughness cultivated through her mother’s extensive professional basketball background.
Michael Panaggio, Director of Girl’s Basketball at DME Academy, commemorated the day as historic for the program, stating, “We have 5 extremely special young ladies who are headed to the power 5 level. I am very proud of their individual success thus far and I’m excited to see what they can accomplish together during their senior year.”
DME Academy looks forward to witnessing the continued success of our class of 2024 basketball student-athletes, both academically and athletically. Congratulations to these outstanding student-athletes on this remarkable accomplishment.
DME Academy stands as an elite boarding and day school for athletes, offering a dynamic environment that combines exceptional academics with year-round athletic training. But there’s a new aspect to the DME experience that’s making waves among Florida residents: the Step Up scholarship program.
The Step Up scholarship program is a game-changer for Florida residents, providing access to private schools that align with their academic and personal needs. Regardless of household income, K-12 students eligible to enroll in a K-12 public school in Florida can receive a scholarship, which averages around $7,800. For many families, this financial assistance makes a world of difference in affording a high-quality education.
DME Academy’s commitment to developing well-rounded student-athletes has made it a sought-after institution for those aspiring to excel academically and athletically. DME’s approach to academics is unique and personalized, catering to students’ individual interests, learning styles, and athletic training and competition schedules.
One standout feature is the creation of Personalized Learning Plans for each student every year. This approach ensures that academic growth aligns with the demands of the student’s athletic pursuits. DME Academy also offers a hybrid learning model that seamlessly blends online education with a traditional classroom setting. In addition to a comprehensive curriculum, students have access to honors, advanced, AP, dual-enrollment, and SAT/ACT preparation courses.
The results speak volumes. DME Academy boasts a 99% college matriculation rate, with graduates of DME going on to attend prestigious institutions like the University of Iowa, UNC, The Citadel, George Mason University, and Drexel University, to name a few. The combination of personalized education and rigorous athletic training equips DME students not only with the skills to excel in college but also with valuable life skills such as discipline, work ethic, coachability, and commitment.
One other notable and unique aspect that sets DME Academy apart is its provision of year-round organized sports opportunities at the middle school level. This is a distinguishing feature, particularly when considering that many Florida public schools do not offer such extensive sports programs. DME Academy’s commitment to providing year-round sports like boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, volleyball, baseball, and golf demonstrates their dedication to fostering athletic talent from a young age. This holistic approach not only ensures that students develop their skills but also prepares them to handle the rigorous demands of college-level competition, both in terms of skill development and managing demanding schedules.
The acceptance of Step Up scholarships at DME Academy is a testament to the institution’s commitment to providing quality education and athletic development to all who seek it. For Florida residents, this represents an unprecedented opportunity to access DME’s elite educational and athletic experience.
Floridians interested in learning more about DME Academy and the Step Up scholarship program are encouraged to attend our Day School Open House on November 6, 2023. Click here to register.
DME Academy extends a warm invitation to prospective student-athletes, parents, and families to its upcoming Open House event on Monday, November 6. This informative event aims to provide a detailed insight into DME Academy, a renowned institution based in Daytona Beach, Florida, known for its dedication to fostering both athletic and academic excellence at the middle school, high school, and post-graduate levels.
DME Academy at a Glance
DME Academy is a distinguished institution that caters to the needs of student-athletes aspiring to unlock their highest potential, leverage their strengths, and realize their ambitions. Situated in Daytona Beach, Florida, DME provides an extensive array of programs. These encompass co-ed boarding and day school options spanning from 6th to 12th grade, post-graduate programs, as well as year-round offerings, including camps, tournaments, and private and small group training.
Key Highlights of DME Academy’s Open House
DME Academy’s Open House is tailored for local Florida student-athletes seeking to enhance their middle and high school experience and access year-round organized sports programs, a rarity in most local schools, particularly at the middle school level. Geared toward day school student-athletes or commuters, this event provides a window into the extraordinary opportunities that await.
Attendees will have the chance to explore DME’s world-class campus and exceptional athletic facilities, fostering an environment for holistic growth. Additionally, they’ll engage with DME’s elite staff, including dedicated teachers, coaches, and administrators, to gain insight into DME’s premier training regimens, coaching philosophies, and the wealth of resources available to student-athletes. Aspiring attendees can also delve into DME’s academic curriculum, powered by Xceed, offering personalized learning plans, flexible schedules, and academically challenging coursework that prepares students for the next level. Lastly, DME will provide information and details on how Florida residents can benefit from the Step Up scholarships through EMA, ensuring that DME’s world-class education and training are accessible to local families.
DME Academy’s dedication to excellence transcends the athletic field, and the Open House event is your chance to witness this commitment firsthand. Whether you’re an aspiring athlete with dreams of achieving greatness or a parent seeking a top-tier education for your child, DME Academy’s Open House on November 6 is an event you won’t want to miss.
To learn more about DME Academy’s Day School and register for the FREE open house, click here.
At DME Academy, we take immense pride in recognizing and celebrating the outstanding achievements of our students. It is with great pleasure that we announce our September Students of the Month, who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to their studies, character, and community involvement. Without further ado, let’s meet our outstanding students for September:
High School Student of the Month: Lauren Duff
Lauren Duff, a senior at DME Academy, has been selected as our High School Student of the Month for September. Lauren has consistently maintained an impressive record of straight A’s during her time at DME. Her academic excellence is a testament to her unwavering commitment to her studies.
What sets Lauren apart, however, is not just her academic prowess but her exceptional character. She is known among her peers and teachers as a stellar student who radiates kindness and compassion. Lauren’s innate ability to make everyone around her feel valued, appreciated, and accepted, and her genuine concern for the well-being of others has left an indelible mark on our school community.
Lauren aspires to become a teacher once she graduates from DME Academy. With her dedication, empathy, and outstanding academic achievements, there is no doubt that she will make a positive impact on the lives of future students she encounters.
Middle School Student of the Month: Anthony Panetta
In the middle school category, we are delighted to introduce Anthony Panetta as our Student of the Month for September. Anthony, an eighth-grader at DME Academy, has demonstrated exceptional commitment to both his academic and athletic pursuits.
Anthony’s passion lies in baseball, and he represents DME Academy with great pride on the field. He aspires to not only improve his athletic skills but also excel academically, with the goal of being accepted into Vanderbilt University in the future.
What makes Anthony stand out is not just his dedication to personal growth but also his willingness to extend a helping hand to others. Teachers and peers alike describe him as a student who consistently stays on task, performs his work with diligence, and volunteers to assist fellow students. His politeness and respect towards both teachers and peers have made him a role model within our school community.
As we celebrate the achievements of Lauren Duff and Anthony Panetta, we also recognize the dedication and hard work of all our students at DME Academy. Each of you contributes to making our school a vibrant and nurturing community, and we are proud of your accomplishments.
Congratulations to both Lauren and Anthony on being named our September Students of the Month. Thank you for being shining examples of excellence and character at DME Academy. We are excited to see all that the future holds for both of you and the positive impact you will undoubtedly make in the world.
Interested in becoming a student at DME Academy? Connect with us!
The DME Academy campus was buzzing with excitement as we welcomed a total of 200 students for the new academic year. Among them were both familiar faces returning to continue their educational journey and fresh faces eager to embark on their DME experience. To kick off this exciting new chapter, DME Academy hosted a vibrant Welcome Week from Sunday, August 20, to Friday, August 25, packed with engaging events that aimed to foster connections, create lasting memories, and set the tone for a fantastic year ahead.
Welcome Back BBQ
On August 20, DME Academy set the stage for an unforgettable week by hosting a Welcome Back BBQ. The campus was alive with laughter and camaraderie as students, their families, and the DME community came together to share stories, enjoy delicious food, and create new friendships. This event not only eased the transition for newcomers but also provided a warm welcome to returning students, making them feel right at home.
Outdoor Movie on the Pitch
Under the stars and against the backdrop of the sprawling DME Academy campus, students gathered for a unique movie night experience on August 21. The outdoor screening of “Creed 3” on a massive screen brought students together to relax, unwind, and enjoy a cinematic masterpiece.
Selfie Scavenger Hunt
August 22 brought out the competitive spirit in DME students with the thrilling Selfie Scavenger Hunt competition. Armed with a list of items and places to find, student teams embarked on an exhilarating quest around the campus. Armed with their phones, they captured creative selfies with each item and checked it off the list. The first team to successfully locate all the list items was crowned the winner!
In the midst of the bustling Welcome Week, August 23 offered a serene moment of tranquility with Sunset Yoga. Students gathered to rejuvenate their bodies and minds, guided by the soothing ambiance of the setting sun. The practice allowed participants to find balance amid the excitement, fostering a sense of well-being that they could carry forward into their academic endeavors.
August 24 marked the pinnacle of Welcome Week with the much-anticipated Fun Festival. The campus transformed into a carnival wonderland, complete with Kona Ice treats and a medley of inflatables, including obstacle courses, jousting arenas, slides, and a bungee run. The day offered an abundance of fun, and above all, plenty of laughter!
National Banana Split Day
As Welcome Week drew to a close on August 25, students celebrated National Banana Split Day in style. Armed with a variety of delectable toppings, students crafted their own banana split sundaes, turning a beloved dessert into a memorable social experience. The event provided the perfect conclusion to a week full of bonding, camaraderie, and shared experiences.
DME Academy’s 2023 Welcome Week proved to be an extraordinary initiation into the new academic year. From the heartwarming connections formed during the Welcome Back BBQ to the exciting challenges of the Selfie Scavenger Hunt and the pure fun of the Fun Festival, students were reminded that their DME journey is not only about education and athletics, but also about forging lasting friendships and unforgettable memories. DME looks forward to the incredible year ahead, building upon the unity and spirit of Welcome Week to create an environment where every student can thrive.
Interested in becoming a student at DME Academy? Connect with us!
Walk down the red carpet for DME Academy’s 2023 graduation. Daytona Beach’s very own DME Academy recently hosted its much-anticipated 2023 graduation ceremony, a joyous occasion that celebrated the remarkable accomplishments and promising futures of its graduating class. With a resounding sense of pride and excitement, students, faculty, families, and esteemed guests gathered to honor the culmination of years of hard work, perseverance, and personal growth. The ceremony showcased the collective spirit of excellence that defines DME Academy and marked the beginning of a new chapter for the graduates. This year’s graduation was DME’s biggest yet with 46 seniors walking across the stage!
DME Academy’s 2023 graduation exuded an air of celebration and accomplishment. As each graduate proudly walked across the stage, adorned in their caps and gowns, their years of dedication and commitment were acknowledged and celebrated. The room was filled with applause, cheers, and tears of joy, as families and friends witnessed their loved ones receive their diplomas, a tangible representation of their academic and athletic achievement as the doors of opportunity now stand open before them.
The event was graced by the inspiring speeches of both students and guest speakers, who imparted wisdom, encouragement, and reflection to the graduating class. Dan Panaggio, CEO, and Maria Burgos, Head of School at DME Academy, emphasized the importance of embracing challenges, cultivating resilience, and nurturing a lifelong love of learning.
“Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your journey, and thank you for sharing the good, the amazing, and the difficult pieces of your chapter,” says Burgos. “I am a better person because of you. Please know that I am here as I was since the first day of September, and I will be here for you always. So now I say to you: I love you and I will see you soon. Mrs. B.”
Their words echoed throughout the auditorium, resonating deeply with both graduates and those in attendance, leaving a lasting impression that will guide the students as they embark on their respective journeys beyond DME Academy.
The graduation ceremony exemplified the rich diversity and unity that characterizes the school community. Graduates from various backgrounds, cultures, countries, and interests came together to celebrate their achievements as a collective whole. The event served as a testament to the power of inclusion, collaboration, and mutual respect. Values that are deeply ingrained in the fabric of DME Academy. This unity fostered an environment where students not only grew academically but also developed a team-like bond since sports are such a huge part of their lives at DME.
Among the notable highlights of the ceremony were the captivating speeches delivered by Baraka Okojie and Tessa Engelman, two exceptional graduates who embody the very essence of DME Academy. Baraka’s speech exuded leadership, as he encouraged his fellow graduates to take responsibility for their actions and to make a positive impact on the world around them. Tessa’s address, on the other hand, emphasized the significance of making friends from all over the world.
“What does DME stand for?” asked Engleman of the audience. “Do More Everyday. This a perfect summary of what we all expected from this school. We all came here to be able to train more every day, get better every day, and get a little closer to our goals every day. We were right. However, what many of us didn’t expect in coming here was that we would get so much more than rigorous training and a high school diploma. We would get to meet friends from all over the world that we will have for the rest of our lives!”
Both Baraka and Tessa served as inspiring role models, showcasing the transformative power of a DME education and leaving a lasting mark on all in attendance.
As the graduates bid farewell to their alma mater, they carry with them the knowledge, skills, and values instilled by DME Academy. The 2023 graduation ceremony marked not just an end but also a new beginning—an exciting chapter in the lives of these young individuals. Armed with the strong foundation and unwavering support received at DME Academy, the graduates are now poised to pursue their passions, contribute to their communities, and make their mark on the world.
Congratulations to the DME Academy Class of 2023!
Want to be a part of the ever-growing DME Academy? Applications are now open for the 2023-2024 school year! Learn more here!
The National Honors Society (NHS) is an organization that recognizes high school students who have demonstrated excellence in academics, leadership, service, and character. This year, 30 student-athletes from DME Academy have achieved the great honor of being inducted into the NHS. An honor that is a testament to their dedication and hard work.
Being a student-athlete requires a high level of time management and discipline, as athletes must balance their rigorous training schedules with their academic responsibilities. The fact that these honorees from DME Academy have excelled in both areas is truly remarkable. They have demonstrated their ability to manage their time effectively, prioritize responsibilities, and perform at a high level in both academics and athletics.
“To achieve academic excellence takes sincere determination and self-discipline. Being inducted into the National Honor Society is a way for students to be recognized and encouraged for academic achievement and scholarship”, said Maria Burgos, Head of School at DME. “I have so much pride in our NHS inductees this year. Our student-athletes have continued to astound us with their commitment to their education and community.”
Congratulations to the following students!
Being inducted into the NHS is not just about academic achievement, but also about character and leadership. These student-athletes have shown that they are not just talented athletes, but also responsible and compassionate individuals who are committed to making a positive impact in their community. Their induction into the NHS is a well-deserved recognition of their hard work and serves as an inspiration for other student-athletes to strive for excellence in all aspects of their lives.
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!