Freedom High School
Community Brief
Monday, February 18, 2019
Presidents' Day
Thank you for your commitment to making Freedom High School a place where "Demography does not Equal Destiny" and where "Learning Is Our Top Priority."

National Guidance Counselors Week
Two weeks ago, FHS celebrated the work of our amazing guidance counselors. February 4th-February 8th is reserved to acknowledge the work of guidance counselors nationally. The goal of this week has been to focus public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors within our schools. National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.  
Freedom High School would like to thank our school counselors for their dedication to all of our students: Ms. Canar, Ms. Carballo-Flores, Ms. Dotson, Mr. Harkins, Ms. Hawley, Ms. Henderson, Ms. Jones, Ms. Layman, Ms. Orrion, and Ms. Watford.

Student Progress Reports
Parents, please be mindful that Progress Reports will go home on Tuesday, February 19th during 1st period. This is a great time to ensure you and your child are on the same page with their academic progress. Open ProgressBook, have a discussion about grades, have your kids self-advocate with their teachers. If you would like to schedule a parent conference with your student's teachers, please contact our student services department at 407- 816- 5603.  Please remember that we offer Saturday Amnesty Days, every Saturday (except Saturdays before holidays) from 9-12 in the media center.

Dual Enrollment Night (Wednesday, Feb. 20)
If you are a parent of a rising junior or senior for the 2019-2020 school year, please plan to attend FHS Information night on Valencia Dual Enrollment opportunities. Valencia Dual enrollment night will occur on February 20th at 6:30pm in the media center. The guest speaker will be the director of Valencia College Dual Enrollment.

2019 AdvancED Survey
Parents, we greatly value your feedback on the AdvancED Survey.  We utilize this feedback to enhance our community.  Thank you in advance for taking time to complete the survey. Here is the link:  

* Currently, only 8% of our parents have provided feedback. Your feedback is of vital importance to our school improvement planning (FHS feedback goal = 20%).

Congratulations to the following students and staff for a job well done!  
National Merit Finalists:
  • Kaiden Duvall
  • Ryan Hershner
  • Zachary Utt
Benjamin Banneker S.T.E.M. Award Winner:
  • Nkosi Watts
Grammy Award Semi-finalist
  • Dr. Michael Antmann
With more than 2,800 nominations, Mr. Antmann, our band director, made the Top 25 semi-finalist list. Watch News 13's profile story on Dr. Antmann here.

Thank you all for your unwavering commitment to your child's success.  This year is about teaching children to do 'Whatever It Takes' for them to be successful.

Ms. Cheryl Neely Mir

Pictured very top:
Upcoming Events 
Feb. 18 Presidents' Day (No School)
Feb. 19 Student Progress Reports for the 3rd Nine Weeks
Feb. 19 Boys Lacrosse vs Dr. Phillips, 6:00 pm
Feb. 20 Boys Tennis vs University, 3:00 pm
Feb. 20 Valencia Dual Enrollment Parent Meeting (in PAC), 5:30 pm
Feb. 20 Boys Lacrosse vs Timber Creek, 6:00 pm
Feb. 23 Saturday School, 9:00 am
Feb. 25 Boys Tennis vs East River, 3:00 pm
Feb. 26 Boys Volleyball vs University, 5:00 pm
Feb. 28  Orange Technical College Program Fair
Mar. 1 College Fair in Gym, 8:00 am
Mar. 1 JV Baseball vs Ocoee, 4:00 pm
Mar. 2 Saturday School, 9:00 am

Orange County Public Schools

Patriot Vital Signs

* Attendance percentages include excused and unexcused absences as both represent lost instructional time.
* Regular monitoring through ProgressBook is essential as student report cards and progress reports are issued only 8X per year.
Credit: Mr. Charles Youtz, Dean/Senior Class Sponsor
Featured Department
World Languages 

Bottom left to right: Mr. Kallal, Ms. Grace, Mr. Bennett, Mr. Rasmussen, Mr. Brunswick, Mr. Walker, Mr. Panzano, Mr. Leatherwood, Mr. Castano.
Middle row: Mr. Weaver, Ms. Villaruel, Mr. Thompson, Ms. Tolram, Ms. Egan, Ms. Suarez, Ms. Doll, Ms. Beovich, Mr. Gordon, Mr. Kennedy.
Top row: Mr. Beck, Ms. Christiano, Mr. Reich, Mr. Domenz, Mr. Chambers, Ms. Thurlow, Mr. LaFontaine, Mr. True, Mr. Durgin.
In the Spotlight!

Dr. Michael Antmann 
Music Educator Award Semi-finalist 
Dr. Antmann, Band Director and Music Educator Award Semi-Finalist 
As the Recording Academy handed out their annual Grammy Awards last Sunday night, FHS would like to spotlight our own band director and honoree, Dr. Michael Antmann. Dr. Antmann was one of 25 music teachers from 24 cities across 16 states to be announced as a semifinalist for the Music Educator Award™ presented by the Recording Academy™ and the GRAMMY Museum®. Congratulations, Dr. Antmann, on an honor well deserved.

Kaiden Duvall, Zachary Utt & Ryan Hershner 
2019 National Merit Scholarship Finalists 
Ms. Mir, Ms. Hawley, Kaiden Duvall, Zacary Utt, Ms. Layman, Ms. Jones 
Ms. Mir, Ryan Hershner, Ms. Kraemer 
Congratulations to FHS seniors, Kaiden Duvall, Zachary Utt, and Ryan Hershner for their selections as finalists for the National Merit Scholarship Program. The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) - a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year - and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements. 
Special Recognition
Karen Perez Balza & Jada McCoy
Published in Page 15

Ms. Mir, Karen Perez Balza, Jada McCoy, Ms. Hjelm

Freedom High School would like to recognize Karen Perez Balza and Jada McCoy. Recently, Karen and Jada turned in to their English teacher, Ms. Sheri Hjelm, an assignment from the book, The Things They Carried. For their efforts, Karen and Jada found out their assignments will be published in Page 15, a program of the Urban Think Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to enriching Central Florida's cultural landscape by developing and growing educational and creative literary arts programs. Karen and Jada will be honored at a book release party at the end of April.
Rigor Around the Campus
Automata Toys in Engineering with Mr. Jensen

Mr. Sandy Jensen and his third period Engineering class

Students in Mr. Sandy Jensen's third period engineering classes are currently in the process of designing an Automata Toy (A toy that is hand powered by gears and cams) for a child between the ages of 6-10. Students begin by brainstorming different ideas and creating initial sketches with their team. After deciding which idea they think is the best solution for the problem, they create detailed blueprints and begin turning their conceptual drawings into functioning 3D prototypes in Autodesk Inventor with the ultimate goal of 3D printing the best designs.

* To see Mr. Jensen's class in action, click

Student engagement in Mr. Jensen's Engineering class (Feb. 2019)

Credit: "Rigor in the Classroom" prepared by Mr. Charles Youtz, Dean/Senior Class Sponsor
Student Services

2019-20 Course Selection 
Counselors met with 8th grade through 11th grade students to review graduation requirements and course options for 2019-20. All grade levels have selected courses for the 2019-20 school year. Information can be found, using your student's OCPS account, on the Student Services Google Drive: in the 2019-20 Course Request folder.

Many programs are available at Freedom High School to offer unique academic opportunities for our students. These programs require an application or audition. It is the student's responsibility to contact the sponsor to complete the application or inquire about auditions. To find out more about the programs available:

Program description link for parents & students:

FAFSA - Financial Aid for College 
Colleges require that all graduating seniors complete the FAFSA application. If you need assistance with the application, please contact the College and Career Specialist, Mrs. Flores:  

Valencia Dual Enrollment - Fall 2019 Registration 
* Parent/Student Information Session
~ February 20, 2019
~ 6:30pm to 7:30pm
~ Freedom High School PAC 
* Application Opens: February 25, 2019
* Application Closes: March 25, 2019
* Test Scores Due: April 15, 2019

For more information visit the website: or the student can meet with their counselor during the student's lunch.

College Acceptance Letters 
Seniors should bring a copy of their college acceptance letter to their school counselor during their lunch. 
Visit the FHS Athletics Website at for up to date information including athletic physical forms.
Girls Basketball

The Freedom Girls Basketball program wrapped up its season improving to 8-18 finish, after a 1-24 injury-filled season the year before. The young Patriot Varsity team showed a lot of promise down the stretch of the season picking up a 52-40 win against University HS on Senior Night, and then finishing the regular season off with a 69-19 over the Thunder of Lake Region HS. Varsity came up short in their district match up, but despite the first-round exit in district play - the Patriots have plenty to celebrate this season. Senior SG Stephanie Carino wraps up her stellar career as the third leading scorer in Program history - finishing with 837 points in her career. Our Junior Varsity Girls Basketball team completed the season with a 7-6 record, and the Freshman team finished 3-5 on the season.

The future is bright for the girls' basketball program, and off season begins soon. For more information or get your student-athlete involved, contact Head Coach Rob Caraballo at
Competition Cheerleading

FHS Cheer team outside the O'Connell Center on the UF campus in Gainesville
Congratulations to the FHS Co-ed Varsity cheer squad. They concluded their competitive cheer season last week at the state championships where they earned their highest score of the season and placed 4th in their division. 
Winter Sports at FHS 
Below is a list of our winter sports at FHS along with their respective head coach. Feel free to contact the head coach for tryout dates and other pertinent information.

* Wrestling - David Bush
* Boys Basketball - Dustin Leonardo
* Girls Basketball - Robert Caraballo 
* Boys Soccer - Juan Baquero
* Girls Soccer - Amee Watford
* Competitive Cheer - Chani Mills
* Girls Weightlifting - Dimitrius Brunson

Athletic Director - Roy Peters
Asst. Athletic Director - Bobby Rego
Asst. Athletic Director  - Jamie Schroeder
Athletic Trainer - Joe Gonzalez
Athletic Trainer - Terri Charlock  

Feb 25 - Mar 1:  Grad Bash 2019 Ticket Sales through School Pay
Tickets for Grad Bash (at Universal) can be purchased through School Pay or credit card with our bookkeeper. Only FHS seniors may purchase and attend.

Mar 4-8: Grad Bash 2019 Ticket Sales (Cash Only)
Tickets for Grad Bash (at Universal) will be on sale. Tickets will be sold for $90.00 each cash only after school inside the cafeteria. Only FHS seniors may purchase and attend.

April 15-19: Senior Day Ticket Sales
Tickets for Senior Day will be on sale. Tickets will be sold for $30 each cash only after school inside the cafeteria.

April 25: Senior Common Formative Exams Periods 1 & 4

April 26:
Senior Common Formative Exams Periods 2, 5 & 6
Grad Bash 2019 at Universal Orlando Studios and Islands of Adventure
Attendees (FHS seniors only) will meet in the cafeteria at 4:30 pm to board buses (you must ride bus; no student driving) then return to FHS by 2:30 am. Attendees must ride the bus to and from Universal. No exceptions.

April 29: Senior Common Formative Exams Periods 3 & 7

May 4: Prom at the Rosen Plaza Hotel.
Prom questions should be directed to Ms. Fierle at

May 13:
Senior Walk-Out during 6th period
Traditional event when senior class of 2019 will walk out of Freedom together, as a class, for the final time.

Senior Assembly in the gym during 7th period
A senior assembly in the gym will immediately follow the walk-out.

May 14: Senior Device/Textbook Check-in/Cap & Gown Pick-up (last names A - M)
2:30 pm to 5:30 pm in the media center.

Senior Device/Textbook check-in/Cap & Gown Pick-up (last names N - Z)
2;30 pm to 5:30 pm in the media center.

May 20: Senior Day at the Rosen Plaza Hotel
8:00 am to 1:00 pm. Activities include senior breakfast (buffet), senior awards ceremony, yearbook distribution and signing party, SGA presidential address, & senior video presentation.

May 21: Final Device & Textbook return/Obligations clear/Ticket pick-up last names A - M
8 am to 11 am line begins outside the back entrance doors of the media center.
Obligations must be cleared in order to pick up tickets and participate in the commencement ceremony. Each senior will get 15 tickets. No extras.

May 22: Final Device & Textbook return/Obligations clear/Ticket pick-up last names N - Z
8 am to 11 am line begins outside the back entrance doors of the media center.
Obligations must be cleared in order to pick up tickets and participate in the commencement ceremony. Each senior will get 15 tickets. No extras.


For updates and info, visit the school information tab on the FHS website at then click on "Seniors."

Our cap/gown and announcement company is Jostens. Any questions regarding orders can be answered at or call them at 407-894-3131.

This communication may contain information that is legally privileged, confidential or exempt from disclosure, and intended only for the use of the addressee(s) named above.  If you are not the intended recipient, please note that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. Anyone who receives this message in error should notify the sender immediately by telephone or by return e-mail, and delete the message from their computer and any printout thereof.  Please note that OCPS utilizes spam and junk e-mail filtration applications in its e-mail systems.  That filtering process may prevent or delay delivery of certain e-mail communications. If you do not receive a timely response to an e-mail communication, please contact the intended recipient by phone.

Copyright Notice 
Reproduction of this material, either written or electronically, including the general layout, graphics, analyses, and content topics without the express approval of Target Performance Systems, Inc., a Florida corporation, and OCPS - Freedom High School is forbidden without written consent.  Thank you for your support of OCPS - Freedom High School and the Orange County Public Schools. Please contact Charles Youtz at with any questions or for further information.