Freedom High School
Community Brief
Monday, October 29, 2018
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."

Let me start by saying bravo to our performing arts department for a successful and very entertaining fall play, Leading Ladies. Excellence was once again displayed by our drama students under the direction of Sarah Skinner-Probst. I am looking forward to the theatre class musical, The World Goes 'Round and to the spring musical, Merrily We Roll Along.

Parents, as we transition into the second marking period please take time to go over your child's progress in his or her classes. Feel free to contact teachers should you have any questions or concerns. You may also contact our student services department to set up a parent-teacher conference.

Finally, congratulations to our Teacher of the Year, Ms. Amy Swederski, for becoming a finalist for the OCPS Teacher of the Year. We are very proud of her.

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:  2018 Lady Patriots Golf Team - 2018 District & Regional Champions!

Upcoming Events 
Oct. 29: Report Cards
Oct. 30: Girls Weightlifting (vs Timber Creek), 5:00 pm
Oct. 31: FAFSA Halloween Celebration (see Student Services)
Nov. 2: Varsity Football at East River, 7:00 pm
Nov. 3: Saturday School, 9:00 pm
Nov. 3: OCPS Parent Academy - "Parents as Partners"
Nov. 4: End of Daylight Savings Time (set clocks back 1 hour)
Nov. 8: Boys Soccer Pre Season Classic (vs Vanguard), 7:00 pm
Nov. 9: Theatre: One Act (in PAC), 7:00 pm
Nov. 10: Saturday School, 9:00 am
Nov. 10: Theatre: One Act (in PAC), 7:00 pm

Orange County Public Schools

Vital Signs
Weekly attendance rates


ProgressBook Usage

Note: Attendance percentages include excused and unexcused absences as both represent lost instructional time.
Direction: Rising, slowing, or no change
Trend: Number of weeks in the same direction
Regular monitoring through ProgressBook is essential as student report cards and progress reports are issued only 8X per year.
Credit: Mr. Charles Youtz, Dean
Featured Department
Mathematics Department    

Bottom left to right: Ms. Bradley, Mr. Jones, Ms. Ronca, Mr. France (BLA), Ms. Outlaw, Ms. Luzoro, Ms. Kraemer (Dept. Chair), Ms. Miscannon, Mr. Thompson.
2nd row: Ms. Abicht, Ms. Tarantino, Mr. Singer, Ms. Snyder, Ms. Febles, Ms. DeJesus, Ms. Trejo, Ms. Busch, Ms. Mohadeo, Mr. Hermez.
Top row: Ms. Haba, Ms. Altamimi, Ms. Fuller, Ms. Shipman, Ms. Schroeder, Mr. Frese, Mr. Malhzan, Ms. Smith, Ms. Watkins.
In the Spotlight
National Merit Scholar Semifinalists / October Teacher of the Month

Zachary Utt, Ryan Hershner, Kaiden Duvall 
National Merit Scholar Semifinalists 
FHS would like to recognize three of our seniors, (pictured left to right) Zachary Utt, Ryan Hershner, and Kaiden Duvall, for being chosen as Semifinalists to 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, which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year-and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements. Zachary, Ryan, and Kaiden are three of the highest scoring entrants in the country. NMSC provides scholarship application materials to Semifinalists through their high schools. To be considered for a National Merit Scholarship, Semifinalists must advance to Finalist standing in the competition by meeting high academic standards and all other requirements.

Megan Trejo 
October Teacher of the Month 
Pictured left to right: Mr. France, Ms. Mir, Ms. Trejo, Mr. Yepes 
Congratulations to FHS Math Instructor, Ms. Megan Trejo, who is the FHS October Horace Mann Teacher of the Month. Besides being an outstanding math teacher, Ms. Trejo recently went above and beyond to assist our students as she volunteered to teach extra classes.  
Rigor Around Campus
FFA at Georgia State Sunbelt Agriculture Expo

Pictured left to right: Ms. Colon, C. Roger, M. Alcantara, M. Garcia, K. Rodiguez, and S. Pina

Rigor around campus has changed to rigor around Georgia! Recently, our Freedom High Future Farmers of America chapter, led by instructor, Ms. Tairi Colon, took a road trip to the beautiful state of Georgia to attend the Sunbelt Agriculture Expo. Our FFA students learned that agriculture is a vital and essential part of our daily lives as they participated in hands on activates and experiments.

Special Recognition
NAFST Award of Excellence / OCPS Teacher of the Year Finalist
Diego Fermin
NAFST Award of Excellence recipient

Congratulations to FHS senior, Diego Fermin, who recently received the 2018 National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists Award of Excellence. The National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists is a membership organization chartered in 2014 to inspire and support all K-12 and college students who wish to devote their lives to the sciences and technology. The Academy was founded on the belief that we must identify prospective talent at the earliest possible age and help these students acquire the necessary experience and skills to take them to the doorstep of these vital careers. Diego, a member of our National Spanish Honor Society, hopes to study Engineering at Florida Atlantic University.

Ms. Amy Swederski
Finalist for OCPS Teacher of the Year

A big congratulations to our FHS Teacher of the Year, Ms. Amy Swederski, as she has been selected as a finalist for the OCPS Teacher of the Year! Ms. Swederski is one of five finalists selected from 191 schools in Orange County. She has already been awarded a $5,000 Merit Award for just being a finalist. If she wins, she will advance to the State of Florida Teacher of the Year competition and will receive a free, one year lease on a vehicle from Carl Black Buick. The winner will be announced January 24, 2019 at the Stellar Awards Ceremony. Good luck Ms. Swederski, FHS is extremely proud of you!
Student Services

Counselor Assignments
The counselor "temporary" alphabet assignments have been updated. To view the counselor list click on the link. For other important information, look in the Guidance Google Drive:

Counselors are meeting with all seniors through their English class to review graduation requirements, discuss post-secondary plans and financial aid. Valencia Dual Enrollment students should contact their counselor to make an appointment.

Paying for college - FAFSA
All colleges expect students to complete the FAFSA. Colleges will be able to offer additional scholarships once the FAFSA is complete.

FAFSA Completion Halloween Celebration
~ Students should see their counselor when they receive an email stating: The FAFSA has been successfully PROCESSED.
~ Show the counselor your email by October 25th and get an invitation to the Halloween Celebration that will take place on October 31, 2018.
~ Door prizes will be given away! This includes a laptop and much more!

Paying for college in Florida - Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA)
Also known as the Bright Futures
~ All students should complete the Bright Futures Application
~ Eligibility - Page 3
~ Could be up to $6000 for qualifying students

* Any other scholarships use this same application
* Social Security Number is not required

Students must complete a green paper form in the front of guidance to have a transcript sent to colleges.
Please allow 5 school days for processing.

** Transcripts should be ordered now for colleges with a November 1st deadline.

* Are you planning on going to Valencia?
* Do you want two years of college paid for?
* Complete your application to Valencia.
* See your counselor for more information.

Trends in College Prices 2018 (College Board - just released)

Making sense of the chart: The average net cost of one year at a U.S. four-year public university or college, including tuition, fees, room and board (TFRB), fell to $14,880 in 2018-19 (orange dashed line), down -0.2% from 2017-18. The cost is still +$3,400 greater than a decade ago in inflation-adjusted dollars, according to the College Board report (click above). Net costs are flattening or falling thanks to a rise in grants - student aid that doesn't need to be repaid. The published prices for higher education can be thought of akin to the sticker price of a car on a dealership lot - fewer students actually pay this today after backing out financial and tax benefits which is why you see the gap in the chart lines.

The Student Assistance and Family Empowerment (SAFE) program provides a wide range of prevention and intervention services for students and their families.  The SAFE team at FHS consists of Ms. Meredith Griffin, SAFE Coordinator, and two University of Central Florida graduate social work interns, Ms. Abbey Dudash and Ms. Vanessa Garcia (above).

Any student demonstrating socio-emotional issues that interfere with academic functioning can be referred to SAFE by faculty or parents.  The SAFE suite provides a confidential area where students can talk about a range of issues, including but not limited to: mental health, academic struggles, bullying/harassment, grief/bereavement, adjustment issues, family/home life concerns, self-esteem, and much more!

Additionally, the SAFE office is home to the Patriot Pantry, where students can find school appropriate clothing, personal hygiene items, and supplemental food assistance.  If you have any questions, please email the S.A.F.E. team at or contact Ms. Meredith Griffin, SAFE Coordinator, at 407-816-5649.

"Pack the Pantry"
The SAFE office is looking to "Pack the Pantry."  At this time, the SAFE office can receive donations of the following:
* Water, Juice Boxes, athletic drinks
* Granola Bars, Protein bars, Trail mix packages
* Instant Soups / Noodles (Cup of Soup, Mac & Cheese, 'add water' noodles)
* Chips, cookies
* Peanut Butter (individual size)
* Breakfast foods (individual cereals, pop tarts, individual oatmeal cups)
* Additional items:  Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, tissues!!

Visit the FHS Athletics Website at for up to date information including athletic physical forms.
FHS Community you can now purchase tickets in advance for FHS Varsity Football games by visiting the GOFAN website and creating an account at or downloading the GOFAN app on your smart phone. You won't have to wait in line for tickets any longer by downloading your tickets or purchasing online. See you at the games! Go Patriots!

Girls Golf 
2018 District & Region Champs!
Congratulations to the Freedom girls' golf team as they defeated a tough field last Monday to earn their first regional championship at Orange Lake golf course! The ladies are both 2018 District and 2018 Regional Champions. The Lady Patriots, led by Emily Staples, Lauren Clark, Gabriela Shortridge, and Jennifer Perez, shot a combined team score of 319 to secure the 3A Region title and will now turn their attention to the State Championships. Good luck at States!

Varsity Football - Senior Night 

On Senior Night, the varsity football team was victorious last Friday in a district matchup against Cypress Creek by a score of 34 -6. Senior Jordan Grant had three touchdowns and rushed for 77 yards thus eclipsing the 1,000 yard rushing mark for the season while senior, Justin Ferreter, scored two touchdowns and pitched in defensively with six tackles. After a bye week, the Patriot football team looks to stay on the winning track as the travel to East River on November 2.

Boys Golf 
The boys' golf team advanced to Regionals with their 3rd place finish last Monday.  JD Ouellette and Krit Hiranphanit led the way for the Patriot golfers.

On the night they honored their seniors (below with Principal Neely Mir and Athletic DirectorPeters), the girls' volleyball team defeated Colonial High in straight sets. 
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  

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.