Freedom High School
Community Brief
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Welcome to Freedom High School where learning is our top priority and our focus is on literacy, rigor and relationships. Our school's pillars of honor, excellence and tradition continue to be on display on a daily basis by our students, staff and community.

What a wonderful start to the school year! This year, I have asked our staff and students to work with PRIDE on a daily basis. PRIDE is an acronym for Preparedness, Resilience, Integrity, Dedication and Encouragement. I believe by focusing on these characteristics we teach students what it truly means to do whatever it takes. Let's have a wonderful year and I look forward to leading our students to success with your support and encouragement.

Hurricane Dorian Make-up Days
Due to the missed days of school due to Hurricane Dorian, adjust your calendars for the make-up days
  • October 18, 2019 (for Tuesday, Sept 3rd)
  • November 25, 2019 (for Wednesday, Sept 4)
Progress Reports
Progress Reports for the first quarter will be issued on Tuesday, September 17th. Please take time to review with your student.
  • Late work deadline for Quarter 1 is October 9th
  • Teachers will accept work from Sept 3rd - October 4th
Amnesty Days Calendar 

I look forward to doing "whatever it takes" alongside our students, faculty, staff, families, and community to enrich our founding principles of honor, excellence, and tradition throughout the 2019-2020 school year.  
Ms. Cheryl Neely

Pictured very top:  2019-2020 Freedom High School Faculty  
Upcoming Events 
Sept. 12: Girls Volleyball vs Cypress Creek, 6:00 pm
Sept. 13: Deadline for Student Essays - Governor's Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Contest (Winners receive 4-year scholarships).
Sept. 14: Saturday School, 9:00 am
Sept. 14: OCPS Parent Academy - "Take a Walk Down OCPS Lane"
Sept. 15: Start of Hispanic Heritage Month
Sept. 17: Progress Reports
Sept. 19: Girls Volleyball vs Olympia, 6:00 pm
Sept. 19: JV Football vs Colonial, 6:00 pm
Sept. 20: Varsity Football vs Colonial, 7:00 pm
Sept. 21: Saturday School, 9:00 am
Sept. 24: Homecoming Skit Night, 6:30 pm
Sept. 25: Homecoming Parade & Powder Puff Game, 6:00 pm
Sept. 26: Freshman & JV Football vs Cypress Creek, 6:00 pm
Sept. 27: Homecoming Varsity Football vs Celebration, 7:00 pm
Sept. 28: Saturday School, 9:00 am
Sept. 28: Homecoming Dance, 7:00 pm

OCPS 2019-2020 Calendar

Vital Signs

Credit: Mr. Charles Youtz, Dean
Featured Department
FHS Leadership Team 

Bottom left to right: Ms. Miceli, Ms. Smith, Ms. Suarez, Mr. Rego, Ms. Neely, Mr. Farley, Mr. France, Mr. Walker, Mr. Youtz, Dr. Torres.
Second row: Ms. Kahn, Ms. Perez-Cedeno, Ms. Tarantino, Mr. Bush, Ms. Terry, Ms. Boujaber, Ms. Gargano, Mr. Goodwin, Ms. Martinez, Ms. Brown.
Top row: Mr. Adorno, Ms. Vasquez, Ms. Aguado, Ms. Alban, Ms. Wagner, Ms. Griffin, Ms. Choroco, Mr. Weber, Ms. Slocum, Ms. DeLuca, Mr. Hellhake.
In the Spotlight! 
2019-2020 Teacher and Support Person of the Year 
Brian Hellhake
2019-20 FHS Teacher of the Year

Mr. Brian Hellhake with Ms. Cheryl Neely

Congratulations to our FHS Teacher of the Year, Mr. Brian Hellhake. Brian Hellhake is the Orchestra Director and Performing Arts Chair at Freedom High School in Orlando, Florida. He began his teaching career in New Orleans, Louisiana, as an itinerant strings teacher where he taught students from the 3rd-12th grades at multiple schools. He moved to Cypress Creek High School in Orange County in 2000. Mr. Hellhake took the opportunity to open Freedom High School in 2003. Since the school's opening, Mr. Hellhake has built a comprehensive orchestra program that includes seven levels of orchestra with an enrollment of over 220 students.  

In 2008, Mr. Hellhake was honored with the role of Teacher of the Year at FHS. From 2011-2013, He served as the Fine Arts Resource Teacher for Orange County Public Schools. In 2013, Mr. Hellhake decided to return to his passion - teaching students in the orchestra classroom. Mr. Hellhake received a Master of Education in Music Education and a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Central Florida. Mr. Hellhake has served on the Florida Music Education Association and the Florida School Music Association Board of Directors. From 2005 - 2007, He was the President of the Florida Orchestra Association. As an active clinician, He has conducted the All-County Orchestras in Lee, Volusia, Orange and Manatee counties. Currently, Mr. Hellhake is a Teaching Artist with Disney Performing Arts, working with orchestras and bands from around the country.

Mr. Hellhake holds a number of professional memberships that include the National Association of Music Education, Florida Music Education Association, Florida Orchestra Association, Florida Bandmasters Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Mr. Hellhake lives in Clermont, FL with this wife, Amie and their two children, Xander and Brenna.

Teresa DelRe
2019-20 FHS Support Person of the Year

Ms. Teresa DelRe with Ms. Cheryl Neely
Congratulations to our 2019-2020 Support Person of the Year, Ms. Teresa DelRe. Ms. DelRe's illustrious career with Orange County Public Schools began 20 years ago at Hunter's Creek Elementary School. We have been honored to have Teresa at FHS for the past eight years.

One of our staff members made the following comment when nominating Ms. Delre, "Mrs. DelRe is an incredible member of the Freedom staff. She is incredibly efficient and works hard to keep all teachers ready for their classes. Her demeanor with all is friendly and professional. She absolutely deserves this award."

Congratulations, Ms. DelRe, your service to OCPS and FHS warrants this great honor as the 2019-2020 FHS Support Person of the Year.

Meal Benefits Application

Meal benefits for the upcoming school year can now be submitted. ALL STUDENTS are eligible to become members and take advantage of the benefits OCPS Club Lunch has to offer as well as waivers to SAT/ACT tests and college applications. SOME STUDENTS WILL EVEN QUALIFY FOR SPECIAL MEAL PRICES.

Automatically become a member and find out if your family qualifies by filling out a Meal Benefits Application at

You can also pre-pay for your child's lunch by visiting School Pay at
Rigor Around the Campus
Socratic Seminar in AVID

Rigor around the campus is demonstrated in Ms. Erin Brown's sophomore AVID class as they engage in a Socratic Seminar. Socratic Seminar is a formal discussion, based on a text, in which the leader asks open-ended questions. Within the context of the discussion about "Revenge", students listen closely to the comments of others, thinking critically for themselves, and articulate their own thoughts and their responses to the thoughts of others.

Click to see Ms. Brown's students demonstrate this valuable technique.
Student Services
Counselor Assignments
School Counselor alphabet assignments have been updated. To view the School Counselor Contact Information click on the link.

General Information/Upcoming Events
* - The Guidance team has a new website where parents and students can find out information on upcoming events, college visits, scholarships, etc.

* College Application Help Sessions will take place every Wednesday after school (1:15-2:45pm) - students can come in to work on anything college related and get their questions answered.

* October 3rd (during 6th & 7th period) - Freedom High School College Fair will take place in our Gym.

* October 14th 6-8pm - College 101 Night for Parents. Anything you ever wanted to know about the College application process (presentations in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Creole).

* Just Released - 2020 U.S. News & World Report College Rankings

Scholarship Opportunities
* OCPS Scholarship Bulletin - Full Year
* Coca Cola Scholars - application deadline is October 31st, 2019
* Dr. Pepper Giveaway - application deadline October 17th, 2019
* National Young Arts Foundation - application deadline October 11th, 2019
* Dr. Juan Andrade Jr. Scholarship - application deadline November 30th, 2019
* Hispanic Heritage Foundation Scholarship - application deadline October 15th, 2019
* Gates Millenium Scholarship:  Application deadline: September 15th, 2019
* Cameron Impact Scholarship: Application deadline: September 13th, 2019
* Southern Scholarship Foundation: Rent free living at UF, FSU, FAMU, FGCU, TCC, Flagler College and Santa Fe College. Application deadline: November 1st, 2019
* MALDEF Scholarship Resource Guide for 2019-2020. Listed are many scholarships that do not inquire about immigration status.

QuestBridge Scholarship Program
High achieving seniors with a desire to study at one of 40 top institutions in the nation should look into the scholarship match program called QuestBridge. Students who apply for QuestBridge have the possibility of being "matched" with top institutions like Yale, Harvard, Rice, Duke, Dartmouth, University of Chicago and many more. Matched students typically will attend the institution free of charge or with a very significant financial aid package. This is a need-based scholarship. Finalists typically come from household earning of less than $65,000 annually for a family of four and have minimal assets.

Please visit the QuestBridge website for more details and specific eligibility requirements.

Application deadline is September 26th, 2019

Financial Aid Applications Online October 1st:       
* 2020-2021 FAFSA application available online

* Florida Financial Aid Application also available online (Bright Futures and other state grants and scholarships)


Homecoming Week
"Hawaiian Paradise"
2019-20 Homecoming Week is September 23-28. Our SGA is working hard to make this the best homecoming ever. The theme is island inspired "Hawaiian Paradise" with daily dress up, spirit days, skit night, parade, powder puff game and the football game against Celebration High School which, at halftime, will include the homecoming court presentation and the crowning of our homecoming king and queen. The fun week will culminate with an incredible homecoming dance on Saturday, September 28th.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 24: Skit Night in PAC (w/king and queen voting), 6:30 pm
  • Wednesday, Sept. 25: Parade and Powder Puff Game, 6:00 pm
  • Friday, Sept. 27: Homecoming game vs Celebration w/court at halftime, 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, Sept. 28: Hawaiian Paradise Homecoming Dance, 7:00 pm

Visit the FHS Athletics Website at for up to date information including athletic physical forms.
Coaching Spotlight!
Gina McFerren 
FHS would like to spotlight the incredible accomplishments of Coach Gina McFerren. Coach McFerren not only became the first and only female coach in the history of OCPS to win 500 games, but she also became the only female coach to win a state title in two different sports.

Coach McFerren began her coaching career at Oak Ridge High School where she coached girls' volleyball and softball, winning a state softball title in 1991, before retiring from coaching after 17 years. In 2014 Coach McFerren came out of retirement to help build our boys volleyball team. Four years later, Coach McFerren has led the team to three consecutive metro titles, two district titles, two regional titles, a state runner up, and last year, amassing a 31 -2 record on the way to Freedom's first ever team state title, and her second state title as a coach.

For her and the team's efforts, Coach McFerren was selected as the USMC/ACVA National Boys Coach of the Year!
Campus Safety - All OCPS High Schools and Sporting Events
Fall Sports at FHS 
Below is a list of our fall sports at FHS along with their respective head coach. Feel free to contact the head coach for information related to their sport.

* Football - Robert Mahoney
* Girls' Volleyball - Keith Hageman
* Swimming - Lynn Kelly-McClish
* Bowling - Tawn Tooks
* Golf - Collin Kennedy
* Cross Country - David Bush 
Athletic Director - Bobby Rego
Asst. Athletic Director - Maurice Allen
Asst. Athletic Director - Nathan Kallal
Athletic Trainer - Joe Gonzalez
Athletic Trainer - Terri Charlock
Athletic Trainer - Peterson Francois  

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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.