Florida Sheriffs Association awards scholarships

FDOT workers earn awards
FDOT workers earn awards

Eighteen employees in the Florida Department of Transportation District 2 receive awards for superior accomplishment. The winners and their awards are, front row from left, Russ Barrs, of Branford, sustained exceptional performance; Phyllis McCullough, of O’Brien, role model of the year; Debbie Shaw, of Lake City, exceptional colleague of the Year; Teresa Thrasher, of Lake City, highway engineering. Second row from left, Jimmy Gardner, of Wellborn; sustained exceptional performance; Michael Brock, of Lake City, excellence in efficiency; Rich Cooper, of Jacksonville, exceptional contribution. Third row from left, James Bennett, of Macclenny, leader of the year; Jamie Driggers, of Live Oak, highway engineering; Ron Harris, of Palatka, role model of the year. Back row from left, Bill Phillips, of Lake City, excellence in innovation and creativity; George Feagle Jr., of Lake City, excellence in highway operations; and FDOT District Secretary Greg Evans and Bruce Strickland, of Hawthorne, distinguished managers of the year.

Submitted photo
Published: Monday, October 7, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 1, 2013 at 6:48 p.m.

The Florida Sheriffs Association awarded scholarships to students who are pursuing a career in law enforcement, corrections or another criminal justice field, and are also sons and daughters of employees working full-time at one of Florida’s 67 Sheriffs’ Offices.

Here are the 2013 recipients from this area:

Austin Sheffield, the son of Mike Sheffield, chief of staff for the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, will pursue a bachelor’s degree in criminology at Santa Fe College. He is a member of the Beta Club, serves as vice president of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and played basketball for his high school.

Brandon Senters, the son of Capt. David Senters of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, will be pursuing an associate’s degree in criminal justice technology and a bachelor’s degree in public service administration. He will attend St. Johns River State College. Brandon is active in the National Honor Society and Beta Club, and works part-time as a record specialist in the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

Gregory Castelli, the son of Deputy Christopher Castelli of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, will pursue a bachelor’s degree in criminology at Florida State University.

Gregory, who is the recipient of the Scholar Athlete Award, has served as a volunteer with the Police Athletic League and played both football and baseball at Ridgeview High School.

Each student will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Funding for the scholarships come from donations from generous members of the Florida Sheriffs Association, which also provides a $1,000 scholarship which is given to the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches and awarded to a worthy student who is choosing a law enforcement or criminal justice career track.

Founded in 1893, the Florida Sheriffs Association is a not-for-profit corporation consisting of the Sheriffs of Florida, approximately 3,500 business leaders and 70,000 citizens throughout the state.


Disabled American Veterans Chapter Gator #90 Inc., a charity dedicated to building better lives for America’s disabled veterans and their families, has had a busy year providing assistance to veterans. A major highlight was the assistance provided to establish the first College Veteran Success Center at the University of Florida where veteran students can go to relax, study, socialize while enjoying snacks with other student veterans. The center is located on campus in the stadium where the DAV provides free VA benefits and claims assistance. Disabled American Veterans service officers have brought to Alachua County $6 million in veteran’s benefits with no expense to the veterans or the public.

Disabled American Veterans Chapter No. 90 has also provided three pallets of new clothes for homeless veterans, and three bridge scholarships for disabled veterans attending their first year of college locally. The Disabled American Veterans Florida Headquarters, which is located here in Gainesville, provides VA benefits and claims counseling delivered by more than 200 Disabled American Veterans certified service officers throughout the state of Florida.

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