Winter Haven, May, 17, 2018 — Nearly 400 students are receiving their high school diplomas from Polk State College’s three collegiate high schools this month, although many already have their college degrees in hand.
Polk State Chain of Lakes Collegiate High School will graduate its 11th class Friday, May 18, at 5:30 p.m. in the Polk State Winter Haven Health Center, 999 Ave. H, N.E.
Polk State Lakeland Collegiate High School will graduate its 14th class Tuesday, May 22, at 6:30 p.m. in the Polk State Winter Haven Health Center.
And Polk State Lakeland Gateway to College Collegiate High School will graduate its fifth class on Wednesday, May 23, at 6:30 p.m., also in the Polk State Winter Haven Health Center.
Polk State’s charter high schools allow students to simultaneously complete requirements for their high school diplomas while earning college credits. In many cases, students graduate with both their high school diplomas and Associate in Arts degrees.
The majority of students graduating from the collegiate high schools received their college degrees during Polk State’s 118th commencement ceremony May 3.
“We are extraordinarily proud of our high school graduates, who have demonstrated great dedication to their academics and an unwavering commitment to community service, among other great achievements,” President Angela Garcia Falconetti said.
“I am certain our graduates will continue to make us proud as they move on to higher levels of education and careers, which Polk State’s collegiate high schools have well prepared them for,” she exclaimed. “Congratulations to the classes of 2018!”
Here is a detailed look at the 2018 graduating classes:
Polk State Chain of Lakes Collegiate High School
108 graduates received a Polk State Associate in Arts degree.
99 graduates have a high school grade-point average (GPA) of 4.0 or greater.
The average student earned 56 college credits.
The class completed 38,095 community service hours.
The class earned more than $2.8 million in scholarships.
Graduates will continue their education at all State University System institutions, Stetson University, Colorado State University, University of Tennessee, Louisiana State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Miami, Polk State College, and more.
Sujena and Rehana Koilpillai are co-valedictorians. Both have a 4.691 GPA.
Gabrielle Figueroa is salutatorian with a 4.656 GPA.
Polk State Lakeland Collegiate High School
103 graduates received a Polk State Associate in Arts degree.
86 graduates have a high school grade-point average (GPA) of 4.0 or greater.
The average student earned 59.6 college credits.
The class completed 25,830 community service hours.
The class earned more than $2.7 million in scholarships.
Graduates will continue their education at Dartmouth College, University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago, University of Florida, Florida State University, Louisiana State University, Colorado State University, Emory University, Polk State College, and more.
Kaitlyn Kelley is valedictorian with a 4.739 GPA.
Harrison Chen is salutatorian with a 4.728 GPA.
Polk State Lakeland Gateway to Collegiate High School
12 graduates received a Polk State Associate in Arts degree.
8 graduates have a high school grade-point average (GPA) of 4.0 or greater.
The average student earned 37 college credits.
The class completed 8,227 community service hours.
The class earned approximately $650,000 in scholarships.
Graduates will continue their education at University of Florida, University of South Florida, University of Central Florida, University of Miami, Johnson and Wales University, Flagler College, Saint Leo University, Nova Southeastern University, Lynn University, Valdosta State University, Clemson University, Polk State College, and more.
Sydney Owens is valedictorian with a 4.621 GPA.
Kelly Kanungo is salutatorian with a 4.277 GPA.
The collegiate high schools have had a successful year. Polk State Chain of Lakes and Polk State Lakeland Collegiate received A grades for the 2016-2017 school year and retained their designations as high-performing charter schools for the third consecutive year. They also ranked No. 1 out of 448 public high schools in Florida for their 100 percent four-year graduation rates.
And while Polk State Lakeland Gateway to Collegiate does not receive a school grade from the Florida Department of Education as per its charter, it does receive a school
improvement rating, which was “commendable” for 2016-2017. This is the highest rating achievable and Lakeland Gateway to Collegiate was the only school in Polk County to achieve this status.
Polk State Lakeland Gateway to Collegiate’s charter was recently renewed for five years by the Polk County School Board and Polk State Lakeland Collegiate recently earned reaccreditation from the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), an accreditation division of AdvancED. All three of Polk State’s charter high schools hold NCA CASI accreditation through AdvancED.
For more information about Polk State’s collegiate high schools, visit www.polk.edu/charter-high-schools.
About Polk State College
Located in Winter Haven, Florida, and established in 1964, Polk State College is a multi-campus institution serving more than 16,000 students with Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Science, Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees, as well as a wide range of certificate and workforce training options.
The College also operates three charter high schools. Polk State’s advantages include small class sizes; hands-on learning; dedicated faculty; day and night classes; online options; affordable tuition; excellent financial aid; and a diverse community and vibrant student life, including fine arts opportunities, clubs, and intercollegiate athletics.