All posts by Rachel Lawrence

About Rachel Lawrence

Rachel hails by birth from a small town on the outskirts of Erie, PA and has recently dove into a new life in Lakeland, FL. A natural people-person and lover of the written word, Rachel is passionate about photography and creating a lovable brand and bringing it to the masses.


Newest Public School In Polk County Gets Official Name

The School Board has selected Citrus Ridge: A Civics Academy as the name for the newest public school being built in Polk County.

School Board Members voted unanimously to accept the name at Tuesday night’s School Board meeting.

The name was recommended by a Naming Committee, which received input from a public survey posted online in September. Board Member Lori Cunningham, whose district encompasses the new school, presented the name to Superintendent Kathryn M. LeRoy. Final approval of this and all school names rests with the School Board.

Construction is underway for Citrus Ridge: A Civics Academy, which will be a K-8 school off Sand Mine Road in Davenport. An aerial photograph and artist rendering are attached.

The school will have the capacity to serve a total of 1,400 students and is expected to cost $43 million. The nearly 200,000-square-foot facility is expected to open August 2016 for the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year.

Citrus Ridge: A Civics Academy will be the first model civics-focused school in Polk County and is thought to be the first in Florida.  Students will be immersed in civic engagement through learning the history of our democracy, participating in community service projects, character education and volunteer opportunities.

The Superintendent proposed the concept for this new school as a way to stress the importance of civics education, and instill a thoughtful and authentic understanding of what it means to be an active, American citizen.


Hundreds of Classics Up For Grabs in Lakeland at the Collector Car Auction at the SUN ‘n FUN Complex

Car auctions are all the rage, especially ones where automotive history can be had at a great price.  Millions watch auction centric programs on TV and just as many ponder what it’d be like to experience such an event in person.  Wait no more, as Carlisle Auctions presents its two-day auction on Friday, November 13 and Saturday, November 14 as part of Fall Florida AutoFest.  AutoFest itself runs November 12-15 but for two days in between, the eyes of the automotive world turn to Carlisle Auctions for its always popular offering.  The auction hosts 400+ classics; mostly cars, but does include trucks, motorcycles and some other unique items.   Each item crosses the block and as long as the reserve cost (if any) has been met, will sell to the highest bidder…simple as that!  It’s what happens in between that makes events like these a must-attend.

Of the 400+ consignments, at least 120 of them will be showcased indoors, meaning that the best of the best will be front and center, serving as the perfect backdrop to the non-stop stage action.  Given the history of outdoor recreation in the region as well as the aeronautical happenings that the complex is known for, the auction will also include aircraft and motor coaches.  As part of the aforementioned 120 indoors, 20 of those spots will be cars carrying a reserve sale price of at least $50,000.

There are also multiple featured consignments and of that lot, a 1989 Lamborghini Countach stands head and shoulders above the rest.  This car has been featured on Fox News/Fox and Friends, has low mileage and making it even more desirable, it’s just one of 658 produced.  In addition, other featured cars include a fully restored, Concours worthy 1955 Jaguar XK 140, a 1967 Chevy Camaro Pace Car that’s been restored from the ground up to rival its original factory presentation, a 1968 Amphicar 770 with under 5,000 miles and just one owner to its name and many more classics!

In addition, with a special appearance by the legendary Burt Reynolds to the event, Carlisle Auctions will move a 1980 Trans Am Bandit II consigned by its Nebraska owner.  Once sold, proceeds from its sale will go to the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre.

Finally, this isn’t the first time Carlisle Auctions has done business in Florida, having previously hosted successful events in Zephyrhills.  With the growth of AutoFest and its auctions, the move to Lakeland was necessary for continued success.  Powered by its FREE UNLESS SOLD guarantee; something no other auction company doing business within Florida offers, buyers and sellers alike are assured more high quality options.  For inclusion as either a buyer or seller, contact a Carlisle Auctions representative today at 717-960-6400 to get involved.  Act fast though, auctions backed by Carlisle Auctions in Florida have historically sold out from a consignment stand point and see standing room only audience of bidders and spectators.


Three New Medical Providers Join Watson Clinic

Watson Clinic is pleased to introduce three new additions to our exceptional team of medical providers.  These highly trained nurse practitioners and physician assistants offer personalized care in compliment to the efforts of the physicians they collaborate with, and their inclusion in these practices allows for an elevated level of service and enhanced patient appointment availability.

Luis Berrios, ARNP-C will assist patients of internal medicine specialist Agustin R. Tavares, MD from our South location at 1033 N. Parkway Frontage Rd. in Lakeland.

Berrios received his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in nursing from the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY.  Fluent in both English and Spanish, Berrios is a licensed nurse practitioner whose areas of expertise include general wellness care and the management of chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, COPD, and obesity.

Eric Shelton, PA-C works alongside board-certified orthopaedic surgeon Phuc Vo, MD from our Main Clinic location at 1600 Lakeland Hills Boulevard in Lakeland.

Shelton achieved his Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences degree from the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL, and his Master of Science in physician assistant studies at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY. Shelton will provide a range of services including joint injection and fracture repair, and will assist Dr. Vo with in-office care and consultations, as well as surgical efforts performed out of the hospital setting.

Mike Juneau, PA-C assists general surgeon and surgical oncologist Scott Kelley, MD in the treatment of patients from our Bella Vista Building at 1755 N. Florida Avenue in Lakeland.

Juneau achieved his Master of Science degree in physician assistant studies at the University of New England in Biddeford, ME.  He assists Dr. Kelley with in-office consultations and minor surgical procedures, as well as with the daily management of surgical patients, consults and operating room services for patients during their stay at Lakeland Regional Health.

Appointments may be scheduled by calling 863-680-7190 for Dr. Agustin Tavares’ internal medicine practice, 863-680-7214 for orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Phuc Vo, and 863-680-7486 for appointments with general surgeon and surgical oncologist Dr. Scott Kelley.

For more information on these and hundreds of additional providers throughout Watson Clinic, visit


Polk County Teacher and Students Recognized For Teaching and Writing Talents

A Polk County teacher and five students recently received special recognition from the Florida Council of Teachers of English (FCTE).

The awards were bestowed during the nonprofit organization’s annual Professional Development Institute. This year, the event took place Oct. 15 – 17 in Cocoa Beach.

Heather Landreth, an English teacher at Union Academy, was named Florida English Teacher of the Year. She was nominated for this honor by the local Polk County Council of Teachers of English for her remarkable passion for teaching as well as her outstanding service and dedication to her school and students.

FCTE also honored Florida students for their writing abilities in a variety of genres. Polk County students earned six of the 13 awards.

– Greeshma Venigalla, a 10th grader at International Baccalaureate School at Bartow High, for her poem titled “Across the Fabric,” and her personal essay/memoir titled “It’s Pronounced Just How It’s Spelled”

– Nick Wibert, a 10th grader at International Baccalaureate School at Bartow High, for his non-fiction work titled “A Comparison of Two Poems”

– Skye Smith, an 11th grader at Bartow High, for her work of fiction titled “Cail Hafe”

– Lindsay Henderson, an 11th grader at Lois Cowles Harrison Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, for her script/screenplay titled “Kevin’s Biceps Kill the Ladies”

– Katherine Graham, recently graduated from Lois Cowles Harrison Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, for her poem titled “4th and Park”

These students were also invited to participate in a writing workshop with published author René Saldaña, whose works include “The Jumping Tree: A Novel” and “Finding Our Way: Stories.”


Shen Yun – A Large Production at the Lakeland Center!

In  ancient times, China was known as the Land of the Divine. Everyone, from the emperors to the common people, believed that their culture was a divine gift. They lived in harmony with the universe and saw a connection among all things. And authentic Chinese culture carried these principles for thousands of years—until it was lost.

SHEN YUN brings this lost world to life with unrivaled mastery. Every movement, every musical note, makes this a stunning visual and emotional experience you won’t find anywhere else. It features the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West, and dazzling animated backdrops, which together create a spectacular performance.
Shen Yun