Category Archives: Announcements

18May/18

Florida Presbyterian Homes Welcomes New Director Of Nursing

Director of Nursing(LAKELAND, Florida – May 18, 2018) – Florida Presbyterian Homes (FPH) is pleased to welcome a new Director of Nursing to their administrative team.

Mary K. Ziomkowski, DNP, MEd, RN, BS, RAC-CT, joined FPH in April 2018 and is responsible for the overall operation of nursing services in accordance with current federal, state and local standards, guidelines and regulations. She will oversee a team of more than 60 nurses, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and nursing assistants. Dr. Ziomkowski comes to FPH from Michigan with excellent credentials and nursing experience in skilled nursing facilities and sub-acute rehabilitation practice settings. Her family includes her husband Dave, five children and five grandchildren.

“We are thrilled and honored to have Mary on our team,” said John M. Hehn, Jr., Executive Director for FPH. “She has a unique blend of nursing experience combined with a passion for the sciences, having been an educator of biology, chemistry and mathematics. Mary brings us a proven track record in nursing management and we look forward to having her lead our highly qualified nursing staff.”

Dr. Ziomkowski holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in Health Systems Leadership from Grand Valley State University (GVSU), where she engaged with students as a professor in the College of Nursing. She completed a Master’s degree in Education at GVSU with an emphasis on Adult and Higher Education. Dr. Ziomkowski also obtained two Bachelor of Science degrees from GVSU – one in nursing and another in biology. Prior to that, she received a diploma as a Registered Nurse from the Mercy Central School of Nursing in Grand Rapids.

Previous to joining FPH, Dr. Ziomkowski was the Director of Nursing at United Church Homes, Pilgrim Manor, in Grand Rapids Michigan. She has also held positions as an MDS [nurse assessment] Coordinator, Health Compliance Coordinator, Clinical Unit Manager, Surgical Nurse and as an educator at the secondary and university levels.

In addition to receiving numerous honors and awards, Dr. Ziomkowski has published papers and presented research relating to her areas of expertise. She holds several certifications and licensures, and is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the American Nurses Association and the American Society of Aging.

###

 

Florida Presbyterian Homes is a Continuing Care Retirement Community located on a 48-acre lakeside campus at 16 Lake Hunter Drive in Lakeland, Fla.  The 68-bed award-winning Nursing and Rehab Center serves all older adults following hospital stays. The campus has 113 single-family homes and 60 apartments for independent living residents, and there are 42 assisted living residences for people who need personal assistance in daily activities. More information is available at www.fphi.org.

18May/18

Polk State’s collegiate high schools celebrate graduating classes of 2018

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

 160 graduates.

 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

 144 graduates.

 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

 83 graduates.

 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.

 

16May/18

Bartow Ford Receives Ford Motor Company’s Highest Honor

Customers Survey Responds with Excellence in Service 

BARTOW, Florida – Bartow Ford Company, who recently celebrated 70 years in business, has again received Ford Motor Company’s highest honor, the President’s Award.

This award, created in 1998, acknowledges Ford Dealerships that provide exceptional service and vehicle buying experiences for their customers. With over 3,000 Ford dealerships operating in the country, this accomplishment is attained by few; approximately ten percent of the dealerships are honored each year.  For 2017, Bartow Ford is one of 327 dealerships nationally, and only 16 in Florida.

But winning that award 20 times? Only 18 dealers in the nation – including Bartow Ford – have achieved that level of excellence.

Representatives from Ford Motor Company were on hand at the dealership on Tuesday, May 15, to make the presentation.  At the same, representatives from Ford Motor Credit were, because the Polk County dealership was also named to their list of the Top 100 Dealers in the US for Consumer and Commercial Credit.

“Receiving the President’s Award 20 times represents the continuous hard work and dedication of our people.  This requires teamwork and total commitment to the care of the customer,” says Bartow Ford President, Benny Robles Jr.  “I am so proud of everyone in the Bartow Ford family.  Congratulations to them!”

The President’s Award is given annually to dealers who meet the criteria set forth by Ford Motor Company through programs such as Consumer Experience Movement designed to transform the dealer-customer relationship.

###

Founded in 1948, Bartow Ford Company is a privately held company providing new and used vehicles, and automotive services. The Central Florida facility, located on 30 acres of property in Polk County, with over 200 employees, includes a service and parts department, collision center, rental vehicles, commercial services and a Quicklane. Bartow Ford has achieved Ford Motor Company’s prestigious President’s Award 20 times. For more info on Bartow Ford Company, please visit www.BartowFord.com.

16May/18

Polk County’s Official Visitor Information Center Will Host “Celebrate Summer” Day on Saturday, June 2 in Davenport

BOGO Ticket Specials: Buy one LEGOLAND® Florida Resort or Bok Tower Gardens ticket and get one free, for tickets purchased at the event.

Davenport, FL (May 15, 2018) – Central Florida’s Visitor Information Center will kick off the summer travel season by hosting “Celebrate Summer” Day on Saturday, June 2, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Visitors and residents are invited to come and explore all that Central Florida has to offer in family fun and activities at this free, family-friendly event. There will be games, prize giveaways, bounce houses for kids, booths and displays by Safari Wilderness Ranch, Bok Tower Gardens and Mulberry Phosphate Museum, plus numerous craft and specialty vendors. Food will be available for purchase from local vendors.

Both LEGOLAND Florida Resort and Bok Tower Gardens will feature special “Buy One, Get One Free” offers on tickets purchased during the event. Attraction tickets sold at Central Florida’s Visitor Information Center are already discounted, making this “buy one, get one” special an especially attractive offer. Note: the “buy one, get one” special on tickets is limited to the first 150 tickets sold.

Central Florida’s Visitor Information Center, which sells discounted attraction tickets for many Central Florida attractions (including LEGOLAND Florida Resort), is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week and is located at 101 Adventure Court in Davenport (along U.S. Highway 27), a half-mile south of I-4 at Exit 55. For more information call (863) 420-2586.

###

About Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing:

Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing (known nationally as Visit Central Florida), is the official destination marketing organization for Polk County, Florida, and specializes in helping visitors plan a fun-filled Central Florida vacation. www.VisitCentralFlorida.org

 

14May/18

Governor Reappoints Turner and Martinez to PSC District Board of Trustees

BOT-Mark G. Turner_preview BOT-TeresaMartinez_previewWinter Haven, May 14, 2018 — Governor Rick Scott has reappointed Mark Turner and Teresa Martinez to the Polk State College District Board of Trustees for terms through May 2021.

Turner has served on the Board since August 2011 and Martinez has served on the Board since August 2009. Turner is currently Board Chair, a position that Martinez has also held during her tenure.

“I am thrilled about Chair Turner and Trustee Martinez’s reappointments and the opportunity to continue working closely with them to provide access to quality education in Polk County,” President Angela Garcia Falconetti said.

The District Board of Trustees is made up of members who are vested with oversight of all College policies, including matters related to programs, building, finances, and personnel.

Florida’s governor appoints the members, who serve without compensation. All appointments are subject to Florida Senate confirmation.

Turner, a Winter Haven native and lawyer, is past president of the Polk State College Foundation and the Greater Winter Haven Area Chamber of Commerce.

He has also held leadership roles with the Community Foundation of Greater Winter Haven, Girls Inc., Main Street Winter Haven, American Red Cross, and Habitat for Humanity.

“Chair Turner’s reappointment is a testament to his unwavering commitment to Polk State and the greater community,” Falconetti said. “His leadership continues to propel our institution forward toward a bright future filled with opportunities for our students and the residents of Polk County.”

Martinez, a Polk State alumna and native of Cuba, is president and founder of the Institute of Spanish Communication Inc. She has served on the board of the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce, Central Florida Speech and Hearing Center, Imperial Symphony Orchestra, and the Hispanic Club of Lakeland. She is also a graduate of Leadership Lakeland and Leadership Polk.

Falconetti noted Martinez’s support of the College’s goal of becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution, which would make all Polk State students eligible for federal grants that assist first-generation and low-income Hispanic students. To become a Hispanic Serving Institution, a college’s enrollment must be at least 25 percent Hispanic. Polk State’s Hispanic student population grew from 19 percent to 21 percent last year.

“Trustee Martinez is an inspiration for all students, especially Hispanic students as a result of her numerous successes as an immigrant,” Falconetti said. “As we move our institution closer to the goal of becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution, Trustee Martinez’s representation on the Board is as important as ever.”

“I am sincerely thankful for Chair Turner and Trustee Martinez’s service and leadership,” she added. “Together with the fellow Board members, we will continue to exceed the goals for our institution, enhancing higher education opportunities across Polk County.”

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.