Tag Archives: Polk County School Board


Information Session for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy


LAKELAND, FLORIDA (July, 21, 2017) — My Office & More will host two Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Information Sessions for students in grades 6-12, their families, and local business leaders about YEA!, a 30 week program that guides middle and high school students through launching and running their own real businesses or social movements!

Attendees will learn about the structure, curriculum, and student application process for the program, as well as how business leaders can get involved as a mentor, guest speaker, field trip host, or investor.

Kate Lake, Chief Connections Officer of My Office & More remarks, “In May, I had the chance to meet a number of YEA entrepreneurs at a Lakeland Chamber event. Their creativity and determination was inspiring. It’s clear this program creates possibilities for aspiring students and we welcome the opportunity to advocate for and encourage these future CEOs.”

WHEN:                       Tuesday, August 8, 2017 & Tuesday, August 22, 2017, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

WHERE:                     My Office & More, 122 E Main St, Lakeland, FL  33801

WHO:                    Students grades 6-12 and their families; Business leaders and interested community volunteers; This event is free and open to the public, space is limited, so registration is strongly encouraged

Call (863) 688-8551 ext. 229 or email rfortier@lakelandchamber.com to RSVP or register online at http://bit.ly/2uGLnZX .

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy provides students in grades 6-12 with the knowledge and skills they need to start and run their own business. No business experience is needed – just creativity, enthusiasm, dedication and lots of effort.

The local chapter of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce will accept up to 20 students; the application deadline is Friday, September 15. Classes will take place 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Southeastern University beginning in October. The tuition for the program is $495. There are some need-based scholarships available. The program offers the opportunity to participate in the YEA! Saunders Scholars Competition with the chance to win college scholarships. The application for the Polk County program is available at https://yeausa.wufoo.com/forms/z1s0mvgj0gb2hwv/.

YEA Info Session image







Lakeland Chamber of Commerce

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce represents 1,400 member businesses in the Lakeland area and provides opportunities for networking, professional development and advocacy for companies of all sizes. Five-Star Accredited by the US Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber upholds the following vision and mission statements:  Vision Statement – The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce will be the premier catalyst for the advancement of Lakeland’s economic growth and enhancement of quality of life– creating Florida’s community of choice. Mission Statement – The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce is the leading organization dedicated to creating a climate where business can prosper.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a 501(C) 3 offering groundbreaking year-long classes that teach middle and high school students how to start and run their own businesses. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors for startup funds, and launch and run their own, fully formed companies and social movements. The project-based program empowers students to take charge of their futures. Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! today serves thousands of students nationwide. In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation became a national sponsor and partner of the Academy to help celebrate the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders. YEA! bridges the business and educational communities to fulfill its mission of teaching more students how to make a job, not just take a job. YEA! is made possible by The Kauffman Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the E. Philip Saunders Foundation. For more information, visit yeausa.org.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness and educating the public on how the free enterprise system improves society and the economy. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.






Nineteen students who attended Lakeland-area schools in 2008-2009 and achieved perfection on the reading and math portions of the 2008-2009 FCAT tests will be among those honored at a school district special event on November 10.

 These 19 students achieved the highest possible scores of 500 on both the reading and mathematics portions of the tests administered in March 2009.  More than 55,000 Polk students in grades three through ten took the tests. A total of 28 students districtwide scored a 500 on both the reading and math portions. These 28 represent approximately .0005 percent of the total number taking the tests. 

 The following list is  19 students from Lakeland-area schools with perfect FCAT reading and math scores from 2008-2009 testing.  They are listed according to school where they took the tests last year.  Any schools listed in parentheses after a student’s name is the school they are attending in 2009-2010.

 Carlton Palmore Elementary- Rachel Gould

Cleveland Court Elementary- Lindsey Kim

Lake Gibson Middle- Caleb Brady

Lakeland Highlands Middle-Hope Grimes, Ashley Valdez

Lincoln Avenue Academy- Alana Jones, Emma Schindler

Lawton Chiles Middle Academy- Sujaya Rajguru, Abhinav Venigalla, Tom Zhang (currently attending Bartow International Baccalaureate)

McKeel Elementary-Kylie Bridges, Andrew Brown

Philip O’Brien Elementary- Mark Stoughton

Scott Lake Elementary- Alexander Manning, Zachary Urillo

Southwest Elementary-Matthew Clere, Hannah Townley

Southwest Middle- Breanna Langley

Valleyview Elementary: Madelyn Graham (currently attending Spessard Holland Elementary-Bartow)


Polk County Schools Begin a New School Year

The 2009-2010 school year began in Polk on August 24.  The last day of school for the year is Wednesday, June 9, 2010.

2009-2010 School District Facts:

· 91, 581 students expected for 09-10

· 161 school sites include traditional elementary, middle and high schools,  career centers, adult schools, alternative schools and charter schools.

· There are also 19 Head Start centers located on school campuses and three stand-alone Head Start centers in Frostproof, Haines City and Winter Haven. Head Start sites in Lakeland are at the following elementary schools: Crystal Lake, Dixieland, Jesse Keen, Socrum and Winston. There are also 52 schools throughout the county with pre-kindergarten programs.

· The school district is using a $1.3 million grant from the Helios Foundation to develop high-quality programs to transition middle school students to high school.  The grant was obtained through a partnership with the Florida Association of School Administrators and the objective is for Polk to develop a model that can be replicated in other Florida school districts

· The school district is also using a $600,000 Readiness And Emergency Management For Schools Program federal government grant. The grant will be used to improve plans that addresses all four phases of emergency management: prevention-mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.

Polk has one new school opening in 2009-2010, Spessard L. Holland Elementary,  it has a physical address of Bartow but serves students in south Lakeland-north Bartow. It is located west of U.S. Highway 98 in the south Lakeland, Highland City, north Bartow area.

Spessard L. Holland Elementary Profile

Namesake: Spessard L. Holland, 1892-1971. Holland was a Florida governor (1941-1945) and four-term U.S. Senator (1946 – 1971). He was founder of the large Florida-based law firm, Holland & Knight.  The law school administration building at the University of Florida is also named for Holland. Holland’s University of Florida affiliation is also part of the school as the school’s nickname is the Gators. The gator-theme is prevalent throughout the school with gator photographs.  Mr. Holland’s portrait is also prevalent throughout the school. 

Physical address: 2342 E. F. Griffin Road, Bartow. Spessard L. Holland Elementary is the first large-scale and stand-alone public school opening with a  Bartow address since 1976.  

Principal: Melody Butler. She previously was an assistant principal at Lakeland’s Carlton Palmore Elementary.

School Construction Cost: $21.5 million

Square footage: 96, 486

Acreage: 22

Student Capacity: 832

Special Features: courtyard design for campus security, instructional areas and spaces include SmartBoards and sound enhancements


More Than Half Of Lakeland Schools An “A”

The Florida Department of Education released the FCAT grades for the 2008-2009 school year and more than half (51 percent)  of Lakeland schools received a grade of A.

The statistics for Lakeland schools:

A – 22     B- 7     C- 11     D-2     F- 1

Exactly two-thirds (67 percent) of Lakeland schools (29 schools) received an A or B. Ninety-three percent (40 schools) received an A, B or C. The Polk Public Schools received an overall grade of B from the state for the second consecutive year.  A listing of Lakeland schools by FCAT grade is listed below:

A- Blake Academy, Carlton Palmore Elementary, Cleveland Court Elementary, Dixieland Elementary, Griffin Elementary, Highlands Grove Elementary, Jesse Keen Elementary, Kathleen Elementary, Lakeland Highlands Middle, Lawton Chiles Middle Academy, Lincoln Avenue Academy, McKeel Academy, McKeel Elementary, North Lakeland Elementary, Phillip O’Brien Elementary, Rochelle School of the Arts, Scott Lake Elementary, Sikes Elementary, South McKeel Elementary, Southwest Middle, Valleyview Elementary, Wendell Watson Elementary.

B- Dr. N.E. Roberts Elementary, Kathleen Middle, Lake Gibson Middle, Lakeland High, Padgett Elementary, R. Bruce Wagner Elementary, Southwest Elementary

C- Churchwell Elementary, Combee Elementary, Crystal Lake Elementary, Crystal Lake Middle, George Jenkins High, Lake Gibson High, Medulla Elementary, Sleepy Hill Elementary, Sleepy Hill Middle, Socrum Elementary, Winston Elementary.

D- Kathleen High, Tenoroc High

F- Oscar J. Pope Elementary


Lakeland Students Achieve On National, Standardized Testing

Ninety-three graduated seniors who attended Lakeland schools or are Lakeland residents were named 2009 Superintendent’s Scholars. Superintendent’s Scholars have a minimum grade point average of 3.75 and a score of 1270 (critical reading and math) or above on the SAT or a 28 or better on the ACT.

The Superintendent’s Scholars program is in its 21st year and is coordinated by the Polk Education Foundation.

Superintendent’s Scholars attending Lakeland schools or are from Lakeland are listed with their school:

Bartow High: Cassidy Lancaster, Cory Smith.

Bartow International Baccalaureate: Melissa Adams, Robin Clark, John Erwin, Samantha Espinosa, Andrea Farinas, Carlene Fogle-Miller, Margaret Frates, Jessica Gonzalez, Lauren Hughes, Suma Metla, Joshua Newell, Shivani Patel, Christine Tallo, Amith Umesh, Samuel White.

George Jenkins High: Cayley Abrado, Nicola Antonelli, Erika Bailey, Christina Campbell, Lindsay Castret, Katherine Childs, Jessica Dye, Kevin Freedman, Alexandria Greenhill, Jackson Hager, Harish Kotipoyina, Matthew Lauer, Nathalie Moyano, Jonathan Munoz, Rachel Patel, Janki Patel, Nasreen Sadeq, Allison Stewart, Tessa Syvertsen, Allison Thompson.

Harrison School for the Arts: Brooke Adams, Allison Bedford, Emily Boyer, Bryce Bresnan, Tyler Campbell, Alejandro Garcia, Meagan Johnson, Christopher Kline, Grace McMullen, Eric Obermeyer, Kathryn Phillips, Jennifer Russell, Joshua Schell, Jamie Steinberg, Garrett Williams, Olivia Williams, George Williford.

Kathleen High: Jeremy Williams

Lake Gibson High: Wade Carreno, Tylor Earl, Katelynn Harrell, Andrew M. Miller, Gage Mueller, Phillip Roddenberry.

Lake Region High: Jessica Moore.

Lakeland High: Allison Calahan, Kyle Champeau, Eddie Chirino, Anna Edwards, Stephen Franzen, Nathan Gates, Erin Goding, Andrew Joyner, Jaren Kerber, Alexandra Lewis, Carrie McNeill, Megan Petrie, Victoria Shannon, Victoria Sheets, Gilbert Thomas, Rachel Van Middlesworth, Cori Wells, Katie Wellslager, Kyle Wise.

McKeel Academy: Laura Newberry, Jessica Poulsen.

PCC High: Adam Bracewell, Kevin Bryan, Aaron Cassity, Shiloh Hodges, Hannah Hodges, Krysta Ledford, Katelyn Ruppert, Caity Strickland.

Summerlin Academy: Heather Weaver.