Goodbye, Mr. Joe

Goodbye, Mr. Joe

Ernest Joe, Jr. at his retirement celebration

Yesterday we said goodbye to the one and only Ernest Joe, Jr.

Retiring after nearly 40 years with Polk County Public Schools, “Mr. Joe” has made an immeasurable impact as a teacher, principal and football coach.

He most recently served as PCPS’ director of Equity and Diversity Management, and will continue to be a volunteer and mentor in our schools.

Yesterday’s retirement celebration was well-attended by Joe’s friends, family, colleagues and former students.

“It was overwhelming. I kinda have to pinch myself, because a lot of times you don’t realize how much you have touched people’s lives and what they truly feel about you,” he said afterward.

“The people that touched me, the people that gave me opportunities … what I did was give back for what I received. I’ll be taking a lot away with me, but I’m thankful. I don’t have any regrets. I’m very thankful.”

Thank you, Mr. Joe.

Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd speaks at Ernest Joe's retirement celebration

Deputy Superintendent John Hill at Ernest Joe's retirement celebration

Ernest Joe poses with family members at his retirement celebration.