Polk County Public Schools has wrapped up our 2020: Focused on Excellence campaign, a yearlong effort to spotlight the roles and contributions of the school district’s 13,000-plus employees.
“We’ve had such a great time with this campaign,” said Jeanette Crowley, senior coordinator of strategic partnerships. “It’s been fun and fulfilling to get to know the people of PCPS and to let them know how much they are appreciated. They give so much to our students and district; it’s been a great experience to give something back to them.”
Spearheaded by the Department of Public Relations and Strategic Partnerships, the 2020: Focused on Excellence campaign commenced in January, and for each month thereafter put the “focus” on a different employee group within the organization.
The campaign recognized the following employee groups:
January: Kickoff announcement
March: School nutrition
April: Cancelled by pandemic
May: Special “Coronavirus Edition” recognizing the many employees involved with the district’s transition to remote learning, including teachers, custodial, transportation, school nutrition, and information technology personnel
June: Custodial, maintenance, and warehouse
July: Professional-Technical 12-month employees
August: Learning Support and Student Services
September: ESE & ESE center school personnel
November: District and school-based administrators
December: Secretaries and clerical personnel
Throughout the year, the Department of Public Relations & Strategic Partnerships created stories and conducted interviews with employees representing each month’s focus groups. Thanks to several generous sponsors, the PR staff was also able to provide special gifts and conduct a monthly prize drawing for each of the employee groups. Gifts and prizes included gift cards, PCPS-branded merchandise, pandemic care packages complete with snacks and board games, and more.
2020: Focused on Excellence Sponsors included:
Chick-fil-A (Lakeland south and north locations)
Publix Super Markets Inc.
The Mortgage Firm
Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa (Lake Miriam location-Lakeland)
Eye Specialists of MidFlorida, P.A.
Fields Insurance & Financial Group
Fitniche Running & Fitness
Logo Out Loud
VIP Edible Marketing & Events
Garrison Property Services
PR teamed with the Assessment, Accountability, and Evaluation department to conduct the monthly prize drawings. AA&E was able to randomly select employees from each employee group to receive the month’s prizes.
The campaign was warmly received by PCPS employees, who said the following:
“It made me feel good to be acknowledged because many times I feel I get lost in the crowd. You will never know how much this means to me; I actually started to cry I was so happy!”
— Amy Peterson, paraeducator at Doris A. Sanders Learning Center
“I wanted to say thank you to all that were involved with this project, it is appreciated. Please pass along my thanks.”
— Leigh Guenther, assistant principal, Lakeland High School
“Thank you for making the delivery special and personal. Thanks to Polk County Public Schools for showing appreciation to their employees, and the sponsors for donating items to make the prize bag thoughtful with the treats.”
—Teresa Williams, teacher, Alta Vista Elementary
“We’re thankful to the sponsors who so generously gave to this campaign,” said Rachel Pleasant, senior director of communications. “Their support made it possible to express our thanks and appreciation to our employees, and that made a huge difference in this otherwise very difficult and dark year.”