PCPS Inspire Awards Logo

Inspire Awards

Teacher and School-Related Employees of the Year

This annual awards program honors approximately 240 outstanding employees from across the district. The district’s Teacher of the Year and School-Related Employee of the Year, along with 12 finalists, receive cash awards and other prizes from event sponsors.

Judges include community members from local organizations and businesses, as well as past winners and finalists. Judges review the applications without knowledge of applicant names or schools. Judging criteria includes leadership and professional development activities, community and school involvement, and teaching style.

Each year, the Florida Department of Education names a Florida Teacher of the Year, choosing an educator who has “demonstrated a superior capacity to inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities.” The Florida School-Related Employee of the Year award recognizes outstanding education support personnel for contributions to their schools and communities. Both of Polk’s winners move on to compete for the state titles.

Hall of Fame

The Polk County Schools Hall of Fame was created in 1985 to recognize former students of Polk County Public Schools who have gone on to distinguish themselves in their careers or communities. Since its inception, the Hall of Fame has inducted over 100 former students. Hall of Fame members have made significant professional contributions in the arts, business, clergy, education, entertainment, government, law, military, medicine, sports or other fields.

Nominees must have attended a Polk County public school, but graduation from a Polk County public school is not a requirement. A panel of judges evaluates each nominee using criteria such as leadership, professional excellence, innovation and their impact on local and global communities. Each inductee and their nominator will receive an invitation to the induction banquet.

Volunteer of the Year Logo

Volunteer of the Year

The gift of time is precious, and volunteers are truly generous when it comes to investing this valuable resource in our schools and with our students.

This award program acknowledges the crucial role school volunteers play in students’ lives and how they enrich our schools with their selfless dedication.

This program is made possible through the sponsorship of MIDFLORIDA Credit Union.

About-Face Awards Logo

About-Face Awards

The About-Face Award recognizes secondary students who have made a significant turn around in their behavior, academic achievement and attendance in school. One student from each middle and high school in the district receive the award annually at the awards program. Students are nominated by their school and receive a medallion for their success.

This program is made possible through the sponsorship of TECO Energy.

Focused on Excellence Employee Recognition Logo

Focused on Excellence

The Focused on Excellence Employee Recognition Campaign is designed to do exactly that: create moments to focus on our employees and celebrate the outstanding work that they do.

Focused on Excellence winners are selected quarterly through a nomination and committee process.

Superintendent's Scholars Logo

Superintendent's Scholars Awards

Annually, the top high school seniors from Polk County Public Schools are recognized as part of the Superintendent’s Scholars program.

This program recognizes graduating seniors who have earned a 3.8 weighted GPA or higher by their seventh semester.

Each student receives a medallion as a symbol of their accomplishment to be worn at graduation.