The Polk County School Board has many events and programs celebrating the accomplishments and hard work of our staff, community partners and students from both the present and the past. The following recognition events are coordinated by the Department of Public Relations & Strategic Partnerships.

2019 Teacher and School-Related Employee of the year logo

Teacher and School-Related Employee of the Year

The 2019 awards program will honor 240 outstanding employees from across the district. The event will be held Tuesday, January 15 at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.  Along with 12 finalists, the winners will receive cash awards and other prizes from event sponsors.  In 2018, Michelle Dinwiddie, a 10th-grade English teacher at Lake Gibson High in Lakeland, was named the Polk County Teacher of the Year and Margie Foreman, a clinic nurse at James E. Stephens Elementary, was named the district’s School-Related Employee of the Year.

Thirty fifth annual Polk County Public Schools Hall of Fame Logo

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 Program

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

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

Superintendent's Scholars Logo

Superintendent's Scholars Awards

The top high school seniors from Polk County Public Schools take center stage at the annual Superintendent’s Scholars Awards.

The ceremony recognizes seniors for their outstanding educational achievements; Superintendent’s Scholars include graduating seniors who have earned a 3.8 GPA or higher by their seventh semester.

Each student has an opportunity to introduce themselves, announce their college or career plans, and receive a medallion as a symbol of their accomplishment to be worn at graduation.