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.

Students, faculty and district staff members came together May 11, 2017 to say thank you and celebrate during the annual Outstanding School Volunteer of the Year Awards Program.

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

Awards are bestowed at the elementary and secondary level in the following categories: “Outstanding Adult Volunteer of the Year,” “Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year” and “Outstanding Senior Volunteer of the Year.” These winners are selected from among more than 100 people named “Volunteers of the Year” at their respective schools.

2017 Elementary Level Award Winners

Haley Albert
James E. Stephens Elementary
Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year

At only 17 years of age, Haley is already making a difference in her community by developing young girls’ self-esteem and encouraging students at all learning levels to read. Haley is an aspiring elementary teacher who is known for her mentorship and artistic contributions to Stephens Elementary. Students benefit from one-on-one attention she provides as an assistant in the classroom and media center.

Lori Morrison

Spessard L. Holland Elementary
Outstanding Adult Volunteer of the Year

Known as “Me-Maw,” Lori Morrison uses her training as a professional educator to help first graders master reading, math, and even weather lessons. She uses hands-on materials and elaborate visual aids to capture their attention and make each subject come to life. Outside of the classroom, Lori also mentors disadvantaged students and serves as a resource for parents on the weekends.

Carol Cramp

Alta Vista Elementary
Outstanding Senior Volunteer of the Year

Carol Cramp has a heart for students with language-based disabilities, and uses her years of experience as a reading specialist to support students at Alta Vista Elementary. Carol spends four days every week with first grade students, the majority of whom are considered ESOL. She works with small groups, practicing vocabulary and reading comprehension to improve their skills and self-confidence.

2017 Secondary Level Award Winners

Aundrea Camp
Fort Meade Middle-Senior High
Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year

Aundrea Camp graduated from Fort Meade Middle-Senior High in 2015 and wasted no time finding ways to give back to her community. She frequently mentors a diverse group of ESE students, helping them stay on task and encouraging them to succeed. Aundrea also manages football equipment for the Fort Meade Fighting Miners and assists with other clerical needs around the school.


Val Walsh
Harrison School for the Arts
Outstanding Adult Volunteer of the Year

Val Walsh’s most significant contribution to Polk County Public Schools is her creation of the SHINE program, a mentor-based partnership between high school students and elementary students. Val’s dedication to this initiative has established a successful model of mentorship between schools. Val also serves as the President of Harrison School for the Arts’ parents’ association and routinely volunteers during Teacher Appreciation Week and school fundraisers.

Bonita Murphy
West Area Adult Schoo
Outstanding Senior Volunteer of the Year

Bonita has been volunteering in Polk County Public Schools for 16 years. She is known for being soft-spoken, but as a former teacher also knows how to maintain discipline on campus. Bonnie has a heart for helping adult students succeed. Twice a week, she can be found tutoring students who struggle with reading and English abilities. Bonnie works with students one-on-one, motivating them to reach their goals at West Area Adult School.

2017 Honorees

Elementary School Volunteer
Alta Vista Elementary Carol Cramp
Alturas Elementary Caroline Stinson
Auburndale Central Elementary Julieanna Wilkerson
Bartow Elementary Academy Bette Orwig
Ben Hill Griffin Jr. Elementary Noemi Cruz
Bethune Academy Tiffany Akins
Blake Academy Sherry Hudson
Brigham Academy Lori Griffin
Caldwell Elementary Phillippe Pontbriant
Carlton Palmore Elementary Marilynn Maffett
Chain of Lakes Elementary Rosa Barahona
Churchwell Elementary Michael Davis
Clarence Boswell Elementary Cheri Rainer
Cleveland Court Elementary Richele McMichael
Combee Elementary Katie Rosell
Crystal Lake Elementary Amanda Vargas
Dale R. Fair Babson Park Elementary Bobby Nimmons
Davenport School of the Arts Pat B. Redgrave
Dixieland Elementary Clifton Wheeler
Dr. N.E. Roberts Elementary Paula Rose
Dundee Elementary Academy Lynne Houston
Eagle Lake Elementary Dawn Halversen
Eastside Elementary Cynthia Warrick
Elbert Elementary Paula Holm
Floral Avenue Elementary Karen Wehrle
Fred G. Garner Elementary Laron Rodriguez Adams
Frostproof Elementary Karen Campbell
Garden Grove Elementary Anne Pinnington
Gibbons Street Elementary Jane Luckett-Williams
Griffin Elementary Mary Clarke
Highland City Elementary Bennie Swisher
Highlands Grove Elementary Lissa Bontrager
Hillcrest Elementary Beverly Walser
Horizons Elementary David Sparr
Inwood Elementary Cynthia Ashley
James E. Stephens Elementary Haley Albert
James W. Sikes Elementary Thomas Ponton
Janie Howard Wilson Elementary Kathryn Summerton
Jesse Keen Elementary Malinda Holt
Jewett School of the Arts Dariana Cedeno
Kathleen Elementary Pedro Davila
Kingsford Elementary Elizabeth Gould
Lake Alfred Elementary Rosalee D. Hayes
Lake Shipp Elementary Elaine Scheck
Laurel Elementary Sonia Sotomayor
Lena Vista Elementary Barbara Sype
Lewis Anna Woodbury Elementary (Pk-3) Lois Stortz
Lewis Elementary (4-5) Edward Flood
Lincoln Avenue Academy Melissa Pixley
Loughman Oaks Elementary Rebecca Chea
Medulla Elementary Morgan Little
North Lakeland Elementary Karen Boettcher
Oscar J. Pope Elementary Terrisha Honneffer
Our Children’s Academy Jamie Boykin
Padgett Elementary Alana Bush
Palmetto Elementary Tanya Vetlov-Curet
Philip O’Brien Elementary Alice Ann Sargeant
Pinewood Elementary Lauren Daughtry
Polk Avenue Elementary Martha Bair
Polk City Elementary Sybil Parker
Purcell Elementary Lois Stortz
R. Bruce Wagner Elementary Diane Novotny
Rochelle School of the Arts Shannon Sevingy
Sandhill Elementary Kaeli Warren
Scott Lake Elementary Linda Tarleton
Sleepy Hill Elementary Lorena Dorantes
Snively Elementary William R. “Ricky” Slaughter
Socrum Elementary Anne Bernat
Southwest Elementary Tabbi Brooks
Spessard Holland Elementary Lori Morrison
Spook Hill Elementary Betty Blankenship
Valleyview Elementary Amy Harris
Wahneta Elementary James Hamil
Wendell Watson Elementary Lorraine Pavlisko
Winston Academy of Engineering Cedric Turgeon
Secondary School Volunteer
Auburndale High Elizabeth Jane Meadows
Bartow High Reba Coil
Bartow Middle Teia Thagard
Bill Duncan Opportunity Center Karen Ruthvens
Boone Middle Rachel Bork
Crystal Lake Middle Kimberly Heberling
Daniel Jenkins Academy Davina Williams
Denison Middle James Arnold
Donald E. Woods Opportunity Center Kevin Kitto
Dundee Ridge Middle Academy Amy Young
East Area Adult Nancy Abney
Fort Meade Middle-Senior Aundrea Camp
Frostproof Middle-Senior Jacquelyn Bobb
Gause Academy of Leadership and Technology Nilda Rodriguez
George Jenkins High Katy Alach
Haines City High/IB Racheal Kirkland
Harrison School for the Arts Val Walsh
Jean O’Dell Learning Center Karen Wehrle
Jewett Middle Academy Magnet Laura Varney
Karen M. Siegel Academy Khristine Cloud
Kathleen High Emily Gray
Kathleen Middle Robbie Miller
Lake Alfred-Addair Middle Tiera Peabody
Lake Gibson High Kenneth Kramer
Lake Gibson Middle Brittney Thompson-Self
Lake Region High Debra Thomsen
Lakeland Highlands Middle Ellen Irwin
Lawton Chiles Middle Academy Sabina Elmasri
McLaughlin Middle & Fine Arts Academy Rhonda Futch
Mulberry High George “Louis” Holstein III
Mulberry Middle Gina Riczko
Ridge Community High Deborah Fox
Sleepy Hill Middle Elana Coulter
Southwest Middle Elizabeth Prokuski
Summerlin Academy Jeff Fassett
Tenoroc High Dr. Lawrence Rankin
Traviss Technical College John B. Cuevas
Union Academy James Spence
West Area Adult Bonita “Bonnie” Murphy
Westwood Middle Shane Wenzloff
Winter Haven High Julia Beswick

The Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Awards Program is sponsored by MIDFLORIDA Credit Union.

For more information, contact the Department of Public Relations & Strategic Partnerships

2016 Outstanding School Volunteers of the Year

Congratulations to James Watkins, Laron Adams, Cynthia Zimmerman, Stephanie Smith and Kevin Dunn.

Want to Volunteer?

The Polk County School District is the eighth largest in Florida with more than 150 school sites and over 100,000 students. With so many schools and students to serve, volunteers are needed to dedicate their valuable time to accomplish important tasks, and help students reach their educational and career goals. For more information about volunteering, visit or call 863.534.0636.