Keyword for this page: Awards


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.

Teacher and School-Related Employee of the YearTeacher and School-Related Employee of the Year

The 2017 Teacher and School-Related Employee of the Year Awards Banquet was held January 18 at The Lakeland Center. This year's program honored over 200 outstanding employees from across the district.

Lois Horn-Diaz, a gifted teacher at R. Bruce Wagner Elementary in Lakeland, was announced as the 2017 Polk County Teacher of the Year and Maureen English, a guidance secretary at Dundee Ridge Middle Academy, is the district’s 2017 School-Related Employee of the Year.

The 2016 Teacher of the Year, Jessica Solano, was later awarded the 2017 Florida Teacher of the Year award. Since the Teacher of the Year program began in 1968, Polk is proud to have twelve teachers become finalists for Florida's Teacher of the Year. Three of them won the title and one became a U.S. finalist.

Learn more and view 2017 honorees »


33rd Annual Hall of FameHall 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.

Download the 2017 Hall of Fame Nomination Form (PDF) for more details. Hall of Fame nominations must be submitted by 5:00 PM on Wednesday, February 1, 2017.

2017 Hall of Fame Nomination Form (PDF) »

2016 Inductees

Congratulations to Rear Admiral J. Adrian Jackson, Leslie M. Muma, Dr. J. Patrick O’Leary and Dr. Neriah E. Roberts!

2016 Hall of Fame Inductees

The 2016 Hall of Fame was sponsored by: AT&T, Polk Education Foundation and Publix Super Markets Charities.

Complete list of inductees with biographies »

Volunteer of the Year Awards LogoOutstanding School 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 The Ledger and MIDFLORIDA Credit Union.

Learn more and view 2015 honorees »


About-Face Awards LogoAbout-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.

Learn more and view 2016 honorees »

Superintendent's Scholars Awards LogoSuperintendent'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.

Learn more »