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</head> Spessard Holland’s drama class wins third place
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Updated: 12/18/2013 08:00:01AM

Spessard Holland’s drama class wins third place

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Christine Roslow


Superintendent Kathryn LeRoy with Bartow and Fort Meade area students after lunch on Dec. 11.

Jacquelyn Speake

Tracy Collins

Deborah Henderson

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Cody Moyer’s drama class at Spessard Holland Elementary earned third place in the Florida Association for Media Education’s festival, the school district announced. The annual event is held to encourage students of FAME members to communicate through media production and to recognize and reward outstanding presentations.

Nine other teachers and their classes also earned some awards including Jewett Middle’s news show which won the overall high score for middle schools in the state. That teacher is Shelly Fountain. And Pam Mizelle, from Winter Haven High, had her class earn the overall high score for high schools in the state with a music and video called Control.

FAME is made up of Florida library media professionals who advocate for every student to be involved in and have open access to a quality school library media program.

High school seniors lunch with LeRoy

Seniors from seven Polk County high schools had lunch with Superintendent Kathryn LeRoy Wednesday, Dec. 11 in the Superintendent’s conference room located in the Polk County School Board’s District Office.

The event held earlier this week, was the first of three lunches hosted during the academic school year. It gives high school seniors from around the district the opportunity to meet face-to-face with district leaders, share their insights and speak about the student experience in Polk County.

Among those students present were Kartik Amin and Anna Pierce from Bartow High, Youlei Li and Sarah Valenti from Bartow High Internatonal Baccalaureate, Justin Sosa and Natasha Dismuke from Gause Academy, Shania Patterson and DJ King from Fort Meade Middle-Senior, and Joey White and Jordan Futch Summerlin Academy.

District hires three administrators

Polk County School Board put three new administrators into place at it’s last board meeting Dec. 10. The positions filled were senior director of K-12 Science/Acceleration Programs, Northeast Regional Assistant Superintendent, and North Central Regional Assistant Superintendent.

The board at that meeting Dec. 10 approved the appointment of Jacquelyn Speake as the Senior Director of K-12 Science/Acceleration Programs which became effective on Thursday, Nov. 14.

She is a science professional with more than 18 years of experience in education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in secondary science curriculum and a doctorate degree in educational leadership and policy studies.

From 1995 to 1998 she served as a research and field biologist for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. From 2001-2012 she was employed as a science curriculum specialist at the School Board of Charlotte County. From 2012-2013 she served as a science program specialist for the Florida Department of Education.

Speake, 45, will earn $103,622 per year.

Tracy Collins was approved as the Northeast Regional Assistant Superintendent. Collins’ appointment will be effective on Monday, Jan. 6.

Collins began her career with Polk County Public Schools in 1996 as a science teacher at Lake Wales High. From 1997 to 2003 she served as a science teacher at Mulberry High. For five years she was the assistant principal at Lakeland High. From 2008-2013 she was the principal at Lakeland High.

Collins, 43, will earn $116,468 per year.

Deborah Henderson will be the North Central Regional Assistant Superintendent. Henderson’s appointment will be effective on Monday, Jan. 6.

She began her career with Polk County Public Schools in 1984 as a first-grade teacher at Floral Avenue Elementary. From 1985-2003 she was employed as an educator at Dixieland Elementary. From 2003-2006 she was an assistant principal at Elbert Elementary. From 2006-2013 she was the principal at Dixieland Elementary.

Henderson, 61, will earn $116,468.

Discovery Academy to take applications

Discovery Academy of Lake Alfred is getting ready for open enrollment for the 2014-15 school year.

It will take applications from 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 13 through 5 p.m. Jan. 28. Applications are at the Discovery Academy main office at 1000 N. Buena Vista Drive, Lake Alfred, nearby elementary schools and the Discovery Academy website at

Enrollment is open to all fifth-grade students in Polk County and for sixth-through eighth grade students who do not now attend the school. Students who are currently on the Discovery Academy waiting list for the 2013-2014 school year must reapply to be added to the waiting list for the 2014-15 school year.

Transportation is not provided to all areas of the county. It is possible parents will have to transport their child to and from school. For information about transportation, call the school at 863-295-5955 and speak to Karen Lucas.

Christmas vacation starts next week

Public school students will be on Christmas vacation starting next week. The Christmas vacation runs from Dec. 23-Jan. 6 and students will return to school Tuesday, Jan. 7.

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