Notes from Polk School Board meeting

Published 11:32 am Tuesday, January 17, 2023

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Board thanked during School Board Appreciation Month


Polk County Schools administrators recently offered thanks to a group often underappreciated for its dedication to local students.

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To mark School Board Appreciation Month, Polk County Schools Superintendent Aaron Greene delivered a statement of thanks to the Polk County Board of Education during its regularly scheduled January meeting at Stearns Education Center.


The seven-member board – Cindy Allen, Mike Ashworth, Rick Covil, Danielle Gibbs, Judy Jackson, Sherry Page and Rob Parsons – has helped Polk County Schools consistently rank among the top school districts in the state for high academic performance and quality of faculty. The district has a strong reputation for excellence throughout the region and state.


Greene praised each board member and read the statement shared below.


Board members in turn thanked administrators for the kind words and continued with their usual business, highlighted by the following:


* The board received, discussed and voted to accept the Polk County Schools 2021-2022 financial audit.


* Polk County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officers provided an update on the DARE program and discussed plans for program implementation.


* Curriculum and Instruction Director Jan Crump and District Literacy Lead Brooke Benfield provided information to the board regarding LETRS Literacy Training recently mandated by state officials.


* The board approved an adjustment to the 2023-2024 academic calendar that will move spring break to the week following Easter in 2024.


* Director of Operations Brandon Schweitzer provided an update on the nearly-completed Polk County High School HVAC renovation project and the Tryon Elementary Forbes Preschool addition project for which bids are being accepted.


* The Board approved several budget amendments as well as the 2023-2024 budget calendar that sets dates for budget input and preparation.


The next Polk County Board of Education Meeting will be held on Feb. 13, 2023, at Stearns.


Statement of Thanks to Polk County Board of Education


School board members exemplify community representation in education. They are dedicated to service and put forth significant effort to assure that our schools are providing the best education possible for the children of our community.  That is why we are taking this opportunity to recognize them during School Board Appreciation Month in January.


Board of Education members are citizens whose governance affects our children – what they learn, who will teach them, what kinds of facilities house their classrooms and more. With the advice and counsel of the educational professionals they hire and oversee, our Board Members have an impact on virtually every aspect of our schools.


This is a huge responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly. They represent our communities, and they take this responsibility seriously.  Recently, Board of Education members across the state and country have been at the center of heated social and political debates, and many have endured unfair criticism as they have been forced to make very difficult decisions in a time when there are no good options.  These individuals now serve in a context where past precedent and conventional wisdom do not exist or apply, and as varied and changing mandates, rules and procedures are handed down.  Most importantly, they put the education of students first – before personal agendas, politics or any preconceived notions about difficult issues.


Too often we neglect to recognize the dedication and hard work of these men and women who represent our communities. The staff and students of our school district wish to express sincere appreciation for the leadership and support provided by each member of the Polk County Board of Education.  We hope others will join us as we salute the Polk County Board of Education, whose dedication and leadership help make our schools some of the highest performing in the state.  We applaud them for their vision and voice to help shape a better tomorrow for our students and for Polk County.



Polk County Schools Administration and Staff