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(39) stories found containing 'andy oguntola'


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  • Dyer Difference Award Goes to Polk State Lake Wales

    Ilena Luts|Updated Jun 2, 2023

    Going back to school in August is as intimidating for some students as it is exciting for others. Polk State College understands the challenges faced by many families in our area and the trepidation so many young students and their families feel, and they've come up with a way to help. On July 29, 2023, Polk State College will be hosting an event called "Start Right." The goal of this program is to reduce bullying, enhance students' success rates in the classrooms, and...

  • Polk State Offers Free Backpacks, School Supplies for K-12 Students

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Jul 28, 2022

    Students heading back to school will get a welcome boost as 700 backpacks full of school supplies are given away to students from kindergarten through college age. The event marks the return of the Polk State College "Start Right" campaign and includes free school supplies, haircuts, food, and more for students and their families ahead of the 2022-2023 Academic Year. The event will begin at 9:00 am on Saturday July 23 at Polk State College's JD Alexander Center, 152 E....

  • Oguntola Issues Plea for Charter School Peace

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Apr 14, 2022

    A heartfelt plea for peace and an end to the politicizing of the Lake Wales Charter Schools has been sent to more than 20 leaders of the system by former Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Andy Oguntola. The system has been disrupted by divisive fights over leadership and curricula. "There are moments in history where each of us play a pivotal role in finding solutions or navigating a difficult path through a storm that seems troublesome," Oguntola wrote in reference to sharply-di...

  • Charter School Trustees Choose Dr. Wayne V. Rodofich to Lead System

    Suzie Schottelkotte and Robert Connors, Lake Wales News Staff|Updated Mar 7, 2022

    A nearly year-long search to recruit a new superintendent for Lake Wales Charter Schools concluded Tuesday evening, leaving many in the community determined to heal the divisions created during the process. After an effort that at times seemed more like an election campaign than a search and involved seemingly unending political maneuvering, the Board of Trustees settled upon Dr. Wayne V. Rodolfich, who comes to the city from Pascagoula, Miss. As the vote was taken he was...

  • Superintendent Finalists Met the Community Thursday

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Feb 22, 2022

    A well-attended reception Thursday evening offered the Lake Wales community its first opportunity to meet the four remaining candidates for superintendent of the Lake Wales Charter Schools system. More than 100 interested residents attended, taking the opportunity to become personally acquainted with the finalists. The candidates, including Emilean Clemons, Andy Oguntola, Wayne V. Rodolfich, and Anuj Saran, were introduced one at a time, giving them an essentially private...

  • Charter School Superintendent Vote Happens Tuesday

    Suzie Schottelkotte and Robert Connors, Lake Wales News Staff|Updated Feb 22, 2022
    1

    The Lake Wales Charter School Board of Trustees is expected to choose a new superintendent of schools Tuesday to run seven local schools and maintain the standard of excellence achieved by former Superintendent Jesse Jackson. Jackson, who built an award-winning program with the help of principals and staff members, resigned in February, leaving the trustees to find a replacement. The fraught selection process continues to generate community concern. A nationwide search for...

  • Ideological Group Seeks to Influence Superintendent Selection

    Suzie Schotelkotte and Robert Connors|Updated Feb 21, 2022

    A small but vocal group has been a significant influence on the process of selecting a new superintendent for the Lake Wales Charter School system, a simple reading of documents reveals. (See Related Story Here) The Polk County chapter of the Ohio-based County Citizens Defending Freedom has been involved in the process at numerous points and has consistently acted to promote the selection of Andy Oguntola. Two speakers who sought to end the national search in Lake Wales in...

  • Superintendent Search Controversy Deepens

    Robert Connors and Suzie Schottelkotte|Updated Feb 17, 2022

    Shaken community confidence in the search for a new superintendent to lead the Lake Wales Charter School system has generated a wave of criticism from educators, community leaders and parents, amid suggestions that the system may see a "mass exodus of quality employees." Following a stunning revelation last week that Lake Wales High School Principal Donna Dunson has retained legal counsel in the face of "harassment," others involved in the school system are questioning the...

  • Public Has Opportunity to Meet Superintendent Finalists Today

    Robert Connros, Managing Editor|Updated Feb 11, 2022

    Four finalists for the position of superintendent for the Lake Wales Charter Schools system are participating in the interview process today. The day's agenda includes one-on-one meetings with members of the Board of Trustees and a tour of facilities and the general community by a volunteer. The finalists are Emilean Clemons, Andy Oguntola, Wayne V. Rodolfich, and Anuj Saran. The four were left after the withdrawal of PJ D'Aoust immediately after he was selected as on of the...

  • Charter School Superintendent Search Committee Recommends Three Finalists

    Tom Paulson, City Editor|Updated Feb 2, 2022
    3

    EDITOR'S UPDATE: Dr. P.J. D'Aoust has withdrawn from the selection process after being selected as one of the finalists for Charter Schools Superintendent. After a lengthy and contentious final meeting, a recommendation has been sent to the Lake Wales Charter School Board of Trustees from the ten-member Citizen's Superintendent Search Committee. In a nearly two-hour meeting, the committee members submitted their final choices to be forwarded to the board. Coming out on top...

  • Six Candidates Remain in Charter School Superintendent Search

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Jan 18, 2022

    Six candidates for superintendent of Lake Wales Charter Schools are still under consideration following the latest meeting of the ten-member search committee, according to consultant Dr. Bill Vogel of the Florida Association of School Boards. The remaining candidates each received expressions of interest from at least five members of the committee, Vogel said, while two of the eight still under consideration were dropped in the continuation of a slow winnowing of the original...

  • Superintendent Candidate Field Narrows to Eight

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Dec 15, 2021

    The field of candidates seeking the helm of the Lake Wales Charter Schools got a bit smaller this week as two of the remaining candidates have withdraw their applications. The search now narrows to eight after two applicants withdrew. Those two were Dr. Ronald J Iasruss, Superintendent of the Marion City Schools in Marion Ohio, and James T. Stroder, Superintendent of the Rogersville City School in Tennessee. They had been selected to advance to the next round in the selection...

  • Charter School Superintendent Search Enters Next Phase

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Dec 10, 2021

    The long-vacant position of leadership at the helm of the Lake Wales Charter Schools is a step closer to be filled after the Superintendent Search Committee reduced the original field of applicants to a list of favorites. The opportunity to lead the acclaimed school system, one of the only community-based charter conversion systems in the nation, generated significant interest. The search for applicants, advertised nationally, drew a field of twenty-five, representing eleven...

  • Polk State Lake Wales Enrollment Doubles to 1,200 Students

    Tom Paulson, City Editor|Updated Nov 30, 2021

    Polk State's Lake Wales campus, located entirely in the two-story JD Alexander Center on Central Avenue, has doubled its student population. Enrollment has grown from 600 to 1,200 students in the past five years, despite being limited to five classrooms. Campus Director Dr. Andy Oguntola described the innovation that was key to the growth, and how the relatively small building houses multiple classes. Under a concept he introduced, students attend classes one day a week in...

  • Polk State Lake Wales Grows to 1,200 Students, Thanks to One Man's Efforts

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Nov 30, 2021

    The inspiration of hard-working parents who wanted their children to have a better life has led their son to "pay it forward" by leading others to higher callings through Polk State College. Dr. Andy Oguntola is the Director of the college's Lake Wales campus in the JD Alexander Center on Central Avenue downtown. He also serves as Dean of Workforce Development for the multi-campus institution. Under his five-year watch enrollment at the local campus has grown from 600 to...

  • Lake Wales Charter Schools Superintendent Search Challenged

    Updated Sep 14, 2021

    More than six months after the departure of lauded Lake Wales Charter Schools Superintendent Jesse Jackson, the process of seeking his replacement being conducted by the Board of Trustees is in disarray. Board Chairman Danny Gill has written a memo calling for an opportunity for citizens to voice their opinions at the September 20 meeting of the board. His memo states that “This is not a meeting to discuss who the next Superintendent should be or will be. This meeting will b...

  • Major Donor to Local Schools Calls for Mandatory Masks, Vaccines

    Chevon T. Baccus APR, Executive Editor|Updated Jul 30, 2021

    Some viewed his email as a threat to withhold future funding, but Henry McCance says that's not what he intended. The largest donor to Lake Wales Charter schools, McCance says he just wants officials to know that he expects them to show "leadership" to ensure students can safely attend school in-person this year. His recommendation: Mandatory vaccines for all teachers and staff and mandatory masks for students, teachers and staff. "I feel strongly enough about these issues...

  • Polk Avenue Celebrates Principal's Retirement, Legacy of Leadership

    Chevon T. Baccus APR, Executive Editor|Updated Jun 4, 2021

    A courtyard packed full of well-wishers gathered May 27 to celebrate the life and leadership legacy of Polk Avenue Elementary Principal Gail Quam, who is retiring after 36 years at "The Avenue." The event was full of school traditions and glowing accolades for Quam, who started her teaching career there in 1985. Prior to becoming principal in 2007, Quam served as assistant principal, reading facilitator and teacher in exceptional education, kindergarten and grades 1-3. Quam...

  • Leadership Polk Holds Two-Class Graduation

    Updated May 29, 2021

    Polk Vision welcomed 45 program members to accomplished ranks of Leadership Polk Alumni on Friday, May 21, 2021 at the Balmoral Estates. Those with close ties to Lake Wales included Andy Oguntola from Polk State College, David Black from the Lake Wales Police Department and Michelle Yodonis with the Polk County Clerk of the Courts. Leadership Polk says its Alumni include some of the community's best thought leaders. They understand the value of collective impact and value the...

  • Northwest Community Market Draws Crowds, Rave Reviews

    Updated May 6, 2021

    A light breeze and sunshine made for a pleasant day May 1 for the first Northwest Community Market. Vendors filled the large lots at the corner of B Street and Lincoln Avenue, offering a variety of apparel, products, services and food. The event was hosted as a partnership between the Lincoln Community Development Corporation and the city of Lake Wales Community Redevelopment Agency. CDC President Sara Jones said she was pleased with the turnout as well as the number and...

  • City Voters to Consider Seven Charter Changes on April 6 Ballot

    Updated Apr 8, 2021

    Lake Wales voters will consider seven proposed changes to the city Charter when they go to the polls for the April 6 municipal election. City commissioners approved placing all seven on the ballot. The mayor and commissioners each appointed one member of the Charter Review Committee, which had been meeting every two weeks since July 16. Members include: attorneys Sara Jones, Keith Wadsworth and Jim Weaver, and college administrator Andy Oguntola. The Committee chairperson is...

  • Charter School System and Community Bid Farewell to Superintendent Jesse Jackson

    Chevon T. Baccus APR, Executive Editor|Updated Feb 25, 2021

    Sporting a pair of black roller skates over his shoulder, outgoing Lake Wales Charter Schools Superintendent Jesse Jackson thanked dozens of well-wishers, saying he was ready to "skate off into the sunset." The outdoor reception at Lake Wales High School Feb. 24 marked the end of his 13-year leadership stint here, but he promised to continue supporting the local charter schools, possibly returning to help with staff development through a new job he's beginning in a few weeks...

  • Chamber of Commerce Negotiating Departure of President Kevin Kieft

    Chevon T. Baccus APR, Executive Editor|Updated Feb 17, 2021

    Editor's Note: This story will be updated when Chamber officials release official comments or more details. The Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council Board of Directors reportedly agreed unanimously Monday, Feb. 15 to dismiss President & CEO Kevin Kieft with 90 days' notice. The Board held a special meeting to discuss the fact that without informing them Kieft moved to Lakeland, potentially jeopardizing their $125,000 per year contract with the...

  • Commissioners Upset The City's Primary Business Promoter Moved to Lakeland

    Chevon T. Baccus APR, Executive Editor|Updated Feb 11, 2021

    The man who is earning more than $100,000 per year to promote business and economic development for the City of Lake Wales has moved to Lakeland, and a majority of city commissioners are not happy about it. Kevin Kieft in August bought a $290,000 home in Lakeland without notifying his bosses at the Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council. Previously he had lived in the Lake Wales Country Club community, just east of the city limits. In 2013 the...

  • Charter Trustees Issue Apology, Approve Superintendent's Departure Feb. 26

    Chevon T. Baccus APR, Executive Editor|Updated Feb 4, 2021

    The Lake Wales Charter Schools Board of Trustees unanimously approved a separation agreement Monday, Feb. 1 that will end Superintendent Jesse Jackson's 13-year tenure on Feb. 26. Six of the eight trustees, including the non-voting teacher representative Jennifer Simpson, also signed a letter of apology requested by Jackson as part of the agreement. Trustees Danny Gill and Becky Gaston chose not to sign the letter. The trustees approved allowing Jackson to take a payout of...

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