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  • Substitute School Crossing Guards Sought

    Special to the News|Updated May 14, 2024

    The safety of children walking to and from area schools is the subject of an appeal for substitute crossing guards to fill in when demand arises. School Crossing Guard services are funded by the Polk County Board of County Commissioners. The vital program provides adult crossing guards at selected hazardous school crossings to ensure the safety of elementary school children walking to and from school. According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, substitute school crossing...

  • Class of 2024 includes 186 Graduates at Webber International University

    Ryan Reis|Updated May 10, 2024

    Webber International University conducted its 97th commencement ceremony early this month for a graduating class of 186 students. The May 3 event took place in the Sabbagh Athletic Center on the university's campus. "We have a saying here at Webber which you'll often hear: 'The Webber Way...We Make Things Happen Here.' And all of you are witnesses to how we make things happen here," said Webber President and CEO, Dr. Nelson Marquez. "Our graduates are living proof of that."...

  • "High School Musical" Brought Out a Talented Cast at Lake Wales High School

    News Staff Reports|Updated May 3, 2024

    A large group of dedicated students at Lake Wales High School dedicated scores of their free hours and singing talents to three recent performances of "High School Musical." The play drew large audiences to their weekend performances, according to Emily Fournier, who helped direct and produce the play along with co-director Kimberlee Diallo. The two are dedicated educators at the local school. "We have been working on the play since December, meeting three days a week with a...

  • Charter Schools Superintendent Working From Home After Grievances Filed

    Robert Connors|Updated Apr 12, 2024

    Lake Wales Charter Schools Superintendent Dr. Wayne Rodolfich has spent more than two weeks "working from home" after anonymous grievances were filed, apparently by employees who had worked with him in the school district's home office on Central Avenue in Lake Wales. The charter school's human resources officer, LaQuanda Burroughs, reported to the at a special meeting on March 28 that three different grievances had been filed. After hearing of the grievances, charter school...

  • Florida Poly Breaks Ground on New Engineering Building

    Lydia Guzman|Updated Apr 8, 2024

    Ground has been broken for a new $15-million, two-story building at Florida Polytechnic University that will house research and development labs for a variety of engineering disciplines, staff and faculty offices, collaboration spaces, and a conference room. Florida Polytechnic University leaders were joined by state and community officials on April 4 to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Gary C. Wendt Engineering Building, a cutting-edge 40,000-square-foot academic facility...

  • Roosevelt Academy Programs Producing Workforce-Ready Graduates

    Casey Gist, News Correspondent|Updated Apr 6, 2024

    A new welding program at Roosevelt Academy is allowing students to learn basic and advanced welding techniques, preparing them for immediate careers. Students involved in the program also receive dual enrollment credits that could be used to further their welding training at Ridge Technical College. Seniors planning to take the test this year, including Fred Miller, Joseph Fletcher, McLens Pierre, and Juan Villalpando, will receive certification by the American Welding...

  • Polk State College to Offer Career Expo

    Madison Fantozzi|Updated Mar 29, 2024

    Setting students on a path toward success has long been a goal of Polk State College. On April 10, that vision will extend to the entire community. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the College will host a Career Expo in the gymnasium on the Winter Haven Campus. The job fair-style event is free and open to all Polk State students and community members. The Career Expo will feature more than 30 vendors from various industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, education, government,...

  • Dr. Kenneth Reaves Named Campus Provost at Webber International University

    Ryan Reis|Updated Mar 26, 2024

    Webber International University recently appointed Dr. Kenneth Reaves as the new Campus Provost, who will also serve as the campus president. Dr. Reaves brings over two decades of experience in higher education and a wealth of knowledge to the institution. "We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Ken Reaves to the Webber family," said Webber President/CEO Dr. Nelson Marquez. "His vast experience and commitment to excellence will undoubtedly contribute to our mission of providing a...

  • Students Invited to Enter Water Conservation Art Contest

    Jeff Foley|Updated Feb 27, 2024

    Polk County's annual Water Conservation Art Contest is open for all Polk County students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Winning entries will be featured in Polk County Utilities' 2025 Water Conservation Calendar. Participants are encouraged to create a poster or picture that demonstrates the "how" and/or "why" of water conservation. Students may use words or slogans, images, etc. Suggested subjects include saving water, reclaimed water, stormwater protection (pollution...

  • Junior Achievement Receives Grant to Teach Financial Literacy

    Special to the News|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    McLaughlin Middle/High School in Lake Wales is among the schools that will benefit from an effort by Junior Achievement. The JA of Florida Foundation has received a $70,000 grant from State Farm to support a statewide statewide initiative of learning experiences in eight localities throughout Florida, enabling thousands of young people to participate in JA's nationally recognized financial literacy and career readiness learning experiences. At McLaughlin School the Principles...

  • "Grants for Great Ideas" to Benefit Local Educational Efforts

    Special to the News|Updated Jan 23, 2024

    Teachers and other school-based professionals that work directly with students at a local school are invited to apply for a mini-grant that will fund classroom activities. The GFWC Lake Wales Junior Woman's Club Grants for Great Ideas program is offering $5,000 that will be divided into $250l grants to augment teaching, Instructors at Lake Wales Charter Schools and Polk County Public Schools with a physical Lake Wales address are eligible. Grant applications have been sent to...

  • Polk State College Lake Wales to Host Open House January 25

    Madison Fantozzi|Updated Jan 16, 2024

    Polk State College invites prospective students, their families, and community members to an open house at the Polk State JD Alexander Center on January 25 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 152 E. Central Ave. in Lake Wales. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the Center's new Director, Von McGriff, as well as faculty and staff. Tours of the campus, assistance with admission and registration, and information about programs, financial aid, and scholarships will be available....

  • Dr. Nelson Marquez Is New Webber International University President

    Ryan Reis|Updated Dec 7, 2023

    Webber International University, located just south of Lake Wales near Crooked Lake, has a new president and CEO following action by the school's board of directors. Dr. Nelson Marquez was named during the semi-annual meeting of the Board of Trustees on December 1, when the board unanimously approved the appointment of Dr. Marquez effective that date. Dr. Marquez replaces Dr. H. Keith Wade who has served as the University's President/CEO since 2008. Dr. Marquez had served as...

  • Ellen Jones Named to Stamps Scholars at Mercer University

    Special to the News|Updated Nov 29, 2023

    the prestigious Stamps Scholars program at Georgia's Mercer University has welcomed a local resident to the program. Mercer's newest Stamps Scholar class includes Ellen Rose Jones from Lake Wales. "Stamps Scholars are among the highest-achieving students at Mercer," said Dr. David A. Davis, director of University Honors. "Recent graduates have gone on to prestigious graduate programs and high-profile careers. We are excited to imagine the future for this cohort of scholars."...

  • Polk State College Priority Registration Starts October 30 for Spring Semester

    Madison Fantozzi, Director of Communications, PSC|Updated Nov 2, 2023

    Currently enrolled Polk State students will have a head start opportunity fo enrolling in the Spring 2024 semester. Enrollment for the spring will begin on October 30 with priority registration for students who have completed at least 50% of their program requirements. Open enrollment will begin on November 6 and classes will start on January 8. Polk State College operates multiple facilities around the county, including a Lake Wales campus located on Central Avenue in...

  • Webber International University Dedicates New Health Sciences Facility

    Ryan J. Reis|Updated Oct 14, 2023

    A grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the new Health Sciences Center at Webber International University drew a large crowd of students, supporters, and alumni eager to tour the facility. The Lake Wales Chamber of Commerce and EDC co-hosted the ceremony alongside the institution. The first phase of the Center is home to the University's Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) programs. T...

  • Bok North Ag Students Continue "Adventures" in Education

    Seaira Hernandez and Madison ONeal, Bok North Ag Program|Updated Oct 13, 2023

    EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was written by middle school students at Bok North Academy. Students enrolled in the Bok Academy North agriculture program are excited for the opportunities they are being offered this year. Among those are participation in the Future Farmers of America programs. LakeWalesNews.net plans to publish monthly stories written by students of the program. Instructor Jennifer Williams says she is teaching students that agriculture "is much more than just...

  • Roosevelt Academy Educator Matthew Brojanowski Named Finalist

    Kyle Kennedy, Polk Public Schools|Updated Oct 3, 2023

    A local educator received a visit from the "Surprise Patrol" today and learned that he has been selected as a finalist in the Polk County School System's annual awards, which are given to the teacher and paraeducator of the year. Matthew Brojanowski now teaches English at Roosevelt Academy, located on East Street in Lake Wales. He has had a remarkable career in education. Brojanowski first got involved in schools as a parent volunteer, then worked as a substitute, and went on...

  • Career Academies Offer Career Pathways to High School Students

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Sep 30, 2023

    Pathways leading to college or directly to highly-paid careers are open to students at Lake Wales High School thanks to the seven "Career Academies" offered at the school. Assistant Principal Jasmine Ansley heads the career academy program and was happy to report that 1,039 of the school's students are now enrolled in one of the pathways. The program helps keep students engaged in what they like to do at school, resulting in a lower drop rate, she said. A recent special...

  • Lake Wales Native Chosen as New Bok South Academy Principal

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Sep 27, 2023
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    Lake Wales Charter School Superintendent Dr. Wayne Rodolfich has announced the appointment of April Barnhardt to become the new principal of Edward Bok Academy South. The appointment was confirmed by the Charter School board. Barnhardt has for the past two years served as the assistant principal of Hillcrest Elementary School, one of several local schools she attended as a child. She will take over the role from Dr. Julio Acevedo, who has served on a temporary basis the...

  • New Gym Pops Up at McLaughlin School

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Sep 15, 2023

    Like a mushroom after a summer rain, a beautiful new gymnasium has popped up this week on the campus of McLaughlin Middle/High School of Excellence. The building is being constructed using a "tilt-wall" method in which completed solid concrete walls are rapidly erected, rather than a traditional hollow concrete "breeze-block" method, allowing the walls to be erected over a two-day period. Much work remains before the structure will be completed, which is anticipated to happen...

  • Bok North Ag Students Excited for Future of Their Program

    Madison O'Neal and Seaira Hernandez, Bok Academy North FFA|Updated Sep 5, 2023

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Students enrolled in the Bok Academy North agriculture program are excited for the opportunities they are being offered this year. Among those are participation in the Future Farmers of America programs. LakeWalesNews.net plans to publish monthly stories written by students of the program. Instructor Jennifer Williams says she is teaching students that agriculture "is much more than just cattle and oranges." Our members are excited about our new year and so are...

  • Webber Students Earn Recognition at FBLA National Leadership Conference

    News Staff Reports|Updated Aug 24, 2023

    For the second year in a row, Webber International University's team has left the annual Future Business Leaders of America conference with a number of awards. Twelve FBLA students traveled to Atlanta to attend the FBLA Collegiate National Leadership Conference (NLC). The group was accompanied by their advisor, Associate Professor Dr. Joanne Muniz, who serves as the chair of the university's Accounting and Honors program. The freshman team of Michelina Arrigo, an IMC major,...

  • Thousands of Students Return to Classes Tomorrow

    News Staff Reports|Updated Aug 10, 2023

    Thousands of area students will stream back to school tomorrow for an unusual Friday start to the new school year. Seven schools operated by Lake Wales Charter Schools and several other area schools controlled by the Polk School District will draw in more than 5,000 students to face the new academic year with high hopes. Some students in the northwestern portion of the Lake Wales area will be assigned to a new elementary school in southeast Winter Haven, which has changed...

  • Local Woman's Club Awards $5,000 to Teachers This School Year

    Special to the News|Updated Aug 9, 2023

    Area teachers are now eligible to apply for individual grants of up to $250 that can fund special classroom activities or programs that can enhance the educational process for their students. The GFWC Lake Wales Junior Woman's Club has announced its Grants for Great Ideas mini-grant program for the 2023-2024 school year. To be eligible, teachers and other school-based professionals that work directly with students must work at an LWCS or PCPS school that has a physical Lake Wa...

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