Assistant Superintendent of Information Systems and Technology Abdu Taguri and Polk County School Board Chair Hazel Sellers recently returned from the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) Annual Conference held April 21-23. They flew to Boston to receive the American School Board Journal’s Magna Awards. The Polk County School District also received $4,000 in scholarship money.
Polk County Public Schools was selected as a first place winner in the 18th annual Magna Awards program. The Magna Awards recognize districts across the country for outstanding programs that advance student learning and encourage community involvement in schools. Polk County Public Schools was honored in the over 20,000 enrollment category.
The school district was recognized for taking bold and innovative steps to improve educational programs and provide access to digital learning. School district officials established partnerships with neighborhood community centers and local internet service providers to bridge the digital divide in low-income areas located within the school district. The internet service companies provide either low-cost or free internet access to community centers. Polk County Public Schools donated refreshed computers to the community centers to create computer labs for students and local residents. Teachers provide computer skills training for residents seeking job opportunities and after-school help for students.
An independent panel of school board members, administrators and other educators selected the winners from 300 submissions. This year’s nominations came from 44 states.
The Magna Awards are supported by Sodexo School Services.
Assistant Superintendent of Information Systems and Technology, Abdu Taguri
School Board Chair, Hazel Sellers