About Us

The K-12 Teaching and Learning staff is dedicated to the district mission to provide a high quality education for all students. Department staff are experienced, knowledgeable practitioners working to ensure consistency, intensity and fidelity of the district curricular and instructional programs. 

New Social Studies Materials

Polk County Schools has selected McGraw-Hill Instructional Materials during the 16-17 Social Studies adoption process. Please contact Tara Allen at tara.allen@polk-fl.net to review the newly selected materials.

Current parents/guardians of Polk County School District students may file a petition for reconsideration of the selected McGraw-Hill instructional materials using the form below. This form must be submitted, with petitioner’s signature, to Ann Everett, Acting Senior Directory K-12 Literacy no later than 4PM on May 26, 2017 for consideration. Any forms submitted after the deadline cannot be considered.  Printed copies of the form are available in the Teaching and Learning Office located at 1915 South Floral Avenue Bartow, FL 33830.

Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials

Student Progression Plan

Polk County Schools Learning Maps

Graduation Information

Florida DOE: Graduation Requirements web page


Name: Title: Phone:
Joseph McNaughton III Senior Director for K-12 Mathematics 863-534-0956
Ann Everett Senior Director for K-12 Literacy 863-534-0623
Dr. Jackie Speake Senior Director for K-12 Science 863-534-0632
Carolyn Bridges Senior Director for Innovation and Acceleration 863-534-0631
Cheryl Joe Senior Director for Professional Development 863-647-4270
Aaron Smith Senior Director for School Improvement 863-815-6722
Heather Wright Senior Director for Assessment, Accountability and Evaluation 863-534-0688
Teaching and Learning Staff
Diana Gunkel Secretary, Senior Director's 863-534-0018
Janice Hayes Library Media Services, Clerk Specialist 863-647-4715
Heena Gandhi Secretary III, Executive 863-519-8880
Lisa Rawls Academic Competitions, Coordinator 863-968-5168
John Miller Accelerated Programs, K-12 Curriculum Specialist 863-534-0631
Torsha Baker-Cunningham Literacy, K-12 Curriculum Specialist 863-534-7062
Julie Noel Literacy, Elementary Curriculum Specialist
Lindsey McDowell Literacy, Elementary Curriculum Specialist 863-534-0642
Dottie Trapnell Mathematics, Elementary Curriculum Specialist 863-534-0639
Dr. Milt Huling Science, Elementary Curriculum Specialist 863-519-8798
Kathleen Wright Physical Education, K-12 Curriculum Specialist 863-534-0660
Lindsay Persohn Library Media Services 863-647-4714
Terrie Sullivan Library Media Services 863-647-4716
Diane Plowden Director, Writing 863-534-9207
Mieke Valk Language Arts, Secondary Curriculum Specialist 863-534-0630
Ashley Ashley Reading, Secondary Curriculum Specialist 863-534-0841
Jessica Haynes Mathematics, Secondary Curriculum Specialist 863-534-7071
Karrie Wikman Science, Secondary Curriculum Specialist 863-534-0627
Pablo Martinez Torres

World Languages and Foreign Exchange, Secondary Curriculum TRST

Tara Allen Social Studies, K-12 District Coach 863-519-3669


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