Keyword for this page: PEF

  • Facebook
  • How Can You Help?
  • License 4 Learning
  • Stepping Out for Education

About Us

Polk Education Foundation LogoThe Polk Education Foundation was created in 1988, as a 501 C 3 direct-support organization for the Polk County School Board. The Foundation serves as the fiscal agent and manager of many educational programs for Polk County Schools. We serve to enhance educational programs for students with private and corporate funds. Led by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of community, educational and business leaders, the Foundation has raised and spent over $45 million dollars!

Polk Education Foundation ranked #21 of the top 25 Education Foundations in the Nation!

In the 2017 report "Stepping Up: The Top K-12 Education Foundations in the Nation" conducted by Dewey & Associates, the Polk Education Foundation (PEF) ranked one of the top 25 in the nation, when compared against education foundations from like sized school districts. Performance categories used to do the comparative study were: revenues, revenues per student, assets, assets per student, grant and program expenses, grant and program expenses per student, investment income and volunteers. Read the complete report here.

Top 25 Ed Foundations

Vision Statement

The vision of the Polk Education Foundation is to help enhance public school programs and to help students reach their educational goals.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Polk Education Foundation is to establish a proactive partnership
between the community and the public school system to link community resources with the
educational needs of its students through reading and mentoring programs, scholarships,
school grants and other educational endeavors.


  • Sensitize the community to the needs of local schools and students.
  • Develop and enhance educational programs and initiatives for students.
  • Raise significant financial support for local schools and help to underwrite countywide programs for students.
  • Challenge parents, business leaders and the extended community to become involved in and be supportive of their local schools, their students and the district's education foundation.

2016-17 Annual Report

2016-2017 Financial Documents

Click Here to View the 2016-2017 PEF Financial Audit

Click Here to View the 2016-2017 PEF Form 990

Contact Information

Address - 1530 Shumate Drive, Bartow, FL 33830
Phone - (863) 534-0519
Fax - (863) 519-3791

Staff Listing

All phone number area codes are (863)

Name: Title: Phone:
Susan Copeland Executive Director 534-0434
Inga Stettler Accountant Specialist 534-5073
Shannan Combee Grants Manager, Teacher to Teacher Connection Program Director 534-0803
Evon Richards Administrative Secretary 534-0519

Cheryl Arrington

Take Stock in Children, College Success Coach 519-8076
Shannon Music Take Stock in Children, Program Advisor 519-8077
Steve Chapman AmeriCorps Polk Reads, Program Director 519-8638

Visit our Staff Directory to contact any staff member via e-mail

Polk Education Foundation
Board of Directors


Name: Title: Organization:
Tracy Kimbrough President Baylis and Company, PA
Tracy Mouncey Vice President Tracy Mouncey and Associates
Steve Warner Treasurer Mixson Family Farms
Kathryn Koch Immediate Past President Lanier Upshaw

Board Members

Name: Organization:
Arielle Brodsky State Farm
Jacqueline Byrd Polk County Schools Superintendent
Ebbie Sue Doherty W.S. Badcock Corporation
Al Dorsett Community Activist, Magnify Credit Union
Clint Edwards  
Jenna Emerson Cemex
Mimi Hardman Community Activist
Hollis Hooks Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Harold McLeod SunTrust
Jerry Miller Duke Energy
Matt Mucci AT&T
Steve Petrie Florida Southern College
Nick Plott TECO
Blinda Pullen Bank of America
Ken Reeves ButterKrust Bakery
Emily Rogers Emily Rogers Consulting and Coaching
Gillian Smith LEGOLAND Florida Resort
Sherrin Smyers Eventrics
John Stargel Polk County Circut Judge
Richard Stephens Holland & Knight
Billy Townsend Polk County School Board
Jennie Walker Citizen's Bank & Trust
Mary Ruth Wilson Community Activist
Terry Worthington United Way of Central Florida

PEF "Spotlight"

Annual $100,000 donation making sure students have college opportunities!

Thanks to a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous, Polk County Take Stock inMHS TSIC students Children (TSIC) program, administered by the Polk Education Foundation (PEF), will have a steady stream of students entering the program each year.  The donor has given $100,000 a year for the last three years, with the promise of that gift continuing until his death when a lump sum amount will benefit the program.  As an education foundation, the PEF is able to purchase Florida Prepaid College Tuition Scholarships for 50% of their cost, or, getting two Prepaid scholarship for the price of one.  With this gift, we are able to purchase several 2 year tuition scholarships each year to ensure we have a class of at least 25 graduates for the current 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade classes, and plan for future years as well!  Each student not only receives the promise of a scholarship, they are matched with a mentor who meets them regularly at their high school and they can take advantage of college preparation workshops offered by our TSIC staff.  Our goal is to help keep students in school, doing their best, graduating and attending college.  Thank you to this generous local donor who believes in the Take Stock in Children program and helping students achieve their college dreams!

Just One for the Kids PCSB
Employee Payroll Deduction

Give “Just One for the Kids” and help the PEF raise money for student and teacher programs in Polk County. If every employee gave just one dollar per week, we could raise over $600,000 towards helping promote education in our district! Click on the Just One for the Kids button at the top of the to make an online donation or click here to use our payroll deduction card.