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Polk County Public Schools Celebrates Nationally Recognized Career Academies

November 2, 2017

Polk County Public Schools’ annual WE3 Expo began at Lakeland’s RP Funding Center today, but before things got started, officials took a moment to highlight the district’s nationally recognized career academies.

Last school year, 10 of Polk County’s high school career academies earned their certification from the National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC), and six of those were cited as "Model" academies. Altogether, Polk County Public Schools has 21 career academies recognized by the NCAC.

“To have 10 more Polk County Public Schools career academies achieve national certification, and to have six of those be named Model academies, isn’t just great news for the school district -- it’s great news for parents, students and employers,” said Marc Hutek, acting deputy superintendent.  “These certifications are unequivocal proof that we are delivering high-quality education that prepares our kids for their careers, and supports our county’s economic growth.”

The 10 academies that received “Model” or “Certified” status are:

NCAC Model Academies:

Auburndale Medical Academy (Auburndale High)

Future Educators Academy (Bartow High)

George Jenkins Medical Academy (George Jenkins High)

Academy of Design & Technology (George Jenkins High)

Academy of Legal Studies (George Jenkins High)

Academy of Natural Resources (Kathleen High)

NCAC Certified Academies:

Agrowtechnology Academy (Fort Meade High)

Distrotek Academy (Kathleen High)

Lake Gibson Academy of Health (Lake Gibson High)

Polk Academy of Business & Technology (Lake Gibson High)

See the complete list, and learn more about our career academies at Photos of today’s recognition event are available on Facebook at

The WE3 Expo is a groundbreaking, free showcase of Polk County’s schools and educational offerings. Hundreds of booths spotlight programs including career academies, fine arts, International Baccalaureate, magnet schools, technical education and more.

Over 10,000 students, parents and community members are expected to attend the three-day event at the RP Funding Center. For more information, please visit

Founded in 1996, the National Career Academy Coalition provides collaborative support and resources for existing and emerging career academies. The organization offers technical assistance and training to career academies, schools and community partners.