Vince Jones welcomed Rotarians as they joined the Zoom meeting.
President Joel Ivy opened the meeting and called on Ron Denney to lead the invocation, pledge, and Four-Way Test.
Trey Harden introduced our guests and visiting Rotarians, who were:
Carol Hornsby, guest of Don Selvage
Doug McCall from the Rotary Club in Wallasey, England
President Joel handled Happy Dollars. Brenda Ramirez was happy her daughter turned three years old over the weekend. Arletta Torres was happy that the Imperial Symphony Orchestra had its first live stream performance this past weekend and has an in person live series beginning in October. Carol Wallace congratulated Jennifer Swenson who was appointed to the 10th Judicial Circuit Court by Governor Desantis. Mark Scolnick was happy his youngest son was appointed Vice President of Dollar Tree.
Cal Arter joined us after his extended absence due to health concerns. We are happy Cal is back and could join us!
Don Selvage asked us to save the date for November 7th Veterans Day Celebration.
Trey Harden reminded everyone about the upcoming golf tournament on October 23 at The Club at Eaglebrook.  Players, sponsors and volunteers are still needed. You can also contribute cash or a bottle of spirits for the “basket of cheer” that will be included in the silent auction.  Tickets are available if you want to attend the dinner.  Please go to Club Runner or contact Trey for dinner tickets.
Melody Rider announced a happy hour social fellowship event at the Yard on Mass on October 1st at 5:30 p.m.
President Joel Ivy congratulated past-President Carol Wallace, who was awarded Club President of the Year award at the District 6890 Awards Ceremony on September 29.
President Joel Ivy then led the induction of the following new Rotarians: Laura Brunson Adams, Debra Boynton, and Captain Jeremy Mockabee.
Alice Hunt then introduced our speaker, Kate Wallace. Kate is a Bartow native and the product of Polk County Public Schools. In 2019, Kate became the executive director of Lakeland Leads, an independent c(3) nonprofit with a mission to produce high quality research and tangible policy solutions to help Lakeland become the best place to live, work, and raise a family. Kate reviewed important statistics regarding public school student achievement in math and reading, as well as graduations rates, all of which demonstrate how Florida’s education system has dramatically improved over the last 20 years. Kate reviewed key challenges that persist for Lakeland schools, which include a skills gap and an “A school” access problem for current and prospective residents of Lakeland. Key consequences of those challenges include local businesses struggling to fill high skilled jobs, a reduced tax base, and barriers for local businesses in trying to recruit professionals to relocate to Lakeland.
Kate graciously made her full power point presentation available to share with the club. You can access it here:
Next week’s program will be a Publix update from Brian West. Wear green to show you love for Publix! And don’t forget to bring your own Publix brand ice cream with you to the meeting, since we won’t be able to sample the new seasonal flavors in-person together this year.