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Empowering Leaders Professional Series (ELPS)

Polk State College is pleased to offer the Empowering Leaders Professional Series (ELPS). The purpose of the ELPS Program is to provide training opportunities and strengthen the skillsets of full-time employees who have an interest in upward mobility within higher education. Supported by the Office of Corporate and Leadership Development, the program is aligned to the College’s strategic goals and core values and aims to develop superb and diverse leaders focused on student success to sustain a legacy of excellence in leadership at Polk State College.

Note: To be eligible for the program, a full-time employee must be employed at the College for a minimum of one year, with a maximum of six years.

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A candidate may be nominated by one of the following methods:

    • Supervisor (letter to be uploaded with application)
    • College administrator (letter to be uploaded with application)
    • Self-nomination

The cost per participant for the program is $400.00, which offsets the cost of presenters, food, and other program related expenses.

Applications are due by September 15, 2022.

The program participant is responsible for:
1. Traveling to various Polk State College campuses for participation.
2. Participating in all program activities in their entirety, including the Orientation and Retreat, monthly sessions, and the Symposium.
3. Obtaining the supervisor’s approval and support to engage in the program.
4. Engaging with a leadership coach; the coach may be the participant’s supervisor or another College leader.
5. Investing in the growth and development of the College as a whole.

Attendance is mandatory at the following ELPS Program events:
1. The Orientation and Opening Retreat.
2. The Closing Retreat and Symposium.
3. All monthly training sessions (up to two absences outside the required sessions will be allowed, but not encouraged).

Participants must commit to the dates (8:30 AM – 1:30 PM) below for participation in ELPS for the 2022-2023 Academic Year.
October 7, 2022 (DISC) REQUIRED
November 4, 2022
December 2, 2022
January 6, 2023
February 3, 2023
March 3, 2023
April 21, 2023
May 24, 2023 (Symposium) REQUIRED

Requirements for Application
1. Obtain appropriate approval in advance from your supervisor, including the $400.00 fee.
2. Submit a letter of support/nomination from the immediate supervisor OR a College administrator who oversees the department that both comment on the applicant’s leadership potential and indicate support for his or her participation in all of the activities of the Empowering Leaders Professional Series.
3. A typed personal statement with reasons for applying for this leadership opportunity. To include:

  • How participation in ELPS benefits professional goals.
  • How participation in ELPS is beneficial to the College.

Previous ELPS Classes

  1. Emerging Leaders Class VII (2021-2022)


    Emerging Leaders Class VII

    Vicki J. East, John Fynn, Carolyn Orr, Valentina Gutierrez

    ELPS Class VII Leadership Quote:
    “Effective Leadership is the Art of Positively Influencing Others.”

    Coaches: Dominiki Martin, Reginal Webb, Leah Bartholomay, J. Cody Moyer

  2. Emerging Leaders Class VI (2020-2021)

    Emerging Leaders Class VI

    Pictured left to right, top to bottom:
    Niqui Pringle-Brown, Lanier Cameron, Patricia Edgcomb, Katrina Smith, Faith Gallian, Gwen Simmons, Kimberly Hess, Katie Ragsdale, Joel Troche, Cherie Murray, Alake Jackson, Dionne Formey

    ELPS Class V Leadership Quote:
    “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” – John Maxwell

  3. Emerging Leaders Class V (2019-2020)

    Emerging Leaders Class V

    Pictured from left to right:
    Rich Lavigueur, Luis Fernandez, Tanya Jones, Ryan Criss, Latasha Lee, Kathleen O’Donnell, Richard Benson, Tina Hanson, Summer Hicks, Charity Garcia, Jillian Capper, Lisa Montanez, Manuel Miller, Joyce Thompson

     ELPS Class V Leadership Quote:
    “If serving is below you, then leadership is beyond you.”  ~ Bishop Dale C. Bronner

    Coaches: Mary Clark, Meesha Downing, John Glenn, Simmi Johnson, Lorrie Jones, Von McGriff, Aaron Roane, April Robinson, Tamara Sakagawa, Bob Stack, Lee Thomas, Ron Zachary

  4. Emerging Leaders Class IV (2018-19)

    Bartow, Fla. Feb. 1, 2019. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)

    Emerging Leaders Class IV

    Pictured from left to right:
    Brenda Arnold, Roni Miller, Alexandros Dimitriadis, Kimberly Battle, Mathew Peneguy, Joan Connors, Matthew James, Dominiki Martin, Aaron Roane, Deborah Davidson, Yvonne Velez

    ELPS Class IV Leadership Quote:
    “Leadership is an action, not a position.”
    – Donald H. McGannon

    Coaches: Yulonda Bell, Naomi Boyer, William De Witt, Howard Drake, Stephen Hull, Sylvester Little, Donald Painter, Tracy Porter, Rebecka Ramos, April Robinson, Lisa Rosa

  5. Emerging Leaders Class III (2017-18)

    Emerging Leaders Class III

    Click on the image to open it larger on your screen.

    Pictured from left to right:
    Brenda Bracewell, Chantelle Hrubes, Lisa Pendry, LaKeysha Cason, Sam Hale, Star Anderson, Gerry Hubbs, Ron Zachary, Sarah Maguire, Martin Chicas

    ELPS Class III Leadership Quote:
    A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
    –John C. Maxwell

    Freddie Acevedo, Naomi Boyer, Kathy Bucklew, Stephen Hull, Donald Painter, Gerene Thompson, Yvonne Velez

  6. Emerging Leaders Class II (2016-17)


    Emerging Leaders Class II

    Click on the image to open it larger on your screen.

    Pictured from left to right:
    Noreen Weber, Vernee Williams, Barry Collins, Lisa Smelser, Matthew Lenihan, Rayla Tokarz, Kyle Kniffin, Elba Concepcion, Denise Andreu-Pietri, Sarah Plazak, Megan Cavanah, Nixsa Cruz-De Witt, Gregory George

    ELPS Class II Leadership Quote:
    “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
    –John Quincy Adams

    Freddie Acevedo, Naomi Boyer, William De Witt, Peter Elliott, Cynthia Freitag, Stephen Hull, Nathan Neuman, Donald Painter, Larry Pakowski, Tamara Sakagawa, Teresa Vorous, Lynn Wilson

  7. Emerging Leaders Class I (2015-16)


    Emerging Leaders Class I

    Click on the image to open it larger on your screen.

    Pictured from left to right:
    Terrance Hays, Joshua Plazak, Tracy Tanner, Jamie Rowan, Freddie Acevedo, William De Witt, Von McGriff, Matina Wagner, Erin Montgomery, Nathan Neuman, Nicara Daniels, Sharron Davis, Patrice Thigpen, Rosebud Leslie, Karen Moore

    ELPS Class I Leadership Quote:
    “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”
    —Jack Welch

    Valparisa Baker, Yulonda Bell, Naomi Boyer, Marianne George, Stephen Hull, Donald Painter, Martha Santiago, George Urbano, Reginal Webb, Lynn Wilson, Beverly Woolery