Welcome to The Sarah Fortney Campaign for School Board of Polk County, Florida (District 3) Website!

Sarah Fortney's Agenda

1. Work with the superintendent and board to build transparent decision-making processes and positive relationships with ALL stakeholders.

2. Streamline redundant documentation (ex. using existing software for parent teacher communication)

3. Budget contractual cost of living as a priority, not with what's leftover.

4. Elicit meaningful application of STEP increases as a recruiting tool and teacher incentive for continuous loyalty to our school system.

5. Work with state representatives to get Polk County Schools equitable funding from the state.

6. Aim for a sustainable balance between genuine assessments and state/district mandated tests. Including addressing the loss of classroom instruction time due to testing.

7. Address waste. Focusing the spending of funds on materials that provide sustainable value for student achievement.

8. Seek educator input on purchasing of supplies and programs used district wide. The goals being to more directly impact student achievement and a more efficient use of budgeted funds.

9. Emphasize getting effective and updated technology through district based grant writers and making it available for consistent teacher and student use.

10. Combat state interference with local level district policy making. For example, teacher and student evaluations, exceptional education and discretionary budgeting.

11. Expansion of the Community Schools program, to help build positive partnerships with community stakeholders and provide needed resources for students and their families.

12. Open opportunities for alternative education pathways including post-secondary avenues that help students gain skills for joining the workforce and dedicated to early identification of student career interest.

Notable Quotes

"Science Rocks!"

"Lets hold everyone accountable."

"Kids are not data for someone elses agenda."

"Unite and Fight"

"Some days I am a leader, some days I follow, but ALL days I care."

"Let teachers, TEACH!"

“If you’re not willing to roll in the dirt and fight for these kids, get out of the seat.”

“We have gifted schools and schools for the greatly disabled. Where are the schools for the middle ground?”

Photo to the left:

  • Sarah speaks at the Safe Schools discussion sponsored by Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Link to the Right:

  • Sarah weighs in on arming educators

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About Sarah

Sarah Fortney was born and raised in Melbourne, Florida. She is a product of the Florida education system, having attended public school in Brevard County, Florida. She continued her education at the University of South Florida and began teaching shortly afterwards, beginning her 32 years experience in the classroom.

Not only is she a teacher, but she is also a sponsor and mentor to many, a union representative and a community leader.

Her current goal is to be elected to the School Board of Polk County so that she may serve her community that she has called her home for more than 30 years.

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Sarah's Letter to the Ledger


School Board is out of touch.

Disclosure from the start of this letter. I am running for Polk County School Board District 3 in 2018. Over the last 33 years as a classroom teacher, I can’t remember a time when our profession hasn’t had to beg for financial compensation. Actually, we’ve spent huge amounts of time and energy fighting politician’s mandates. Our steps and cost-of-living pay increases should be at the beginning of budget process.

The waste of time and money by this district is well documented. Two words “pep rally” followed by a survey. Really?

Our employer is so out of touch with what really goes on at a regular public school. The positive relationships built and paid forward in so many ways can never be financially compensated.

If anyone reading this doubts the words above, please, spend a week in our shoes. Maybe then our daily experiences would be appreciated, uniting us for public school staff and students."

Sarah Fortney, Science teacher, Stambaugh Middle School, Bartow