Empowering our communities, accelerating the future. 

 Vanguard Principal Marya Marcum-Jones and Dyer General Manager David Dlugokecki

The Vanuard School of Lake Wales

   If you look up the definition of the word vanguard, you’ll find that it means a group of people leading the way in new developments or ideas. That’s exactly what is happening with the Vanuard School of Lake Wales, which serves over 100 students in grades six through twelve. Students at this small, independent, co-educational boarding and day school learn in a creative ways and enjoy small class sizes and individualized learning pathways. For many of the students at Vanguard School of Lake Wales, the school provides a relief from bullying or academic difficulty found in larger, public school options, and the additional attention received enables students to thrive and succeed like never before. This dedication to a unique educational delivery mode is being recognized with the January Dyer Difference Award.

            In order to better serve students and create additional avenues for learning experiences, the Vanguard School of Lake Wales is currently working to create a new Student Center on campus in the current Harry E. Nelson Library/Media Center. The Student Center will be used to facilitate online learning classes, research and computer lab access and offer space for evening collaboration, games, tutoring, and student socialization. Recognizing the importance of reaching students through a variety of modalities and helping to ensure optimal learning attracted the attention of the Dyer Difference Award Committee which selected the Vanguard School of Lake Wales with this month’s $3,000 award.

    Will Dyer, Mike Lopez, David Dlugokecki, Mike Galloway, and Mike Long


Special Olympics Receive Dyer Difference Award

  More than 1,600 athletes throughout Polk County participate in Special Olympics’ sports training and competition programs throughout the year, helping to build sportsmanship, strength, teamwork, and social skills. Coaching and cheering those athletes on are approximately 300 volunteers who share their time, talent, and energy with the athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities ranging in age eight to adult. The staff at Dyer Kia and Dyer Chevrolet have chosen the Special Olympics of Polk County as the recipients of the March Dyer Difference Award.

            Whether it’s gymnastics, swimming, bocce or bowling, Special Olympics athletes in Polk County participate at no cost to themselves or their families, and the organization relies on donations from caring community members in order to provide uniforms, equipment, supplies, food, water, transportation, and even shoes for the athletes. Being honored with the Dyer Difference Award will help the organization continue to share cheers and hugs and that feeling of exuberance that comes from working hard and achieving the goal, whether it’s picking up a spare, nailing that split, or crossing the finish line.

Polk County Award Recipients 2020