The Silver Garland is an award for service. Nominees are among the most talented and gifted high school seniors in Polk County, Florida. Of much greater importance is how the nominee has used that talent and skill in service to school and community. Service is what makes a student a Silver Garland nominee.

The Silver Garland program is sponsored as a community service by The Ledger and Lakeland Automall. Polk County high schools are invited to select seniors with records of outstanding service as Silver Garland candidates.

THE CATEGORIES

Art · Athletics · Citizenship · Communications · English/Literature · Foreign Language · Mathematics · Music · Performing Arts · Science · Vocational/Technology

CRITERIA FOR NOMINATION

 

IMPORTANT DATES

Entry Form Deadline: Monday, January 14, 2019.

Nominee Judging Sessions: Wednesday, February 6, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Awards Presentation: Monday, May 6, 2019 at 6 p.m.

 

QUESTIONS?

If you run into any technical issues with the website, please let us know as soon as possible. For assistance, contact Laura Davis by email at Laura.Davis@TheLedger.com or call 863-802-7582.

For questions about the Silver Garland program, contact Bruce Dube by email at Bruce.Dube@LedgerMediaGroup.com or call 863-802-7412.

CONTACT FORM

APPLICATION PROCESS & EXPECTATIONS

Want to apply to be a Silver Garland Award recipient? Great!

For a successful Silver Garland Award entry, review the steps listed below.

1. Review criteria for nomination to determine which category applies to you.

2. Thoroughly read the program instructions, requirements and expectations.

3. Read over the entry form. Gather and organize the information you will need to submit.

4. Fill out the entry form. When you are satisfied with your entry form, submit it. You will be able to edit the entry form after submission. Entry forms will be able to be edited until the deadline date, so don't worry if you need to update it.

5. After you are done, you will receive an email that contains a copy of your entry form. Forward that email to your School Principal and/or Silver Garland Coordinator.

6. School Principal and/or Silver Garland Coordinator will work to determine your school's candidate in each category.

7. School Principal and/or Silver Garland Coordinator fill out & submit a candidate nomination report for each student nominated in each category. The student entry form is not considered complete until the corresponding nomination report from the school has been submitted. The deadline for completed submissions is Monday, January 14, 2019.

8. The Ledger will use the candidate nomination reports from the schools to compile a list of candidates from each school. That list will be sent to each school to confirm the submission of nominations. Entry forms from students who are not nominated by the schools will be discarded. 

9. On Wednesday, February 6, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., mandatory nominee judging sessions will be held at Southeastern University in Lakeland. Nominees will be notificed of their interview time about a week prior to the judging session. 

10. Judges will review the entry forms, interview notes and make a decision. In every case, the judges' decision is final.

11. The Silver Garland Awards Ceremony will be held at Branscomb Auditorium at Florida Southern College on Monday, May 6, 2019 at 6 p.m. Names of the winners are kept secret until this night! Attendance is required for receiving the top award.

Good luck!

Information for Nominees

The essential qualification for a Silver Garland nominee is service. Nominees are among the most talented and gifted high school seniors in Polk County. Of much greater importance is how the nominee has used that talent and skill in service to school and community.

Students who attempt to qualify solely through in-class excellence have no advantage in being selected. The Silver Garland Award in each category is given to the student whose record of service to school and/or community best exemplifies the unselfish use of his or her abilities to help others.

The period of performance is not of prime importance. Work through all of the high school grades (9-12) or any part thereof may be considered.

The Silver Garland program is sponsored as a community service by The Ledger and Lakeland Automall. Polk County high schools are invited to select seniors with records of outstanding service as Silver Garland candidates.

Business and/or community leaders serve as judges in each category. Judges individually review and hold personal interviews with each candidate to select the Silver Garland recipient in each category. Selection of judges, judging of candidates and presentation of awards is administered by The Ledger.

Selection of candidates to represent each school and administration of the program at school level is handled by Polk County Schools.

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Art · Athletics · Citizenship · Communications · English/Literature · Foreign Language · Mathematics · Music · Performing Arts · Science · Vocational/Technology

Click here to read more about criteria for selection of nominees in each category.

 

ACHIEVEMENT: Accomplishments, honors and recognition represent evidence of achievement, both in school and community. Important are the direction of purpose (as applied to the student's category), realization of goals and persistence.

LEADERSHIP: Initiative in constructive programs, poise in facing difficult problems and courage in meeting responsibilities are hallmarks of a good leader. A list of elected positions demonstrates general approval by others, which opens the door to real leadership. How this opportunity is used is the prime factor for consideration.

CHARACTER: Students' character is measured by personal habits and attitudes, appreciation of our society's moral and spiritual values and a sense of good judgment as reflected in relationships with others. Character may be revealed by an individual's ability to overcome physical and environmental challenges.

Guidelines for selection of nominees by categories are outlined in this informational document. These specific guidelines, plus the general measurements of achievement, leadership and character, should form the basis for selection of nominees.

All of these factors are considered by Silver Garland judges. Their choice of winners rests on an appraisal of the student's use of these factors in service to school and/or community.

 

Competition is open to any high school senior in Polk County schools, public or private. Each school, regardless of size, may nominate only one candidate in each category. In addition, no student may be entered in more than one category.

 

The winner in each category will be awarded $1,000 and a special Award of Achievement pin.

Each candidate will be awarded an Award of Recognition pin.

 

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Entries must be received by The Ledger no later than Monday, January 14, 2019. The Ledger is not responsible for incomplete entries. If you experience technical difficulties, notify The Ledger as soon as possible by calling 863-802-7582 and/or emailing Laura.Davis@TheLedger.com

 

Authorities in each category are selected by The Ledger to perform as judges. Each judge will individually review the entry forms prior to judging. At the judging session, each judge will conduct a brief personal interview with each nominee before making their decision. In every case, the judges' decision is final.

Judging sessions will be held at Southeastern University in Lakeland on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nominees will be notified of their interview time about a week prior to the judging session. A photograph for publication will be taken at the judging session, so students should come dressed for success. Attendance is mandatory at the judging session. Candidates unable to attend the judging will be disqualified. Please check for previous commitments before nomination. There are no exceptions.

 

The Silver Garland Awards presentation will be held at Branscomb Auditorium at Florida Southern College on Monday, May 6, 2019 at 6 p.m. Names of the winners will not be revealed until called to the stage for presentation. Nominees may invite as many guests as they want to the ceremony, which is open to the public. Attendance is required for receiving the top award — no exceptions.

 

The winner in each category will be awarded $1,000 and a special Award of Achievement pin.

Each candidate will be awarded an Award of Recognition pin.

 

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“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?’“

– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.