Governing Board

A board of directors, consisting of parents, educational leaders, business and community leaders and representation by Discovery Academy’s teacher of the year, oversees the operation of Discovery Academy. The support offered by this group is extremely beneficial to the school.

Meetings are held on the dates below and are open to the public. Dates and times are advertised on our school marquee, our school website at and in the student planner. Meeting dates for the 2017-2018 school year are as follows:

  • July 6th, 2017 (Planning meeting)
  • July 10, 2017
  • August 8, 2017
  • October 10, 2017
  • January 16, 2018
  • March 13, 2018
  • June 12, 2018

Minutes to meetings may be found HERE.

All meetings begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Media Center.

Additional special meetings may be called by the Executive Director or on request of the Board Chair or majority of the members of the Board.

All regular and special meetings of the Governing Board shall be held at the School Administration Building.

The Board Secretary shall keep minutes of all official actions and proceedings of the Board.

Meetings of the Board will be conducted as nearly as possible according to Robert’s Rules of Order Revised.

A quorum of voting member to be in attendance is necessary or the meeting shall be cancelled.

An agenda shall be prepared by the Executive Director in time to insure that a copy of the agenda may be received seven days before the meeting. The agenda shall contain the items to be considered, in the order of presentation. After the agenda has been made available, change shall be only for good cause, as determined by the person designated to preside, and stated in the record.

The Policy for the Public Addressing the Governing Board was approved 12/16/02 and is as follows:

The agenda provides an opportunity for members of the public to address the Governing Board. Speakers addressing agenda items will be called by the Chair to speak at the appropriate time during the meeting. Each speaker should expect to speak no more than once at any one meeting, and shall be limited to three minutes except in unusual circumstances as determined at the sole discretion of the Board Chair. Members of the public desiring to address the Governing Board should notify the Office of the Principal, telephone number (863) 295-5955 no later than 72 hours prior to the meeting.

Persons needing assistance under the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities act (ADA) should contact Jill Dunbar at least three working days prior to the Governing Board meeting.

Copies of the Annual Charter School Report are available at the school site and other information regarding the operation of the school is available upon request.

A Report of Independent Auditors on Internal Control over financial reporting is conducted annually and submitted to the Board of Directors of Discovery, the District School Board of Polk County and is included in the Annual Report submitted to the State of Florida. Since Discovery Academy has been a charter school, these audits have not identified any deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting that are considered to be a material weakness. In addition, there were no findings or recommendations to improve compliance, internal control or the financial reporting process for any of the years audited during the term of the charter contract.

The school has always strived to have a comprehensive system of internal controls in place to safeguard assets, provide for accurate financial reporting and ensure proper approvals for all transactions. Consequently, the school has never received a significant negative finding from its independent audits.

Discovery Academy is financially stable. Discovery has competently and effectively managed its finances from its inception as a charter school in 2001. Over the past seven years, the school has not had a year with a deficit in its results of operation on a fund basis and has accumulated a positive fund balance and numerous resource materials for learning.

Governing Board Members

Charlotte Butler is the Board Chairperson and a retired teacher from the community of Auburndale. She formerly taught at Discovery Academy, earned the Teacher of the Year Award, and is founder of the Leadership Discovery Team.

Catherine Walker represents the Winter Haven community. She is a retired educator who taught middle school students with learning disabilities for 20 years. She was recognized as a National Board Certified Teacher from 2002-2012. Catherine set high standards for herself and was an outstanding example for other teachers. Her credentials include a Masters in Educational Leadership and serving as an Adjunct Professor at Miami Dade Community College teaching “Introduction to Education” classes.

Mike Jones represents the Lake Alfred community. His involvement began when he visited with many of our students in the capacity of Youth Pastor. He is currently Lead Pastor at the First Baptist Church of Lake Alfred. Mike regularly attends our school functions and continues to be concerned about our students and their success.

Linda Williams represents our community. She holds an Educational Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and a Master’s of Education in Educational Leadership. Linda has an extensive career in education and is currently teaching graduate level courses at Nova Southeastern University and University of Phoenix Online and Doctoral level courses at Northcentral University.

Jill Dunbar is the Board Secretary. She has been employed in public education for more than 15 years. Jill is currently the Assistant to the Executive Director of Discovery Academy.

Carol Fulks is the Board President and Executive Director of Discovery Academy. She has been in Education Administration for 26 years and holds a Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision. She has been involved in numerous initiatives throughout her career in education. Her prior business knowledge has helped her to implement theses initiative effectively. Her broad view of the education system has been a product of having begun her career in education as a parent volunteer, then a paraprofessional, then teacher, and continuing her career into administration. Carol’s accomplishments include certification in six areas of education: Administration and Supervision, Elementary Education, Early Childhood, Middle School Mathematics, Middle School Social Studies, and Middle School English. She has consistently stayed current with research-based strategies and is a certified trainer for Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen Covey), Positive Classroom Discipline (Fred Jones), Cooperative Learning (Kagan & Kagan), and Brain Based Teaching and Learning (Eric Jensen). She has also completed The Educational Leadership Institute sponsored by Willard Daggett of the International Center for Leadership in Education. Carol has dedicated her work over the past two decades to the middle school philosophy because it addresses the needs of the adolescent child in a changing world.


“We are dedicated to actively engaging all individuals in quality learning experiences that will enable them to value themselves and become responsible, productive citizens in a changing world.”

Discovery Academy’s mission statement reflects a clear and strong focus on student learning. It is easily understood and intricately woven into all areas of our curriculum, as our mission statement becomes a living document.


Our vision is that every student needs to succeed in the 21st century with an education that is both academically rigorous and “real-world” relevant. We think of academic rigor as students being able to apply their skills and knowledge to real-world problems, to adapt solutions to an ever-changing society, and to solve problems we have to yet recognize. Teaching through application is a very effective way to engage students and ensure they can apply what they have learned.

We believe that the Discovery Academy family works together and shares responsibility for guiding our students’ education by:


  1. Providing a safe and orderly environment conducive to learning for students
  2. Actively engaging students in the learning process through a variety of teaching strategies and modality styles
  3. Encouraging students to value themselves and have an acceptance of cultural differences of ideas and feelings
  4. Providing ongoing technological training for growth in a changing world