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Polk Scholastic Chess (Season 2020-2021) - Seniors Awards

Dear Chess Family Members,

We hope you and yours are doing well.

The board had decided to conduct the Senior Scholarship Essay contest for this year and I am sure the seniors students are waiting to know about the winners this year. Special thanks to Ms. Arlene Gable (our secretary and board member since 15 years) for coordinating this year's contest and for ensuring fair judging conducted by esteemed leaders from our academic community. The distinguished judges for this season are as below, and we are deeply honored to have such support from them. All judges have commented that “this was a hard decision. These are very exceptional and impressive students and they would have liked to meet them in better times”.


    Lisa Miller (District 7) is serving her first term on the Polk County School Board. She received her bachelor’s degree in mass communications/public relations from the University of South Florida. Miller worked in corporate advertising before serving as a classroom teacher for three years. After her son Michael was born with a significant developmental delay, she began working to improve the lives of all children with disabilities. For the last decade, she has worked to build advocacy networks at the local and state levels.

Miller has chaired the Polk County ESE Advisory Committee and represents Polk County as a member of Florida’s State Advisory Committee on Exceptional Student Education with the Florida Department of Education. She was appointed to chair the Family Care Council for Area 14 in 2012 by Gov. Rick Scott. Her most recent gubernatorial appointment was to the Florida Developmental Disability Council in 2018. Locally, she worked with the City of Lakeland to form the Alliance on Accessibility and hire its first full-time ADA coordinator.


Anuj Saran has been the Assistant Principal of IB and Operations at Lake Wales High School since 2011; he also co-founded Edward Bok Academy in 2008. Mr. Saran is an active member of Florida Association of IB Schools (FLIBS) including serving as the Diploma Program Chair and President of FLIBS.

Mr. Saran has graced our Chess tournaments with his presence as Chief Guest in the past years and has been a long-standing supporter of our non-profit. He has also helped us draft our essay judging and scoring templates.



Brett N. Lowe grew up in Polk County and became involved in Polk Scholastic Chess at an early age. The program nourished discipline and critical thinking, which paved the way for his academic success, and he graduated from International Baccalaureate at Bartow High School in 2001. The competitive drive he developed playing chess stayed with him, pushing him to earn his J.D. from Levin College of Law at the University of Florida and join the Florida Bar in 2013.

He now lives in Tampa where he has overseen hundreds of attorneys as an eDiscovery Review Manager at Consilio, LLC.


We know that the kids want to participate in the tournament in the next season! We are still waiting for the green light from the City of Bartow for the tournament hall, and we will consult with the esteemed healthcare champions on our board about safety aspects. But as we learn and adapt to live in this COVID-19 era, we hope to be able to conduct our tournaments this October - we expect to have a clearer picture by August when the schools open. Until then, on behalf of all board members, wish you have a safe and cool summer!

Thank you for your continued support and participation, and in the spirit of "glass half full", we look forward to a wonderful tournament season in year 2021-22!

Board Members
Polk Scholastic Chess

The Board Members of Polk Scholastic Chess are proud to announce the winners for this year's Polk Scholastic Chess Scholarship:

Aaryan Dhaduk of Bartow IB (first place with 29.25 / 30 points) and

Agastya Mittal
of Bartow IB (second place with 26.75 / 30 points). The certificates for the two candidates can be collected in person (instructions below).

President's Award: Per our tradition since many decades, two players deserve recognition for their contribution to chess, commitment to the game since 13 years of their academic life and support to Polk Scholastic Chess in many different ways including volunteering and coaching. The recipients of 2020-21 President's Award are:

Tirth Shah (Summerlin Academy) and

Agatsya Mittal (Bartow IB).

Lastly, the board has decided to honor all senior chess players who are graduating this year, by awarding a small momento.

Please join us to congratulate these outstanding players and the future of America!

Instructions to all winners: Send an email to president@polkscholasticchess.com to coordinate the pickup of the certificates and trophies from a location in Lakeland. 


Board Members
Polk Scholastic Chess


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Polk Scholastic Chess is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established in the State of Florida.

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