Local Hero: Mildred Bennett Foster
Mrs. Mildred Bennett Foster began her employment with the Polk County School District in 1961 as a music teacher at Jewett primary school. While teaching there, she started a chorus and coordinated several plays and performances. In recognition of her dedication to helping students in the community develop a love for music, the district named the Fine Arts Building at the school after her.
Throughout her entire life, Mrs. Bennett Foster was an active member of the community and was instrumental in cleaning up Lake Maude Cemetery so that families of residents buried there could see their loved one’s rest in a place of beauty. She owned and operated the Helping Hand Day Care Center in Winter haven for fourteen years and she helped organize the Community Learning Center which started out as a music program for neighborhood children, and grew into a program that included mathematics and reading.
Mrs. Bennett Foster received numerous awards and recognition for her outstanding achievements and service. Her list of awards included the Polk County United Negro College Fund Award, the 1992 Polk County Teacher of the Year Award, the 2001 Award for Outstanding Services to Polk County School, and the 2005-2006 Chain of Lake Achievers Inc. (COLA) Award.
On Saturday, December 3, 2022 Mildred Bennett Foster died at the age of 83. She is survived by her two children Gloria and Edric, and four grandchildren. Although Mrs. Bennett Foster is no longer with us her presence is felt throughout the community. Her legacy of perseverance and compassion, will positively impact our community for many generations to come.