801 S. Florida Ave. Lakeland, FL 33801
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Store and Owner History

Teachers' Exchange History

Established in 1994, Teachers' Exchange began as a consignment store specializing in used educational materials and supplies. The store provided an opportunity for teachers to consign items they bought over the years. This in turn allowed other teachers to purchase items they needed at a reduced price. Hence, it  fitting to name the store Teachers' Exchange.

Over the years, more and more of the latest in educational materials were brought in, gradually changing the product make-up of the business. In 2005, theTeachers' Exchange changed ownership. Spoudason Inc., owned by Stephen and Karen McKown, began doing business as TheTeachers' Exchange.

Expansion continued and more product lines were brought in, a website was constructed, inventory climbed, efficiency improved, and business grew. In 2012, the business relocated a 1/2 mile up the street to a newly remodeled space with a much improved layout and bigger parking lot.

 

Today, Teachers' Exchange has grown into being the premier educational supply store in Cenral Florida. Its shelves stock over 60,000 products from over 50 publishers of educationa materials. Customers also have options to browse and shop on-line through the website and socialize with us on Facebook. It continues to maintain a nice consignment section offering. 

 

Owners' Background

Stephen and Karen McKown of Spoudason, Inc. have owned and operated the Teachers' Exchange since 2005. They've been married since1989 and have 3 children, all of which have flourished in the Polk County School System. Both Stephen and Karen graduated in the 1980's from Universities in Michigan with Bahelor Degrees in Chemistry.

 

They worked and met in the Industrial Coatings Industry which took them from Detroit, Michigan to Los Angeles, California. In 2004, they uprooted and moved to Lakeland, Florida and began their new careers as business owners of the Teachers' Exchange.

Over the last 13 years of doing business in and with the Polk County School System, the benefits have been both professional and personal. Both teachers and schools across the county have continually shopped and purchased at the Teachers' Exchange. Steve has continually, through the business, given back by supporting educational organizations such as the Polk Education Foundation, Teacher and School-Related Employee of the Year Banquet, Early Learning Coalition and others.

Personally, the McKown children have grown and flourished in the Polk County School System. Before graduating, Nikki, the oldest, helped lead the Jenkins Women's Varsity Volleyball team to the State Championships for the first time in 16 years. She has gone on to attend a Florida business college on both academic and athletic scholarships. She is pursuing an MBA in Marketing and is an All-Conference outside hitter in the Sun Conference.

 

Brianna, the next, graduated from George Jenkins with a plethora of honors. She graduated Summa Cum Laude while achieving over 250 community service hours. This laid the foundation for receiving the George Jenkins Mathematics Department Award, Superintendant's Scholars Award, President's Volunteer Service Award, and the Ledger's 39th Annual Silver Garland Award. In addition, she was awarded scholarships through the Denis L. Fontaine Foundation, Polk Education Foundation and Citrus Kiwanis Club. She is attending the University of South Florida on a full academic scholarship to pursue an MBA in Business Finance.

Hunter is judiciously making his way through George Jenkins High School as an Honor Student and a "Player" in the Lakeland based Pirates Baseball Program. He is flourishing in the Information & Technology Academy. With all that, he is working towards college acceptance with a Digital Design related major, as well as, into their Basball Program.