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James W. Polansky

Superintendent Reflects on Year, Looks Ahead

June 30, 2017

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James W. Polansky, Superintendent
1-631-673-2038
jpolansky

Superintendent of Schools James W. Polansky assumed his position on July 1, 2011. Since then he has been relentless in his drive to improve teaching and learning in classrooms across the district.

Under Mr. Polansky’s leadership, the Huntington School District established Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School in September 2013 and reinstituted a full-day kindergarten program in September 2014 following a three year absence.

Known for his boundless energy and enthusiasm, at the time of his appointment in Huntington Mr. Polansky had already enjoyed two-decades of success as a teacher and administrator in Long Island schools.

Mr. Polansky came to Huntington from the South Huntington School District where he worked as assistant superintendent for personnel and district services since August 2010. He earlier served as principal of Walt Whitman High School for 6½ years.

Named New York State Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York/National Association of Secondary School Principals/Metropolitan Life in 2010 for his fine work "turning around" Walt Whitman High School, Mr. Polansky had previously been the school's assistant principal from July 2002 to April 2004.

A graduate of SUNY at Albany (BA cum laude), Mr. Polansky earned a Master of Business Administration degree at Hofstra University and an advanced graduate certificate in educational administration at Stony Brook University. He holds permanent teaching certificates in biology/general science, chemistry, Earth science, mathematics and business/distributive education.

A member of the Suffolk County School Superintendent’s Association executive board, Mr. Polansky is the leader of the Huntington-Smithtown superintendent cluster.

Mr. Polansky began his career in education at Syosset High School, where he worked as a science teacher from September 1991 to January 2001. He coached wrestling, soccer, baseball and softball there and was the mentor/coach of Syosset's Envirothon science team.

After obtaining state administrative certification, Mr. Polansky served as the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District's K-12 director of science, a position he held from January 2001 to July 2002, when he became Walt Whitman's assistant principal.

Mr. Polansky has extensive professional experience and a proven track record of improving academic performance, student attendance and graduation rates in an ethnically and socio-economically diverse school setting. He is committed to developing Huntington into one of the state’s elite districts.

Huntington's superintendent has led initiatives associated with narrowing the achievement gap between students and utilizing data-driven and differentiated instruction, technology integration into classroom lessons, positive behavioral support, parent engagement and students’ social and emotional development, Response to Intervention strategies and learning styles instruction.

Known as an exceptional communicator, Mr. Polansky can be found attending an assortment of school events each day. He enjoys visiting classrooms and observing teacher instruction and student learning and meeting with teachers, students and parents.

The recipient of the New York State PTA Distinguished Service Award, Mr. Polansky is an honorary lifetime member of the PTA. He plays an active role in the New York State Council of School Superintendents and the Western Suffolk BOCES superintendents’ consortium. He has also served on the School Administrator Association of New York State (SAANYS) government relations teams for several years.

Mr. Polansky also maintains a keen interest in interscholastic athletics and extracurricular activities. He regularly attends Blue Devil sports events along with plays, concerts, art shows and academic competitions.

A longtime member of Section XI’s Executive Council, Mr. Polansky was the organization’s president during the 2014/15 and 2015/16 school years. He maintains membership in a variety of professional educational organizations and has been invited to make presentations at a variety of conferences.

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From the desk of James Polansky

November 21, 2017

Dear Huntington Families:

“Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”  This quote from William Arthur Ward is a particularly accurate reflection of my experiences in Huntington.  Every day, I am moved and inspired by what I see.  After many years, I still marvel at the incredible devotion of our staff and their unique abilities to teach and inspire our children.  I continue to celebrate the unwavering support provided by parents and the greater community.  During this time of Thanksgiving, I’d like to share my gratitude with all of you for the roles you play within our educational community.

Helping children to grow, achieve and gain confidence is among the most important charges we possess.  I am beyond grateful to our faculty and staff for committing their professional lives to serving our students.  They take each child’s success personally.  They spend hours before and after school doing the extra things that few people see, but that make all the difference for the students they teach and support.  I see and feel their passion when I visit classrooms.  At the same time, I see the joy in the faces of our children and witness the appreciation from parents for their efforts.

I am appreciative that our schools have the power to change the lives of young people.  I’ll reflect on a recent conversation during which a former student shared that he is now pursuing a master’s degree in education.  This student was the first in his family to earn a high school diploma and no less a college degree.  He shared that it was the Huntington teachers, administrators and staff members he came to know through the years who believed in him and encouraged him to pursue his dreams.  He plans to pay it forward as he becomes an educator himself, eagerly awaiting the chance to inspire students of his own.  He may not realize that he is the true inspiration.  Stories like his should make all of us even more grateful for the incredible work done each and every day.

Additionally, I am beyond grateful for the many students, parents, and community members who also serve to inspire and generate considerable Huntington pride.  Each year, our students volunteer thousands of hours after school, helping dozens of local agencies and organizations.  From our elementary leadership teams and student councils to the many service clubs and honor societies at the secondary level – they gain no greater satisfaction than from giving.  Their service and dedication is unparalleled.

Huntington parents continue to allow us to be part of their children’s lives – a genuine honor and tremendous privilege.  They support us unconditionally in the work that we do.  They share with us the joy in their children’s education.   They make us a stronger school community.  We are all exceptionally grateful for the strong home-school connection.

Further, we are blessed with support from many community organizations that offer generous grant programs and resources that we could not secure otherwise.  They also provide services and opportunities to our students beyond school hours, which contribute significantly to their academic achievement and their social and emotional growth. 

It should not go unnoticed that Huntington is characterized by an outstanding group of Board of Education trustees who are truly vested in the success of our students and staff.  They are compassionate individuals who see the incomparable value in public education.  I am honored to work with them and greatly appreciate their service.

In closing, I ask that all of you continue to recognize that the strength of our school district lies in the people we serve and the people we employ.  Personally speaking, I am especially grateful to be part of the Huntington family.  Again, I thank you each of you for all that you do and wish all of our families a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

Sincerely,

James W. Polansky
Superintendent of Schools


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District Offices

50 Tower Street Huntington, NY 11746

Contact Information

Joanne Miranda, Secretary to the Superintendent

jomiranda

1-631-673-2037

1-631-423-3447 FAX

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.