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James W. Polansky

Superintendent Reflects on Year, Looks Ahead

June 30, 2017

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About

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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.

From the Desk

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From the desk of James Polansky

June 26, 2017

Dear Huntington Students, Staff and Community Members,

Another busy, but very productive school year has drawn to a close. As you launch into summer mode, I ask that you take a moment to reflect on how far we have come and where we are headed as a district.

This year, administrators, faculty and staff worked diligently to address a broad range of goals related to student growth and achievement, instructional differentiation, K-12 STEM/STEAM opportunities, long-range fiscal planning, energy and cost savings initiatives, infrastructure and technological upgrades, parent engagement and the home-school connection, universal pre-kindergarten, and educational advocacy. In spite of federal and state challenges that continue to impact education on the local level, we have maintained our focus on what matters most - ensuring that our children are learning and that we continue to grow as a district.

Over the past year, we have designed and upgraded curricula across the grade levels and in numerous disciplines. Administrators and teachers have engaged in meaningful professional development. Student growth has been evident not only in core and special areas, but also in their social and emotional development. Extracurricular, enrichment and support opportunities have also expanded and will continue to do so.

Huntington students have shined in the classroom throughout the year. We have continued to enhance our elementary, middle and high school STEM programs. Our dual language program continues to thrive, with the majority of our sixth grade students coming from the program achieving mastery on the Regents-level Spanish exam. Secondary elective programs, once again, offered something for students of all interests. We can boast of among the finest visual/performing arts and interscholastic athletic programs offered by a school district. Huntington High School graduates have, once again, been admitted to many of the finest colleges and universities across the country.

As a district, we continue to progress in terms of our 1:1 computing device initiative. While the initiative will reach through grade 12 in the year to come, we will not lose sight of the fact that technology represents a resource used toward achieving a goal, as opposed to the goal itself. We have focused and will continue to focus on students' social and emotional well-being through the provision of ongoing programs and supports, and, more importantly, through serving as active listeners.

To better engage our external stakeholders, we have worked toward building stronger relationships with key state educational leaders, community leaders and others to advocate for legislation in support of strategies to support student opportunities and sustainable funding for schools. Thanks to the Huntington community, a responsible budget has, once again, been approved, which will allow us to maintain or enhance programs and instructional resources across the district, as well as improve the district's infrastructure through critical capital work.

I'd like to thank all of Huntington's staff members for the individual contributions, dedication, talent, energy, care and collegiality that they bring to their work. Additionally, I'd like to express my gratitude to building PTA and PTA Council members, as well as all parents and family members throughout the district, for contributing to the very important home-school partnership. Together, we are making a visible difference for our students, families and community.

I hope that you have routinely visited Huntington's top-notch website and have connected with us regularly via social media ( e.g., Face book, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube). Each and every day in Huntington, there are so many occurrences and accomplishments in which we can all take great pride.

Educating our children and preparing them for a successful future is important and influential work. In ways large and small, every member of our school community has made a positive difference for our kids this year. If I haven't had an occasion to thank you in person, please know that I deeply value your efforts and your commitment.

I sincerely hope that you have an opportunity to rest and re-energize over the summer. Once again, I'd like to wish the very best to those who are retiring after serving our district's children and families for many years. I'd also like to reiterate my heartiest congratulations and best wishes to an outstanding group - the Huntington High School Class of 2017!

With appreciation and sincere admiration,

James W. Polansky
Superintendent of Schools


  • Upcoming letters to the community can be accessed here

Vitals

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.