Mr. James W. Polansky has led the district through challenging times with grace, dignity, and fortitude. His dedication to the district and its families is immeasurable. His energy and enthusiasm for improving the quality of education for every student is reflected through his many contributions to the Huntington School District.
When asked about being named one of honorees for the Huntington Foundation for Excellence in Education’s 2022 HFEE Gala, he responded, “I am beyond proud to be honored, but I am even more proud to share this honor with so many people in our school district community – students, staff members, colleagues, trustees, and families.”
Mr. Polansky studied at SUNY at Albany for his undergraduate degree and then earned a Master of Business Administration degree at Hofstra University. He went on to complete an advanced graduate certificate in educational administration at Stony Brook University, has completed all but dissertation in Hofstra’s Doctor of Education program, and currently holds permanent teaching certificates in biology/general science, chemistry, Earth science, mathematics, and business/distributive education.
His path to teaching was not so clear cut. “Education was not my initial pursuit,” Mr. Polansky explained, “As I was completing my Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, I was given the opportunity to teach an undergraduate course and loved it. It made me realize that I would enjoy making a career out of teaching and, ultimately, I secured secondary teaching certifications in several disciplines as a result.”
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. Under his leadership, he has made many decisions that have improved the district in meaningful ways, including:
- Establishing the Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School in September 2013
- Reinstituting a full-day kindergarten program in September 2014, following a three-year absence.
- Adding a Universal Pre-K program to the district – which has been extended to all four primary schools.
- Leading initiatives to narrow the achievement gap between students and integrating technology into the classroom. Even before the pandemic, every student had a Chromebook to use for schoolwork – a progressive decision that proved essential during the remote learning sessions of 2020.
- Championing STEM initiatives at all levels including Maker Spaces, STEM curriculum and robotics teams.
Decisive and measured, Mr. Polansky’s leadership has been recognized throughout his career. He is the current president-elect of the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association, a member of the New York State Council of School Superintendents’ House of Delegates and sits on the executive board of Section 11.
He has earned many professional awards and distinguished designations along the way. More importantly, he has won the hearts and minds the Huntington School District families, who are proud and extremely thankful for his hard work and dedication. He, too, is thankful for his time leading the Huntington School District and building strong relationships with the students, families and his many colleagues. “Without its people, a school is just a building, and a school district is just a bunch of buildings spread over a given area. It is the people in our schools and community that make it the very special place that it is.”
If you’d like to send a congratulatory message to Mr. Polansky, you can do so through HFEE’s 30 for $30 fundraising campaign. For a $30 donation you can write a personal note of congratulations up to 30 words long. Your message will be shared on screen at the HFEE Gala on May 4 and then included in a hardcover memento book, which will be gifted to Mr. Polansky after the event. Click here for more details.