More than 4,700 students are expected to flood into Huntington School District classrooms next month and faculty and staff members are working feverishly to put everything in place to insure a sensational year.
“The start of a new school year creates opportunities for each of us to renew our commitment to education and to the students who arrive at our classroom doors ready to learn,” Superintendent James W. Polansky said. “At the same time, we can, once again, reflect and take pride in the accomplishments of members of Huntington High School’s Class of 2017 and celebrate a successful past year for students across the district in the classroom, on stage, on the athletic field and in the community.”
Huntington Superintendent James W. Polansky.
(Darin Reed photo.)
Members of the most recent graduating class are already starting to head off to college. A new group of seniors is ready to make their mark over the coming year. Students of all ages are excited for what awaits them. Many will be attending classes in new buildings after moving up a grade level.
“We are truly fortunate in Huntington to offer an outstanding curricular program at all levels, as well as extensive and broad ranging extracurricular opportunities,” Mr. Polansky said. “Last year, student participation and performance in advanced coursework continued an increasing trend. Huntington students earned numerous honors and recognition in all disciplines and logged thousands of community service hours. Class of 2017 graduates will attend prestigious colleges and universities throughout the country, many with substantial scholarship monies in hand. We expect all of this to continue during the coming year and beyond.”
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.
“As educators, this time of year generates the same excitement for us as it does for our students,” Mr. Polansky said. “The butterflies we feel on opening day serve as a subtle reminder as to what inspired us to pursue such a noble career. Sure, we could have selected another profession. But instead, we answer a call that has enriched our lives and the lives of others immeasurably. We continue to dedicate ourselves so that every child we teach has the opportunities and tools to be successful despite life’s hurdles, so he or she can pursue his or her dreams.”
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.
“There is no doubt that external influences have made our jobs more challenging,” Mr. Polansky said. “We have done our best to play by the rapidly changing rules of public education, absorbing every new acronym conjured up by state and federal lawmakers. The political agendas, media opportunists and constant friction of competing interests is exhausting and often leaves us to question our own values.
Officials are working to finalize class schedules and bus routes. Facilities staff members are working to finish the cleaning and polishing of classrooms, gyms, cafeterias, offices and hallways and delivering equipment and supplies to the rooms of the teachers that ordered the materials.
“The Huntington School District continues to takes great pride in its longstanding tradition of excellence,” Mr. Polansky said. “We look forward to continuing that tradition in 2017/18 with vigor. As the new school year begins, we will continue to promote a sense of collaboration within the school community in an effort to help each of our students realize his or her full potential. The successes we have achieved in the past and those we will surely achieve in the future can often be attributed directly to the home-school-community connection.”
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 High School’s assistant principal. He went on to serve 6½ years as Whitman’s principal and then spent a year as South Huntington’s assistant superintendent for personnel and district services before becoming Huntington’s superintendent in July 2011.
“Huntington is an extraordinary place made up of exceptional people and it continues to be a privilege to serve as superintendent,” Mr. Polansky said. Allow me to extend my welcome back wishes and an emphatic welcome to members of the Huntington High School Class of 2030! We assuredly have a great school year ahead of us.”