Marty Pollio Interview

"I'm excited. It's my 21st first day of school. My first one was a little bit down the road here at Shawnee High School back in 1997. There's always an excitement to doing this. 

Honestly I'm going to miss being in the school, and actually being the principal and getting kids into classes and answering all those questions as a principal does, but getting to eight schools and seeing the culture and climate in eight different schools is exciting too. So I'm excited about the day. 

It's really important for me that I stay connected to all of our schools, stakeholders, teachers, employees, parents, kids. And I think that's one of the reasons people were excited to have me to take this position because they felt they knew I was connected to schools, being in schools recently in the past 20 years. So it's going to be critical for me to stay connected. That's difficult, many times, with the schedule that I've found I have to keep. So making sure I continue to do that, that I'm in schools talking to people, is going to be really critical for me. 

"I think it is getting a focus and a purpose for all of our schools. So we have 155 schools, so making sure that whatever our purpose and focus is across all of our schools is such a big challenge, Plus making sure something like improving culture and climate is not just happening in a few schools, but is happening in every single school. That requires such a coordinated effort with a great team around me, making sure we have a lot of coherence and that we're getting into schools. A big challenge to do that, but we're confident it's going to happen. 

"This is going to be a fantastic year, 2017-2018 it can be as great a year as you want to make it. Student belonging is so important, belonging to a school culture for students. So I would say to the students out there make sure that you get involved in school. Find something that's going to increase that belonging such as getting involved in some of the programs. We're standing here in Central's pre-law program. 

The more a student does that, the more likely it is that they're going to be successful.