By Gabrielle Gasser EBS STAFF
BIG SKY – From a small mining town in Pennsylvania to a classroom in Dubai, Scott Poloff has traveled the world before recently landing at Big Sky. Poloff has been teaching for 26 years and he will now use his considerable experience to lead Big Sky Discovery Academy as the school’s new principal.
Poloff grew up in Elderton, Pennsylvania, a city even smaller than Big Sky with a population of around 450 people. He went on to earn an undergraduate degree from Indiana University in Pennsylvania in elementary education and a master’s degree in instructional leadership from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
After graduation, Poloff began his teaching career as a fourth grade teacher at Gulf Breeze, Florida in 1995. Most recently he worked as a school principal in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
âI had never been to this part of the world before, but this move for me was about my family,â Poloff said, adding that he was looking for his next career step in places he knew his parents would want to come to when.
they are tired.
âI chose Big Sky because it was a small town with a very strong sense of community,â he said. âIt reminded me of the town where I grew up and the small seaside community of Gulf Breeze, where I started my teaching career.
Poloff took the helm of Discovery Academy on June 15 and said he was excited to be back in the United States and exploring all that Big Sky has to offer. In addition to getting involved in the Big Sky community, Poloff has big plans for the academy.
âMy number one goal is to make sure we are well established in the community and to make sure our parents and community members understand exactly who we are as Discovery Academy,â he said. . “It is to educate that we are a non-profit organization that every penny that goes into school is spent on the school and therefore that means we are constantly giving back to Big Sky as well.”
Poloff was hired by a committee made up of two parents, two staff and two board members.
“We are impressed with Scott’s commitment to student and staff development,” Karen Maybee, Big Sky Discovery Academy board chair, wrote in an email to EBS. âHis leadership background, which includes creating and executing strategic plans, implementing policies and procedures, and managing financials, is exactly what Discovery needs to continue to grow and improve. sustainable. We are very happy to have someone with the experience to take Discovery to the next level. “
One of the parents on the hiring committee, Andrew Schreiner, also expressed his excitement about having Scott on the Discovery team.
âAs a committee member, I was so excited and proud to be a part of hiring Scott,â Schreiner wrote in an email. âHis experience, attitude and passion will take Discovery to new levels and continue to build on Discovery’s past successes. “
Poloff outlined his goals of keeping Discovery Academy and its students involved in the Big Sky community. Her first task is to create a high school volunteer program. This coming school year, as part of the program, students will be required to volunteer for 80 hours during the school year.
Some of the benefits of the volunteer program, according to Poloff, will include new experiences, a better understanding of different career paths and giving back to the community. He also stressed the importance of Discovery’s status as a non-profit organization for himself and for the community. âI wanted to be in a place where I knew all of the school’s effort and resources were going directly to the staff, students and the community,â said Poloff, who was part of a school administration. for-profit for three years.
âI also like the vision and the mission of the school,â he said. âI like that it gives families a different option for their child’s education.
He described Discovery as “a school for every child” where they can “discover your potential” through small class sizes and personal instruction.
âWe believe that we are giving every child the chance to discover their potential and a different type of learning environment,â Poloff said.