District 212 Superintendent Nick Polyak named Superintendent of Distinction

 
Maryann Mills
Updated 4/25/2016 12:17 PM
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  • District 212 Superintendent Nick Polyak (left) with Illinois State Superintendent Tony Smith.  Polyak was named a 2016 Superintendent of Distinction by the Illinois Association of School Administrators.Courtesy of Leyden High School District 212

    District 212 Superintendent Nick Polyak (left) with Illinois State Superintendent Tony Smith. Polyak was named a 2016 Superintendent of Distinction by the Illinois Association of School Administrators.Courtesy of Leyden High School District 212

District 212 Superintendent Nick Polyak was named Superintendent of Distinction.

Polyak was honored at an awards luncheon on April 21 in Springfield. State Superintendent Tony Smith was the featured speaker at the luncheon that recognized 21 IASA regional superintendents.

"It is humbling to be nominated by my peers for this recognition," said Polyak, who has been an educator for 17 years, and served as a teacher, coach and administrator before becoming superintendent of District 212 in 2013. "There are many deserving superintendents in West Cook, and I am honored to represent them this year."

Those who nominated Polyak noted that under his leadership Leyden was named the 2014 National Advanced Placement District of the Year by the AP College Board. Leyden also is a 1:1 Chromebook district with more than 2,000 educators from across the country making site visits regularly. In addition, Leyden is one of three Illinois districts chosen to pilot E-Learning Days (Virtual Snow Days).

Other District 212 accomplishments include:

Named to The Chicago Tribune's Top 100 Workplaces

Named Democracy schools by the McCormick Foundation

Received Magna Award from National School Board Association

Received Digital Content and Curriculum Award from the Center for Digital Innovation

Named a District of Distinction by District Administration Magazine

Polyak has received an AASA National Superintendent Certification and is a member of the AASA Digital Consortium and Personalized Learning Consortium. He serves as co-host of #suptchat, a National Twitter Chat for superintendents; is president of the Leyden Area Superintendents Organization; and is an IASA School for Advanced Leadership Fellow.

"Public education is facing some of its most difficult times, and that is when leadership is most important," said Brent Clark, IASA Executive Director. "These superintendents who have earned a Superintendent of Distinction award were selected by their peers because of the dedication, commitment and leadership they have demonstrated."

Polyak earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Augustana College; a Master's degree from Governors State University; and a Doctor of Education degree from Loyola University. He and his wife Kate have four children.

The second annual awards luncheon was sponsored by Horace Mann, one of the nation's largest insurers focusing on the needs of educators.

"Each year, educators face growing challenges, and this year is no exception," said Marita Zuraitis, Horace Mann President and Chief Executive Officer. "Despite those challenges, superintendents constantly find ways to make their school districts successful. We are proud to recognize the Superintendent of Distinction award winners, and applaud their efforts to provide outstanding educational environments for their students and teachers."