On March 15, Williston Northampton School Head of School Robert W. Hill III announced the appointment of Kim Polin as Academic Dean. Polin will take over for Greg Tuleja, who has held the post since 1990, upon his retirement in July.
“This will be a bittersweet transition,” Polin said. “I feel well-prepared for this role because of the many years of close mentorship that Greg has provided. I will miss his infinitude of intelligence, earnest respect for our students, positivity, humor, and steadfast leadership intensely. I hope that what Greg and I have built together serves as a firm foundation for me to step forward from. I am humbled that I will have the opportunity to continue to build Williston’s future from an expanded perspective.”
The months-long selection process attracted scores of applicants from around the nation. Polin, who began at Williston in 2007 and has held the position of Director of Curriculum since 2016, stood out for her comprehensive knowledge of not just Williston’s academic program but of the broader educational landscape in which we operate, Hill said.
During her time at the school, Polin has been instrumental in developing several of the initiatives that are part of Williston’s program today: Williston Scholars, the integrated use of technology, and partnering with Mount Holyoke College to tailor their master’s program to independent schools, to name a handful of her accomplishments. A frequent presenter at NAIS, and more recently, a guest on various educational podcasts, Polin has been committed to professional development and keeping abreast of the major trends and ideas affecting the educational landscape.
In terms of her work at Williston, Polin said she is excited to continue building on the collaboration between the academic departments and the office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. “There is great energy around this work,” she said, “and I hope to facilitate the forward momentum. I also am looking forward to continuing to reflect on how to best serve our students’ needs as we look forward to our fourth year living and learning in the presence of COVID. I am eager to investigate how we can build programs and teach our students in ways that meet them where they are, given all they’ve experienced in the past few years.”
While her work with colleagues is important, she also continues to be inspired by her contact with students, and will work to keep that connection. “My favorite part of the job is having an open door to students for them to drop in so that I can help them with all manner of challenges in service to their best academic experience,” she said. “I also truly enjoy working with our faculty and helping to implement their ideas for growth and change in their departments and individual practice.”