Joe Polach
Educational Department
English Teacher

Joe Polach graduated from Villanova University with a degree in political science, and earned a master's degree from the University of Minnesota. He spent a career in the United States Marine Corps in a variety of administrative and operational roles, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He has published two papers, one on terrorism and a second on covert action. Thus, he understands the nature, cost, and devastating impact of conflict.

After retiring, Joe pursued a second career in education, and currently teaches secondary English at the YK Pao International School in Shanghai, China. At his previous school in the United States, he filled a number of leadership roles, including a 10-year tenure as chair of the English department, as well as dean of students. Joe was instrumental in creating and implementing a number of school-wide programs, including a staff development model, which was adopted by administration.

Within the larger school district, Joe was a member of a team that performed a long-term analysis of the state of the district and its progress towards achieving mission goals. He also participated in an academic assessment project, which analyzed district K-12 English standards and revised the district scope and sequence for curriculum.

Joe served as a member of the first steering committee and the first site council for the St. Louis Park Spanish Immersion School, where he developed building administrative procedures and policy, advised the principal on curricular, budgetary, and security issues, and interviewed and hired new staff.

Joe's personal philosophy regarding the treatment and respect of all humanity is reflected in his serving a two-year term as a commissioner on his city's Human Rights Commission.

Joe is married to Janet Haaland, an independent consultant and also a retired Marine officer. They raised two children, Ben, a student at Colorado College, and Alexandra, a student at Villanova University.

"At times we feel compelled to hold our past experiences accountable for our present condition. The desire to blame who we are on what did or did not occur in our lives overpowers our need to be accountable for what we choose to do or not do about it. It is not the action, but the reaction to the action that is of the most importance. To live this truth is our opportunity to redefine ourselves." –Richard A. Snipes



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