Students praise Pollio's impact at Doss

One on One with Dr. Pollio

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- After 20 years in local schools Dr. Marty Pollio will soon be making the move to the JCPS central office, and if you want an idea of his plans for the district, look no further than Doss High School.

Dr. Marty Pollio learned his organizational skills while he was a manager under Bobby Knight at Indiana University, and he has translated that from the court to the classroom.

Since the moment he was hired Marty Pollio has said he wants to keep it simple and let teachers teach.

Two years ago, students say they felt like just another number at Doss High School.

"No one was serious about the classes,” said Allexis Sprinkle.  “There were people roaming the halls.  Basically, it was like a party school."

These same students say that changed the day that Marty Pollio took over as principal.

"Before Dr. Pollio came, I was pretty bad,” said Kenneth Thomas.  “I was pretty bad.  He came and I decided to turn over a new leaf.  I started fresh and started making good grades.  I got my GPA, and my ACT score up."

"When I walk in a classroom and see that kid actually being passionate about what they're doing, immersed in the work, and engaged, that is the greatest satisfaction,” said Dr. Marty Pollio.

Students credit Dr. Pollio with changing the culture at Doss by giving them more opportunities for things like dual credit, but Pollio says the real credit goes to the teachers.

"Having teachers that teach students that teach students the way they would want their children to be treated, and taught on a daily basis, is critical,” said Pollio.

"They care a lot, and they're not just here to teach,” said Stephon Franklin.  “We can build bonds with teachers, and we can express ourselves to them and they're here for us."

That's something that Pollio hopes to carry with him to his new role as the interim superintendent of JCPS where he plans to be visible in the district's 150+ schools.

"All too often, the common occurrence is that adults are too far removed from schools,” said Pollio.

But will this approach work in the state's largest district?

The students at Doss believe they already know the answer.

"I think it's a great thing for him and JCPS as well,” said Sprinkle.  “Coming to Doss he changed a lot of things, and made Doss better."

"If he can make that atmosphere throughout Jefferson County it will be a better place to be overall,” said Kristine Zsigray.

Of course, the elephant in the room for JCPS is the ongoing state audit which Dr. Pollio is familiar with.

Doss was audited by the state last November, and Dr. Pollio says just like in that situation he plans to use the state's findings as a roadmap for improvement.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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