WARSAW — On Sept. 14, Warsaw Community Schools hosted a reception to honor school board vice-president Randy Polston, who was surprised to learn that he was nominated for the prestigious recognition of the Sagamore of the Wabash award.
Dr. David Hoffert, WCS superintendent, spoke highly of Polston.
“It has been a privilege to know and work with Randy,” said Hoffert. “The term ‘sagamore’ was used by Native American tribes to describe a great man among the tribe to whom the chief would look to for wisdom and advice. Randy has been that person for our school board and our community. It was a conversation with Randy’s wife, Rachel, that set things in motion. With the support of State Representative Craig Snow, Randy Polston’s nomination was favorably received by Governor Eric Holcomb. Randy will now be a noted Sagamore of the Wabash recipient in the company of distinguished astronauts, presidents, ambassadors, artists, politicians, and citizens who have contributed greatly to Hoosier heritage.”
The petitioning letter to Gov. Holcomb from State Rep. Craig Snow reads as follows:
“For nearly 45 years, Randy Polston has served as an inspiration to fellow educators and future leaders in and around his area. He has done so by being an involved citizen of his community, a valued friend, and a distinguished principal for the WCS system. He has devoted much of his career to ensuring that he could provide the best education and leadership possible to Indiana’s future leaders. Naturally, Randy has always put others before himself while being of servitude to a community full of students and educators to the highest degree possible.
He attended Spring Arbor College in pursuit of a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education, this being the only time in his life living away from the Warsaw community. Soon after graduation, he returned to school to attain his Masters of Science in administration and supervision. Randy began his career in education by teaching nine years at the elementary level; he then served as principal for 25 years. While serving as principal, he began mentoring other principals around the State of Indiana beginning in 2015 and is still doing so today.
Following his 34-year career with WCS, he worked for eight years at Grace College. Randy made and implemented a new Applied Learning program at Grace College and taught as a freshman professor. While serving in this new collegiate role, Randy still found a way to impact the student, staff, and community of WCS through public service as an elected member of the WCS Board of School Trustees. He is still currently serving as a board member and officer in his third term.
Furthermore, Randy has earned a reputation as being someone with extensive experience and superb expertise in supervision, leadership, and culture building. After 42 years in education, his commitment to service has not wavered. Most recently, in 2019, Randy accepted the role as executive director of Combined Community Services, while continuing to serve as a WCS board member. Whether Randy is executing his various professional duties within his formal roles or taking time to be a guest reader with his actual Superman cape in a kindergarten classroom, his goal is for all to feel valued and special. And for the variety of endeavors he has engaged in, it is for these particular interactions he has become a beloved community member.
Randy has relentlessly contributed to his community all the while being a husband, father, and grandparent. In addition to the roles listed above, he has served the community through United Way, The National Society for Experiential Education, Joe’s Kids, and the Morning Optimist Club. Deservedly so, Randy received recognition by being named Administrator of the Year, DARE Educator of the Year, Indiana Leader Academy graduate, and Kosciusko Leadership Academy graduate, along with numerous other awards. Randy Polston is an exemplary citizen of the Hoosier state and I believe every Hoosier should aspire to live a life as rich in giving as he has lived his. I ask that you please take into strong consideration honoring his service and devotion to his community with the Sagamore of the Wabash award.”
Polston was joined at the recognition by his son, Leesburg Elementary School Principal Nathan Polston; daughter-in-law, Krista Polston, Grant and Special Projects Coordinator; and Nathan and Krista’s children, Maddox and Nash. Randy’s daughter, Tiffany Smith; son-in-law, Alex Smith; and their children, Livia and London, all traveled from Carmel for the recognition. Randy’s wife, Rachel, joined the celebration via livestream video.
Randy was lost for words and overcome with emotion when he shared that he presented his own father with the Sagamore of the Wabash award many years ago.