Pictured (L to R) are Nathan Polston, Nash Polston, Krista Polston, Maddox Polston, Randy Polston, Tiffany Smith, Livia Smith, London Smith and Alex Smith. Photo provided.
Pictured (L to R) are Nathan Polston, Nash Polston, Krista Polston, Maddox Polston, Randy Polston, Tiffany Smith, Livia Smith, London Smith and Alex Smith. Photo provided.
On Tuesday, Warsaw Community Schools hosted a reception to honor Warsaw School Board Vice President Randy Polston, who received the Sagamore of the Wabash award.

Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert said, “It has been a privilege to know and work with Randy. The term ‘sagamore’ was used by the American Indian 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 Rep. Craig Snow, Randy Polston’s nomination was favorably received by Gov. 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 Holcomb states: “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 Warsaw Community School (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.”

Polston attended Spring Arbor College in pursuit of a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education, being the only time in his life living away from the Warsaw community. After graduation, he returned to school to attain his Masters of Science in administration and supervision. He 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 Indiana, beginning in 2015, and continues to do so.

Following his 34-year career with WCS, he worked for eight years at Grace College, where he made and implemented a new applied learning program at Grace College and taught as a freshman professor. Polston was elected to the WCS School Board and is in his third and final term.

“Furthermore,” the letter states, “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.”

Polston contributes to his community 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. Polston was 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,” the letter from Snow concludes.

Sincerely,

Randy Polston was joined Tuesday by his son Nathan Polston, principal of Leesburg Elementary School; and his daughter-in-law, Krista Polston, grant and special projects coordinator. Their children, Maddox and Nash, were also there. Daughter Tiffany and son-in-law Alex Smith traveled from Carmel with their children, Livia and London. Rachel Polston joined the celebration via livestream video.