Joan Cote, Human Resources Director
Pelham School District, NH
It has been almost 48 hours since you presented to our staff here at Pelham School District at our opening day event. I can say that you are - without a doubt - one of the most captivating speakers that I have had the pleasure of seeing. Your energy was contagious. More so, however, was your compassion and positive message. It is obvious that you have made a profound impact on your students along the way! You also made a huge and, I believe, positive impact on our staff here at PSD. I know you impacted me. Your message was heartfelt, touching and hysterical all at the same time. Thank you for helping us get off on the right foot this school year!
George Ferro, Principal
Whitman Middle School, MA
2009 MA Middle School Principal of the Year
On March 16, 2016 Whitman Middle School was privileged to be able to spend the day with Aaron Polansky. He captivated our student body and staff with his message, wit and relevance. His message embodies what students and staff are feeling in school as he urges people to "be kind, be honest and improve all situations!" A must have for any school or district.
Noel Pixley, Principal
Wilbraham Middle School, MA
& Past President, MSSAA
(MA Secondary Schools Administrators Association)
I have been meaning to write to you to thank you for the outstanding assemblies that you provided for us last Tuesday morning. I can honestly say that in the 20+ years that I have been an administrator, this was one of the best assembly programs that I have seen. Your message to the staff and student body was "spot on" and you made a profound impact on everyone. The students related so well to you and your presentation that I am sure your message will have a positive influence on the culture within this building.
Thanks again for spending your morning with us. It is sincerely appreciated!
Nancy Athanas, Teacher
"I felt compelled to write you a letter to tell you how much I enjoyed your presentation at our school last month. I've sat through many assemblies, and I can honestly say, aside from the Holocaust survivor we have every year (that's hard to beat), that your message was the most inspiring. It was inspiring because it was relatable. Teachers and students can connect to your message and I guarantee your message was shared with many families at home that night. Thank you for making the students and staff think. It's so important for kids to see real life 'regular people' role models."
(Student), 7th Grade
You are an everyday hero. You made me tear and choke up with your amazing presentation, and that is pretty hard to do because I usually don't cry. You are magnificent. You taught our class to be ourselves. It's simply amazing how you were able to do that so quickly with just one speech. I enjoyed you coming this year and really hope to see you again next year!
Jay T. Weiss, Head Wrestling Coach
"You will be able to sense Aaron's passion within ten minutes of your first meeting. Aaron has an infectious personality and his energy is easily felt by those around him. It is very easy to talk life philosophy with Aaron because he understands the big picture. I have always told him that he needs to lead on a bigger stage where he can impact more than just a local community."
Lisa LeTellier, Staff Member
Holyoke Catholic High School
Simply awesome way to start out the year. I have been using your mantra for the whole week and I hope for my whole life.
Subject: Year two and counting
Message: You came last year and spoke to us, and you changed me. I have been living the mantra Be kind. Be honest. Improve the situation, in all aspects of my life. It always gets me to think about if I should say something and how should I say something. My goal must always be to improve the situation, but I can only do that if I do it honestly and with kindness. Thank you for the inspiration. I just wish all the students could have heard you and your students talk.
Maureen Cohen, Director of Curriculum
Mendon-Upton Regional School District
“Can you bring him back again?” This was the number one question asked of me immediately after the keynote session with our district faculty and staff. When I asked Aaron if he could present a keynote that fit with the theme of our PD day “Inspire 16” and would inspire our faculty and staff, he certainly delivered! Aaron inspired our staff through his contagious enthusiasm, his heartfelt stories about connecting with students, his emphasis on the power of words and his reminder to us that sometimes the little things are the big things. For me personally, Aaron’s always inspires me to take a step out of my comfort zone, to look for more opportunities to connect with people, and to keep growing. I can’t thank him enough for inspiring our faculty, validating their practice, and empowering them to impact positive change.
Mendon-Upton Staff excerpts from 'The Courage to Run' District-wide Keynote Address, Friday, March 11, 2016
Cam, Middle School Student
The moment I walked into the auditorium doors I thought 'just another boring announcement again.' But I was wrong. You got my attention right away. You gave me and others courage. Some popular kids in our school were mean to unpopular kids like me to keep their popularity. Now after your speech most popular kids realized life isn't about popularity. Most are a lot kinder to me and my friends than they were at the beginning of the year. You made the popular kids show their GeekSox. They are showing who they really are now. You made the year for me and lots of the students in my school better and more enjoyable. Please keep inspiring more and more people.
Ali Morrissey, Teacher
"I just wanted to thank you for sharing your enthusiasm on Friday at our PD day. Your talk was incredible. You were exactly what I needed. I believe school should be awesome and that my students should wake up excited to come to my class. We learn a lot in room 204 but we do it many unconventional ways. It’s a safe room where we can be who we are, or in your words “wear our GeekSox.” My kids definitely wear their GeekSox every day! Sometimes they are so in tune with their individuality that they crack me up. I often look forward to PD days because I love to learn and collect new strategies to use with my class. I would be lying if I said every keynote speaker was just so amazing that they motivated me to keep going or assured me that I’m on the right track. You did all that and more. Thank you for reigniting that fire for me and getting me so excited to keep doing what I’m doing."
Larry Murphy, Principal
2014 MA Principal of the Year
West Boylston Senior High School, MA
You and Aarron (the student who accompanied you) were a huge hit! Students were buzzing with positive energy. Two teachers shared they have already used your GeekSox mantra to address 'unWestBoylston' behavior. Our Superintendent was there and was equally impressed. Please accept my sincerest congratulations and appreciation for kicking off our school year and theme in such a perfect manner.