LEARN WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT AARON AND HIS WORK.
Linda J. Hirsch, Ed.D.
Assistant Superintendent, Chelmsford Public Schools
“Aaron worked with the staff in Chelmsford at a time when our educators needed to come together to refocus on the purpose of teaching, learning, and collaboration. Within the first 15 minutes of his time at the school, he sent a strong message that both resonated and captured the essence of what everyone, no matter the position they held in the school, needed. Not only was everyone clamoring for more professional development with Aaron, they left the session with a sense of hope and excitement for what they can do as educators, and a strong, encouraging message that was immediately applied to their own roles and practices. Subsequent sessions with Aaron were equally dynamic and purposeful and still stay with our staff, which can be seen in the culture and daily practice of the school. Aaron has a calm, unassuming personality that holds a powerful influence to turn nonconstructive efforts into positive actions that “stick” long after his work has ended. He has a special ability to make progressive, sustainable changes because of his transference of learning and connection with the participants with whom he is working. When Aaron is done, the staff owns the learning. Aaron’s professional development is the type that works!”
Paul D. Vieira, Ed.D.
Assistant Superintendent, Ashland Public Schools
“Aaron came to Ashland in January of 2019 for a professional development day and worked with 30 teachers. At the end of the session they all said, you need to bring him back for the entire staff. As a result, Aaron was the keynote speaker for our 2019 Convocation. Prior to his arrival, we had a conversation to plan for the day. We asked him to speak about the importance of self-care for educations and why we need to incorporate SEL into the curriculum. He said, "Paul, that is what I do!" and that is exactly what he did. Aaron, is a wonderful storyteller. He is authentic, down to earth, real, caring, and passionate about his work. After his presentation Aaron stayed in district for 90 minutes to speak with teachers, not because he had to, but because he wanted to. He speaks. He listens. He truly cares.”
Judith Warden Fields, Ed.D, CEO
Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence, Inc.
"Aaron brings a passion to education that ignites the teacher in all of us. His commitment and appreciation for all students reminds us that teaching and learning are more than just test scores and report cards, but a recognition of the whole student. Aaron is an educational leader whose dynamic style brings life to the successes and challenges educators encounter in America’s schools every day. As told through his own perspective, experiences, enthusiasm and anecdotes, Aaron presents a teacher’s importance in a way only an educator can. Through his writings, presentations and sense of humor, Aaron gives educators a way to appreciate the power of connection they bring to students and communities."
Joan Cote, Human Resources Director
Pelham School District, New Hampshire
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!
Bridget M. Beichler, Principal
Trailside Middle School, Ashburn, Virginia
“It is not very often that you sit down at a conference, not sure what you are going to hear, and find yourself spellbound by the person in front of you! That was my first experience listening to Aaron Polansky! I knew within minutes, my team members had to meet this remarkable educator and person. Sure enough, my team of 8 educators rearranged their schedule to listen to Aaron’s breakout session at BLC2017. Just one short year later, Aaron was the keynote at BLC2018, in which I brought another team of teachers. Again, spellbound, emotionally engaged, and captivated by his voice, true life stories, and the visible passion Aaron has for touching children’s lives. I returned to my school in Loudoun County the summer of 2018 and knew my whole staff and students needed to meet this man and hear his message. In a day and age where children are becoming more invisible, Aaron brings life and humanity back to the classroom and school. Our day at Trailside Middle School in September 2018 will forever be remembered by Aaron’s motto:
“Is it Kind? Is it Honest? Will it Improve the Situation?”
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.