The Man Behind the Mask

The Other Side of Mr. Poljanac That Most Don’t Give Recognition


After being a Biology teacher at LCN, Mr. Poljanac took the position of becoming the Dean of students to progress his career. At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, Mr. Poljanac became the Dean of students for LCN. His main goal has always been the same: reinforcing LCN’s school policy. However, most can agree that he is often seen as the “bad guy” or the “party pooper”— which should not be the case because most people don’t realize that it is his job to make sure that students don’t step out of the line.

“At times it feels as if the Dean is against us because he is giving us more limitations than ever before”, expressed Abigail Roberts ‘20. With this given response, one should try and see situations through Mr. Poljanac’s point of view. If students would stop pushing the rules, then the rules wouldn’t need to be reinforced by the Dean. Wouldn’t that make it seem less like a limitation?

The Dress Code is one of the most influential topics at LCN with the student body. Unsurprisingly, Poljanac feels that the most contentious issue in regards to our school is dress code. Now that warmer weather is upon us, students wish to wear more revealing clothing. Indeed, Mr. Poljanac understands that the air-conditioning isn’t always consistent throughout the building during hot days, but he still wants to see students remaining modest while at school. In fact, Poljanac was considerate enough to suggest an appropriate wardrobe for school. “You can wear leggings,” he said. “Just make sure to cover [your front and back].” He continued by saying, “Shirts with caps on the shoulders and shorts that are mid-thigh [are appropriate].” Without a doubt, Poljanac tries his best to not only enforce the school policies, but he does so with a good attitude and is happy to guide high schoolers in the right direction.

By the same token, backpacks and coats are also among the most talked about topics at LCN. It does suck that students aren’t allowed to wear either, but what students forget to realize is that the reason being is that both are safety concerns. The school dress code states “Any student dressing in a way that creates a distraction to the learning environment, a safety hazard, or a health hazard will not be admitted to class.”  For example, if there is ever a fire at the school, the school isle needs to be clear, but if students have backpacks or coats on the floor the isle ways can become crowded and make the situation even more hazardous. Ultimately, students should cut Mr. Poljanac some slack because all he is trying to do is make the school environment safe for all (parents wouldn’t be too happy if he wasn’t…and neither would he with himself).

According to Poljanac, vaping is currently the biggest challenge that he is facing at school, and he believes that this is due to a national trend. Additionally, when Poljanac deals with difficult students he states, “I try to get them to understand why [the district has the rules it has].”  With the patience (that he prays for every night), Mr. Poljanac can understand the students and parents’ struggles with policies in a professional, yet optimistic way. When asked how he deals with non-responsive parents, he says, “Professionally but also [I try to] view the issue from a parent’s perspective.” Ultimately, Poljanac is open to suggestions and is willing to see other point of views for the benefit of the school and the happiness of students and parents alike.

With great power comes great responsibility which Mr. Poljanac is aware of. Getting students to realize their responsibilities, handing out PRIDE cards, and working together with the public are major fundamental factors that Poljanac enjoys about being the Dean. In fact, some things he has done for LCN has been initiating school safety measures and has provided a mentoring program. For most that probably aren’t aware of, he coaches football and baseball at LCN and MSN. Poljanac gets involved in several school activities. For instance, he volunteered to get pied in the face for our charity week this year, not to mention that he also participates in the “no shave” November contests, and he drove homecoming court members around in the back of his truck for the parade. If that doesn’t tell you his dedication to the school, then what does? To help students get to their buses, Poljanac stands outside in the cold and rain before and after school every single day. And for all the parents out there, recently, Mr. Poljanac has organized a distracted driving day event to spread awareness of distracted driving and the danger it poses to LCN students.

As for the future for LCN, Mr. Poljanac feels like he can improve on addressing school issues and plans on doing so through student round tables. When asked about his goals he said, [making] students accountable for the negative actions they make…unfortunately that sometimes make me “unpopular” but I’m okay with that”, he continued to add, “create a “safe” environment for students to learn in, for students to know that they will be recognized for the “good” that they do.” When asked about why he believes his job is important, he expresses, “It influences the school culture.”

Saying that Mr. Poljanac helps students is an understatement. He has contributed to LCN in a variety of ways, and from the very beginning he has tried to cooperate with others with a smile. What more can students want? Students need to remember that a Dean’s job is to reinforce school policies, so blaming Poljanac because he does his job is completely unfair.