The Biography of Dr. Joseph F. Pollack
Dr. Joseph F. Pollack began his professional career as a teacher in the Detroit Public Schools. He had an immediate impact and was promoted to Assistant Principal of Martin Luther King High School. His outstanding managerial style, intellect, and ability to work with a variety of people led to consistent advancement. The Principalship of Ann Arbor Pioneer High School, Assistant Superintendency of the Jackson School District were two positions he held prior to taking the helm of the Ypsilanti Public School System. While superintendent of the Ypsilanti schools, he initiated the desegregation of the district and introduced several innovative programs. After a successful tenure in Ypsilanti he became superintendent of the Flint Community School District. Again, his years in Flint were marked with excellence and quality. His skill at bringing people together was responsible for healing a major rift between the Flint Community Schools and the other twenty districts of the Genesee Intermediate School District. The conflict was rooted in a racially charged bussing law suit. In addition, Dr. Pollack personally laid the ground work for the Flint Community Schools to hire its first African American Superintendent.
Dr. Pollack constantly sought new challenges. His professional journey took him to the Evanston-Smokie Illinois School District where he served as Superintendent for several years, breaking new ground and setting high standards He then took his skills to New York and the United Nations where he worked for UNICEF for over two years impacting the lives of children worldwide.
Rather than retire he felt a need to continue the quest to improve urban education. One strategy that appealed to him was the Charter School Movement. He felt that access to charter schools empowered parents who could not afford private or Parochial schools. This led to his final professional position as the founder of the Charter Schools Office at EMU. Through his guidance, schools were developed in Detroit, Inkster, Pontiac, Melvindale, Grand Blanc, Dearborn, Ann Arbor and most importantly Edison Oakland Public School Academy (EOPSA). As EOPSA transitioned from the dominance of Edison Learning, the future of the school seemed very bleak. Dr. Pollack stepped in and provided assistance so that EOPSA was able to continue its mission in a new facility free from Edison Learning.
He was a great educator who was committed to the American promise of an equal educational opportunity for all children.