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Poly People

Michael Robinson

Michael Robinson

  • Head of Arts
  • 718-836-9800 x6130
  • Email
  • Bennington College (BA), Goddard College (MFA)

Michael Robinson became Head of Arts in 2018, but his connection to the school runs deeper. He earned a BA at Bennington College and an MFA at Goddard College, and began his teaching career at the Woodward Park School (now Poly’s Lower School) in 1990 as a drama and art teacher. In 1996, he moved to the Dyker Heights campus as a visual and performing arts teacher for Grades 5-8, Performing Arts Camp director for Grades K-6, and costume designer and shop supervisor for Middle and Upper School productions. Designing costumes evolved into a contemporary fiber art practice resulting in Robinson’s artistic recognition as an internationally exhibited fiber artist with his work showcased in in museum and gallery exhibitions in Europe and in the U.S.

Working with arts faculty, Robinson ensures Poly’s vibrant arts departments are elevated. Original works by students adorn the hallways of both campuses. In the theater hallway, photos of students and crew from each production are front and center along with original poster art designed by students. The caliber of drama and musical performances amaze and delight our entire community. He has also expanded Poly’s reach into the professional community through the school’s partnerships with institutions such as The Brooklyn Museum, The Elizabeth Streb studio, and Poly’s artist-in-residence program, among others. These relationships afford Poly students a unique opportunity to see themselves as artists.

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Addie Schoenberger

“Learning through wonder! I want to encourage students to learn about the world around them and ask questions. If the wonder about their environment starts at a young age, it will continue into adulthood.”

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Faculty

Angela Gittens P’23

“The highlight of my teaching career is having alumni return to tell me that seeds for their love of speaking other languages were originally planted in my classroom and that they travel throughout the world using their language skills beyond the walls of a classroom.”

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Faculty

Ann McCartney ’94, P’32

“I was a Poly Middle School student myself in the late 1980s, that’s when I learned to love learning.”

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Faculty

Caesar Fabella P’18

“I want to engage my students through a process of self-discovery and interactive pedagogy. I want their experience of history to come alive through dynamic and hands-on activities that are student driven.”

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Faculty

Christy Hutchcraft

“[Ms. Hutchcraft] has constantly supported me and made me feel like I could actually make a real career out of writing. In her classes, she offers insights that have changed my perceptions dramatically and strengthened my creative process.”

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Faculty

Daniel Doughty

“I love finding a way to engage students who might not think of themselves as musicians.'”

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Faculty

David Reid

“Teaching is at its richest when it’s not teaching, but learning—learning together, exploring questions without answers, and finding the limits of knowledge.”

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Faculty

Olugbala Williams

“I believe teaching to the whole child, which for the preschool age means focusing on social emotional growth. Children in my class learn to self-regulate, handle frustration, become comfortable with making mistakes, and how to empathize.”

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Faculty

Heidi Zarou ’86, P’22, ’22

“In the Lower School art studios, every day is a journey, an exploration into new and exciting territories with our youngest learners where creativity, imagination, and energy abound.”

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Faculty

Helena Elko

“One highlight this year has been to see my seventh grade art students fall in love with drawing,”

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Faculty

Jean Belford P’24

Jean’s AP Computer Science Principles class won the AP Computer Science Principles Female Diversity Award that recognizes Poly’s commitment to female diversity, as well as the girls’ interest and enthusiasm for computer science.

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Faculty

Jennifer Nelson P’12, ’14, ’19

“[Music] is an inspiring activity that engages every part of ourselves simultaneously.”

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Faculty

Jill Bolstridge

“The skills learned in drama class—creative problem-solving, risk-taking, and collaboration—are transferable lifelong skills.”

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Faculty

Ellen M. Martinez P’08, ’10

“[Middle School] students are interested and enthusiastic about learning. Language is often a new subject for them.”

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Faculty

Guy Devyatkin P’00

“When a student returned for an alumni day and told me that he had become an environmental biologist because of his experiences in my class, that was quite special.”

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Faculty

Laura Caldwell

“I live my life as a student, waking each day excited to learn something new, and my goal is to pass that curious spirit along to every student in my class.”

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Faculty

Linda Aponte P’13

“My goal for my students is that they be scientifically literate… I hope using the education they have they will endeavor to do the right thing.”

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Faculty

Maria DiCarlo P’23

“My goal for all my math students is that they look back on their math classes and feel that my department has nurtured their abilities to be creative problem-solvers and independent thinkers.”

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Faculty

Patti Smith P’20

“Every child is an artist; some are natural renderers, some are great at sculpture and 3D work, others have a great sense of design. Our goal is for every child to be successful in an area of visual art.”

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Faculty

Sarah Ely

“I often say I have my dream job because I am teaching the subject that I wish I could have been taught in elementary school. Getting to teach young students and affirm and uplift our Spanish heritage speakers in the Lower School is a privilege.”

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Faculty

Stacy Hunter P’15

Before coming to Poly, Stacy Hunter was an architect and a software engineer. “What interested me then and what continues to interest me now is examining the region where design and computer science meet.”

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Faculty

Susan Beiles P’88, ’90, ’95

“I hope they [my students] will love to study the ever-changing story of the United States and to be as excited as I am to study history.”

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Faculty

Michal Hershkovitz P’16, ’18

“Teaching holds a mirror to the soul,” —Parker J. Palmer

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