New JAO principal


Amy Polacek

The Jewish Academy of Orlando has announced that Amy Polacek will be the new principal of the school beginning June 1, 2021. 

Polacek, the current director of Academics at JAO, joined the faculty in 2007 as a kindergarten teacher. After teaching at all grade levels, in 2018, she took on the additional role of Admissions coordinator, where she built relationships with prospective parents and shared her love of JAO. In 2019, Amy stepped away from the classroom and became the school's director of Academics, fostering a culture of academic excellence while supporting the school's mission-aligned, engaging, and challenging curriculum. Under her guidance, JAO enrolled its biggest entering-kindergarten class in years in 2020-2021, and the school's 2021-2022 enrollment period is already showing similar results Additionally, Polacek's tireless efforts were a contributing factor to the school's seamless transition to remote learning and successful management throughout the current pandemic.

Before working for the school, Polacek volunteered as a JAO parent when her children attended the school. JAO Board of Directors' president, Rob Gebaide, said, "We are extremely pleased to name such an effective educator with a strong passion for our school and community to lead JAO's next chapter."  

JAO is Polacek's home away from home. 

"I am thrilled to lead this great team that cultivates academic excellence, supports the students to be the best they can be, and furthers the shining legacy of the school," she stated. "My day is complete when I dismiss our school students at carpool with a smile and see the faces of the students and parents smiling right back!"

Polacek and her husband, Eric, moved to the Orlando area in 1999. They have three children - Adam, David, and Carly.

Jewish Academy of Orlando serves Central Florida students of all faiths from kindergarten through fifth grade. The school delivers a whole-child education fostering academic excellence and character education rooted in Jewish values. Jewish Academy of Orlando is accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools.  

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