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New teacher tells his story

Science teacher Alexander Polk reveals passion

Grace Lynch

Grace Lynch

Sydney Hall

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Chemistry teacher Alexander Polk didn’t always know he wanted to be a teacher — his vocation wasn’t discovered until his sophomore year of college.

“I didn’t realize (I wanted to be a teacher) until my sophomore year of college,” Polk said. “I coached my high school football team between my sophomore and junior year of college and that opportunity to work with the kids plus starting to take educational studies classes and realizing that it is something I want to do and affect some sort of change in students.”

Junior Anis Bile said he wouldn’t have thought Polk did not originally intend to educate.

“By the looks of it, I thought he was pursuing to become a teacher for a while,” Bile said. “I didn’t presume he just decided to become a teacher.”

Polk, who grew up in the Chicago area, said he graduated from Carleton College in 2015. Polk said Carleton was the perfect place for him to grow academically and socially.

“It boiled down to essentially people,” Polk said. “When I went on my visits to other places, I got good feelings from those but not quite as strong as I did at Carleton. I also had the opportunity to play football at Carleton but that was not nearly as big of a factor as people or my gut-feeling in the end.”

Shortly after, Polk said he began work as a student teacher.

“This is my first year teaching,” Polk said. “I student-taught at Minneapolis South and after that I was a sub there.”

Bile said he enjoys Polk’s enthusiasm and dedication as a teacher, as well as his personality outside of the classroom.

“I think Mr. Polk is a nice teacher. He’s a different teacher; he doesn’t just lecture at you,” Bile said. “He usually always greets us when we walk in and tells us to have a nice weekend and a nice day. If he sees someone down, he’ll talk to them.”

At Park, Polk coaches football, but he said he would like to be more involved.

“I’m coaching football right now and I want to get involved in other activities as well,” Polk said.

Outside of school, Polk said he enjoys leisurely activities such as reading and spending time with family.

“I’m a reader Harry Potter, Percy Jackson I really like,” Polk said. “(I like) spending time with friends and family. My sister goes to St. Thomas and my parents come up once in awhile.”

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New teacher tells his story