Kevin Polston


Kevin has served as superintendent of Kentwood (MI) Public Schools since 2021. His previous superintendent experience included four years at Godfrey-Lee Public Schools in Wyoming, Michigan. Prior to becoming a superintendent, he served as a teacher, coach, principal, and curriculum leader at Grand Haven Area Public Schools (MI) for 15 years. His vision is to “change the world through opportunities for students.”

In June, 2020, Kevin was appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to the Return to School Advisory Council that advised on the MI Safe School Return to School Roadmap that created the conditions for students to return to face to face learning during the pandemic. Kevin was once again appointed by Governor Whitmer, this time to serve as the chairperson of the Student Recovery Advisory Council in February, 2021 to create a strategic vision for the state of Michigan for students to recover from the traumatic effects of COVID-19. The Council released the MI Blueprint for Comprehensive Student Recovery in May, 2021. In August, 2023, Kevin was selected by Governor Whitmer to serve on a PK-12th grade education work group in support of the Growing Michigan Together Council.

Polston serves as a trustee on the Board of Trustees of KConnect, a collective impact organization in Grand Rapids, MI, and on the Board of Trustees for Kent School Services Network, a community schools initiative in Kent County.

Polston holds a BA from Michigan State University, a M. Ed. and Ed. S. from Grand Valley State University, and is currently a doctoral candidate studying educational leadership at Central Michigan University. Areas of expertise include strategic planning, innovative practices, and equitable leadership.

  • Company Kentwood Public Schools


Day 2
September 21, 2023
3:45 pm

Lessons Learned from an Emergency That Didn't Happen: Taking Advantage of Opportunities from a Near Miss [School Safety/Mental Health & Wellness]

21 September
Time:  3:45 pm - 5:00 pm
Location:  Council

When a tragedy happens, district leaders and their community partners spend countless hours studying what went wrong and what could have been done differently. Unfortunately, it is too late. In this session, we will discuss the importance of conducting an after action review of emergencies that were averted and how to use the knowledge and information from the review for prevention and preparedness. We will share a framework for the review and how to put the findings into practice.

Focus: School Safety/Mental Health & Wellness.

1. Using a "near miss" as a learning opportunity for your district.
2. Access to a simple After Action Review framework which will identify strengths and gaps in the district's safety and security.
3. Common findings from "near miss" incidents with actionable recommendations for prevention.

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