Marina Polonskaia

About me

I graduated from Krasnoyarsk State University (Russia) with an M.Sc. degree in physics and teaching. I received a Ph.D. in theoretical biophysics from the Institute of Biophysics in Krasnoyarsk. Right after my defense, our family moved to the USA and I worked as a postdoctoral research associate and research scientist at UIC (the University of Illinois at Chicago), HMS (Harvard Medical School) and Stony Brook University.

Being in high school I was very lucky to become a part of two different programs: one was an Enrichment program in Mathematics and Natural sciences taught by University faculty and graduate students and another was the Summer School for gifted children. Both programs simply changed my life. Not only because I have learned a lot of things there, but also because I have met very interesting people. Many of them have become my lifelong friends (I even met my husband there). We had lectures from world-renowned scientists and discovered the whole new world of people who treasured education, culture, and art.

I am still connected to this summer school. I went there as a counselor and teaching assistant during my undergraduate years and then as a lecturer during my graduate school years. Even from the USA, we are trying to go back there and teach as often as we can.

I was very happy when I met several people in Stony Brook who went through a similar experience in their youth and valued the learning environment for children. When our children were old enough to learn and to have fun from studying math and languages we started to teach them. First at home, then two classes were open in Brookhaven National Lab and in 2004 we have started to operate as the Stony Brook branch of SchoolPlus Enrichment Program. At that point, I became Director of the program.

In February 2012 we re-establish ourselves as an independent, local institution. Due to the great demands from our parents we have added language instruction in English, French, Italian and Spanish, as well as in Chemistry and Biology. We have expanded our science offerings and added new levels of mathematics instruction. In 2018 our enrollment has reached 500 students and at this point, we don't plan to increase it. Almost 35 very talented and dedicated teachers work in the school, as well as 20 teaching assistants.

(C) SchoolNova 2005-2022