Dr. Leo Poulos
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AGE: 90 • Blauvelt, NY
Dr. Leo Poulos died on Jan. 28, 2013 at the age of 90. Born on October 27th, 1922 in Peekskill, NY to Magdalena and James Poulos, he was an ancient Greek and Latin scholar at Port Chester, NY High School, where he graduated two years early, summa cum laude. His education at New Paltz State Teacher's College (now SUNY - New Paltz) was interrupted after Pearl Harbor, when he served as Lieutenant (jg) on LST 916 - a landing craft supplying equipment, and troops, to US forces in the Pacific. LST 916 received three battle stars, including one from the battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in modern history.
In 1946 Poulos married fellow New Paltz graduate, Vera E. Gallik. In 1947, after graduation from New Paltz, he completed a Master's degree at Columbia Teacher's College. He was a teacher and principal at the c1925 3-room schoolhouse in Blauvelt, NY, where the couple built their home on Bradley Parkway. With the 1950's postwar child "boom" he oversaw the expansion of Blauvelt Grammar School into two schools, with the addition of Cottage Lane Elementary. Summers Poulos was a park police officer at Hook Mountain State Park in Upper Nyack, NY.
In 1958-59 he was the district principal at the Eighth US Air Force Bases at Molesworth and Alconbury in England, and traveled with his family in a Renault-Dauphine from the Cliffs of Dover throughout Europe to Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. Along with Betty Friedan, who later wrote "The Feminine Mystique", Poulos co-directed the Community Resources Pool - special weekend classes for South Orangetown students, taught by Columbia University professors and other professionals.
After receiving his PhD in Educational Administration from Ohio University, he worked out of Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria from 1968-70, as the director of a teacher training program for Northern Nigeria run by the Ford Foundation and USAID. During this overseas post, Poulos brought his family on trips throughout North and West Africa, ending with a much anticipated solo trip to archeological sites in Egypt and Turkey. His final position was Superintendent of Mendham Borough Schools in Mendham, NJ from 1970 to 1985 where Poulos is still spoken of as an innovator and visionary, fostering the concept of "community built around school" and introducing ungraded classrooms to the district. He retired to Blauvelt and Dunedin, FL. where he pursued his hobbies and interests — golf, cross-country skiing, music, and writing. He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, the Blauvelt Lion's Club, and a Mason.
Leo was married to Vera for 66 years until her death in 2012, and is survived by his daughters Deborah Lee Dailey and Elizabeth V. Poulos McCamy, his son Bradford K. Poulos and three grandchildren: Saskia R., Heather E., and Benjamin B.L. Poulos, and daughter and son-in-law, Maggie A. Poulos and Angus McCamy.
Visiting will be held on Sunday, February 10 from 2 to 4 PM and 6 to 8 PM at the Hannemann Funeral Home, Inc. in Nyack. A Funeral Service will take place on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 9 AM at the First Reformed Church of Nyack, 18 So. Broadway, Nyack, NY 10960. Interment will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery in Nyack. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Leo's memory to the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain: www.alzheimercenter.org, 630 West 168th St., P&S Box 16, New York, NY 10032, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in Daily Record on Feb. 3, 2013