The second of four children in a middle-class family, Polly Jung Thomas was a National Honor Society student who embraced
challenges. She graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and went on to Texas A&M to earn both a Master’s and a
Ph.D. in Educational Psychology. She realized government could accomplish something praiseworthy when she was an Assistant
Superintendent in the State Department of Education. It was there Polly proved her business savvy when she unraveled bureaucratic
red tape to gain the state $26 million in federal funding. In doing so, Polly Thomas - never short on inspiration - was
emboldened by the possibilities of smart leadership and governing.
She has remained active in community service, government and party politics. Elected to the Jefferson Parish School Board, Polly
was a policymaking juggernaut who put children first and never let political squabbles impede forward thinking. As an educator and
school board leader, Polly Thomas ushered in the state’s first Charter School, a system that has taken root with great success
Polly demanded accountability measures in and out of the classroom. She led the effort to improve a school system that was
underfunded and over extended. Polly devised an effective school-to-career program that promoted jobs for our community. She
created a system to provide more instruction and attention to lower performing students inside a tight budget, and in doing so, she
changed their lives forever. Many of her programs are still in place today and are models for education reform.
As our State Representative, Polly is a leader in strengthening education, protecting
our coastline and securing higher paying jobs to keep our children working here at home.