Thomas R. Polito Jr. is the new chair of the Blue Hills Regional District School Committee.

Polito has lived in Dedham for 55 years and is president of the Polito Insurance Agency in Dedham. His record of civic involvement is impressive.

He has also been its Dedham representative to the Blue Hills committee for six years, and was vice chairman and secretary as well.

Dedham joined the Blue Hills Regional Technical School District in 1987. The school’s other district towns are Avon, Braintree, Canton (the school is located there), Holbrook, Milton, Norwood, Randolph and Westwood.

Polito was on the Dedham School Committee for nine years two decades ago. He has been on Dedham’s Parks and Recreation Commission, been a Dedham selectman, chaired the Charter Commission and is currently a Dedham Town Meeting member and chair of Precinct 7.

Asked why he chose to be in positions connected with education, he said, “I like to get involved with issues that affect young kids and their lives.”

He is especially keen on touting the virtues and value of Blue Hills Regional, where approximately 850 students in grades nine to 12 are enrolled. Polito observed that a Blue Hills education is useful whether students go directly into the workforce or to college after they graduate from high school.

He referred to one particularly exceptional Blue Hills alumnus — Scott D. Tingle of Randolph, a member of Blue Hills’ Class of 1983, who earned two advanced college degrees — one of them from Purdue University — then went on to have a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy before becoming a NASA astronaut in 2011. Captain Tingle was aboard the International Space Station for six months in late 2017 and early 2018 and enthusiastically credits Blue Hills to this day for giving him a solid basis for his illustrious profession.

Calling the school “a diamond in the rough,” Polito mentioned students’ extremely high level of interest in attending Blue Hills, which opened its doors for the first time 53 years ago. He mentioned that there are far more students who want to be at the school than it can accommodate, with 400 to 500 applications for 250 seats in the freshman class.

As proof of the support Blue Hills typically gets from its member towns, Polito cited the fact that they all green-lighted funding for a nearly $85 million ongoing renovation project at the school for the very first time that the issue was put before them. Polito is now the chair of the School Building Committee that is overseeing the project, a post previously held by retiring Superintendent-Director James P. Quaglia.

In June, the District School Committee voted to appoint Principal Jill Rossetti as the next superintendent-director. “I was proud to vote for the principal to be the next superintendent,” said Polito. “She’s doing an excellent job.”

There are other administrative changes in the works at Blue Hills, too. A principal is going to be chosen, and an assistant superintendent for Business and Personnel, creating a whole new top administrative team at the school.

As chair of the Blue Hills District School Committee, Polito said his job is to facilitate its meetings, which are usually held twice monthly at the school on Tuesday nights. He said his role is to set the agenda and keep the discussion on course, help the school fulfill its educational objectives as stated in its mission statement, and ensure a positive, upbeat atmosphere.

Additionally, Polito strives to assist the Blue Hills administration.

“We’re there to support the administration and the teachers,” said Polito. “We have a great administrative team and staff.”

Another aim of Polito’s is to continue to consistently secure adequate finding from the state.

“Cities and towns can only pay so much,” he said. He gratefully acknowledged the state representatives and senators who he said have done “a great job” standing behind Blue Hills, regularly attending its student-oriented events, and assuring that it is funded sufficiently.

Polito warmly thanked the people of Dedham for their support throughout his time on the Blue Hills Regional District School Committee.

“I want to make sure that all the kids at Blue Hills have a great education. I represent the citizens of Dedham on the Blue Hills Regional District School Committee very proudly.”