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27 minutes | 5 months ago
Student-Centered Learning, Personalized Instruction, and Life-Ready Competencies
The pandemic has presented schools with a variety of challenges, but thanks to adaptability, modern learning tools, and mature students, the Ephrata Area School District in Lancaster County Pennsylvania has risen to the challenge. Today, we speak with Dr. Brain Troop, who serves as a member of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators and is part of the EdLeader21 Network advisory committee. In this hopeful episode, we kick things off by taking a look at how Brian’s district has responded to the pandemic, and how its community-driven approach has put it in good stead. Brian then talks in detail about the demographics of his district before touching on his experiences working with the various schools. You’ll hear about how transparency and a widespread effort helped the Ephrata District become educational leaders of student-centered learning. We get into the foundations of this forward-thinking concept. Brian then tells us about how schools in the district have adapted specifically to the pandemic, making use of what they call modified traditional instruction. Turning our thoughts to the future of education, Brian forecasts an environment that encourages life-ready competencies. To find out what these competencies are, and much more, be sure to listen in today! Key Points From This Episode: Hear about how Brian’s district is dealing with the pandemic. What digital learning has given to both parents and students. Brian tells us about the finer details of his school district.The pandemic experience from Brian’s perspective.Find out what goes into creating a student-centered learning environment.The key themes of a student-centered learning environment.How Brian’s schools are adopting a concept called “modified traditional.”Brian tells us about the impact of personalized instructional techniques.Learn about life-ready competencies and how they prepare students.How changes in instructional tools are reshaping education.We discuss the educational challenges that lie ahead.Brian’s advice to parents, teachers, and district leaders.How to create the best conditions for positive, disruptive change. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Dr. Brian Troop on LinkedInDr. Brian Troop on TwitterAudible.comLearning ResourcesWiredprofilesSponsors | District LeaderEphrata Area School DistrictMillersville UniversityUniversity of MemphisImmaculata UniversityPennsylvania Association of School AdministratorsAmerican Association of School AdministratorsEdLeader21 Network
33 minutes | 5 months ago
Change, Leadership, and Work-Life Balance
Episode 40: Show NotesThe pandemic has shown that change is possible and that educators can serve high levels of instruction to students across a number of different modalities. As Dr. PJ Caposey explains in today’s episode, “your zip code shouldn’t determine the quality of your education.” An acclaimed keynote speaker and superintendent, today we speak with PJ about leadership, work-life balance, and how we can change our systems to offer a better education for all. After introducing PJ, we dive into how his district has handled the pandemic, along with the difficulties of leading a diverse team facing enormous strain. We then unpack the differences between cheerleading and leading, and why education is in crisis as it hasn’t evolved at the same rate as our society. PJ shares his insights into why it’s challenging to enact change before we explore the role of student voices when making decisions. We also discuss what keeps PJ up at night and how you can achieve a work-life balance — or as PJ calls it, a work-life fit. Near the end of the episode, PJ reflects on what the pandemic has taught him and how he remains hopeful. The pandemic has given us an incredible opportunity to innovate education. Tune in to hear PJ’s take on how we can make the most of it. Key Points From This Episode:Introducing Dr. PJ Caposey, superintendent of Meridian School District 223.Hear how PJ’s community has been dealing with the pandemic.PJ provides listeners with details on what makes his district unique. Reflecting on the challenges of leading a district during difficult times. Being a cheerleader versus being a leader. Issues facing education and how we can push forward the future of education. The “Tyranny of the Now,” and why it’s so difficult to enact change. How the pandemic has led to a general loss of student voice. Why superintendents need to capitalize on pandemic changes. Answering the question — how much student voice do we need? Creating a work-life-fit to live a guiltless, joyous life. Reconciling the different needs of your staff and pupils.Why the pandemic has been an incredible learning opportunity for educators.Hear PJ’s advice to listeners and how we can find hope in our situation. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: Dr. PJ CaposeyDr. PJ Caposey on LinkedInDr. PJ Caposey on TwitterDr. PJ Caposey EmailAudible.comWiredprofilesSponsors | District LeaderMeridian School District 223EdutopiaASCDNPR The Washington PostHuffPostIllinois Principals AssociationPJ Caposey Ted Talk The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People on Amazon
29 minutes | 6 months ago
Transforming Education Systems During Crisis with Matt Pope
Episode 39: Show Notes.As we consider the challenges of keeping our education systems up and running, we must also consider the opportunities that are becoming visible to us, including school and district cultures we are creating, the systems and structures we have put in place, and the transformative practices we have established. In the middle of this crisis, where is the silver lining? And how do we organize ourselves to benefit from it? Could this be the tipping point we have all been waiting for in public education? Today’s guest is Matt Pope, Chief Transformation Officer with the E3 Alliance, whose efforts focus on supporting districts in Texas and across the country in the improvement of student outcomes, by helping to transform systems and develop educators. In his role leading transformation efforts, Matt applies his expertise in transformative change, district culture, and systems to support districts through this challenging time. In this episode, Matt shares how the schools in the communities he supports are dealing with the pandemic, how the E3 Alliance sets students up for success from cradle to career, and how to go about closing the learning gap created by virtual learning over the last eight months. He also talks about the transformation of systems in the context of the pandemic, and the value of creating silver linings committees, as well as maintaining a cultural foundation in a time of physical distance, finding opportunity in crisis. Tune in today!Key Points From This Episode:Matt talks about the challenges and reflections he has had over the last few months in 2020.How the district communities Matt supports are dealing with the pandemic.The E3 Alliance firmly believes that every student deserves to succeed, from cradle to career.E3 has built a team of virtual mentors to support students in the transition to post-secondary. After the misalignment caused by the pandemic, Matt believes he has to lead with empathy.The work of ensuring safety needs to align with closing the learning gap of the past eight months.Matt talked about transformative change and the transformation of systems in the context of the pandemic.Opportunities are born from crisis – education systems can finally overcome ingrained issues.Matt encourages district leaders to create innovations or silver linings committees.E3 helped schools maintain cultural coherence by asking them to reflect on their purpose.E3 has partnered with districts to seek to create "culture" when we can’t be together physically.When shifting to the virtual environment, a fundamental belief or cultural foundation is crucial.Matt’s advice for listeners at this time – every day it’s getting better, and we are learning, growing, and adapting to new challenges.Matt reads an Atul Gawande quote that resonates with him, which starts, “Better is possible.” Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Matt Pope on TwitterMatt Pope on LinkedInMatt Pope EmailE3 AllianceE3 Alliance on TwitterE3 Alliance on FacebookE3 Alliance on YouTubeThe National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades ReformThe Checklist ManifestoDistrict LeaderLuis R. Valentino, Ed.D
27 minutes | 6 months ago
Servant Leadership, Equity, and Student Success
Episode 38: Show Notes.Despite the barrage of research advocating for change, our school system is largely the same as it has been for generations. For Brady Cook, Superintendent for the Michigan Center School District, the pandemic has a silver-lining — finally, teachers are being given the opportunity to change the system. Today, we speak to Brady about how his district has adapted to the pandemic and how we can turn the pandemic “into the biggest positive in the history of education.” We open our conversation by exploring Brady’s career in education before diving into how his community has risen to the challenges posed by COVID-19. Although Brady opens up about his unhappiness that students are missing out on the school experience, he is optimistic about the opportunities that the pandemic has created. We then discuss the importance of student-centric learning and how schools often adapt to the needs of adults when they should be adapting to better serve students. Another key theme in this episode is Brady’s servant-leadership approach and its effectiveness at getting the most out of staff and students. We touch on the hybrid pandemic teaching model that Brady’s schools have adopted before he shares the lessons that he’s taken away from our current crisis. Tune in to hear more about Brady’s impactful leadership style, along with some final advice on how we can make a better schooling system. Key Points From This Episode:Hear how Brady’s community has been dealing with the pandemic.Brady shares details about his school district and the students that they serve. How students have been missing out on the traditional school experience.Balancing challenges with the educational opportunities presented by the pandemic.How the school institution hasn’t changed at the same pace as the world around it. Exploring the emerging opportunities that can lead to innovating education.Adopting a ‘student-centric’ teaching design that adapts to learner needs. The need for a national conversation on changing the school system.How Brady gets more out of his staff through his servant-leadership approach.Details on the pandemic teaching model that Brady’s district has adopted. We ask Brady what is keeping him up at night. The lessons about schooling that Brady has taken away from the pandemic. Brady’s Final advice for listeners, parents, and students — “We can change the system.”Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Brady Cook EmailBrady Cook on TwitterAudible.comedXLearning ResourcesWiredprofilesSponsors | District LeaderServant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness on AmazonMichigan Center SchoolsLao TzuDistrict LeaderLuis R. Valentino
46 minutes | 6 months ago
Remembering Where the Diamonds Are in Difficult Times with Superintendent, Dr. Yvonne Curtis
Episode 37: Show Notes. The pandemic has forced institutions across the board to change and adapt, and schools have moved at warped speed, into unknown territories, pushing harder and faster than many in and out the system thought was capable. Although the challenges that have come with this time have been undeniable, today’s guest, Dr. Yvonne Curtis believes the current moment also brings infinite opportunities for change and growth. In this episode, we learn more about her career, the school school district she leads, and current issues impacting her community. Having worked in public education for 39 years, Yvonne now holds the position of superintendent at the South Lane School District in Oregon. When she started her career, she was the only Latina superintendent in the state, which has informed much of her thinking as a district leader. Despite her experience, Yvonne came with an open mind and heart to tackle some unique, context-specific problems. We hear about the way the district has managed the pandemic and the challenges outside of academics they face. Despite the obstacles, Yvonne has remained positive, not only because of her hopeful nature but also because of her eager leadership team. She shares some of the systems they have built, how she hopes to empower them, and the importance of systems thinking. We also touch on her identity as a Latina and the impact it has had on her career along with the catharsis Yvonne has found in mentoring fellow Latina leaders. Yvonne understands that her job as a leader is to remember where the diamonds are so that when things get tough, she can remind them of all the good that already exists. To hear more from this kind, gracious leader, be sure to tune in today! Key Points From This Episode: How Yvonne is staying positive during this time and why she sees it as a moment of growth.An overview of Yvonne’s school district, South Lane, and some of the challenges they face.The Guatemalan refugees who have come to South Lane and what Yvonne has learned. The importance of context — A lesson Yvonne has carried with her throughout her career.Why Yvonne needed to reframe the issue of academics, and its impact.Balancing leadership development and taking time for reflection with the need to move quickly.Creating a culture of learning and the emphasis placed on developing principles.How courage, power, knowledge, and expertise inform Yvonne’s understanding of leadership.Systems thinking takes the blame off the individual.Yvonne’s experience of being a Latina superintendent and how it has informed her work.The difficulties that marginalized groups sometimes have naming prejudiced actions against them.The support and encouragement Yvonne gained from mentoring young Latina leaders.Exerpts: “Context matters. No matter how much experience you have or how much you’ve learned, how much knowledge, when you come to a new area, you have to spend time listening to the people.” — @DrcurtisYvonne [0:10:36] “I think there’s a real opportunity to undo school the way they were created, which sifts out students rather than creating a space for all students.” — @DrcurtisYvonne [0:17:41] “I think that empowering them to become leaders that have a political will, that have confidence, that believe they can create new opportunities for kids, is the most important thing I can do for them.” — @DrcurtisYvonne [0:25:13] “All that I have learned through my leadership career, I kind of feel has been preparing me for this particular moment.” —
27 minutes | 7 months ago
Superintendent, Paul Marietti
Episode 36: Show Notes.The pandemic has put enormous strain on schools and if there is one thing we can take away from it all, it is a reaffirmed belief in the value of education. My conversation today is with Dr. Paul Marietti, Superintendent of the Fowler Unified School District about how he and his community have taken up the many challenges posed by the COVID outbreak. Paul spent the bulk of his education career in Southern California as a teacher and site and central office leader before moving to Fowler for the superintendency. We start our discussion listening to Paul’s experiences coming into Fowler as a first-time superintendent and having to put all his plans on hold when the pandemic suddenly hit. The pandemic thwarted access to education in significant ways across all school districts, and Paul speaks to the traumatic effects of this on the students, and how the Fowler United School District took up the challenge by providing support in many different ways. Listeners will also hear how Paul has taken on the technology challenges brought about by the need to shift to a distance learning model so that connectivity is ensured across the district's school communities. We wrap up with some final thoughts from Paul about how the threat posed to education by the pandemic has instilled a valuable lesson in his communities about its value, and that no matter how good your tools are, what matters most is the connection between a student and a teacher.Key Points From This Episode:How Paul and the community are dealing with the re-entry to schools in California.Working in empty schools as an educator and the challenges of distance learning.More on the Fowler Unified School District; its history, size, and who they serve.Paul’s experience in education and how became superintendent at Fowler.Challenges as a first-year superintendent having plans thwarted by COVID.Tech advantages at Fowler which left them better equipped to cope with remote learning.Learning how to do distance learning well thanks to the pandemic’s challenges.Tech support and distributing devices across the student body to maintain access to education.How Paul restructured the famously good Fowler subjects that need in-person contact.Why Paul is not a strong believer in expulsion anymore: Struggling students require more not less energy.How Fowler is dealing with struggling and hungry students in this remote working climate.A stressful factor in the form of keeping the internet up and running right now.Managing the balance and appeasing different approaches toward back to school protocol.Lessons learned about the importance of education during this time where it has been taken away.Advice for students and teachers to remember their value through this difficult time.How listeners can connect with Paul and the Fowler Unified School District.A final quote from Paul about the value of teachers: Technology is just a tool.Tweetables:“It’s been a challenge, coming into the superintendency as a first-year superintendent, creating a vision and trying to find a plan to find areas where we can improve and get better and then come March, it’s almost like all the gates are shut and the doors are locked, and we said, ‘Stop everything that you are doing, we have a whole new challenge for you.’” — Dr. Paul Marietti [0:06:42]“This pandemic, although not the education we want for students, has really forced us to roll up our sleeves and dig into what distance learning is, what it is not, and how to do it well.” — Dr. Paul Marietti [0:09:24]“There is a camp of people that say, ‘Kids need to go to school, open up the schools,’ and there are other parents and community members saying, ‘We need to wait until it is safe
27 minutes | 7 months ago
Superintendent, Gustavo Balderas
Episode 35: Show Notes In our conversation today, we will be discussing the question of staying focused on the right work and its role in disrupting the system in ways that responds to the inequities the pandemic has made more visible for all of us. Our guest today is Dr. Gustavo Balderas, Superintendent of the Edmonds School District in Edmonds, Washington. Dr. Balderas has been an educator for thirty years and has served as a teacher and school administrator. He has also served in multiple district leadership positions, including in California, Oregon, and now Washington State. Our guest began his life as a child of migrant farmworkers in eastern Oregon and developed his love of learning and passion for education in Oregon public schools, from kindergarten to his doctoral degree in educational leadership at the University of Oregon. Dr. Balderas was named the Oregon Distinguished Latino Educator of the Year, the Oregon Superintendent of the Year, and the American Association of School Administrators National Superintendent of the Year. Key Points From This Episode: How Dr. Balderas is dealing with taking on a new superintendency during a pandemic. Get a sense of the Edmonds School District and the surrounding community. Leading by a systematic approach and communicating and engaging with families. How Dr. Balderas has remained focused on the right work despite the distractions. What disruption in the context of equity looks like now in the new environment. Hear what Dr. Balderas accomplished in the Eugene district in terms of diversifying school leadership. Using information to guide decision-making and question the system that has disadvantaged some students. Dr. Balderas explains why equity is about being intentional about access, opportunity, and inclusion. Ensuring that comprehensive distance learning (CDL) will help to close the inequity gaps. The model they will be using for the first part of the school year and the lessons they have learned thus far. Why it is imperative to keep children at the center of our focus throughout. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Dr. Gustavo Balderas on TwitterDr. Gustavo Balderas on LinkedInUniversity of Oregon Affiliate Sponsors Oregon Association of Latino Administrators Wired Profiles District LeaderAudible
25 minutes | 7 months ago
Superintendent, Martha Salazar-Zamora
When it comes to leading through an ongoing pandemic and amid the threat of multiple natural disasters, our guest today, Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora, believes in having a well-thought-out plan and communicating it clearly to all parties. When drastic, unexpected things happen, the best thing district leaders can do is to formulate a plan and to outline each required step so that everyone is on the same page, even when things are adjusted last minute. And to do this well, Martha believes that the three pillars of grace, patience, and love are key. In this episode, our guest talks about their reentry plan, the two options they can offer families, how Hurricane Laura might be complicating matters, and what they are doing to mitigate the impacts of the crises. She discusses the lessons they have learned over the last few months, why there is yet a silver lining, and she advises district leaders and parents on the best way forward. Martha is the Superintendent of the Tomball Independent School District (ISD) in Tomball, Texas. She is a member of the Texas Education Agency Commissioner’s Cabinet, Secretary for the Fast Growth School Coalition, and the past President of the Texas Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents.
29 minutes | 8 months ago
Superintendent, Anibal Soler, J.
If leadership is challenging on a good day, the pandemic has plummeted almost every organization in the world into an impossible situation, requiring leaders and teams to shift gears overnight and come up with solutions to problems they have never had before. Our guest today, the Superintendent of Schools for the Batavia City School District, Anibal Soler, Jr., knows all about these unexpected responsibilities put on parents, teachers, and school leaders when the crisis hit the US in March 2020. In this episode, Anibal gives listeners a behind-the-scenes look at how his district and community have managed to course-correct over the last few months, helping to meet the academic needs of students from various socio-economic backgrounds. He shares how heavily he has relied on the superintendents’ network that allowed leaders to share their experiences, get support, and find solutions to common problems in their communities, and the important role technology has played in providing students with the required resources. Anibal discusses their strategies for getting devices and connectivity accessible for as many students as possible, how they are bridging these gaps in the most vulnerable communities, and why it is vital to empower leaders at every level of the education system. Key Points From This Episode:Hear about Anibal’s background and his career journey in education. Anibal describes the school district and community where he serves as a leader. Get a sense of how the community experienced and responded to the pandemic. How some individuals’ insistence on their liberty can jeopardize the wellbeing of the whole.Leading through the crisis by relying on the support of their superintendents’ network. Find out what role technology has played in education over the past few months. The disparity existing in students’ ability to access technological devices and connectivity. How the community school model and partnerships can be leveraged to bridge the gap. Their three re-entry models: In-person, special consideration students, and hybrid. Anibal talks about the country’s capacity to serve the most vulnerable students through devices and connectivity. Empowering his organization and all its members to support kids as far as possible. The importance of trying, admitting when you failed, and having the courage to try again. A word of encouragement for parents, teachers, and school and district leaders. Links Mentioned in Today's EpisodeAnibal Soler, Jr. on TwitterAnibal Soler, Jr. on LinkedInAnibal Soler, Jr. Email Batavia City School District AudibleWired ProfilesDistrict Leader SponsorshipDistrict Leader ResourcesDenzel Washington
35 minutes | 8 months ago
Superintendent, Socorro Shiels
My guest today is Socorro Shiels, Superintendent of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District. Socorro serves nearly 4000 students across five elementary schools, two middle schools, and both a comprehensive and continuation high school. She previously served as Superintendent of the Santa Rosa City School District, and as Director of Education for the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence. In my conversation with Socorro, we will be discussing race, equity, and social justice, and her experience in addressing these monumental issues within her community. Full show notes, along with links from the show are available on the district website at http://www.distritleader.net
5 minutes | 8 months ago
Welcome to Season 2
After a two year hiatus, the District Leader Podcast is back to bring you inspiring conversations with school district leaders across the country. The show is hosted by Luis R. Valentino, a career educator whose 30 years of experience is brought to bear in his discussions around the challenges and possibilities of reimagining the future of education. With educators facing some of the most difficult conditions in US history, including reopening during the pandemic, we aim to give you deeper knowledge and increased confidence. Tune to hear more about season 2 of the District Leader Podcast.
27 minutes | 4 years ago
Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today
My guest this week is Dr. Michael Lubelfeld, Superintendent of the Deerfield Public Schools, in Deerfield, IL. Originally, also had Dr. Nick Polyak, Superintendent of the Leyden Community High School District #212, in Franklin Park, IL scheduled to join the conversation. Unfortunately, he was called away, and was unable to join us. If the the names sound familiar, it is because both Mike and Nick were previous guests on our program. Nick was our guest, Episode 07, and Mike was our guest, Episode 13. I invite you to listen to these episodes. Mike and Nick have just published The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today, and I invited them to join me in a conversation to discuss their new book. I am excited to have Mike on District Leader. But before we talk with Michael, I would like to take a moment thank our sponsors.
31 minutes | 4 years ago
Fred Navarro, Ed.D.
My guest this week is Dr. Fred Navarro, Superintendent of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, in Costa Mesa, California. A career educator, Fred started his career as a teacher in the Long Beach Unified School District. He has a wide range of experience having served in several positions during his career, including activities director, assistant director of human resources, middle and high school principal, and assistant superintendent of instruction. He served as superintendent of the Lennox School District in Los Angeles County before returning the Newport-Mesa Unified School district. At Newport-Mesa, Fred served as the principal of Costa Mesa High School and as director of secondary education at the district office, before being selected to serve as its superintendent, where he has served since August, 2012. Fred earned his teaching credential at California State University Dominguez Hills and obtained two advanced degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles. Fred has been married for over 29 years to his wife Lauren and they are the proud parents of two young men, Gregory and Kevin.
10 minutes | 4 years ago
Retired Superintendent Ricardo Medina
My guest this week is retired superintendent Ricardo Medina. Ricardo has had an extensive career in education. He has served as teacher, site administrator, and district leader. Ricardo served as Superintendent with the Coachella Valley Unified School District, and the Central Union High School District in California, and the Bridgeport-Spaulding Community Schools in Michigan. He later served as Chief Human Resource Officer with the Alum Rock Union Elementary School District in San Jose, California. After retiring from public education, Ricardo joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as Vice President of Strategic Relationships. He recently shared with me that he was retiring from this position, as well. Ricardo received bachelor degrees from Saginaw Valley State University and Eastern Michigan University, in Sociology and Career/Industrial Technology Education, respectively. He obtained his Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Michigan State University. Ricardo has led or participated in numerous leadership programs, including the Association of California School Administrator's Superintendent’s and Personnel Academies, the University of Michigan: Center for Educational Improvement through Collaboration, and the Ohio State University: Administrative Intern Summer Residence Program. Ricardo has received numerous awards for his service to education, and contributes to its causes as a leader and member of numerous civic and educational organizations.
41 minutes | 4 years ago
Superintendent, Phil Ertl, EdD
My guest this week on District Leader is Dr. Phil Ertl, Superintendent of the Wauwatosa School District, in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Phil has served as the Superintendent of Schools in Wauwatosa School District, in Wisconsin, since 2005. Wauwatosa is an inner ring suburb of Milwaukee that serves a diverse student population of 7,300 students. Phil started his career in education as a teacher and coach in the Marble Falls Independent School District in Texas and the Tomah Area School District in Wisconsin. He was a middle school principal in the Menasha Joint School District in Wisconsin, as well as an associate principal at the High School in Menasha. Prior to his superintendency in Wauwatosa, Phil was the Superintendent of the Kiel Area School District, where he served for 5 years. Phil obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, at LaCrosse, and his master’s degree in educational administration from Winona State University. He received his doctoral degree in Education from Columbia University in New York.
4 minutes | 4 years ago
Hi everyone, and welcome to District Leader. We’re taking a break for the holidays, but will be returning with incredible guests in the new year. In the meantime, I invite you to listen to our past District Leader podcasts. For educators this is a special time to power down from the work of school and district, and all of the challenges faced on a daily basis. The respite comes with an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends, read a good book, watch all of those shows that have been recorded, but not yet seen, sleep late, sleep early, eat better, take a walk, and just relax. As we close out 2016, I have to tell you that this experience has been incredible. I have met some amazing leaders with great stories to tell. And I have not only enjoyed talking with them, but have learned a lot from listening to them share their experiences. And I hope that you have, as well. The guests that we have scheduled for 2017 will continue to move and inspire us to consider the power of education in helping to transform society, by helping to create a great future for all of the students these leaders serve. The District Leader podcast has grown since launching in June, 2015, when I interviewed my first guest, Richard Carranza, who was then the Superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District, and is now serving as the Superintendent for the Houston Independent School District. The District Leader podcasts have been downloaded over 54,000 times. In November, our last full month, the podcasts were downloaded 15,852 times. I thank you, our District Leader community, for spending time with us. Through the podcasts, I believe that together we contribute to the edification of those interested in education, leadership, and in the men and women who make the superintendency an important part of their life’s work. On behalf of District Leader, and all our guests, on this, our 25th episode, an appropriate coincidence, I would like to wish each and every one of you a happy holiday. May 2017 become the canvas for you to continue to do incredible things, in incredible ways, producing incredible results
54 minutes | 4 years ago
Randy Ziegenfuss, Ed.D.
My guest this week is Dr. Randy Ziegenfuss. Randy currently serves as Superintendent in the Salisbury Township School District, in Allentown, PA. Prior to his current position, Randy was a classroom teacher, Department Chair, Technology Integration Specialist, Director of Technology and an Assistant Superintendent. Randy is also Clinical Adjunct Professor of Education at Moravian College, teaching courses in inquiry, assessment and technology in the undergraduate, graduate and principal certification programs. He graduated from Moravian College with a B.Mus. degree, earned his M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University in technology leadership, and an Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in educational and organizational leadership. In 2014, the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) recognized Randy as the Outstanding District Administrator for the state of Pennsylvania. In 2015, Randy was recognized by the Pennsylvania Association for Educational Communications and Technology (PAECT) as the Outstanding Leader of the Year. You can read more of Randy’s work in his blog WorkingAtTheEdge.org and you can listen to his podcast, TLTTalkRadio, which he cohosts with Lynn Fuini-Hetten at TLTalkRadio.org.
58 minutes | 4 years ago
Hector Montenegro, Ed.D.
My guest this week is Dr. Hector Montenegro. Hector taking a sabbatical from his work as Superintendent, but yet appears to be as busy as always. Hector is President and CEO of Montenegro Consulting Group, and a Senior Associate for Margarita Calderon and Associates. He provides training on English learner teaching strategies, and leadership development for administrators and instructional coaches. Hector specializes in the teacher coaching process through the use of technology, video recording and observation protocols. He is also a Senior District Advisor for the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and works with districts on systemic implementation of SEL. Hector's teaching career began in San Jose, California where he taught math at the junior and senior high school levels. He later taught and served as a site administrator in Washington, DC and in Virginia. He later served as Chief of Staff of the DC Public Schools before moving to Texas where he served as a principal and an Area Superintendent in Austin, Deputy Superintendent for Instructional Services in Dallas, and Superintendent of Schools for three school districts in Texas: San Marcos CISD, Ysleta ISD and Arlington ISD. Hector was later an Area Superintendent for the San Diego School District in California. He received his masters degree from Stanford University and his doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin.
53 minutes | 4 years ago
Cindy Zurchin, Ed.D. (22)
Cindy started her career in education as a high school teacher for at-risk youth. She gained experience at the elementary, middle and high school levels as a teacher, assistant principal and principal in urban education. She served as an assistant superintendent and superintendent of suburban school districts. Her last assignment was as Superintendent of the Abridge Area School District in Abridge, Pennsylvania. Years after her discovery that school culture was the key, Cindy created the first “Whale Done!” school. She communicated her vision to staff and parents of “catching students doing things right”. She then led the development of the new Whale Done! culture, transforming an unruly school into a national model. Cindy encouraged all stakeholders to employ three principle elements: Build Trust, Accentuate the Positive, and Redirect errors and negative behaviors when they occur.
3 minutes | 4 years ago
Hi everyone, and welcome to District Leader. Thank you for joining us. You know, I had a great conversation with Superintendent Zurchin to share with you this week. But instead, we're taking a hiatus, with the hope that you have begun to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. We will be returning next week with my guest, Dr. Zurchin. There is much that we can be thankful for in life. Certainly there is much that I am thankful for. We are thankful for our loved ones, our health, and more importantly, the opportunity to make a difference in the world. As educators, the work that we do is of a higher order - transforming lives - a gift bestowed upon a few. As you know, gratitude and generosity are values that I believe drive great leaders and great people. Elkhart Tolle said that "It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” I truly believe that our calling demands nothing less. John Wesley once wrote, “Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.” How lucky are we that as educators we get to be in this space every day. It is with a grateful heart that the District Leader team wishes you, our guests, and our listeners, a happy Thanksgiving. May it be filled with great joy and peace.
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