Category Archives: Interviews

PMP:076 Messaging Matters–How to Inspire Teachers, Motivate Students and Reach Communities

Last month, Justin Baeder, from Principal Center Radio, invited me as a guest on his show to talk to me about my new book Messaging Matters: How to Inspire Teachers, Motivate Students, and Reach Communities.

He was gracious enough to allow me to repost the interview here. Here are some takeaways from our conversation:

Why is messaging so important?

In every setting of school, amazing learning and moments are happening every day that not a lot of people know about. In the humility of our service as educators, we are often hesitant to brag about our schools. On a national scale, this has created a crisis with a political landscape that now assumes most schools are failing. How can we make a commitment to celebrating the positives so often that those moment drown out the negative ones? Continue reading

PMP:075 Learning from Mistakes with Jon Harper

Reflection is such an important part of growth — whether that involves your own growth or the growth of your school or team.

Jon Harper from BAM Radio’s podcast “My Bad” is a school leader who explores how our mistakes can teach us important lessons.

In this interview, we explore how reflecting on your own mistakes is a powerful way to lead with vulnerability and authenticity.

Jon Harper Bio

Prior to becoming an administrator, Jon served as a Math Coach and an elementary school teacher. During his ten years as a classroom teacher he taught first, second, fourth and fifth grades. During his sixth year teaching he earned Nationally Board Certification, which he held for ten years. For seven years he ran a Young Gentleman’s Club that was aimed at helping young men reach their full potential.  

Jon received a B.A. from Furman University while majoring in Philosophy. He later went on to earn his B.S from Salisbury University while majoring in Elementary Education. Jon was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to student teach in New Zealand. He eventually received his M.A. degree from Salisbury University in Public School Administration.  

Jon lives in Cambridge, Maryland with his amazing wife and two awesome children.

6 Powerful Takeaways

Here are some topics we explore together: Continue reading

PMP:074 Growing Your Digital Leadership with Jethro Jones

Jethro Jones is principal of Tanana Middle School in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Principal Jethro Jones (left) has interviewed over 200 guests for his school leadership podcast


He is also the host of Transformative Principal Podcast. As NASSP’s Principal 2017 National Digital Principal of the Year, he was honored this month at the National Principal Conference in Philadelphia. I’ve known Jethro for years from connecting online and have had the privilege of meeting him in person.

In this podcast conversation, I ask him some probing questions, and we talk about dreams, passions, and goals for school leadership. We explore: Continue reading

PMP:071 Daniel Bauer Interview – How Masterminds Help You Grow

School leader and podcaster Danny Bauer shared a conversation with me about his education journey as well as how leaders are collaborating together to keep growing personally and professionally.

Danny “Sunshine” Bauer is the founder of Better Leaders Better Schools and facilitates weekly mastermind groups to support leadership growth. His podcast has hosted a hundred highly effective school leaders who share best practices for other leaders.

Listeners are welcome to grab all his free resources and listen to his podcast at betterleadersbetterschools.com!

Takeaways

Here are highlights of topics we explored together: Continue reading

PMP 047: Interview with Adam Beauchamp, Oklahoma Digital Principal

This is a dual-post including a podcast interview with Principal Adam Beauchamp who shares the digital tools his school is using for enhancing communication.

“Principal Adam Beauchamp presents student award–Enid News: Staff Photo by BONNIE VCULEK”


Adam shared with me via a recent webinar on Communication Strategies that Work. If you want to see the Webinar, you can watch it here.

I’m also including a companion blog post below of an additional Q & A exchange between Adam and me. I am thrilled to share his insights! If you’re interested in interviews with previous guests, you can check them out here.

Adam Beauchamp is principal of Waller Middle School in Enid, OK. He graduated from Tahlequah High School and Northeastern State University. He has had teaching, coaching, and admin experience in Allen, Texas; Coalgate, Oklahoma; Rice University, Houston, Texas; University of Tennessee – Martin, TN; and Bixby, Oklahoma, and Enid, Oklahoma. He is husband to Robyn who is an elementary special education teacher and, they have three little girls.

WDP: Congrats on being Oklahoma’s Digital Principal of the Year! Can you share some of the innovative ways you are using technology at your school?

Adam: We received the OETT Grant my first year at Waller and created a video productions studio. In our studio, we create a variety of movies, broadcasts, and short films to highlight our school and students. We also added clubs to our schedule where students get an additional elective course. Students created clubs and several have had a technology focus. Continue reading

PMP:045 Shawn Sheehan “Teach Like Me” (Lessons in Risk, Failure and Wow)

In this episode, I sit down with Shawn Sheehan and talk about the lessons from his life, teaching, and advocacy for education.

Oklahoma Department of Education


Shawn is the 2016 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for National Teacher of the Year. He is an Algebra I teacher from Norman High School in Norman, Oklahoma.

He is also the founder of the Teach Like Me Campaign, a national movement focused on counteracting negative public perception of teachers and redefining those assumptions through social media campaigns to boost morale among current and future educators.

Questions we explore

In this interview, Shawn answers four questions:
1. How has failure pushed you to re-focus on your priorities as an educator and a person?
2. Why “Teach Like Me”? Why are you so passionate about redefining the public perception of teaching?
3. What advice do you have for educators who are struggling during “tougher” political days ahead for schools?
4. What advice do you have for school leaders to better serve their teachers, schools and communities? Continue reading

PMP:042 The Future of Education (A Conversation with Undergraduates)

Recently I was asked to be a guest presenter for an undergraduate education class at Bartlesville Wesleyan University, a college not too far from my high school.

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“What do you see?” Wonder Image Source: wonderopolis.org


At the end of my presentation, I asked four students if I could interview them for a podcast episode.

I had two goals in this conversation:
1. I wanted to hear from prospective educators their motivations, dreams, and challenges in choosing this career.
2. I wanted others to be reminded why investing in training, recruiting, and supporting strong teachers is so essential.

I’m indebted to the generosity of Dr. Jeffrey Keeney for allowing me to present to his class, and to the four students who agreed to participate in this podcast: Shelby Totino of Spearfish, South Dakota; Karley Baker of Fredonia, Kansas; Kelly Tjon of Houston, Texas; and Kirsten Fisher of Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

If you’ve ever wondered why we should be committed to investing in education—why we should be finding ways to better compensate teachers for their hard work and dedication to children—then listen in to the responses of these four young people. Continue reading

PMP:027 10 Tips for Education Interviews

Whether you are conducting an interview or being interviewed, I have found some common expectations anyone should have when walking into an education interview.
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This week’s podcast covers 10 tips anyone can use when interviewing for an education position. Also, I mention a resource at the end: 30 Questions from Principal Interviews, if you want to check it out.

Here are the show notes for Episode 27

Continue reading

Ruby Payne: Interview Revisited

This week my friends at the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administrators are hosting a pre-conference with Ruby Payne before their annual summer events.

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Ruby Payne of aha! Process

Ruby’s teaching on understanding a framework for poverty was instrumental in opening my eyes to the cultural mindsets we are often unaware of in our own assumptions or in those of our schools and communities.

Exactly three years ago, she graciously agreed to let me interview her for Principal Matters with a Question/Answer format. In honor of her upcoming visit to Oklahoma, I wanted to share that interview again. Enjoy!

The following is a Q & A between Ruby Payne and me:

Continue reading

Top 10 School Leadership Podcasts

This is a guest post from Jenn David-Lang.

Jenn David-Lang

Jenn David-Lang


Jenn is the founder of THE MAIN IDEA which she began in 2007. THE MAIN IDEA provides education leaders with ready access to the most current and powerful ideas in education to help them serve as strong instructional leaders. Jenn received her principal’s certification and Ed.M. from the Bank Street College of Education.

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This month I am sharing a list of top 10 school leadership podcasts with THE MAIN IDEA subscribers. When I reached out to Will Parker at Principal Matters to let him know his podcast was on the list, he invited me to share my top 10 with his readers too.

Podcasts are quickly becoming a popular way for school leaders to find content for their own professional development. As I’ve listened to many of the podcasts available for school leaders, I wanted to share 10 shows that are important resources you will want to check out. Please note the following is not a curated list, and the language describing each podcast is adapted from the podcasts themselves. But I think you’ll see how each one offers unique content for school leaders: Continue reading