Episodes

November 22, 2020

Student-Centered Learning, Personalized Instruction, and Life-Ready Competencies

“Student-centered learning is a change in mindset to not have the learner become compliant to the system, but to have the system customized to the learner.”

November 08, 2020

Change, Leadership, and Work-Life Balance

“We’re changing faster than we’ve ever changed before. The issue is that education is moving at a linear pace but society’s changes are exponential. We need to keep pace to be relevant.”

October 25, 2020

Transforming Education Systems During Crisis

“What opportunities do we have that we can really transform the way we do business? Is every child successful within your system? If not, we really need to think about how we do things differently.”

October 18, 2020

Servant Leadership, Equity, and Student Success

"There are many opportunities that are emerging from the pandemic. It’s given us the autonomy to try new things. We can turn this into the biggest positive in the history of education.”

October 11, 2020

Remembering Where the Diamonds Are in Difficult Times with Superintendent, Dr. Yvonne Curtis

“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.”

October 03, 2020

Superintendent, Paul Marietti

“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.”

September 12, 2020

Superintendent, Gustavo Balderas

“The system is not working for some kids and it has not worked for some kids and that’s why you need to use the information to ensure that you meet the needs of all kids. And that is something that I will continue to push through my senior leaders, through my principals, through my teacher rates.”

September 05, 2020

Superintendent, Martha Salazar-Zamora

“Remember grace, have patience through this and remember, we all went into education because we love it. And not only love each other but remind our students how much we love them.”

August 29, 2020

Superintendent, Anibal Soler, J.

“I’m not a superhero, but you are in this work to try to make a difference for all kids. When you hear about the one kid or the two kids or the five kids – those are the things that keep you up. Have we done everything we could? And it is not so much me, but have I put my organization in the position to do everything they can to support our kids? Have I empowered my principals? Have I empowered my cabinet members?” - Anibal Soler, Jr.

August 22, 2020

Socorro Shiels

“We must remain hopeful. Because children look to us, other adults in the community look to us; schools are the bedrock of so many communities. "They are the heart and soul of so many neighborhoods, cities, towns, of places in our nation. I think it behooves us to be hopeful – that brighter days will come and that there are moments to seize to change the system we are in now while still delivering quality education today.”

August 16, 2020

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 e...

February 07, 2017

Michael Lubelfeld, Ed.D.

Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today "We have experienced reform movements since the 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, 2010s. Elements of them have been really nice, really successful, or really effective. But the reason that many of these reforms have failed, stifled change and stymied real second-order meaningful change is because I believe, and Nick believes, it has failed to transform." - Michael Lubelfeld, Ed.D.

January 31, 2017

Fred Navarro, Ed.D.

"I think that when the system provides support to staff members and they feel they can take risks, they feel they can be rewarded for being creative and for helping one another, for stepping out of the box, and I see that happen at whatever level, it is just rewarding." - Fred Navarro, Ed.D.

January 24, 2017

Ricardo Medina

"I come from that background as a migrant worker, myself as an English learner, so I had an empathy and an understanding for the struggles that many of the families worked through. And I believe that helped to shape me as a servant leader, and it helped me to serve those communities where I was fortunate enough to become a superintendent." - Ricardo Medina

January 17, 2017

Phil Ertl, EdD

"The most important part of education is relationships. Whether it's a teacher-student relationship or the teacher, principal, and so on, without good relationships nothing positive is ever going to happen." - Phil Ertl, Ed.D.

December 20, 2016

Happy Holidays

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....

December 13, 2016

Randy Ziegenfuss, Ed.D.

"How do we create that inspiring vision that will help us break out of that cycle, something that is greater than ourselves, something that can only be achieved by everybody working together." -Randy Ziegenfuss, Ed.D. -Randy Ziegenfuss, Ed.D.

December 06, 2016

Hector Montenegro, Ed.D.

"...there are these skillset gaps that happen because ...even though they might have been in the system, the system may not have really developed a strategic plan for succession leadership. It's just whose next available or ...I deserve it, it's my turn. and we put people in positions that they are totally unprepared. ... the system has been completely negligent in preparing them." - Hector Montenegro, Ed.D.

November 29, 2016

Cindy Zurchin, Ed.D. (22)

"My immediate thought was that nobody was going to die on my watch. I certainly had no plans to die that day, and I didn't have any plans that any of my students were going to be hurt or injured..." - Cindy Zurchin, Ed.D.

November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Message

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 ...

November 16, 2016

Kristan Rodriguez, Ph.D.

"...I think it's essential for us at the central office to stay connected to the schools, to stay connected to the kids... to the educators; but also we really are the conduit to the greater community, and we need to be the voice for the district..." Kristan Rodriguez, Ph.D.

November 09, 2016

Ray Queener, Ed.D.

"Our tagline is, 'every student, every day'". And I take every one of those words very seriously. When we say every student, we are not talking about some of them, a few of them, or these ones, we are talking about every student, every day." - Ray Queener, Ed.D.

November 02, 2016

REFLECTION: Luis R. Valentino, Ed.D.

Hi everyone, and welcome to District Leader. Thank you for joining us. I wanted to do something a little different t his week. Instead of posting an interview with one of our guests, I wanted to take the opportunity to ...

October 26, 2016

Eve Kaltz

My guest this week is Eve Kaltz, Superintendent of Center Line Public Schools in Center Line, Michigan. Eve has served as the Superintendent of Center Line Public Schools since 2009, but has spent all of her nearly 30-year c...