Oct. 18, 2020

Servant Leadership, Equity, and Student Success

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.”


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: