Principally Speaking








July 2015
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In Episode 7 squared of Principally Speaking, I have the honor of speaking with Glenn Robbins.  It will become very clear to the audience why educators are coming to visit Northfield Community School very regularly.  Glenn does an amazing job of talking about the importance of key words that we use in education, even hallway and classroom.  I was also really excited to hear more about his period of the day in which the students explore in an Edcamp like environment, as well as his epic makerspace.

Glenn's Blog

Glenn on Twitter



Direct download: GlennRobbinsFinal49.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 10:32pm EDT

Principally Speaking is back! Check out my talk with dynamic leader Ryan McLane.  Next week, I talk with another awesome Buckeye, Dr. Neil Gupta.  

Ryan's Blog

Ryan on Twitter


Direct download: 48-RyanMcLane.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 9:17pm EDT

Joe's Post: Let's Stop Faking It

Nick Provenzano's [thenerdyteacher] Post 

Bryn's Video: Life is a Journey

Please feel free to e-mail me at or connect with me @EagleLeadLearnr if you want to talk about depression.  


Direct download: 47-JoeMazza.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Check out the website for Innovations High School here.

Direct download: 46-KenGrover.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

In Episode 45, I'm joined by Bettendorf High School Principal Jimmy Casas.  Jimmy is co-author of What Connected Educators do Differently, along with Todd Whitaker and Jeff Zoul.  During our conversation, Jimmy offers an excellent perspective on leadership and explains how he truly has built a student-centered learning environment at Bettendorf.  

Jimmy on Twitter

Jimmy's Website

His Suggested Book: The Leadership Challenge

Direct download: 45-JimmyCasas.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 7:19pm EDT

I enjoyed connecting with Dr. Robert Dillon, Director of Technology and Innovation for Affton Schools in Affton, Missouri.  Dr. Dillon is a former Middle School Principal who clearly works hard to empower teachers and students.  His latest book, Leading Connected Educators includes the stories of several successful Missouri educators.  

Dr. Dillon's Website

Connect on Twitter


Direct download: 44-BobDillon.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

As I transition to my new role as a Principal, it was very valuable to me to speak with Robyn.  Her latest book specifically opened my eyes to understanding what approach an administrator needs to take when working to help teachers improve.  We also discussed her framework for her book Never Work Harder Than Your Students.  I really enjoyed this conversation and hope you do as well.

Robyn on Twitter


Never Underestimate Your Teachers

Direct download: 43-RobynJackson.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Tom was a great guest to have on Principally Speaking.  He reminded me that unless listeners are changing their educational practice, there isn't much point to my show.  Be sure to connect with Tom on Twitter, check out his very well-written blog, and become of a member of the Educator's PLN.  Finally, he is the co-author of The Relevant Educator and author of The Educator's Guide to Creating Connections, due for release this September.  

Connect with Tom on Twitter

Tom's Blog

The Educator's PLN

Direct download: 42-TomWhitby.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Mr. Tom Murray is the Digital Learning Director for the Alliance for Excellent Education.  If you're a school leader and you haven't already, I would strongly urge to check out the Future Ready Schools website and take the pledge for your district.  I'm excited about the prospects of the Future Ready Leadership Network.  Also, don't forget to check out the book Leading Professional Learning, which he co-wrote with Jeff Zoul, my guest on Episode 34.

Tom's Website

Connect with Tom on Twitter





Direct download: 41-TomMurray.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

In the first part of this episode, I have the privilege of speaking with Kristen Swanson, the co-founder of the Edcamp movement.  We talk about her previous experience as a teacher and tech director, as well as her current work as an author, consultant, professor, and Director of the Research Institute at BrightBytes (whew!).  In between everything else, I learn that Barcamps are like Edcamps but for coders, and that these were an inspiration to get Edcamps going.  For a great place to learn more about Edcamps, especially if you want to run your own, head to and click on the book below.

For the second part of the show, I speak with Michelle White, who is the Director of the Passport to Innovative Education Program at The Summit in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Summit is graciously hosting EdCamp Fort Wayne this summer on July 23.  

Click the image below to learn about this program.

Click below to register for EdCamp Fort Wayne 2015! It's FREE!


Direct download: 40-KristenSwanson.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

I've been politely bothering Sharon to be a guest on Principally Speaking for awhile and we were finally able to connect.  Sharon is a Special Education Teacher as well as the Technology Director for Eagle Hill Southport School which is located in SW Connecticut.  It's very clear that everything she does at Eagle Hill is centered around helping students and I really appreciated her perspective on teacher leadership.  She's also an expert on using the iPad to assist students with special needs.  Finally, be sure to check out her podcast Learning Differently.  It was great to hear her latest episode with Jeffrey Benson, who was an early guest on Principally Speaking.  

Sharon's Website: The Road to Learning

Sharon's Podcast: Learning Differently

Connect with Sharon on Twitter


Direct download: 39-SharonPlante.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

I connected with Riley Johnson last year at EdCamp Fort Wayne.  Last year, Riley left Indiana for the Assistant Principal position at New Tech High School in Napa, California.  He will be taking over as Principal this summer.  I'm grateful to have a dynamic leader in my professional learning network going through the same transition as myself.  

Riley's Twitter

Direct download: 38-RileyJohnson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT


Paul Solarz is a 5th grade teacher in Arlington Heights, Illinois.  I really enjoyed hearing about his dynamic student-centered classroom and I think you will too.  Check out his new book Learn Like a Pirate if you want to "Empower Your Students to Collaborate, Lead, and Succeed."  You can connect with Paul on Twitter @PaulSolarz and he can also be found at the #learnLAP and #tlap hashtags.  

Direct download: 37-PaulSolarz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT



Direct download: 36-SpecialAnnouncement.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:22pm EDT


Just last year, I had the privilege of seeing Mr. Baruti Kafele speak at a local school.  It was extremely inspirational and helped reinvigorate my passion for education and building relationships with students.  I am honored to have had the opportunity to speak to him on my show and look forward to connecting with him in person at some point.  I'd highly recommend checking out his books as well as his website, which is home to his dynamic YouTube videos, which deliver powerful messages to both educators and students alike.  

Principal Kafele's Website

Connect with Mr. Kafele on Twitter




Direct download: 35-BarutiKafele.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Direct download: 34-JeffZoul.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 6:19am EDT


School Branding experts and dynamic leaders Joe Sanfelippo and Tony Sinanis join me for an awesome conversation.  

The Power of Branding

Principal Professional Development

The New Fall Creek Podcast

Tony's Blog with Student-Led PTA Meeting, Epic Letter to Gov. Cuomo, Etc.

Joe's Blog

The BrandED Podcast




I'm a third of the way to 100 episodes and it's been an amazing journey in which I've learned a lot and I hope you have too.  When I first started this show, I never thought I'd have the opportunities that I've had to connect with such amazing educators.  

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me along the way.  

Follow your dreams!


Direct download: 33-JoeSTonyS.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

In episode 32 of Principally Speaking, I have a great time connecting with Steven Anderson, a.k.a. web20classroom on Twitter.  I discover that we were both science teachers and both were proud members of the marching band, although he was likely much better at the tuba than I was at the trumpet.  More importantly, Steven shares insight regarding Administrators and technology, the power of being connected, and ideas from his latest book, Content Curation: How to Avoid Information Overload.

You can check out Steven's website and blog here.   

This is the first episode of Principally Speaking to be sponsored by Corwin Press.  Thank you very much to Ariel Price, Lisa Lysne and everyone else at Corwin for your support!  


Direct download: 32-StevenAnderson.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

In this 31st episode of PS, I connect with Dan Butler.  Dan was gracious enough to talk about his experience as the principal of both Epworth and Farley Elementary Schools in Epworth, Iowa.  He also shared some great resources on the show:

How Dan Uses Google Forms When Collecting Observation Data

Continuous Improvement at Farley Elementary School

Here's how you can connect with Dan and check out his blog:

Dan's Twitter

Dan's Blog

He also is a co-moderator of the awesomeness that is #IAedchat, which happens every Sunday night at 9 PM ET / 8 PM CT.  

Here is the blog for Ben Gilpin, the Colorful Principal.

Direct download: 31-DanButler.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

In this episode I speak with former social studies teacher and current author and speaker Dave Burgess.  Dave is of course the author of Teach Like a Pirate.  We talk about the TLAP philosophy and its connection to leadership.  Dave will be the keynote speaker on July 21 at IntegratED @ East Noble High School if you happen to be in Northeast Indiana like me.  You can register for IntegratED now or apply to present at the link above. 

I'm very excited to be working with Jennifer Brower and Andy Deatrick on EdCamp Fort Wayne, which is taking place July 23 @ The Summit in Fort Wayne.  Check out this awesome picture of the Ideation Lab, one of the amazing rooms we'll be using to collaborate!  If you're interested in securing yourself a spot at this free unconference, click here to register.  





Direct download: 30-DaveBurgess.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

In the 29th episode of the show, I have the privilege of speaking with George Philhower, Assistant Superintendent at Western Wayne Schools in Cambridge City, Indiana.  In this district and at Lincoln Jr./Sr. High School they are developing a school-within-a-school model that allows students to move at their own pace and take their own path to success.  George explained that he has leaned on the Innovations High School in Salt Lake City, Utah for support and that their Principal Kenneth Grover has been a great deal of help in this process.  Mr. Grover will be presenting at the Richmond eLearning Conference this summer if you're interested in meeting him and learning more about this school model.  Here is a very inspiring presentation about his personal philosophy and vision for Innovations High School:

Mr. Grover's Presentation

Here is George's Twitter and his e-mail is   

Next episode I will be talking with the inspiring Dave Burgess, author of Teach Like a Pirate.  He will be the Keynote speaker at the Integrated eLearning Conference at East Noble High School on July 21 in Kendallville, Indiana.   

To see the other eLearning conferences all around Indiana this summer, click here.  


Direct download: 29-GeorgePhilhower.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

In Episode 28 of the show, I have the privilege of connecting with dynamic principal Beth Houf, Principal at McIntire Elementary in Fulton, Missouri.  We talk about how initiatives like positive referrals, optional PD, and the McIntire Online Read Aloud have strengthened her school.  She also relates a story about how she subbed for a full day back in November, and it inspires me to want to start the T.O.D.A.Y. movement, or Teach One Day A Year.  

Beth's Blog

Beth's Twitter





Direct download: 28-BethHouf.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

In this episode, I talk with Boston area Tech Director Andrew Marcinek, author of The 1:1 Roadmap from Corwin Press.  We'll talk about Andrew's experience organizing 4 EdCamps, his work creating an awesome Student Help Desk class, as well as a model for optional professional development that worked at his school district.  One of my favorite parts of the conversation is when he talks about a student that was able to develop their own application in order to solve a problem at their school.  I would highly recommend the 1:1 Roadmap along with Digital Leadership and Pure Genius if you're an educational leader that is striving to move your school forward, particularly with respect to innovative programs and opportunities for students.  You can connect with Andrew on Twitter @andycinek.   

Direct download: 27-AndrewMarcinek.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

In this episode, I have the privilege of talking with Instructional Technology Specalist Rafranz Davis, who hails from the Dallas area.  We move beyond just the SAMR model, and she does a great job of always bringing it back to the student perspective, as you can read about in her new book, The Missing Voices in EdTech: Bringing Diversity Into EdTech.  Among other things, we dive into cell phones in schools, the effect that technology initiatives can have on students in poverty, and her personal story as an "eduparent."  This episode is a little longer, but I think it could've easily been double the length and still been a fresh conversation because Rafranz is very inspiring.  I would highly recommend checking out her website as well as following her on Twitter.  

Rafranz's Website and Blog

Rafranz on Twitter



Direct download: 26-RafranzDavis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

In this episode, I chat with Teacher-Librarian and Instructional Technology Specialist Sherry Gick.  Sherry teaches the Video Production class at Rossville Jr-Sr High School and has been recognized as one of the 10 School Librarians to Follow on Twitter.  If you somehow aren't following her on Twitter, she is @libraryfanatic.  Her website is  Sherry is leading the way to redefine what it means to be a librarian in the 21st century and I hope you enjoy our talk as much as I did.  She is the President-Elect for the Librarians Network of the International Society for Technology in Education, or ISTE, who's conference we discover together mid-show is taking place from June 28-July 1 in Philadelphia.  I want to go to ISTE this year.  Badly.  Sherry also happens to be a running and book addict.  I won't give away here how many books she read and miles she ran in 2014, but it was a lot and it made me feel lazy.

Here's the EdCamp Fort Wayne Facebook and Twitter pages to stay in tune with the latest for this summer's unconference.



Direct download: 25-SherryGick.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

In this episode, I talk about the craze that is Trivia Crack and its implications for education.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on the following questions:

1) What do you think about the trivia crack craze?  

2) Would you want your child to constantly play trivia crack?

3) How are you cultivating student ideas in your school?

4) Have students had a say in any new programs or clubs in your school?

5) What makes your school unique? 

You can provide answers to any or all of these questions by clicking on the Feedback button on my website.  Your answer or answers may be used in a future episode of the show.  


Tune in next week for my talk with dynamic media specialist Sherry Gick, who is @libraryfanatic on Twitter.  

Direct download: 24-TriviaCrack.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

In this episode, I have the pleasure of connecting with Scott Schulz, who talks about his new job at Rossville Jr/Sr High School in southern Indiana. 

Scott's Blog

The Washington Post Piece on Scott

Scott's Epic YouTube Snow Day Video

Scott on Twitter


Direct download: 23-ScottSchulz.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Principally Speaking is back!  

I'm excited to bring to you my talk with Amy Heavin, Principal of Ryan Park Elementary in Angola, Indiana.  Among other things, Amy and I talk about what professional learning looks like at her school and how she's working to push both herself and her staff.  She can be found @amyheavin on Twitter and her blog is @






Direct download: 22-AmyHeavin.mp3
Category:education -- posted at: 3:00am EDT