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Unapologetic Leadership

Unapologetic Leadership

By Marcus Belin
Unapologetic Leadership focuses on reflecting on the work school leaders do and challenging to grow with and through lived experiences. This podcast will allow listeners to engage in hearing from educational leaders who are engrained in the work. Topics such as equity, diversity, inclusion, school culture, student voice, and leadership experiences are among some of the content you will hear.
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E7: Tell Your Story…Advocacy from Washington D.C.
If you don’t tell your story, someone else will! Spending a week at the nation’s capital, having the opportunity to advocate and tell the story of what is happening in schools to the First Lady of the US and the Secretary of Education, was quite an experience. Check out a short episode about the journey.
May 07, 2022
E6: Leading and Reading with Dr. Bridget Belcastro
Principal of Johnsburg Elementary and the true definition of an avid reader, Dr. Belcastro drops some awesome insight on the culture of her school and the importance of a book in a kids hands. Bridget opens the world beyond her school through reading. Check out her story!
April 16, 2022
E5: Advice from School Leaders
Knowing that education and the role of school leadership have drastically changed over the past couple of years, what would you say if you could look back and give yourself one piece of advice? Hear the advice from a group of school leaders! This episode features Dr. Abir Othman, Dr. Quentin Lee, Dr. Dan Krause, JaVonda Tucker, Brian Faulkner, Dr. Efrain Martinez, Sonia Ruiz, Dr. Amy Dixon, Dr. Victor Nixon, Bob Ketcham, Scott Wakeley, and Omar Alebiosu. 
April 09, 2022
E4: It’s Not About Position… The Vantage Point from an Assistant Principal
Dr. Scott Savage has served in various roles in education. His perspective and lived experiences has helped him master the skill of building relationships and challenging others to invest in kids no matter what position you serve in education. He currently is an assistant principal and shares his story on Unapologetic Leadership!
March 26, 2022
E3: If not you….then who?!
A special message to educators.
March 09, 2022
#RelationshipGoals for Educators
Matt Woods shares his insights on the importance of relationships. He also shares his work and the impact of a book series “I wanna be…”
March 09, 2022
Season 2: Episode 1: Dr. Martinez shares his journey and thoughts as a middle school principal!
The path to education is not always the path most traveled. Dr. Efrain Martinez shares his journey and life experiences of how he became a champion for kids!!!
January 29, 2022
A Recent Disruption to the School Environment ft. Dwight Carter
Educators have wondered how we have made it through the first semester of the 21-22 school year. The question is… what lies ahead of us? Check out this must listen to podcast featuring my great friend Dwight Carter as he talks about the disruption that the pandemic has caused to the education system. Not only that, he will give some very critical insight on leading through change. Learn how to COPE, ADAPT, and TRANSFORM!
December 29, 2021
E20: Series Intro… Leading Schools and the Pandemic is STILL Here!
Opening a new series to talk with school leaders about the life of lead wing schools over the past 2 months. Leaders will provide practical ideas and takeaways that leaders can implement in their buildings NOW! We all have to get through this together! We can learn from each other so check out this series!
November 06, 2021
E19: Unapologetic Leadership ft. Dr. Tron Young
Let’s talk about passion and purpose!! 2020 IL Principal of the Year, Dr. Tron Young is an awesome school leader that thinks completely outside the box! At Joseph Authur Middle School in O’Fallon, IL, this energetic school leader brings it EVERYDAY!!! Dr. Young inspires to instill perseverance, good choices, goal setting, and youth leadership development in his students. Check out his story!!!
October 02, 2021
E18: Unapologetic Leadership featuring Brett McPherson
Belvidere Central Middle School Principal, Brett McPherson gives us insight into his school culture! Brett has some key nuggets and take aways that will help any administrator no matter how long you have served in the school leader role!
September 15, 2021
E17: Love and Education Despite the Challenges ft. Dr. Cynthia Treadwell
Dr. Treadwell is the Principal of Aldridge Elementary school and the Altgeld Gardens neighborhood of Chicago! Listen to how she transforms her school community that faces challenges everyday! Teachers travel from near and far because of the awesome culture of love, respect, and accountability found in this building!
August 21, 2021
E16: Relationships Matter ft. Dr. Jeff Prickett
Author, podcast host, speaker and Principal of McHenry High School, Dr. Prickett shares his journey through education and how he is changing the game in education. Tons of knowledge and practical ideas in school leadership!
August 11, 2021
E15: Unapologetic Leadership ft. Greg Fairchild
Principal of Banner Elementary in Dunlap, Illinois, Greg Fairchild gives some awesome advice that can reach ALL levels K-12! When kids are at the center of what we do…ANYTHING is possible! Listen to Greg share it from his view!!
July 29, 2021
E14: Unapologetic Leadership in an ESL/Bilingual School Culture ft. Nashwa Mekky
Nashwa takes us on a journey in her leadership as a school leader. Her story starts in Egypt and finds roots in Beach Park at Howe Elementary. From seeing diversity in her hiring practices to creating academic support programs where students are seen and heard so they can achieve academic success, Nashwa share some great insight with other school leaders.
July 20, 2021
E13: Unapologetic Leadership ft. Julie Lam
Julie Lam brings a unique perspective to the work happening in her world as a school leader. Taking on a new position at Oak Park River Forest High School, Julie tackles the conversation on diversity and academic access for young people!
July 13, 2021
E12: Unapologetic Leadership ft. Brian Faulkner
Brian serves as the principal of Heineman Middle School in the Huntley School District in Illinois. His “Kids First” mentality is the defining factor of his leadership. Take a moment to check out the work Brian is doing as he leads his school!
July 08, 2021
E11: Unapologetic Leadership ft. Derek McCoy
Principal of North Asheboro Middle School in Asheboro City Schools in North Carolina, Derek has over 25 years experience as a middle school principal, assistant principal and middle school math teacher. Take a moment to listen as he drops some awesome insight on school leadership and culture!
June 30, 2021
E10: Reflection and Preparation
Reflection on a year through a pandemic can give hope as school leaders prepare for next school year. Here some quick thoughts and reflection of this year.
May 30, 2021
E9: School Culture and the Importance of History
This episode focuses on understanding the importance of learning the history of the school you lead! Hear some of my story about what it was like as a first year principal.
May 08, 2021
E8: Social Media and the Impact on School Culture
Social media should be a positive aspect for any school community! How are you using it? Listen to some quick thoughts to how social media is easy to engage stakeholders and tell the story of your school!
April 24, 2021
E7: School Culture After the Pandemic
When you open the doors of the school next year, what will your school culture look like AFTER the pandemic? Hear some thoughts in this episode.
April 09, 2021
E6: School Culture Matters ft. Travis Drake
Travis serves as the AWESOME PRINCIPAL of Laurin Middle School in Vancouver, Washington!! This guy is ON FIRE for kids and talks about the culture of Laurin MS!! If the walls of your school could talk, what would they say...? Hear it from Travis!
March 10, 2021
E5: School Culture...If The Walls Of Your School Could Talk.....
One of the major areas of focus as a school leader is on school culture. Take a moment to listen to a different approach to how we should think about school culture. Visit to see more about this episode.
February 27, 2021
E4: Leading Through the Pandemic Part 3 ft. Dr. Amy Dixon
Hear from Dr. Amy Dixon on leading through the pandemic in a small rural community in southern Illinois. Dr. Dixon serves as the President of Illinois Principals Association Board of Directors.
February 21, 2021
E3: Leading Through the Pandemic Part 2 ft. Dr. Dan Krause
Principal of Willowbrook High School, Dr. Krause shares the great work that he is doing in his school as a school leader. Even though the pandemic caused a challenge in how we educate our kids, Dr. Krause continues to push through with connecting his kids to the community and to the school! Check out the work of this amazing leader!
February 17, 2021
E2: Leading Through the Pandemic
This is the first of a series of episodes that we’ll talk about leadership during an unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a pandemic that has rocked the world to it’s, core and has challenged us to think differently about education!
February 13, 2021
E1: Unapologetic Leadership: The Launch
Unapologetic Leadership focuses on reflecting on the work we are doing as school leaders and challenging ourselves to grow with our experiences. Being unapologetic is a mindset and not something to look negatively upon. This podcast will allow listeners to engage in hearing from educational leaders who are engrained in the work. Topics such as equity, diversity, inclusion, school culture, student voice, and leadership experiences are among some of the content you will hear. I will also share much of my journey in education because there are many success and moments of growth that lend itself to real-life experiences listeners can learn from.
February 07, 2021