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Talk Supes and CEOs

Talk Supes and CEOs

By Doug Roberts
Telling the stories of innovative leaders working to improve outcomes for K-12 public school students.
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2.9 Dr. Paul Gavoni and the power of relationships
Dr. Paul "Paulie" Gavoni joins Doug and two IEI member superintendents, Dr. Jason Andrews of Windsor CSD in NY and Dan Cox of Rochester 3a in IL, to talk about the power of relationships to get our schools through this pandemic challenge.  
January 15, 2021
2.8 Looking back at the good in 2020, looking forward to 2021
The whole IEI team comes on to introduce this episode, which features Jeff Patterson of Gaggle, Jess Gartner of Allovue, Megan Harney of MIDAS, and Berj Akian of Classlink. We reflect on the good things that happened during an otherwise terrible year, and we look forward to 2021! 
January 8, 2021
2.6 Equity and Curriculum: The fight and the opportunity ahead
This episode features a panel discussion from our final Fall 2020 IEI Retreat at Suncadia, WA, featuring: Dr. Susan Enfield, Highline Public Schools Ms. Heather Bybee, Director of Curriculum, Spokane Public Schools Eric Westendorf, Founder, Learnzillion and former principal Chris Blevins, iStation This episode has some holiday cheer and a little bit of festive spice, as these talented educators talk about the challenges and opportunities we face in trying to attack the equity challenge in teaching and learning. These are practitioners and change agents who walk the walk.  Have a Merry Christmas if you're celebrating!
December 23, 2020
2.5 School Finance Challenges with Jess Gartner and Doug Mesecar
This panel from IEI's Fall 2020 Hybrid/Virtual Superintendent Retreat in Georgia examines the challenges of school finance during the pandemic, what we know and what we don't know.  Doug Mesecar of Strategos Consulting and Jessica Gartner, Founder/CEO of Allovue, give insight on the federal funding landscape and advice to district leaders and vendors for how to best ride out the fiscal uncertainty and challenges.   IEI Member superintendent Leigh Ann Putman of Metro Atlanta RESA in GA co-moderates with IEI CEO Doug Roberts.  Kevin Mitchell of Audio Enhancement also contributes to the discussion.
December 23, 2020
Andy Crozier, Sarena Shivers, Michael Munoz, and Tad Everett: Challenges we slayed, Lessons we learned
4 IEI superintendents discussed the challenges we slayed this year and the lessons we learned, originally recorded at our IL Fall Superintendent Retreat at Eagle Ride Resort in Galena, IL.  The panel was moderated by Dr. Andy Crozier, Superintendent of Central Lee CSD, IA.  The panel included: Dr. Tad Everett, Sterling Public Schools, IL Dr. Sarena Shivers, Superintendent Emeritus and Executive Director of Michigan Association of School Administrators Mr. Michael Munoz, Superintendent of Rochester Public Schools, MN
December 22, 2020
2.3 Keeping kids in our schools physically and emotionally healthy during a pandemic
Panel discussion from IEI's Summer Symposium on social/emotional and physical health strategies being deployed in districts across the country, featuring: Justin Jennings, CEO, Youngstown Public Schools, OH Dr. Quintin Shepherd, Superintendent, Victoria ISD, TX Dr. Shai Fuxman, EDC Dr. Rob Darzienkiewicz, M.D., Hazel Health Stephanie Taylor, Presence Learning Alex Meis, Kinvolved
October 11, 2020
2.2 The Original Pandemic: A discussion on equity
This discussion from IEI's Summer Symposium at The Biltmore is moderated by Ms. Traci Davis, Superintendent Emeritus and advisor to IEI, and features 3 great superintendents, Dr. Mark Bedell of Kansas City (MO), Dr. Luvelle Brown of Ithaca (NY), and Dr. Gregory Hutchings of Alexandria (VA), as well as Dr. Brian Kingsley, CAO of Charlotte-Mecklenburg.  
October 11, 2020
2.1 Dr. Jody Barrow, Fayette County Schools, GA
Dr. Jody Barrow, pioneer IEI member, sits down with Doug to kick off Season 2 of Talk Supes (and CEOs) with only 1 month left in the superintendent's chair. Dr. Barrow delayed his retirement 3 months to help his district through the pandemic and transition things to a new leader. We reflect back on a long successful career delivering results for students and their families. 
September 1, 2020
S1E31 Dr. Howard Koenig, Central Islip UFSD, on 40+ years as a superintendent
Dr. Howard Koenig, superintendent of Central Islip UFSD on Long Island, NY, reflects back on his 40+ years as a superintendent.  This is not Howard's first attempt to retire, but this time it may stick. Howard and Doug talk about Howard's long career as a champion for public school students and we reflect on the leadership challenge of a generation as Howard's colleagues carry into the fall with plans to respond to the pandemic. Thank you for your distinguished service to public school students, Dr. Koenig!
July 1, 2020
S1E30 Dr. Tim Mitchell, Superintendent of Riverside CSD, IA
Journey with Doug to Iowa, where schools had just begun resuming sports even though it as already summer break! Tim has been through many challenges in his career of superintendenting, and he shares how he is applying those lessons learned to this current situation.  Tim also talks about how the Black Lives Matter and anti-racism discussions have made their way to his mostly white rural district. 
June 26, 2020
S1E29 Health protocols with Hazel and School Finance during a pandemic with Allovue
2-fer!   Doug visits first with longtime friends and partners at Allovue with some thoughts to chew on related to the impending fiscal challenges facing schools due to COVID.  Then he sits down with Dr. Rob Darzynkiewicz, Chief Medical Officer at Hazel Health, about the slippery slope involved with minimizing exposure to COVID when we bring kids back into buildings.  
June 12, 2020
S1E28 Mitch Weisburgh talks VR/AR
Mitch Weisburgh, Founder/CEO of Academic Biz Advisors and co-Founder of joins Doug to talk about some ideas fur utilizing Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality during this new age of forced distance learning in our schools.  
May 31, 2020
S1E27: David Irwin on making big changes with small steps
Consultant, former NYCDOE official and current NJ school board member David Irwin joins Doug to talk about his method for making big changes with tiny steps each day. Also: we explore how the talk of Blended Learning over the last 10-12 years failed to engage educators and educational leaders and why this should be a learning opportunity for everybody in the K12 ecosystem- you can't "reform" schools without involving the educators in the discussion!
May 22, 2020
S1E26: Taylor Hersom and Dominique Singer on CyberSecurity and distance learning
TelAdvance and IEI team up to bring two leading experts on cybersecurity on to the pod to chat about the kinds of things districts are wrestling with as they quickly ramp up distance learning plans while maintaining student security on devices. 
May 16, 2020
S1E25 The Panel from Episode 17 reconvenes!
We gathered the panel from Episode 17, with a couple of new guests, and of course our IEI Advisor superintendent John Welch from the Puget Sound ESC in the Seattle area, to talk about what's been happening on the front lines in districts as they continue to deliver education and related services to students amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.  The panel includes: Jennifer Money, Move This World Alex Meis, Kinvolved Josh Golomb, Hazel Berj Akian, Classlink,  Kevin Mitchell, Audio Enhancement
May 6, 2020
S1E24 Dishing with Doug, Gretchen, and Paula
Just 3 people who've been at this a while in the education industry dishing on coping strategies, ideas for how partners can weather the storm, and discussing our ideas for positive changes that can come out of COVID, particularly for underserved kids in public schools.
May 1, 2020
S1E23 NY Superintendents on Home Instruction and School Finance Challenges
Doug sits down with IEI members from rural and suburban NY Districts to talk about how they are managing to deliver instruction and services during COVID-19, and the impending school finance challenges they expect to face in the 2020-2021 School Year.  Panelists include: Mr. Ryan Pacatte, Avon CSD Mr. Matthew Cole, Livonia CSD Mr. Kevin MacDonald, Gennessee Valley BOCES Dr. Robert Molisani, Caledonia-Mumford CSD Mr. Rich Calkins, Pocantico Hills CSD
April 22, 2020
S1E22 Eric Hirsch of Ed Reports talks curriculum decision-making
Eric Hirsch of Ed Reports joins Doug to nerd out on curriculum! 
April 15, 2020
S1E21 Dr. Susan Enfield, Superintendent of Highline Public Schools (WA)- Equity Equity Equity
Doug visits with Dr. Susan Enfield, superintendent of Highline Public Schools (south of Seattle, WA) and we talk about Equity and what COVID-19 might be un-earthing in terms of the work ahead of us to ensure every student has access to education. We also talk about Susan's "Tweet heard round the world" about what vendors should NOT do as districts scramble to respond to a global pandemic.
April 8, 2020
S1E20 Dr. Clayton Wilcox and Ms. Traci Davis on Leadership during a crisis
Clayton Wilcox, former superintendent of a few places but most recently Charlotte-Mecklenburg in NC, and Traci Davis, former superintendent in Washoe County (Reno) NV, talk about leading a district during times of crisis, strategies for maintaining sanity, and advice to partners about how to work with districts during this difficult time.  
April 2, 2020
S1E19 Larry Berger
Larry Berger, Founder/CEO of Amplify joins Doug to talk about school in the age of COVID-19, how things might change, and how parents who've suddenly become teachers can survive this! Hang in there, everyone!
March 29, 2020
S1E18 Dr. Danny Merck, Pickens County Public Schools, SC
IEI member Dr. Danny Merck talks with Doug about leadership and the mentor who identified his leadership skills early on and encouraged him to work toward becoming a superintendent.  He also discusses the district's planning process for COVID-19.  
March 25, 2020
S1E17 Panel: Helping District Partners during COVID-19
IEI pulled together a Zoom panel of some of its corporate partners and a member superintendent to talk about what is happening in school districts as they fight to continue to provide educational and related services to kids and families. Our corporate partners share some of the work they are doing to provide services at no cost and with light to no implementation lift, and IEI Advisory Board Member John Welch of Puget Sound ESD (Seattle area) shares some heroic stories from districts in the Seattle area.   Subscribe and share! Panelists: Mr. John Welch, IEI Member Superintendent, Puget Sound ESD, WA Jennifer Money, Move This World Alex Meis, Kinvolved Josh Holcomb, Hazel Dr. Kari Stubbs, BrainPOP
March 23, 2020
S1E16 We're Back! Dr. Art Fessler CCSD#59 (IL)
IEI Advisory Board Member and Superintendent of CCSD #59in IL, Dr. Art Fessler, joins us to talk about decision-making processes and how they were preparing to handle the COVID-19 situation. The episode was recorded a few days before schools were closed in Illinois. Please follow Art on Twitter @afess7.
March 20, 2020
S1 E16 Fireside Chat with K12 Investors Steve Kupfer and Jennifer Wu
This is the recording of a workshop at the IEI Palm Springs General Session in which @dougroberts_iei sits down for a "fireside chat" with two leading K12 investors, Jennifer Wu of @reachfund and @steve_kupfer of Red House Capital. Steve and Jen dish on the investments of which they are most proud in terms of their impact on kids and share their thoughts on the new ideas coming forward in the safety/security sector of K12.
February 8, 2020
S1E15 3 Supes live from Palm Springs IEI - Youngstown OH, Pocantico Hills NY, Meridian IL
Fresh off our Winter Superintendent Summit in Palm Springs, Talk Supes (and CEOs) presents three of our members sharing their thoughts about school safety and security. We are so glad to have Mr. Justin Jennings of Youngstown City Schools (OH), Dr. Rich Calkins of Pocantico Hills CSD (NY), and Mr. Joe Mullikin of Meridian CUSD (IL) as IEI members. Enjoy!
February 1, 2020
S1E14 New Years' Resolutions for the K12 industry
We're back from the holiday hiatus as we prep for our Winter 2020 Summit in Palm Springs! @dougroberts_iei dishes on New Years' Resolutions for those of us working to provide innovative solutions and services for K12 students.  Also note that there is an incentive for the upcoming Spring 2020 Summit in New Orleans! Listen to learn more. Next week we'll have a bunch of supe interviews from the IEI Summit!   And perhaps most importantly- new theme song!  #talksupes #supes #k12 #edtech #iei
January 14, 2020
S1E13 Jessica Herthel, Co-Author "I Am Jazz" on keeping LQBTQ kids safe in schools
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center estimates that between 5 and 10% of LGBT youth, depending on age and sex groups, have attempted suicide, a rate 1.5-3 times higher than heterosexual youth. There is no issue more critical to safety and security in our schools than making sure all kids feel loved and protected by our schools, something our IEI superintendents work very hard to do in the schools they run. Author and occasional Reality TV star Jessica Herthel returns to visit with @dougroberts_iei as a follow-up from her presentation at the IEI Summit in Suncadia, WA in the summer of 2018. You can catch her on @Iamjazz_tlc or at @jessicaherthel. We also want to congratulate @jazzjennings_ on graduating at the top of her class and wish her luck at Harvard next year! 
December 21, 2019
S1E12 Dr. Tom Leonard and Dr. Jeff Arnett of Eanes ISD on safety and security
In this episode, we talk with the "1-2 punch" of Eanes ISD in Austin, TX- Tom Leonard, Superintendent, and Jeff Arnett, Deputy Superintendent, about their district's journey and conversations around safety and security.  We also discuss Tom's musical passion and his performance with students at a jazz club in which he is a partner, and Jeff's previous life working at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Looking forward to having Jeff and Tom with us in January in Palm Springs! Perhaps we can get an IEI band together?
December 14, 2019
S1E11 Dr. Luvelle Brown, Supe of Ithaca City SD, on The Culture of Love
An interview with Dr. Luvelle Brown @luevelleb, author of the book "The Culture of Love," past NY Superintendent of the Year, who will be joining IEI for the first time this January in Palm Springs as a speaker.  We talk about how to build a culture of love throughout an organization, we also talk snow day cancellations, Virginia Cavalier Football, and Luvelle schools us on how to write a book between sets at The Gym.  This might be the most inspiring "morning routine" segment so far. The moral of the story is: Get to the gym in the morning and good things happen. #iei #k12 #edtech #supes 
December 7, 2019
S1E10 Will Black, Deputy Supe of Paducah (KY) Public Schools on Teacher-Centered Curriculum
Hear from Will Black, Deputy Superintendent in Paducah Public Schools, which is led by IEI member Dr. Donald Shively, on their progressive curriculum decision-making processes. Teachers in Paducah have the ability to promote effective curriculum solutions for piloting and vetting via their PLC's. If you like Supes Talking Curriculum, this is the episode for you. Shout out to @edreports for their work along the same continuum!
November 27, 2019
S1E9 Dr. PJ Caposey of Meridian CUSD 223 (IL) on Leadership, Time Management
Dr. PJ Caposey, superintendent of Meridien CUSD 223 (near Rockford, IL) discusses leadership, and the nuance and art to understanding when your leadership style needs to adapt to the changing needs of your team and your organization.   Learn more about Dr. Caposey and his work at And of course visit to learn more about IEI, the publisher of Talk Supes!
November 21, 2019
S1E8 Eric Westendorf, Learnzillion, Curriculum, and A Cappella
Longtime friend of @dougroberts_iei, Eric Westendorf, CEO/Co-Founder of @learnzillion, dishes on curriculum and his journey from educator, to administrator, to entrepreneur. Learnzillion sits at the nexus of teaching/learning and scaling a business operation. And, since Eric and Doug met in college singing in the same a cappella group, you're going to be subjected to a dose of The Princeton @nassoons circa 1996. If you think real hard, you can guess who the soloist on this track is...
November 8, 2019
S1E7 Safety and security/Hank Grishman of Jericho UFSD
Hear @dougroberts_iei report from the #ieifall19roadshow between the Virginia Association of School Superintendents and The Council of Great City Schools, and reflect on all the discussions of school safety and student safety from around the country.  The interview this week is with Mr. Henry Grishman, superintendent of Jericho UFSD, one of the most decorated public school systems in the country.  Hank is a past president of the NYS Council of School Superintendents and a former NY Superintendent of the year, in addition to being on the IEI Advisory board and a longtime friend and mentor to IEI CEO, Doug Roberts.   Enjoy!
October 22, 2019
S1E6 Steve Murley, superintendent of Iowa City CSD
Steve Murley is one of those superintendents who far outpaces the average tenure of a superintendent.  Listen to him discuss what he's learned over the last 10 years in Iowa City. Also, I guarantee he's up earlier than you are each morning.
October 12, 2019
S1E5 Kinvolved and IEI's mission
IEI CEO Doug Roberts was pressed by a thoughtful superintendent at a conference recently about what success for IEI would look like, and what our impact will be, and he shares his thoughts on IEI's future and its mission, as well as thoughts about how IEI can bridge gaps in the K12 ecosystem.  In the interview, Doug visits with Alex Meis and Miriam Altman, Co-Founders of Kinvolved and long-time IEI partners. They discuss their founding story, leadership, how they figure out how to be partners and friends in real life, and of course, their morning routines!
October 10, 2019
S1E4 Genevieve Collins, VP @istation on multi-tasking and transitioning from edtech to politics!
Genevieve has been a long-time friend and a partner to IEI, and she shares some of her secrets to success. She also talks about her decision to throw her hat in the ring for Congress in her hometown, Dallas, TX! We grabbed a few minutes with her before she headed off to a meet and greet and a day that would have her out at various events and activities until 11pm. Thanks for making some time for us, and don't forget us when you are in the White House!
September 28, 2019
S1E3 Dr. William Heidenreich of Valley Stream CHSD (NY) on how they purchase new tools/software
IEI Member, Dr. William Heidenreich of Valley Stream Central High School District on Long Island (NY) shares his district's process for vetting new solutions and services that come across their radar.  He also shares insights on the process of working with a BOCES in New York so districts can get state aid back on funds they spend on products. Get a rare insider view on the district purchasing process and the unique relationship between BOCES and districts in New York. This is what IEI is about- orienting the K12 marketplace around how districts work. If you enjoy this podcast, you will love being part of our Palm Springs convening in January!
September 28, 2019
S1E2 Pat Sullivan-Kriss #ieifall19roadshow
Hear the update on the most recent leg of Doug's #ieifall19roadshow and hear an interview with IEI Board Director, former NY State Council of School Superindendents (NYSCOSS) president, and retired superintendent Patricia Sullivan-Kriss, who will be awarded NYSCOSS' distinguished career service award at their fall summit in Saratoga Springs this week! Pat shares some wisdom and stories about a long career as an administrator in public education in New York.  
September 22, 2019
Season 1, Episode 1: Back to School
IEI Kicks off its Podcast series with Doug Roberts, CEO, laying the groundwork and introducing the podcasting world to the work and people of IEI. 
September 14, 2019