Skip to main content
Mac Town Heroes

Mac Town Heroes

By Matt Brisbin
Small town people doing big time things from the hallways of McMinnville High School in McMinnville, Oregon. Cover art photo by
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Castbox Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Stitcher Logo


Currently playing episode

Episode 7- Kelly Carlson

Mac Town Heroes

Episode 10- Amy Fast
I am really excited to say that today’s guest is the next principal of our school, Amy Fast. As you’ll soon hear, many of us at McMinnville High School are ecstatic to see the vision that Amy has for our school because she holds student connections up as one of the most important aspects of what we do as educators. During the episode, you’ll get to hear Amy’s ideas about the purpose of a public education, her thoughts about the key ingredient to good instruction, and her vision about the direction in which she’d like to see the school grow. 
June 23, 2019
Episode 9- Adam Gray
 Today’s guest, Adam Gray, is one of my fellow English teachers here at MHS and teaches on one of our freshmen teams and he teaches a self designed English class for seniors call Film as Literature. Something that really stands out to me in this interview is the huge heart that Adam has for his students and the people he works with. In today’s episode, you’ll hear his take on the impact that literature can have for our students, and you’ll get to hear his solutions for helping brand new teachers become successful. Don’t miss the end of the show where Adam shows off his knowledge about Film History and points out who his favorite superheroes are at our school. 
May 20, 2019
Episode 8- Jared Larson
 I am really excited to say that today’s guest is the fearless leader of our Science department, Jared Larson. This episode, you’ll get to hear Jared wax poetic about how he believes teachers can best avoid burnout and best connect with the students sitting in our classrooms.  
May 07, 2019
Episode 7- Kelly Carlson
 Today’s guest, Kelly Carlson, has taken on many roles in her time at our school, and has most recently taken on the title of attendance dean while continuing to teach social studies part time. Something that really amazes me about Kelly is her ability to lean into all the challenges that we face as a school in the hopes of creating an inclusive, supportive, and also academically rigorous school experience for our students. In today’s episode you hear Kelly talk about the process that she takes to innovate around some of these difficult challenges, and how she has helped to create a system at our school to set our most vulnerable student up for success.  
April 22, 2019
Episode 6- Tony Vicknair
 I am really excited to say that today’s guest is the man behind the curtain helping to make this magical place such a great school, our principal, Tony Vicknair. As you’ll soon hear, something that many of us who work at this school believe is that it’s one of, if not the best high school in the state of Oregon. Tony has played an integral part in getting this high school of 2,200 students moving in the direction that we’re heading. During the episode, you’ll get to hear what makes this place so great, and how our culture has been shaped by the guidance and and leadership of Tony and the other administrators that have worked with him.  
February 15, 2019
Episode 5- Wes Gabrielsen
 Today’s guest is a Social Studies teacher and head boys tennis coach, Wes Gabrielsen, who’s best know superpower is being able to correctly predict the newest entries into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame every year, so it’s fitting that one of the classes that he created is the always popular History of Rock and Roll. In today’s episode, you’ll hear Wes’s take on the similarities between being a teacher in the classroom and being a coach on the athletic field, and you’ll also hear about the educational philosophy that makes him such a successful educator. So sit back, turn up the volume and enjoy the episode. 
February 06, 2019
Episode 4- Angela Newport
Latest episodToday’s guest is our Yoga instructor, Angela Newport, whose only regret in life is having no understanding of what regret feels like. As you’ll soon hear, Mrs. Newport has played so many different roles in her career here at MHS that it is clear that she isn’t hesitant to take on new and exciting opportunities like creating a Yoga program at our high school before it even became a consideration at most schools. During today’s episode, you’ll hear the story of how that program came to be and why Angela believes it is such an important opportunity for our students to take advantage of. You’ll also hear about how you can take the work she is doing with students and use it right away in your own classroom, as well as her thoughts about what it means to teach in a small community like ours.e of Mac Town Heroes
November 30, 2018
Episode 3- Mark Bunker
Today’s guest is THE legendary Mark Bunker. The psychology and economics teacher who possesses a self described entertainer’s mentality when it comes to his personal teaching style. He takes a unique approach to helping his students learn, one that often involves interactive activities like playing self designed games, singing group songs, and making creative videos. In this episode you’ll hear Mark speak about ways to connect with typically troubled students, who some of his most memorable teachers were, and what he thinks is the true purpose of education.
November 03, 2018
Episode 2- Ramon Alvarez
Ramon details his decision to become a teacher, how his experience as a student informs the way he teaches now, and he gives his go to strategies for engaging his students in math.
October 17, 2018
Episode 1- Susanne Sayles
The very first episode of Mac Town Heroes !
October 17, 2018