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District Leader

Luis Valentino

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District Leader

District Leader

Luis Valentino

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About Us

District Leader: Transforming Education is a podcast about moving and inspiring educators and non-educators alike to believe in the power of education, its leaders, and its transformation. Each week, host Luis Valentino interviews district leaders who share their stories.

Latest Episodes

Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today

My guest this week is Dr. Michael Lubelfeld, Superintendent of theDeerfield Public Schools, in Deerfield,IL. Originally, also had Dr. Nick Polyak, Superintendent of the Leyden Community High School District #212, in Franklin Park, IL scheduled to join the conversation. Unfortunately, he was called away, and wasunable to join us. If the the names sound familiar, it is because both Mike and Nick were previous guests on our program. Nick was our guest, Episode 07, and Mike was our guest, Episode 13. I invite you to listen to these episodes. Mike and Nick have just published The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today, and I invited them to join me in a conversation to discuss their new book. I am excited to have Mike on District Leader. But before we talk with Michael,I would like to take a moment thank our sponsors.

26 MIN2017 FEB 8
Comments
Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today

Fred Navarro, Ed.D.

My guest this week isDr. Fred Navarro,Superintendent of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, in Costa Mesa, California. A career educator, Fred started his career as a teacher in the Long Beach Unified School District. He has a wide range of experience having served in several positions during his career, includingactivities director, assistant director of human resources, middle and high school principal, and assistant superintendent of instruction. He served as superintendent of the Lennox School District in Los Angeles County before returning the Newport-Mesa Unified School district. At Newport-Mesa, Fredserved as the principal of Costa Mesa High School and as director of secondary education at the district office, before being selected to serveas its superintendent, where he has served since August, 2012. Fred earned his teaching credential at California State University Dominguez Hills and obtained two advanced degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles. Fred h...

30 MIN2017 FEB 1
Comments
Fred Navarro, Ed.D.

Retired Superintendent Ricardo Medina

My guest this week is retired superintendentRicardo Medina. Ricardo has had an extensive career in education. He has served as teacher, site administrator, and district leader. Ricardoserved as Superintendent with the Coachella Valley Unified School District, andtheCentral Union High School District in California, and theBridgeport-Spaulding Community Schools in Michigan. He later servedas Chief Human Resource Officer with theAlum Rock Union Elementary School District inSan Jose, California. After retiring from public education, Ricardo joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt asVice President of Strategic Relationships. He recentlyshared with me that he was retiring from this position, as well. Ricardo received bachelor degrees from Saginaw Valley State University and Eastern Michigan University, in Sociology and Career/Industrial Technology Education, respectively. He obtained his Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Michigan State University. Ricardo has led or participate...

46 MIN2017 JAN 25
Comments
Retired Superintendent Ricardo Medina

Superintendent, Phil Ertl, EdD

Myguest this week on District Leader isDr. Phil Ertl,Superintendent of the Wauwatosa School District, in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Phil has served as the Superintendent of Schools in Wauwatosa School District, in Wisconsin, since 2005. Wauwatosa is an inner ring suburb of Milwaukee that serves a diverse student population of 7,300 students.Phil started his career in education as a teacher and coach in theMarble Falls Independent School District inTexas and theTomah Area School District inWisconsin. He wasa middle school principal in the Menasha Joint School District inWisconsin, as well as an associate principal at the High School in Menasha. Prior to his superintendency inWauwatosa, Phil was the Superintendent of the Kiel Area School District, where he served for 5 years. Phil obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, at LaCrosse, and his master’s degree in educational administration fromWinona State University. He received his doctoral degree in Education from...

40 MIN2017 JAN 18
Comments
Superintendent, Phil Ertl, EdD

Happy Holidays

Hi everyone, and welcome to District Leader. We’re taking a break for the holidays, but will be returning with incredible guests in the new year. In the meantime, I invite you to listen toour past District Leader podcasts. For educators this is a special time to power down from the work of school and district, and all of the challenges faced on a daily basis. The respite comes with an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends, read a good book, watch all of those shows that have been recorded, but not yet seen, sleep late, sleep early, eat better, take a walk, and just relax. As we close out 2016, I have to tell you thatthis experience has been incredible. I have met some amazing leaders with greatstories to tell. AndI have not only enjoyed talking with them, but havelearned a lot from listening to them share their experiences. And I hope that you have, as well. The guests that we have scheduled for 2017 will continue to move and inspire us to consider the power of education...

3 MIN2016 DEC 21
Comments
Happy Holidays

Randy Ziegenfuss, Ed.D.

My guest this week is Dr. Randy Ziegenfuss. Randy currently serves as Superintendent in the Salisbury Township School District, in Allentown, PA. Prior to his current position, Randy was a classroom teacher, Department Chair, Technology Integration Specialist, Director of Technology and an Assistant Superintendent. Randy is also Clinical Adjunct Professor of Education at Moravian College, teaching courses in inquiry, assessment and technology in the undergraduate, graduate and principal certification programs. He graduated from Moravian College with a B.Mus. degree, earned his M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University in technology leadership, and an Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in educational and organizational leadership. In 2014, the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) recognized Randy as the Outstanding District Administrator for the state of Pennsylvania. In 2015, Randy was recognized by the Pennsylvania Association for Educational Communication...

53 MIN2016 DEC 14
Comments
Randy Ziegenfuss, Ed.D.

Hector Montenegro, Ed.D.

My guest this week is Dr. Hector Montenegro. Hector taking a sabbatical from his work as Superintendent, but yet appears to be as busy as always. Hector is President and CEO of Montenegro Consulting Group, and a Senior Associate for Margarita Calderon and Associates. He provides training on English learner teaching strategies, and leadership development for administrators and instructional coaches. Hector specializes in the teacher coaching process through the use of technology, video recording and observation protocols. He is also a Senior District Advisor for the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and works with districts on systemic implementation of SEL. Hector's teaching career began in San Jose, California where he taught math at the junior and senior high school levels. He later taught and served as a site administrator in Washington, DC and in Virginia. He later served as Chief of Staff of the DC Public Schools before moving to Texas where he s...

57 MIN2016 DEC 7
Comments
Hector Montenegro, Ed.D.

Cindy Zurchin, Ed.D. (22)

Cindy started her career in education as a high school teacher for at-risk youth. She gained experience at the elementary, middle and high school levels as a teacher, assistant principal and principal in urban education. She served as an assistant superintendent and superintendent of suburban school districts. Her last assignment was as Superintendent of the Abridge Area School District in Abridge, Pennsylvania. Years after her discovery that school culture was the key, Cindy created the first “Whale Done!” school. She communicated her vision to staff and parents of “catching students doing things right”. She then led the development of the new Whale Done! culture, transforming an unruly school into a national model. Cindy encouraged all stakeholders to employ three principle elements: Build Trust, Accentuate the Positive, and Redirect errors and negative behaviors when they occur.

53 MIN2016 NOV 30
Comments
Cindy Zurchin, Ed.D. (22)

Thanksgiving Message

Hi everyone, and welcome to District Leader. Thank you for joining us. You know, I had a great conversation with Superintendent Zurchin to share with you this week. But instead, we're taking a hiatus, with the hope that you have begun to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. We will be returning next week with my guest, Dr. Zurchin. There is much that we can be thankful for in life. Certainly there is much that I am thankful for. We are thankful for our loved ones, our health, and more importantly, the opportunity to make a difference in the world. As educators, the work that we do is of a higher order - transforming lives - a gift bestowed upon a few. As you know, gratitude and generosity are values that I believe drive great leaders and great people. Elkhart Tolle said that "It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” Itrulybelieve that our calling demands nothing less. John Wesley once wrote,“Do all the go...

2 MIN2016 NOV 23
Comments
Thanksgiving Message

Kristan Rodriguez, Ph.D.

Dr. Kristan Rodriguez is the Superintendent of the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District in Groton, Massachusetts. Kristan has served in a number of district leadership positions through out her career, in the area of curriculum and instruction, including Assistant Superintendent, Director of Curriculum, and Curriculum Coordinator. Kristan began her career as a High School English Teacher, and later served as a successful Principal and Assistant Principal. She is currently an adjunct professor in educational leadership for three local colleges. Kristan earned her Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Boston College, a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Gordon College, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary English Education from Boston University. Kristan is the FounderandChief Executive Officerfor the Rodriguez Educational Consulting Agency. For the past fifteen years, shehas been a consultant on leadership and learning, and has traveled nat...

35 MIN2016 NOV 17
Comments
Kristan Rodriguez, Ph.D.

Latest Episodes

Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today

My guest this week is Dr. Michael Lubelfeld, Superintendent of theDeerfield Public Schools, in Deerfield,IL. Originally, also had Dr. Nick Polyak, Superintendent of the Leyden Community High School District #212, in Franklin Park, IL scheduled to join the conversation. Unfortunately, he was called away, and wasunable to join us. If the the names sound familiar, it is because both Mike and Nick were previous guests on our program. Nick was our guest, Episode 07, and Mike was our guest, Episode 13. I invite you to listen to these episodes. Mike and Nick have just published The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today, and I invited them to join me in a conversation to discuss their new book. I am excited to have Mike on District Leader. But before we talk with Michael,I would like to take a moment thank our sponsors.

26 MIN2017 FEB 8
Comments
Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today

Fred Navarro, Ed.D.

My guest this week isDr. Fred Navarro,Superintendent of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, in Costa Mesa, California. A career educator, Fred started his career as a teacher in the Long Beach Unified School District. He has a wide range of experience having served in several positions during his career, includingactivities director, assistant director of human resources, middle and high school principal, and assistant superintendent of instruction. He served as superintendent of the Lennox School District in Los Angeles County before returning the Newport-Mesa Unified School district. At Newport-Mesa, Fredserved as the principal of Costa Mesa High School and as director of secondary education at the district office, before being selected to serveas its superintendent, where he has served since August, 2012. Fred earned his teaching credential at California State University Dominguez Hills and obtained two advanced degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles. Fred h...

30 MIN2017 FEB 1
Comments
Fred Navarro, Ed.D.

Retired Superintendent Ricardo Medina

My guest this week is retired superintendentRicardo Medina. Ricardo has had an extensive career in education. He has served as teacher, site administrator, and district leader. Ricardoserved as Superintendent with the Coachella Valley Unified School District, andtheCentral Union High School District in California, and theBridgeport-Spaulding Community Schools in Michigan. He later servedas Chief Human Resource Officer with theAlum Rock Union Elementary School District inSan Jose, California. After retiring from public education, Ricardo joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt asVice President of Strategic Relationships. He recentlyshared with me that he was retiring from this position, as well. Ricardo received bachelor degrees from Saginaw Valley State University and Eastern Michigan University, in Sociology and Career/Industrial Technology Education, respectively. He obtained his Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Michigan State University. Ricardo has led or participate...

46 MIN2017 JAN 25
Comments
Retired Superintendent Ricardo Medina

Superintendent, Phil Ertl, EdD

Myguest this week on District Leader isDr. Phil Ertl,Superintendent of the Wauwatosa School District, in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Phil has served as the Superintendent of Schools in Wauwatosa School District, in Wisconsin, since 2005. Wauwatosa is an inner ring suburb of Milwaukee that serves a diverse student population of 7,300 students.Phil started his career in education as a teacher and coach in theMarble Falls Independent School District inTexas and theTomah Area School District inWisconsin. He wasa middle school principal in the Menasha Joint School District inWisconsin, as well as an associate principal at the High School in Menasha. Prior to his superintendency inWauwatosa, Phil was the Superintendent of the Kiel Area School District, where he served for 5 years. Phil obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, at LaCrosse, and his master’s degree in educational administration fromWinona State University. He received his doctoral degree in Education from...

40 MIN2017 JAN 18
Comments
Superintendent, Phil Ertl, EdD

Happy Holidays

Hi everyone, and welcome to District Leader. We’re taking a break for the holidays, but will be returning with incredible guests in the new year. In the meantime, I invite you to listen toour past District Leader podcasts. For educators this is a special time to power down from the work of school and district, and all of the challenges faced on a daily basis. The respite comes with an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends, read a good book, watch all of those shows that have been recorded, but not yet seen, sleep late, sleep early, eat better, take a walk, and just relax. As we close out 2016, I have to tell you thatthis experience has been incredible. I have met some amazing leaders with greatstories to tell. AndI have not only enjoyed talking with them, but havelearned a lot from listening to them share their experiences. And I hope that you have, as well. The guests that we have scheduled for 2017 will continue to move and inspire us to consider the power of education...

3 MIN2016 DEC 21
Comments
Happy Holidays

Randy Ziegenfuss, Ed.D.

My guest this week is Dr. Randy Ziegenfuss. Randy currently serves as Superintendent in the Salisbury Township School District, in Allentown, PA. Prior to his current position, Randy was a classroom teacher, Department Chair, Technology Integration Specialist, Director of Technology and an Assistant Superintendent. Randy is also Clinical Adjunct Professor of Education at Moravian College, teaching courses in inquiry, assessment and technology in the undergraduate, graduate and principal certification programs. He graduated from Moravian College with a B.Mus. degree, earned his M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University in technology leadership, and an Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in educational and organizational leadership. In 2014, the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) recognized Randy as the Outstanding District Administrator for the state of Pennsylvania. In 2015, Randy was recognized by the Pennsylvania Association for Educational Communication...

53 MIN2016 DEC 14
Comments
Randy Ziegenfuss, Ed.D.

Hector Montenegro, Ed.D.

My guest this week is Dr. Hector Montenegro. Hector taking a sabbatical from his work as Superintendent, but yet appears to be as busy as always. Hector is President and CEO of Montenegro Consulting Group, and a Senior Associate for Margarita Calderon and Associates. He provides training on English learner teaching strategies, and leadership development for administrators and instructional coaches. Hector specializes in the teacher coaching process through the use of technology, video recording and observation protocols. He is also a Senior District Advisor for the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and works with districts on systemic implementation of SEL. Hector's teaching career began in San Jose, California where he taught math at the junior and senior high school levels. He later taught and served as a site administrator in Washington, DC and in Virginia. He later served as Chief of Staff of the DC Public Schools before moving to Texas where he s...

57 MIN2016 DEC 7
Comments
Hector Montenegro, Ed.D.

Cindy Zurchin, Ed.D. (22)

Cindy started her career in education as a high school teacher for at-risk youth. She gained experience at the elementary, middle and high school levels as a teacher, assistant principal and principal in urban education. She served as an assistant superintendent and superintendent of suburban school districts. Her last assignment was as Superintendent of the Abridge Area School District in Abridge, Pennsylvania. Years after her discovery that school culture was the key, Cindy created the first “Whale Done!” school. She communicated her vision to staff and parents of “catching students doing things right”. She then led the development of the new Whale Done! culture, transforming an unruly school into a national model. Cindy encouraged all stakeholders to employ three principle elements: Build Trust, Accentuate the Positive, and Redirect errors and negative behaviors when they occur.

53 MIN2016 NOV 30
Comments
Cindy Zurchin, Ed.D. (22)

Thanksgiving Message

Hi everyone, and welcome to District Leader. Thank you for joining us. You know, I had a great conversation with Superintendent Zurchin to share with you this week. But instead, we're taking a hiatus, with the hope that you have begun to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. We will be returning next week with my guest, Dr. Zurchin. There is much that we can be thankful for in life. Certainly there is much that I am thankful for. We are thankful for our loved ones, our health, and more importantly, the opportunity to make a difference in the world. As educators, the work that we do is of a higher order - transforming lives - a gift bestowed upon a few. As you know, gratitude and generosity are values that I believe drive great leaders and great people. Elkhart Tolle said that "It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” Itrulybelieve that our calling demands nothing less. John Wesley once wrote,“Do all the go...

2 MIN2016 NOV 23
Comments
Thanksgiving Message

Kristan Rodriguez, Ph.D.

Dr. Kristan Rodriguez is the Superintendent of the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District in Groton, Massachusetts. Kristan has served in a number of district leadership positions through out her career, in the area of curriculum and instruction, including Assistant Superintendent, Director of Curriculum, and Curriculum Coordinator. Kristan began her career as a High School English Teacher, and later served as a successful Principal and Assistant Principal. She is currently an adjunct professor in educational leadership for three local colleges. Kristan earned her Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Boston College, a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Gordon College, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary English Education from Boston University. Kristan is the FounderandChief Executive Officerfor the Rodriguez Educational Consulting Agency. For the past fifteen years, shehas been a consultant on leadership and learning, and has traveled nat...

35 MIN2016 NOV 17
Comments
Kristan Rodriguez, Ph.D.
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