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Breaker Society

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A podcast focused on those in education who break things that need broken and then build something better. They are the breakers. This is Breaker Society.

A podcast focused on those in education who break things that need broken and then build something better. They are the breakers. This is Breaker Society.
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A podcast focused on those in education who break things that need broken and then build something better. They are the breakers. This is Breaker Society.






“Six Months Later”

On March 4, 2019, Columbus City Schools welcomed Dr. Talisa Dixon as the 21st Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer of Ohio's largest school district. Starting on her first day, she launched the "Mapping our Success 100 Day Entry Plan" to spotlight the first 100 days of her administration and to emphasize an extensive outreach effort to hear from stakeholders - students, staff, families, partners, and community - about the future of the District. Now, over six months into her term she...


“Positive Disruption”

In episode seven, we are shifting from the world of K-12 education and moving into postsecondary, though this conversation very much impacts the work being done in K-12 schools with career development and exploration, something all schools need to focus on more. Shane has a conversation with Dwight Heckelman, the founder of GROOVE U, a two-year music career program offering a diploma in the music industry. Dwight has over 20 years of experience in nearly every facet of the music industry....


“The Workshop”

Effective, meaningful communications in a school district is not something of random chance. Instead, for an organization to be effective at communications, it must be done in a comprehensive, strategic, year-round manner. For schools, this is accomplished best when aligned with the school system’s goals. However, this can be a lot harder to accomplish than it sounds. For the team at Park Hill School District in Kansas City, Missouri, it has taken some time to accomplish, but their work and...


“Hello Schools, It’s Me Marketing”

Marketing can sometimes be a dirty word in public schools as many leaders in school districts assume it means “sales”. However, marketing is becoming a much more prominent part of the education sector as competition from all different kinds of educational choices is forcing public schools to re-think how they enroll and retain students. Put quite frankly, your school is not the only show in town anymore, and so if you’re not marketing your district, you are getting left behind. In this...


“Starving Parents”

Episode four of season three features Beth Probst, owner of At The Core, LLC, and Alicia Mowry, the public information officer for the Delaware Area Career Center in Central Ohio. Beth is making her second appearance on the podcast (season one, episode one) and joins Alicia to discuss how they built a partnership to engage parents and the community to help overcome a long-standing stigma--in this case the stigmas that have long stuck to career-technical education--and increase enrollment and...


“Ideas Are Equal, Opportunities Are Not”

In episode three of season three, Shane talks with Dr. R.J. Webber (Assistant Superintendent of Academic Services) of Novi Community School District in Novi, Michigan. While Dr. Webber works every day to create innovative learning experiences for the students in his district, it is the reason why he does it that stands out--to create equity in opportunities for each and every student. In this episode, we have a powerful conversation about how Dr. Webber has championed student voice, mental...


“In Pod We Trust”

In episode two of season three, Shane talks with two school communication leaders who are preaching the power of podcasting for schools. Justin Dearing (Assistant Director of Communications for Carroll ISD in Southlake, Texas) and Erin McCann (Public Relations Director at Crandall ISD in Crandall, Texas) both are avid podcasters in their free time, but they are now bringing their podcasting skills into their school districts. They are also getting ready to launch a brand new podcast for...


“This is Heart Work”

In the opening episode of season three, host Shane Haggerty traveled to Mississauga, Ontario in Canada to talk with members of the Peel District School Board’s communication team. Former guest Carla Pereira (Director of Communications and Community Relations) leads a team of communicators in a district outside of Toronto that has more than 155,000 diverse students. Because of their diverse community, Peel has been a leader in equity work in education and in this episode, we talk about equity...


“Finding Purpose with Project Wayfinder” feat. Director of Strategic Partnerships Tim Klein

Nearly one in three adolescents (31.9%) will meet criteria for an anxiety disorder by the age of 18. While school is in session, high school students are the single most stressed out population in the US. Youth depression and anxiety are rising at alarming rates. In 2016 an estimated 3.1 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. However, based on research, this is not simply because youth have too much to do it is also because they do...


"From college athletics to authoring Lucky Enough” feat. K12 PR Professional Chris Yandle

A native of South Louisiana, Chris Yandle is a recovering college athletics administrator and an award-winning public relations professional at both the K-12 and college level. After spending more than a decade with five different NCAA Division I college athletics programs, he transitioned to K-12 communications in his home state. Considered among the leading communications professionals in college athletics, Chris served as the Assistant Athletic Director for Communications at the...


“Crucial Conversations” feat. Carroll ISD Assistant Superintendent Julie Thannum, APR

Julie Thannum, APR, has more than 25 years in school public relations in Texas, and currently serves as Assistant Superintendent for Board & Community Relations for Carroll ISD in Southlake, Texas. Julie oversees all aspects of the district’s communications, marketing and school safety. She previously served as Public Information Officer for Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD and as a newspaper reporter and editor in Illinois and Texas. Julie is recognized and respected for her knowledge and skills...


“The Story’s The Thing” feat. Nebraska Loves Public Schools Director Sally Nellson Barrett

Sally Nellson Barrett is the director and executive producer for Nebraska Loves Public Schools. Since 2011, she has interviewed more than 500 people and directed more than 40 films to raise awareness about the high-quality public education in Nebraska. Most recently she has turned her attention to creating longer-form I Love Public Schools films, documentaries focused on the ways societal issues impact public schools and what schools are doing to protect, understand, and empower students to...


"Be the Difference” feat. Author & Speaker Diana Patton

Diana Patton has committed her life to helping those in need, specifically young women and youth. Her unique background has helped her to assist in leading diversity efforts within two large corporations and to become the VP, General Counsel and COO of the Toledo Fair Housing Center. Diana is a speaker, an author of two books, an attorney and a social justice advocate who works hard to eliminate racism, empower women, and to promote dignity for humanity. She works with students and teachers...


“So about that podcast interview with Gary Vee” Don Wettrick, President of the StartEdUp Foundation

Don Wettrick is currently the Innovation Coordinator at Noblesville High School, and is the author of "Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% Time to the Next Level." Wettrick has worked as a middle school and high school teacher; educational and innovation consultant; CEO, and podcast host. He is also the founder of StartEdUp, an organization dedicated to helping transform the school culture toward innovation and enable student-led entrepreneurship. His podcast,...


“Are you ready to be the leader of Ohio’s largest school district?” feat. Dr. Talisa Dixon, Superintendent of Columbus City Schools

Dr. Dixon grew up in Oxford, Mississippi, and she graduated from Oxford High School, after which she attended Mississippi Valley State University. She began her professional career as an instructor at the University of Akron, before becoming an assistant principal with the Akron City Schools. She's had stints as an assistant principal and principal in several districts and in July 2014, Dr. Dixon became Superintendent of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District. On...


"Season 1 Finale"

It’s the season one finale! Breaker Society host Shane Haggerty goes on the other side of the microphone in this episode allowing himself to be the interviewed instead of the interviewer. Lee Wirick is currently the supervisor of technology at a Central Ohio career center. Why is he interviewing Shane? Well, Shane hired Lee to be the admissions coordinator at the same school back in 2014 and the two worked hard to increase applications to the district by nearly 40% during their three years...


Michael Yoder "Podcasting"

Michael Yoder helps people share their stories. Plain and simple. Michael started his own company to help people do it. As the owner of Truth Work Media, Michael tells stories through speaking, creating websites and creating podcasts, including this one. Michael is one of the reasons I felt confident enough to finally launch. Michael describes this process as walking alongside people and encouraging them to live a story that is worth sharing. He helps others lean into what that looks like...


Susan Enfield, Ed.D. "The Superintendency"

Knowing every student by name, strength, and need is the promise of Highline Public Schools. Under the leadership of Susan Enfield, the district is delivering on this promise by implementing a bold strategic plan committed to ensuring that students graduate bi-lingual, bi-literate with the problem-solving and critical thinking skills that will prepare them for the future they choose. A former high school English, journalism and ELL teacher, Susan served as Chief Academic Officer and then as...


Becky Verner "Yoga, Mindfulness & Wellness"

Becky Verner is a PR pro and a 200-hour certified yoga teacher living and teaching around Cleveland, Ohio. Her practice is playful, peaceful & as powerful as people want to make it! In addition to group classes, Becky leads workshops, private sessions, and small group classes or events like fundraisers, celebrations, and more. She has also taught meditation and yoga to students in schools. She is also passionate about what she calls Yoga to Remember: gentle yoga & meditation events designed...


Heidi Vega "Equity & Inclusion"

Heidi Vega is the Director of Communications for the Arizona School Boards Association and is the Vice President for Diversity Engagement on the National School Public Relations Executive Board. She was named a Top 35 Under 35 by NSPRA in 2012 for her outstanding work and bright professional future. Prior to her work with the Arizona School Boards Association, she served as the Director of Communications and Community Engagement for the Deer Valley Unified School District, where she secured...