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The What School Could Be Podcast

Education Podcasts

Episodes appear every two weeks.


United States


Episodes appear every two weeks.






113. Dorothy Maxwell: Milken Awardee, Maine's Teacher of the Year, 50 Plus Years in Education

Today my guest is Dorothy Maxwell, an educator in face-to-face and online teaching and learning for more than 50 years. She holds a bachelor's degree in Business Education from the University of Maine, a Master’s Degree in Education and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern Maine. She has served as President of the National Business Education Association, the Eastern Business Education Association, the New England Business Education Association, and the Business Education Association of Maine. Dorothy was the 1994 Maine Teacher of the Year and has been recognized by the Milken Family Foundation with its National Educator Award. Moreover, she received the National Secondary Teacher of the Year Award from the National Business Education Association. The primary reason why I wanted Dorothy on this podcast is that she is the Vice Chair of the Board, a site coordinator and a teacher for a remarkable organization called Virtual High School Learning, which has been around more than 20 years. VHS Learning, a nonprofit organization, provides supplemental online classes to high schools and students. It offers schools a way to expand their catalogs without incurring the full cost of a class for which there may be limited demand. That in turn has helped many schools offer the full suite of classes that students might desire, in spite of budgetary pressures. It’s been a valuable way for many institutions to expand their course catalogs and dip their toes into online learning. Back in 2015, after the debut of the acclaimed film, "Most Likely to Succeed," the filmʻs producer, Ted Dintersmith, with his co-author, Tony Wagner, wrote the book by the same name. In the hardcover education, on page 204 and 205, Ted and Tony wrote about VHS Learning, citing it as an exemplar of both online learning and education reimagined. On these two pages Ted and Tony noted that Tedʻs daughter, Sterling Dintersmith, took one of VHS Learningʻs courses while she was in high school. I contacted Sterling and asked her to share her thoughts about her experiences in the history course she took. Here is what Sterling said. “About a decade ago I took a history course at VHS about the early European explorers of North America. Each week we would have a different discussion question that each student would answer in a forum. Then, we would each respond to each other's writings. We got really into it! I can still remember logging in multiple times per day to check what people were saying and to engage in lengthy debates on the different topics. I ended up spending way more time and energy in the course than was required because I just enjoyed engaging with my peers and hearing so many different perspectives. Plus, the teacher made sure to use the study of history to highlight and investigate themes that are relevant to society today and to our personal lives. Therefore, we all felt like what we were learning mattered and was relevant. We bought into the class and we poured ourselves into the class.“ Editing for this episode is provided by Evan Kurohara. Our theme music is provided by master pianist, Michael Sloan.


Special Episode: Kauai High School Students Ruminate on the Meaning of Love

Today I am going to share with you a special something, a very short special something. One of my former podcast guests, Jonathan Medeiros (NBCT, Kauai High School) reached out to me to see if I might join his high school students who were using podcasts as a way to demonstrate their learning in a language arts class. I was only too happy to say yes. That virtual session, last spring, 2023, was marvelous. I shared the story behind my show and they shared the projects they were working on and how a podcast could be a way to demonstrate their knowledge and skill development in the language arts. Later, Jonathan sent me their finished podcasts, which I listened to and provided written feedback on. Jonathan and I decided it would be way cool if I had my editor, the very talented Evan Kurohara, work his magic and turn one of these student podcasts into a special episode. So what is the context behind the short, student-generated episode you are about to hear? Jonathon writes: In my language arts classes, I often ask students to put texts in conversation with each other, to notice when one text might be commenting on, criticizing, responding to, or expanding on another. As students begin to understand, notice, and appreciate that conversations are taking place all around us, across borders and time, we practice joining these conversations as well. This past school year, one way we tried to do this was by creating podcasts. Students had very few guidelines for this project but were trying to sharpen their abilities to develop and communicate insights. They had to think about audience and purpose; they needed to consider the wider conversations they might be joining through their podcasts. The group featured here envisioned a series of conversations around “big” topics. In this episode, they take a closer look at how social media influences our perceptions of love and what impacts our parents have on our ‘love lives.’ In this conversation, students take you on a journey through what they think it means to be So, listeners, here are Jonathon Medeiros’s students reflecting on the nature and meaning of love. Enjoy.


112. Two Remarkable Social Justice Educators, with Natalie Lalagos and Jonathon Medeiros

Today my guests are Jonathon Medeiros and Natalie Lalagos. In the spirit of my episode with the folks at Embark Education in Colorado, I talk to Natalie first, then Jonathon, then I bring them together for some reflections and final thoughts. By way of context, the Social Justice Education in Hawai‘i Project is a joint initiative of the Hanahauʻoli School Professional Development Center and the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s college of Education. It is aimed at growing the capacity of local educators to inspire youth to be active participants in a diverse democracy. Made possible by the generosity and forward thinking of Jana and Howard Wolff, The Social Justice Education in Hawai‘i Project works to ensure that more teachers, administrators, counselors, and other school practitioners have access to high-quality professional development programs and resources needed for effectively carrying out social justice education initiatives in the state of Hawai‘i. This includes opportunities to learn more about the Southern Poverty Law Center’s critically acclaimed Learning for Justice materials, resources, and professional development opportunities. Launched in 2022, a new and exciting component of the overall project is the Hawai‘i Social Justice Educator Award – a financial award program that aims to support the growing work of social justice educators in the 50th state. The first Social Justice in Education Award went to two remarkable educators: Natalie Lalagos, a Spanish teacher at Kealakehe High School in Kona, and Jonathon Medeiros, a language arts teacher at Kauai High School on the island of Kauai. Jonathon Medeiros is a National Board-certified high school teacher who has been teaching and learning about Language Arts and rhetoric for 17 years with students on Kauaʻi, where he was born and raised. He and his students learn together about curiosity, community, and place. They build deeper connections to each other and the places they live by being curious about where they live, the stories of those places, and then following those curiosities. Jonathon is the former director of the Kauaʻi Teacher Fellowship, a poet, essayist, and also writes frequently about education, equity, and the power of curiosity. He enjoys walking, paddling, surfing, building and spending time with his brilliant wife and young daughters. One of Jonathon’s students once wrote, “This AP English Language Composition class is the first class that has truly changed the way my brain is wired to perceive learning. Because of this class, the pressures of trying to do everything the right way have disintegrated, and left me with nothing to do but enjoy what is being taught. I've learned that everyone in this class has something to offer, whether it would be insights into their own ways of thinking, or their personal experiences that make them who they are. Throughout this work, I've learned to be more perceptive.” What a great testimonial from a former student! Natalie Lalagos is no stranger to the Social Justice in Education Project. She was one of the twenty-four participants in the Leaders of Social Justice in Education: Theory to Practice course in the spring of 2020 where her social justice work blossomed. She is a National Board Certified Spanish teacher at Kealakehe High School on Hawaii Island who is always looking for opportunities to celebrate multilingualism. She has worked in public education for the last eleven years. She is a Hawaii State Teacher Fellow and received the 2023 Southwest Conference on Language Teaching Language Teacher of the Year award. With her passion for globalizing her classroom and teaching practice, and being involved in her community, she currently supports new teachers and runs the Seal of Biliteracy program at her school. Off campus you can find Natalie on her stand up paddle board or doing improv at the Aloha Theatre just outside Kona. One of Natalie’s fellow educators, the proverbial “teacher across the hall,”...


111. Michael Nachbar's Magical Course Catalog of Competencies

Listeners, I could not be more stoked to share that today my guest is Michael Nachbar, the Executive Director of the Global Online Academy, otherwise known as GOA, a pioneering network of more than schools and educators reimagining learning to empower students and educators to thrive in a globally networked society. Michael was appointed the executive director of GOA in 2011, its inaugural year. Since 2011 he has collaborated with global educational institutions to develop a network of over 100 schools in more than 40 countries, enhancing access to quality online education worldwide. GOA is an international consortium of public, independent, charter, and international member schools. Member school students have full access to GOA's online education course catalog. Member school teachers have the opportunity to design and teach student courses and have access to GOA's professional learning courses and programs. Prior to founding GOA, Michael served as Lakeside School’s middle school assistant director (Lakeside is an independent school located in Seattle, Washington), and worked in a variety of roles, including teacher, curriculum coordinator, and director of technology at the Village Community School in New York City. He holds a B.A. in both English and Psychology from Indiana University, and earned an M.A. in Education Leadership through the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Michael started his career in education as a Teach for America corps member, teaching high school English in Roma, Texas. Editing for this podcast is provided by the talented Evan Kurohara. Our theme music is provided by Michael Sloan. Please leave us a review and give us a rating at your favorite podcast app.


Big Think: Social Identity Development, with Dr. Sandra "Chap" Chapman

This is the 5th in a series of special episodes that come from the Game Changer and Big Think speaker series in the archives. Keep in mind the audio comes from Zoom calls and YouTube webinars, so expect a couple bumps and knocks along the way. On the other hand, the conversations you will hear are incredible for their depth and insight into what school could be, and what could be school. In this episode Dr. Sandra Chapman joins What School Could Be hosts Kapono Ciotti and Susannah Johnson for an inspiring conversation focused on helping educators of infants through adolescents apply an identity-conscious and developmentally appropriate approach to teaching and caring for children. Dr. Chapman will also share interventions with educators that can interrupt bias and contribute instead to identity-safe environments. Sandra "Chap" Chapman, EdD is the Founder of Chap Equity, an organization rooted in the belief that, through teamwork, we can learn more about ourselves and others; discuss and discover the foundational research needed to address the needs in a community; create conversations that support individuals where they are and confront barrier issues; and create actionable steps towards building stronger educational communities. Dr. Chap facilitates workshops on racial identity development, racial microaggressions, implicit bias, identity and racial anxiety, stereotype threat, and hiring in education and with teams in various types of organizations. Embedded within each concept are tools for helping individuals override unconscious phenomena linked to identity and better connect behavior with values. This episode was edited by Kim Dilts and Evan Kurohara. Theme music provided by Michael Sloan. To join the What School Could Be global online community go to


110. Together, Impossible is Nothing, with Dr. Carmen Coleman

My guest for this 110th episode is Kentucky’s Dr. Carmen Coleman. Boy-oh-boy, did I look forward to this conversation, and enjoy prepping for it! Back in April of this year, 2023 I finally had the chance to meet Dr. Coleman in person at the Deeper Learning Conference, held at High Tech High. I felt like I had just met the Jane Goodall of student-driven learning. Dr. Coleman is Kentucky bluegrass through and through. Her first teaching job was at the elementary school her mom taught at, and she attended. Not only has she been a teacher, principal, college professor and superintendent in Kentucky, she was the Superintendent of the Danville Independent School District, the Chief Academic Officer for the Jefferson County Public Schools and is now the Chief of Transformational Learning and Leading for the Ohio Valley Education Cooperative. Professor John Nash at the University of Kentucky wrote the following wonderful words about Carmen, for this episode. "I often say that the only barrier preventing schools from reaching their full potential is the will of the adults leading them. It's not an overly complicated concept - you simply have to want to make a difference. Carmen Coleman is living proof of this principle. These last twelve years, I found not just a colleague, but someone who inspires me to continue to advocate for meaningful change in education. I’m certain I’m not the only one who feels this way. The entire state of Kentucky is fortunate to have Carmen's visionary leadership.” Editing for this podcast is provided by the talented Evan Kurohara. Our theme music is provided by Michael Sloan. Please leave us a review and give us a rating at your favorite podcast app.


109. Cerina Livaudais, An Ultimate And Most Gracious A.G.E.N.T.I.C

Today my guest is Cerina Livaudais, a computer science coach, mentor and guide, and education leader at DreamHouse Academy Ewa Beach, on the West Side of the island of Oahu in Hawai'i. DreamHouse was founded by a team of individuals led by Alex Teece, a former guest on this show and a brilliantly innovative leader who worked relentlessly to get DreamHouse’s charter application passed. Alex recently handed over the reins at DreamHouse to Ryan Mandado, whose name will come up at the end of this conversation. Michael Sarmiento, Purple Maiʻa Education Director said the following about Cerina: “She has reminded me that teaching is about connection. Connection to your students, connection to your content, connection to your culture, connection to you colleagues, connection to your community, and most importantly connection to a purpose that is bigger than yourself. Cerina gathers all of these connections and creates a magical learning space where her students are brave enough to do challenging things because they know they are valued and loved.” Editing for this podcast is provided by the talented Evan Kurohara. Our theme music is provided by Michael Sloan.


108. The Total Brilliance of Liger Leadership Academy, with Jeff Holte

Fasten your seatbelts, listeners. Jeff Hotle is an innovative, creative educator with 45 years of experience as a teacher, principal, technology director, school director and designer of pioneering learning models. Originally from the United States, Jeff has been living in Qatar, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cambodia and New Zealand working in the field of education since 2006. He has been with Liger Leadership Academy as its Director of Learning since 2013 and is passionate about education and the promise it provides to the learner, the community and the world. (He retired in early 2023.) His goal is to ignite curiosity, inspire a love of learning, and motivate children to fulfill their potential through project-oriented and opportunity-based experiences. Our episodes are edited by the talented Evan Kurohara. Music is provided by my friend and master pianist, Michael Sloan. If you love this episodes please rate the show and give us a review wherever you get your podcasts. Huge thanks to Robert Landau and Lene Jensby Lange for helping coordinate my interview with Jeff.


Big Think: Amplifying Student Voice, with Jennifer D. Klein

This is the fourth in a series of special episodes that come from the Game Changer and Big Think speaker series in the What School Could Be archives. Educators worldwide are striving to connect their students to classrooms and experts in ways that humanize the world while preparing them to thrive in the 21st century. In this re-mixed, re-mastered Game Changer conversation, Jennifer D. Klein, author of The Global Education Guidebook, takes us through the steps and strategies needed to set up equitable global partnerships that benefit all learners, founded in the tenets of global citizenship and global competency. Hosted by What School Could Be’s Susannah Johnson, the Director of Global Curriculum and Coaching Development, and Kapono Ciotti, the Executive Director, this conversation ranges across a number of topics and themes, which will inspire you. A product of experiential project-based education herself, Jennifer D. Klein taught college and high school English and Spanish for nineteen years, including five years in Central America and eleven years in all-girls education. In 2010, Jennifer left teaching to begin Principled Learning Strategies, which provides professional development to support authentic student-driven global learning experiences in schools. She has a broad background in global education and partnership development, student-driven curricular strategies, inclusivity, and experiential, inquiry-driven learning. As a former head of school with extensive international experience, Jennifer facilitates dynamic, interactive workshops for teachers, leaders and students, working to amplify student voice, to provide the tools for high-quality project-based learning in all cultural and socio-economic contexts, and to shift school culture to support such practices. Jennifer is also committed to intersecting global project-based learning with culturally-responsive and anti-racist teaching practices, and her experience includes deep work with schools seeking to address equity, take on brave conversations, build healthier communities, and improve identity politics on campus. Jennifer’s first book, The Global Education Guidebook, was published in 2017, and her second book, The Landscape Model of Learning, co-authored with Kapono Ciotti, was released in July, 2022.


107. John Nash: Brilliant Education Designer, Thought Leader and Human Being

This episode covers a wide range of issues in education, most notably design thinking and generative AI. John B. Nash is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership Studies at the University of Kentucky. He teaches a range of courses on school technology leadership, design thinking and research methods. His current research agenda investigates how technology, innovation and policy interact and influence schools and educators in different contexts. John is also a director of the UCEA Center for Advanced Study of Leadership for Technology in Education (CASTLE) and the Laboratory on Design Thinking in Education (dLab). John is the former Associate Director for Evaluation at the Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning (SCIL), where he conducted applied research on improving program evaluation in grant-funded initiatives, and the former Associate Director of Assessment and Research at the Stanford Learning Laboratory, where he examined the effects of innovative technologies on learning. Our episodes are edited by the talented Evan Kurohara. Music is provided by my friend and master pianist, Michael Sloan.


106. Whole Child, Whole Life, with Stephanie Malia Krauss

Whole Child, Whole Life author, Stephanie Malia Krauss writes, “I am a mom [and now two-time author] with a background in education and social work. Through my experiences teaching and running a school, I know getting young people to succeed academically does not always mean they are healthy, happy, or ready for what comes next. This was true in my own life. As a high school dropout, I needed people and opportunities within and beyond school to help me live and learn. Today I work at the intersection of education, youth development, workforce development, and human services. My work and writing focuses on what young people need to build lives and futures they love. I am fortunate to work with brilliant leaders across the US to advocate for and build systems, structures, policies, and practices to make that possible.” Editing for this episode is provided by the talented Evan Kurohara. Our theme music comes from the vast catalogue of music by master pianist, Michael Sloan. Please support this show by giving us a rating and writing a review wherever you get your podcasts!


Big Think: The Creative Hustle, with Olatunde Sobomehin and Sam Seidel

Humans have always been creative hustlers—problem solvers who seek to live beyond the limits suggested by society. Yet we live in a world where the place you were born, the amount of money you have, and the level of melanin in your skin indicate a precise path you are expected to follow. Too many of us silence our creativity and let our hustle calcify as we settle for the roles assigned to us. In this special episode, moderated by What School Could Be's Susannah Johnson and Kapono Ciotti, you will hear Olatunde Sobomehin and Sam Seidel, co-teachers of the Creative Hustle course at Stanford University, help you identify and navigate your own creative path that leads from your gifts—your unique combination of skills—to your goals, where you make a living doing things that matter. Sam Seidel is the K12 Lab Director of Strategy and Research at the Stanford, and co-author of four books, including Creative Hustle, Changing the Conversation About School Safety, Hip Hop Genius 2.0, and Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education. Olatunde Sobomehin is the CEO and co-founder of StreetCode Academy, a Silicon Valley-based non-profit that offers free tech classes to communities of color. Olatunde is a proud graduate of Stanford where he majored in Urban Studies, led a public speaking class in the Engineering department, and played on the top 25 Men's Basketball Team, where he was also voted Most Inspirational Player in 2003.


105. The Solutionary Squad's Magical Mystical Alchemist, Julia Fliss

Today my guest is Julia Fliss. Julia is an educator, activist, world changer, lifelong learner, creative, and yogi who lives and teaches middle level learners at a school in the mountains of Evergreen, Colorado. She has made it her life’s mission to advocate for student voice, agency, and the power of transformative pedagogy and global collaboration within our current education system. Julia and I share a common superhero named Zoe Weil, the founder of the Institute for Humane Education and the author of The World Becomes What We Teach. Zoe, for this episode writes, "Julia Fliss is the kind of teacher most of us wish we had had, even just once in all the years we were in school. A teacher who believed in us so deeply that we discovered who we could be through her reflected eyes and constant encouragement. A teacher who wanted to know us so that we could better know ourselves and pursue our passions. A teacher who created a class culture so bustling with enthusiasm, kindness, and cooperation that we could truly thrive. A teacher who made learning come alive and inspired us to make a difference in the world. A teacher who helped us to think deeply as well as to act ethically. A teacher so positive and loving that we had a role model for life." Editing for this episode is provided by the talented Evan Kurohara. Our theme music comes from the vast catalogue of music by master pianist, Michael Sloan. Please support this show by giving us a rating and writing a review wherever you get your podcasts! To contact me with questions or comments navigate to the contact page for this show.


Big Think: Four Brilliant Futurists

The following conversation happened on December 1st, 2022 via Zoom. Kapono Ciotti and I hosted a panel of four brilliant futurists who discussed the need to educate not one, but multiple generations of teachers and students who will intentionally shape the future of society, resulting in a world that is more just, more equitable, and fully sustainable, and do it in a way that avoids negative, unintended consequences. This panel did a remarkable and wonderful job unpacking all that is what school could be, and could be school. Our four panelists were: Dr. Kristin Alford is the Director of the Museum of Discovery (MOD.) at the University of South Australia: Laura McBain is the Co-Interim Managing Director at Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (d.School) and the Co-Director of the K12 Lab at Stanford’s d.School in California: Zoe Weil is the co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education (IHE), and a pioneer in the comprehensive humane education movement. Zoe calls Maine her home. Dr. Aubrey Yee is a futurist, systems thinker, and passionate advocate for positive social transformation in Hawaii is a facilitator and coach for Our Beloved Futures, among many other pursuits and passions. Editing for this episode is provided by Evan Kurohara and Kim Dilts. Our theme music comes from the vast catalogue of music by master pianist, Michael Sloan. Please support this show by giving us a rating and writing a review wherever you get your podcasts!


104. An Educator and Leader of Great Promise, Esther Kwon

The Milken Family Foundation writes, "Esther Kwon has worn many hats in her years at Daniel K. Inouye Elementary School. Currently an assistant principal, Kwon looks for innovative ways to enhance students’ educational experience in and out of the classroom. As assistant principal, she is an integral part of the school’s administrative leadership team, helping to drive the instructional program and meet overall academic goals. Last year she piloted the Pineapple Academy, a distance learning option for 12 area elementary schools. Kwon’s fifth graders started each day with 'Pineapple Talk Time,' where they chatted, listened to music played by 'DJ Kwon,' and set their intentions for the day with one of the four classroom norms: be present, be respectful, be curious, be responsible. Students served as co-teachers, helping to summarize learning and share key ideas in the online chat panel. Kwon encouraged students to follow their passions, pairing them with high school students to create projects for the state’s elementary STEM fair. In the program’s inaugural year, 100% of Kwon’s students showed growth on diagnostic assessments, with 80% meeting or exceeding grade level targets in language arts. Kwon shared her learning practices with peers and invited state leaders into her online classroom to showcase what effective virtual instruction looked, sounded and felt like." Editing for this episode is provided by the talented Evan Kurohara. Our theme music comes from the vast catalogue of music by master pianist, Michael Sloan. Please support this show by giving us a rating and writing a review wherever you get your podcasts!


103. Bike Repair, Great Coffee and Three Pioneers at Embark Education

Listeners, meet Miguel Gonzales, Brian Hyosaka and Megan Parry, three visionary and articulate education leaders at Embark Education and Embark, the School in Colorado. "At Embark Education, we are rooted firmly in radical trust, fostering relationships, and shifting mindsets, while expanding to explore the profound potential of learner-centered education for youth and adults. Embark, the school, is a micro middle school in North Denver embedded in two small businesses – Pinwheel Coffee and Framework Cycles. Embark supports students to courageously inquire, engage, and discover a sense of self in an environment that is learner-centered, integrated, and embedded." Editing for this episode is provided by the talented Evan Kurohara. Our theme music comes from the vast catalogue of music by master pianist, Michael Sloan. Please support this show by giving us a rating and writing a review wherever you get your podcasts!


Big Think: Stephen Ritz and the Green Bronx Machine

Stephen Ritz is a South Bronx educator and administrator who believes that students shouldn’t have to leave their community to live, learn, and earn in a better one. Moving generations of students into spheres of personal and academic successes they have never imagined, while reclaiming and rebuilding the Bronx, Stephen’s extended student and community family have grown more than 165,000 pounds of vegetables in the Bronx while generating extraordinary academic performance. Named a 2015 Top Ten Finalist for the Global Teacher Prize, Stephen’s accolades include a 2014 Greenius Award, 2014 Green Difference Award, 2013 Latin Trends Award, ABC Above and Beyond Award, Chevrolet / General Motors National Green Educator Award, USS Intrepid Hometown Hero Award, NYC Chancellor’s Award and various others. Stephen has consistently moved attendance from 40 percent to 93 percent daily, partnered towards thousands of youth jobs in the Bronx and captured the United States EPA Award for transforming mindsets and landscapes in NYC. A strong advocate for Project Based Learning, he is currently working on embedding the concepts of sustainability, food, energy and environmental justice into K-12 programming and beyond. This special episode was edited by Evan Kurohara and Kim Dilts. Music is provided by Michael Sloan.


102. Small Flames of Learning That Become Bonfires, with Paul Balazs

Today my guest is Paul Balazs, the Theory of Knowledge teacher, Student Activities Coordinator, Wipeout Crew founder and advisor, and Milken Award Teacher of Promise - among many other things - at Henry J. Kaiser high school in East Honolulu. Listeners, as always, I spent two weeks preparing for today’s conversation. In the end I must have had 30 questions I wanted to ask Paul, but in a painful process, and in the interests of time, I had to narrow them down to just 9 or 10. Ouch! So here is what I will not be asking Paul Balazs in this interview, though some of these topics might come up anyway in his responses to my chosen questions. I was not able to ask him why the following awards have great meaning to him: the Donald and Astrid Monson Award, the League of Women Voters award and the Aloha Award, which recognizes individuals in the global surfing community who are ambassadors of the Aloha Spirit. Frankly, to hear the complete list of things we did not have time to cover, listen to my intro to the episode! My editor and sound engineer is the talented Evan Kurohara. Our theme music comes from the vast catalogue of music by master pianist, Michael Sloan. Please support this show by giving us a rating and writing a review wherever you get your podcasts.


101. My Daughter, My Teacher, My Friend, Emma Reppun

The very well traveled educator, Emma Reppun was raised between the hills of Marin County, California and the Koʻolau Mountains of O'ahu, in Hawai'i. In college she studied sociology at UC Santa Barbara where she received the first inkling that teaching would be her life’s work. In the following years she was trained in the ways of Forest School and Nature Connection by her mentors at Vilda and Earthwise Education, and became a Wilderness First Responder through the National Outdoor Leadership School, or NOLS. During that time she discovered a deep love for working with early-childhood aged children and decided to pursue a graduate degree in education, through the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute, which she completed in 2021. Editing for this episode is provided by the talented Evan Kurohara. Our theme music comes from the vast catalogue of music by master pianist, Michael Sloan. Please support this show by giving us a rating and writing a review wherever you get your podcasts.


100. Ted Dintersmith, Relentless Crusader for What School Could Be

Ted Dintersmith, at his website, writes, "I have an unusual vantage point on the future of our children and our nation. I spent my career in the world of innovation [and venture capital], and my track record there suggests I might know a bit about it. And over the past decade, I’ve immersed myself in the world of education. I don’t claim to have the expertise our classroom teachers have, and I respect their insights — celebrate them, actually. But I have insights into the world our children will live in as adults, and the ways this future ought to affect the way we educate children. I fight every day to do what I can to help give children a creative, uplifting education that prepares them to lead lives of purpose. Make no mistake, the challenges are serious. But so are the opportunities." Ted is the Executive Producer of the acclaimed film, Most Likely to Succeed, co-author of the book, Most Likely to Succeed (with Tony Wagner) author of the book, What School Could Be and the founder and funder behind all the work being done at, including this podcast. Editing for this episode is provided by the talented Evan Kurohara. Our theme music comes from the vast catalogue of music by master pianist, Michael Sloan. Please support this show by giving us a rating and writing a review wherever you get your podcasts.