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Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today

My guest this week is Dr. Michael Lubelfeld, Superintendent of the Deerfield 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 was unable 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...


Fred Navarro, Ed.D.

My guest this week is Dr. 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, including activities director, assistant director of human resources, middle and high school principal, and assistant superintendent of instruction. He served as superintendent...


Retired Superintendent Ricardo Medina

My guest this week is retired superintendent Ricardo Medina. Ricardo has had an extensive career in education. He has served as teacher, site administrator, and district leader. Ricardo served as Superintendent with the Coachella Valley Unified School District, and the Central Union High School District in California, and the Bridgeport-Spaulding Community Schools in Michigan. He later served as Chief Human Resource Officer with the Alum Rock Union Elementary School District in San Jose,...


Superintendent, Phil Ertl, EdD

My guest this week on District Leader is Dr. 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 the Marble Falls Independent School District in Texas and the Tomah Area School District...


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 to our 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...


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...


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...


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...


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,...


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...


Ray Queener, Ed.D. (019)

Hi Everyone. My guest this week is Dr. Ray Queener, Superintendent at Cambridge-Isanti Public Schools located in Cambridge, Minnesota. He is a career educator who began teaching in 1990, with the Luck Public Schools, in Luck, WI, where he taught secondary math and was a K-12 Computer Coordinator/Coach. He has held positions throughout Minnesota as a Technology Coordinator and Director in South St. Paul School District, a Coordinator of Technology in Rosemount-Eagan-Apple Valley School...


REFLECTION: Luis R. Valentino, Ed.D.

Hi everyone, and welcome to District Leader. Thank you for joining us. I wanted to do something a little different this week. Instead of posting an interview with one of our guests, I wanted to take the opportunity to talk with you, and begin to reflect on the experience of the podcast, and what it is like to have such incredible guests each week. The insight they have provided has been generous, and the learning that their sharing offers has been priceless.


Eve Kaltz

My guest this week is Eve Kaltz, Superintendent of Center Line Public Schools in Center Line, Michigan. Eve has served as the Superintendent of Center Line Public Schools since 2009, but has spent all of her nearly 30-year career in the district. She began her education career as a teacher. After teaching for 13 years, Eve was hired as the Elementary Learning Consultant for Center Line. She later served as principal of two different elementary schools, and as Director of Curriculum,...


Nick Henkle

My guest this week is Nicholas Henkle, Superintendent of Channahon School District 17, in Channahon, Illinois. Nick began his teaching career at Downers Grove North High School as a long-term substitute teacher. He then taught for three years at Rockdale School near Joliet, IL, teaching Language Arts and Reading and also coaching football and basketball. He later became the principal in Oak Lawn, IL in Atwood Heights District 125 where he served for six years. Nick accepted his first...


Rich Merlo

Rich Merlo is the Superintendent of the Corcoran Unified School District. He began his career in education in 1977 as a biology and physical education instructor and coach. He became an assistant principal in 1994 and served as principal for the next eight years. Rich also taught at Kings River Community College, and is currently an online instructor for the University of Phoenix. His education includes a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in education from Stanford...


Michael Lubelfeld, Ed.D.

Michael Lubelfeld Ed.D. is the Superintendent of Schools, Deerfield Public Schools, in Deerfield, IL (DPS 109). In addition, he has worked as an adjunct professor, advisor, and supervisor at Chicago-area Universities in the Department of Educational Leadership. A public school educator and educational leader for nearly 25 years, Lubelfeld has served as an assistant superintendent, a middle school associate principal, a principal, and a middle school teacher, teaching social studies,...


Dr. Shane Hotchkiss

Dr. Shane Hotchkiss is the Superintendent of the Bermudian Springs School District, York Springs, PA. Shane went earned his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a M.ED. in Education with a certification as a Reading Specialist, from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. He obtained his principal certification from Pennsylvania State University and his Doctorate from Widener University. Shane began his teaching career as an elementary school teacher in the New Kent County School...


David Tebo

David Tebo is the Superintendent for the Hamilton Community Schools, Hamilton, Michigan. David is a passionate superintendent. He is a father, husband and avid reader who relentlessly seeks ways to meet the needs of ALL students. David has been an elementary teacher, a building principal, and is now in his second superintendency, serving students. A life-long learner, David constantly looks for ways to connect education to the world around us. He sees today's technological resources as a...


Danna Diaz, PhD

Dr. Danna Diaz is the Superintendent of the San Juan School District in Washington. Danna has served the interest of public schools spanning 4 decades in various positions in both large and small school systems. Her administrative career includes 20 years as an Administrator in eleven districts across four states - Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida and Washington. Known for her no non-sense attitude and unparalleled work ethic, Danna’s reputation in the education community precedes her -...


Xavier de la Torre, PhD

Dr. Xavier de la Torre is the Superintendent of the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) in El Paso, Texas. Prior to joining YISD in 2014, Xavier served as the Superintendent of Schools in the neighboring Socorro Independent School District (SISD), and as the County Superintendent of Schools with the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE). During his three-year tenure at SISD, Xavier emerged as a dynamic instructional leader and nationally recognized superintendent who was...