In this collection of recent interviews, hear what some leading education advocates--practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and more--have to say about best practices and new ideas in leadership, teaching and learning.

The views expressed in these interviews do not necessarily represent those of the Learning First Alliance or its members.

  • Superintendent of the Year Matthew Utterback of North Clackamas, Ore. discusses his district's focus on equity, public school choice options, and how he has rebuilt the school district after severe budget cuts. (May 2017)
  • School Counselor of the Year Terri Tchorzynski discusses her work helping all students find college and career skills at Calhoun Area Career Center in Battle Creek, Mich. (February 2017)
  • Building a professional learning community through social media helps educators gain new perspectives, knowledge, and access to resources they might not have found. In this interview, six social media-savvy educators give their tips for getting starting and finding an online community. (October 2016)
  • Researchers, authors and practitioners gave their advice for engaging students and parents in summer learning and preventing the "summer slide." (May 2016)
  • Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. spoke with LFA at the beginning of his term about his plans for equity, better teachers, and regulations for the Every Student Succeeds Act. (February 2016)
  • Two veteran school administrators, Diane Watkins and Stephanie Johnson, give tips on managing your most challenging colleagues and difficult personalities in the workplace. (September 2016)
  • 2016 School Counselor of the Year Katherine Pastor has built innovative and effective programs to help her students at Arizona's Flagstaff High School find pathways to college, while helping nurture their social and emotional needs along the way.
  • 2015 National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples is inspired by the bravery of her students, many of whom have arrived in Amarillo, Texas having dealt with violence and extreme poverty.
  • Elementary Art Teacher Donna Staten has earned the title "Pinterest Queen" because she has shared thousands of lessons and amassed nearly 100,000 followers on social media site Pinterest. She offers her strategies for using social media for lesson planning and communications. (May 2015)
  • Middle School Principal Megan Kinsey shares her strategies for best use of educational technology in classrooms, professional development for teachers, and what she’s learned from the Catalyst classroom, a research project she co-founded at her school to help support both teachers and students in their use of technology. (April 2015)
  • Master Teacher Diane Siekmann shares her thoughts on teaching under new college and career ready standards and the supports needed to get it right. Particularly encouraging: the changes she has seen in her students under these new, higher standards. (April 2014)
  • 2014 NASSP Digital Principal Daisy Dyer Duerr talks about her philosophy on digital learning and St. Paul High School’s (AR) transition to a technology-infused school, emphasizing the challenge that bandwidth (or more specifically, a lack of bandwidth) presents to her rural community. (March 2014)
  • Joshua Starr, executive director of Phi Delta Kappa International, discusses his experience as a large-district superintendent, the state of testing, and his priorities for the organization, including plans to expand its annual poll. (September 2015)
  • Anthony King founded a unique "Dad's PTA" in Detroit to help fathers and male caretakers get involved in their children's schools. (July 2015)
  • Baltimore County Public Schools has earned national recognition for its efforts to engage parents, students, and key constituents, and Chief Communications Officer Mychael Dickerson shares his strategies for success. (June 2015)
  • Award-Winning school communications professional Zac Rantz discusses of the importance of effective communications in public education and shares the key aspects of his program. (May 2014)
  • National PTA President Otha Thornton tells us why his organization supports the Common Core State Standards, what parents need to know about them and how they can help support implementation. He also dispels some of the myths surrounding the standards. (February 2014)
  • Principal Whitney Meissner discusses teacher preparation, supports for new teachers, and evaluation systems for teachers and principals. (April 2014) 
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