Podcasts

March 4, 2021
Host
Richard M. Long, Learning First Alliance
Guest
Leilani Esmond, Gwinnett County, Ga. public schools

Professional learning can be a "power tool of transformation," says Leilani Esmond, the director of professional learning in Georgia's Gwinnett County Schools. In this podcast, Esmond discusses how professional learning can help educators have tough conversations on racial equity and social justice, and how she sees ways to bring together dissenting voices to work together for a common goal.

February 21, 2021
Host
Richard M. Long, Learning First Alliance
Guest
Gustavo Balderas, Superintendent, Edmonds, Wash.

Having worked at nearly every level of a school system, Gustavo Balderas is familiar with what students need.

February 20, 2021
Host
Richard M. Long, Learning First Alliance
Guest
Nicole Kirby, APR, Park Hill School District, Kansas City

Nicole Kirby, the incoming president of the National School Public Relations Association, knows that school communications is not just about telling the success stories of public schools. It also entails strategic communications, transparency with the public, advocating for students, and ensuring all employees in the district understand new initiatives and why changes in programs and policies may occur.

February 16, 2021
Host
Richard M. Long, Learning First Alliance
Guest
Richard Gordon, principal, Paul Robeson High School for Human Services, Philadelphia

NASSP Principal of the Year Richard Gordon never wanted to be a principal, he knew the stresses and limitations of the job, but others saw his potential. Eventually he landed at Paul Robeson High School, a troubled school that nobody wanted to lead, and he worked to make systemic changes instilling safety, emotional and academic supports, college and career readiness, and beliefs to help teachers and students to embody an all-inclusive family atmosphere. He now mentors other principals and teachers to transform schools into high-performing learning environments.

February 4, 2021
Host
Richard M. Long, Learning First Alliance
Guest
Charlie WIlson, National School Boards Association

National School Boards Association President Charlie Wilson believes that public education is the most important pillar of our democracy and every community should have strong public schools. As a school board member in Worthington, Ohio, he understand the need for community involvement in those schools and discusses ways that school boards should ensure that parents and guardians can participate in their schools and children's educations.

January 28, 2021
Host
Richard M. Long, Learning First Alliance
Guest
Leslie Boggs, National PTA

Leslie Boggs became active in her local PTA in Texas not only because she saw the need as a parent, but as a business owner she saw the need for a strong public education system to benefit students and businesses. Today, she is focused on building a system that provides an equitable education for all students, starting with funding and internet access. "Before, we were able to gloss over some of the inequities in this nation, and we can no longer do that," she says.

January 23, 2021
Host
Richard M. Long, Learning First Alliance
Guest
Rosamund Looney, 1st grade teacher, Jefferson Parish, La.

Before Covid-19 pushed her classroom to virtual learning, Rosamund Looney was passionate about engaging her students' families in their education. In this podcast she discusses ways she is working through challenges and helping her students, some of whom are dealing with significant traumas, handle their social emotional needs. Looney, an AFT and Jefferson Federation of Teachers member, also works to instill cultural competencies and social justice in her classes.

January 21, 2021
Host
Richard M. Long, Learning First Alliance
Guest
Olivia Carter, National School Counselor of the Year

 As an elementary school counselor in Cape Girardeau, Mo., Olivia Carter has honed in on trauma-informed practices and built a team that is prepared to meet the mental-health needs of their students. Carter shares some of her techniques for vulnerable students and discusses the need for more counselors at the elementary level in this #PublicSchoolProud podcast.

January 12, 2021
Host
Richard M. Long, Learning First Alliance
Guest
Becky Pringle, President, National Education Association

As head of the nation's largest teacher's union, Becky Pringle understands the need to have courageous conversations on equity, inclusion and race. "We are leading a movement to reclaim public education as a common good as a foundation of this democracy and investing in it in a way that reflects that," she says. "We can't stop there, though, we have to transform it into something it was never designed to be, a racially and socially just and equitable system that prepares every student everyone to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world."

October 26, 2020
Host
Richard M. Long, Learning First Alliance
Guest
Diana D’Amico Pawlewicz

Diana D’Amico Pawlewicz, Ph.D., a historian of education and social policy, researches school policy as social policy, focusing on fundamental questions around equity, race, power, and the role of institutions in creating or disrupting inequality. Her first book, Blaming Teachers: Professionalization Policies and the Failure of Reform in American History, explores the history of the public school workforce and the creation and maintenance of racialized ideas, policies, and practices.