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  • S4E3: ​Education Finance with Jess Gartner
    Jess Gartner, CEO of Allovue, and Doug Roberts, CEO, and Founder of the Institute for Education Innovation, discuss Ed Finance.
  • S4E2: Back to School
    09/06/2022  | S4E2-Back-to-School-e1nab86
    Dr. Gina Cinotti, Superintendent at Saddle River Public Schools, and James Tager, Superintendent at Bangor Public Schools, discuss returning to school in the 2022-2023 school with Doug Roberts, CEO of the Institute for Education Innovation. 
  • S4E1: Fireside Chat with The Secretary of Education
    08/30/2022  | S4E1-Fireside-Chat-with-The-Secretary-of-Education-e1n3t32
    US Secretary of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona, sits down with Mark Benigni, Superintendent at Meriden Public Schools, on July 13th, 2022 for a fireside chat at the Institute for Education Innovation's Summer Symposium in Newport, RI.  Doug Roberts, CEO and Founder of IEI, moderates a QA between IEI members and Dr. Cardona. 
  • S3E29: Reflections on Retirement and the End of the School Year
    Dwight Jones, former Superintendent of Clark County School District, and Stephen Murley, former Superintendent of Green Bay Area Public School District, sits down with IEI CEO/Founder Doug Roberts to reflect on the end of the 2022-2023 school year and their thoughts on retiring from the Superintendency. This episode is our last of Season 3; Season 4 will begin on August 2nd, 2022. 
  • S3E28: Reconstruction with Kaya Henderson
    Kaya Henderson, CEO of Reconstruction and former Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools, joins IEI CEO/Founder Doug Roberts to discuss her tenure in the DC public school system and her new edtech company, Reconstruction. Reconstruction, a technology company offering K-12 supplemental curriculum, offers a selection of online courses in educational subjects that center on Black contributions to our national and global society.
  • S3E27: Dr. Luvelle Brown, Dr. Gustavo Balderas, and Traci Davis preview IEI Equity Summit (Ithaca, July 22-24)

    Dr. Luvelle Brown, superintendent of Ithaca CSD (NY) joins Doug with co-panelists Dr. Gustavo Balderas of Beaverton Public Schools (OR) and Traci Davis (Superintendent Emeritus from Nevada) to preview the discussions they will lead, along with their colleague, Dr. Mark Bedell of Anne Arundel County Public Schools (MD), at IEI's "Creating Leaders for Equity and Inclusion" summit in Ithaca, NY July 22-24.  

    Registration for educators is at capacity, but listeners can get on the waitlist for free. There are still spots open for partners who want to support and be allies for this discussion. Registration for all as well as more detailed information can be found at:  

  • S3E26: Hooker, Hogan, and Phyall join Doug to reflect on a crazy year in Edtech
    In this episode of Education Thought Leaders, IEI's CEO, Doug Roberts, is joined by Adam Phyall, Director of Technology and Media Services; Carl Hooker, CEO of Hooker Tech; and Kevin Hogan, host of The Hogan Report as they discuss the benefits of emerging technology due to the pandemic and more. 
  • S3E25: Women in Leadership Workshop Preview
    In this episode of Education Thought Leaders, IEI's Director of Partner Relations, Tiffany Law, speaks with the Superintendent at Port Chester Schools, Dr. Aurelia Henriquez, and the Assistant Superintendent at Cambridge Public Schools, Dr. Barbara Mullen to discuss the struggles and successes of women in leadership roles. This special episode is a preview of IEI's upcoming Women in Leadership Workshop on Long Island, New York. You don't have to be a woman to benefit from the conversation. Listen now for a unique insight into leadership.
  • S3E24: Spark Companies Share Their Experience As First-Time Attendees to an IEI Summit
    In this episode of IEI Thought Leaders, CEOs, Toni Shub of QoreInsights, Linsey Covert of Teamology, and Kimberly Moore of Go Together, join Doug Roberts, CEO of IEI, and Jim McVety, founding member at Spark, to discuss their experience as first-time attendees at an IEI summit. Curious about what one of IEI's events is like? Listen to the episode to find out!
  • S3E23: A New Approach to Learning to Read with Jessica Reid Sliwerski

    In this episode of Education Thought Leaders, Doug connects with his long-time friend and CEO of Open Up Resources and Ignite! Reading, Jessica Reid Sliwerski. Listen to the episode to find out how Jessica started and manages two highly successful companies and how she balances it all. 

  • S3E22: IEI:Lead
    In this episode of Education Thought Leaders, Doug Roberts speaks with three current students of the IEI:Lead Aspiring Superintendent Institute and asks them about their experience as aspiring superintendents. Dr. Barbara Mullen, Lindsay Stewart, and Darian Byrd recently attended the Spring Cohort's culminating event on Coronado Island, San Diego where they met their instructors in person and participated in instructional sessions and mock interviews. Listen now to hear about their experience!
    * Dr. Chris Chastain was unable to participate in this episode. 
  • S3E21: 5 Minutes of Fame Live from the Spring 2022 Summit
    This is a special episode of our 5 Minutes of Fame segment during our Spring 2022 Summit on Coronado Island. Eight incredible superintendents take the stage to tell us about lessons they have learned and the achievements they are most proud of. Listen to hear what these superintendents have to say. 
  • S3E20: ASU + GSV Recap
    The IEI Family gets together to discuss their time at the ASU + GSV Summit in San Diego on April 4-6. Find out what the team has to say about their time at the summit, the trends they noticed, and Doug's excitement about Byrds. 
  • S3E19: The Finnish Advantage: Implementing the Finnish Method in an American School District
    IEI CEO, Doug Roberts is back on this episode of IEI Thought Leaders where he is joined by Dr. Danny Merck of Pickens County School District in South Carolina and Dr. Kari Kumpulainen of the University of Oulu in Finland. Listen here to learn more about the Finnish Method and how it found its way into the Pickens County School District. 
  • S3E18: What Will Post-Pandemic Learning Look Like? with Dr. Shelly Viramontez and Tom Burton
    In this week's episode, IEI's Vice President, Sara Croll, and new team member, Ana Garcia, are joined by Dr. Shelly Viramontez and Tom Burton. Dr. Viramontez currently serves as Superintendent of the Campbell Union School District in California. Mr. Burton serves as Superintendent of Princeton City Schools in Ohio. Listen as we discuss the hurdles and success over the past two years and what's to come in 2023 and beyond. 
  • SE317: From Carpool Mom to CEO with Joanna McFarland

    What better way to celebrate Women's History Month than by interviewing the CEO and Co-Founder of a female-lead company? Joanna McFarland and her Co-Founders, Janelle McGlothlin and Carolyn Yashari Becher, began HopSkipDrive at the dining room table during a kid's birthday party. These moms saw the need for a trustworthy, efficient transportation solution in their community and the rest is history. Joanna and her team at HopSkipDrive are impacting the lives of students and families in districts across the country in more ways than one. Listen in to hear how their "Mom DNA" has helped build a business where working parents are embraced and celebrated and kids are empowered to seize opportunities that would otherwise seem unfathomable. As Joanna said in the show, "The difference between struggle and success can sometimes be as simple as the ability to show up."

  • S3E16: Breaking the Mold with Josh Chernikoff

    Josh is a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur. He is the founder of three education companies: Ashley Tutors, Flex Academies, and Flex Tutors. He also began recording and hosting podcasts called “How I Broke That” and "Breaking the Grade" where, in his words, “each episode will simultaneously induce cringes and provide comfort in helping you realize you are not alone in breaking something on your path to innovation.” Beyond starting education companies, he also runs Cascade Communications, where he provides coaching to companies in the education space. Josh has much to share with his experiences of innovating and not just thinking outside of the box, but taking that box and breaking it wide open! As Josh says in our show, "Fear is a liar" and don't forget that oftentimes obstacles are just opportunities in disguise.

    Cascade Communications:

    Josh Chernikoff:

    Breaking the Grade Podcast:

    Breaking the Grade trailer:

  • S3E15: But Why Supes' Choice?
    On this week's episode of IEI's #EducationThoughtLeaders #podcast Doug Roberts is joined by some of our very own #SupesChoice winners, Cynthia Harrison Barbera, CEO and Founder of STORYWORLD International, Victor Karkar, CEO and Cofounder of Scrible, and Alefiya Master, CEO and Founder of MAD-learn.
  • S3E14: Dealing with Staff Shortages and Boosting Morale with Dr. Alena Zachery-Ross
    Districts across the country are struggling with staff shortages and finding ways to continue pushing forward. Listen in to see how Dr. Alena Zachery-Ross, Superintendent of Ypsilanti Community Schools in Michigan, is working overtime to ensure her schools are operating as smoothly as possible. With Dr. Zachery-Ross's contagious optimism and boots-on-the-ground approach, find out how you can help keep the morale of your staff and students up when life and its circumstances can get you down. 
  • S3E13: How to Take on A Sea of Troubles with Authors Liz and Bill James

    Elizabeth (Liz) and Bill James are public high school English teachers in Stockton, California. They are both accomplished authors and are promoting their most recent publication, A Sea of Troubles: Pairing Literary and Informational Texts to Address Social Inequality, which was published in May of 2021. At the beginning of 2020, Liz and Bill started writing A Sea of Troubles and wrote the bulk of this book while in quarantine as the world was changing drastically around us all. We are so fortunate to have Liz and Bill on with us to discuss how they aim to show educators at the secondary level that the texts teachers are already using can be catalysts to dive into deeper discussions about social injustices that are happening today.

    Liz and Bill masterfully orchestrate the units to demonstrate how to broach a current societal issue of injustice while keeping the focus directly on the novel/play/primary document that is being studied. The chapters are broken into themes and the texts that are implemented are just examples of what can be utilized, but Liz and Bill leave the unit outlines open enough for teachers to make it their own using whatever texts they see fit. Some of the themes include Syntactical Othering, Systemic Racial Injustice, Abuses of Power, Authoritarianism, Genocide and Ethnic Internment, and Gender Inequality. Buy their book here!

  • S3E12: Exploring Superintendency with IEI: Lead

    Fresh off of Winter Break and starting the 2022 year, Doug sits with four administrators from IEI: Lead's Fall Cohort. These guests were dedicated learners in our Aspiring Superintendents Institute. Over the course of 10 weeks, 14 cohort members gathered virtually with instructors that currently serve as a superintendent or have walked in the shoes of superintendency recently. Doug hears from Dr. Barbara Nesbitt, Assistant Superintendent for Technology Services at School District of Pickens County in South Carolina, Janet Ciarrocca, Acting Superintendent of North Brunswick Township Schools in New Jersey, George Guy Jr., Principal of Rosa International Middle School in Cherry Hill Public Schools in New Jersey, and Joe Mullikin, Principal & Director of Continuous Improvement, Data, and Assessment at Meridian School District #223 in Illinois. In this episode, we get to hear from the "student" perspective why IEI: Lead was beneficial and what they got out of the experience. 

    For any listener interested, we invite you to check out to learn more. Applications are currently being accepted for our Spring 2022 Cohort which will start in a few weeks.  

  • S3E11: Supes' Choice Red Carpet Recap

    In case you missed the live stream of our Supes' Choice Gala, we have compiled a highlight reel of the red carpet interviews with some of the superintendent judges, participants, and IEI Team Members. Tiffany Law and Traci Davis were the ultimate hosts and we are so grateful to everyone that stopped in to chat with them before the event. You can check out the full event on our YouTube channel: SUPES Choice - YouTube and the second part of the Charity Event portion here: SUPES Choice - YouTube

  • S3E10: BEST OF Education Thought Leaders: Dr. PJ Caposey on Leadership and Time Management
    We are gearing up for our first-ever Supes' Choice Awards Gala and in light of that, we have pulled an episode from the archives that rings as true today as it did in 2019. On this episode of Education Thought Leaders, we are bringing you the first of our BEST OF series where we share some of our favorite recordings with meaningful messages that are relevant and necessary to hear again.

    In this BEST OF episode, Dr. PJ Caposey, superintendent of Meridien CUSD 223 (near Rockford, IL) discusses leadership, and the nuance and art to understanding when your leadership style needs to adapt to the changing needs of your team and your organization.

  • S3E9: Solidifying Career & College Pathways in K-12 Schools with HERDI

    In this unique gathering of education leaders, Doug and Dr. Toni Cleveland from HERDI* facilitate a discussion with K-12 superintendents, Mr. William Black from Paducah Public Schools, and Dr. Danny Merck from Pickens County School District, and college presidents, Dr. Merrill Irving Jr. from Hennepin Technical College, and Dr. Maureen Murphy from College of Southern Maryland. These leaders discuss the importance of establishing strong programs and curriculum for not only the college-bound student at the K-12 level but also offering career readiness opportunities for those entering various career fields right after graduation. 

    Having college presidents converse with K-12 superintendents opened a dialogue that rarely happens. They share ways in which schools can foster programs to elevate a student's options after graduation.

    *HERDI - Higher Education Research and Development Institute 

  • S3E8: A Look into School Board Meetings with Dr. Richard Cobb and Dr. Bill Heath
    In this episode, Doug Roberts has a chance to sit with Dr. Bill Heath, Superintendent at Lincoln County Schools, and Dr. Richard Cobb, Superintendent at Mid-Del School District, to find out what their experiences have been with school board meetings this year. Dr. Heath and Dr. Cobb share how their meetings have remained civil during this time where many other districts have experienced turmoil.

  • S3E7: IEI Road Show Recap with Doug
    Doug reflects on his time visiting IEI members and districts during the IEI Road Show. He shares some highlights and amazing things that are taking place in schools across the Southeast region and reminds us of the incredible work that is happening each day in classrooms everywhere. 

  • S3E6 Who Gets to Be Gifted in America with Marc Smolowitz
    Doug had the opportunity to sit down with director and producer, Marc Smolowitz to discuss equity in education when it comes to gifted programs in America. This important yet rarely discussed aspect in education is the premise of Marc's upcoming documentary, THE G WORD.

    Marc is currently in post-production on THE G WORD -- a feature-length documentary that aims to be the most comprehensive film ever made on the topics of gifted, talented, and neurodiverse education across the United States. The film asks the urgent equity question -- In the 21st century, who gets to be Gifted in America and Why? and is scheduled to premiere in late 2022.

  • S3E5: Cross-Pod with Dr. Matthew Joseph - All Things Supes
    In this episode, Doug joins Dr. Matthew Joseph on his podcast "You Can't Make This Up" for a cross-pod interview. Doug shares how IEI came to be. Creating learning opportunities for partners and members, building foundational relationships, and establishing trust from the get-go are the pillars of the organization. Dr. Joseph and Doug continue the conversation with Supes' Choice where edtech companies with any budget can get feedback on their product directly from our superintendents. You can learn more at! They also talk about the importance of supporting superintendents and district leaders. Doug shares a bit about bolstering educational leadership with IEI: Lead-Aspiring Superintendent Institute.

  • S3E4: Supes' Choice Awards with Sarah Williamson, owner of SW/PR group
    Doug sits down with Sarah Williamson, owner of SW/PR group, to talk about IEI's inaugural Supes' Choice Awards that is currently accepting submissions now through October 30, 2021. Supes' Choice is all about connecting great companies who want to get valuable feedback with forward-thinking IEI superintendent members. This is a low price point opportunity for a company of any size to put their idea in front of superintendents and receive thoughtful consideration and reviews. Go to to enter!

  • S3E3 Moving Forward with Eric Westendorf, Monica Brady-Myerov, and Mark Rothschild
    In this episode, Doug Roberts sits down with Eric Westendorf, Co-Founder & CEO of Coursello, Monica Brady-Myerov, Founder & CEO of Listenwise, and Mark Rothschild, CEO of Right At School during the ASU+GSV event in San Diego. During this three-in-one interview, Doug discusses the challenges each of their companies has faced over the past eighteen months and how they are pushing forward toward a brighter future.

  • S3E2 Equity & Anti-Racism with Colin Seale, Dr. Nataki Gregory, Lynne Inabnitt, and Jess Gartner
    In Episode 2, Colin Seale, CEO of Think Law, facilitates a conversation with Dr. Nataki Gregory, CEO of CT3 Education, Lynne Inabnitt, Co-Clinical Director at Global Teletherapy, and Jess Gartner, Founder/CEO of Allovue during our summer symposium at the Biltmore. These thought leaders take a deep dive into the importance of equity and anti-racism within a company, and how hard conversations are truly necessary for continued, sustainable growth. 

  • S3E1 Instructional Intervention Strategies

    In Episode 1 of Season 3, Doug is sharing a panel discussion from the summer symposium in Asheville, NC with IEI members Mr. Todd Dugan, Superintendent in Bunker Hill, Illinois, Dr. Susan Enfield, Superintendent in Highline, Washington, Mr. Tom Burton, Superintendent from Princeton City School District in Ohio, and Dr. Joseph Davis, Superintendent from Ferguson-Florissant School District in Missouri. This panel was moderated by Mr. Philip Cutler, CEO of PAPER. Listen here for their thoughts on the upcoming school year and how to bring new ideas and innovations around instruction and intervention.

  • S2E29 Season Finale! IEI Members Reflect on Their Years of Service Before Retirement
    Doug Roberts sits down with Dr. Deborah Baker, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction from Brighton Central School District in New York, and Dr. John Jungmann, Superintendent of Springfield Public Schools in Missouri as they close out their careers as district leaders and celebrate retirement. Debby & John discuss how they started their careers, some lessons learned, and what they have planned for the future.

  • S2E28 Celebrating Educators 
    This week's podcast features three amazing teachers from across the country. We are joined by Erin Leahy a middle school reading teacher in Omaha, NE, Katie Graham a 2nd-grade teacher from Pittsburg, PA, and Melissa Crawl a 4th-grade teacher from Chelsea, AL. Listen as these educators share their thoughts on instruction, school culture, and their overall reflection on one of the toughest yet rewarding school years. 

  • S2E27 Leadership Discussion with Dr. Robert Avossa & Doug Roberts 
    Join us this week with former superintendent, education thought leader, and IEI Senior Advisor, Dr. Robert Avossa. Dr. Avossa talks about the leadership of superintendents during Covid and advice he has for these leaders as they go back to "normal" next school year. Also, listen in to hear about some of the upcoming IEI events for K12 industry leaders. 

  • S2E26 Creating a Community of Supes & CEOs with Sarah Williamson & Doug Roberts
    Sarah Williamson from "Build Momentum" chats with our CEO Doug Roberts on all things ed-tech, leadership, and building community. They also discuss how IEI handled the challenges of Covid and where we are headed for the 2021-2022 school year.

  • S2E25 Finishing out the School Year Strong with Matt Miller 
    Matt Miller, Superintendent of Lakota Local Schools in Ohio (Follow him on Twitter @lakotasuper) discusses how he and his staff conquered the challenges of Covid this year and together organized memorable graduation ceremonies that celebrated that focused on the students and all they have accomplished. Matt talks about his new learning; what he will change, and what will stay the same moving forward with a positive outlook for next year. 

  • S2E24 Strategies for Anywhere, Anytime Instruction with Paper's Phil Cutler

    An august panel of superintendents joins Phil Cutler of Paper for a discussion about the strategies they are deploying to make instruction available to all student anywhere, anytime. The panel includes: 

    Dr. Ann Levett, Superintendent, Savannah-Chatcham County Public Schools (GA)

    Dr. Danny Merck, Superintendent, Pickens County Public Schools (SC)

    Dr. Debby Baker, Assistant Superintendent, Brighton CSD (NY)

    Mr. Todd Dugan, Superintendent, Bunker Hill CUSD (IL)

    Dr. Adam Clark, Superintendent, Mt. Diablo USD (CA)

    Dr. Susan Enfield, Superintendent, Highline Public Schools (WA)

    Originally recorded at the IEI Spring Summit, Colorado Springs, CO

  • S2E23 Dr. PJ Caposey- Do Not Wish It to be Easier!
    Dr. PJ Caposey (@mcusdsupe), Superintendent of Meridian CUSD in IL, gives the IEI Spring Summit his talk, "Do Not Wish It to be Easier," plus some updates from @dougroberts_iei about how the K12 business is shifting and how IEI will be continuing to innovate to support its members and partners. 

  • S2E22 Micro-Credentials with MIDAS and Dr. Gustavo Balderas 
    IEI Member Superintendent, Dr. Gustavo Balderas of Edmonds Public Schools and Megan Harney and Patrick Leonard of MIDAS Education join Doug to discuss micro-credentials and the possibility of a shift in how large-scale and summative assessments will work. We also discuss the changing landscape of teacher professional development and the onset of micro-credentials to facilitate individualized learning paths.

  • S2E21 ABCs of ESSER with Jess Gartner of Allovue

    This session is a must-listen for anybody who cares about public schools: vendors, district leaders, parents, board members, voters in a school budget election.  

    Jess breaks down the funding from the CARES Act in plan English and offers advice from her deep expertise in ed finance for how districts can make a multi-year plan with these dollars that will best position them to deliver value to the students they serve.  

    This was a session at the IEI Spring Summit in Colorado Springs.  

  • S2E20 IEI Superintendents: 5 Minutes of Fame

    A round robin "group keynote" from IEI superintendents telling great stories about the work they've done this year to the assembled IEI Spring Superintendent Summit in Colorado Springs. In this episode, you'll hear from: 

    Dr. Dwight Jones, Denver Public Schools, CO

    Mr. Ken Dyer, Dougherty County Schools, GA

    Mr. Todd Dugan, Bunker Hill CUSD, IL

    Dr. Shanna Downs, Gilmer County Schools, GA

    Dr. Tim Mitchell, Riverside CUSD, IA

    Mr. Mike Daria, Tuscaloosa Public Schools, AL

    Mr. Dan Cox, Rochester Public Schools, IL

    Moderated by Talk Supes Host Doug Roberts and Kevin Mitchell and Spencer Anderson of Audio Enhancement.

  • S2E19 Fireside Chat with Dr. Dwight Jones + Governer Jared Polis Welcomes IEI to CO!
  • S2E18 In which Jim McVety and @dougroberts_iei share strategies for picthing districts and Jim critiques Dougs 2 minute pitch 

    Jim McVety, CEO of First Step Advisors and advisor to IEI, sits down with Doug to share strategies for K12 companies seeking to grow their business through district partnerships during this unique time in our business. 

    Doug takes his own medicine and does a 2-minute pitch of IEI's hybrid meeting software, @use_remo. Jim critiques. 

  • S2E17 Keeping Kids Safe with Steve Murley and Gretchen from Gaggle 
    In this episode, Doug has an in-depth discussion about the new ways districts are keeping kids safe online and offline with IEI Advisory Board Superintendent Mr. Stephen Murley of Green Bay Community School District in Wisconsin and Gretchen Thompson, RVP at Gaggle.  

  • S2E16 James Miles, Mike Kleba, Leigh Ann Putman 
    SXSW EDU presenters Mike Kleba and James Miles join IEI superintendent Leigh Ann Putman of the Metro Atlanta RESA to talk mentoring and morale in our schools with guest host Sara Croll!

  • S2E15 Managing Screen Time with Steve Mesler and Todd Dugan 
    This week, Doug visits with Steve Mesler, Olympic Gold Medal BobSledder and CEO/Founder of Classroom Champions and Mr. Todd Dugan, Superintendent of Bunker Hill CUSD in IL, to discuss screen time management, social/emotional health, coaching, and instruction during this interesting school year.  

  • S2E14 The changing face of professional development with Dr. Johnnie Thomas 
    Dr. Johnnie Thomas, superintendent of Rich Township 227 School District in IL and Max Brooks, VP of District Partnerships at CT3 join Doug to talk about the changing nature of PD and some of the progressive decisions Rich Township began making a few years ago to address the achievement gap and how that early work will support their students and community through the post-pandemic recovery period. 

  • S2E13 Dr Kristie Brooks and Donnie Whitten of Apptegy 
    IEI Director of Marketing, Sara Croll, hosts this episode! She visits with Dr. Kristie Brooks, superintendent of Chattahoochee County Schools in Georgia, and Donnie Whitten of Apptegy about how they've worked together over the years to engage district families and community members.  

  • S2E12 Dr. Quinten Shepherd, Katie Lash, co-pod with Sarah Williamson and Build Momentum Pod

    Talk Supes teams up with Sarah Williamson of Build Momentum Pod to talk about entrepreneurialism and the superintendency. We are joined by IEI members Dr. Quintin Shepherd, Superintendent of Victoria ISD (TX) and Ms. Katie Lash, Director of the East Central ESD in Indiana.  

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