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Coffee With A Geek Podcast

Coffee With A Geek Podcast

By Andrew Wheelock

Talking edtech with amazing leaders
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Coffee with a Geek Interview with Bryna Moritz

Coffee With A Geek PodcastSep 29, 2021

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Tony Spence

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Tony Spence

Episode Website: HERE

My first interview with an Educator from the great state of Wisconsin. Tony has had a variety to roles in education and discusses his ideas for Edtech from a variety of perspectives. A little about Tony in his own words: Tony Spence joined the Waterford Graded School District as the Superintendent in July 2022. Waterford Graded is a K-8 district in Wisconsin with more than 1,500 students, the 3rd largest K-8 in the state. He was previously the Chief Information Officer at the Muskego-Norway School District in Muskego, Wisconsin. In his role, he supervised and coordinated the district's technology operations and staff, as well as oversaw library media, instructional technology, personalized learning, information technology, data analytics and development, and marketing and communications. How to connect with Tony Twitter @twspence

Nov 06, 202326:21
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Sylvia Escobar

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Sylvia Escobar

I had a really great conversation with Texas powerhouse educator and administrator Sylvia Escobar.  A little about Sylvia in her own words.

Sylvia Escobar was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. She has a BS in Biology, MS in Computer Science, MEd in Educational Leadership, and is currently working on a Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a focus on STEM. Serving twenty-three years in education, Sylvia has taught math, technology and engineering and been a campus Director and Assistant Principal focusing on STEM and early college initiatives. She is currently a STEM Specialist at the Region One ESC. Sylvia is a champion for equity in STEM education and Computer Science. Outside of the workplace, she is an animal lover and animal rights advocate, a gamer, and an avid movie and music buff.

You can find her on X (Twitter) at @hngrstrike

Oct 02, 202335:36
Coffee with a Geek with Special Guest Mary Howard
Jul 14, 202342:03
Coffee with a Geek with Special Guests: Margie Wright and Nick Fargnoli

Coffee with a Geek with Special Guests: Margie Wright and Nick Fargnoli

Educator Nick Fargnoli and Administrator Margie Wright have been using their podcast and blog, Toasted to inspire people to challenge themselves to work through failure to achieve successful outcomes. Each episode takes a deep dive into using failure as a Superpower.

A Little about Margie:

Rochester, NY native who subscribes to astrology as a science, loves a great story, is a creative soul, proud mom, and diehard Buffalo Bills fan.  This is year 29 in public education, currently a district level administrator in Western, NY.

A Little about Nick:

A resident of Naples, NY, Nick is a professor of English at a local college. He is also a musician, an education consultant and father of 3 wonderful boys.

Twitter  @MargieWright_ , 

Toasted Instagram  Toasted FaceBook

Toasted YouTube  Toasted Spotify

May 18, 202356:10
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Therese Willkomm

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Therese Willkomm

What an amazing educator to start my 2023 interview season off.  Therese Willkomm is an incredible educator who helps people by creating Assistive Technology tools to help improve their lives.  She uses everyday materials from old election signs to velcro.

A little about Therese in her own words:  "As you know 85% of assistive technology does not involve an electronic device. My new book makes stuff and love people does not involve any electronic device. It’s about the over 2000 different devices that I’ve created for individuals with disabilities. I still think it’s worth the interview to get people thinking that technology does not have to involve electronics.

I’m known nationally and internationally as the McGyver, McGyvett, or MacGyver of assistive technology, for my five minute approach to fabricating assistive technology solutions for use at home, in the community, the workplace, and school. Also, only 25% of assistive technology is related to education . I know that word technology makes people think that we’re talking about electronic. I also don’t use Twitter, or social media. I have never watched Star Trek or Star Wars. However, I have created and posted over 1800 assistive technology maker videos on YouTube. My passion for making assistive technology for individuals with disabilities in five minutes or less is because people should not have to wait for what they need and the fact that assistive technology has such a high failure rate. Therefore learning rapid fabrication and rapid prototyping enables rapid  trial, and error in creating the most appropriate solution for a specific challenge. Here’s some more information about my new book.

“Make Stuff and Love People - Assistive Technology Solutions in Minutes Book III. It is the most comprehensive assistive technology makers book available with over 1500 images including QR codes to 500 “how-to“ videos and resources."

Also check out her amazing YouTube Channel:  HERE

Feb 25, 202357:25
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jordan Villanueva

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jordan Villanueva

So grateful to have social media guru Jordan Villanueva join me for a conversation about how to use the power of technology to promote ideas and empower opportunities.  She is a true wealth of insight and knowledge about creating quick videos to express both big ideas and useful ideas.  Make sure you check her out on all of her social media platforms.  You'll thank me!

Connect with Jordan Villanueva

@jordanuevamedia (instagram)
@jordanueva (Tiktok)

Dec 17, 202232:43
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Nefertiti Dukes
Aug 25, 202225:50
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Lise Rasmussen
Aug 05, 202231:58
Coffee with a Geek with Guest Cristen Magaletti

Coffee with a Geek with Guest Cristen Magaletti

I came across Cristen in one of the Adobe courses about Creativity. Cristen offered a lot of great tips and ideas on how to embed creativity into your lessons and projects. I reached out via Twitter and she responded right away and was gracious enough to chat with me about creativity, her experiences in education, and her ideas for improving pedagogy. She has an incredible breadth of experiences as a learner and teacher.

A little about Cristen in her own words: Cristen holds a B.A in Political Science with a minor in World Religions from Boston University, a M.A. from New York University in Secondary Social Studies Education, and dual certification in Social Studies and Exceptional Student Education. She was born and raised in New York and has been a full-time teacher since 2007. After teaching for eight years in the New York City public school system in the Bronx, she moved with her family to South Florida and where she teaches Social Science and Social Entrepreneurship courses at a private school in Palm Beach County. She has extensive training in curriculum design and instruction and has worked with many teachers in professional development throughout her career.

Ways to connect:
Twitter (@CrisMagaletti)

I’m an Adobe Education Leader (AEL) and an Adobe Master Teacher. As a part of this community, I have been a contributor to many lessons on their platform.

Blog contributor to GoGuardian:

Jul 17, 202234:57
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jennifer Vandiver

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jennifer Vandiver

As many of you know, I've been fascinated with the potential of Virtual Worlds for educational purposes.  Once a proud member of ISTE's Virtual Environments Network PLN (PLN no longer exists!) I have been an advocate for virtual environment possibilities.  As of yet, there has been limited progress towards moving forward on a large scale.  Recently there has been renewed interest in virtual world education specifically in Second Life with the Virtual Worlds Education Consortium.  (VWEC) This group has been creating an Education Hub in this virtual world.

I thought it would be a great time to chat with Jennifer Vandiver who is doing research on virtual world education for her Doctoral Dissertation.  Here is our interview conducted in Second Life.  

A little bit about Jennifer in her own words.  "I currently live in Indiana and work as an adjunct psychology professor for Ivy Tech Community College where I teach mostly introduction to psychology courses. My degree background includes psychology, sociology, and philosophy. I am currently working on my doctorate in educational psychology. I have been a resident in Second Life for nearly 9 years and have been fascinated by all aspects of the virtual world. My dissertation is interested in the experiences of educators who teach in Second Life at the post-secondary level."

Jun 15, 202222:35
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Melissa Dean

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Melissa Dean

I had a fantastic interview with Math Teacher Melissa Dean.  I came across Melissa on Twitter, when one of her former students Tweeted about how much Melissa inspired her.  Twitter can still offer positive feedback so I thought it was worth checking out Melissa's Twitter Feed.  I wasn't disappointed.  Melissa is a powerhouse classroom teacher but also is a Podcaster, blogger, and author.  Her book, Unravel School: Reimagine Classrooms, Reinvent Assessment, & Revive Learning is now available on Amazon and other book sellers.  I really enjoyed chatting with Melissa about Math and More.

A little about Melissa in her own words:  Melissa is a grade 7 teacher in Southeastern Manitoba, Canada. She has been a classroom educator for 20 years, spanning grades 1 to 12. She is passionate about assessment and grading reform, and mathematics education. In her spare time, she enjoys drinking coffee, running, writing and baking sourdough bread.

To Connect with Melissa:

Twitter:  @dean_of_math

Instagram @dean_of_math


Apr 04, 202241:26
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Silky Vyas
Feb 08, 202221:18
Cofffee with a Geek Interview with Al Kingsley

Cofffee with a Geek Interview with Al Kingsley

This month's guest comes from across the Atlantic Ocean! Al Kingsley ( offers some of his amazing insight into his 30 year journey of Edtech expertise.

In this episode, I ask Al about his vast experience, his recent presentation at the NYSCATE 21 Conference, and his new book, "My Secret #EdTech Diary". Al's insight carries across the miles and translates into almost any educational enterprise.

A little bit about Al in his own words:  Al Kingsley has spent the last 30 years in the EdTech space and 20 of those as a school trustee and governor. He is Group CEO of NetSupport Ltd, an internationally acclaimed EdTech vendor, and has lived and worked in both the UK and US. His latest book, My Secret #EdTech Diary, released in July under the imprint of John Catt Educational Publishers. He is an expert in digital strategy, security, and education technology."

Al's vast experience and kind hearted analysis is so refreshing in today's fast paced Edtech landscape.  What an honor to chat with him.

Dec 02, 202122:45
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jim Manly

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jim Manly

It's a huge honor and a pleasure to interview a longtime friend Jim Manly, the Superintendent of Kipp NYC.  Jim and I grew up together in Fredonia New York, and after high school we went our separate ways.  Both of us took a circuitous route to education.  This is a great way to connect across the miles!

Jim was featured in the 2010 movie, The Lottery when he was a Principal for a Success Academy Charter school in NYC.  I'll ask him about his journey through education, his lessons learned over the years through his experiences and background, and we may even chat about "The good old days" of our youth!.

A little about Jim and his background:  Jim Manly serves as Superintendent of KIPP NYC, a network public charter schools (18 schools as of summer 2021) in New York City. Jim came to KIPP NYC in 2015 with 30 years of experience in K-12 education. He previously worked with the national KIPP Foundation as the Senior Director of Instructional Leadership with KIPP Co-Founder, Dave Levin. From 2007 to 2014, Jim was the Founding Principal of Success Academy Harlem 2 Elementary, which became the top performing school, public or private, in Harlem District 5. He has an additional ten years of leadership experience as Principal of Manhattan Charter School, Assistant Director of Teaneck Community Charter School, and Executive Director of Teach for America in Washington, DC. Before entering educational leadership, Jim was a New York City public school teacher, earning Teacher of the Year in 1998 at M.S. 321X. Jim earned his B.A. in English from Union College and his Masters of Public Policy from The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard"

Really enjoyed catching up with Jim and keeping track of his successes and vision for the future.

Nov 01, 202135:56
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Bryna Moritz

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Bryna Moritz

Bryna Moritz is a young and energetic Superintendent at Pine Valley Central School, in Western New York. A rural district, Bryna was a year into her superintendency when the Covid Pandemic hit. I ask Bryna about her vision of leadership during that trying time and her thoughts on moving forward into the future.

A little about Bryna's background: After starting her education in Law, she soon discovered a passion for teaching. She received her Bachelors degree at SUNY Fredonia. She then got her first teaching job as a 4th Grade Teacher at Sherman Central School. She went on to have several administrative positions at Sherman ending with the K12 Principal. She is now in her 3rd year as Superintendent at Pine Valley. She has completed a circle from Kindergarten student to Superintendent at Pine Valley.

Notable info:  Her Mother, Kim Moritz is also a superintendent and past guest on the Coffee with a Geek show. (She was my second interview!)

Connect with Bryna:

Twitter: HERE @brybooth

Sep 29, 202117:24
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Stevie Frank
Aug 23, 202122:50
Coffee with a Geek Interview with JaVonda Tucker
Jul 10, 202123:36
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jamie Ellman

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jamie Ellman

This Month  I was able to chat with another Tech Savvy History Teacher.  Jamie Ellman was recently showcased in Edtech Magazine discussing her favorite edtech tools for history.   I'm looking forward to chatting with her about a range of issues from her favorite tech tools and thoughts on education!

A little bit about Jamie in her own words:  "As a Level III instructor/leader, I started my career in education in 1993. I have taught for 17 years, and am currently teaching US and World History at Johnson High School in Buda.  Last year, I taught AP US History and World Geography History at the best high school in New Mexico - nationally ranked, La Cueva High School. Prior to teaching at La Cueva, I taught 8th grade US History for six years at Eisenhower Middle School-- another one of New Mexico’s best schools. My first teaching experience was at Longmont High School in Colorado where I taught 9th & 10th grade English, Police Academy, World Geography, and multiple senior English electives. It was in this first job of mine where I began my involvement in curriculum and instruction design. In addition, I also hold a Master’s of the Arts in Teaching."

Ways to Connect with Jamie



May 06, 202139:18
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jonathan Redeker

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Jonathan Redeker

Great edtech interviews and commentary over a good cup of coffee... Coffee optional.  

I had a great opportunity to chat with Technology Coordinator, Jonathan Redeker from Goshen Central Schools

A little about Jonathan in his own words:  "Helping educators learn and grow is a passion which drives me to think differently, lead boldly, and grow continually.  The fast-paced, ever changing age of acceleration of our modern culture effects our young people in tremendous ways and I am inspired to help teachers and leaders reach students in new ways.  I consider myself an "educational disruptor" through my focus on using instructional technology, rethinking pedagogy, and implementing effective leadership strategies.  I believe that educational technologies, STEAM initiatives, and cross-curricular lessons can change the world and build empathetic young people.  Join me in moving from "best practices" to "next practices."  

Ways to connect: 

Twitter @jonredeker

Apr 16, 202132:16
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Alicia Blankeship

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Alicia Blankeship

DATE:   February 13th, 2021

TIME:  9am Eastern

As usual, my main source of interview inspiration comes from my social media feeds.  Especially Twitter.  This first interview of 2021 is no different.  I have been following Alicia Blankenship for quite some time and enjoy her thoughtful posts and analysis.  She is an "in the trenches" teacher so I really wanted to get her perspectives from field!   A little about Alicia in her own words:  A literacy educator who uses her education and experience to improve the literacy and skills of her students. She began her career teaching 2nd grade and has taught at the primary and secondary level.

I really enjoyed hearing Alicia's thoughts on education, Literacy, and making a difference during a Pandemic.

Feb 15, 202136:27
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Dr. Sam Fecich
Dec 10, 202036:53
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Tim Needles

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Tim Needles

In time of trouble and strife, seek comforts and inspiration in the arts.  I had a great conversation with artist, educator, and author, Tim Needles.  I connected with Tim through ISTE's STEAM PLN and was amazed at his work and innovative ideas.   

 A little bit out Tim in his own words:   Tim Needles is an artist, educator and author of STEAM Power: Infusing Art Into Your STEM Curriculum. He teaches art/media at Smithtown School District, is a TEDx Talk speaker, and his work has been featured on NPR, in the New York Times, Columbus Museum of Art, Norman Rockwell Museum, Alexandria Museum of Art, Katonah Museum of Art, and Cape Cod Museum of Art. He’s the recipient of ISTE’s Technology in Action Award and Creativity Award, NAEA’s AET Outstanding Teaching Award, and The Rauschenberg Power of Art Award. He’s a National Geographic Certified Teacher, PBS Digital Innovator, an ISTE Arts & Technology and STEM PLN leader, NAEA ArtEdTech interest Group leader, and Adobe Creative Educator and Education Leader Emeritus.  He’s active on social media at @timneedles. @TimNeedles on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tiktok

Oct 29, 202032:26
Coffee with a Geek Interview with Rachelle Dene Poth

Coffee with a Geek Interview with Rachelle Dene Poth

Coffee with a Geek first!  I am going to interview an amazing educator for the 2nd time!  Rachelle Dene Poth is an amazingly dynamic teacher, presenter, and author!  I'm going to ask her about her edtech adventures since the last time we chatted and discuss her new book, Chart a New Course:  A Guide to Teaching Essential Skills for Tomorrow’s World.  I'll also ask her about her ideas and thoughts regarding solutions for schools as we navigate through the challenges of a pandemic.    A little about Rachelle in her own words:  "Rachelle Dene is a Spanish and STEAM: What’s nExT in Emerging Technology Teacher at Riverview Junior-Senior High School in Oakmont, PA. Rachelle is also an attorney with a Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law and a Master’s in Instructional Technology. She is a Consultant and Speaker, owner of ThriveinEDU LLC Consulting. She serves as the President of the ISTE Teacher Education Network. Rachelle is the author of four books, ‘In Other Words: Quotes That Push Our Thinking,” “Unconventional Ways to Thrive in EDU” and “The Future is Now: Looking Back to Move Ahead,” Rachelle Dene’s latest book is with ISTE “Chart A New Course: A Guide to Teaching Essential Skills for Tomorrow’s World is now available. Follow Rachelle on Twitter @Rdene915 and on Instagram @Rdene915 . Rachelle has a podcast, ThriveinEDU available at"  How to connect with Rachelle: Twitter and Instagram: @Rdene915 Linked In: Blog: Podcast: Books:

Jun 06, 202024:32