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IASA Podcast

IASA Podcast

By IASA Communications

The Illinois Association of School Administrators is the state's premier advocacy organization for public school superintendents. This podcast tackles the most important issues facing public education in Illinois and provides knowledge and insight from experts about how to run the best school district possible.

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Reimagining Rural Leadership

IASA PodcastMay 04, 2023

00:00
23:52
Reimagining Rural Leadership

Reimagining Rural Leadership

IASA is accepting applications for our newest cohort - Reimagining Rural Leadership. In this podcast, hear from cohort organizers about why you should apply, what each session will entail, what guest speakers to expect, how a cohort learning experience can help you grow professionally and personally and much more! Our guests are Dr. Courtney Orzel, Todd Dugan, Dr. Jennifer Garrison and Larry Lovel.

May 04, 202323:52
Capitol Watch Legislative Update

Capitol Watch Legislative Update

Madeline McCune and Emily Warnecke join the IASA Podcast to provide a legislative update on where things stand. Ms. McCune and Mrs. Warnecke discuss unfunded mandates, curriculum mandates, literacy initiatives, the teacher shortage and more. The IASA Podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity.

Apr 05, 202332:45
Women in Leadership Roundtable

Women in Leadership Roundtable

In honor of Women's History Month, IASA asked the group of female leaders who helped launch Women in Leadership in Illinois. This podcast features a lively an inspiring discussion about the history of WIL, misconceptions about the initiative, barriers women face entering the superintendency and why it's important that Illinois continues to grow the number of female leaders. Guests are Dr. Courtney Orzel, Sara Boucek, Dr. Carrie Hruby, Dr. Crystal Johnson-Maden, Dr. Bhavna Sharma-Lewis and Julie Kraemer. The IASA Podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. 

Mar 09, 202348:23
A Conversation With Dr. Sonya Whitaker on Equity, Politics, Black History Month and More

A Conversation With Dr. Sonya Whitaker on Equity, Politics, Black History Month and More

In honor of February being Black History Month, IASA invited Dr. Sonya Whitaker on the podcast to discuss a variety of issues around equity and diversity in public education. Dr. Whitaker is the Deputy Superintendent of Schools at Dolton School District 148 and serves as National Education Policy Director for PUSH Excel. In this podcast, we discuss her work at PUSH Excel; the teacher shortage and increasing the pool of black teachers and educators; tips for school leaders on maximizing Black History Monty; polarized politics in school board races and much more! The IASA Podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. 

Jan 27, 202326:30
New Approach to Substitute Teacher Shortage

New Approach to Substitute Teacher Shortage

Like many districts, Oakwood CUSD #76 struggled attracting substitute teachers. Earlier this month, district hosted its first ever Aspiring Substitute Academy to recruit and educate people from the community about what it takes to become a substitute teacher. In this episode, Oakwood's superintendent, Larry Maynard, discusses the substitute teacher shortage, what the academy entailed and how big of a boost the district has already seen in its applicant pool. The IASA Podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. 

Jan 13, 202319:43
Leading Through Chaos: New book by Dr. Lisa Leali
Dec 06, 202228:24
What Participants in IASA's New Elevate SuperWomen Cohort Can Expect

What Participants in IASA's New Elevate SuperWomen Cohort Can Expect

Registration is now open for Elevate, IASA's new cohort for female superintendents. In this episode, Dr. Courtney Orzel, Dr. Carrie Hruby and Dr. Crystal Johnson-Maden share why they designed this first of its kind professional development opportunity for female superintendents in Illinois. In addition, the three leaders share what will occur in each session, how the cohort will elevate your leadership capacity, how WIL has helped them grow personally and professionally and what makes Elevate unique from other Women in Leadership opportunities. The IASA Podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. 

Oct 31, 202218:12
Passing the Superintendency Baton

Passing the Superintendency Baton

A major component of leadership is creating a transition plan to ensure the district can function well going forward after you leave, whether that be from retirement, transferring or a separation agreement. In this episode, Dr. Vic Zimmerman shares advice and insights into his experience of passing the superintendency baton when he retired from Monticello CUSD #25. The IASA Podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. 

Oct 24, 202224:37
Township HSD #214 Recognized as Lighthouse District for Career Pathways

Township HSD #214 Recognized as Lighthouse District for Career Pathways

In May, Township HSD #214 was named a Lighthouse District by AASA for its career pathways program. In this episode, IASA speaks to Superintendent Dr. David Schuler about the district's journey and how school leaders can strengthen career exploration for students in their districts. The IASA Podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity.

Oct 12, 202221:44
Naperville CUSD #203 Recognized as Lighthouse District for Social-Emotional Learning

Naperville CUSD #203 Recognized as Lighthouse District for Social-Emotional Learning

In May, Naperville CUSD #203 was one of 13 districts across the country named as a Lighthouse District by AASA for its emphasis on social-emotional learning. In this podcast, Dan Bridges shares why Naperville CUSD #203 doesn't approach SEL as another program on top of a crowded plate, but rather the district approaches SEL as the plate. The IASA Podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. 


Sep 15, 202220:29
Effective Communications: How Evanston/Skokie SD 65 Told its Story

Effective Communications: How Evanston/Skokie SD 65 Told its Story

Earlier this year, Evanston/Skokie School District 65  received the Golden Apple from the National School Public Relations Association for its “outstanding communication and engagement efforts.” In this podcast, Superintendent Dr. Devon Horton and Melissa Messinger, executive director of communications, discuss how an effective communications plan was pivotal in the passage of new student assignment plan. In addition, Dr. Horton and Messinger offer tips about programs and platforms the district uses to engage the community. The IASA Podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. 

Sep 12, 202227:04
Why Harvard CUSD #50's Dual Language Program Was Recognized as a Lighthouse District

Why Harvard CUSD #50's Dual Language Program Was Recognized as a Lighthouse District

In May, the School Superintendents Association (AASA) announced Harvard School District 50 as a “Lighthouse” system, serving as a model to transform America’s education system. Harvard CUSD 50’s Dual Language program was selected for designation by a panel of independent education leaders from across the country. In this podcast, hear from Dr. Corey Tafoya on how the the Dual Language program prepares students to be future-ready, but also enhances their social, emotional and cognitive skills. The IASA Podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity.

Aug 11, 202222:02
Keep Kids Fed Act: What Schools Need to Know

Keep Kids Fed Act: What Schools Need to Know

In this IASA Podcast, we speak to Tara Thomas, AASA Policy Analyst, about the Keep Kids Fed Act and the implications the new law has on school districts.

Update: Since the podcast was recorded, the USDA issued or extended six waivers for Summer 2022. Click Here to read a blog post from AASA about what this development means for schools.

Webinars: In the podcast, Tara mentions webinars on the Community Eligibility Provision. Here are the links:

CEP Kickoff Webinar – Preparing for SY22-23 – Recording

CEP: Overcoming the Loss of School Meal Application Data - Recording

CEP: Implementing in States that Require Alternative Forms – Recording

Making CEP Work with Low ISPs and Partial District Implementation – Recording

Get Your CEP Questions Answered - Recording


Jul 08, 202216:33
High Impact Tutoring

High Impact Tutoring

State Superintendent Dr. Carmen Ayala joins the IASA Podcast to discuss the Illinois Tutoring Initiative. Tune in to learn more about the initiative, including how it works and what school districts are eligible to apply. The IASA Podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. 

Jun 09, 202209:05
Electrify Your School Bus Fleet: Why Now is the Time to Act
Apr 06, 202219:01
Capitol Watch Legislative Update

Capitol Watch Legislative Update

Is the substitute shortage going to improve? What's the latest on school construction and paid administrative relief? And is it true that school administrators might not have to fill out as many redundant reports with ISBE? Those questions and more will be answered on this episode of the IASA Podcast, sponsored by American Fidelity. 

Mar 17, 202221:48
Does Remote Learning Still Have a Place in Schools?

Does Remote Learning Still Have a Place in Schools?

Remote learning isn't a popular term in Illinois. However, maybe is still has a place in schools. In this episode of the IASA Podcast, we speak to Dr. Victor Simon, superintendent of Gower SD #62. The preK-8 elementary district in DuPage County has continued to offer a Remote Education Program to students. Dr. Simon shares why his district still values remote learning, what the program looks like and if it could become a trend in schools after the shock of remote learning during the pandemic wears off. The IASA Podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. 

Mar 04, 202222:31
Is Your Staff Trained To Use an AED or Perform CPR?
Feb 08, 202213:43
What To Expect This Legislative Session

What To Expect This Legislative Session

IASA's two newest additions, Emily Warnecke and Madeline McCune, preview the Illinois General Assembly legislative session and address school administrators biggest questions about EBF, mandates, COVID issues and more. The IASA Podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Since 1960, American Fidelity has focused on providing a different opinion for school districts and currently serves 4,300 districts across the country.



Jan 14, 202214:44
IASA Aspiring Superintendent Academy

IASA Aspiring Superintendent Academy

Applications are now being accepted for the 2022 IASA Aspiring Superintendent Academy scheduled for June 27-July 1, 2022, in Springfield.  This four-day academy is intended for school leaders wondering if becoming a superintendent is the right choice for them. Learn more about the academy in this podcast from its three presenters, Dr. Michael Lubelfeld, superintendent of North Shore SD #112; Dr. Courtney Orzel, IASA Associate Director of Professional Development; Dr. Nick Polyak, Leyden Community High School District #212. 

Dec 15, 202116:17
Solar On Site: How Illinois' New Energy Law Benefits Schools
Oct 27, 202116:49
Closing the Digital Divide in Pontiac

Closing the Digital Divide in Pontiac

This episode of the IASA Podcast focuses on one strategy two districts are deploying to close the digital divide in their community. Jon Kilgore, superintendent of Pontiac HSD #90, and Brian Dukes, superintendent of Pontiac CCSD #429, are partnering together to build a LTE system, exclusive to students, that will greatly expand and improve internet connectivity. Learn how the initiative will work, how the districts plan to pay for it and how you can start a similar initiative in your community. The IASA Podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. 

Sep 08, 202116:50
Extending the School Day

Extending the School Day

Dr. Carol Kilver, superintendent of Pikeland CUSD #10, and Angie Greger, Pikeland High School principal, join the IASA Podcast to discuss the district's plan to extend the school day by one hour for the remainder of the year and bring back high school students five days per week. Dr. Kilver shares how she worked with her board and teachers to implement another "big lift" on an already challenging school year. 

Apr 23, 202118:49
Reducing Burnout, Promoting Mindfulness and Improving Culture

Reducing Burnout, Promoting Mindfulness and Improving Culture

Weekly yoga classes, self-care challenges, feeding frenzies, staff surveys, spirit wear days and the promotion of pop-and-sub are among the ways Sparta CUSD #140 has reduced burnout, promoted mindfulness and improved culture this past school year. Dr. Gabe Schwemmer, superintendent of Sparta CUSD #140, joins the IASA Podcast to discuss strategies superintendents can implement to keep your staff's batteries charged and excited to come to work each day. 



Mar 10, 202118:00
Work After COVID: What it Could Look Like

Work After COVID: What it Could Look Like

Cindi DeCola, a partner with Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick & Kohn LLP, joins the IASA Podcast to discuss what work after COVID-19 could look like for schools. DeCola shares her thoughts on employees wanting to continue to work from home, collective bargaining issues in the future, expanded sick leave, potential demands for safe working conditions and much more in an informative podcast for any school administrator. 

Feb 02, 202127:33
 Follow-up to Webinar: COVID-19 Point of Care Testing

Follow-up to Webinar: COVID-19 Point of Care Testing

This podcast is a follow up to a webinar recorded with Dr. Victor Simon of Gower SD #62 on Point of Care Testing and CLIA Waiver process. In this episode, Dr. Simon is joined by Dr. Paul O'Malley, superintendent of Butler SD #53. Both districts are currently utilizing COVID-19 point of care rapid antibody and point of care rapid antigen tests on-site that are carried out by district staff with some early success. Hear from each superintendent about how the process has gone in their districts, what hurdles they have had to overcome, how much testing has cost and how their have communities responded. 

Dec 14, 202027:20
Challenges Facing Superintendents: A Conversation With Dr. Carol Kelley

Challenges Facing Superintendents: A Conversation With Dr. Carol Kelley

Dr. Carol Kelley, superintendent of Oak Park ESD #97, is in a similar position many superintendents face. Her district began the year remotely and is now facing intense pressure from the community to provide in-person learning. In Part 3 of our series, Dr. Kelley discusses her district's journey this year and how she tries to remain calm while she navigates protests and pushback. In addition, Dr. Kelley discusses Oak Park ESD #97's efforts to promote and focus on equity and inclusiveness in its policies and practices. 

Oct 21, 202021:06
HR 101: An Overview of Essential Employment Laws and Considerations
Oct 19, 202039:49
Part 2: Fully Open in Southwestern Region

Part 2: Fully Open in Southwestern Region

We continue our multi-part series of speaking to superintendents across the state about successes and challenges they have faced in their districts during this unprecedented year. 

In Part 2, Dr. Courtney Orzel speaks to Mike Sutton, superintendent of Highland CUSD #5. Mr. Sutton's district began the school year five days per week in person. In this episode, he discusses why he arrived at that decision, the importance of communication and how his district navigated positive COVID tests. 

Oct 09, 202020:19
Fully Open in the Suburbs

Fully Open in the Suburbs

More than ever, superintendents need to support  and learn from each other about what has worked and what hasn't. In a multi-part podcast series, IASA Associate Director of Professional Development Dr. Courtney Orzel speaks to superintendents from across the state about the experiences and lessons they have learned through this unprecedented school year. 

Part 1 is a conversation with Dr. Mary Henderson, superintendent of Roselle SD #12. The K-8 district in Dupage County opened the 2020-21 school year five days per week in person. Dr. Henderson discusses her decision to open in person, successes and challenges so far, lessons she has learned and shares tips she's learned to manage stress. 


Oct 07, 202017:24
Healing a Fragmented System

Healing a Fragmented System

Everyday, superintendents are trying to navigate new problems in the era of COVID-19 that it's hard to think long term. In this episode, IASA's Associate Director of Professional Development, Dr. Courtney Orzel, speaks to Dr. Hank Thiele, superintendent of CHSD #99, about the strains COVID-19 has caused on school districts and how superintendents need to begin to think long term how they can help heal a fragmented system. 




Sep 24, 202018:55
Legal Concerns Related to Students

Legal Concerns Related to Students

If  you have legal questions related to student privacy, special education, grading and more, this podcast is a must listen. Our guest is Courtney Stillman, a partner with Hauser, Izzo, Petrarca, Gleason & Stillman, LLC. This podcast is the second in IASA's initiative to expand legal services to members. 

Aug 31, 202040:13
Positive COVID-19 Test: Now What?

Positive COVID-19 Test: Now What?

Riverton CUSD #14 recently had the start of the 2020-21 school year upended when someone tested positive for COVID-19, just three days into the new year. In this episode, we speak to Dr. Brad Polanin, the district's superintendent, about how his district responded to the positive test, lessons he learned from the experience and how he plans to move forward. 

Aug 25, 202022:01
Remote Learning for 2020-21 School Year

Remote Learning for 2020-21 School Year

No matter what school will look like in your district this school year, remote learning will be part of the plan. In this episode, Dr. Courtney Orzel speaks to Pontiac CCSD #429 Superintendent Brian Dukes and the district's technology director, Michael McCabe, about how their district plans to maximize remote learning this school year. Kim Darche, who led IASA's recent Remote Learning Rescue Series, also joins the podcast to provide remote learning tips for educators. 

Aug 18, 202024:46
IASA Legal Podcast: School Liability in COVID-19 Era

IASA Legal Podcast: School Liability in COVID-19 Era

IASA is excited to announce a new podcast as part of an effort to expand legal services to IASA members during the 2020-21 school year. The podcast can be found on the usual IASA Podcast feed but will be hosted by IASA General Counsel, Chad Watkins.  Each podcast, Chad will welcome a school attorney to speak about a legal issue facing public educators. In our first episode, we welcome Dawn Hinkle of Engler Callaway Baasten & Sraga, LLC to discuss school liability in the COVID-19 era. Ms. Hinkle provides a legal perspective on liability concerns related to a student or employee testing positive for COVID-19, as well as potential liability risks if districts don't follow ISBE guidance. Listen now and get answers to those important questions and more! 

Jul 14, 202032:29
Availability of PPE this Fall

Availability of PPE this Fall

This podcast is a follow up to our last episode on Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE. We speak to Dave Ricketts at the BuyBoard Purchasing Cooperative about the availability of PPE and other questions school leaders might have about acquiring masks and other supplies. BuyBoard is a nationwide online purchasing cooperative that schools can to use to acquire PPE and other commodities. 

May 27, 202014:08
Planning for PPE

Planning for PPE

Acquiring Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, is a pressing issue for school leaders across Illinois. In this episode, we speak to Kay Dosier, managing director of the Schools of Illinois Public Cooperative, about what schools should be doing now when it comes to PPE and possibilities for next school year. Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.

May 21, 202017:27
EBF to CARES: Changes to Student Engagement, Student Growth and Student Proficiency

EBF to CARES: Changes to Student Engagement, Student Growth and Student Proficiency

In this episode, we speak to Dr. Ehren Jarrett, superintendent of Rockford Public Schools, in a wide-ranging interview on how the district rebounded from a cyber security attack last fall, invested its EBF dollars and how it plans to utilize its federal CARES funding. In addition, Jarrett discusses Rockford's remote learning plan and what learning could look like in the fall. Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education. 

May 15, 202018:11
Collective Bargaining Issues as a Result of Remote Learning

Collective Bargaining Issues as a Result of Remote Learning

The spread of COVID-19 has created a change in working conditions for educators across Illinois. In this episode, we speak to attorney David Braun of the law firm Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk & Miller, and IASA Associate Director/General Counsel Chad Watkins, about collective bargaining issues related to remote learning. The podcast features an in-depth discussion on critical matters school leaders will face, and serves as a guide to help superintendents navigate labor relations moving forward. Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.

May 12, 202047:46
Remote Learning: Large Unit District Perspective

Remote Learning: Large Unit District Perspective

We continue our series learning about how school districts across Illinois responded to remote learning with a perspective from large unit districts. Our guests are Dr. Tad Everett, superintendent of Sterling CUSD #5, and Dr. John Burkey, executive director of the Large Unit District Association. In addition to discussing remote learning this year, Everett and Burkey share their thoughts on next school year and how education could change in the future. Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.

Apr 30, 202025:10
What Remote Learning Looks Like in an Urban District

What Remote Learning Looks Like in an Urban District

What does remote learning in Illinois look like from an urban district perspective? In this episode, we discover how Thornton Twp HSD #205 is continuing to serve and support its students through this difficult time. Our guests are Superintendent Dr. Nathaniel Cunningham and Brett Fickes, Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.

Apr 24, 202020:20
Remote Learning from a Leading Technology District

Remote Learning from a Leading Technology District

What does remote learning look like for a leading technology district? In this episode, we speak to Dr. Colleen Pacatte, superintendent of Gurnee District 56, to learn how their district responded to remote learning. Gurnee took part in the state's pilot e-learning program and has been one-to-one for years. Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.

Apr 22, 202015:18
What Remote Learning Looks Like in Rural, Southern Illinois

What Remote Learning Looks Like in Rural, Southern Illinois

In this episode, we speak to Larry Lovel, superintendent of Trico CUSD #176, about how his district in rural southern Illinois has adapted to remote learning, despite facing significant issues with internet connectivity. Lovel also discusses the financial challenges his district will face next school year and how education could change forever. Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.

Apr 16, 202021:27
Panel Discussion on Remote Learning

Panel Discussion on Remote Learning

In this episode, we welcome three superintendents from different parts of the state for a panel discussion on remote learning and how their school districts are responding to a number of new challenges. Our guests are Steve Murphy, superintendent of Carbondale CHSD #165, Dee Scott, superintendent of Casey-Westfield CUSD #4C and Dr. Jon Bartelt, superintendent of Bloomingdale SD #13. Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.

Apr 10, 202044:17
Dr. Voltz: Tips for Educators During Social Distancing

Dr. Voltz: Tips for Educators During Social Distancing

Dr. Voltz has spent years encouraging superintendents to focus on work/life balance. In this episode, he provides new work/life balance tips in the era of social distancing as well as shares a message about the importance of maintaining healthy habits. In addition, Dr. Voltz provides tips for schools about how to continue to engage with students.  Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.



Apr 08, 202012:52
Financial Planning During COVID-19 with Dr. Mike Jacoby

Financial Planning During COVID-19 with Dr. Mike Jacoby

Dr. Mike Jacoby, executive director and CEO of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials, comes on the IASA podcast to discuss financial planning during COVID-19. This podcast doubles as IASA COVID-19 Swat Team Report #9. 

Apr 06, 202021:09
Using Facebook Live to Stay Connected with Students and Families

Using Facebook Live to Stay Connected with Students and Families

One way educators can engage with students and families while school buildings are closed is through Facebook Live. In this episode, we speak to David LaFrance, principal at Oakland Elementary School in the Bloomington Public Schools District 87. LaFrance began recording Facebook Live videos after schools were closed due to COVID-19. The sessions have become very popular with students and families, allowing LaFrance to remain connected. Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.

Apr 02, 202021:45
Recharging Your School Families and Staff

Recharging Your School Families and Staff

Looking for new and innovative ideas to recharge your school families and staff and keep them engaged? Carrie Hruby, superintendent of O'Fallon CCSD #90, shares how her district has asked parents to become honorary staff, even making them t-shirts to wear with their new title. Hruby also discusses other ways her district is addressing new challenges created by COVID-19. Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.

Apr 01, 202019:09
Remote Learning Panel Discussion

Remote Learning Panel Discussion

In this episode, we speak to Dr. Courtney Orzel, superintendent of Lemont-Bromberek CSD #113A, Dr. Jennifer Garrison, superintendent of Vandalia CUSD #203 and Dr. Brad Skertich, superintendent Collinsville CUSD #10, about how their districts are adapting to remote learning, what virtual platforms their districts are using and how they are trying to provide social-emotional support for students and staff. This podcast was recorded before ISBE released remote learning recommendations on March 27.  Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.

Mar 28, 202023:49
IASA COVID-19 Swat Team: Emergency Planning

IASA COVID-19 Swat Team: Emergency Planning

This podcast is a follow up to the IASA COVID-19 Swat Team Report #7, which focused on emergency planning. Our guests are IASA Executive Director Dr. Brent Clark, Gary Tipsord, Dr. Brian Harris and Dr. Jennifer Garrison. Listen to learn more about why it's important to engage community partners with emergency planning and about what steps superintendents are taking in their communities. 

Mar 25, 202025:14
Educational Pathways in School District U-46

Educational Pathways in School District U-46

Beginning in the 2021-22 school year, U-46 will launch its Educational Pathways initiative, aimed at preparing all U-46 students for the rigors of college and tomorrow’s career skills, while also providing students opportunities to earn college credit and industry credentials. In this podcast, we speak to U-46's Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education, Lela Majstorovic, about the initiative. Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.

Feb 05, 202012:55
How Instructional Coaches Helped Lead Turnaround at Herrin Elementary

How Instructional Coaches Helped Lead Turnaround at Herrin Elementary

Herrin Elementary School, part of Herrin CUSD #4, made the incredible jump from Underperforming to Exemplary. In this episode, we speak to Superintendent Dr. Terry Ryker about how hiring instructional coaches was a big factor in the turnaround. According to Ryker, the district chose to hire instructional coaches after analyzing the research in the Evidence-Based Funding Formula. Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.

Jan 28, 202013:32
Get Prepared: Leveraging the Power of EBF to Plan and Communicate

Get Prepared: Leveraging the Power of EBF to Plan and Communicate

The Evidence-Based Funding Formula is much more than a tool to funnel additional money to needy schools. It has the power to be used as a strategic communication and planning tool that superintendents can use to detail what it costs to provide students with a high-quality education. This podcast is the second part of a new IASA initiative to help superintendents better understand the power of EBF and learn how to use the formula to speak confidently and factually about the impact any potential property tax relief plan will have on their local district. Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.


Jan 07, 202018:34
Running a Successful Food Pantry

Running a Successful Food Pantry

Barb Food Mart was founded in 2013 by retired teachers in DeKalb CUSD #428. The food pantry has been recognized for its impact on the community  and how volunteers go above and beyond to provide needy families with more than just a meal. The founders of Barb Food Mart, located in a middle school, also take a unique approach where families are treated like shoppers. Listen and learn how the food pantry started, how it works and get advice on how to start a food pantry in your home school district. Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.

Dec 17, 201916:02
Proficiency-Based Grading
Nov 19, 201920:10
Understanding School Designations and What To Do Next
Oct 15, 201914:44
Questions for Teacher Evaluators to Ask Students

Questions for Teacher Evaluators to Ask Students

Debra Lynch, principal at River Valley School in Lemont-Bromberek CSD #113A, has received teacher evaluation training through IASA. However, her elementary school has put a new spin on the process. In this episode, Lynch discusses what questions her district asks students, how it tracks the data and why she believes the evaluation process is critical to student learning. Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education. 

Oct 08, 201921:54
Using Data to Make Decisions
Sep 23, 201915:15
Back to School Rocks at Diamond Lake SD #76

Back to School Rocks at Diamond Lake SD #76

Staff at Diamond Lake SD #76 recently dressed as their favorite rock stars and walked the red carpet to kickoff a new school  year. Superintendent Dr. Bhavna Sharma-Lewis (who dressed as Tina Turner) says the event was a great way to take everyone's mind off the end of summer and bond and get invigorated for the start of a new school year. In this episode, Dr. Sharma-Lewis explains why kicking off the school year in a fun and exciting way with your staff can make them feel special, and she gives tips on how superintendents can plan their own events. Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.



Sep 05, 201909:33
Using a Strategic Dashboard to Effectuate Change and Communicate to the Public

Using a Strategic Dashboard to Effectuate Change and Communicate to the Public

In this episode, Dr. Jeff Stawick, superintendent of CCSD #146, shares how is district is utilizing its Strategic Dashboard, powered by the ECRA Group, to not only tell the district's story to the community, but also be the main tool the district uses to measure progress toward the goals listed in its strategic plan.  Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.  

Aug 21, 201916:15
Increasing the Engagement of Culturally Diverse Families

Increasing the Engagement of Culturally Diverse Families

Oak Lawn-Hometown SD #123 Superintendent Dr. Paul Enderle shares the steps his school district is taking to increase the engagement of culturally diverse families in his district. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.  

Jul 17, 201921:10
Summer Programming

Summer Programming

Summer is here but that doesn't mean learning has to stop. In this episode, we speak to Dr. Nicole Howard, assistant superintendent for Academics and Student and Family Services at  Proviso Township High Schools District # 209, to learn how their district expanded its summer programming for students. Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.   

Jun 12, 201917:37
Evidence-Based Leadership: Using Data to Drive Immediate and Lasting Improvements
Jun 04, 201923:03
Scaling Innovation in Your School District: A Systems Approach

Scaling Innovation in Your School District: A Systems Approach

Dr. David Moyer, superintendent of Elmhurst CU #205, shares with IASA how his district is tapping into the creativity of his staff to drive student learning and think about how education needs to evolve to fit the needs of a changing economy.  This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.  

May 24, 201926:58
Jason Helfer of ISBE on Teacher Shortage

Jason Helfer of ISBE on Teacher Shortage

Dr. Jason Helfer, deputy superintendent for teaching and learning at ISBE, has studied the teacher shortage extensively in Illinois. In this episode, IASA speaks to Helfer about how ISBE is addressing the teacher shortage. The conversation also focuses on where things stand with the basic skills test, alternative licensure and other factors contributing to the problem. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.  


May 07, 201927:37
New State Superintendent Dr. Carmen Ayala

New State Superintendent Dr. Carmen Ayala

IASA spoke with new Illinois State Superintendent Dr. Carmen Ayala to learn more about her background, views about ISBE and her goals as leader of the new state agency. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.
 

Apr 25, 201921:52
Food Distribution Program Q&A

Food Distribution Program Q&A

If you have ever had questions about how the Food Distribution Program for schools works this short Q&A podcast with Paula Williams, principal consultant in ISBE's nutrition division, is a good resource for you. In the podcast, Williams answers questions like how the program can help your budget and what happens when districts don't utilize all of their allocated Food Distribution Program funds. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.  

Apr 23, 201909:39
Taking PE Remotely

Taking PE Remotely

Elgin Area School District U-46 is launching two online physical education courses that will allow some high school students to track their own wellness by self-monitoring and recording their weekly physical activity outside school using heart-rate monitors. In this episode, IASA speaks to Tracey Jakaitis, U-46 student wellness curriculum coordinator, about why their district elected to try this approach and how it implemented it. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education. 

Apr 08, 201922:37
AP District of the Year

AP District of the Year

Fenton School District 100 was recently named Advanced Placement District of the Year. In this episode, IASA speaks to Fenton School District 100 Superintendent James Ongtengco about how his district was able to achieve this honor, and what other districts can do to improve AP programs in their districts.  Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.

Mar 28, 201917:29
Using Video to Interview Job Applicants

Using Video to Interview Job Applicants

Greg Dietz, an assistant superintendent at Maine Township HSD #207, has utilized computer technology, rather than face-to-face interviews, to interview job applicants for the district. In this podcast, Dietz discusses if video interviewing has increased the pool of candidates, the quality of candidates, how  districts can get started with video interviewing and if the district exposes itself to legal troubles using this method. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education. 

Mar 15, 201929:33
Podcasting In Schools

Podcasting In Schools

Michael Doyle and Stacy Reagan, both instructional coaches at Central CUSD #301 in Burlington, launched a podcast series this school year that uses interviews to highlight district issues and programs. In this IASA Podcast, we speak to Doyle and Reagan to learn what steps they took to begin a podcast, what topics they cover and see if it's been a worthwhile experiment. The IASA Podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education. 

Mar 06, 201917:05
Superintendent Stress

Superintendent Stress

Dr. Adam Ehrman, superintendent of New Berlin CUSD #16, has been studying stress among superintendents as part of his dissertation. In this episode, Ehrman discusses findings from his research, which shines new light on what triggers stress, what superintendents experience the most stress and ways to alleviate stress. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.

Feb 28, 201921:06
What changes to marijuana laws could mean for IL school districts

What changes to marijuana laws could mean for IL school districts

In this episode, IASA speaks to attorney David Braun, with the law firm Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk & Miller, Ltd., about the possible effects a law signed last year that allows children with debilitating conditions to take medical marijuana to school, as well as what it would mean for school districts if marijuana is legalized. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education. 

Feb 15, 201929:36
Undercover Boss

Undercover Boss

After seeing the Undercover Boss television show, Dr. Dale Mitchell, superintendent at Homewood SD #153, tried the concept out in his district - minus the makeup. The process was eye opening, Mitchell says, and he encourages other veteran superintendents to spend the day with their staff. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education. 

Feb 07, 201919:33
IDEA Flow-Through and Preschool Funding

IDEA Flow-Through and Preschool Funding

Heather Calomese, Executive Director of Special Education Services for the Illinois State Board of Education, speaks to IASA Associate Director Dr. Rich Voltz about changes in how funding for IDEA and preschool will be distributed. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education. 

Jan 29, 201908:42
Developing Positive Union-Superintendent Relations
Jan 15, 201925:34
AASA/SPN Case Study: Maine Twp HSD # 207

AASA/SPN Case Study: Maine Twp HSD # 207

Maine Township High School District #207 was one of 25 school districts in the U.S. to be honored as one of the “Most Innovative School Districts” for its unique approaches to expand and support teacher learning and student success both during and after high school. The award was provided by AASA and the Successful Practices Network (SPN). In this podcast, IASA speaks to Superintendent Dr. Ken Wallace about the steps his district is taking to improve student learning. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education. 

Jan 03, 201927:46
Redefining Physical Education

Redefining Physical Education

Physical education classes at Consolidated High School District 230 look much different than what people grew up with. Students pedal on stationary bikes through virtual mountains and girls dance while wearing a heart monitor. In this episode, IASA speaks to Sean Airola, division chair for physical education, health and drivers education, at District 230 about the innovative program. Our podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.
Dec 17, 201814:55
Defining an Instructional Day

Defining an Instructional Day

In this episode, IASA Associate Director Dr. Rich Voltz speaks to Ralph Grimm, acting Chief Education Office for ISBE, on new guidance ISBE released about the new definition of an instructional day. Grimm encourages districts to utilize the guidance and think outside-of-the-box in developing ways to improve student achievement. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.
Nov 26, 201817:37
PJ Caposey: Time Management

PJ Caposey: Time Management

In this episode, Dr. Rich Voltz speaks to Dr. PJ Caposey about his new book, "Manage Your Time or Time will Manage You." Caposey is also superintendent of Meridian CUSD #223. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.
Nov 13, 201817:32
Effective School Leadership

Effective School Leadership

In this episode, Dr. Rich Voltz, IASA Associate Director, speaks to Dr. Nancy Blair, Professor Emerita of Leadership Studies at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, about how superintendents can be effective school leaders and how to cultivate the next generation of school leaders.
Nov 05, 201818:00
Late Starts

Late Starts

Have you ever thought about pushing back the start time to the school day in your district? Well, Barrington CUSD #220 did just that last school year. Listen to our new podcast with Barrington's superintendent, Dr. Brian Harris, on why the district embarked on this mission, what challenges they encountered and if the district is already starting to see benefits? This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.
Oct 25, 201816:39
Advanced Placement Courses

Advanced Placement Courses

In this episode, Jason Nevel, assistant director of communications for IASA, speaks with Jennifer Gill, superintendent of Springfield SD #186, on the district's efforts to enroll more students in Advanced Placement courses. Springfield was one of the district's selected for a pilot program in 2017 to work with the non-profit, Equal Opportunity Schools, to boost participation, especially among minority students. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.
Oct 19, 201820:56
Julie Kraemer on why she became a police officer

Julie Kraemer on why she became a police officer

In this episode, Dr. Rich Voltz, IASA Associate Director, speaks to Hutsonville CUSD # 1 Superintendent Julie Kraemer, on why she went through nine months of training to become a certified police officer, giving her the ability to carry a gun in school and help keep students safe in the event of a school shooting. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.
Oct 12, 201821:11
Chronic Truancy and Chronic Absenteeism

Chronic Truancy and Chronic Absenteeism

In this episode, Dr. Rich Voltz of IASA speaks to Dr. Lindsey Hall, superintendent of Mahomet-Seymour CUSD #3, about issues with how schools report absenteeism, differences between chronic truancy and chronic absenteeism under ESSA and how these calculations can impact schools. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.
Oct 04, 201820:29
Using Video to Improve Instruction

Using Video to Improve Instruction

In this episode, IASA Associate Director Dr. Rich Voltz speaks to Merry Brownlow, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction in Riverside District 96, about how to use video to improve instruction and the pros and cons of using video in teacher evaluations This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.
Sep 25, 201817:11
Lessons Learned From Using the Quality Framework

Lessons Learned From Using the Quality Framework

In this episode, IASA Associate Director Dr. Rich Voltz speaks to Tad Everett, superintendent of Sterling CUSD #5, about what he learned from piloting the Quality Framework in his district. The effort, Everrett says, was meaningful and led to important discussions about how to improve climate for students. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.
Sep 13, 201816:24
Using Data to Improve Instruction

Using Data to Improve Instruction

In this episode, Dr. Rich Voltz speaks to Tara Tighe Chandler, curriculum director at Paxton Buckley Loda CUSD #10, about how the district is using data to help tell its story and improve instruction. PBL has partnered with the ECRA Group to develop an overall growth score based on local norms, rather than relying on standardized test scores to gauge student progress.

This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.
Sep 04, 201814:56
EBM Funding: How the new dollars are helping Vienna HSD #133

EBM Funding: How the new dollars are helping Vienna HSD #133

In this episode, IASA Associate Director Dr. Rich Voltz speaks to Vienna HSD #133 Superintendent Josh Stafford. Vienna ranks as the third least adequately funded district in the state. EBM dollars, Stafford says, is helping the district rehire staff, enhance programs and catch up on much-needed maintenance projects. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.
Aug 27, 201822:03
Quality Framework for Illinois School Districts

Quality Framework for Illinois School Districts

In this episode, IASA Associate Director Dr. Rich Voltz speaks to Dr. Julie Schmidt, Superintendent, Kildeer Countryside CCSD #96 in Buffalo Grove. Schmidt served on the Illinois Balanced Accountability Measure committee and subsequently ESSA committee. Her district volunteered for a pilot program with implementing the framework. Schmidt discusses the Quality Framework works and how it can benefit school districts. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.
Aug 16, 201820:43
Career and Technical Education

Career and Technical Education

In this episode, IASA Associate Director Dr. Rich Voltz speaks to Sebastian Kapala, assistant director of operations at the Lake County High Schools Technology Campus, about career and technical education in Illinois today. Kapala discusses how it fits with vocational training, preparing students for the digital age, and how the school fits academic courses into its learning environment, among other things. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.
Aug 01, 201814:18
School Finance

School Finance

Managing a school budget is one of the most important jobs a superintendent does. Dr. Bill Phillips, a retired superintendent who now serves as IASA field services director, is an expert in the area. In this episode, Phillips discusses ways school districts can save money, strategies for crafting a budget and details how important it is to understand the ins and outs of school finance. The IASA Podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.
Jul 26, 201835:58
Every Student Succeeds Act

Every Student Succeeds Act

IASA associate director/legal counsel Sara Boucek discusses how implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act is going in Illinois and details what superintendents need to know about new school designations being rolled out as part of the law. This podcast is sponsored by American Fidelity. Consider American Fidelity for a different opinion on employer benefit solutions for education.
Jul 16, 201835:22
New Superintendents Conference

New Superintendents Conference

The Illinois Association of School Administrators will be hosting a New Superintendents Conference August 1-2 in Springfield. Dr. Rich Voltz of IASA talks about what attendees can expect to learn at the conference and how they can build a support network for their first year on the job.
Jul 10, 201817:35
Competency-based learning

Competency-based learning

Round Lake Area Schools CUSD #116 was among 10 school districts in Illinois chosen last year to participate in ISBE's competency-based learning pilot. Dr. Donn Mendoza, deputy superintendent, discusses how the effort is going and what it took for his school district to implement the change.
Jun 27, 201816:25
Trauma-informed care

Trauma-informed care

Dr. Heidi Podjasek, director of professional development at Oswego Community Unit School District 308, discusses why and how her district switched to a trauma-informed care approach to better understand student behavior and help students stay on track.
Jun 21, 201815:33
School Safety Part 2

School Safety Part 2

School safety security expert, Ken Trump, joins IASA podcast to discuss ways school superintendents can keep their buildings safer. Trump encourages superintendents to focus most on peoples and procedures rather than products and hardware.
Jun 11, 201821:18
School Safety

School Safety

Former IASA Communications Director Mike Chamness, who is now chairman of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force, discusses the 13 recommendations the School Safety Working Group sent to the governor. Among ideas is to expand uses of countywide sales tax and more information sharing between schools and law enforcement.
May 24, 201826:58
Creating A Successful Educator Prep Program

Creating A Successful Educator Prep Program

In this episode, Township High School District 214 Superintendent David Schuler discusses how his district is addressing the teacher shortage problem by growing their own educators. Over three years, the initiative has placed just over 300 students in the teacher pipeline.
May 16, 201814:03
Women in Leadership

Women in Leadership

Lemont School District 113A Superintendent Dr. Courtney Orzel discusses why she wanted to become a superintendent, why more women are entering administration, finding a balance between work and home life and how her district crawled out of financial ruin.
May 03, 201816:36
Capitol Watch

Capitol Watch

IASA Executive Director Dr. Brent Clark discusses why it was important two bills on administrative caps and debt structuring were defeated, as well concerns IASA has with the so-called "shared superintendent" bill. Also, Clark discusses the budget, pension shift and more.
Apr 30, 201818:59
EBM Funding Helping Rockford Public Schools

EBM Funding Helping Rockford Public Schools

Dr. Ehren Jarrett, superintendent of Rockford Public Schools, discusses how new EMB funding is helping his district and details short and long-term plans for RPS moving forward.
Apr 24, 201823:26
Effingham School District changing approach to teaching

Effingham School District changing approach to teaching

Mark Doan, superintendent of Effingham School District, joins IASA podcast to discuss "Leadership, Creativity and Innovation," a new teaching model deployed in the district that is adapted to the 21st century.
Apr 19, 201816:37
Illinois Teacher Shortage Part 3

Illinois Teacher Shortage Part 3

Illini West High School District 307 Superintendent Kim Schilson discusses how the teacher shortage in Illinois has affected her district.
Apr 12, 201814:35
Vision 20/20 What's Been Accomplished; What's Next

Vision 20/20 What's Been Accomplished; What's Next

Ralph Grimm, director of Vision 20/20, discusses how the public policy platform came together, the passage of the evidence-based model and goals moving forward.
Apr 10, 201821:30
Why Illinois has a teacher shortage Part 2

Why Illinois has a teacher shortage Part 2

Mark Jontry, president of the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools, speaks to IASA about findings from the group's survey on Illinois' teacher shortage, as well as provides recommendations to fix the problem.
Apr 03, 201816:31
Why Illinois has a teacher shortage

Why Illinois has a teacher shortage

Dr. Jim Rosborg, director of Master of Education Programs at McKendree University, speaks about various factors that have caused Illinois' teacher shortage.
Mar 28, 201815:51
IASA Podcast Promo

IASA Podcast Promo

The very first episode of IASA!
Mar 27, 201803:04