Category: Communications

Episode 84

Promoting ballot initiatives and more

December 22, 2017 | Communications
Guest: David Axner

Host Joel Gagne speaks with David Axner, the deputy executive director of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators. David shares his experiences as a superintendent, his thoughts on promoting ballot initiatives, and what the Buckeye Association of School Administrators does for current and future school administrators.


Episode 83

Navigating winter as a school district

December 20, 2017 | Communications
Guest: Amanda Morris

Host Joel Gagne talks with Amanda Morris, Outreach Specialist for Allerton Hill Consulting. Joel and Amanda discuss the communication needs for schools during the winter months and the difficulties schools may face communicating over the holidays.


Episode 78

Podcasting in public schools

December 1, 2017 | Communications
Guest: Nick Jaworski

Host Joel Gagne speaks with Nick Jaworski about podcasting in public schools. Nick is a former music teacher and current podcast producer at, and the two discuss how public schools can use podcasts to connect with their community.


Episode 77

Effective communication strategies

November 29, 2017 | Communications
Guest: Dr. Ray Lechner

Host Joel Gagne speaks with Dr. Ray Lechner of Wilmette Public Schools (District 39) about how effective communication strategies are one of the factors that make Wilmette one of the best school districts in Illinois.


Episode 67

Tips for new superintendents-How to connect with a new community

October 18, 2017 | Communications
Guest: Matt Miller

In this week’s episode of We Love Schools, host Carole Dorn-Bell talks with Matt Miller, the Superintendent of Lakota Local Schools.

Miller is starting his 13th year as a superintendent, and he talks in this episode about transitions as a superintendent and how a new superintendent can connect with a new community.

“I was at a really good place coming to Lakota because it happened so early in the superintendent search process,” Miller says. “The Board here at Lakota did a really good job of letting me have transition days, which I think is huge for any school board, any superintendent to work out transition details.”


Episode 66

The value of virtual town halls

October 10, 2017 | Communications
Guest: Mike Davis

In the latest episode of We Love Schools, host Carole Dorn-Bell chats with Mike Davis of Broadnet about the value of virtual town halls for schools.

Broadnet offers Access Live, a way for a superintendent, for example, to have a town hall via the phone.

Davis says they’ve led virtual town halls in close to a dozen countries.

With so many different avenues to reach people these days, Dorn-Bell says, something like Access Live can be very valuable in reaching out to a community.


Episode 64

School funding uncertainty

September 18, 2017 | Communications
Guest: Carole Dorn-Bell and Joel Gagne

In this episode, hosts Carole Dorn-Bell and Joel Gagne talk about uncertainty around school funding and the huge impact it can have on schools. A lot of school levies are on the ballot in the fall, and if these levies don’t pass, it can have a huge impact on the school and the community, and it can be difficult for a school to operate within this cloud of uncertainty.

“Number one, talk about it with your community,” Dorn-Bell says about the uncertainty that can surround school funding. “Because if you don’t talk about it, it must not be happening. And then if something really bad happens, like funding is just ripped out from under you, your community is going to say ‘What the heck?’ and ‘Where were you?’ and ‘Why weren’t you telling us that this was going to happen?'”


Episode 62

The kindergarten parent’s experience & what it means

September 4, 2017 | Communications
Guest: Carole Dorn-Bell and Joel Gagne

This week, hosts Joel Gagne and Carole Dorn-Bell discuss the importance of putting your best foot forward with kindergarten parents as it’s often their first experience with the school district.

Gagne and Dorn-Bell share stories from their own experiences to help schools make informed decisions about communicating with new families.


Episode 59

The View from City Hall: A Former Mayor Talks Local Schools

Guest: Mark Kingseed

In this episode, Mark Kingseed, former mayor of Centerville, Ohio, discusses the value of local governance in public schools, the future of community-based schools and the relationship between local schools and their communities.

Kingseed, who served as mayor of the Dayton-area community for 12 years beginning in 2003, says it’s critical that a city to work hand-in-hand with the local school board.

Strong schools make strong communities, he says, and help draw young families that put down roots for 20 or 30 years.


Episode 58

Communicating to our Communities

Guest: Meg Ansara

This week, Meg Ansara, founding partner at 270 Strategies, talks with Joel Gagne about increasing engagement with the community, the importance of school principals and the future of public education.

Ansara credits her own education growing up in Massachusetts, as shaping her view on the topic.

“At a personal level, I feel like there’s no more important work than working on public education,” Ansara says. “I myself experienced as I got older so many of the opportunities that I received, as well as the sense of opportunity, really comes from the educational privilege that I got. For me that translates into a deep sense of responsibility in terms of making sure that every American child has the same great opportunity and access to a high-quality education.”


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