Category: Community Engagement


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.

(more…)




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.”

(more…)




Episode 57

It’s Summer Time. Now is the Time to Plan for the Fall!

Guest: Carole Dorn-Bell and Joel Gagne

In this episode, Carole Dorn-Bell and Joel Gagne talk about how to use the summer to prepare for the upcoming school year.

The bottom line: It’s not wise to just turn off the lights or go on cruise control.

The less chaotic summertime can be a great chance to learn new forms of social media, prepare newsletters, conduct polling or manage outreach for an upcoming fall ballot.

“Summer goes away quickly, and so before you know it you are right on top of some of those publications and the need to get those out,” Dorn-Bell says. “So take advantage of the bit of luxury of time that you have with those and get those done.”

(more…)




Episode 54

How Schools Should Use Social Media

Guest: Andrea Gribble

In this episode, hosts Carole Dorn-Bell and Joel Gagne, speak with Andrea Gribble, founder of #SocialSchool4edu.com. As an expert in the use of social media in schools, Gribble shares her thoughts on the variety of social media platforms, the challenges that school districts face, and parent engagement.

Gribble calls social media a “complete game changer” for schools wanting to better engage with the community.

Most adults are on social media, she notes.

“And if are schools aren’t there, what kind of information are they learning about our schools?”

(more…)




Episode 53

How SHOULD Your School or District Communicate with You?

Guest: Carole Dorn-Bell and Joel Gagne

This week, Carole Dorn-Bell and Joel Gagne discuss the best practices for schools wanting to communicate effectively with parents and the community.

They discuss the role of newsletters, text messages, Twitter and even Snapchat.

Dorn-Bell says her first impressions, as a parent, begin with beautification and security around a school building.

Gagne adds, there’s a way to be secure but to soften it to be more welcoming.

(more…)




Episode 49

How to Navigate the Changes in Education Since the Election

Guest: Carole Dorn-Bell and Joel Gagne

This week, hosts Carole Dorn-Bell and Joel Gagne talk about what’s changing and how local school districts can help drive the conversation.

The rhetoric lately around public schools, they note, has been negative.

Under the new presidential administration in Washington, D.C., Gagne says, schools have the opportunity to “take the fight local,” to say, we bring value to the community and we’re irreplaceable.

School districts can say whatever happens nationally, here’s what we’re going to focus on. Essentially, the best defense is a good offense.

(more…)




Episode 46

What the Proposed Ohio Budget Means for Schools and What Happens Next

Guest: Barbara Shaner

This week, Barbara Shaner, Associate Executive Director of the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, speaks with Carole Dorn-Bell about Ohio Governor John Kasich’s budget proposal. The agencies and school districts that operate under the Ohio education budget start their new fiscal year on July 1. Carole and Barbara talk about what the budget proposal could mean for education and what happens between now and June 30th when the budget must be passed.

It is important to note that the actual language of the proposed budget has not been released yet. Also remember that this budget now has to go through committees and before both the Ohio House and Senate so a lot of changes will be made through this process — and there is a lot of time to provide feedback through public hearings.

“Everyone who will be affected by this budget will have the opportunity to weigh in.”

(more…)




Episode 45

How To Spot A Great School At A Glance

Guest: Barney Arnold, Kindergarten Teacher

Many things can facilitate a transition to a new school both at the beginning of the school year and throughout the year and it can be a stressful time for families and their students. Joel speaks in this episode with Barney Arnold, a kindergarten teacher for many years in Carlisle, Massachusetts, about the key steps to recognizing a successful school.

“We ask so much of our teachers, we ask so much of our administrators but because of technology, we do expect that there is going to be consistent communication.” — Joel Gagne

(more…)




Episode 37

Organizing a TEDx Event With Your School District & Community

Guest: Ty Debevoise

In this week’s episode, we’re talking to Ty Debevoise, about how he created a TEDx event in his district and how you can too. Ty  is the director of communication and marketing at Whitehall City School District. Partnering with the Whitehall Community, they created TEDx Yearling Road.

“Want to do a giant project? Don’t be afraid to ask for help from people who’ve done it before. Seek a mentor.” — Ty Debevoise

(more…)




Episode 35

Building a “Crowdstruction” Movement




Older Episodes»