In this episode of We Love Schools, Carole Dorn-Bell welcomes back Kirk Koennecke. Koennecke is the executive director of the Ohio Small & Rural Collaborative (OSRC) as well as the superintendent of Graham Local Schools in Ohio.

We Love Schools is excited to work with OSRC on a new podcast partnership.

“We’re excited to work with Allerton Hill and We Love Schools on the podcast,” Koennecke says. “Podcasts make sense for our members as educators across the state want to learn while they’re own on the go.”

Koennecke says his hope is to bring relevant topics to OSRC members every month.

As a little background on OSRC, the Ohio Small & Rural Collaborative is a non-partisan state association that formed last year to provide professional development avenues and opportunities for educators in small and rural communities throughout Ohio.

“Whether it be a small urban district or a large rural district, it doesn’t matter,” Koennecke says. “Many of them are facing barriers to professional development, and we wanted to try to combat that by offering progressive methods for professional development as well as sharing information on topics that are really relevant to them in their setting.”

The OSRC is affiliated with the National Rural Education Association, which is also known as NREA. As Ohio’s NREA’s affiliate, OSRC’s job to make sure that they’re promoting topics that are important to their members and offering them quality professional development content.

Dorn-Bell mentions that OSRC’s growth in such a short period is incredibly impressive.

“The OSRC has been growing like gangbusters, and the energy around it is really inspiring,” Dorn-Bell says. “The programs you’re providing feature outstanding speakers.”

Koennecke is excited by how quickly the organization has grown and encouraged by how many members have signed up in a short period of time.

“We started collecting paid memberships two months ago, and we’re up to 60 member districts now,” Koennecke says. “This is really exciting to me because of the collaboration that’s going to come from it.”

Koennecke is excited to partner with everybody possible to share all of the great programs that are being implemented throughout the state of Ohio. He’s excited for the new podcast partnership with We Love Schools to help spread OSRC’s message throughout the state.

“I really appreciate that Allerton Hill is doing such great things with the We Love Schools podcast and its partners,” Koennecke says. “We’re thrilled to partner with you to promote this type of activity for educators across the state.”

Watch for upcoming events from the OSRC, and check back here every month for new podcasts with the Ohio Small & Rural Collaborative.

If you have a topic you’d like to see covered in our podcast partnership with the Ohio Small & Rural Collaborative, email us at