Category: Community Engagement

Episode 142

The Big Blue Bus of Washington Court House

June 10, 2019 | Community Engagement
Guest: Tom Bailey

In this episode, host Carole Dorn-Bell is joined by Superintendent Tom Bailey of Washington Court House City Schools. The two discuss the Big Blue Bus, a solution that his district came up with as a way to meet three goals to serve students over the summer: to feed every child, to provide enrichment and to continue to build relationships.


Episode 81

Sharing stories to engage with the community

December 12, 2017 | Community Engagement
Guest: Lynda Tran

Host Joel Gagne talks with Lynda Tran, founding partner at 270 Strategies, about the importance of sharing stories to engage with the community. Lynda was also the press secretary for Organizing for America, among many other impressive roles, and she shares her insight on highlighting individual stories, crisis communication plans and the importance of public schools.


Episode 75

Public school advocacy

November 22, 2017 | Community Engagement
Guest: Mike Ward

In this episode of the We Love Schools podcast, host Joel Gagne speaks with former Kentucky Congressman Mike Ward. The two chat about public school advocacy and how important it is to support education in America by encouraging your elected officials to vote to help public education.

“Public schools are what America is all about,” Ward says. “The only way to help young people and to help families is to get them a better education.”


Episode 73

Seeking out and using community resources

Guest: Sue Hanson

In today’s podcast episode, host Carole Dorn-Bell speaks with Sue Hanson of HelpLine of Delaware and Morrow Counties. HelpLine updates and maintains the resource directory to link people with available services in five Ohio counties. The two discuss seeking out and using community resources and the depth of what HelpLine offers. With the holidays approaching, it’s especially important to be armed with the right tools to cope with stress.


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.”


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.”


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 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?”


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.


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.


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