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(Inspired by and dedicated to #LeadWild, David Theriault, David Culberhouse, Jon Corippo, Dr. Brad Gustafson, Tom Whitford, Ken Durham, The Ramones, Bad Religion, The Clash, X and many others.)
“PUNK IS: the personal expression of uniqueness that comes from the experiences of growing up in touch with our human ability to reason and ask questions.” - Greg Graffin, Bad Religion
“The thread of culture that runs through the entire history of punk is also a dedication to challenging the authoritarian.” - Greg Graffin, Bad Religion
You can’t peruse social media, even for a minute, without coming across another book, blog post or quote about LEADERSHIP. But, here I go anyway. Leadership, and leadership theory, are applicable to all industries, endeavors and human interactions. And no doubt that leadership, and our leaders, are going through major transformations as our entire global society questions traditional approaches and yearns for more meaningful and empowering ones. With that in mind, he…
Recent posts

Students' Big Voices, Hearts & Minds Ready To Tackle Big Problems As Projects

Ever since I started teaching in 1990, I have been a student voice advocate. Whether it was as a media/English teacher, student leadership advisor or a site leader. I have always believed that students not only have good ideas, but that they may just have new, unique or even better ones. In an effort to find their own voice and place in the world, they may see things that we don’t see or have long been paralyzed to do anything about. In 1999, I saw students address a school’s racial divide and cultural issues by creating a school-wide learning experience (see Harmony at Buchanan High School in this article from USC Rossier's online masters in teaching program).
Ever since then, I have believed that projects with real-world outcomes hold some of the greatest potential for helping students become driven, empathetic and engaged citizens. The outpouring of student voice in the wake of the recent tragedy in Parkland, Florida, is a great example.

When we begin the project design process i…

Savvy High School Students Teach Us Valuable Lessons About Future of Learning

As a former high school media teacher, a recent news story about high school journalism students in Utah and their pursuit to publish truly warmed my heart.
The backstory is about how two high school seniors, inquiring why a well-liked history teacher was dismissed from their school, were determined to find the truth regardless of how their school or administration would handle it being published in the school newspaper.
They did interviews, requested public records and soon pried open the proverbial can of worms. Initially, their story was published on the school’s student newspaper website. But after an unprecedented amount of traffic, they discovered that their story was pulled down. Ultimately, they had to publish their story outside of school on their own newly created website just for that reason. (see the full story here:    And that’s what I want to examine. We truly live in a digital DIY world where we don’t depend on others - i.e. scho…

What CTE Gets, What CTE Needs To Get More

Most of us (educators, business leaders, researchers, students and parents) have realized by now that our educational system has been and continues to be desperately behind in terms of success, especially as it connects to the future of work and our economy. If you don’t agree, stop reading and go watch one of those “Housewives of $%&^#*” shows. With the continued demand need for change, we have turned to many solutions - including, but not limited to new standards, assessments, technology and programs. Historically, we had two high school tracks. There was vocational education - programs designed to train people for blue collar jobs. And then, in contrast, there were those that did a college prep program where the goals were college and a white collar job. Ironically, many of our college grads and non-grads now find themselves in grey collar jobs (underemployed and working in a career that did not require a college degree or their level of education). But I truly digress. What …

If We're Banning Phones, We Won't Connect Our Students To The Future

For those of us that follow the news, especially education news, we don’t have to wait very long for an educator, or educators, to give us the excuse for a blog post. This week’s winner goes to the principal and staff at Korematsu Middle School in California’s East Bay Area.
They were recently featured, and apparently heralded, by an article in  Ed Source ( for their recent compliance and control upgrade that bans students from using their cell phones at lunch and during their free time. According to principal Matthew Burnham, they tried to let the 7th and 8th grade students use their cell phones last year during these times and it was, according to them, an abysmal failure. The school claims that due to the students being “glued” to their cell phones, no one was talking and interacting with one another. And after watching the movie “Screenagers” and drinking from that proverbial firehose of biased information, this school was trying to …

21st Century Educator Oath #1: Defend Young People Whenever You Can

This blog post represents a new challenge and series. I hope to release a series of posts each representing an oath that I believe all educators should take. This is 21st Century Educator Oath #1: Defend Young People….. One does not have to travel very far, or pay attention for very long, to hear some adult (older person) make a disparaging remark about a young person. I hear it almost every day and sadly often from educators. It’s a litany of young people attacks such as calling them “lazy,” “irresponsible,” “selfish,” “immature,” and so on. One can also hear continuous criticisms of their music, dress, language and more. It’s not only a pattern that repeats, but it almost seems to be an obligation. I know my dad has these criticisms about myself and my peers at times and I can guarantee that his dad did about him as well. I have continuously worked hard to not fall into this trap as I have gotten older. (photos courtesy of Joe Sanfelippo) After almost three decades of  of working with…