District Leader

District Leader: Transforming Education is a podcast about moving and inspiring educators and non-educators alike to believe in the power of education, its leaders, and its transformation. Each week, host Luis Valentino interviews district leaders who share their stories.
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Now displaying: December, 2016
Dec 21, 2016
Hi everyone, and welcome to District Leader.  We’re taking a break for the holidays, but will be returning with incredible guests in the new year.  In the meantime, I invite you to listen to our past District Leader podcasts.  For educators this is a special time to power down from the work of school and district, and all of the challenges faced on a daily basis.  The respite comes with an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends, read a good book, watch all of those shows that have been recorded, but not yet seen, sleep late, sleep early, eat better, take a walk, and just relax.
As we close out 2016, I have to tell you that this experience has been incredible. I have met some amazing leaders with great stories to tell. And I have not only enjoyed talking with them, but have learned a lot from listening to them share their experiences.  And I hope that you have, as well. The guests that we have scheduled for 2017 will continue to move and inspire us to consider the power of education in helping to transform society, by helping to create a great future for all of the students these leaders serve.  
The District Leader podcast has grown since launching in June, 2015, when I interviewed my first guest,  Richard Carranza, who was then the Superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District, and is now serving as the Superintendent for the Houston Independent School District.    The District Leader podcasts have been downloaded over 54,000 times.  In November, our last full month, the podcasts were downloaded 15,852 times.  I thank you, our District Leader community, for spending time with us.  Through the podcasts, I believe that together we contribute to the edification of those interested in education, leadership, and in the men and women who make the superintendency an important part of their life’s work.
On behalf of District Leader, and all our guests, on this, our 25th episode, an appropriate coincidence, I would like to wish each and every one of you a happy holiday.  May 2017 become the canvas for you to continue to do incredible things, in incredible ways, producing incredible results
Dec 14, 2016

My guest this week is Dr. Randy Ziegenfuss.  Randy currently serves as Superintendent in the Salisbury Township School District, in Allentown, PA.  Prior to his current position, Randy was a classroom teacher, Department Chair, Technology Integration Specialist, Director of Technology and an Assistant Superintendent.  Randy is also Clinical Adjunct Professor of Education at Moravian College, teaching courses in inquiry, assessment and technology in the undergraduate, graduate and principal certification programs. He graduated from Moravian College with a B.Mus. degree, earned his M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University in technology leadership, and an Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in educational and organizational leadership. In 2014, the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) recognized Randy as the Outstanding District Administrator for the state of Pennsylvania. In 2015, Randy was recognized by the Pennsylvania Association for Educational Communications and Technology (PAECT) as the Outstanding Leader of the Year.  You can read more of Randy’s work in his blog and you can listen to his podcast, TLTTalkRadio, which he cohosts with Lynn Fuini-Hetten at

Dec 7, 2016

My guest this week is Dr. Hector Montenegro.  Hector taking a sabbatical from his work as Superintendent, but yet appears to be as busy as always.

Hector is President and CEO of Montenegro Consulting Group, and a Senior Associate for Margarita Calderon and Associates. He provides training on English learner teaching strategies, and leadership development for administrators and instructional coaches. Hector specializes in the teacher coaching process through the use of technology, video recording and observation protocols. He is also a Senior District Advisor for the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and works with districts on systemic implementation of SEL.
Hector's teaching career began in San Jose, California where he taught math at the junior and senior high school levels. He later taught and served as a site administrator in Washington, DC and in Virginia. He later served as Chief of Staff of the DC Public Schools before moving to Texas where he served as a principal and an Area Superintendent in Austin, Deputy Superintendent for Instructional Services in Dallas, and Superintendent of Schools for three school districts in Texas: San Marcos CISD, Ysleta ISD and Arlington ISD. Hector was later an Area Superintendent for the San Diego School District in California.  He received his masters degree from Stanford University and his doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin.