Mike Kelly - Principal Ire Middle School. East Penn School District.
Mike on Twitter: @principalmkelly
Mike’s Blog

  • The importance of blogging and reflection, sharing learning.
  • Personal growth mindset post.
  • The end of marking periods.
  • Starting removal of marking periods in 6th grade!
  • Arbitrary dates to complete learning on certain topics.
  • Extended learning program greatly reduces academic failures.
  • Many additional clubs and activities are offered.
  • “Required” extended learning program.
  • Perception of ELP.
  • Time and support are the variables and learning is the constant.
  • How to prepare for big changes in schools.
  • Parent concerns about end of marking periods.
  • Start with small parent groups.
  • How to gain teacher support for the end of marking periods.
  • The case against 0
  • The power of 0
  • Retesting and redo
  • How to be a transformative principal? Surround yourself with transformative people.

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Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  


New Episode of @TrnFrmPrincipal


Today I am joined by Theresa Stager and Jessica Johnson who talk about their book “Breaking out of Isolation”.

  • After the sad end of the Practical Principals podcast with Melinda Miller, Theresa and Jessica and Jethro all started a podcast at the same time.
  • Being connected sometimes makes you feel isolated.
  • On being a student again.
  • Fixed vs. growth mindset.
  • We are still in the middle of learning how to be connected.
  • You must always watch what you are saying and be cautious of what you are saying.
  • Connected Educator Series
  • How you can break out of isolation:
    • Jump on Twitter
    • Join #principalPLN and create your own personal little mentors.

Subscribe in iTunes

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  


New Episode of @TrnFrmPrincipal


Bob Dillon Twitter Web Site is the Director of Technology and Innovation for Afton School District. He has been a middle school principal for 15 years in three different places and currently helps many other principals improve their practices.

  • Join the PrincipalPLN Voxer group
  • 1st order change - simple, fixit types of problems, typically exciting that help people feel good about things, but don’t really move the needle in improving a school.
  • 2nd order change - moving from management to leadership. Changes that will last after you are gone. People start to feel like they are part of a special organization. Sometimes it is messy, people don’t know how things will play out.
  • Doug Timm Principal in Delaware.
  • Need to focus on what matters in the long term.
  • 1st order change - painting over water stain on a house you just bought.
  • 2nd order change - taking off the drywall and cleaning (or replacing) studs and insulation.
  • Playing the short and the long game.
  • Higher-level conversations
  • Difficulty of dealing with minor problems.
  • If you are working hard daily, people will be more likely to give you a break.
  • Build up key communicators in the building.
  • Trust your teachers to say things in a way that you know will be beneficial.
  • People need to hear the same in multiple ways.
  • How to help teachers be comfortable taking risks.
  • Need to scaffold to the higher level of risk-taking.

Part 2

  • Director of Innovation. My role is to keep the system lubricated.
  • Keep technology systems moving at a fast rate. Jump technology ahead.
  • Looking for other places that slow growth and inhibit innovation.
  • Empower the teachers that are moving forward and working hard.
  • Most of the rest of my career I will have jobs that don’t exist yet.
  • Important to change mental model of where and how kids learn.
  • Our teachers get better when they tell our story.
  • If it is not your strength to share, allow it to be the power of your students and allow them to share.
  • Give kids a voice.
  • Authentic audience raises the quality of work.
  • Book Ethic of Excellence
  • How are you contributing to Education beyond this school?
  • It is about being humble, and knowing you don’t have all the answers. If I want other people to help me, I need to help other people.
  • What prevents teachers from contributing?
  • Powerful connecting to other schools. Bettendorf High School and their partner school learning from each other. Doc Seacrist St. Joseph in Missouri(LINK)
  • Why Jimmy Casas continues to be a principal.
  • Leadership
  • K–1–2 Makerspace about the philosophy of allowing kids to grow creativity and problem solving.
  • Create, make, design for empowerment, engagement.
  • Helping kids become solution makers.
  • How you can be a transformative principal: Go read something that doesn’t have to do with education with your principal hat on. Lateral capacity building. Brendan Hufford
  • Entreleadership Podcast
  • Chris Locurto Show

Subscribe in iTunes

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  


New Episode of @TrnFrmPrincipal


Bob Dillon Twitter Web Site is the Director of Technology and Innovation for Afton School District. He has been a middle school principal for 15 years in three different places and currently helps many other principals improve their practices.

  • Join the PrincipalPLN Voxer group
  • 1st order change - simple, fixit types of problems, typically exciting that help people feel good about things, but don’t really move the needle in improving a school.
  • 2nd order change - moving from management to leadership. Changes that will last after you are gone. People start to feel like they are part of a special organization. Sometimes it is messy, people don’t know how things will play out.
  • Doug Timm Principal in Delaware.
  • Need to focus on what matters in the long term.
  • 1st order change - painting over water stain on a house you just bought.
  • 2nd order change - taking off the drywall and cleaning (or replacing) studs and insulation.
  • Playing the short and the long game.
  • Higher-level conversations
  • Difficulty of dealing with minor problems.
  • If you are working hard daily, people will be more likely to give you a break.
  • Build up key communicators in the building.
  • Trust your teachers to say things in a way that you know will be beneficial.
  • People need to hear the same in multiple ways.
  • How to help teachers be comfortable taking risks.
  • Need to scaffold to the higher level of risk-taking.

Part 2

Subscribe in iTunes

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  


New Episode of @TrnFrmPrincipal


David Long, CEO of My Employees. Started the company from
Author of Built to Lead: 7 Management R.E.W.A.R.D.S Principles for Becoming a Top 10% Manager.. This book is amazing, and I learned a ton from talking to David. He is a businessman, and not an educator, but he is really on point here.

  • Top 1% in all three industries he has participated in, so topics relatable to all industries.
  • Employee recognition programs.
  • It’s not just plaques for employee recognition.
  • It is normal to procrastinate, forget, or otherwise delay awards and recognition for employees.
  • Great intentions last only 3 months.
  • Recognize 2 people from each department.
  • 20% or higher growth per year because of this employee recognition.
  • Employee recognition is the greatest way to get people to buy into your vision for the school.
  • Teachers will only be successful if the kids are successful, so we need to make our teachers and kids successful.
  • Metrics for schools: Don’t want it to be a popularity contest!
  • Measure what you are already using.
  • Recognition has to be administered every 7–10 days.
  • Employee recognition reminder chart. - Digital Version Recognize everyone 3 times a month!
  • If you can’t find something to recognize them for, you’re dropping the ball as a leader.
  • We do not outgrow the desire to be shown that we are significant.
  • If teachers don’t feel like they are part of the team, they want to leave you.
  • Two reasons people want to leave your school: 1) Not getting recognition or 2) the leader is forcing them to work with incompetent people.
  • You have to show the teachers that they matter.
  • People will listen to you because you care.
  • You will lose good people sometimes if you focus on them
  • Many employees receive no recognition for months at a time.
  • Find as many metrics as you can.
  • Demotivator: not using metrics to determine employee recognition, i.e., If someone comes in late and leaves early every day, and you reward that person.
  • Don’t make recognition about “It’s this person’s turn.”
  • 80/20 rule. Recognize top 20% of each department.
    Part 2

  • Student engagement surveys for teachers. Simplistic questions: How well do you feel the teacher teaches…? How well do you feel your teacher encourages you…? (What would be good)
  • Interview and assess what the kids are getting from their teachers.
  • Metrics he uses: Dollar/ticket, renewal sales, how many calls they answer, answering the phones by the third ring,
  • Kaizan - continuous improvement, monitoring something causes the production of it to increase by 10 percent.
  • TEDxCSDTeachers - increase attendance by 10%.
  • shoutoutcards.com - stubs or something to remind you of what someone did well.
  • Let your people shine.
  • Book clubs - teach your teachers how to improve their lives - personal development, not books related to our profession.
  • Dr. Tony Zeiss - 12 Essential Rules for Becoming Indispensable
  • Book clubs help teams that don’t usually work together work together.
  • Side note: teach kids how to use money and have their money spent effectively.
  • What can principals do? Use the recognition chart to make sure you are checking in on your teachers.
  • Invest in your own education, learn how to be a better principal, teacher, speaker, etc.
  • davidlong@top10manager.com
  • 800–489–0230
  • Buy the hardback copy, get the kindle version free by emailing Copy of workbook from the
  • “You’re impacting lives every day, or you’re not!”

Subscribe in iTunes

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  


New Episode of @TrnFrmPrincipal


David Long, CEO of My Employees. Started the company from
Author of Built to Lead: 7 Management R.E.W.A.R.D.S Principles for Becoming a Top 10% Manager.. This book is amazing, and I learned a ton from talking to David. He is a businessman, and not an educator, but he is really on point here.

  • Top 1% in all three industries he has participated in, so topics relatable to all industries.
  • Employee recognition programs.
  • It’s not just plaques for employee recognition.
  • It is normal to procrastinate, forget, or otherwise delay awards and recognition for employees.
  • Great intentions last only 3 months.
  • Recognize 2 people from each department.
  • 20% or higher growth per year because of this employee recognition.
  • Employee recognition is the greatest way to get people to buy into your vision for the school.
  • Teachers will only be successful if the kids are successful, so we need to make our teachers and kids successful.
  • Metrics for schools: Don’t want it to be a popularity contest!
  • Measure what you are already using.
  • Recognition has to be administered every 7–10 days.
  • Employee recognition reminder chart. - Digital Version Recognize everyone 3 times a month!
  • If you can’t find something to recognize them for, you’re dropping the ball as a leader.
  • We do not outgrow the desire to be shown that we are significant.
  • If teachers don’t feel like they are part of the team, they want to leave you.
  • Two reasons people want to leave your school: 1) Not getting recognition or 2) the leader is forcing them to work with incompetent people.
  • You have to show the teachers that they matter.
  • People will listen to you because you care.
  • You will lose good people sometimes if you focus on them
  • Many employees receive no recognition for months at a time.
  • Find as many metrics as you can.
  • Demotivator: not using metrics to determine employee recognition, i.e., If someone comes in late and leaves early every day, and you reward that person.
  • Don’t make recognition about “It’s this person’s turn.”
  • 80/20 rule. Recognize top 20% of each department.
    Part 2

  • Student engagement surveys for teachers. Simplistic questions: How well do you feel the teacher teaches…? How well do you feel your teacher encourages you…? (What would be good)
  • Interview and assess what the kids are getting from their teachers.
  • Metrics he uses: Dollar/ticket, renewal sales, how many calls they answer, answering the phones by the third ring,
  • Kaizan - continuous improvement, monitoring something causes the production of it to increase by 10 percent.
  • TEDxCSDTeachers - increase attendance by 10%.
  • shoutoutcards.com - stubs or something to remind you of what someone did well.
  • Let your people shine.
  • Book clubs - teach your teachers how to improve their lives - personal development, not books related to our profession.
  • Dr. Tony Zeiss - 12 Essential Rules for Becoming Indispensable
  • Book clubs help teams that don’t usually work together work together.
  • Side note: teach kids how to use money and have their money spent effectively.
  • What can principals do? Use the recognition chart to make sure you are checking in on your teachers.
  • Invest in your own education, learn how to be a better principal, teacher, speaker, etc.
  • davidlong@top10manager.com
  • 800–489–0230
  • Buy the hardback copy, get the kindle version free by emailing Copy of workbook from the
  • “You’re impacting lives every day, or you’re not!”

Subscribe in iTunes

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  


New Episode of @TrnFrmPrincipal


Brian Edmister is the principal of Genesee Valley Elementary School in Genesee Valley New York.

Brian was a fellow participant of the Model Schools Conference.

  • Attended many different colleges to complete his degree.
  • Design your own session.
  • Standards based grading.
  • Must create your culture before you change anything.
  • When you create a grade, you create a label.
  • Giving the kids a chance to be in charge of their own learning.
  • Schools Attuned
  • Giving teachers permission to fail at something.
  • 1 page of all academic, 1 page of social development on report card.
  • Levels of access can be unlocked with badges for showing digital citizenship.
  • Robot Farm
  • Allowing kids to demonstrate proficiency.
  • Communication build trust.
  • How to be a transformative principal: Build culture.

Subscribe in iTunes

Please take a moment to rate this podcast in iTunes or on Stitcher

Ready for a Modern Web Site for your school? Simple School Sites is the place to go for high quality Wordpress sites specially designed for schools.

Please follow me on Twitter: @jethrojones for the host and @TrnFrmPrincipal for the show.

Buy Communication Cards

Show notes on TransformativePrincipal.com

Download Paperless Principal.  


New Episode of @TrnFrmPrincipal