On this podcast episode of Innovators in the Making, Gene Franz and Bill Heye joined the Economics class to discuss their approach to intrapreneurship (innovating in an already established business) and entrepreneurship, innovation in general, and school. Gene and Bill spoke with the class for a while before Josh took on the task of interviewing these two titans of the tech industry. A first for the Innovators in the Making podcast, Josh attempted to interview two people, and the results were a little comical, although Josh did get both guests to describe how they think people learn. After getting through a few of the normal Interview questions, it became clear that Gene and Bill were at the school to talk with students, and what followed was the most student-generated questions ever asked of the Innovators for this podcast.
Gene and Bill were a great pair to talk with, and they expounded on their work at IT, and their current company Octavo Systems. Gene talked about taking risks and being one of the “crazies” that a company needs, and Bill spoke about how he has to work with Gene and allow for his risks, but answer to the bottom line. Both innovators provided a fascinating discussion about how to succeed in business, and if they were willing, Josh would have them talk with each student at Saint Andrews – that is how good these two were.
On this podcast episode, Science chair and “physics dork” Dan Latreille sat down with Josh to talk about his upbringing in schools, and how he found his way to Austin and Saint Andrews’s.
Dan talked about growing up in Sacramento and why he was more interested in working and making money than doing well at school. In Dan’s words, he was “not good” at school. Although, he definitely turned into a great student after high school, enjoying more and more math and science courses to the point where he had basically taken all of the physics classes available to him at the community college he was attending before heading to college and settling on physics as a major. Dan spent his years in California after high school taking education courses and math and science courses all the while working with a latchkey program with kids. After graduation, Dan taught for several years in the same school in California before deciding a move to Texas was necessary for his family. Dan joined the faculty of Saint Andrews and after fellow physics teacher Richard Wright joined the science department, Dan then took on the unenviable position of evolving our physics program into a modeling-based program, a change which had garnered national attention, and which Dan believes serves the needs of our student population and encourages individual growth as budding scientist.
On this podcast episode of “the Making of a Teacher” Josh Nelson sits down with beloved Latin teacher Jennie “Parwa” Luongo in her Latin classroom to talk about her life as a student, how she fell in love with the Classics, and in particular, Latin, and how she found her way to Saint Andrew’s. Jennie talks with Josh about growing up in Texas, but with parents who wanted her to know about her roots in Virginia thus she spent her summers escaping the Texas summers and spending time in Virginia with relatives. Jennie discusses her high school experience as a budding Latin student and member of her school’s Color Guard. Ms. Luongo’s Latin students will not be surprised to hear that she was especially close to her high school Latin teacher. This very meaningful relationship in Ms. Luongo’s life inspired her to establish long-lasting and meaningful relationships with her Latin students.
In College, Ms. Luongo furthered her Latin studies but missed the closeness with her professors she experienced in high school. For Ms. Luongo, once she entered college, there was no question she was going to teach Latin one day. Saint Andrew’s was lucky to snag Ms. Luongo right out of college, and we have been thanking our lucky stars every day since!
Ms. Luongo and Josh talked about her philosophy of teaching Latin, and the benefits that being a graduate student affords her as a teacher.
On this podcast episode of “Innovators in the Making” Josh Nelson and Mr. Kriese’s Economics class sit down with Colin Buechler, CEO and founder of BloxMob about his time in school and working in the tech industry over the past 2 decades. Colin talks about growing up in New York and Connecticut and his experience in schools, made easier because of his good memory. In high school, Colin talks about the many jobs he had as a teenager, including working in fast food restaurants and figuring out that “half of life is just showing up.” Colin talks with the Economics students about how he started out in college thinking about how he would be a doctor, but through the process of becoming a doctor, he realized that he didn’t want to go into medicine. Colin’s advice to students who are unsure of what they want to do for their life, should “just find something to fall in love with.”
Josh and Colin talk about his experience working in the tech industry, starting out as a programmer and consultant, his time at Dell in Austin, and his time as CEO of the tech company, LifeSize. Colin currently is CEO of the company BloxMob, which allows anyone to make apps without any programming knowledge at all. Colin came up with the idea for the company after seeing his daughter lose interest in building her own app once she realized how daunting it was to learn enough programming to create an app.
To kick off the 2016-2017 season of “The Making of a Teacher” I decided to turn this audio podcast into a video podcast, and the Upper School’s Math Department Chair, Dr. Latryce Cole was gracious enough to let me start off the new vodcast series by interviewing her.
Dr. Cole walks us through her life growing up in a small town in Alabama where she learned about hard work and determination, and also meant that she attended high school where her mother was a teacher. Latryce explains how she fell in love with mathematics, and why she pursued math as a subject throughout college and graduate school. Latryce talks about her experience at Spelman College, a historically black college, or HBC and how her advisor at Spelman played a part in her deciding to get her masters in mathematics. Latryce also talks about her early teaching experience and how talking with the diversity coordinator at an independent school led her to pursue and eventually complete a PhD in Educational Leadership.
Also, Latryce and Josh are totally wearing Star Trek shirts in the video (not planned)!
Innovators in the Making is back for the 2016-2017 school year with local Austin entrepreneur Thomas Maione about his life in and out of schools, and how he developed into an entrepreneur with over a dozen successful businesses. Thomas explains why he thinks that he is not creative, but how he has used this personal viewpoint to develop successful businesses over the year. As one of the only network installers in the eighties installing networks into law firms and small business, Thomas leveraged his technical knowledge into a power play to buy his first company out from the company that he was working for (A similar story line as the “Michael Scott Paper Company” story line from season 5 of the tv show “The Office.”). After selling his network company years later, Thomas leaned on his experience as a clown performing at birthday parties to help him structure his newest venture, a laser tag arena and video game arcade called “Blazer Tag”, a company that is a beloved institution in South Austin.
Thomas shared a lot of valuable advice to the entrepreneurial class, including that if you want to be successful and run a business, you should remember to “trust and verify” which might or might not include a “proverbial noogie.” Thomas also shares with the class that he believes people learn “by doing, and by failing” and that they should also try to learn not only from their mistakes but from others’ mistakes.
If you can imagine it, Josh spends another beautiful Austin afternoon outside of the mLAB talking with history teacher and soccer coach, Richard Kriese. Richard talks with Josh about his life in schools in Wisconsin and Texas, and how he came to be a teacher. Richard describes how his career in the semi-conductor industry taught him Chemistry and how it was his desire to teach chemistry that brought him to Saint Andrew’s. Now a history teacher, Richard discusses what it was like teaching 1st grade, then 5th grade before becoming a high school teacher of history and economics.
It was another beautiful day in Austin when Josh interviewed English Teacher Matt Kelly behind the mLAB. Matt Kelly describes what going to school was like for his as the baby of the 7-sibling strong Kelly family in Albuquerque. As many students at SAS are aware of, Matt is a huge music fan, and an accomplished musician. Matt talks with Josh about what he has learned through music and how he uses music in his English classes. Matt recommends we all go listen to the Hindemeth Harp Sonato so here you go!
Josh took a field trip across campus to the Dell Fine Arts Center, and met up with SAS’ technical director and technical theater teacher Scott Schumann. Scott talks about his experience growing up in a household that didn’t place a value on education, and how he found his love of theater by way of his astute science teacher! In this interview, Josh gets to hear about how Scott’s tech theater students are learning by doing, a theme throughout Scott’s life and a message he imparts on his students. Josh is over the moon when Scott defines contextualized mathematics learning by way of his students building a ladder for a production. A great conversation that took place over the course of two days in April.
In this episode of The Making of a Teacher, CTI Josh talks with Mandarin teacher Cheyenne Maechtle about growing up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, how he approaches learning a new language, and how he goes about teaching languages to high school students. Cheyenne shares how his curiosity about how things work led him to study science as a young man, and how that same curiosity led him to study languages. Cheyenne also explains how he goes about learning a new language, and how he went from studying German in college and graduate school to living in China and learning Mandarin.