K-12 Podcast

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A podcast on ideas shaping the future of K-12 education.

About This Podcast

Are you a school policymaker, teacher, or parent who cares about making schools a better place for students? In this education podcast series, host Ben Thompson, K-12 Practice Leader with McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture (MPS) talks to experienced and insightful education leaders about issues like funding, safety and security, mental health, career and technology programs, and more. Education matters because it’s something we all share in common. Subscribe now!

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K12 Podcast Social Post Episode 17, Guest: Dr. Sheila Quinn

School Bond Referendum Strategy: A Look at the Clover School District Bond Success Story

In this podcast episode – School Bond Referendum Strategy: A Look at the Clover School District Bond Success Story, we learn about Clover School District’s journey to a successful school bond process. Join us as Dr. Sheila Quinn, Superintendent of Schools, shares insights into the district’s response to rapid growth, culminating in a successful voter-approved bond in 2022. Discover how Clover School District navigated challenges, engaged the community, and prioritized strategic planning to meet the evolving needs of their students.

This episode offers inspiration and practical lessons for transforming educational infrastructure and fostering student success. Tune in to hear the story of perseverance, collaboration, and innovation that defines Clover School District’s school bond referendum strategy. Listen now to be inspired by the future of K-12 education!

Stay tuned for more episodes of Idea Exchange! We explore innovative ideas shaping the future of education. Subscribe now on your favorite platform to stay updated!

Healthcare Podcast Guest 10, Carolyn Knaup

WakeMed’s Freestanding Emergency Department Journey: Strategy, Growth + Lessons Learned

Join us in this enlightening episode as we delve into the nearly twenty-year evolution of WakeMed’s freestanding emergency departments (FSEDs) in North Carolina. Our guest, Carolyn Knaup, Senior Vice President of Strategic Ventures and Ambulatory Operations, shares invaluable insights from WakeMed’s vast experience operating freestanding EDs in multiple NC communities.

With a guiding principle that “healthcare is local” leading their strategy, Carolyn discusses the pivotal role of community trust and engagement in the success of WakeMed’s FSEDs. Discover how WakeMed’s innovative approach to healthcare accessibility and their commitment to community well-being have shaped their journey from the first standalone ED to their latest 2024 opening. Listeners will learn about their organizational goals, the importance of strategic placement, and the impact of cross-training in fostering a robust emergency care system that truly serves the community it is designed for.


The Future of Education Podcast Episode 6 graphic with Guest Dr. Jamey Rorison

The Value of Higher Education

Is post-secondary education still worth it? While a debate about higher education’s value and place in society rages online, new data reveals that equitable opportunities for students are being created from post-secondary programs. In this episode, we’re joined by Dr. Jamey Rorison, Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Rorison is leading efforts to advance a field-driven movement to increase equitable postsecondary value. He shares groundbreaking research on post-college outcomes with our host, Dr. DeHay, including how post-secondary institutions can participate in exciting new programs aimed at improving outcomes for their students.

For more information related to this episode, including access to the mentioned report and data tools, visit: postsecondaryvalue.org

Opening a FSED podcast episode for Ideas Shaping Healthcare

Opening a FSED for a Thriving Community

This episode delves into the cutting-edge realm of Freestanding Emergency Departments (FSEDs) and their pivotal role in modern healthcare infrastructure. We sat down with William Kenley, CEO of AnMed Health, and Brett Justice, AnMed’s Chief Strategy Officer, to uncover their profound insights into the planning and implementation of a new FSED project in Anderson County, South Carolina. Join us!

For more healthcare design trends, read our Advisors blog.

Dual enrollment, The Future of Education podcast, episode 5 graphic of Davis Jenkins

The Dual Enrollment Experience: Pathways to Academic Success

Dual enrollment is a rising higher education trend that reshaped the educational journey for around 1.4 million of high school students in 2022.

In this episode, we dive into how dual enrollment programs are impacting the education landscape with our guest, Dr. Davis Jenkins, a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Community College Research Center (CCRC). Dr. Jenkins works with colleges and states to find ways to improve educational and employment outcomes for students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. We hope you join us for this enlightening conversation on one approach to higher education that is shaping our future.

Check out more podcasts about community college trends like changing demographics, measuring community college success, and improving student outcomes.

Community Colleges + The Future of Education Podcast, Episode 4 art with Guest Dr. Laura Ullrich

Community College Success Measurement: A New Approach

What are the current challenges community colleges face? And what opportunities may arise from the Federal Reserve evaluating community colleges with a new lens?

In this episode of The Future of Education, Dr. Galen DeHay talks to Dr. Laura Ullrich, a senior regional economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, about the complex topic of measuring community college success. They discuss why the current metrics used by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) are inadequate for truly evaluating a community college’s impact and Dr. Ullrich reveals some new insights from a pilot study of community colleges that used a broader and more nuanced definition of success.

Check out more podcasts about community college trends like changing demographics, dual enrollment, and improving student outcomes.

K12 Podcast Social Post Episode 16, Guest: Will Anderson

Successful K-12 School Funding: Creating Better Outcomes by Managing Change

Driving positive change in education is never easy. Whether you’re a school superintendent, district leader, or simply passionate about education, the transformative journey of Richland School District 2 offers valuable knowledge and inspiration for any district looking to make improvements through K-12 school funding that will serve students and teachers for years to come.

In our latest episode, we welcome Will Anderson, the Chief Operations Officer for Richland School District 2, who guides us through the complexities and strategy behind the school’s groundbreaking $468,406,000 improvement program—which included the passing of the largest property tax initiative in the state at the time. Anyone with an unwavering commitment to better educational outcomes will appreciate Richland 2’s successful K-12 school funding and improvements story. Thanks for listening.

The Future of Education Podcast, Episode 3 art with GUEST Dr. Russell Lowery Hart

Creating a Culture of Caring

Understanding a community’s needs starts with developing an understanding of the students who are attending the local community college. This requires elevating student voices to focus and drive reforms. In this episode, Dr. DeHay interviews Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, President of Amarillo College in Texas. Dr. Lowery-Hart has transformed the systems and culture at Amarillo by centering them on one word: love. Join us for this uplifting and inspiring episode!

Healthcare Podcast Post 2 Guests Episode 8

Improving Community Health and Employer Healthcare Costs

In this episode, we explore an on-site, value based primary care delivery model designed by Proactive MD. In our conversation with Troy Corley, Senior Vice President of Proactive MD and Charles Swain, CEO of Foundation Property Group we uncover the “why” behind this new model and learn how it is different from other direct to consumer or concierge models.

This episode covers:

  • Top patient loyalty and retention drivers.
  • Technology integration.
  • The design of these care environments and what’s different from other clinics.
  • What’s changing in local primary care as a result of the ever-evolving healthcare landscape.
  • How initiatives such as DEI are informing today’s clinical operations strategies.

To learn more about Proactive MD. Want to pitch a guest or idea for the show?

Podcast with Sonny Thadani about mental health and we--being in schools.

Improving Mental Health Across School Communities

Explore the future of education with a focus on improving mental health and well-being in schools. Join us in this episode as we delve into the vital topic of student well-being with Sonny Thadani, CEO of Robin – a leading advocate for mental health in educational settings.

Sonny Thadani, a dedicated father of three and a volunteer with Sandy Hook Promise, founded Robin to empower students, educators, and parents. This innovative ed-tech startup, recently featured in Forbes, is revolutionizing school communities.

Discover Robin’s groundbreaking approach, combining cutting-edge technology and real-world coaching to redefine how we teach well-being and personal growth in schools. Their mission? To create more connected, supportive, and compassionate school environments.

Listen in to learn about Robin’s early successes and how they’re reshaping the future of education. Join us as we explore the crucial intersection of mental health and education, and let this conversation inspire and uplift you!

For more information on improving mental health in K-12 schools, check out our Mental Well-Being and Student Success podcast with Jennifer Parker, Ph.D, LPC.

Higher Education podcast about providing access and success for diverse communities with Aspen Institute Senior Fellow Dr. Maria Harper Marinick.

Providing Access and Success for Diverse Communities

The demographics of many communities are shifting. As we emerge from the global pandemic, we are witnessing trend shifts in who is attending college and who is not. In this episode, Dr. DeHay discusses the role of community colleges in providing access for diverse communities. He is joined by Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, a Senior Fellow for the College Excellence Program at The Aspen Institute and a Guided Pathways Coach for the Texas Success Center. Dr. Harper-Marinick served the Maricopa Community College District for almost 30 years in a variety of leadership roles, including as Chancellor for the system. She is a leader and a strong advocate for access to opportunity, equity, and student success. Thanks for joining us!

Dr. Hope Rivers interviewd on The Future of Education Podcast, a higher education podcast about how community college can serve communities differently.

Engaging Communities Differently to Meet Changing Needs

Population demographics are affecting community colleges. Leaders must adapt their organizations to meet the emerging needs of the communities they serve. In this episode, Dr. DeHay talks with Dr. Hope Rivers, President of Piedmont Technical College, to discuss how leaders are engaging their communities differently to provide equitable access and opportunity for education.


The Future of Education Podcast, a higher education podcast hosted by Tri-County Technical College President Dr. Galen DeHay produced in partnership with McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture

Trailer: The Future of Education Podcast

Welcome to The Future of Education, a higher education podcast brought to you by Dr. Galen DeHay, President of Tri-County Technical College, and IdeaXChange, a community forum created by McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture. In this monthly series, we invite guests who are running post-Secondary colleges and universities to discuss the biggest issues and opportunities facing higher education. Please join us!

Washington School Podcast Art Episode 1

Introduction to The Mighty Few: Exploring the History and Legacy of Washington Elementary & High School

In this six-part series, you’ll hear from the alumni of a historically-black school in Greenville, South Carolina. The alumni recall the challenges and thrills of an unforgettable time in their lives. Listen to the stories of athletic state champions, artists and musicians, community leaders, scientists, and scholars — all who credit the family-atmosphere and personal attention they found at Washington Elementary and High School with contributing to their love of learning and successes later on in life. Join us for this journey of memories, in unscripted conversations that are at times heartwarming, funny, and heartbreaking as we revisit the history and legacy of Washington School, and in a broader sense, personal experiences of what it was like growing up as a black student in the South, in the 1960s, in America — told by those who lived through those times. 

Narrator: Frances Brown Bishop 

Series Executive Producer: Brendan Blowers

Series Producer (Sound Engineer): Nathan Robinson

Recorded at Bramble Jam Studios in Greenville, South Carolina, 2022

Pictured: Washington High School Industrial Arts Club on campus, circa 1967.

Washington School Podcast Art Episode 2

Remembering Washington: Our Talented Faculty

Washington Elementary and High School attracted teachers who didn’t just present facts and figures, they inspired students to have a life-long love of learning.  In the podcast, “Our Talented Faculty”, hear a conversation between a former teacher and one of his students.

Introduction: Frances Brown Bishop

Featured Guests: Rev. James Johnson, Horace Butler

Recorded at Bramble Jam Studios in Greenville, South Carolina, 2022. 

Pictured: High School faculty, circa 1965.

Washington School Podcast Art Episode 3

Remembering Washington: Workforce Development

Washington High School offered valuable technical courses to its high school students for the purpose of workforce development. Students took classes such as drafting, welding, industrial arts, and auto mechanics in addition to college-prep courses and labs in chemistry and physics. Many students pursued subjects of interest beyond the core requirements — as Washington’s population grew, so did opportunities for students to acquire valuable career skills. 

Introduction: Frances Brown Bishop

Featured Guests: Matthew Irby, Mike Robinson

Recorded at Bramble Jam Studios in Greenville, South Carolina, 2022.

Pictured: Shop class, circa 1962.

Washington School Podcast Art, Episode 4

Remembering Washington: Athletic Achievement

We can’t talk about the legacy of Washington Elementary and High School without mentioning championships and other athletic achievements. Whether playing on a field or a court — the Falcons were up for any challenge and often defeated much larger schools with more established, better funded programs. We’re joined now by a few men who remember the pride and persistence required to be an athlete at Washington…

Introduction: Frances Brown Bishop

Featured Guests: David Lee Beaty, Arthur Butler, Frank Moultrie

Recorded at Bramble Jam Studios in Greenville, South Carolina, 2022. 

Pictured: The Falcons football team, circa 1965.

Washington School Podcast Art, Episode 5

Remembering Washington: The Visual & Performing Arts

Washington Elementary and High School visual and performing arts programs were as successful as the athletics. The school quickly earned a great reputation for its music and arts programs during the 1960s. Listen now, as three former students recall what it was like to pursue arts and music at Washington.

Introduction: Frances Brown Bishop

Featured Guests: Ronald (Rawn) Harbor, Veronica Ferguson Johnson, Helen Scott Irby

Recorded at Bramble Jam Studios in Greenville, South Carolina, 2022. 

Pictured: The majorettes, circa 1965.

Washington School Podcast Art, Episode 6

Remembering Washington: A Challenging Transition

Washington Elementary and High School was a special place, so why is this school no longer around? To answer that question, let’s go back even further to the supreme court ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954. The results of that hearing declared segregation unconstitutional. Despite the law, Greenville County Schools — like many school districts across the South, tried to continue accommodating its growing black student population by increasing the size and facilities of its all-black schools. Washington, after all, had started in response to the overcrowding of other area all-black schools, like Sterling.  

And, while we’ve already demonstrated how Washington thrived as a community school in its brief existence — when the federal government finally forced the desegregation of public schools in January 1970, Washington Elementary and High School, along with several other black schools in Greenville County (12,000 students and 550 teachers in all) suddenly found themselves being bussed to a new location and very different environment. Many of Washington’s students were jarred by the suddenness of entering the newly desegregated Wade Hampton High in Greenville in the middle of a school year. 
It was a challenging transition. Here’s a few former students who remember details from that difficult and traumatic time.

Introduction: Frances Brown Bishop

Featured Guests: Osbornetta Scott, Susie A. Burton

Recorded at Bramble Jam Studios in Greenville, South Carolina, 2022.

Pictured: Washington School bus drivers, circa 1965.

Washington School Podcast Art, Episode 7

Remembering Washington: Purpose and Legacy

The Washington Elementary and High School alumni still gather annually to stay in touch and pass their stories down to a new generation of kids, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. In this final episode, we’ve invited a few alumni and community leaders to share what it means to leave a legacy.

There is a collective and profound sense of pride and appreciation for the former administrators, teachers, and students who made this school unique. The nuggets of wisdom, technical skills, and inspiration that Washington instilled in so many in such a short time provides many reasons to celebrate. The lessons learned at Washington Elementary and High School will never be forgotten.

Introduction: Frances Brown Bishop

Featured Guests: Addy Matney, David Mitchell, Rosa Fleming Byrd, Charles Gardner, James Avery

Recorded at Bramble Jam Studios in Greenville, South Carolina, 2022.

Pictured: Washington High School library, circa 1967.

Healthcare Podcast Guest 7 Erika Hill

Experiential Healthcare Design Tips

The interiors of healthcare facilities have a profound impact on the patients and staff they serve. An experienced healthcare interior designer understands how the physical environment influences moods, emotions, and behavior.

In this episode, Minta talks with Erika Hill, a designer with almost 30 years of experience working with healthcare facilities. Erika approaches healthcare design as a holistic and collaborative process. Listen to the lessons learned and insights shared that can help any client positively impact the experience of their facility for patients and staff.


Podcast about K12 school facility planning with Minta Ferguson.

What’s Your Plan & Why? Creating Data-Driven Facility Plans That Work!

In this episode, we explore the importance of data-driven facility plans for K-12 schools and how it impacts long-term success. Our guest, Minta Ferguson, Director of Planning at McMillan Pazdan Smith Advisors, discusses the multifaceted aspects of planning, from demographic analysis to market-specific data and even the subjective side involving community feedback.

Facility plans, according to Minta, is a critical strategy that involves justifying capital needs, understanding market trends, considering industry regulations, and aligning with organizational goals.

The conversation explores how planners validate and explain funding decisions to stakeholders, including taxpayers, insurance providers, government entities, and philanthropies. Minta highlights the importance of making decisions that serve the best interests of the community, emphasizing equity and the humanitarian side of decision-making.

Looking ahead, Minta believes collaboration is key, especially in the context of population health. The future calls for more community-focused approaches involving partnerships between healthcare, education, and government sectors to create holistic solutions.

Join us as we continue to explore the evolving education landscape and the learning journey of students.


  • Have a specific question for Minta’s Advisors? Contact Us and we’ll connect you with the team.
  • The Future of K-12 Education contact form: Contact Us Here!
Advisors Healthcare Podcast Post, 2 Guest graphic / Carbon Neutrality Considerations for Hospitals

Carbon Neutrality Considerations for Healthcare Facilities

What can hospitals do now to reach carbon neutrality?

Greg Hudson and Michael Scruggs from RMF Engineering join Minta in the studio to discuss tips and best practices for this long-term initiative.


K12 Leadership Podcast with Doug Roberts

Transforming District Leadership and the Ed Tech Landscape

K-12 education has not always been thought of as an innovative space, but that is changing. Sparked by the disruptions of the last few years, we are seeing a need for a different skill set than previous generations. Technology and collaboration skills are at the forefront of those demands. The education system has faced immense challenges recently. Those challenges have created an opportunity to innovate and make a greater impact on students today.

Our guest, Doug Roberts, has worked with leading ed-tech entrepreneurs and district administrators for almost 20 years. His goal is to help develop partnerships that improve outcomes for students.

As Founder and CEO of the Institute for Education Innovation, Doug and his partners bridge the gap between district leaders and those who start companies to help school districts. A Princeton graduate, he is a former public high school social studies teacher and ed-tech business development executive who earned his Ed.M. in Teaching and Curriculum from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Doug has his finger on the pulse of schools across the nation and we enjoyed hearing his perspective, join us for this wide-ranging, open and honest conversation.


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