K-12 Podcast

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, an architect 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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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!

The Future of Education podcast episode 5

The Dual Enrollment Experience: Pathways to Academic Success

Last year, around 1.4 million high school students engaged in dual enrollment coursework. In this episode, we dive deep into the fascinating world of dual enrollment — a rising higher education trend that’s reshaping the educational journey for high school students and the colleges that serve them. Our guest, Dr. Davis Jenkins, is a distinguished expert on dual enrollment. As a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Community College Research Center (CCRC), Dr. Jenkins has a wealth of experience in dual enrollment programs. We hope you join us for this enlightening conversation on one of the approaches to higher education that is shaping our future.

Education Podcast 4 Guest Econ Ullrich

Community College Success Measurement: A New Approach

Community college students often have diverse backgrounds and goals. For this reason, it has always been a challenge to evaluate a community college’s success rate. 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. This episode gives listeners a deeper understanding of how higher education institutions are measured, the current challenges community colleges face, and the exciting opportunities that may arise from the Federal Reserve evaluating community colleges with a new lens.

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.

Education Podcast 3 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 direct primary care 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 primary care 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

Community colleges are not strangers to change. In fact, their ability to change to meet evolving needs is built into their DNA. As population demographics shift, community college 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

The best teachers don’t just present facts and figures, they inspire students to have a life-long love of learning. Washington Elementary and High School attracted a faculty that was first-rate. Here’s 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 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

Sports wasn’t the only way Washington Elementary and High School students excelled outside of the classroom, the school quickly earned a great reputation for its music and arts programs as well. 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

Some of you listening right now might be thinking…Washington Elementary and High School sounds like such a special place, 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

In this final episode, we’ve invited a few alumni and community leaders to share what it means to leave a 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. 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 this 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

Experienced healthcare interior designers understand and are sensitive to the ways 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 be well positioned for continued success in reaching 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 Podcast Social Post Guest 13

Transforming District Leadership and the Ed Tech Landscape

Education has not always been thought of as an innovative space, but change is on the horizon, sparked by the disruptions of the last few years. Students are required to have a different skill set than previous generations, with technology and collaboration at the forefront of those demands. The education system has faced immense challenges recently, but with those challenges comes a great opportunity to innovate and make an even greater impact on students today.

Our guest, Doug Roberts, has worked with leading ed-tech entrepreneurs and district administrators for almost 20 years, developing partnerships that improve outcomes for students.

As Founder and CEO of the Institute for Education Innovation, Doug and his partners help bridge the gap between those who run school districts 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.


Healthcare Podcast Guest 5 Michelle Fortune

Ambulatory Surgery Centers: Tactics for Success

The recent growth of Ambulatory Surgery Centers, coupled with an updated “approved procedures list,” and focus on patient experience, fuels changes in their design and operation. In this episode, Minta interviews Michelle Fortune, CEO of St. Luke’s Hospital, a critical access hospital in North Carolina. Fortune has an extensive history in the successful implementation and operation of ASC’s; join us as we explore the benefits, considerations, and strategies behind successful ACS’s.


Healthcare Podcast Guest 4 Leslie Ravan

Modern Trends and Challenges of Nursing Education

The nursing profession is fast-paced, multi-faceted, and can be adrenaline-driven. Minta hosts Leslie Ravan, Senior Lecturer at Clemson University’s School of Nursing, for a discussion on modern nursing education programs. As a practicing nurse for over 17 years, Ravan is also a certified nursing simulation educator. She teaches nursing students critical thinking skills through web-enhanced training and her main area of focus is creating blended methods for best practice in delivering a simulated nursing education.

This conversation covers how nursing education is evolving. Advancements in technology are enhancing the human interaction and mentorship components that nursing programs still rely on. Stereotypes commonly associated with the nursing profession are being challenged and disproven–especially when looking at industry trends over the last 5 years. We hope you enjoy this insider’s take on modern nursing education. Thanks for listening!


Healthcare Podcast Guest 3 Ali Hobbs

Bridging the Gap Between Construction, Technology, and Clinical Operations

In this episode, host Minta Ferguson talks with Ali Hobbs, Project Manager for CBRE’s Facility Activations Solutions Team. We’re always interested in new healthcare technology tools for facility activation and planning. The tech addressed here actually emerged during COVID and is on the forefront of forging the way to help healthcare facilities be more successful in the future. Thanks for joining us!


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