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Madison Metropolitan School District
Lead to Liberate: a podcast with Superintendent Dr. Carlton D. Jenkins

Guest: Cedric Hodo

Guest: Greg Jones

Lead to Liberate with Superintendent Carlton D. Jenkins brings listeners diverse voices and rich discussions on educational equity in the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and beyond.

We take a personal look at dedicated people in our schools, our district, and the Madison community with real conversations about the issues which fuel their passions. These stories demonstrate how MMSD is working to develop collaborative and co-creative solutions to accelerate the learning of all students while addressing disparities experienced by historically excluded groups.

Guest: Dr. Floyd Rose

Dr. Floyd Rose, president of the 100 Black Men of Madison, joins Superintendent Jenkins to talk about the impact of the African American History Bowl on students, families, and the community. They also discuss the importance of history, and recent decisions by the College Board.

Guest: Deb Hoffman

Superintendent Carlton Jenkins is joined by Dr. Deb Hoffman, an associate superintendent of elementary schools at MMSD. Dr. Hoffman shares how she is using her years of experience as a school principal to inform district-level work of improving outcomes for all scholars. They also discuss mindfulness and social-emotional well-being, the elementary curriculum adoption, and the importance of learning in diverse spaces.

Guest: Carletta Stanford

“Differences are assets.” That’s what guest Carlettra Stanford, Associate Superintendent of Elementary Schools and MMSD alumna, points to as a strength of the Madison community. This episode touches on continual growth, leadership, and uplifts Goal Three of the Strategic Framework. Dr. Jenkins continues the conversation of early literacy and the district’s new elementary curriculum.

Guest: Cindy Green

Dr. Jenkins has a conversation with Cindy Green, Associate Superintendent of Teaching & Learning, centered around the Science of Reading. They discuss the district’s focus on early literacy, MMSD’s historic elementary curriculum adoption, and the work happening to ensure all students are prepared for future success in post graduation.

Guest: Tamuriel Grace

In this episode, Dr. Jenkins is joined by Tamuriel Grace, MMSD’s Associate Superintendent of Engagement. They discuss the impact of the Village Builders project, how it’s bringing the community into our schools to increase student and family engagement, and a recent $1M donation from Community in Schools.

Guest: Jeremy Schlitz

In this episode, MMSD’s District Athletic Director, Jeremy Schlitz and Dr. Jenkins discuss the impact and correlation of co-curriculars on students' academic success. The conversation touches on Athletic Director Schultz's leadership and advocacy locally, statewide and nationally along with the athletic alumni community giving back to MMSD. 

Guest: Dr. Angie Hicks

In this thought-provoking episode, MMSD’s Associate Superintendent of Middle Schools, Dr. Angie Hicks shares what it was like to grow up in Madison after the civil rights movement. The conversation moves to integration, educational disparities, and why she is compelled to serve this community.

Guest: Ennis Harvey

In this episode, Dr. Jenkins is joined by Associate Superintendent of High Schools, Ennis Harvey. They speak about Mr. Harvey’s background, and how MMSD high schools have been collaborating around best practices. Together, they have a powerful conversation about race, equity, and the ongoing social justice pandemic.

Guests: Gina Aguglia and Sedric Morris

Dr. Jenkins speaks with the co-directors of MMSD’s Office of School Safety. Gina Aguglia and Sedric Morris share how they support students, families, and staff through home visits, restorative recovery, and connections to resources, all while building strong relationships within the MMSD community.

Guest: Dr. Anu Ebbe

In this episode, Dr. Jenkins speaks with Dr. Anu Ebbe, MMSD’s Deputy Associate Superintendent of Middle Schools. Dr. Ebbe was named Wisconsin’s 2022-2023 Principal of the Year. They discuss identity; shifting mindsets to believe all students can succeed at high levels; and what’s happening at the middle school level to prepare students for high school and beyond.

Guest: Dr. Nancy Molfenter

Dr. Nancy Molfenter, Associate Superintendent of Student Services, joins Dr. Jenkins to discuss special education in MMSD. Dr. Molfenter shares more about how department staff work in collaboration with families, caregivers, and scholars. They speak about the district’s anti-racist IEP work, Madtown Mommas community advocates, Project Search transition program, and Mission Possible robot technology. Throughout the conversation, the resilience and brilliance of scholars are kept at the forefront.

Guest: Dr. Kristen Guetschow

In this episode, MMSD’s Mental Health Director Dr. Kristen Guetschow shares how schools are supporting students’ social-emotional and mental health as we emerge from the pandemic. She talks about re-establishing stability, Dr. Jenkins shares how a scholar taught him breathing techniques, and together they discuss how programs such as Bounce Back and Care Solace are helping our students, families, and staff thrive.

Guest: Nicole Carrion Vaughn

In this episode, Dr. Jenkins is joined by middle school music teacher Nicole Carrion Vaughn. She shares her story of how she came to MMSD. They talk about some of the challenges and opportunities of teaching, and the ways she is working to engage students.

Guest: Corvonn Gaines

In this episode of Lead to Liberate Superintendent Jenkins is joined by West High School’s Athletic Director and MMSD alumni, Corvonn Gaines. They talk about challenges and opportunities, being a role model for Black and Brown youth, and the importance of building relationships with students.

Guest: Carolyn Stanford Taylor

Former Wisconsin State Superintendent, Carolyn Stanford Taylor is the featured guest in this episode of Lead to Liberate with Dr. Carlton D. Jenkins. She began her career in MMSD, and is back as the district's Deputy Superintendent of Engagement, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. During their conversation, they discuss youth voice, family engagement, Village Builders and Student Engagement Specialists, as well as workforce diversity.

Guest: Tara Tindall

In this episode of Lead to Liberate, Superintendent Jenkins is joined by Tara Tindall, MMSD Native American Teacher Leader. A member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, Tara shares about her experiences growing up in Black River Falls, time spent in Alaska, and teaching Navajo-speaking children in New Mexico, before returning to Wisconsin. They talk about the impact of the district's Land Acknowledgement Ceremony in April 2022, and Tara discusses Indigenous invisibility. The conversation touches on Native American boarding school history, and how Tara has created Native American lessons and resources for teaching staff to advance culturally-relevant pedagogy.

Guest: Melinda Heinritz

Superintendent Jenkins is joined by Melinda Heinritz, President of the Madison Public Schools Foundation. They talk about the impact the Foundation has had not only for our students and schools, but also in our community and state. The conversation then turns to school funding, community and business partnerships, advocacy for K12 public education, and early literacy.