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Getting Smart Podcast

Jan 20, 2021

In this episode, Tom is joined by Kelly Young, President of Education Reimagined, to chat with Randy Ziegenfuss, podcast host and former Superintendent, about his multi-decade influence in the education space.

Randy recently retired from the role of Superintendent in the Salisbury Township School District where he served for the past 15 years. Currently, he teaches as a Clinical Adjunct Professor of Education at Moravian College and Delaware Valley University. You can read his blog at and listen to his podcasts at or

Listen in as Tom and Kelly reflect on Randy’s influence and experience on leadership and learner-centered education!

Key Takeaways:

[:09] About today’s episode with Randy Ziegenfuss.

[:55] Tom Vander Ark welcomes Randy Ziegenfuss to the podcast!

[1:05] Tom thanks Kelly for joining as a co-host in this episode.

[1:58] Many people know Randy as the Salisbury Township School District’s Superintendent, which is in Allentown, PA. Did Randy grow up there? Where did he go to school and what did he excel in?

[3:56] Tom and Randy highlight the huge role extracurricular activities and the arts often play in being powerful learning experiences for people in their formative years.

[5:33] Why every young person deserves an experience in music and the arts in high school, and why these experiences are especially powerful and important.

[7:02] Did Randy plan to be a music teacher? What were his early aspirations?

[9:50] Did Randy ever take a school group to Broadway?

[10:27] When and how did Randy make the shift from music to ed-tech?

[12:20] How Randy was first introduced to Education Reimagined and the powerful collaboration that they’ve had over the last several years.

[14:05] When did Kelly first hear about Randy?

[14:55] What Kelly really likes about Randy’s podcasts.

[15:52] Randy reminisces on what led to the creation of his podcasts.

[18:24] Tom shares what he really appreciated about Randy’s podcasts.

[18:50] The benefits and challenges of having learners involved in many of Randy’s dialogues throughout the years.

[19:53] Kelly shares why she believes listening to learners is so vitally important.

[20:18] What Randy sees as being really powerful in hearing from young people and what he thinks listeners gained from listening to them.

[23:17] Kelly and Randy reflect on learner-centered leadership, what they’ve come to learn about it, and what makes a learner-centered leader.

[29:28] What Randy and Kelly would hope to see in a learner-centered ecosystem.

[32:30] Would Randy say that last year was the toughest year of his professional career? What would he say was the most challenging aspect?

[35:32] Randy highlights some of the cracks, openings, and opportunities that came from this tough last year.

[37:50] Tom and Kelly thank Randy for his incredible contributions to the education space.

[39:00] Randy gives his thanks to Tom and Kelly.

[40:13] Getting Smart thanks Randy and Kelly for joining the podcast!


Mentioned in This Episode:

Randy Ziegenfusss LinkedIn

Randys Twitter @Ziegeran

Salisbury Township School District

Moravian College

Delaware Valley University

Getting Smart Podcast Ep. 170: “Randy Ziegenfuss on Teacher Leadership and Student-Centered Learning


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