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Getting Smart Podcast

Mar 17, 2021

Today, Getting Smart team member Rashawn “Shawnee” Caruthers is sitting down with Margarita Geleske of Uncharted Learning and Tom Leonard, the Superintendent of Texas’s Eanes Independent School District.

Margarita worked with the founding Uncharted Learning to create INCubatoredu, which helps students develop future-ready skills as they build real businesses. She also served as chairperson and trustee for the Barrington 220 Educational Foundation and as well as a trustee for Barrington Youth & Family Services.

As a native of Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Tom Leonard served as Superintendent in the Barrington 220 School District in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago for seven years. He has been in his current role as Superintendent of Eanes ISD also for nearly seven years, having first entered the role in 2014.

Together, Margarita and Tom talk about student engagement and powerful entrepreneurial experiences within the community. Listen in as Shawnee talks with these incredible guests about INCubatoredu as well as their secret to success in engaging communities and students!

“We really need to change what we’re doing in our schools because the traditional curriculum that we’re using is not the world we’re living in now. And if we’re not venturing into entrepreneurial studies … we’re preparing kids for the world of the 1970s — and that’s gone.” — Tom Leonard


Key Takeaways:

[:09] About today’s episode with Margarita Geleske and Tom Leonard.

[1:10] Shawnee welcomes Margarita and Tom to the podcast!

[1:48] Tom introduces himself and speaks about his school district, Eanes ISD.

[3:05] How Tom and Margarita met.

[4:28] About Uncharted Learning.

[6:01] Tom shares about how Eanes ISD connected with Uncharted Learning and about INCubatoredu.

[10:25] Why is community such an important focus for Tom and why it is important for Eanes ISD to partner with organizations such as Uncharted Learning?

[11:50] Why the INCubatoredu program has been so impactful in particular.

[12:29] How to connect your community with your school district.

[14:10] How is a volunteer role in Uncharted Learning different from traditional roles?

[16:27] How have their relationships with mentors and coaches changed (as well as the relationship between schools and communities) changed since the pandemic? And what have they done to combat any potential negative shifts?

[19:54] About Getting Smart’s new report on what’s next in learning!

[20:53] The transparent, real-world look into the lives of business owners that students were uniquely provided over the course of the pandemic.

[22:09] What do business professionals bring to the student experience?

[25:47] The importance of “failing forward.”

[27:28] Tom shares why this work is so important to him.

[29:09] Margarita shares her “why.”

[31:56] How do people volunteer for the kinds of roles that Uncharted Learning offers?

[33:24] Tom shares some suggestions on what Superintendents and school districts can do to build or rebuild engagement with their communities.

[36:26] Tom and Margarita share some closing thoughts about community.

[39:51] Shawnee thanks Tom and Margarita for joining the Getting Smart Podcast!


Mentioned in This Episode:

Rashawn Shawnee Caruthers | Getting Smart

Margarita Geleskes LinkedIn

Uncharted Learning

INCubatoredu | Uncharted Learning

Tom Leonards LinkedIn

Eanes Independent School District (Eanes ISD)

Barrington 220 Educational Foundation

Barrington Youth & Family Services

Barrington 220 School District

Getting Smarts Newest Report: “20 Invention Opportunities in Learning & Development

Getting Smart Podcast Ep. 216: “Don Wettrick on Teaching Entrepreneurship


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