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Episode 19: Phil Boyte and Dan Thoene


Episode #19 – A creative way to teach in the classroom with guest Dan Thoene

Join Phil Boyte and his guest Dan Thoene, creator of Judo Math, as they talk about his approach to helping student thrive in the classroom. Using the concepts of martial arts, Judo Math encourages students to work at their own pace as they progress through a series of belts to master each topic. In this podcast, Dan shares the inspiration behind the program, how students collaborate and celebrate together and why team building is so important. It doesn’t matter what your role is on campus… you won’t want to miss this amazing podcast!

A little about Dan:

Dan Thoene has been a math teacher at High Tech High, in San Diego for the past 15 years.  In 2007 he created a program called Judo Math that lets kids work at their own pace as they progress through a series of belts to master each topic.   His innovative approach to teaching math helped significantly raise test scores in the first year he implemented the program at High Tech Middle School.  It’s now being used by over 150 teachers across the United States, UK, Israel, China and Canada.   

Dan graduated from UCSB with a major in Communications and a minor in Mathematics. He actually started his professional career in broadcasting, working as a sportscaster for 11 years where he won an Emmy Award as best sports reporter for ABC in Connecticut.

An avid sports fan, when he’s not watching the Padres or Chargers, Dan likes to fit in a round of golf in between grading papers. He’s been married for 20 years to his wife Kira. Their 14 year old daughter Courtney is an 8th grader at HTM and their 10 year old son Cooper is a 5th grader at Explorer.

Learn more at Judomath.com.

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Episode 18: Phil Boyte and Paul Lundberg

Episode #18: Kicking off a great school year – Guest Paul Lundberg 

Join Phil Boyte and his Paul Lundberg as they talk about kicking off a great school year with a focus on culture. As the principal at Colfax High School, Paul shares how he inspires his teachers, what it looks like to set the tone the first week and how they engage each student on their campus the first week. Looking to start this year a little differently than in  years past? You won’t want to miss this podcast.

A little about Paul: 

Paul has been in education for the past 20+ years and as both a teacher and administrator. Paul is a principal at Colfax High School in Northern California and calls this job his DREAM JOB!

Paul married his high school sweetheart and has two children, who both attend Colfax High School.

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Episode 17: Phil Boyte and Greg Hroch

Episode #17: Fresh ideas for engaging every student – Guest Greg Hroch

Join Phil Boyte and his guest Greg Hroch as they talk about engaging every student on your campus. Greg has been working in education for over 30 years and now helps run a company focused on tracking student involvement. In this podcast, Phil and Greg talk about the benefits to engaging more students, how to redefine “Friday Night Lights” and why students are drawn to the NEW. 

A little about Greg:

Greg Hroch has been in the education business for the last 30 years. He began as a teacher and coach, then moved to activities where student involvement was his passion.  Greg has been working full time with 5-Star Students engaging students for the past 5 years . He currently lives in Temecula, California with his wife Kathy. He has two sons that are in college and play baseball.  You can usually find Greg at a baseball field watching his boys or traveling the world.

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Episode 16: Phil Boyte and Debbie Brannam

Episode #16: Culture from the front office – Guest Debbie Brannam

“I spent more time in the principal’s office than I did at my own desk…”

Join Phil Boyte and his guest Debbie Brannam as they talk about creating a great culture in the front office. Debbie has spent her career learning how to make Del Oro High School feel like home to thousands of students and hundreds of staff members. In this podcast, she and Phil talk about the impact the front office has on creating an incredible culture. Debbie shares her perspective on building a great relationship with the leaders she supports, interacting with the community and how important it is to find the right role for each person in the office.

A little about Debbie:

Debbie Brannam began working at Del Oro High School in December 1989 as the receptionist; in 1991  she became the secretary to the Assistant Principal’s until she transitioned to her new role as Principals Secretary in 1995. In her role as the Principal’s Secretary, Debbie has had the chance to support three different principals, taken on responsibilities as the ASB financial secretary and has been a part of CADA.

Debbie has been married for forty years to Chuck Brannam and they have one daughter Rachel who graduated from Del Oro in 1999.  Rachel is married to Ryan and they have blessed them with three amazing grandchildren Savanna, Rocco, and Brixton.  Debbie will be retiring from Del Oro in June after 27 ½ years.  She looks forward to travelling across the great US of A and spending time with her grandchildren, volunteering at local schools, gardening, and relaxing.

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Episode 15: Phil Boyte and Ted Goergen


Episode #15: Building Culture on a Large Campus – Ted Goergen

Join Phil Boyte and his guest Ted Goergen as talk about building great culture across a large campus. Ted has learned a lot over the years working as the Activities Director at Stevenson High School in Illinois with nearly 4,000 students. Ted shares ideas on how to break down silos within grade levels with ideas like “class karaoke” and how they engage students and parents from all different backgrounds. Looking for easy, yet deeply impactful ideas… listen today!

A little about Ted:

Ted has been in education for 13 years with a background in science.  Most of his years in education have been spent as the Director of Student Activities at Stevenson High School.  He has not had a year in education that he didn’t work with students outside of the classroom in some capacity; such as Intramural Sports, Student Council, or a variety of community service events.  At home he has 3 kids who are 10 and under… keeping him busy during ALL HIS FREE TIME. 🙂

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e: phil@learningforliving.com