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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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Episode 14: Phil Boyte and Bill Geivett

“How to Be a Great Leader” – Guest Bill Geivett

Join Phil Boyte and his guest Bill Geivett as they talk baseball. AND leadership. With over 28 years of experience as a player, scout and front office executive, Bill has learned a lot about leadership on and off the baseball field. During this podcast, you will hear him share his perspective on why making time for people is so important, how selfishness always breaks down trust and some great stories from some of his past leaders in MLB.


A little about Bill:

Bill Geivett has 28 years of experience in professional baseball as a player, scout, and front office executive. He has been a member of the California Angel organization, New York Yankees, Montreal Expos, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Colorado Rockies. In 2007, he oversaw the Colorado Rockies Minor League system that featured 16 players who were originally drafted/signed/developed by Colorado. That year, the Rockies were named Organization of the Year. And in 2009, the Rockies’ Wild Card team had an Opening Day lineup made up entirely of homegrown players.


Bill has earned degrees from Sacramento City College (AA), University of California, Santa Barbara (BA) as well as a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in physical education from Azusa Pacific University. Drafted four times in the mid-’80s (Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, and California Angels), he signed with the Angels following his senior year at UCSB where he gained All-American accolades as a third-baseman.  In 1991, he was inducted as a member of the UCSB Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame.


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Episode 13: Phil Boyte and Beth Schmidtgall

Culture in the Classroom – Guest Beth Schmidtgall 

Join Phil Boyte and his guest Beth Schmidtgall as they talk about creating a fantastic culture in the classroom. During this podcast, Beth shares ideas she has seen work well when building long lasting relationships with your students. She shares ideas such as “Raffle Friday,” hallway dance parties, and her “doorway flash quiz.” Let’s just say, this podcast will inspire you to have fun in your classroom while being intentional about building great culture.

A little about Beth: 

Beth Schmidtgall was inspired to go into teaching by her own high school accounting teacher and is currently in her 18th year of inspiring others.  She is a Golden Apple Scholar who graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a degree in Business Education and has a Master’s Degree from Northern Illinois University.  Beth began her career at West Aurora High School but has spent most of her career at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, a school that boasts the largest Business Department in the state.  Her regular teaching assignments include Accounting 1 and Honors Accounting 2 along with a very unique entrepreneurship class called Virtual Enterprise International.  Beth is a fun and innovative teacher who is continually utilizing new teaching methods and instructional deliveries to provide the best experiences for her students.

Beth is an individual who approaches everything she does with strong passion, thought and enthusiasm.  She has three children and a husband with whom she enjoys an active lifestyle that includes snow skiing, hiking, biking, and camping.  She approaches life with a care free and faith filled focus.  ​

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Episode 12: Phil Boyte and Guest Danny Steele


Using Little Things To Make a Big Difference In School Culture – Guest Danny Steele

Join Phil Boyte and his guest Danny Steele as they talk about the simple, yet powerful tools Danny has used on his campus to create a great student and staff culture. During this podcast, Danny shares simple ideas like how he had a goal of making 100 positive calls in his first 100 days, birthday selfies and how he turns a negative meeting into a positive one.

Looking for some fun and fresh ideas to add to your campus? Check out this awesome podcast!

A little about Danny:

Danny Steele is in his 24th year of public education, and the 2016-2017 school year will mark his third year as the principal of Thompson Sixth Grade Center in the Alabaster City School System.  Prior to this position, he served as a high school principal for three years, as an assistant principal for ten years, and as a teacher and coach for eight years.  In 2005, Steele was recognized as the “Secondary Assistant Principal of the Year” for the state of Alabama, and was recognized in 2016 as Alabama’s “Secondary Principal of the Year.”  Steele has an undergraduate degree in History from Covenant College (Lookout Mountain, GA); he has an M.A. in History from the University of Alabama, Birmingham; he has an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Administration and an Educational Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership – both from Samford University.  He resides with his wife and three children in Birmingham, Alabama.

Check out his blog at: SteeleThoughts.com or connect with him at @SteeleThoughts on Twitter

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e: phil@learningforliving.com