Kirk Linton is a Vice Principal with the Calgary Catholic School District and is the recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Vice Principal of the Year award from the Canadian Association of Principals and the 2015 Alberta Distinguished Leadership Award from the Council for School Leadership. He is a champion of inquiry-based learning, technology in schools, physical literacy and the Arts. He is also a trumpet player and recovering band teacher.
Find Kirk Linton’s Blog at https://kirklintonblog.wordpress.com/
Kevin DeForge is a Principal in the Calgary Catholic School District and was selected as one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals in 2016. Kevin was also the recipient of the 2014 Alberta Distinguished Leadership Award from the Council for School Leadership and is a speaker for various conferences and organizations like uLead, the Calgary Regional Consortium and the Rural Education Symposium. Kevin, a self-professed “techno geek”, is an advocate for student driven learning and believes in the integration of technology with inquiry-based learning to best support today’s diverse learners. Kevin is a competitive runner and enjoys time with his family.
Find Kevin DeForge’s Blog at http://kevindeforge.blogspot.com/
Kirk and Kevin share a little about their families, backgrounds, and hobbies, including Kirk’s love of music (he’s a recovering band teacher) and the TV show Survivor, and Kevin explains how he and Kevin began working together. (2:57)
Kirk and Kevin recount their career paths from college to where they are today (5:58)
Why and when they made the decision to move into school leadership (7:47)
Some of the difficulties and struggles they encountered during the transition from teaching to school administration, including a spouse’s diagnosis with cancer (9:35)
How they kept going through the challenging early days on their admin career path, while also making family a priority (13:10)
How those experiences made Kirk and Kevin better persons and better school leaders (15:15)
Some of the greatest experiences of their careers so far (and the greatest definition of fail ever!) (20:06)
How admins and teachers can work together to build a great culture of learning (25:10)
What to do when you find yourself in a situation where you need to convince other admins and teachers to buy in to your vision (28:07)
How the impact you make as an admin differs from the impact you made as a teacher and why it’s worth it to make the move (31:42)
How aspiring admins can help themselves stand out while applying for their first job (36:30)
The best leadership advice Kevin and Kirk ever received (38:15)
Relationship building is one of the most important skills a school administrator needs (39:10)
Kevin and Kirk’s book recommendations for school leaders (39:55)
How to stay in the zone at work while struggling with personal issues (41:24)
Their advice to school administrators on working with the students you serve (45:57)
Their advice to school administrators on working with the teachers in your school (47:00)
Here’s the advice Kirk and Kevin would give their younger selves if they could travel back in time to when they were just starting out in school administration (49:00)
Books mentioned in this episode
Connect with Kirk and Kevin
Educators Lead is a podcast created to help launch educators into the next level of leadership. This show is for you if you are interested in educational leadership as an assistant principal, principal, superintendent, teacher or someone who hopes to be a school leader one day. Educators Lead offers inspiration and practical advice to help you lead more effectively. Jay Willis interviews school leaders three days a week to discuss why and when these educators made the decision to move into school leadership, challenges along the journey, and stories that made it all worthwhile. Educators Lead is a great resource for any educator looking to make a greater impact.
Educate. Inspire. Lead.