Solution Tree

Episode 9 – A Conversation with Cassandra Erkens: Happy Accidents and Assessments

Categories: Solution Tree

From facilitating workshops to finding innovative solutions, Cassandra Erkens embodies a true teaching professional. As a founding member and leader of the Solution Tree Assessment Center, Cassie is all about reinventing the assessment wheel. But, did you know that she also has three kids, owns a collection of traveling treasures, and even shoots the occasional potato gun? 

Read on to discover her story and some fun facts about Cassandra Erkens! Read more

Searching For My “Awe Family” Response!

Categories: Instruction, Leadership, Pandemic Response and Educational Practices, Solution Tree

Image of heart with blog title

I sense a paradox of competing emotions on the horizon.

On one hand I find joy in the capacity of our positive, generous, and courageous human response to the relentless stress, strain, and change we have faced each day for almost a year now. On the other hand, I feel queasy and uneasy as we close in on the anniversary of the most intense, unexpected and unwelcome change to our personal and professional lives as educators. March 2020 seems so long ago, and yet it sticks so close to, and lives inside of, our very being as teachers.

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Episode 8 – A Conversation with Dr. Robert J. Marzano: Our Rockstar of Research

Categories: Solution Tree

While you may know Dr. Robert Marzano for his contributions to educational research, there’s so much more than meets the eye. Sure, he has more than 50 years of experience, 50 books published, and over 200 articles written, but did you know he was in a movie with Elvis, joined a monastery, and has two black belts?

Well-versed and well-read, there’s no one with a better grasp on today’s educational climate than Dr. Marzano. Here’s a glimpse into his life-long career in the field and how he got there:

Moving Around and Monastery Life

Growing up, Marzano was a Navy brat, switching schools at least seven times through his elementary and middle school years. Marzano also had a bad stutter. Neither of which favored his academic success. Looking back, he believes it was one influential elementary teacher who really turned things around, giving him the confidence to no longer be held back by his speech disorder.

Marzano attended high school in Seattle (yes, there was only one). During his teen years, Marzano was a jock, playing basketball, football, and baseball. Although if you ask him, he’d say basketball was by far his favorite. 

After high school, Marzano’s path took an interesting turn. He joined a monastery in New York. Although this monastery was a teaching order which required no vow of silence, Marzano did spend four years fairly cut off from the world. While there, he earned his undergraduate degree from Iona College. He even had college classes with singer Don McClean!

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Podcast Recap: Episode 7 – The Recipe for Success: A Conversation with Philip B. Warrick

Categories: Solution Tree

From college quarterback to co-creating the High Reliability Schools™ framework, Phil Warrick has had an impressive career in the field of education. A decorated school administrator, author, and family man, Warrick is one of the few people to successfully lead schools under both the PLC at Work® and HRS improvement models. 

During Episode 7 of Inside the Treehouse, Solution Tree CEO Jeff Jones sat down with Warrick to discuss his path to school leadership, today’s educational climate, and even some fun newfound hobbies.

A Nudge in the Right Direction

The story starts in high school. As a junior, Warrick had many interests and ideas about what career options lay ahead. Among teaching and coaching, he also considered going into the Coast Guard or pursuing business. 

While taking business courses in college, Warrick became fond of his accounting teacher. One day this teacher stopped him in the hallway to let Warrick know he also served as the Director of Student Teaching for Business Education. Seeing something in Warrick, his teacher asked him if he’d ever considered education.

The answer was yes! Besides having parents who were educators, some of Warrick’s early role models were educators as well. That nudge was all it took. Warrick began his journey into the profession. 
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Podcast Recap: Episode 6 – RTI at Work That Works: A Conversation with Mike Mattos

Categories: RTI, RTI at Work, Solution Tree

Inspired by the concept of collaboration, Mike Mattos saw an opportunity to help students who had fallen behind. In partnership with Austin Buffum, Mattos developed the system for which he’s known best, Response to Intervention at Work

During Episode 6 of Inside the Treehouse, Solution Tree CEO Jeff Jones sat down with Mattos to discuss his upbringing, his education, his career, and of course, all things RTI. Read more