McHenry East High School principal finds new outlet through podcasts

  • East Campus Principal Jeff Prickett has discovered a new outlet for sharing ideas through podcasting and professional development for educators. He's started two new podcasts this year.

    East Campus Principal Jeff Prickett has discovered a new outlet for sharing ideas through podcasting and professional development for educators. He's started two new podcasts this year. Courtesy of McHenry High School District 156

 
 
Updated 10/14/2020 10:21 AM

McHenry High School started the 2020-21 school year digitally so the hallways at both East Campus and West Campus are pretty quiet these days. Like many educators, East Campus Principal Jeff Prickett is trying to adjust.

So he decided this would be a good time to focus on professional development for himself and fellow educators. And, he's taking to the airwaves to do it, co-founding two active podcasts within the last year.

 

Prickett, East Campus principal since 2017, worked with other McHenry High School teachers and staff to start a new WarriorEDU group that eventually led to a Twitter chat on Wednesday evenings, and eventually a new podcast.

In addition, Prickett is joining with fellow principal Adam DeWitt from Green Bay, Wisconsin, to host "The Principal Leadership Lab," a podcast that features interviews with educators from across the nation. Some of their topics have included diversity, innovation, and motivation, among many others. The podcast was recently chosen to be a part of the national Teach Better podcast network.

As for the WarriorEDU podcast, the first episode came out in August and featured Prickett and science Instructor Leah Pelletier talking to Jim Love, a Milwaukee-based motivational speaker who focuses on high schools and colleges nationwide. They talked about making connections with students, and helping them develop important life skills.

In the first episode, Prickett and Pelletier talk to MCHS educator Ray Hagerty about his background in the military, and his journey to becoming a teacher. Most recently, culinary Instructor Jessica Grens was invited to talk about how culinary classes have adjusted to digital learning, among other topics.

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Prickett said the podcasting, Twitter chats and other connections with other educators has helped him make the best out of digital learning. Prickett said he misses having students in the buildings.

"This has been exciting," Prickett said. "I've really enjoyed this. It's an outlet."

The WarriorEDU podcasts will feature more McHenry High School educators in the future, along with other education professionals. Prickett said both podcasts are not only a way to continue learning for teachers, but a way for teachers to share their own stories.

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