Build Momentum podcast cover with Michael Gonzalez headshot
Season 4
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Episode
3

Rural Innovation Series | Mike Gonzalez, Executive Director, Rural Schools Innovation Zone

In this episode of Build Momentum, we are joined by Michael Gonzalez, executive director of the Rural Schools Innovation Zone out of Premont,Texas. He was also a former principal at Premont Collegiate High School. This is the first episode in a four-part series focusing on rural collaboratives that are developing opportunities for students in specialized career pathways.

34:44

In this episode of Build Momentum, we are joined by Michael Gonzalez, executive director of the Rural Schools Innovation Zone out of Premont, Texas. He was also a former principal at Premont Collegiate High School. This is the first episode in a four-part series focusing on rural collaboratives that are developing opportunities for students in specialized career pathways.

Some Questions I Ask:

  • What is the Rural Schools Innovation Zone? (01:16)
  • Please tell us more about the three school corporations involved. (07:06)
  • What are the challenges and successes in dealing with the higher education system? (09:27)
  • How do you recommend the funding model to other education organizations and districts? (12:58)
  • What are the outcomes of the zone and how are you growing this? (16:59)
  • How do you address the potential barrier of transportation? (22:01)
  • What about other logistics like bell schedules? (24:12)
  • What advice can you give to school leaders about starting a real collaborative? (26:08)
  • How do you share your story to the community and the whole educational sphere? (27:45)

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • All about the Rural Schools Innovation Zone (01:31)
  • The participating schools (07:41)
  • The successes and challenges in dealing with the higher education system (09:49)
  • Recommendations for the funding model (13:10)
  • Student outcomes and growth (17:31)
  • Ideas for handling transportation (22:10)
  • Making the logistics work (24:48)
  • Mike’s advice to school leaders looking to start a collaborative (26:17)
  • His way of sharing this story to the community (27:59)

Quotes:

“Be a champion for your community. Be a champion for the kids that are there that are underserved for a wide variety of reasons, whether it be resources or parity or scarcity, whatever the right word is. The local champions need to come to the forefront [and] advocate for the right things to do for kids. Start with your local school boards, your principals, your students, your superintendents, and then take it to the next step from there.”

“You can live in your community and take advantage of other resources and other programs away from your community but come back and still have community pride.”

“I’m trying to get to those organizations that reach the older members of the community that don’t have kids in school so they can understand what we’re doing, because they’re the ones going out and voting.”


Stay in touch with Michael:

LinkedIn
Email: mgonzalez@thersisz.org
Text: (361)-522-0261

Stay in touch with Sarah Williamson:
Free Case Study Guide

LinkedIn

Stay in touch with Chad Bolser:
LinkedIn

About "The Secret to Transformational Leadership," which Sarah co-authored with Dr. Quintin Shepherd:
Transformational Leadership Secret website

Purchase the print or ebook

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