MESPA PrincipalCast

Bite-sized PD in podcast form for principals on the move

The MESPA PrincipalCast is a podcast created by MESPA members, for MESPA members! With a rotating cast of hosts and guests, the MESPA PrincipalCast will touch on important topics like mental health and school culture, as well as featuring stories from principals like you in the trenches.

Listen anywhere! The MESPA PrincipalCast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and more. Subscribe on your favorite podcast player and start listening immediately from your phone or other device – or click the play button below to listen right from this web page! Don't forget to rate and review the podcast on your platform of choice to help other principals find the show.

Get involved with the podcast! Interested in hosting? Guesting? Have a topic you'd like us to discuss? Click here to let us know, or contact Rachel Dillon, MESPA Program Manager, at or 952.297.8675.


Episode 6: Erik Davis

Erik Davis, Principal of Shannon Park Elementary, is interviewed by Tami Staloch-Schultz, Principal of Westview Elementary. In this episode, Erik discusses the most interesting First Day of School (probably EVER!); how he's navigated becoming the principal in a building that had a long legacy of great leadership; and what happened in his school, when, inspired by Jimmy Casas, he asked his staff, "where are we average?" Listen on this page or in your preferred podcast app (Apple PodcastsGoogle PlaySpotify, etc.)

Episode 5: Bret Domstrand

We are flipping the script in Episode 5: the interviewer, Principal Bret Domstrand, has become the interviewee as our next host, Principal Leadership Specialist, Kip Lynk, takes on the task of getting to know our O.G. host a little better. In this episode, Bret highlights his success with Breakfast After the Bell, his challenges in becoming a principal, and his new journey in pursuit of his doctorate.

Episode 4: Melissa Sonnek

Melissa Sonnek, current Elementary Program Administrator and former principal in Roseville Area Schools, shares her journey to her current role, her school's response following the shooting of Philando Castile, her experience at the MN Principals Academy, and her commitment to resilience and scholarly leadership. Hosted by Principal Bret Domstrand.

Episode 3: Dr. Clay Cook

In this episode, we hear from Dr. Clay Cook, John W. and Nancy E. Peyton Faculty Fellow in Child and Adolescent Wellbeing, professor, and core faculty in the Institute of Translational Research in Children's Mental Health. Clay has extensive research and practical experiences involving the implementation of multi-tiered systems of support to promote children’s mental and behavioral health. Listen on this page or in your preferred podcast app (Apple PodcastsGoogle Play, Spotify, etc.)

Episode 2: Ashley Farrington

Lake Marion Elementary Principal Bret Domstrand interviews Wayzata Central Middle School Associate Principal Ashley Farrington about his path to becoming a school leader, transitioning from elementary to middle school, how to recruit teachers of color, building class community, and much more!

Episode 1: Curtis Slater

Wyoming Elementary Principal Curtis Slater is the first guest on MESPA PrincipalCast, the new podcast from MESPA. In this episode, Lake Marion Elementary Principal Bret Domstrand interviews Principal Slater about his school culture philosophy, his selection as 2018 National Distinguished Principal, his work with PBIS, why he wears those colorful shoes, and much more!

Looking for more great podcasts? Check out some of our favorites on MESPA's Online Communities page!

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