Kerry McDonald

Like many educators today, including some that have been on this podcast, Jon England was a longtime public school teacher who left the classroom to pursue other education-related opportunities. He worked in the public schools for 14 years teaching 5th and 6th grades, and also worked as an elementary school...
Donna Akers had been a public school special education teacher for almost 30 years when she retired in 2020 and decided to launch Ivy Greene Academy, an affiliate of the highly-regarded and fast-growing Acton Academy microschool network. Not only is Ivy Greene the only Acton Academy in all of Mississippi,...
When Stephanie Harper decided to open Harper Learning Academy in Byram, Mississippi in August, her goal was to create a small, personalized educational setting in which her daughter would thrive. Conventional classroom environments weren’t a good match for Harper’s child. They also weren’t working well for the daughter of Harper’s...
Happy Thanksgiving! There is so much to be grateful for....
Maria Casco is a former Montessori teacher who launched a microschool, CASCO Learning, in St. Louis, Missouri. Her journey toward education entrepreneurship began in 2020 when some local parents urged her to create a “pandemic pod." That pod has now evolved into an established learning center for homeschooling students of...
Kelly Smith launched the first Prenda learning pod in his Arizona home in early 2018 with 7 children, including his son. Today, Prenda has reached over 10,000 learners in hundreds of pods, with the help more than 1,000 educator-guides in 5 states. On today's episode, Kelly talks about the growth...
I’m sure many parents will relate to the story of my guest today, Elizabeth McMeans. Elizabeth’s pathway to education entrepreneurship stemmed directly from her efforts to find a more nurturing, personalized educational environment for her son as he approached kindergarten age. He would have been one of the youngest in...
Acton Academy was one of the very first national microschool networks to get started back in 2010, before microschools, or small, mixed-age, personalized learning environments, became one of the fastest-growing and most popular educational trends of the 21st century. Founded in Austin, Texas by Laura and Jeff Sandefer, Acton Academy...
During my recent visit to the flourishing hub of microschools and education entrepreneurship in South Florida, my first stop was at Compass Outreach and Education Center, a microschool run by our guest today, Laurel Suarez. Suarez was one of the first microschool/hybrid school founders in the greater Fort Lauderdale area, launching...
Tucked inside her beautiful farmhouse on her sprawling farm property in Wichita, Kansas is Jessica Ramsay’s cozy classroom where she offers one-on-one tutoring to local children. A longtime teacher in the public schools, Ramsay decided to resign from the district in 2021 to become an education entreprenuer. She opened Farmhouse...
Today's podcast guests are Molly and Noah Stephenson. They have experienced the benefit of small-scale, personalized learning first-hand, initially as unschooling parents and now as founders of the Wildflower Community School, a microschool in Wichita, Kansas. Only about 4 out of their current 35 students would be considered neurotypical, with...
Joe Connor founded Odyssey to help connect families to the available education choice programs in their respective states, ensuring that all eligible families are able to access these choice programs. His work also helps to inspire and activate entrepreneurial parents and teachers who are looking to create new education solutions...
Our guest today created her thriving, award-winning microschool for her own son. He was the catalyst. Like any entrepreneur, especially a "parentpreneur," Iman Alleyne saw a gap and set out to fill it. She built the Kind Academy microschool located in Coral Springs, Florida, which has received philanthropic support from the VELA...
There is something extraordinarily special happening in South Florida these days. It has become a hub of education entrepreneurship and emerging K-12 learning models, creating increasingly more abundant and diverse education options for families.  I recently had the opportunity to spend several days in the Fort Lauderdale area gathering with...
The Sudbury Valley School is legendary in alternative education and unschooling circles. Founded in Framingham, Massachusetts in 1968, Sudbury Valley has become a beacon for parents and educators interested in non-coercive, self-directed education, and has inspired the creation of dozens of Sudbury-style schools around the world.  Our guest today is...
It’s been a hope-filled week in West Virginia! Yesterday, the West Virginia Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s ruling against the Hope Scholarship program and lifted the injunction on the scholarship to enable West Virginia families to immediately take advantage of this expansive education choice program—which is the second most...
Chris Turner is a tech entrepreneur turned education entrepreneur who founded Moonrise.com as a colearning space for kids in Decatur, Georgia. I first featured Moonrise in my Forbes column last year and was inspired by Chris’s vision to bring the Moonrise experience to more communities to help make childhood and...
I have been really excited to see the bundling of education entrepreneurship and innovation in certain regions of the US. You’ll recall that we recently talked about the education entrepreneurship that’s sprouting in New Jersey. There is also a flurry of activity in New Hampshire. I will be spending more...

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