The Better Learning Podcast focuses on improvement at all levels of K-12 education. It features discussions with education leaders. industry experts, and changemakers covering various aspects of the learning experience.

The podcast provides valuable insights and practical advice to break down the silos of education and actively drive change!



June 12, 2024

A Portrait of a Graduate (PoG) is a visionary framework that defines the knowledge, skills, and attributes that students should possess upon graduating from high school. This concept goes beyond traditional academic metrics and focuses on preparing students for success in the real world.

A PoG typically includes competencies such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, and character development. It serves as a strategic tool for schools and districts to align their educational practices with the holistic development of students, ensuring they are well-equipped to meet the demands of the modern world.


Importance of a Portrait of a Graduate

  1. Holistic Development: It emphasizes the development of the whole child, addressing academic, social, and emotional needs.

  2. Future-Ready Skills: It ensures students are equipped with essential skills required for success in college, careers, and civic life.

  3. Community Alignment: It fosters collaboration among educators, parents, and community members to create a unified vision for student success.

  4. Educational Equity: It promotes equitable learning opportunities by focusing on diverse learners' strengths and needs.



In the latest episode of the Better Learning Podcast, host Kevin Stoller sits down with Dr. Brian Troop, the Superintendent of Ephrata Area School District in Pennsylvania. Dr. Troop, who has been at the helm since 2013, shares his extensive journey through the education system, shedding light on the evolution of educational practices, the challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the future direction of public education.

The conversation delves into the necessary shift in the education system from a focus on standardized testing to fostering essential character traits and skills. Dr. Troop emphasizes the importance of preparing students for real-world challenges by developing their critical thinking, collaboration, and adaptability. This evolution is crucial for creating a more holistic educational environment that prioritizes long-term success over short-term metrics.


Watch the Episode on YouTube: Coming Soon!



  • Education Evolution: The evolution of the education system and the shift in focus from standardized tests to character traits and skills.

  • Impact of 'Most Likely to Succeed': The impact of the film 'Most Likely to Succeed' on the education system and the community's involvement in shaping the direction of education.

  • COVID-19 Challenges: The challenges faced by a superintendent during the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for flexibility and adaptability in the education system. Stability and trust are crucial in education leadership, especially during times of crisis like the pandemic.

  • Community Support and Governance: Community support and board governance play a significant role in shaping the direction of educational initiatives.

  • Professional Learning: Professional learning and support for educators are vital for implementing new initiatives and meeting the evolving needs of students. 



Sound Bites to Ponder:

"We have a higher calling to prepare kids to be successful in life."

"We took advantage of the high level of trust we had prior to the pandemic."

"If we don't have stability in the leadership, then it's really hard to implement any type of change."



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Kevin Stoller is the host of the Better Learning Podcast and Co-Founder of Kay-Twelve, a national leader for educational furniture. Find out more about Kevin at

For more episodes of the Better Learning Podcast, visit



Episode 182 of the Better Learning Podcast

Kevin Stoller is the host of the Better Learning Podcast and Co-Founder of Kay-Twelve, a national leader for educational furniture. Learn more about creating better learning environments at


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