108: Matt Miller & School Spirit Vending

August 16, 2016


Remember to get your free ebook: 

The Top 10 Reasons Why You need to Own a vending Business

Matt is the Founder of School Spirit Vending. He is also a graduate of the US Air Force Academy  and a former pilot of T-38s and C-5 Galaxies. He has been successful in several business ventures in the medical industry, advertising and even selling gumballs. It is the gumball opportunity that led him to the school vending focus.

After hearing Matt tell his life story I get the feeling he is “Determined to succeed, willing to take risks, and not willing to give in…”


He has helped to raise over 3.5 million dollars for schools.

As a former high school principal, you need to find ways to raise funds. Typically it is through food, candy, car washes and doughnuts. Matt’s company designs stickers and comic books that the students buy from the all mechanical no electronic parts vending machines. No junk food. Typically, no machine breakdowns.


Additionally, he is the host of the School Zone Podcast. According to Matt, “he was amazed at the incredible variety of school resource and fundraising companies available and started the School Zone Podcast to allow these companies and organizations time to share their stories.”

School Spirit Vending is located in over 2000 schools across the United States. They develop their products on their own from the ground up. The products are developed based on following age group wants and desires.

Matt’s favorite leadership quote is “help other people get what they want and you will be taken care of” by Zig Ziglar.

He says that he was always looking for a “win-win.” He wanted to help his clients. By following Zig’s thoughts about helping others it has kept him focused on helping him connect and succeed with clients.

School Spirit vending is a company that seeks entrepreneurs who want to market the School Spirit Vending products to regions across the country.

The majority of his franchise holders have other jobs but more and more they are growing to the point where they hire some of their own staff as the sticker machine business expands.

Matt and his franchise holders spend a lot of time with parent-teacher organizations but often work directly with clubs and their sponsors.

Matt was fun to talk with and I am sure you will enjoy listening.

Find out more information about Matt and School Spirit Vending at the following links:

Length: 42:59

107: Nathan Fox and the LSAT

August 8, 2016


Nathan is a teacher. 

He teaches college students who think that they want to attend law school how to take the LSAT to get accepted to law school. His test prep books are easy to read and actually fun to read. 

Yes, I am telling you that test prep can be fun, at least Nathan's version.

He likes teaching, but he has not always known that this is what he wanted to do. He has a couple of different degrees and has travelled down the pathway of different careers. When he knew that he wasn't on the right path he took the LSAT and scored a 179. A perfect score is 180. He got accepted to a prestigious law school and shortly after beginning the coursework he realized that this wasn't his calling, either.

He discovered that he wanted to teach people how to take the test. He saw the test as a game and knew that he could help others be successful on the test.

Nathan and I talk about the way he writes. I like the way he writes. He is funny, poignant and he makes you want to keep reading. He gives credit to what he calls his "core philosophy as a teacher, tell the truth at all times." 

Nathan continues to recall the advice of a friend who told him, to tell the truth. 

"I walked into that first class really nervous..." and I said, " Hey guys I'm Nathan. I am contractually obligated by my employer not to tell you that this is the first LSAT class that I have ever taught. 

A couple of them laughed and smiled. From that moment they were on my side..."

Check out Nathan's ideas about teaching his students how to get to understand what the test is asking and to actually see it as fun. He has amazing advice for test taking. What could you learn from his suggestions? What about listening to his ideas about why he spends a lot of time talking people out  of going to law school. How could his thoughts help you when you talk to and teach your students? 

By the way, check out his audio podcast Thinking LSAT

Connect with Nathan to find out more.

Check out these links:


106: Jack Berckemeyer- teaching & “Deliberate Optimism”

July 28, 2016
Jack C. Berckemeyer is an engaging, thought-provoking, and very, very funny educational consultant. He is a teacher's teacher. Go ahead I dare you to listen to him and not start saying you know he makes sense. By the way, along with that acknowledgement will be a smile because he is going to make you laugh about our chosen profession.  
Jack is a former middle school teacher who is a keynote speaker, a professional development expert, and a published author.

You have got to check out his latest collaborative work with Debbie Silver and Judith Baenen- Deliberate Optimism: Reclaiming the Joy in Education. (Here is my review of Deliberate Optimism...I loved it. Don't worry the video is only 3:00 minutes.)
He has so much to share about making teaching engaging and connecting with kids, but he also runs a conference in Destin, Florida called Nuts and Bolts SymposiumsCheck out his video advertisement for the conference coming up in 2017.
Make sure that you check out the many different ways on the web that you can connect with Jack through the links below. 

I truly enjoyed learning from Jack and talking with him and I am sure you will, too!


Length: 41:25

105: Brian Buffington - Tech, Low-Tech, & Music

July 7, 2016


Brian Buffington is an instructional technology Specialist in Cleveland, Georgia.

Brian says that as an instructional technology specialist he is
"helping teachers do more with technology in 15+ regional school systems, colleges, and universities in Northeast Georgia and that he enjoys creating media to engage student/teacher learning."

He also is a musician. 

Brian likes to play what he calls "happy music."

You've got to make sure that you go to his YouTube channel and listen to  his songs 8th grade Mustache and Parents Just Don't Understand Minecraft.


Brian likes to teach while using screencasting apps and websites.


One of the ways that Brian communicates with people is extremely low-tech. 

Listen to us talk about the use of postcards to connect with and build followers.

Brian is an excellent teacher of tech, has great ideas 
for tech in the classroom, is a talented musician, and fun to talk with as well! 


Remember you can catch up with Brian on:

Length: 39:52


104: Kelly Croy - The Wired Educator

June 28, 2016


Kelly Croy is a parent of four, a 7th grade language arts teacher, an author, speaker, and podcaster.

He is an Apple Distinguished Educator and a Google Certified Teacher.

Recently, he was named a Top Innovator in Education by the PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator Program.

His show, The Wired Educator Podcast, is a great place to meet new people and set your brain on fire with awesome ideas about many subjects but most have some connection with tech in the classroom.

Make sure that you check out his website.


Kelly says, " I love going to work. I love teaching."

He has completed 25 years as a classroom teacher. 
As Kelly chuckles, "Pretty much in the same classroom."
He first started teaching at 21 years old. Wow!

We talk about what he likes about being a parent and get into discussing the importance of rapport with kids.

His comment is awesome, "I think having teachers who connect with students is that first great way to bridge that engagement with kids."

When asked about what advice he would give teachers trying to enage kids in the classroom Kelly reflected, "...having students do real work for real audiences is key."

Kelly is fun to talk with and has a great focus on the classroom. 
You can tell that he likes working with kids and helping them 
to get excited about the world and all that it has to offer!
I love it when he talks about the classroom and maker space-
"...look at your classroom not as a hub to relay information, but to have students to build, create and make." Cool!

Here is a link to the Learn Like a Pirate book that Kelly mentioned.

Kelly and  I talk about Twitter being his favorite way to learn and why. 
Here is his Twitter link.


By the way, here is a link to a commercial for The Big Trak he references.

We also talk about his favorite technology for the classroom.
His response to me goes like this, I look at ..."What's the coolest thing and how could I use that in my classroom."

Check out his cool answer to my question about whether he likes paper or e-books.


Additionally, we spend time discussing his wonderful book, 

Easy to read and understand. 

My favorite chapter is Three- "Everyone is Called to Lead."

Look for some of his thought provoking comments throughout the book like, 
"Leadership roles await each of us around every corner." and

"Know Your Krytonite"
"Leading isn't a Game of Simon Says" 

(When you get to this point in his book you've got to visit his thoughts about 
Six Things Those Who Lead Need to Hear)


I encourage you to follow Kelly on Twitter ,subscribe to The Wired Educator Podcast and 
get a copy of his book, 

Connect with him at Kelly@kellycroy.com or kelly@wirededucator.com

Length: 55:48