« Deeper Learning Podcast

We're sharing ideas and wisdom across the Commonwealth and beyond! VASCD's Deeper Insights podcast features well-known and soon-to-be-well-known guests in engaging conversations with our hosts. Look for new episodes on Tuesdays beginning June 1, available on itunes, Spotify, and Stitcher.



June 1- Deeper Equity

Guests: Basil Marin and Rashard Wright

Host: Chris Jones









Basil Marin is one of the proud assistant principals of Chamblee Charter High School, a diverse high school located in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Marin works daily to build meaningful relationships with students and desires to be the administrator he needed when he was growing up yet did not have access to. As a former struggling student himself, Dr. Marin is humbled to be able to give back to students who historically have fallen through the cracks of education and have not been given a second chance. Dr. Marin was selected as a 2017 ASCD Emerging Leader and was a “featured speaker” at the 2019 Empower Conference. He spoke on behalf of marginalized and underserved students and explained how the lack of funding has impacted their educational experiences with the U.S. Secretary of Education’s executive team. Currently, Dr. Marin is the President of the ASCD Emerging Leaders Affiliate. Dr. Marin is a contributing author in several books including Personal & Authentic, Unconventional Leadership, Modern Mentor, Forces of Influence, and It’s Me.

Rashard J. Wright is recognized throughout Virginia and beyond as a leading voice for equity. Rashard is currently the Chief of Staff for Newport News Public Schools and previously served as the Chief Schools Officer for Virginia Beach City Public SchoolsWright is known for inspiring leaders and championing rigorous school support plans which result in full accreditation for all schools. He has also designed leadership development and succession planning models for aspiring and existing school administrators. Rashard chairs the African American Superintendent’s Advisory Council (AASAC). The AASAC is charged with advising, informing, and providing professional insight on policy development and accountability for public education in Virginia. The Council plays a unique role in bringing African American educational leaders, and the needs of African American students to the forefront of state decisions to advance racial equity in Virginia’s public schools. He is a proud sports junkie, lover of cooking and grilling, runner, and leadership coach to many. As the creator of #Heartwork, Rashard truly believes that he was called to be an educator.

Chris Jones began his education career after serving 6 years in the US Army as an Airborne Ranger. He is now the proud Principal of Thomas Dale High School in Chesterfield County. Prior to his appointment there, he served as a math teacher at Green Run High School in Virginia Beach City Public Schools, a Teacher Leader with the Center for Teacher Leadership, and an Assistant Principal at Sussex Central Elementary School and Floyd E. Kellam High School in VBCPS. In addition to serving as principal, he is adjunct faculty with The George Washington University and a board member for the Virginia Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, where he Chairs the Programs Committee. Dr. Jones is a proud husband and father of four.


June 8- Deeper Networks

Guests: Abby French and Andrea Johnson
Host: Chris Jones









Abigail French is an accomplished presenter, an online instructional coach and mentor, an educational course designer, and a sixth grade teacher at Peter Muhlenberg Middle School in Woodstock, Virginia. She is currently celebrating year twelve in her teaching career with Shenandoah County Public Schools. In addition to teaching, Abby partners with VaLIN and VaSCL to lead schools in implementing performance assessments through the Virginia Assessment Collaborative, as an innovation and social studies content coach. In September, 2020, Abby was selected as an ASCD Class of 2020 Emerging Leader. Through her involvement as a board member with UnisonEDU, a non-profit organization, Abby works to provide equitable professional development to schools. She also advocates for public education and better working conditions for teachers and students as an officer with the Shenandoah County Education Association. Outside of school, Abby enjoys spending as much time as possible with her family, preferably outdoors.

Andrea Johnson is passionate about social-emotional learning, culturally responsive teaching, literacy, and empowering students to explore their life stories and use their voices to become the change they want to see in their communities. Andrea teaches secondary English and is the English department chair at Salem High School with Salem City Schools. She is also the 2020 Virginia Teacher of the Year and a National Board Certified Teacher. Andrea earned a BA from UVA, a MS from VCU, completed the EducateVA Career Switcher Program through the Virginia Community College System, and is currently working on an Ed.D. in Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction from Walden University.


June 15- Deeper Change

Guests: Daniel Smith and Scott Habeeb
Host: Chris Jones









Daniel Smith began his teaching career instructing middle and high school students in the small Inuit village of Kotzebue, Alaska. Over the past 18 years, he has served as a teacher for students in grades PK-12 and as a building principal at the elementary, middle, high and secondary levels. Daniel currently serves as the principal at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Fairfax County.. LBSS is the largest school in the Commonwealth, with approximately 4400 students and over 400 staff. Dr. Smith’s passion lies in the power of student and teacher relationships as a catalyst to infuse rigorous, meaningful and relevant learning experiences for all students. Elevating student voice while building the capacity of student leaders are fundamental principles in his daily work to empower students in their learning. Daniel is a Past President of VASCD, a member of the Board of Directors, and an ASCD Emerging Leader. Recently, Dr. Smith has been recognized as the Virginia PTA Secondary Principal of Year and the Fairfax County Public Schools Region 4 Outstanding Principal of the Year.

Scott Habeeb began his teaching career at Salem High School (Salem City) in 1997, where he taught Modern World History and coached Football and Tennis. In 2004, Scott moved into the role of Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction, also at Salem High School. His duties in that role included, among others, overseeing Salem’s Freshman Transition Program and creating the school’s Master Schedule. Currently, Scott is in his 8th year serving in the role of Principal of Salem High School. Outside of his duties at Salem High School, Scott regularly speaks at schools, school divisions, and conferences across the country. Most commonly, he speaks about Freshman Transition, Formative Assessment, Standards Based Learning, and his favorite topic, Going Beyond the Content to inspire and motivate students. Scott is the author or co-author of several articles as well as the co-author of The Ninth Grade Opportunity: Transforming Schools from the Bottom Up.