Helping spark important conversations about education.

Welcome to Sparkwheel. Where conversations with leaders cultivate curiosity, question the status quo, and help clear the way to do education better.

Much like a sparkwheel is a tool to help start a fire, this podcast is a tool to help you think differently about the world around you and enact change. But the tool alone isn’t enough. It takes passionate people to fan the flame and be difference makers in their schools and communities.


Dr. Bernadeia Johnson served as superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools from 2010 to 2015. She led the district through many challenging situations, as she worked with urgency to improve educational outcomes for all students with a particular focus on low-income students and students of color. Dr. Johnson is now an assistant professor at Minnesota State University Mankato, inspiring emerging leaders in education.

Dr. Johnson reflects back to her childhood in Selma, Alabama where she attended segregated schools until fifth grade. “I talk about living in the segregated south to come and live in the segregated north,” she said, referring to the structural racism that still exists in some areas.


Tell us what you think!

Tune in, and tell us what you think. Who would you like to hear from? Email us at Follow Jake Sturgis on Twitter: @_jakesturgis. 

Jake Strugis, APR


Jenna Mead