Supe's On! Podcast

Get an inside look at Bend-La Pine Schools from Superintendent Dr. Steven Cook. In every podcast, Supt. Cook will serve up news and insights about our schools and decision-making. Thanks for tuning in to Supe's On!

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Episode 18: Support Matters: LGBTQ+ Youth in Our Schools

Did you know nearly 20 percent of middle and high school students in Bend-La Pine Schools identify as LGBTQ? It’s true … and it’s also true that students who identify as LGBTQ+ reported having the most negative experiences out of any demographic group in our schools. So what can we do to change this? On today’s podcast, we are focusing on our LGBTQ+ youth and what life is like for them in our schools. Superintendent Steven Cook is joined by teacher and advisor Mark Koopman and three students who identify as LGBTQ+ to talk about their school experiences, how our schools offer support and ways our community can do better.

Join us for a great discussion about allies, belonging, pride and identity in Bend-La Pine Schools.

Note: Today’s podcast includes discussion of suicide. If you or someone you know needs help, connect with the teen-to-teen crisis and help line Oregon YouthLine at 1877-968-8491 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. For additional resources, visit our student mental health webpage.

Episode 17: Class of 2022 is Ready to Reflect

Grab your mortarboards and get ready to toss some confetti, it’s senior week on the podcast! This week, two seniors at Realms High take Superintendent Cook on a tour of their small choice high school, reflect on how the pandemic affected their high school experience and share their plans for the future. #BLSgrads #Classof2022

Episode 16: This Pod is Poggers

(did we get that right?)

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week and that means Dr. Cook is headed to a middle school classroom to celebrate two outstanding educators. Cascade math teacher Brian Kent and special education teacher McKenna Johnsen share what they love about middle school (blunt, hilarious students who keep them young), how working together is building students’ confidence and what’s giving them hope. Plus, find out which current Bend-La Pine Schools teacher inspired Kent as a high schooler by making it “cool to know stuff.”

Episode 15: Even One is Too Many: Taking on Bias Incidents in Our Schools

Today’s podcast takes on a serious, disheartening subject: bias incidents in our schools. Superintendent Steven Cook, Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion Kinsey Martin and Assistant Director of Student Services Eric Powell walk listeners through what we are seeing in schools and how our staff are responding. Listeners will learn how many bias incidents have been reported this year, how each report is investigated and what restorative practices are in place to help after an incident.

Episode 14: No Dusty Shelves

It’s School Library Month and Dr. Cook is connecting with two outstanding teacher librarians, Eila Overcash (Summit) and Donna Layne (Mountain View), to get an inside look at our thriving libraries. The duo share tips on how to find a book to reach even the most reluctant reader, how they approach books with controversial subjects and how they have turned their libraries into the center of the school (Wordle, a mannequin, a prize wheel and WWII museum all play a part). Plus, four book recommendations worth checking out!

Episode 13: Athletic Directors are Getting Back on Track

In today’s episode, Dr. Steven Cook talks with two athletic director about the moment everything changed in their worlds, how they handle ever-changing protocols, and the transformative power of athletics. Caldera’s Dave Williams and Mountain View’s Lance Haas share the importance of staying flexible and why they know their work matters for kids.

Episode 12: What it is like to be a School Resource Officer

What does a School Resource Officer do? Superintendent Steven Cook talks with longtime School Resource Officer Amy Ward from Bend Police Department about her day-to-day duties, how she collaborates with Bend High Principal Chris Reese, and why relationships are at the heart of everything she does.

Episode 11: It’s OK to reach out for help

In this episode, Superintendent Steven Cook learns about a key local resource for mental health support for students – YouthLine, a free teen-to-teen crisis support and help line. Dr. Cook talks with two of YouthLine’s local student volunteers who share the kind of issues and challenges they are hearing from students, how youth today are breaking the stigma of reaching out for help and what’s giving them hope right now. This is part 2 in a series on student mental health.

Find out more about YouthLine. Interested students can also reach out to become a volunteer.

If you or someone you know needs mental health support, reach out:

Many other resources available on District Student Mental Health website also available en Espańol

Episode 10: BONUS

Snow is here: Do you know if school is in session?

Snow is here! In this short clip, learn how we decide whether to delay or close schools during inclement weather (staff hit the roads at 3 a.m.!) and find out how to learn about those decisions as soon as they happen. Featuring Transportation Director Kim Crabtree and Superintendent Steven Cook.

Sign up today for BLConnect: and My Stop:

Episode 9: Supporting Student Mental Health

In this deep dive, Superintendent Steven Cook talks with two dynamic school counselors about why this time of year can be challenging for some families, finding our strengths, how to talk to teens about serious issues and why our students make them hopeful for the future. Thank you to Bend Senior High School’s Christine Ewing and La Pine High School’s Kelsey Jaeckel for sharing your stories and passion for supporting students with listeners.

Note: This podcast episode may cover sensitive topics including but not limited to suicide, mental health illness and grief. You are advised to refrain from listening to the podcast if you may be adversely impacted to these topics.

Resources highlighted during episode:

Many other resources available on District Student Mental Health website also available en Espańol

Note: BRYT, mentioned by Christine Ewing during the episode, is the name of the organization that Bend-La Pine Schools is partnering with to build our Student Success Program at each of our school sites. Middle and high school students and families can reach out to counselors for support; elementary school students and families can reach out to school administrators.

Episode 8: Every Student Belongs and the Importance of Uncomfortable Conversations

Today on the Supe’s on!, Dr. Cook talks with Kinsey Martin, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, about the Every Student Belongs legislation, the difference between bias and hate, pushing back on the notion that our community isn’t diverse, and the importance of empathy and staying at the table during uncomfortable conversations.

Learn more about Every Student Belongs legislation

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