PMP336: Lessons in Influencing Change with Pete Dunlap

Will Parker and guest Pete Dunlap discuss how leaders can influence change in their schools and Pete's business, Better Learning Education.

Pete Dunlap lives in beautiful Dayton, Ohio. His 15 years in education includes being a junior high teacher, Principal and CEO of Catholic Central School, in Springfield, Ohio, and High School Assistant Principal at Lehman Catholic School in Sydney, Ohio.  It was as an assistant principal that Pete began developing his ideas for better ways to publish learning materials. He retired from school administration to start Better Learning Education, a publishing company based in Dayton, Ohio. Now, three years later, BLE’s workbooks are used by thousands of students all across the country, and Pete splits his time as Head of Research and Development and Director of School Accounts for Better Learning Education. Pete describes himself as a family man and an education nerd.

Pete and I met through his work with Better Learning Education, specifically his Summer Pops Math Workbooks. In this episode, he tells about his own story of education leadership. As a former principal, he shared lessons he learned in that work that may benefit leaders serving as principals today. He also shares the story of how his work in school leadership led to creating powerful education resources for schools.

Listen in for Pete’s feedback on these questions and more!

Topics we discussed:

  • The power of mentorship in your own work and working with others
  • The smartest person in the room is the room
  • Leadership can be lonely; we need others
  • Shout out to Pete’s former leaders Mike, Jim and Denise who encouraged Pete to go into leadership
  • What is moving up? And wanting to do more
  • How can I have a bigger influence?
  • Focus on impact of work, not job title
  • Keeping family a priority over work
  • The search for differentiation, good customer service, and retention of learning
  • Collaborating with others to build Summer Pops Math Workbooks
  • Ask yourself: who can help you do this work? Never solve problems alone

Check out the Summer Pops Workbooks for your teachers and students. Here’s a message directly from Pete:

A message from our friend Pete over at Summer Pops Math Workbook:

Demand is high this year. And if you want to order Summer Pops for your students, you need to place your order soon! If you have not contacted Summer Pops, you should do it this week. Principal Matters listeners can work with Pete directly, his email is or visit their website, to learn more. Summer Pops are designed for your students to practice math over the summer. They are engaging, easy-to-use, and content rich. Summer is almost here, visit to learn more.

Stay connected with Pete Dunlap:  

Go to to request free samples.

Listen to previous episodes on transitions in education:

PMP319: Tips for Seeking a New Education Positition with Jen Schwanke

PMP320: Tips for Seeking a New Education Position with Jen Schwanke (part 2)

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William D. Parker
William D. Parker