Inspiring Educators through Story
Class Dismissed was created to spread education news and inspirational education ideas around the country.
The co-hosts of Class Dismissed have varying professional backgrounds, and it’s that dynamic that allows listeners to hear different perspectives.
Nick Ortego is an experienced broadcaster and has worked as a News Director, Weather Chief, News Operations Manager and Journalist for 15 years.
The Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters Association awarded Nick with the “Best investigative journalism award in 2016 and 2017, and the newsroom led by Nick won an unprecedented 25 MAPB awards in 2017.
Nick was also awarded “Best Weathercast” by the Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters Association five separate years and was on air during EF-4 tornado that struck Hattiesburg Mississippi in February 2013. Nick’s coverage that day was later highlighted by the Weather Channel’s – Tornado Alley.
In mid-2017, Russ asked Nick to host and produce the Class Dismissed Podcast, and since then the show has experienced fast growth with listeners in 61 different countries.
Nick also operates Ortego Communications, which specializes in videography, photography, and podcasting.
Kristina Pollard is the Principal of Earl Travillion Attendance Center in the Forrest County School District. Recently, she was awarded Administrator of the Year in 2018. She has over 20 years of experience as an educator. She has a wealth of experience concerning instruction, response to intervention, curriculum support, special education, and federal title programs. In addition, she worked closely with teachers in the areas of curriculum development, assessment, and professional development.
Mrs. Pollard was previously the assistant principal (2008-2011) at Horn Lake Middle School. She then moved to Horn Lake High as the administrator responsible for teaching and learning where she increased the passing rate for Biology and English II. In the four years at Earl Travillion, she has moved the school from a low F to high D merely five points away from a C.
Mrs. Pollard received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Jackson State University, a master’s degree in education from William Carey College, and her Specialist degree in educational leadership from Walden University. She is currently completing her doctorate in educational leadership from Walden University.
Russ Davis is the founder of SchoolStatus, a software company that has developed an incredible data analytics tool for school districts all across the country.
SchoolStatus tools are used daily to improve communication between teachers and parents. The application allows teachers to call and text parents without revealing their personal phone number. SchoolStatus has also been praised for breaking down language barriers, between teachers and parents.
Lissa Pruett is an educator with a Masters in Gifted Education. She has almost two decades of experience teaching students at both public and private schools.
Lissa has led mathematics, gifted studies, and elementary classes and she also operates a private art studio where she teaches children outside of regular school hours.
Lissa currently teaches for the Lamar County School District near Hattiesburg, Mississippi.