Highlighting Discovery Education Staff: John Risinger

John Risinger and a friend

Tell me about your role/roles at Discovery.

Working for Discovery Communications for nearly 13 years, my roles have changed dramatically and often.  And I wouldn’t want it any other way.  As Vice President of Sales and Marketing, my responsibilities include partnering with Canadian schools, focusing heavily on the Maritimes and Quebec, to provide the differentiated learning tools today’s students demand.  I also work with Canadian “BDU’s” which means working closely with satellite and cable companies such as Bell TV, Rogers, Shaw and Videotron.

What do you love about Discovery?

For more than 25 years, Discovery has produced quality, nonfiction programming that is seen in 170 countries worldwide.  Many people are unaware of this but the first program ever to air on The Discovery Channel was called “Iceberg Alley.”  This show was filmed off of the coast of Newfoundland!  Even more fitting:  The first call that we received after the program aired in 1985 was from a teacher asking “how can I put that show on the TV in my classroom.”  We like to say that education is in Discovery’s DNA.

What is your favourite part of the job?

It is so pleasurable to witness the one common goal of Canadian educators:  Increase student achievement.  Provincial learning outcomes may vary from province to province, some boards/districts may have more resources than others but, at the end of the day, every educator that I have ever worked with simply wants to build on student learning.  Another favourite part of the job is working with the people in Discovery Education.  Many are former educators and all are passionate to help empower teachers and increase student achievement.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Exercise is something that I find time to do even when I am traveling for work.  I still keep up with amateur wrestling (I coached high school wrestling in the late 80’s/early 90’s).  Unfortunately, at my age I don’t feel like entering any mixed martial arts rings.  At all.  On the other hand, I like to think I am a little bit of a foodie but also realize that anyone who really knows a lot about food has probably forgotten more than I will ever know.



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  2. Monica Williams said:

    Hi, John,
    It was great to see you at the meeting in Halifax last week.
    I would like to speak with you about some personal professional development for myself in pedagogy and embedded technology in the classroom.
    Please contact me,

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