Solution Tree is a leading provider of educational resources and services that improve staff and student performance. For more than 20 years, Solution Tree resources have helped K-12 teachers and administrators create schools where all children succeed. IPR caught up with Douglas Rife, the President of Solution Tree Press.

How did you get ready to start your day today?

The usual—hot shower, hot cup of coffee, and a piece of fruit. 

What’s the first thing you did when you started work?

Check email, write my to-do list for the day, and then I dive in. As publisher my highest priority is to work with author/educators who can make a difference in the lives administrators and educators all around the world.  We publish resources where research and practice intersect—in that way, our readers can take a book from the shelf and use what they read the same day.


Where do you spend your day?

Mostly at my desk answering email, reading manuscripts, and trying to avoid meetings of every kind.

Do you have to travel?

Yes—to exotic locations like Frankfurt, Melbourne, New York City, and Solution Tree events around the US and the world.  We host Solution Tree events all year long for tens of thousands of educators.  Some are two-day workshops held in school auditoriums and others are large events that are held in city convention centers.  Large or small, the events are great ways to come face-to-face with the best teachers and administrators working in our schools today.

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What is the most challenging part of your job?

Keeping up with the latest trends in education and publishing.  Did you hear they are selling digital books now?

What did you accomplish?

Could I have a timeframe—today, this month, this year, in my career?

What is the best part of your day?

I love mornings.  I usually get to work at 6:00 when I unlock the door to the office.  The sun comes up behind me as I pour over the work on my desk and drink my second cup of coffee—the elixir of the Gods—which I drink straight up, no sugar, no cream. 

What did you read? 

For work I read some of the best authors in education—too many to mention, besides I don’t want to leave any notables out.  On my own time, I like to read well-researched history and biographies.  Right now I am reading a great book a on the Salem witch trials and a biography of Andrew Wyeth.

Did you listen to music, if so what? 

Not while I work.  Good music causes my toe to tap, I start to hum, and before I know it, I want to dance!  Music is a total distraction for me.  On my own time, though, I love to listen to a wide variety of music from Sam Cook, Lesley Gore, Dean Martin, Johnny Rivers, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Dianna Ross, Edith Piaf, Herman’s Hermits, the Beatles…but when I break out of that musical time warp from about 1955 to 1975, I like Amy Winehouse, Christina Aguilera, Cheryl Crow, Vonda Shepard, Smash Mouth, and a few others.

What makes you procrastinate the most?

Questionnaires just like this.

What do you do when you’re not in work?

I love to spend time with my wife and three teenage children, garden, and write—26 books I have written or co-authored have been published.  Oh, and in my spare time I also spend a lot of time in cemeteries taking pictures of gravestones for my blog:  Does that last item make me sound like a ghoul?

You can see Solution Tree’s titles on IPR Here.