High-performing, successful schools start with exceptional principals, who then hire and develop exceptional teachers who motivate students to achieve to their true potential. Successful leaders beget successful schools.
With that idea in mind, The Ohio General Assembly has authorized and funded BRIGHT New Leaders for Ohio Schools as an innovative collaboration of the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Business Roundtable, and the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. BRIGHT seeks extraordinary individuals from different walks of life – education, business, the military, government, philanthropy and nonprofits – to spend a year as a BRIGHT Fellow preparing to take on the challenge of serving as a principal of a high-poverty public school in Ohio.
Conducted in the spring of 2012 by the distinguished nonprofit organization Public Agenda, the study examined nine Ohio public schools that are high-performing despite having student body poverty rates exceeding 50 percent. The research was designed to identify how these "unexpectedly high-performing" schools deliver positive results results despite their challenges.
The key conclusion from the report, "Failure Is Not An Option," is that each of the schools was headed by an exceptional and highly skilled leader. In each case, the building principal led with passion, commitment, remarkable interpersonal skills and a solid conviction that failure is not an option when it comes to the education and lives of young Ohioans.
That discovery led directly to the creation of BRIGHT New Leaders for Ohio Schools.
The Ohio General Assembly established BRIGHT as a nonprofit public-private partnership. As evidence of Ohio's commitment to this bold, new approach to principal leadership development, oversight is provided by the Governor, Senate President, Speaker of the House and, BRIGHT's affiliated entity, the Ohio Business Roundtable.
Dr. Thomas G. Maridada II was appointed President and CEO of BRIGHT New Leaders for Ohio Schools in March 2015. Tom is a world-class educator who over the course of a 25-year career has raised academic achievement and created a brighter future for thousands of young people. Prior to joining BRIGHT, Tom served as National Director of Education Policy, Practice and Strategic Initiatives for the Children's Defense Fund in Washington D.C. During his distinguished career as an educator,Tom has served as superintendent, principal or classroom teacher in several urban school districts in Michigan, where he served and led school transformation efforts in two National Blue Ribbon Schools. He was named "Michigan Superintendent of the Year" by the National Association of School Administrators.
As Operations Director for BRIGHT New Leaders for Ohio Schools, Idin Pirasteh is responsible for program alignment across the organization including recruiting, selection, marketing, communications and managing strategic partnerships. Before his appointment to BRIGHT, Idin worked at Mission Essential Personnel where he was integral in securing a $716 million contract to support U.S. forces deployed overseas. In 2008, Idin was named Deputy Director of the firm and built the Pre-Deployment Processing Center in Linthicum Heights, Maryland. Since 1998, Idin has coached and mentored scholar-athletes in boys’ varsity lacrosse and soccer at his alma mater, The Wellington School in Columbus, Ohio. Idin is a graduate of The Ohio State University.
In addition to its three principal partner organizations, BRIGHT is proud also to be working closely with the Ohio Department of Higher Education, The Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS), The Ohio Adjutant General’s Department and 12 public school districts and networks across Ohio.
Jones Day provides comprehensive legal services for BRIGHT on a pro bono basis.
Accenture provided comprehensive project management services for BRIGHT on a pro bono basis.