It's a calling – not a job.

It's a Calling — Not a Job

BRIGHT is a bold effort to recruit and train proven leaders from varied professions and place them where we most need our best and brightest— in high-poverty public schools struggling with low achievement.

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.

Leadership Training Programs

Our Story

The concept behind BRIGHT grew out of breakthrough research sponsored by the Ohio Business Roundtable in conjunction with The Ohio State University and the Ohio Department of Education.

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®.

“After years of mixed results in education reform, we think it's finally time to focus on leadership and work the culture.”
Richard Stoff, BRIGHT Chairman of the Board

Governance and Board of Directors

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.

John Kasich

The Honorable

John Kasich

Governor

State of Ohio

(Appointing Authority)

Larry Obhof

The Honorable

Larry Obhof

President

Ohio Senate

(Appointing Authority)

Cliff Rosenberger

The Honorable

Cliff Rosenberger

Speaker

Ohio House of Representatives

(Appointing Authority)

Richard Stoff

Richard Stoff

President and CEO

Ohio Business Roundtable

Chairman of the BRIGHT Board of Directors

John Carey

John Carey

Chancellor

Ohio Department of Higher Education

Paolo DeMaria

Paolo DeMaria

Superintendent of Public Instruction

State of Ohio

Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson

Chairman

The Andersons, Inc.

Theodore Ginn, Sr.

Theodore Ginn, Sr.

Founder and Executive Director

The Ginn Academy

Michele Hawkins

Michele Hawkins

Managing Director and Chief Compliance Officer

Fort Washington Investment Advisors

Col. James Jones

Col. James Jones

Commander, 121st Air Refueling Wing

Ohio Air National Guard (Retired)

Larry Moses

Larry Moses

President Emeritus and Senior Philanthropic Advisor

The Wexner Foundation

Dr. Christopher Reeder

Dr. Christopher Reeder

Owner

Premier Plastic Surgery & Dermatology Associates

Richard Seas

Richard Seas

Superintendent

Adams County Ohio Valley School District

Dr. Anil Makhija

Dr. Anil Makhija

Dean

The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business

(Ex officio member)

Dr. Cheryl Achterberg

Dr. Cheryl Achterberg

Dean

The Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology

(Ex officio member)

Staff

 

 

 

Dr. Thomas G. Maridada II

Dr. Thomas G. Maridada II

President and CEO

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.


Click here for full bio.

Idin Pirasteh

Idin Pirasteh

Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer for BRIGHT New Leaders for Ohio Schools®, Idin is responsible for alignment across the organization overseeing recruiting, selection, marketing, communications, leadership development and strategic partnerships. Before joining BRIGHT in 2014, Idin worked at Mission Essential, a global services and solutions provider to the Defense and Intelligence communities, where he became a respected leader, integral in securing and executing a $716 million contract to support US forces deployed overseas. Idin oversaw final language testing, counterintelligence and security screening, classroom instruction and deployments abroad. His performance and leadership were largely responsible for the successful fulfillment of obligations to the US government. A passionate advocate for children, Idin has for nearly 20 years coached and mentored scholar-athletes in boys’ varsity lacrosse and soccer at his alma mater, The Wellington School in Columbus, Ohio. Idin holds a B.A in Sociology and an MBA from The Ohio State University.


Click here for full bio.

Senior Advisors

Dr. Roy J. Lewicki

Dr. Roy J. Lewicki

BRIGHT Co-Academic Director

Irving Abramowitz Memorial Professor Emeritus
Fisher College of Business
The Ohio State University

Dr. Anthony J. Rucci

Dr. Anthony J. Rucci

BRIGHT Co-Academic Director

Clinical Professor of Management
Fisher College of Business
The Ohio State University

Partner Organizations

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 14 public school districts and networks across Ohio.


National partners include Battelle for KidsNew LeadersThe New Teacher Project, and Teach for America.


Jones Day provides comprehensive legal services for BRIGHT on a pro bono basis.