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®.

“Culture eats strategy for lunch."
Peter Drucker

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.





Senior Program Advisors

John Rensink

John Rensink

BRIGHT Program Director

Associate Director, Executive Education
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.