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Dr. Don Leisey and Charles Lavaroni, co-directors of the academy, have written a book titled The Educational Entrepreneur: Making a Difference that chronicles the lives of twenty-two educators who have built successful businesses to improve learning. These former teachers and school administrators all took personal risks to enhance education. Each one of their stories is profoundly inspiring.

Foreword by Dr. Guilbert C. Hentschke, Professor, University of Southern California Rossier School of Education University

The Educational Entrepreneur: Making a Difference, is not a how-to, although it shows you how. Nor is it a memoir, although it's deeply personal. And it's not sci-fi, although it challenges the imagination. This book is a true account of the journeys undertaken by twenty-two educators who struck out on their own to serve students in the ways they know best.

Included are profiles of Kay Fredericks, former kindergarten teacher who founded Trend Enterprises, which specializes in products that stimulate classroom environments; Jim Boyle, high school administrator, who founded Ombudsman, which operates sixty schools in ten states for at-risk students; Jan Davidson, English teacher turned educational software pioneer, who sold Davidson and Associates for over $1 billion; Barbara Baker, elementary teacher who started Challenger Schools with six children and now operates seventeen schools with over 7,500 students in California and Utah; as well as the originators of a tutorial service, consulting services, an educational travel service, a homeschool service, educational services for charter schools, child care, children's books, educational materials, private school, school for at-risk students, and an educational camp, all begun with little more than a good idea and a strong determination to make each of these businesses work.

In the end, these educational entrepreneurs managed to turn their dreams into significant opportunities for students. And despite their differing paths, they had much in common. Each had a refreshing passion for education and an unwavering desire to make a difference in student's lives. They took ordinary educational concepts and made them extraordinary. They each dared to be a different kind of educator. Adventurous risk-takers, they were not afraid to put everything on the line, and where others saw only problems, these educators saw opportunities.

Present day educators as well as parents, business leaders, elected officials, and others who regard education as something more than buildings, books, and schedules are captivated by the lives of these men and women. We are aware that in large measure because of their efforts, new markets are emerging for educational programs, products, services, and technologies. The purpose of this book is to provide models for future entrepreneurs who wish to take advantage of these widening horizons in education.