IAEE Logo


Leisey, Donald E. & Charles Lavaroni. The Educational Entrepreneur: Making a Difference.
Edupreneur. 2000. 216p. permanent paper. LC 99-97750 ISBN 0-9677433-0-3, pap. $14.95

Founding members of the International Academy for Educational Entrepreneurship with over 90 years of service in public and private education between them, Leisey and Lavaroni provide case studies of 22 educators who have left the traditional educational system to start businesses to improve education in America. These educational entrepreneurs include a former English teacher who started the educational software revolution, a principal who went on to found a company that runs 60 schools in ten states for students no longer wanted in traditional settings, and the educational pioneer who founded the Challenger Schools. The authors hold that the only way to save the Amelican educational system is to harness the power of American free enterprise, and the examples provided are ways that they feel can and should be implemented more broadly. Educational reform is one of the most politically charged topics for the new mellennium, and whether or not you agree with them, Leisey and Lavaroni provide a fascinating look at one possible avenue for reform. A solid addition to any academic or public library.

- The Library Journal, Mark Bay, Indiana Univ Purdue Univ. Indianapolis Lib.


The Educational Entrepreneur: Making a Difference. by Donald E. Leisey and Charles Lavaroni. Edupreneur Press, $16.95

Here are case studies of 22 former teachers, including Barbara and Roger Rossier, who opened businesses related to education. The USC School of Education bears the Rossier name, and the former dean of the school, Guilbert C. Hentschke, wrote the foreword to this book. Donald E. Leisey, a member of the school's board of councilors, and his co-author are founding members of the International Academy for Educational Entrepreneurship. The chapter on the Rossiers, "Enriching Education for Special Needs Children," outlines the couple's success. "Energy, experience, teamwork, drive, nerve and creativity helped [the Rossiers] become successful entrepreneurs. What made them extraordinary was their vision of and passion for quality in education," write the authors.

USC Chronicle - Published for USC Students, Faculty & Staff, October 15, 2001


"The Educational Entrepreneur: Making a Difference"
A new book by Donald Leisey and Charles Lavaroni
By National School Supply and Equipment Association, Ann Wykowski

This book provides a collection of twenty-two short, interesting biographies about people who have gone from education to educational business. Most are pioneers in their fields and have led the way for many other successful business people. These industry leaders are different from others, in that they have continued with a commitment to education. Businesses vary from charter schools to manufacturing of education supplies. These are people who realize that entrepreneurs are the key that will lead to a higher quality of education. Only by identifying and implementing new approaches to eduction, can the system be improved.

Few people realize that over 700 billion dollars is spent annually on education, half to kindergarten through Gr.12, and half on higher or alternative education. This book is not an instructional book on how to become an entrepreneur, but rather an inspiring book on people who care about our children's present and future. The people profiled here are not folks who ask "How can we make schools better?" These are the ones who ask, "How can we improve learning itself?" By studying how children learn best, and what stimulates their minds the most, changes in education are taking place. Three are varying viewpoints presented on group versus individual learning, class size, methodology and curriculums.

Some of the ideas presented hear are realizing that to go forward in education, you must begin to challenge traditions, and challenge the barriers to change. Remember that, "just because it's always ALWAYS been done that way," does not mean that way was successful. Proven entrepreneurs are marked not just by their successes, but by realizing their own limitations, knowing how to encourage teamwork, and to work within that same team. Being able to instill a sense of family among employees, demonstrating that hard work, on the job training and relying on the support of others as well as your own strengths are all marks of a truly successful entrepreneur. These people had a vision of what a difference they could make in education, and have been rewarded for their hard work with results that peak for themselves.

Are you asking yourself if you want the freedom to be your own boss? Are you willing to dedicate yourself to the long hours, not pay, hard work, and setbacks required to start your own business? Are you someone who believes there is a problem with today's learning techniques, and you know how to solve it? Perhaps you seek more personal responsibility, higher monetary rewards, increased personal satisfaction, and the chance to work with high quality goals day after day. Maybe you are an educational entrepreneur waiting for your chance to get started. This book is brain food to stimulate that desire in those of us who meet the qualifications. The people in this book understand that children will learn better if they are motivated and efforts are recognized with positive reinforcement. Children identify and want to be with people who radiate enthusiasm and a strong sense of dedication. The ability to make learning fun, will inspire children, positive reinforcement will motivate them. Our responsibility as adults in education is to teach children in such a way that they relish learning and choose to pursue an education instead of detesting education and all that goes with it. Educational entrepreneurs have a deep appreciation for the rights of individuals to learn at their own pace, and level, but because of entrepreneurial ingenuity - learning becomes a gift, not a chore.