Rural Innovative Leaders Institute

Join a community of other rural education leaders

The inaugural Rural Innovative Leaders Institute is offered to rural school leaders in partnership with the Appalachian STEM Collaborative, and leaders from East Central Ohio, Ohio Valley ESC, and Muskingum Valley ESC. 

School leaders in this program will explore the core topics of the Innovative Leaders Institute through the lens of rural education, taking into consideration the opportunities and challenges unique to rural schools.  

Priority application areas for the Rural Innovative Leaders Institute

This cohort is for school leaders in rural Ohio schools. Special consideration for this program is given to applicants representing schools in Appalachian counties.

Per the Appalachian Regional Commission, these counties are: Adams, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mahoning, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Vinton, and Washington.​

Applicants from other counties will be accepted as space allows.

230130 rural ili target counties

Program details

Applications close May 1, 2023


  • School leaders from rural Ohio schools (Priority consideration is given to school leaders from Appalachian Ohio) 
  • Team of two school leaders (principal/assistant principal and another school leader, instructional coach, curriculum specialist, teacher leaders, etc.)
  • Applicants must work in an Ohio school interested in implementing and/or advancing its STEM education
  • Neither member of the team has participated in the Innovative Leaders Institute in the past three years


Thanks to Ohio’s generous support of the Ohio STEM Learning Network, the $2,750.00 program fee (per school team) for the 2023-2024 Innovative Leaders Institute is waived.

The program expectations include:

  • Attending program meetings (virtual and in-person)
    • In person meeting on June 5 and 6, 2023 in Cambridge, Ohio
    • Virtual booster call on August 8, 2023
    • In person meeting on October 12, 2023
    • Virtual meeting on January 11, 2024
    • In person meeting on April 11, 2024
    • Booster call on May 14, 2024
  • Completing program tasks and activities

The two-day kick-off event (June 5 and 6, 2023) will take place in Cambridge, Ohio. The remaining in-person sessions will take place in rural STEM or STEAM schools.


Applications close May 1, 2023. The selected cohort participants will be notified by May 10, 2023.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided for all participants during the in-person workshops.

The 2023-2024 cohort of the Rural Innovative Leaders Institute is limited to 15 schools (30 participants).

Institute participants will have an opportunity to earn college credit.

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