The first cohort of the Rural Innovative Leaders Institute (RILI) will begin in June of 2023 and focus on connecting rural school leaders from Appalachian in order to collaborate and grow together. The RILI will focus on the challenges of leading a rural school building while growing together and focus on transformational leadership and growing and/or establishing a robust STEM culture schoolwide.

Building Leaders can apply to join the first RILI cohort as well as bring someone else from your district/building. It could be an assistant principal, curriculum specialist, or a teacher leader. Interested leaders must commit to increasing STEM education in their building. The program fee is waived as long as participants attend all meetings and complete all program tasks. With space limited, we want to ensure that leaders who are accepted follow through and do not take a spot from someone else. If you have questions, please feel free to contact OVESC Director of Specialized Learning and STEM, Chad Miller, at
The dates are as follows:

June 5 and 6, 2023: 2-day kick-off event in Cambridge, OH at the Pritchard Laughlin Civic Center

August 8, 2023: Virtual Booster Call

October 12, 2023: In Person at a rural STEM or STEAM school

January 11, 2024: Virtual meeting

April 11, 2024: In-person meeting at a rural STEM or STEAM school

May 14, 2024: Booster call

The RILI will be facilitated by Justin Denius, Superintendent at a STEM designated school district; and Chad Miller, veteran 15-year elementary and middle school principal at 2 different STEM designated buildings in Ohio. To take advantage of this opportunity to grow as a leader and to grow the opportunities for your students, apply by going to: