Becoming a Lighthouse Certified Educator

As you pursue your coursework you have the opportunity to become Lighthouse Certified. Lighthouse certification is granted to individuals who successfully complete the required coursework. Upon completion, all Lighthouse Certified Individuals will have the opportunity to be honored at Disney World at our Annual Conference.

Administrators pursuing a Lighthouse Administrative Certification must successfully complete three overview courses in the areas of Leadership and Educational Vitality, School Organization and Culture, and Active Teaching and Learning. In addition the individual must also complete at least 2 electives in the areas of Indicators of Success and School and Community Partnerships.

Educators pursuing a Lighthouse Teaching Certification must successfully complete three overview courses in the areas of Leadership and Educational Vitality, School Organization and Culture, and Active Teaching and Learning. In addition the individual will complete 2 electives of choice.

All students pursuing Lighthouse Certification must complete the appropriate registration document when enrolling each term.

Registration for our next session is now open.

Enroll now to participate in a professional development opportunity that is structured around nine key areas to student success.  Whether you are a classroom teacher or school administrator, we have a course for you! 

You may choose to sign up as an individual or as a group.

Individuals have the opportunity to expand their knowledge by selecting courses of interest in any of the nine categories.  By working with professionals from across the country, you will have the chance to expand your expertise and improve teaching and learning in your classroom and school.  Educators may choose to take the course for graduate credit or receive a certificate of completion of 15 continuing education hours.

Schools and groups may also choose to participate together in the Academy.  By working with a group of your colleagues, not only will you join a cohort of professionals from across the world through your coursework in the nine categories, you will also have the opportunity to work cohesively toward a common goal across your entire school.


Upon enrollment in Blue Ribbon Schools Academy, your school will join a cohort of professionals across the US who have access to a close-knit and diverse community of education experts who will help you improve your school and student performance in nine areas of school success.

Enrollment in the Blue Ribbon Schools Academy gives your school access to an intense online curriculum addressing Leadership, School Culture, and Student Focus as well as technology integration, active teaching and learning, community involvement, and student performance.

Enrollment in the Blue Ribbon Schools Academy will also give school faculty, leadership and students access to Blue Ribbon Schools Assemblies and Blue Ribbon Student Leadership Institutes at a 20% discount.

All courses are offered with the option of graduate credit.

Tuition Costs

INDIVIDUAL:  $195/course*
SUMMER SPECIAL: $99/course*

SCHOOL PACKAGE (20 seats):  $4200. Introductory Price: $3400.
*Graduate Credit available through Kent State University for an additional $150.


20% School Discount for:

  1. One Annual Blue Ribbon Schools National Conference
  2. One Student Leadership Institute


REGISTER FOR 2017 Summer Term!

REGISTER FOR 2017 Fall Term!




Blue Ribbon Academy exists to help you make valuable connections, improve your teaching, learn proven leadership techniques, and discover practical solutions that will carry you and your school to the next level.

The Academy is an online program designed to kick-start educators' professional development.  Through our collaborative platform, you'll get the chance to participate in interactive discussions, exchange ideas with other eduators, learn about new tools and resources and hear from leading experts.


When you enroll in the Blue Ribbon Schools Academy Program, you will..


Gain the tools you need to grow personally and professionally in nine areas reflecting school and student success.

Participate in a Principal and/or Teacher Leadership Institute and mentoring program.

Learn from the experiences of others through the Blue Ribbon Best Practices Inventory

Engage your students by giving them the opportunity to participate in the Blue Ribbon Student Leadership Institute


This program focuses on leadership development, improving school culture, and discovering ways to help students thrive. Courses address relevant topics such as technology integration and parent involvement and can be tailored to meet your individual learning goals





Blue Ribbon Schools Academy can be a key part of your staff development and training program. This valuable education package brings your organization hours of professional development and training.

The faculty at Blue Ribbon Schools Academy is comprised of dedicated educational practitioners from a wide-range of backgrounds who are passionate about training and equipping Administrators and Teachers! This team includes some of the most respected thought-leaders and influencers in the education field.



Rocco Sugamei began his career in the Marana Unified School District in Tucson, Arizona as a middle school teacher and coach.

He became Associate Principal of Tortolita Middle School in 1987. In 1992 Principal of Butterfield Elementary Schoolm, a twice named Arizona A+ School Top 3 in the State, and a National Blue Ribbon School (2000). Duming his tenure Rocco was named the Arizona Elementary School Principal of the Year and National Distinguished Principal in th 2000/2001 school year.

In 2005 Rocco became the principal of Estes Elementar School and soon began to mentor principals, and provided leadership training for administrators and directors as the Director of Leadership Development for the Marana School District. Within this realm, he developed the Aspiring Leaders Program to the build the next cadre of educational leaders in Marana.

In 2010, he began his tenure as Assistant Superintendent in the Casa Grande Union High School District in Casa Grande, Arizona where he has had responsibilty for curriculum and instruction, strategic plan development, State and Federal program guidance and direct oversight of 2 consolidated highschools, an alternative school and a charter highschool.

In 2012 Rocco recieved the Administrator of the Year Award from Arizona Technology in Education Association for his leadership in integrating technology into all aspects of the instructional program in the Casa Grande Union School District.

Rocco is currently a consultant for Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence, the National Education Consulting firm, and with the Arizona School Transformational Group. He is a sought after presenter for such areas as differentiated instruction, productive group work, content area literacy, leadership training in the 21st Century and student engagement strategies and to dvelop strategic plans and leaders at all levels.

Rocco has also worked with the Arizona Department of Education as a Solutions Team Leader since the inception of that program and has served as an Arizona Department of Education Principal Mentor.


Johhny Calder is a retired principal of Forestbrook Elementary School in Myrtle Beach, SC, a three-time National Blue Ribbon School (since 2001).

Calder started out teaching social studies and physical education at the combination elementary and middle school in North Myrtle Beach, and then moved to FES where he’s been ever since.

A graduate of Conway High School, Calder and his wife Janet, a teacher at Socastee Elementary School, live in Conway. The couple, married 33 years, has three children.


Danny Shaw holds B. A., M. Ed, Ed.S degrees in Child Development and Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Georgia.

He was recognized by the U. S. Department of Education as a National Distinguished Principal in South Carolina. He was recognized as an Outstanding Principal in the State of South Carolina by the SCPTA. Dany is the author of The Successful Principal, a book utilized nationally for emerging and aspiring principals. He was the Governor's Appointee to three state boards and commissions dealing with children and children's issues in South Carolina.


Ed Bernetich most recently was Director of Teacher Education at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, having been a teacher, curriculum director and administrator in highly respected public schools in Northeast Ohio.

He has done extensive work with Blue Ribbon Schools both as a principal of a twice-awarded school, as a member of the U.S. Dept. of Ed. National Review Panel, and as a site visitor and evaluator for both the government's program and the current independent Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School program. In addition his school was named a National School of Distinction for Technology Excellence during his tenure as principal. Ed is one of our consultants specializing in assisting foreign students come to the United States for university work.


Donna Wilson is an educational and school psychologist, teacher educator and professional developer, and author of 20 books applying mind, brain, and education science.

Recent works include Positively Smarter: Science and Strategies to Increase Happiness, Achievement, and Well-Being (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015), Five Big Ideas for Effective Teaching: Connecting Mind, Brain, and Education Research to Classroom Practice (Teachers College Press, 2013), and Flourishing in the First Five Years: Connecting Implications from Mind, Brain, and Education Research to the Development of Young Children (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2013). Wilson presents at educational conferences in the United States and internationally and blogs regularly on Edutopia. She is the head of academic affairs of the Center for Innovative Education and Prevention (CIEP) and BrainSMART.


Craig Martin is currently the Assistant Superintendent in Reading, MA, and is a recipient of the Association for Middle Level Education’s national “Distinguished Educator Award.”

He has served as a classroom teacher, team leader, school improvement coordinator, mentor, mentor trainer, assistant principal, and principal. Recently, Mr. Martin was also honored to moderate a discussion about the current initiatives in public education with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Massachusetts Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester, and fellow educators in Massachusetts.


Kerry is the 2014 recipient of the Yale-Lynn Hall Teacher Action Research Prize for her submission "Mobile Devices and Student Innovators: BYOD and the Paperless Classroom Model."

Currently, Kerry serves as a teacher coach, speaker, and writer. Previously, Kerry taught middle and high school history in Massachusetts and New Hampshire public schools with Bring Your Own Device programs for 13 years. As a classroom teacher, Kerry was best known for her paperless collaborative classroom model which thrived on project-based learning. She also helped her students create Rockets Help Desk, a far-reaching student-driven technology integration program in her previous district. Beyond the traditional classroom, she has coached students in downhill skiing and mock trial and understands the importance of the whole child when considering the role of technology in education.

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  • Tel.: 1 (408) 844-4BLU
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