Episode 115:

Pete is a veteran in the education industry. Over the past 20 years, he has opened over 120 schools and acquired more than 25 others. His experience in education spans president and CEO roles of organizations in the private school, charter school, and early education industries. He also served as a public school board member in his local community for 5 years.

Pete is currently the founder and CEO of Fusion Education Group. Launched in 2007, the company made five acquisitions in its first two years. The last acquisition in December 2008 was the original Fusion Academy campus. Within a few years, the company determined that Fusion’s unique model and high growth potential made it a significant growth opportunity. Thus, the company sold off its non-Fusion schools to focus entirely on the national expansion of the Fusion Academy model. Today, there are more than 60 Fusion campuses in operation around the nation.

In 2019, the company acquired Futures Academy, another one-to-one school model with 16 locations in the state of California.

In 2020, the company launched Fusion Global Academy (FGA), a one-to-one virtual school that provides 100% live instruction in every class. FGA serves online students throughout the United States and internationally.

Today, Fusion Education Group, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, operates nearly 80 Fusion and Futures Academies across 16 states and the District of Columbia. All Fusion Academies, Futures Academies, and FGA provide completely individualized programs based on the needs of each student. Virtually all classes are taught in a one-to-one environment: one student, one teacher. All schools offer programs for 6-12 grade students.

Ruppert started his career with Procter and Gamble. He entered the education industry when he was hired as president of National Heritage Academies (NHA) in May 1997. During his eight years as president of NHA, Ruppert led the expansion of the company from four schools to 51 schools across five states.

In addition to his work, Pete is the author of “Limitless: Nive Steps to Launch Your One Extraordinary Life.” He also co-founded “Armed Forces Thanksgiving,” an annual celebration and education event that raises money for military veterans throughout West Michigan.

Pete holds a BA in Economics from DePauw University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. He and his wife, Jessica, have four children; three sons and a daughter and reside in East Grand Rapids, Michigan.

What You Will Learn:

  • How Pete’s career path led to the education field, and why education became a 25-year passion that led to the creation of Fusion Education Group
  • How Pete and his team achieved a careful balance between the educational aspect of their organization and the business side
  • Why the current system of grouping students by age rather than ability isn’t the best approach to meet students’ needs, and how Pete is doing things differently
  • Why finding and surrounding yourself with the right people and empowering them to do their best work is crucial for your success
  • Why having access to extra capital through outside funding is an important leg up in growing your business, and why bootstrapping isn’t always the best solution
  • Why scaling your business requires “giving up” authority, responsibility, and control over the day to day operations so that you can focus on long term strategy
  • What strategies and processes Pete uses to hire, develop and nurture key leaders within his organization
  • How to learn to avoid micromanaging your team and instead trust them to do the job the right way while still offering support, communication, and feedback
  • Why a regular meeting cadence is key to ensuring that everyone on the team is moving in the same direction
  • How studying other successful people helped Pete determine the nine “traits of a champion”, and how that list became the backbone of his book “Limitless”


Additional Resources:

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