The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

Advancing Milton and Rose D. Friedman's Vision of School Choice for All Children

J.C. Huizenga

Founder, National Heritage Academies

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J.C. Huizenga is founder and chairman of one of the country’s fastest-growing education providers.

In 1995, Huizenga brought a business-focused free enterprise solution to the public education arena with a vision to provide a high-quality education to all children. He founded National Heritage Academies (NHA), an educational service provider, and has grown it from one school to a national leader serving more than 32,000 students in 53 schools across five states. Founded on the pillars of rigorous academics, a moral-focused environment, academic excellence, and individual student responsibility, NHA schools are impacting the lives of students in measurable ways. NHA continues to partner with communities to open new schools with a vision to better educate more children. National Heritage was listed in Inc. magazine’s “500 Fastest Growing Private Companies,” four different times.

Huizenga’s interest in reforming education and creating models for measuring success has involved him in national organizations, serving on the boards of the National Council of Education Providers and the Education Industry Association. Huizenga’s efforts have been recognized with awards from various organizations, such as the Education Industry Association.

Through the years, Mr. Huizenga has been recognized for his accomplishments in business as well as his leadership in school reform and his worldwide philanthropy. He has been recognized with the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award, Grand Valley State University’s Charter School Pioneer Award, Michigan Association of Public School Academies’ Leadership Award, the Michigan School Board Leaders Association’s Visionary Award, and The Education Industry Association’s James P. Boyle Award.

Mr. Huizenga earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and a Master’s of Business Administration from Michigan State University.


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