The History of Summer Institutes

In 1982, while working as a teacher/coach at Central Washington University, Scott Ricardo began developing extended education courses, teaching football theory. The classes were successful and turned out to be a lot of fun! The first courses were held in Yakima, then on to Spokane, Olympia, Burien, Vancouver, and Wenatchee, Washington.

In 1986, at the first meeting in a class in Olympia, Washington, there were only eight coaches; far short of the number needed for Ricardo’s Sport Enterprises consulting business. Everyone was asked to recruit teachers who needed credits. By the next day there were enough attendees to offer the class. This negative experience turned out to be a blessing. Enrolled in this course was Bob Cutler who proposed the idea of holding a multiple-subjects workshop site on his pristine Schaefer Game Farm ranch property in Montesano. A friendship was formed, and with Bob’s generosity and sharp business savvy, Ricardo dissolved his Sports Enterprises business for coaches and started his first new “Summer Institutes” class for teachers, which had an enrollment of 100 the first year! The only obstacle faced was Bob’s neighbors threatening a lawsuit over the potential “Woodstock-type traffic” near their pristine property. Needless to say, they were pleased when the first Summer Institutes’ conference was held at Montesano High School instead.

Throughout the years, Scott has chosen loyal Site Coordinators as independent contractors to direct their own conferences based on the Summer Institutes’ philosophy – “to provide professional multi-topic speakers, grade level/subject PLC sessions, place-based education learning opportunities , and promote wellness.”

Our dynamic Site Coordinators include Marnie Pickett (Wenatchee, WA), Dick Comar (Okemos, MI, Livonia, MI), Coach Jim Walden 9Spokane), Chris Mason/Fernando Alvarez (Moses Lake, WA), Hillary McClintick (Eugene, OR, Roseburg, OR), Maegan Mackelvie (Redmond, OR), and Matt Kincaid and Ingrid Ricks (Online Courses),   – they have all been successful site coordinators, who add untold value to these conferences. Head Football Coach (WSU) Jim Walden retired from SI in 2016. What a joy it was for the Spokane participants to enjoy such a legend. Sadly, in 2016, our longest tenured site coordinator of 22 years, Tuck Gionet (Snohomish, WA), passed away after a two-year battle with cancer.

The Summer Institutes’ staff is proud and excited to hold its 35th Annual Summer Institutes. Scott will personally direct the 2022 National virtual Conference, while Dick Comar will be running the Midwest Regionals from Michigan. Our goal is to make this a worthwhile educational and relationship bonding experience for years to come!

A Message From Our Founder

Welcome to Summer Institutes! Since 1987, we have been providing supportive Relationships, Relevance and Rigor for educators while cultivating wellness and professional interactions! Our goal in starting Summer Institutes was to educate and motivate the “whole teacher” to be better equipped to educate and motivate the “whole child.” Each site coordinator is committed to the Summer Institutes’ family atmosphere – catering to your needs, providing ideas in a stress free, rejuvenating experience!

 Scott Ricardo
Summer Institutes

Scott Ricardo owes his career to the education he received at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly). After graduation, Scott became a college football and wrestling coach. He modeled his programs after the work of Cal Poly Coaches Joe Harper and Vaughn Hitchcock’s. Scott’s experience as a student assistant to Cal Poly’s Physical Education Workshop Director, Dr. Robert Mott and his two honorable equipment men, Frank Limon and Sal Chopper Mares, heavily inspired his vision for Summer Institutes.

The Summer Institutes Difference

Attending a Summer Institutes Conference provides more than just a way to earn additional teaching certification credits, opportunities to earn salary advancement credits, or obtaining professional clock hours. We want to be your partner throughout your continuing education journey. Whether it’s listening to one of our engaging presenters, attending a PBE (Place Based Education) workshop, sharing peer expertise in PLC’s, or participating in a wellness activity or stress reduction class,  we’re committed to providing you with the maximum return on your investment. You’ll leave our conferences feeling refreshed, replenished, and rejuvenated.

Bottom line: we care about you!