Wednesday, November 13 - Thursday, November 14, 2019
The Conference Center at Waltham Woods, Waltham, MA

School Leadership Team Retreat

A Collaborative Conference for:
Finance, Operations, Admissions, Advancement and Marketing Leaders

Join with leadership team colleagues from your own school or a non-compete peer school (if you're on your own) to consider the big opportunities that should be driving collaborative work within your school's community. In 20-25 years, what we consider education and the institution we call “school” today may look dramatically different, and far beyond anything most of us are currently considering. This is the future for which we must plan, and the trajectory we must initiate.

Focus in specifically on:

  • Current Trends and Research
  • Opportunities and Challenges Within our Industry
  • The Benefits of Collaborative Leadership

Featured speakers:

Grant Lichtman, Beth Chandler, Maria LaTour Kadison, Kemarah Sika, Scott Clemons, leaders from the Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium, and more!

Heads of School: You're invited to join your teams for Wednesday's collaborative session as our complimentary guests.

Registration Rates:
  • Full Retreat: Business Leaders, Two Days: $499 per person
  • Thursday-only: Business Leaders: $399 per person
  • Head of School Joining Your Team for Wednesday, 11/13: complimentary

Save even more when you send more members of your team!

Traveling far, or simply interested in immersing more in this experience? Reserve overnight rooms at the nearby Waltham Westin, using AISNE's preferred rates.

Agenda Preview

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Heads of School are invited to join your teams Wednesday as our complimentary guests.

The first day of our program is about contemplating your holistic opportunity as a school. What are the big questions for your school to tackle? How do each of your roles align together to drive success? How are others breaking through where your organization has encountered a road block?

Arrive, Register, Enjoy Networking Over Breakfast
8:30 - 9:15 a.m.

Claire Leheny
, Executive Director, AISNE
9:15 a.m.

Morning Session: Current Conditions and Potential Opportunities
Led and facilitated by Grant Lichtman
9:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Grant Lichtman is an internationally recognized thought leader in the drive to transform K-12 education. He speaks, writes and works with fellow educators to build capacity and comfort with innovation in response to a rapidly changing world. For almost 15 years, Grant was a trustee and senior administrator at one of the largest independent schools in the United States.

Since 2012, Grant has visited more than 125 schools and districts, published three books, written numerous articles, and worked with thousands of school and community stakeholders to develop unique and powerful visions and strategies for transforming education toward future-focused models of deeper learning. He will share out the data, trends and findings that have emerged from his large body of work. As a facilitator within school communities, Grant tailors his work to the people in attendance and uses a series of fast-paced, design thinking-based activities to help school teams.

With Grant’s facilitation, consider the following questions:

  • Why should schools change? For many, the train has left the station, but some school communities still need to make the case for change.
  • What will that change look like? For many, it is a transformed, student-centered “deeper learning” system that replaces a very outdated, Industrial Age, teacher-centric system.
  • How will we make the change? We know how good organizations make successful transformation. We must adapt this knowledge and culture for the unique real-world conditions of schools.

Grant will facilitate opportunities for your team to:

  • Imagine a future that may look very different than the past.
  • Build increased capacity and comfort with ongoing change.
  • Align your critical resources—people, time, money, space and knowledge—with your unique vision in a sustainable system of action plans.
  • Question legacy assumptions that drive strategic plans and budgets.
  • Bust silos that have separated us as educator-leaders in the past.
  • Connect to a rapidly expanding, global neural network of knowledge creation and sharing.
  • Learn to embrace risk rather than fearing it.
  • Develop an inclusive vision representing the unique dreams and aspirations of your entire school community.

Exhibitor Session
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Networking Lunch
12:15 - 1:15 p.m.

Afternoon Session: Articulating Value and Driving Innovation
Led and facilitated by Grant Lichtman
1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

Apply your insights from the morning to isolate and summarize meaningful opportunity areas specific to your school's community.

  • What is your school's value proposition?
  • What is strategy, and why should you care?
  • How does innovation deliver value?
  • What do your customers value?
  • What jobs is your school being hired to do?

Refresh Break
3:00 p.m.

Case Study: Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium
3:15 - 4:30 p.m.

The competitive landscape for higher education has many similarities and parallels to what we are seeing in the independent school market. Creativity and outside-the-box solutions are often times what distinguish schools that survive from those that don’t.

The Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium is a collaborative endeavor of three Vermont Colleges: Champlain College, Middlebury College and Saint Michael’s College. Partnered together, their goal is to find ways to streamline administrative services common to all three of their institutions. The consortium believes this approach holds promise for increasing efficiencies and reducing costs over the long term, while also increasing student and family satisfaction.

Engage with members of the consortium during this interactive session focused on exploring the similarities between the opportunities and challenges for both higher ed and independent schools.

Hotel Check-In Time for Those Staying Overnight

Waltham Westin
4:45 p.m.

Reserve overnight rooms at the nearby Waltham Westin, using AISNE's preferred rates.

Cocktail Hour & Networking Dinner
Osteria Posto, Waltham, MA
5:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

This day is purely for business, operations, finance, advancement, admissions, enrollment management and marketing leaders. Heads of school will have departed following yesterday's program / dinner.

Return (or Arrive for one-day participants), Enjoy Networking Over Breakfast
8:00 - 8:45 a.m.

Welcome Back
Becky Biggs, Director, Professional Development, AISNE
8:45 a.m.

Ice Breaker Discussions by Roles
8:45 - 9:15 a.m.

Meet and connect with your business, operations, finance, advancement, admissions, enrollment management and marketing leader peers from AISNE member schools across New England.

Morning Keynote:
The Role of Leadership Teams in Advancing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Schools
Beth Chandler
9:15 a.m.

Refresh Break
10:15 a.m.

Talk I: Breakout Sessions
10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

  • Your School's Competitive Edge: Branding and Rebranding, Maria LaTour Kadison
  • Lessons from the First Circuit Decision with Schwartz Hannum
  • Building Inclusive Communities: Implicit Bias Training for Senior Level School Administrators, Kemarah Sika
  • The Donation Equation: Diving in to Millenial Donor Behavior
  • Fostering the Relationship with Today's Independent School Buyer, Jill Goodman

Talk II: Breakout Session
11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Networking Lunch
12:45 - 1:30 p.m.

Peer Think Tanks: Breakout Sessions
1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

  • Connecting Data Across Systems, Matt Soule, Chapel Hill Chauncy Hall and Jesse Roberts, unbound360
  • Leveraging the Market Research: Understanding Decision Drivers, Examining Perceptions,
  • Diversify Your International Student Market
  • Considering Your School's Security: Cyber and In Person, James Bonsey, Kingsley Montessori School

Keynote Address: Scott Clemons
2:45 - 3:45 p.m.

Scott Clemons is a leading thinker, writer and speaker on topics related to the economy, financial markets and investing. Scott joined Brown Brothers Harriman in 1990 and is the Chief Investment Strategist for our Private Banking business. Outside of his professional interests, Mr. Clemons serves on the boards of the Grolier Club in New York City and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, the oldest foundation in the United States dedicated to basic scientific research. He is also a director of the Journal of the History of Ideas.

Wrap-Up and Farewell

Becky Biggs, Director, Professional Development, AISNE
3:45 p.m.

Registered Peers

Join these peers at AISNE's 2019 Business Leadership Retreat:

  • James Hickey, Head, Austin Preparatory School
  • John Weber, Chief Financial Officer, Austin Preparatory School
  • Sue Belanger, Assistant Headmaster for External Affairs, Austin Preparatory School
  • Steve Silverthorn, Director of Admissions, Austin Preparatory School
  • Jonathan Pollard, Assistant Headmaster for Enrollment & Athletics, Austin Preparatory School
  • Tyler Fleming, Director of Communications, Austin Preparatory School
  • Jen Hodgdon, Director of Alumni Relations & Giving, Austin Preparatory School
  • Conrad Wildsmith, Head, Bay Farm Montessori Academy
  • Craig Sander, Finance Director, Bay Farm Montessori Academy
  • Britta Moran, Director of Enrollment, Bay Farm Montessori Academy
  • Kyra Mercer, Engagement & Advancement Director, Bay Farm Montessori Academy
  • Alyssa Good, Director of Marketing & Communications, Bay Farm Montessori Academy
  • Jim Hamilton, Head, Berwick Academy
  • Jonathan Douglas, Chief Financial Officer, Berwick Academy
  • Bob Rooney, Chief Financial Officer, Brimmer & May School
  • Alex Melanson, Assistant Director of Finance, Dexter Southfield School
  • Diane Byrne, Director of Finance & Operations, Fay School
  • David Platt, Assistant Headmaster for Finance & Operations, The Fenn School
  • Holger Wirtz, Head, German International School of Boston
  • Marion Goodwin, Director of Admissions, German International School of Boston
  • Paula Spencer, Director of Finance, German International School of Boston
  • Steve Farley, Head, Kingsley Montessori School
  • James Bonsey, Chief Financial and Operations Officer, Kingsley Montessori School
  • Marie Leary, Head, The Sage School
  • Nancy Farrell, Director of Business & Finance, The Sage School
  • Megan Fahey, Director of Admission, The Sage School
  • Lisa Downs, Director of Advancement, The Sage School
  • Julie York, Communications Coordinator, The Sage School
  • Michael Ruo, Business Manager, School One
  • Jane Segale, Chief Financial Officer, Walnut Hill School for the Arts


Heads of School are invited to participate with your teams for Wednesday's program as AISNE's complimentary guests. Heads must register with their teams, here. Thank you!

Overnight Rooms:

AISNE is providing a preferred rate at The Westin Waltham Boston. Reserve here.