Deep Dives

Deep Dives

Monday, 10:30 am - Noon

  • Supporting Students and Employees

    When Managing Mental Health Becomes Unmanageable

    From anxiety and depression to complex mental health issues, independent school communities are increasingly balancing the mental health needs of both students and employees. The challenges that schools face while navigating the landscape of mental health care and accomodations can be vast, including how to communicate with the school community, preserving the dignity of the employee or student, and protecting the school from any legal liabilities.

    In this deep dive session, join independent school experts and lawyers as they discuss what independent schools are legally required to do in response to mental health diagnoses, what policies schools should put into place, and how to balance community expectations and risks. Hear how to support your students and employees while protecting your school from legal risks. Discuss the challenging scenarios that schools have faced and where they might be able to draw the line in light of the limited resources they may have.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn how and when to address student and employee mental health issues, how to assess potential accommodations, as well as whether and how to convey related needs and actions to the school community. Participants will learn the legal risks and liabilities that their school may face when dealing with student and employee mental health.

    Suzanne Bogdan

    Suzanne Bogdan

    Regional Managing Partner and Chair, Education Practice Group, Fisher Phillips

    Suzanne Bogdan is the managing partner in the Fisher Phillips Fort Lauderdale office. Bogdan is also the chair of the firm's Education Practice Group, actively representing hundreds of private educational institutions nationwide in employee, student and board issues. She is a frequent presenter to educational associations on all aspects of employment law and risk management in the employment context and also works with many accrediting agencies and school associations.

    Michael Dyson

    Michael Dyson

    Chief Financial Officer, Gladwyne Montessouri

    Michael Dyson is chief financial officer at Gladwyne Montessori School, an American Montessori Society accredited school in Philadelphia’s western suburbs. Dyson has served the school since 1997, providing vision and leadership through numerous property acquisitions, leadership transitions and program evolutions. For nine years, he served as treasurer of the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools and currently serves on the board of directors of Philadelphia Area Independent School Business Officers Association. Dyson is both a CPA and licensed psychologist. He earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA from Villanova University and his doctorate in psychology from Immaculata University. Dyson also practices clinical psychology, serving adults with mood and anxiety disorders, and formerly served as an adjunct professor.

    Susan Guerette

    Susan Guerette

    Partner, Fisher Phillips

    Susan Guerette is a partner in the Fisher Phillips Philadelphia office. She is a member of the firm's Education Practice Group, which represents private educational institutions in claims involving employees, students, parents and boards. Guerette defends schools and other educational institutions in cases relating to discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, leave issues, wage and hour matters and breach of contract.

    Carrie Kries

    Carrie Kries

    Head of School, Gladwyne Montessouri

    Carrie Kries has been an educator for over 27 years, serving as a classroom teacher and school administrator in the public, charter and private sectors. Specializing in school turnaround efforts, Kries served as chief executive officer of a formerly underperforming urban charter school before serving as head of school for Gladwyne Montessori School, the only American Montessori Society accredited school serving children ages 2-12 in Philadelphia’s western suburbs. Kries earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood and elementary education from Beaver College (now Arcadia University) and her master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds her American Montessori Society Administrators Credential.

Monday, 1:15 pm - 2:45 pm

  • Data Strategies To Grow

    Data-driven planning for short- and long-term growth delivers a sustainable competitive advantage for the independent school. The challenge is determining what data to collect, how to most effectively and accurately collect it and how to use data for continuous improvement of organizational habits and decisions. This session will engage senior-level administrators in a self-evaluation of current data strategies and provide a framework to understand and assess the quality and use of data. Whether a school is just getting started, or has a well-developed data strategy but is struggling to prioritize which areas to focus on first, this workshop is designed to help schools work through these challenges and build stronger relationships.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn to accurately assess data quality and address strategic questions; identify methods of data collection and analysis; connect the dots between external and internal data sources; and increase commitment to data-driven planning and continuous improvement.

    Scott Barron

    Scott Barron

    Founder and Chief Executive Officer, School Growth

    Scott Barron’s business success springs from a passion for education, technology and entrepreneurship. Following advanced technology research at Princeton University, he started an early internet services company that was later acquired by a larger tech business. With an M.Ed. from Johns Hopkins University, he spent 14 years as a school chief administrator, working with boards, faculty, parents, donors and community stakeholders to create a culture of collaboration, data analysis and innovation. He is the author of “The Yabwi Tree,” which encourages an entrepreneurial mindset in everyone, from age 8 to 88. Forthcoming books include “The Laws of the Grapevine” and “The Consultative Business Officer.”

    Tammy Barron

    Tammy Barron

    President and Senior Partner, School Growth

    Tammy Barron has a passion for learning, teaching and improving. Following studies in chemical engineering and journalism, she completed an interdisciplinary degree program and began her career in education. After serving as a teacher for ten years, Barron took on the challenge of building the brand and enrollment for a large private school. She developed processes for growth, built a high performing team, coordinated marketing plans and achieved multimillion dollar revenue goals every year. At School Growth, Barron facilitates operational excellence, designs optimal workflows, anticipates the needs of clients, and extracts key data for decision-making.

Monday, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

  • Mergers and Acquisitions

    Governance, Legal, Financial and Tax Considerations for Independent Schools

    Conversations around school mergers have shifted from reactive to proactive — no longer about failure or desperation but rather about thriving and differentiating. Schools exploring any sort of restructure, including a merger or collaboration of some sort, often find these discussions overwhelming, given that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all guide for proven success across schools with varying needs and opportunities. As such, NBOA secured a brain trust of industry experts from LearnCollab, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP and Venable LLP to publish a white paper in the fall of 2019 detailing the governance, legal, financial and tax considerations for independent schools considering a merger, acquisition or joint venture. NBOA’s president and CEO Jeff Shields will facilitate a discussion among representatives from each firm to address this shifting ground in our industry.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn the key considerations and compliance requirements that school leaders need to know in order to dutifully explore merger, acquisition and joint venture opportunities.

    Jeff Shields

    Jeff Shields, FASAE, CAE

    President and CEO, National Business Officers Association

    Jeff Shields has been NBOA's president and CEO since March 2010. Prior to joining NBOA, he spent almost 10 years at the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), serving most recently as senior vice president and chief planning officer. An active member of the American Society of Association Executives, Shields earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in 2002, was selected as an ASAE Fellow in 2008, and currently serves as a member of the ASAE Board of Directors. He currently serves as a trustee for the One Schoolhouse, Inc. and previously served as a trustee for Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C.

    Chad Tew

    Chad Tew

    Founding Principal and Disruption Navigator, Tew & Associates

    Chad Tew is chief disruption navigator at Tew & Associates, where he leverages broad experience as an educator to help schools achieve sustainable success in a rapidly changing market. Tew & Associates consults with schools across the country on financial sustainability, marketing and financial aid. Tew is also a certified merger & acquisition advisor and helps boards consider these tools in achieving their mission. Formerly an independent school CFO, he has held college leadership positions in admissions and marketing. Tew has taught business and management courses at UCLA and serves on several boards.

    Sarah Reichling

    Sarah Reichling, CPA

    Principal, Non-Profit, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP

    Sarah Reichling is an audit principal in CliftonLarsonAllen LLP's nonprofit group, specializing in a variety of nonprofit audits. She leads CliftonLarsonAllen's national independent school sub-segment within the nonprofit group. Reichling has 13 years of public accounting experience, serving foundations, private schools, social service organizations and other nonprofits. She has worked with a wide range of entities, from start-up organizations to very large organizations with complex investment portfolios, multi-entity structures, planned giving and significant endowment and donor fund balances.

Tuesday, 8:30 am - 10:00 am

  • The Head of School and Business Officer Partnership

    As strategic partners, a strong working relationship between the head of school and business officer is essential to an independent school’s success. In this session, the heads of school and business officers from two established independent schools discuss this important partnership and how it can transform a school. Learn about the keys to healthy collaboration between these two top leadership roles and the steps the business office can take to build a strong working relationship with the head of school and other important members of the administrative team. Learn best practices, understand how to overcome obstacles when establishing a new relationship between school leaders, and gain insight on how to develop a strong relationship over the long-term.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn how to establish and maintain a strong working relationship between leaders to further the mission and success of the school.

    Tom Arnold

    Tom Arnold

    Chief Financial and Operating Officer, Western Reserve Academy

    Tom Arnold brings professional expertise in business operations from experience in both higher education and independent schools. Arnold earned an MBA and worked at Robert Morris University and Chatham University before serving as vice president for finance and administration at Shady Side Academy. In 2014, he joined Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio. Arnold’s experience in strategic planning balances best practices in long term fiscal sustainability and providing resources for the daily operations of an active boarding school community.

    Mary Frances Bisselle

    Mary Frances Bisselle, Ph.D.

    Head of School, Hathaway Brown School

    Mary Frances "Fran" Bisselle is the head of school at Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights , Ohio. Bisselle holds a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies with a concentration in curriculum, instruction and assessment from the University of Vermont. Hercareer has included positions as a classroom teacher, dean of students, coach, dorm parent, educational consultant and teaching fellow. Most recently she served as the head of school for the Maple Street School, a K-8 independent school in Manchester Center, Vermont. She serves on several boards of trustees, including as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges the National Association of Independent Schools.

    Suzanne Walker Buck

    Suzanne Walker Buck

    Head of School, Western Reserve Academy

    Suzanne Walker Buck is the head of school at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio. She holds two master’s degrees: one in clinical social work from Columbia University and another in education from Harvard University. Buck began her career at Westminster School as an admissions counselor, dorm parent and field hockey and lacrosse coach . She has since held posts at Fay School, New Hampton School, and most recently as the rector (head of school) at Chatham Hall in Chatham, Virginia. There she increased enrollment by 36% in four years, added significant tuition revenue, increased annual giving by 14% and developed a bold strategic plan. Buckserves on the boards of The Association of Boarding Schools and the Enrollment Management Association.

    Valerie Hughes

    Valerie Hughes

    Chief Financial Officer, Hathaway Brown School

    Valerie Hughes is the chief financial officer at Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio, where she has served for 22 years. She oversees not only large-scale strategic planning initiatives but also day-to-day initiatives that ensure consistency and prudence across school operations. She led the construction of the Jewett-Brown Academic Center, which includes a four-story glass atrium, a state-of-the-art aquatic center and an all-new turf field. Hughes recently completed six years of service as treasurer for the National Coalition of Girls' Schools. Prior to Hathaway Brown, she spent a decade working in higher education and nonprofits. She holds a master’s degree from Cleveland State University and has served on the board of the Midwest Business Officers Association, including a year as president. Hughes is the recipient of the 2019 NBOA Will J. Hancock Unsung Hero Award.

Tuesday, 10:15 am - 11:45 am

  • Cultivating Resiliency and Boldness

    Building an Education Culture to Drive Positive Change

    It’s our job as independent school professionals to create a culture that moves beyond the motto of “business as usual” and to cultivate teams that bring passion, optimism and a genuine commitment to excellence in our shared work. In this session, we will explore and practice how to cultivate new habits and embody resiliency for ourselves and our teams. We will discuss the answer to this crucial question: What does it look like to navigate our future together with openness and curiosity rather than seeing each obstacle as a crisis to be solved?

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn what it means to cultivate a “first team” mindset, how to promote strategic thinking and how to build emotional resilience in themselves and their teams.

    Kate Newburgh

    Kate Newburgh, Ph.D.

    Founder, Deep Practices Consulting L3C

    Kate Newburgh has over a decade of experience in research and systems change in education. She began her career as a New York City Teaching Fellow in the Bronx. Since then she’s held diverse roles in the field including educational researcher, academic affairs director for a national nonprofit, and strategy lead for transformative learning for Eagle County Schools, Colorado. She is a member of several large-scale networks including the Colorado Education Initiative and America Achieves. She received her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of Denver with a research focus on teacher retention and adaptive whole-teacher supports.

    Howard Teibel

    Howard Teibel

    Founder and President, Teibel Educational Consulting

    As the founder of Teibel Education Consulting, Howard Teibel works with administrators and academics to cultivate exceptional teamwork in support of their shared mission.As a public speaker and writer for numerous education associations, Teibel contributes to the national discourse on emerging trends in the industry. Additionally, his podcast “Navigating Change” has brought leaders together for the past ten years to discuss innovations and new practices that can transform how teams in academia and business work together. Teibel d is passionate about guiding school business leaders to create constructive discourse on regional and global issues facing our country.

Tuesday, 2:45 pm - 4:15 pm

  • Enhancing Diversity and Inclusion Efforts Using a Collaborative Institutional Approach

    Presenters will discuss how specific mission- and goal-driven initiatives in diversity, equity and inclusion have impacted the Gettysburg College campus and community. Attendees will also be introduced to Gettysburg College’s Inclusion Partner and Inclusion Champion Programs, which serve as mechanisms to uncover and address unconscious biases that can sometimes enter our hiring processes.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn about the intentional connection of campus partners for the purpose of realizing diversity, equity and inclusion goals as an institution. Participants will learn about the mission- and goal-driven initiatives that have impacted the Gettysburg College campus climate and enhanced opportunities for discourse.

    Darrien Davenport

    Darrien Davenport

    Executive Director of the Office of Multicultural Engagement/Assistant Vice President for College Life, Gettysburg College

    Darrien Davenport is the executive director of the Office of Multicultural Engagement and vice president for college life at Gettysburg College. He has provided trainings and workshops for various chapters and regions of College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR). Davenport holds a bachelor’s degree from West Chester University, master’s degree from Duquense University and a doctorate in education from Northeastern University.

    Jennifer Lucas

    Jennifer Lucas

    Co-Director of Human Resources, Gettysburg College

    Jennifer Lucas is the co-director of human resources at Gettysburg College and the past chair of the College and University Professional Association forHuman Resources (CUPA-HR) Eastern Region Board. She began her work at Gettysburg College in 1999. Lucas is responsible for supporting and furthering Gettysburg College’s strategic initiatives by providing oversight and leadership in a variety of human resource functions. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University.

Wednesday, 10:30 am - Noon

  • Comprehensive Financial Strategy for Independent Schools

    Just as school leaders think holistically about the students in our care, schools must adopt “whole-institution” thinking in developing financial strategy. Going beyond budgeting, financial strategy asks, “Where do we need to go, and what must we do to get there?” In this session, we will identify 15 interconnected financial layers, including pricing, hiring, enrollment, board composition and fundraising, and highlight the gulf between the endowment-driven higher education model and the tuition-driven independent school model. Participants will understand how to strategically align these financial layers to grow their school’s full-pay market and secure the institution’s financial future.

    Learning Objective: Participants will learn to recognize and scrutinize each interrelated element of their school’s financial structure. Participants will leave with the ability to develop a comprehensive and integrated financial plan to support their school’s enduring mission.

    Patrick Bassett

    Patrick Bassett

    President (Retired), Heads Up Educational Consulting

    Patrick Bassett, officially retired in 2019, has served for 50 years in the independent school industry, as a teacher, head of school, past president of the National Association of Independent Schools, and co-founder and president of Heads Up Educational Consulting, LLC, an educational consulting firm. He is a past trustee of his alma mater, Williams College, and currently sits on the boards of Woodberry Forest School, Finalsite, Three-W, Grab the Torch and United Educators, all of which serve the independent school sector.

    Robert Santry

    Robert Santry

    Chief Financial Officer, Dedham Country Day School

    Robert Santry is in his fifth year as CFO at Dedham Country Day School. He develops and oversees financial strategy, operational and capital budgeting, risk management and compliance in addition to serving on six board committees. He also coaches ice hockey and lacrosse. A graduate of Williams College, he has divided his career evenly between education and finance. He taught mathematics at Westminster School and at Dedham Country Day before earning his MBA and working in investment management at Goldman Sachs.