Executive Leadership

Sessions by Track

Executive Leadership

For a personalized experience, attendees may elect to attend sessions in any track. Tracks do not include general sessions or deep dives.

  • Help Your Head of School Wrangle the Board

    Executive Leadership
    Monday, 10:30 am - 11:45 am

    As a business officer, you interact with the board a lot, but it isn't your board. How can you help your head of school spot the landmines that will give you headaches and how do you help spot the goldmines that can lead to transformational opportunities? Learn about common and uncommon boards, effective and ineffective practices, changes in governance models, the impact of accreditation, and creating your own plan for engagement with your head and with the board.

    Damian Kavanagh, Executive Director, MISBO
    Aggie Malter, Executive Director, PAISBOA

  • Courageous Authenticity: Do You Care Enough to Have Critical Conversations?

    Executive Leadership
    Monday, 1:30 pm - 2:45 pm

    One of the key qualities of a leader is the ability to handle critical conversations. To be effective, communication must be motivated toward the success of others and be delivered in a clear, honest and direct way that reflects the school's values and standards. But that's easier said than done. Critical conversations test both our ability to communicate and to have a meaningful impact at school. Not for the faint of heart, this session goes beyond the generalities and explores the elements of courageous authenticity. It offers strategies on how to prepare for and deliver critical conversations through specific guidance and case studies. Only through clear, honest, direct communications that reflect the school's values and standards can leaders meet their obligations to themselves, others and the school.

    Elizabeth Arce, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore
    Michael Blacher, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore
    Rebecca Rowland, Director of Human Resources, Campbell Hall Episcopal

  • Leading Through Change

    Executive Leadership
    Monday, 1:30 pm - 2:45 pm

    Even the most successful school leader can be sidetracked when a major change in leadership comes along. Working with a new head, moving to a new school, or dealing with a board member who goes off the rails can all create anxiety, if not real job insecurity. Two experienced business officers share their strategies for addressing these situations in a way that helps you and your school work through transitions successfully.

    Donna Pacchioni, Interim Director of Finance and Operations, Kentucky Country Day School
    Cindy Stadulis, Chief Financial Officer, St. Stephen's Episcopal School

  • Instability Markers: Signposts on the Road to Ruin

    Executive Leadership
    Monday, 3:15 pm - 4:30 pm

    Business officers and heads of school have powerful school performance data at their disposal, and yet boards and school leaders often ignore it to their peril. Cherry-picking data points to boost a school's image rather than scrutinizing data to measure sustainability can often lead to disaster. This workshop examines the key instability markers that boards and heads should be tracking in order to ensure the ongoing sustainability of their schools. Participants will examine key indicators of admissions, staffing and financial stability as well as program leadership and leave the workshop with an understanding of how to track trends in their own schools.

    Jim Christopher, Head of School, Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School

  • Successfully Interfacing with Four Key Constituent Groups

    Executive Leadership
    Monday, 3:15 pm - 4:30 pm

    Four experienced CFOs discuss how they effectively interface with their four key partners or constituents: the head of school, development office, board finance committee, and department heads. Video clips precede each discussion, followed by panelists highlighting best practices.

    Frank Aloise, Chief Financial Officer, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy
    Terry Cunningham, Chief Financial Officer, Middlesex School
    Laurelle McCready, Associate Head for Finance and Operations, The Lab School
    Charles Procknow, Executive Vice President, George K. Baum & Company
    Jerry Walker, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Head of School, Kent Denver School

  • The Evolving and Increasingly Important Role of the Business Officer

    Executive Leadership
    Tuesday, 8:45 am - 10:00 am

    In a climate with rising tuition and shrinking demand, independent schools require bold and strategic leadership in order to excel. Explore how business officers can expand the boundaries of the traditional CFO position beyond finance to bolster school leadership. Panelists share examples of how they have helped lead and engage school communities in a strategic planning process built on robust market research to define their schools' value proposition. Discuss a case study of how a highly strategic business officer navigated change and the outcomes it produced.

    Craig Goebel, Principal, Art & Science Group
    Michael Toohey, Chief Financial Officer, George School

  • Ten Lessons from 10 Years in Online Education

    Executive Leadership
    Tuesday, 10:30 am - 11:45 am

    Ten years ago, four entrepreneurial schools gathered to hatch the idea of creating the first independent school online. In those 10 years, more than 7,500 semester student enrollments and more than 3,000 educators have taken educational or professional development courses. And, importantly, we've learned a lot about innovation in the independent school community; the place of online education in financial sustainability of independent schools; and what face-to-face schools can learn from what works well online. This session is designed to help schools translate these findings into action for both the academic and operational sides of schools.

    Bradford Rathgeber, Head of School and Chief Executive Officer, One Schoolhouse

  • Engaging in Student Life as Business Officers or Support Staff

    Executive Leadership
    Wednesday, 10:30 am - 11:45 am
    15-min Goldmine

    Business officers do not traditionally have ongoing, deliberate opportunities to participate in student life. However, moving outside of the office and into the student realm can provide new insights to student life that prove helpful when assessing business decisions. Business officers and other support staff have much to contribute to the student experience if encouraged to do so. Learn about one school's experiences in engaging support staff in student life — and the benefits to both staff and students.

    Jillian Lamothe, Assistant Head, Finance and Operations, St. John's-Ravenscourt School

  • Financial Literacy Education for Students

    Executive Leadership
    Wednesday, 10:30 am - 11:45 am
    15-min Goldmine

    Teaching a financial literacy course to students is an opportunity for the CFO to engage in the classroom by taking part in a co-curricular program designed to teach students one of life's most essential skills. The financial literacy course provides students with a basic understanding of personal finance through an introduction to budgeting, accounting, spreadsheets, financial statements, insurance, investing and credit. Guest speakers and case studies expose students to the practical application of financial literacy concepts, and students complete a final group project summarizing their learning during the course. The course allows for cost-effective, innovative instructional programming to supplement academic offerings.

    Deana Paradis, Chief Financial Officer, Louisville Collegiate School

  • Investing for Impact, Investing for Return

    Executive Leadership
    Wednesday, 10:30 am - 11:45 am
    15-min Goldmine

    CFOs have a social responsibility with school investments and must broker this conversation with the head of school, investment manager and key board members. Schools that are socially conscious at the moment they make investment decisions add to the value proposition they convey to parents and stakeholders. Impact investing aligns school values with investments, without sacrificing returns. It makes thematic tilts toward planet, society and faith-based goals. It's an important secular trend, not a short-term fad, with solid and growing data allowing investors to better assess risk and return implications.

    Dario Bellot, Chief Financial Officer, The Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
    Casey Clark, Director of Sustainable and Impact Investing, Glenmede

  • Ten Key Performance Indicators to Measure School Success

    Executive Leadership
    Wednesday, 10:30 am - 11:45 am
    15-min Goldmine

    Key performance indicators (KPIs), are uncommon to school leadership, but they provide a core of the information needed to explain a school's progress toward its tactical and strategic goals. When chosen well and integrated into the leadership culture, KPIs are one of the most important guideposts for the school. Explore 10 high-value KPIs for schools and address which KPIs provide a leading indicator of performance and results, what data sources should be integrated to provide accurate measurements, as well as how to use KPIs to drive decision making throughout the organization to maximize success.

    Scott Barron, Executive Director, School Growth Foundation
    Tammy Barron, President and Senior Partner, School Growth LLC

  • The K-12 CEO: Transformation of a Head and Headship

    Executive Leadership
    Wednesday, 10:30 am - 11:45 am
    15-min Goldmine

    School leadership is undergoing a transformation. Many heads of school, traditionally appointed through the programmatic ranks, are underprepared and under resourced for the job. Less the head teacher and more the school's chief executive officer, heads must focus on fiscal sustainability, advancement, risk mitigation, innovation and resource acquisition and allocation. Successful leaders understand the flow and integration of people, space, dollars and information and direct those to initiatives that maximize the mission. This session takes participants on the journey of one head of school's transformation from headmaster/teacher to school CEO without losing a connection to the school's mission.

    Nishant Mehta, Head of School, The Children's School

  • Trust and Civility in a Challenging World

    Executive Leadership
    Wednesday, 10:30 am - 11:45 am
    15-min Goldmine

    Our workplace is filled with amazingly talented coworkers all striving to provide the best education for our students, so why is it sometimes so difficult to work together? Review a range of diverse perspectives within our schools, from generational to geographic, to gain a better understanding of school staff. Then, explore what science has to say about creating a culture of civility and trust that will improve your daily interactions and bottom line costs. Trust is the key to improving employee engagement and organizational culture.

    Courtney Peterson, Director of Human Resources, Sidwell Friends School
    Kristen Riley, Human Resource Director, Open Window School