2019 Keynote/Featured Sessions


How Schools Can Develop Caring and Thriving Students

Richard Weissbourd

Today’s culture as well as parents and schools tend to be intensely focused on children’s happiness and achievements. But the preoccupation with these two factors—and the constant praising of kids that goes with it—can undermine children’s capacity to care for others and their investment in the common good. Further, concentrating so much on achievement and happiness risks making kids not only less caring, but ironically, less happy and less likely to achieve at high levels.  In the current socio-economic climate, where tolerance and empathy seem to be in short supply, it’s more important than ever to help children develop concern for others and our collective fate.  This talk will explore these current trends and provide concrete strategies for raising empathic, caring, justice-minded children who are also happy and able to pursue meaningful achievement. 

Mr. Weissbourd is a Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he co-directs the Human Development and Psychology Program, and the Kennedy School of Government. His work focuses on moral development, vulnerability and resilience in childhood and effective schools and services for children. He directs the Making Caring Common Project, a national effort to make moral and social development priorities in child-raising and to provide strategies to schools and parents for promoting in children caring, a commitment to justice and other key moral and social capacities. He is currently working with numerous college admissions offices to elevate and more effectively assess ethical character, to reduce excessive achievement pressure and to increase equity and access in the college admissions process. He is also conducting research on how older adults can better mentor young adults and teenagers in developing caring, ethical, mature romantic relationships. He is a founder of several interventions for at-risk children, including ReadBoston and WriteBoston, city-wide literacy initiatives led by Mayor Menino. He is also a founder of a pilot school in Boston, the Lee Academy, that begins with children at 3 years old. He has advised on the city, state and federal levels on family policy and school reform and has written for numerous scholarly and popular publications and blogs, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and NPR. He is the author of The Vulnerable Child: What Really Hurts America’s Children and What We Can Do About It (Addison-Wesley, 1996), named by the American School Board Journal as one of the top 10 education books of all time. His most recent book, 

The Parents We Mean to Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children’s Moral and Emotional Development (Houghton Mifflin 2009), was named by The New Yorker as one of the top 24 books of 2009. 

Richard will be conducting a book signing after the keynote presentation. If you wish to get your book signed, please pre-order your copy and bring it with you to the conference. 


The Runway is as Important as the Flight

Jim Zimmerman

Mega gifts and transformational campaigns are not spontaneous. The key to real, big success depends on excellent preparation. Taking time to strengthen staffing, systems, and volunteer activity, verify your prospect pool with data and analytics, and develop a strong campaign rationale are all critical. Get these things right and you’ll inspire donors to invest in your vision, putting “big” success within reach!

• What are the crucial planning steps for a campaign?
• How do you ensure you don’t leave money on the table?
• What is the role of the Head of School and of the Board?
• What’s the difference between strategic priorities, a “case for support” and your school’s vision?
• What do you do if you don’t have a “fundraising board”?
• If you find that you are not campaign ready, what is next?

Jim Zimmerman, Senior Consultant & Principal , Marts & Lundy


Pathways to Headship for the
Aspiring Boarding School Leader

Devereaux McClatchey

Making the leap from educator or administrator to school leader can seem both daunting and unclear. What strategies will help better position an aspiring leader for advancement? What landmines in the search process should one avoid at all costs?  

This session is designed to shed some light on the journey to headship. Hear from a seasoned school head and a senior leadership search consultant as they share a curated list of the most important steps one should take, as well as a number of real-world anecdotes from recent searches that will better position anyone interested in Headship.

Devereaux McClatchey, President, Carney, Sandoe & Associates MA
Anthony Sgro, Head of School, Asheville School NC

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