2019 PreCons

Some of the most exciting things
at this year’s Conference happen
before the Conference



8:30AM – 3:30PM
Paula Chu, Faculty, Stanley King Counseling Institute, MA
Holly Hinderlie, Wellness Coordinator, Choate Rosemary Hall, CT
Ellen Porter Honnet, Director, Stanley King Counseling Institute, MA

As student stress rises in an epidemic of anxiety, depression, and poor coping methods, what do we as educators have to offer as an antidote? We have ourselves in connection with our students; we offer our own steadiness and connected presence as stabilizing forces. Not feeling so steady, you say? Come to this interactive session to learn some tools for developing our own resilience, tapping into the power of connection as the ultimate source of wellness for all of us.


Complimentary Pre-Conference session for new Heads — and Heads new to Boarding — who began their roles in 2019 or 2020 as Heads of School (TABS Members only)

8:30AM – 3:00PM 
Suzanne Walker Buck, Head of School, Western Reserve Academy, OH
Alex Curtis, Head of School, Choate Rosemary Hall, CT
Laura Danforth, Head of School, The Masters School, NY
Brian P. Easler, Head of School, Wilbraham & Monson Academy, MA
Anthony Sgro, Ed.D., Head of School, Asheville School, NC

Being a Head is being a leader. Heading a Boarding School is a unique journey encompassing many domains of leadership. Designed specifically for new Heads just starting or about to begin the journey, TABS New Heads Symposium is a rich, day-long exploration of the challenges and opportunities of leading your community, your school, your organization—and yourself.  A faculty of boarding school Heads with diverse experiences will share what you can expect professionally and personally, and offer thoughts on how to best orient yourself for initial and enduring success. The program does not replace, but builds upon the NAIS New Heads Institute and other standing offerings in the field, yet it takes a singular view of the unique dimensions and differences of boarding school Headship. In addition to key information and sound professional counsel, you’ll also develop a peer network of new and experienced Boarding School Heads, and leave with a set of resources you can carry with you as you step forward into leadership.


8:00AM – 12:00PM 
Angela Yang-Handy, Dean of Global, Experiential & Community Engagement, Northfield Mount Hermon, MA
Michael Shaver, Director of International Market Growth, TABS

An increasing number of independent schools are turning to international student recruitment as a means to meet enrollment targets, attain student diversity goals, and advance global education initiatives. While a promising strategy to secure financial stability and contribute towards programmatic enrichment, schools need to make financial, structural, strategic, and programmatic investments to ensure successful experiences for students and schools alike. In this workshop, we will unpack the international student lifecycle, discussing key issues spanning admissions, campus life, college counseling, and advancement. Through various activities, workshop participants will examine their current initiatives and will leave with a plan of action for creating conditions for success for international students at their schools.

Target Audience: This workshop is designed for a broad range of participants, from admissions, student life, college counseling, alumni and advancement personnel. Schools at the early stages of starting a new program as well as those interested in reviewing their long-standing efforts will benefit from this workshop.

Learning Outcomes:

• Understand the lifecycle of an international student at independent boarding schools in the U.S.
• Identify the issues, opportunities, real challenges, and impacts for students and our schools.
• Examine your school’s context, and your unique challenges and opportunities.
• Develop a plan of action to address the lifecycle issues for international students at your schools.


12:00PM – 4:30PM
Melanie Bennett, Risk Management Counsel, United Educators, MD
Chris Button, Associate Head of School, Virginia Episcopal School, VA
Holly Burks Becker, Director of College Counseling, Lawrenceville School, NJ
Scott Dorsett, Director of Athletics, The Webb School, TN
Jeffrey Durso-Finley, Director of College Counseling, Lawrenceville School, NJ
Linda Johnson, Attorney, McLane Middleton, PA, NH
Jena Jones, Assistant Director of Athletics, The Webb School, TN

In an environment of increased expectations from parents and greater stress on faculty and student-athletes, schools need to look critically at the risks and opportunities offered in today’s high stakes athletic environment. This pre-conference session will focus on the increasing risks and challenges of managing one of the largest and most public aspects of boarding schools. In addition, we will focus on how to help your student-athletes find the right college program for their ability and how to deal with challenging personalities. We will also have a panel of legal experts, athletic directors, and school administrators to run a round-table discussion on hot topics in boarding school athletics today.
Also, a panel consisting of athletic directors, school administrators, and legal experts will facilitate round-table discussions on the issues dominating athletics in schools today, such as:

• Coach development
• Increased pressure for specialization
• Pressure on the triple threat
• Expectations at admission
• The future of football programs


8:00AM – 12:00PM 
Emily DeSanctis, MBA, Director of Training and Education, Consulting Services, RAINN
, PA

Presenter Bio
 Following the revelations of sexual misconduct at multiple boarding schools and the changing climate surrounding sexual harassment, greater expectations are placed on administrators, faculty, and staff to properly address these difficult topics. As schools weigh priorities and resources to determine next steps forward in preventing and responding to sexual misconduct, additional complexities arise: What do safer communities involve? How do we effectively engage every stakeholder group within our community, including employees, parents, students, alumni, and board members? How can we work together as a community to prevent incidents from occurring in the first place? 

• An overview of sexual harassment and assault;
• Implications of new standards of responsibility of awareness and response for educational institutions
• Key aspects of safer school communities
• Building effective and comprehensive sexual misconduct programming 
• Resources for survivors and supporters 

NOTE:  RAINN will also provide timeslots for educators to discuss concerns related to sexual misconduct with Emily in the afternoon. If you’re planning on attending this session: please fill out an anonymous, 3-minute survey to help us understand your concerns and ensure this session is relevant to you. Your feedback is incredibly valuable.

*All participants will receive a printed copy of the recent Task Force Report co-produced by TABS & NAIS titled: Prevention and Response: Recommendations for Independent School Leaders from the Independent School Task Force on Educator Sexual Misconduct.


8:00AM – 12:00PM 
Karen Callahan, Senior Consultant & Principal; Leader, Schools Practice, Marts & Lundy

Doug Stewart, Chairman of the Board, Senior Consultant & Principal, Marts & Lundy
Jim Zimmerman, Senior Consultant & Principal, Marts & Lundy
Taylor Stockdale, Head of Schools, Webb Schools (CA)

Demands on boarding school leaders are increasingly shaped by the challenges of competition at every level. No matter the type of school, competition for the best students, teachers, administrators, donors, and volunteers, is intense. This competition demands thinking differently about your school’s strategic direction. It is time for schools to change the way they engage with key internal and external stakeholders. More than ever, shared responsibility – and reimagining the role campaigns play in achieving success – is essential. This session will focus on these issues and explore innovative approaches for optimal outcomes and effective funding strategies. A perfect opportunity for aspiring and sitting Heads, Advancement leaders, and senior team members involved in shaping the strategic direction at their school.

W-7  In Data We Trust: Sharpening Your Edge Through A Data-Driven Enrollment Strategy

12:30PM – 3:30PM 
Bethany Little, EVP of Community Brands K-12 Solutions, Community Brands, FL

Ryan Bowse, VP of Sales & Customer Success, Community Brands, FL
Dino Balafas, VP of Product Development, Community Brands, FL

“Without big data, you are blind and deaf and in the middle of a freeway.” Author and consultant Geoffrey Moore colorfully reminds us of the importance of using data to inform our most critical strategies. But finding the right data is the crucial, and very few things bring a twinkle to the eyes of enrollment and school leadership like the finding and utilizing the data needed to influence a winning enrollment strategy. 

Join this session led by experts at Community Brands to participate in a conversation around key data and insights that can influence and change your enrollment strategy for the better. We’ll tap into the endless insights found in Ravenna and SSS across independent day and boarding schools nationally so you have a broad understanding of the trends that emerged form the last enrollment season and how they compare to recent seasons. 

We’ll break our time together into three parts, working to answer several important questions:
1. Who are you targeting? Where are they? 
2. What does the data say about family behavior (how do families find you, apply, and pay for private education)?
3. How do you make the data meaningful? How do you make the data work for you? 

By the end of the session, you’ll have loads of data and information you can use as a benchmark for your own school, grow your understanding of what’s happening in schools across the country, leaving you poised and confident that you can use all this information to solidify a winning enrollment strategy for your school. 


The following session will be hosted at local boarding schools on Thursday, December 5th. Transportation and lunch will be provided. 


8:00AM – 2:15PM
St. Mark’s School & Fay School
Get out of your school’s campus “bubble” and get to know what’s happening at Boston area member schools. Attendees will enjoy tours and meals on campus. A great opportunity to learn more about what’s happening and you might even get some good ideas to bring back to your campus!

8:00am – Pickup at Boston Marriott Copley Place
9:00am – Breakfast and tour at St. Mark’s School
11:15am – Depart for Fay School
11:30am – Lunch and tour at Fay School
1:30pm – Depart for Marriott Copley Place

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