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Trustee Governance Conference: Strategic Thinking for Boards and Heads of School

Date: Saturday - December 09, 2017
Time: 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM
Location: Masters School
49 Clinton Ave, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522    Map
Speakers: Drew Casertano, Tim Fish, William Kummel, Mark Lauria, Mark Mitchell, Caryn Pass, Jay Pearlman, Judith Sheridan, George Swain, Bob Vitalo

Strategic Thinking for Boards and Heads of School

Register Here

Campus Map

All sessions will occur in the Middle School Building

Schedule

8:30 – 9:00

Continental Breakfast and Registration

9:00 - 9:15
Doc Wilson Hall

Welcome - Mark Lauria, Executive Director, NYSAIS
Laura Danforth, Head of School, The Masters School

9:15 - 9:45 
Doc Wilson Hall

Keynote – Re-imagining Independent Schools: An Innovator’s Journey
Tim Fish, Chief Innovation Officer, NAIS

Uncertainty is our new narrative, driven by disruptors that challenge an often familiar and comfortable status quo. But flux offers independent schools enormous opportunities to innovate, reimagine, and fully realize their missions. In this session, Tim Fish will look at what needs to be in place for whole school innovation to succeed and will equip participants with new capabilities to help build a future-wise school.

10:00 - 10:50

Breakout Sessions 1 

Doc Wilson Hall

1. Legal Trends in Independent School Boards of Trustees
Caryn Pass, Venable, LLC

Legal issues facing independent schools require an increasing amount of time and attention from school administrators as well as Trustees.  As a fiduciary and trustee of the institution it is important for board members to keep abreast of the legal issues that could face the school and pose both financial and other burdens on the institution.  Independent School Lawyer Caryn Pass will discuss the wide range of legal challenges confronting independent schools and pro-active strategies that can limit liability exposure. Ms. Pass will address issues including student travel, social media, intellectual property, and transgender students & employees.

109

2. Financial Sustainability: Enrollment, Affordability and Financial Aid
Mark Mitchell, NAIS, SSS

In the post-2008 recession economy, schools are continually and increasingly forced to ask and examine:  “How does our price affect our ability to enroll the class we want?” Examining trends in tuition growth, enrollment and the admission funnel, compared to family demographic and income change can yield important observations about the future of affordability and demand.  Let’s take a look at both national and New York-specific trends and have a conversation about how admissions leaders can engage heads and trustees on issues of price, financial aid, and demand moving forward.

 107

3. Institutional Economics: Establish and Sustain a Clear Operating Strategy and Economic Model
William Kummel, Principal, Rational Partners

The traditional economic model of independent schools and colleges is highly stressed and getting harder. Program revenue and expense doubled over 25 years in real terms. Philanthropy dynamics frequently press endowment draw over target. Core constituents seek clarity in institutional competitive advantage and outcome measurements. Therefore, an effective, efficient and sustainable balance of resources to environment – effective positioning, a tight ship and efficient philanthropy – is critical.

Ultimately, institutions must establish and sustain a clear operating strategy and economic model for unique, meaningful education program, student population and philanthropic support. Once successful, a school secures for itself:

  • Unique marke tposition
  • Material competitive advantage
  • Sustainable economics

This presentation provides three board-level tools to do so: integrated roadmap, analytic methodology and performance benchmarks. In this session, apply methodology and metrics to understand and secure for your school a near and long-term operating strategy and sustainable economic model. Presentation includes benchmark data from 300 northeast independent schools and liberal arts colleges. 

108

4. Trusteeship 101
Mark Lauria, Executive Director, NYSAIS

Especially for new Trustees, Mark  Lauria will review essential steps to becoming a valuable, contributing member of your Board of Trustees.

106

5. NYSAIS Accreditation: Critical to Board Success
Judith Sheridan and George Swain, Directors of Accreditation, NYSAIS
Robert D. Vitalo, Head of School, The Berkeley Carroll School

Effective and strategic-minded governance is crucial to securing a durable and viable future for schools.The  review of best practices strengthens school governance and ensures that individual trustees are knowledgeable of their critical role in the health of the school they serve. School accreditation is a vital instrument in this regard, applying rigorous standards in governance, which ask trustees to reflect and evaluate their attainment in such matters as internalizing the mission and culture of their schools, understanding the proper roles of trustees, providing strategic vision or planning, functioning ethically and ensuring that the financial resources are secured so that goals can be met. Such self-examination is essential to school improvement.

During this session, Bob Vitalo, Judith Sheridan and George Swain will review and discuss the accreditation process in ways designed to meet the needs of trustees immediately engaged in accreditation review or anticipating the process in the future.

10:50 - 11:00     

Break

11:00 – 11:50

Breakouts 2

Doc Wilson Hall

1. Legal Trends in Independent School Boards of Trustees
Caryn Pass, Venable, LLC

Legal issues facing independent schools require an increasing amount of time and attention from school administrators as well as Trustees.  As a fiduciary and trustee of the institution it is important for board members to keep abreast of the legal issues that could face the school and pose both financial and other burdens on the institution.  Independent School Lawyer Caryn Pass will discuss the wide range of legal challenges confronting independent schools and pro-active strategies that can limit liability exposure. Ms. Pass will address issues including student travel, social media, intellectual property, and transgender students & employees.

109

2. Financial Sustainability: Enrollment, Affordability and Financial Aid
Mark Mitchell, NAIS, SSS

In the post-2008 recession economy, schools are continually and increasingly forced to ask and examine:  “How does our price affect our ability to enroll the class we want?” Examining trends in tuition growth, enrollment and the admission funnel, compared to family demographic and income change can yield important observations about the future of affordability and demand.  Let’s take a look at both national and New York-specific trends and have a conversation about how admissions leaders can engage heads and trustees on issues of price, financial aid, and demand moving forward.

108

4. Board Chair Roundtable – a conversation 
Moderated by Mark Lauria, NYSAIS
Drew Casertano, Headmaster, Millbrook School

This is an opportunity for Board Chairs to discuss issues and concerns in an environment of collegiality, confidentiality, and support. The moderators have long experience in governance and school leadership. 

106

5. Branding Refresh: Process, Product and Lessons Learned
Tony Featherston, Head of School, The Town School; Jodie Wilkerson, Director of Communications, The Town School

The Town School recently wrapped up a year-long exploration of and refresh of our branding. The process was intensely collaborative with both the Town community and a creative agency. Join Head of School Tony Featherston and Communications Director Jodie Wilkerson as they share their story, their outcomes, and some key lessons they learned along the way.

12:00 – 1:30     
Doc Wilson Hall

 

Working Luncheon - Institutional Economics for Heads and Boards: An Integrated Approach to Program, Population and Philanthropy
Drew Casertano, Headmaster, Millbrook School
William Kummel, Principal, Rational Partners

Fifteen years from now, will your institutional choices be (i) more and better, (ii) comparable, or (iii) fewer and worse? Large forces challenge the traditional economic model of independent schools. For many schools, the current trajectory is likely to be fewer and worse. Why is this?

Through the presentation we will

  • Investigate actions to take in the next five years to ensure future choices.
  • Appraise market position, comparative advantage and financial performance.
  • Optimize market, educational and financial dynamics for near and long-term performance.
  • Explore full-pay domestic as keystone to program, population and philanthropy.
  • Casertano will illustrate 27 years of working the issue at Millbrook and through the North American Boarding School Initiative. Kummel will provide an analytic framework and performance benchmarks. Session to include extended Q&A.  


Drew Casertano has been headmaster at Millbrook School since 1990. In that time the applicant pool has tripled, the enrollment has doubled, and the endowment has grown sixfold. A graduate of Amherst College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, he has also served as president of the board of NYSAIS, president of the Headmasters Association and chair of the Executive Committee of North American Boarding School Initiative (NABI). 

 

 

 

Tim Fish was appointed as the first Chief Innovation Officer at NAIS on July 1.  He has deep roots in the independent school community and a long history at McDonogh School (Maryland). Most recently, he was the school’s associate headmaster and served as interim CFO. During his time at McDonogh, he also oversaw the K-12 admissions and financial aid process, the academic program, facility development,  faculty development, technology, diversity, and strategic planning.
Fish was also the founding president and CEO of the FolioCollaborative, a nonprofit community of more than 125 schools around the world focused on working together to build a flexible faculty/staff development process that is grounded in strong relationships and meaningful conversations. From 2011 to 2013, Fish managed the growth of the collaborative, seeing it through from its start-up roots to become the full-fledged community of independent schools that it now is.
In his new role at NAIS, Tim is leading the information technology team, ensuring its focus on both infrastructure and innovation, as well as the ed tech/teaching and learning and the DASL research teams. He is also be responsible for creating processes and frameworks for discovering new solutions and approaches to old problems, nurturing practices for creative thinking throughout the organization, and monitoring research and development in the field to spot trends in innovation and supplement research findings in the K-12 education landscape.
Tim is the co-author of the book Leadership and Technology at Independent Schools.  He started his career as a 4th-grade teacher and has served as a founder, board member, and consultant for a variety of education and technology-related schools, organizations, and companies.  Tim has an undergraduate degree from St. Francis University and a Masters from George Mason University.  He is also the father of four children ranging in age from 21 to 12.

William Kummel is a Principal of Rational Partners, a New York-based management consultant to independent schools and colleges in institutional economics, benchmarking and advancement. His work measures and evaluates near and long-term institutional market position, comparative advantage and financial sustainability. Bill holds an MBA and JD from Georgetown, a BA in Architecture from Yale and is a graduate of Phillips Academy as well as Buckley, Episcopal and All Souls of New York City. He is a recent presenter and roundtable participant to NAIS Commission on Accreditation (NAIS CoA), Enrollment Management Association, Friends Council on Education (FCE), Small Boarding Schools Association (SBSA) and Heads Consortium as well as regional and state associations of independent schools. 

 

Dr. Mark W. Lauria has been the Executive Director for the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) since 2009. Prior to his work with NYSAIS, Dr. Lauria served for thirteen years as the Headmaster at Foothill Country Day School (FCDS) in Claremont, California. While Headmaster at FCDS, he served as the President of the Board of Directors and the Chair of the Board of Standards for the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS). In addition to his work in independent schools, he served as the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, elementary school Principal, and middle school Assistant Principal in the Ontario-Montclair School District. He is a current member of the Board of Trustees for the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) and the Cloud Forest School Foundation (CSF) in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

 
Mark J. Mitchell is the vice president for School and Student Services By NAIS, where he oversees knowledge creation initiatives supporting more than 2,100 K-12 schools and other organizations through workshops, institutes, seminars, print and web-based resource material, blogs, and consultative guidance in the effective administration of financial aid programs.  Mark is a frequent presenter at local, state, regional, and national conferences on school financial aid policy and practices, tuition pricing, affordability, demographic and income trends.  He has authored several articles and book chapters on education financing and financial aid strategies in magazines and books. He earned his BS in Communication Studies from Northwestern University, where he served as assistant director of financial aid.  He also has worked as coordinator of new student financial aid at Lake Forest College and as an account executive for Access Group, Inc, a firm specializing in graduate student education financing.  He is an alumnus and past trustee of Moorestown Friends School in New Jersey.  Based in Washington, DC, he can be reached by email at mitchell@nais.org or by phone at 202-973-9766.

Caryn Pass has represented independent schools for over 25 years. As chair of Venable’s Education Practice she advices over 200 schools nationwide on a wide range of legal issues while tracking trends specific to independent schools.

Ms. Pass works with schools on legal issues raised by students, parents, employees, trustees, donors, alumni, neighbors, and vendors by establishing policies, procedures, and strategies that promote positive working and learning environments while limiting potential liability exposure. A problem solver and strategic thinker, Ms. Pass helps avoid liability in a manner consistent with school culture.

Ms. Pass works on documents utilized by independent schools, including employment, enrollment and contractor agreements. She advises on the proper use of technology and social media, wage and hour compliance, employee and student discipline, admissions, investment and financial issues, FMLA, performance evaluation design, and employee termination. She conducts investigations involving students, employees, and other members of the school community. In addition, she reviews employee and student handbooks, develops emergency preparedness plans and works with experts in the assessment of campus security. Ms. Pass designs and reviews by-laws and governance policies and works with boards to establish good governance.

Jay Pearlman is an Associate Vice President of Sightlines, a Gordian company. Connecticut-based with offices in PA and OR, Sightlines is the leading provider of facilities planning, reporting, benchmarking and analysis to universities and colleges. The firm operates the largest verified intelligence database of facilities in higher education, comprised of 450 institutions encompassing 50,000 campus buildings and 1.5 billion square feet. Clients include 70% of the Top 20 liberal arts colleges, 75% of Top 20 private universities, 13 of 14 Big 10 universities and 34 flagship state universities. With Sightlines since its inception, Jay has played a variety of roles across the company spanning operations, business development, quality control and product development. He is a recent presenter at National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), the National Business Officers Association (NBOA), and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Jay is a frequent contributor to articles and has also been a guest blogger for the Chronicle of Higher Education. He received his BA from Vassar College. 

Judith Sheridan is the Associate Director for Evaluation and Accreditation. Prior to her work at NYSAIS, following a career in higher education, Judy was the High School Director of the Dalton School, and the Associate Director of the Putney School in Vermont, where she taught in the English departments. Additionally she was the Director of Columbia University’s School and Childcare Search Service. She has facilitated workshops for NAIS and NYSAIS, and has presented at a number of conferences. Judy is the administrator of ELAS (Experienced Leaders Advising Schools. She has published articles on both educational and literary subjects. Judy earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from SUNY-Binghamton and holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in English Literature and History from the University of Rhode Island.

 George Swain is currently Associate Director for Evaluation and Accreditation at NYSAIS. He has also served as Head of Middle School at both Poughkeepsie Day School and Brooklyn Friends School. He holds advanced degrees in Educational Leadership from Columbia University and in History from Binghamton University and has received both the Klingenstein and NAIS/EE Ford Fellowships. George has also served on the staff of the NYSAIS Beginning Teachers Institute, the NYSAIS Division/Assistant Heads Conference Committee and is a founding member of the NYSAIS Commission on Professional Learning and Collaboration. He has offered workshops for teachers and administrators on a range of subjects.  

Bob Vitalo has been the Head of The Berkeley Carroll School since 2006.  Berkeley Carroll is a PreK through Grade 12 school of 975 students and is located in the Park Slope section of New York City.  Prior to coming to Berkeley Carroll Bob was Head of Fairfield Country Day School, a Kindergarten through 9th grade school for boys, in Connecticut and before that he was the Head of School at Media-Providence Friends School, Nursery through 8th grade, in Media, Pennsylvania. 
Bob is presently Vice-Chair of the NYSAIS Commission on Accreditation and serves as a trustee of the Independent School Admissions Association of Greater New York. He has served on town boards in Media, PA  and Fairfield, CT, the board of the Mary McDowell Friends School, the Friends of Tech International Charter School, and was Board Chair at the McGivney Community Center in Bridgeport Connecticut. 

Suggested Hotel

Hilton Tarrytown
Address: 455 S Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591
Phone: (914) 631-5700

Transportation from the Train:

Masters School vans can offer a Train Shuttle at the times below.
 
o    From Grand Central at 7:20 AM             arrives at Dobbs Ferry at 8:05 AM
o    From Grand Central at 7:47 AM             arrives at Dobbs Ferry at 8:32 AM
 
o    From Dobbs Ferry at 1:20 PM                arrives at Grand Central at 2:07 PM      
o    From Dobbs Ferry at 1:50 PM                arrives at Grand Central at 2:28 PM


Registration fee covers breakfast and lunch.

Registration and Credit Card Payment

A late fee of $10 will apply after December 1st. Group discounts (5 or more registering together) are available. Questions? Contact maria@nysais.org

To get the best pricing, be sure to register your group together in a single transaction. Addiing attendees at a later time will be treated as a new transaction.

Register Here

  • NYSAIS Members - $80.00
    • Group rate (5 or more registering together) $65.00
  • Non-members - $90.00
    • Group rate (5 or more registering together) $75.00
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