Conferences & Workshops

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Trustee Governance Workshop

Date: Monday - September 21, 2015
Time: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Location: Abraham Joshua Heschel School
20 W End Ave, New York, NY 10023
Speakers: Caryn Pass, Mark Lauria, Jack Sproul

With the volume, velocity & variety of information growing exponentially every year it is crucial for schools to capture the relevant data points that inform effective strategy decisions. This will be a required new skill set inside the boardrooms of nonprofits in order to drive success in a fast paced marketplace.

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This Trustee Governance Workshop will be particularly valuable to Board Chairs, Heads and New Trustees. Experienced Trustees are
also welcome to attend.

Schedule for September 21, 2015


5:00 – 5:15


5:15 – 5:30

Welcome and Introduction
Areila Dubler, Head of School, Abraham Joshua Heschel School
Mark Lauria, PhD, Executive Director, NYSAIS
Dane Peters, Experienced Leaders Advising Schools (ELAS)
Scott Gaynor, Stephen Gaynor School, Chair of NYSAIS Board of Trustees

5:30 – 6:45



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.

6:45 – 7:00


7:00 – 8:00

Concurrent Sessions


1. Using By-Laws to “hardwire” good governance
Caryn Pass, Venable, LLC

All too often Boards approach Bylaws as a necessary evil as opposed to a tool that can ensure good governance.  Bylaws establish the Board’s operational guidelines and, if carefully crafted, can assist the Board hardwire good governance.  Independent school lawyer Caryn Pass will describe methods for drafting proactive Bylaws including sections addressing the selection of Trustees, term limits on leadership, standards of performance and indemnification, and insurance issues.


2. Trusteeship 101
Mark Lauria, Ph.D. (Executive Director, NYSAIS
New Trustees meet with Dr. Lauria to learn steps to becoming a valuable, contributing member of your Board of Trustees.

High School Cafeteria

3. Understanding the Essentials of School Finance
Jack Sproule (Business Manager, St. David's School)

Members of the Board's Finance Committee - indeed all board members - need to be razor-sharp in their grasp of the basics of school finance. Attendees will learn about budgets, balance sheets, forecasting, and the red flags that could signal fiscal trouble.


Reception and Networking

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.
Caryn Passhas 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.

Registration fee covers the workshop followed by a wine/cheese reception and the Governance Webinars.

Registration and Credit Card Payment

A late fee of $10 will apply after September 15. Group discounts (5 or more registering together) are available. Questions? Contact

Register Here

  • NYSAIS Members - $65.00
    • Group rate (5 or more registering together) $50.00
  • Non-members - $75.00
    • Group rate (5 or more registering together) $60.00
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© 2013 New York State Association of Independent Schools

site map   |   privacy policy   |   contact us
17 Elk Street (First Floor)     Albany, NY 12207     Tel: 518-694-5500     Fax: 518-694-5501

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