Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI)
Leadership is deeply personal and relational, yet it also involves skills, techniques and habits of mind that individuals may develop and cultivate over time. Who is an emerging leader? An emerging leader is anyone with some experience with, aptitude for and interest in leadership along with a desire to learn more.
The NYSAIS Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI) is designed to meet the demands of today’s emerging independent school leaders by fostering individual growth while exposing participants to the best examples of leadership in today’s schools. The program’s curriculum is both theoretical and practical and intimately connected, through a range of NYSAIS programs, to concrete examples of school leadership in action. An important theory behind the Emerging Leaders Institute is that leaders learn best by doing. As such, much of the program’s curriculum is tied directly to the participants’ work in schools. Leadership can be found in many shapes and forms in independent schools, and this program is designed to meet the needs of those at an early stage of their leadership journey. It is not designed for current division directors, assistant heads or others with considerable formal leadership authority within their schools.
ELI is a two-year course of study, during which emerging leaders from NYSAIS schools become members of a dynamic cohort, work alongside experienced school leaders and develop a customized program to meet their own personal goals and objectives. In addition to the residential components, cohort members participate in an online community that involves social networking, webinars on specific topics and shared readings. The online community is an ongoing resource for participants with periodic scheduled meetings and required assignments. During the second year, cohort members work on individual projects related to their personal goals and areas of interest. NYSAIS is interested in increasing the number of women and people of color in educational leadership positions and encourages their application to this program.
Over the course of two years, cohort members will participate in:
Three residential summer retreats
Two residential conferences
One Trustee governance workshop
One accreditation visit
A series of webinars
A mentor partnership
An on-line community with regular meetings
An independent leadership project
Charting a vision
Building and maintaining high performing teams
Supporting diverse constituencies
Communicating under pressure
Designing and facilitating meetings
Year One - Specific Dates for 2019-20:
January 16, 2019 - Application Deadline
March 15, 2019 - Cohort announced
July 29 - 31, 2019 - Summer Leadership Retreat
November 13 - 15, 2019 - NYSAIS Division Heads/Assistant Heads Conference
NYSAIS Accreditation Visit (Various: Spring 2020, Fall 2020 or Spring 2021)
Year Two - Specific Dates for 2020-21:
August 26 - 28, 2020 - Summer Leadership Retreat
September or December, 2020 - Trustee Governance Conference of your choice (Manhattan and Westchester, respectively)
NYSAIS Residential administrative Mohonk conference of your choice (Various: i.e. Business Affairs, Admissions, Advancement, Information Technology)
June 23 - 25, 2021 - Summer Leadership Retreat
Our next ELI cohort will begin in July 2019. The application process is now open. Applications are due by January 16, 2019, and must include a letter of recommendation from the applicant's Head of School. Click here for application form.
Listen to what past ELI participants have to say about their experience serving on an NYSAIS accreditation visiting committee
“The ELI experience in general has opened my eyes to so many elements of school leadership, and every bit of it has exposed me to something new – from the governance workshop to the admissions conference I just attended to the to assistant and division heads conference last year.”
"The ELI program is incredibly expansive, challenging, and enriching. By encouraging technologists and librarians to pursue leadership positions, NYSAIS and NAIS schools can tap into a set of uniquely broad, forward-looking visions for schools."
“My experience on the accreditation committee was eye opening. Through the whirlwind of those three days I learned more about the inner workings of a school than I’ve ever known about my own school.”
“ELI is about connections.”
“It’s often said that people learn best by doing, and that maxim proved true during my accreditation experience.”
“Having a bird’s eye view of a school was an invaluable experience. It gave me an understanding of the different roles within an administrative team, the engine fueling both the academic and operational program and the constraints under which people operate.”
“This has been a great experience and I really value the connections I have made. I am looking forward to maintaining these connections in the years to come.”
The principal leaders of ELI are George Swain and Marcy Mann. Additional facilitators contribute to the program in various ways.
Please contact George Swain and Marcy Mann for additional information.
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.
Marcy Mann is currently the Assistant Director for Professional Development at NYSAIS. She has also served as the Associate Head at Professional Children's School, and was a division head in three schools: Upper School Head at Nightingale-Bamford School and as Middle School Director at The Calhoun School and The Hackley School. She holds an advanced degree in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University, as well as having attended the Principal’s Institute at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Marcy has also served on the staff of the NYSAIS Beginning Teachers Institute, Young Women’s Leadership Institute at Barnard College, the NYSAIS Professional Development Committee, and is a founding member of the NYSAIS Commission on Professional Learning and Collaboration.
Together, George and Marcy have worked with dozens of administrators over the years through a workshop series designed for new division heads entitled “Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire.”