NYSAIS's Experienced Leaders Advising Schools (ELAS) Program is a mission-driven initiative to help independent schools succeed in today’s complex and ever-changing world.

Established in 2012 to meet a growing need from member schools, ELAS provides high-impact, low-cost advising and mentoring in areas such as governance, leadership, and long-term planning.

See testimonials

Experienced Leaders

ELAS advisors, referred to as ELAS Ed-visors, include retired heads of school and senior administrators with significant experience and expertise in independent schools. Our experienced Ed-visors have extensive knowledge in independent school management and stand ready to assist NYSAIS schools in finance and investment, fundraising, strategic planning, board structure, governance, succession planning, school leadership, and accreditation. 

See their bios

Team-Based Model

ELAS, where appropriate, utilizes a team-based approach, providing schools with the skills, talents, and experience best suited to meet their needs.

Ed-visors are trained in organizational consulting and mentoring and are rigorously assessed for efficacy to ensure consistency among advising engagements, called Ed-visements.

Customized Solutions

As in the best independent schools, ELAS does not use a boilerplate, one-size-fits-all approach. Built upon a solid foundation of best practices combined with current research, each Ed-visement will be custom-designed to meet the specific needs of your educational community. 

To learn how ELAS can help your educational community, please contact Shannon Rogers, the ELAS Administrator, at shannon@nysais.org.


I wanted to extend my sincerest thanks to you for having an ELAS Ed-visor come to our school. We had an incredibly productive strategic planning retreat. The Ed-visor was instrumental in assisting the restructuring of the Board. This past week, the Board has done more work than I can ever remember, and we are meeting again on Monday to implement new procedures and policies.

Thank you for arranging this and all your help and support. I feel confident that we will be able to insure the sustainability of our school.

I look forward to seeing you at Mohonk.

NYSAIS Head of School


We had a very good experience working with our ELAS Ed-visor. He came for one day, and it is good to know that we can call on him again if we need him. We're working through some things on this end, and then may reach out again for more help. ELAS is a terrific resource, and I will definitely use it again if the need arises."

NYSAIS Head of School


Dear ELAS Ed-visor,

Thank you for your support and guidance during these past several months. You provided us with the explicit direction, structure and inspiration we definitely needed. However much my administrative team is willing to roll up its sleeves and get through a process, you were wonderful about reminding us to not lose sight of the larger vision. You helped us keep that at the center of our community’s conversation.

It seemed that by the end of our retreat, the general participants departed feeling engaged. I believe the trustees were satisfied we have identified several initiatives that will ensure the sustainability of the school.

NYSAIS Head of School


My school retained two ELAS ed-visors. The planning, visit, interviewing, and final report were all superbly done. The ed-visors were consummate professionals who drew on their respective vast experiences as highly successful former heads of school. Most impressive to me was how quickly they gained the trust of those they interviewed, assuring complete confidentiality and feelings of safety. Their final report was comprehensive and thorough and has provided me with clear directives and action steps moving forward.

 I would recommend the use of ELAS for consulting in NYSAIS independent schools with the greatest enthusiasm and with unqualified support.

 NYSAIS Head of School

NYSAIS Events Registration
    • April 13, 2021 NEIT (NYSAIS Education Information Technology) Online Conference 2021 4:00 PM to 6:00 PMeSeminar
      Online via zoom
      Presenter: Rory Mir and Shirin Mori
      Target Audience: Librarians, Technologists and Technology Directors

      Details and registration here
    • April 14, 2021 Improvisational Play in the Virtual Classroom 4:00 PM to 5:30 PMeSeminar
      Online via zoom
      Presenter: Elana Fishbein
      4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
      Audience: Pre-K to 5th grade teachers; space is limited

      SOLD OUT!
      Details and waitlist here.
    • April 15, 2021 Annual LGBTQ+ Gathering - Poetry is Not a Luxury: Activism, Poetry, and Black Feminist Joy 6:00 PM to 7:30 PMeSeminar
      Online via zoom, 6:00 pm-7:30 pm
      Speakers: Roya Marsh, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan
      Audience: LGBTQ+ educators and administrators 
      Hosted by NYSAIS Diversity Committee

      Details and registration here.
    • April 19, 2021 Global & Cultural Competence: Nurture Belonging & Deeper Learning in Younger Grades 4:00 PM to 6:00 PMeSeminar

      Online via zoom, Homa Tavangar, Author and co-founder of BigQuestions.Institute

      Audience: PK-6 faculty, staff, school leadership

      Registration and details here.

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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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