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NYSAIS Divisional Leadership Institute (DLI)

The Divisional Leadership Institute (DLI) is a unique cohort-based professional development opportunity that will create a dynamic environment for new division heads in their first year to learn best practices, ask questions, share concerns, and receive quality feedback.

Many newly-appointed division heads are thrust into positions of significant authority without much training or even the opportunity to reflect with others upon their immediate situations. For many independent school leaders, this is best described as “trial by fire.” The Divisional Leadership Institute (DLI) is designed to break this pattern by providing training, guidance, and support during the critical first year in a new division head’s administrative career.

DLI cohort members, 2024-25, will participate in:

  • A one-day, in-person early summer retreat (June 20th, 2024) at The Trinity School in New York, NY.
  • The three-day Associate Head and Division Head Conference at Mohonk Mountain House (November 20-22, 2024). Participation in DLI includes the registration fee for this conference; participants must pay for rooming at Mohonk Mt. House separately.
  • Three additional in-person meetings
    • October 2024: 10:00-3:00, Location: Trinity School, New York City
    • February 2025: 10:00-3:00, Location: Trinity School, New York City
    • May 2025: 10:00-3:00, Location: Trinity School, New York City
  • One-on-one meetings on Zoom with DLI leaders 

Topics will include:

  • Identity and Leadership
  • Planning and Organization
  • Hiring Process with an Equity Lens
  • Supervision, Feedback, & Evaluation
  • Having Difficult Conversations
  • Crisis Management and Conflict Resolution
  • Equity, Justice, Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging
  • Leadership & Management: Style, Vision, Collaboration
  • Strategic Communication

The Divisional Leadership Institute is designed to engage new leaders in learning about and reflecting on the practice and theory of school leadership while establishing a strong, supportive network of colleagues.

Registration for this program is intended for division directors/heads in their first year of service, and will be managed on a first-come, first-served basis until the cohort has filled. Participation is for those whose responsibility at their schools is at the level of full leadership of their respective divisions. This institute is not intended for those serving in division-level deanships or as assistant division heads.

2024-2025 Registration is now open!


Members: $3500

Non-members: $4200

This fee includes registration at the Division Heads Conference, November 20-22, 2024, though participants and their schools must cover rooming costs at Mohonk Mt. House separately.

Staff (2024-25)

Tasha Elsbach, DLI Co-Director, is the Middle School Head at The Masters School. Prior to her time at Masters, she spent sixteen years as Middle School Head and a history teacher at The Brearley School. Earlier in her career, she taught in the San Francisco Bay Area. Tasha was a Klingenstein Fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University and earned her M.A in Educational Leadership there.

Jason Ford is the Middle School Principal at Trinity School in Manhattan. He began teaching in his hometown of Houston, TX prior to moving to the northeast where he taught math and served as the 7th grade dean and assistant principal at Ethical Culture Fieldston School. Jason has a B.A. in Psychology, and he earned an M.A. in Private School Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Jane Moore, DLI Co-Director, is the Upper School Director at Berkeley Carroll where she has also taught English and history. Jane started her career as a boarding school teacher, dorm parent and coach before working at Riverdale Country School for 13 years as a teacher, dean, and Asst. Head of Upper School. Jane has an M.A. in English from Bread Loaf and a M.S.Ed in School Leadership from Penn.