close icon

ISACS NYSAIS Trustee Series

In partnership with ISACS, NYSAIS is offering our member schools access to this special online educational series for boards and heads of school. This series includes a collection of eight one-hour webinars on important governance topics held each of the following months: August, September, October & December 2023 & February – May 2024. In December 2023 and May 2024 there will be bonus sessions in a roundtable format specifically for incoming & current board chairs.

Trustee Series Brochure

2023-24 Trustee Series Brochure

Target Audience

Trustees and Heads of School from NYSAIS Member Schools


NYSAIS Member Schools can reach out to our support team at support.nysais.org with any questions regarding this series.


More Information


Live webinars will take place via Zoom, 4:00 – 5:00 pm eastern on the following Thursdays unless otherwise noted:

  • Wednesday, August 23, 2023
  • September 14, 2023
  • October 12, 2023
  • December 7, 2023 – Roundtable for incoming & current board chairs only
  • December 14, 2023
  • February 15, 2024
  • March 14, 2024
  • April 25, 2024
  • May 2, 2024 – Roundtable for Incoming & current board chairs only
  • May 16, 2024

To accommodate busy schedules, webinars will be recorded and available to registered schools and their trustees until June 30, 2024, unless otherwise noted. The December 7 and May 2 sessions for incoming and current board chairs will not be recorded.

All trustees and heads who plan to attend the live presentation MUST pre-register on Zoom for each webinar, see “Important Registration Details” tab below for more information.

  • Trustee Series webinars will be recorded, unless otherwise noted. Any content and/or conversations that occurred in Zoom breakout rooms were not recorded.
  • Trustee Series webinar recordings will be available to registered schools to access until June 30, 2024, unless otherwise noted.
  • Instructions on how to access the recordings and applicable resources will be sent within 24-48 hours of the live presentation to the contact person registered on the ISACS website as well as anyone pre-registered on Zoom for that particular webinar.
  • Passwords are not required to access the recordings; however, Trustee Series registrants will be prompted to complete a Zoom On-Demand Online Form before gaining access to each webinar.
  • Recordings must only be accessed by schools that registered for the 2023-24 Trustee Series. Please do not share the recording links with others outside your school community. ISACS will contact any non-registrant who completes the online form and will require a registration fee.

Lynn Wendell headshot

Lynn Wendell

Lynn Wendell has worked as a consultant at more than 90 independent schools and nonprofits. She served as a trustee at three independent schools and as board chair at San Francisco University High School (CA). In addition, she has served on non-profit boards, board committees, and advisory councils.

Sara Goldsmith Schwartz headshot

Sara Goldsmith Schwartz

Sara Goldsmith Schwartz is the founder and president of Schwartz Hannum PC, a law firm based in Andover, MA, that specializes in education, employment, and labor law. In the course of representing more than 250 educational institutions across the U.S., Schwartz has become a trusted advisor to heads of schools, presidents, board chairs, deans, business officers, and others as independent school leaders tackle and resolve matters of school governance, student and employee disciplinary matters, risk management, sexual abuse allegations, and the myriad compliance documents such as enrollment agreements, school bylaws, student/parent handbooks, and more. She is a cum laude graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School.

Mary Kay Markunas headshot

Mary Kay Markunas

Mary Kay Markunas supports NBOA’s professional offerings including the NBOA Annual Meeting, Business Officer Institute, webinars, and online courses, as well as providing resources and support to members. She develops and delivers programs related to independent school business operations, leadership and governance, and nonprofit accounting practices. Markunas joined NBOA in 2015 after serving as the director of finance and operations at The Avery Coonley School (IL) for 12 years. Before joining the independent school community, she worked in corporate finance at a global corporation and in engineering consulting.

Lucinda Lee Katz headshot

Lucinda Lee Katz

Lucinda Lee Katz is a board governance consultant and executive coach. In 2018, she concluded a 14-year tenure as the head of school of Marin Country Day School (CA). Prior to MCDS, she worked with Mayor Daley in Chicago as the chief education officer and served as head of school and principal at The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (IL) from 1986 to 2002. Katz served on the NAIS Editorial Board, vice chair of NAIS, past president for the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), board chair for ISACS, and also served on three private school boards in CA.

Irvenia Waters headshot

Irvenia Waters

Irvenia Waters, MBA is an executive coach, team performance coach, and consultant. She has three decades of experience in management consulting, strategy planning and execution, leadership development, and group facilitation. She has worked with dozens of independent schools and nonprofits and been a leader on independent school and nonprofit boards.

Rob Evans headshot

Rob Evans

Rob Evans, EdD is a psychologist, author, and school consultant. He has worked with more than 1,700 schools, many of them ISACS members, on a wide range of issues, including board governance challenges. His interests are in leadership, helping schools manage change, improving adult relationships within schools, and crisis intervention. He is the author of many articles and three books, including Seven Secrets of the Savvy School Leader: A Guide to Surviving and Thriving and The Human Side of School Change. His newest book Hopes and Fears: Working with Today’s Independent School Parents, co-written with Michael Thompson, was published by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).

Greg Bamford headshot

Greg Bamford

Greg Bamford is a co-founder and senior partner of Leadership+Design. Prior to this, he was associate head of school for strategy and innovation at Charles Wright Academy (WA) and head of school at Watershed School (CO). He is currently on the board for his alma mater, The Overlake School (WA) and on the advisory board for The Hatch School (WA). Bamford brings a strategic lens to leadership development, innovation, and change management. He has been a speaker at conferences and his writing has appeared in publications like Independent School, Net Assets, and The Yield.

Carla Silver headshot

Carla Silver

Carla Silver is the executive director and co-founder of Leadership+Design. She is an experienced independent school educator, school administrator, and designer. Silver partners with schools on strategic design and enhancing the work of leadership teams and boards and designs experiential learning experiences for leaders in schools. She also leads workshops on design thinking, futurist thinking, collaboration and group life, and leadership development. She has presents at NAIS Annual Conferences as well as other regional and local conferences. She serves on the board of the Urban School of San Francisco (CA).

Valaida Wise headshot

Valaida Wise

Valaida Wise, EdD is president and principal consultant of Dr. Valaida Wise Consulting, LLC which supports schools and organizations in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), governance, and leadership. She is a faculty member in the Graduate School of Education at Johns Hopkins University where she teaches about DEI and issues of social justice. An educator for more than 25 years, Wise has served as head of school in several independent schools, as chair of the board at Creative Minds International Public Charter School (DC) and McLean School (MD), and serves on the board of several professional organizations.

Brooke Carroll headshot

Brooke Carroll

Brooke Carroll, PhD is the principal consultant and coach at Acies Strategies, supporting small schools and nonprofits in leadership development, board development, strategic thinking and planning, and head search. Carroll holds a doctorate in educational psychology and has more than 25 years of experience leading schools and nonprofits. Prior to consulting and coaching, she was head of school for nine years at Seneca Academy, an International Baccalaureate World School. She is the author of Governing the Small School, which was published in April 2022.

Georgy Ann Peluchiwski headshot

Georgy Ann Peluchiwski

Georgy Ann Peluchiwski, partner at Greenwich Leadership Partners (GLP) brings decades of experience spanning financial services, nonprofit board service, and independent school leadership. She serves as faculty for the GLP Women’s Leadership Summit with areas of expertise include governance, finance, strategic planning, organizational design, and enterprise risk management. She recently completed 12 years as a trustee at the Latin School of Chicago (IL) including four years as board chair, and four years as treasurer and chair of the finance committee. In addition, she is a director and co-founder of Impact Grants Chicago, an all-women’s, volunteer grant making organization.

Stephanie Rogen headshot

Stephanie Rogen

Stephanie Rogen, principal and founder of GLP is a consultant, coach, and facilitator to educational and nonprofit leadership. Her work integrates more than 25 years’ experience in the corporate, educational, and nonprofit sectors. Rogen brings a fresh approach to strategy, leadership development, and transformational change in schools and organizations. An executive coach and facilitator, she works with nonprofits ranging from Columbia University to The White House Project and Northwell Health and is an instructor at the UPenn Graduate School of Education. She has served on the boards of Blair Academy (NJ), St. Luke’s School (CT), and the Greenwich United Way.

Tim Fish headshot

Tim Fish

Tim Fish is the chief innovation officer at NAIS and a member of the Strategy Lab team, where he develops partnerships to co-create tools and frameworks that build capacity for designing and implementing innovation. He has roots in the independent school community and a long history at McDonogh School (MD) where he served as associate headmaster. In addition, Fish was the founding president and CEO of the FolioCollaborative, a nonprofit community of schools focused on building a flexible faculty/staff development process. He is the co-author of the book Leadership and Technology at Independent Schools.

Trustee Series webinars will take place from
3:00 – 4:00 pm central/4:00 – 5:00 pm eastern

  • WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 23, 2023  Board Culture, Roles & Responsibilities
    Lynn Wendell, Independent School Governance Expert
    Whether you are new to trusteeship or a seasoned board member, it is a good idea to pause and reflect on the best practices and board habits that lead to effective governance. Join this webinar to review the core  responsibilities of independent school board members and how your responsibilities as a board member are different from those of the head of school. We will discuss tricky situations you might encounter as a board member and how to handle them and review aspects of board culture that contribute to board success. This governance “booster shot” will prepare you for what’s ahead as you approach the 2023-24 board cycle.
    Foundations of Governance: Tips & Traps for Trustees
    Sara Goldsmith Schwartz, Schwartz Hannum PC
    Serving on the board of trustees of an independent school is a significant contribution to the community, and also a significant responsibility. This webinar, led by experienced school attorney Sara Schwartz, will utilize real-life hypotheticals to explore key aspects of being an independent school trustee. Topics will include: overview of duties; essential board functions and documents; the ideal board relationship with the head of school; the board’s role in a crisis; and recommended action items.
  • THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2023
    Effective Financial Governance for Independent School Trustees
    Mary Kay Markunas, National Business Officers Association (NBOA)  Every independent school trustee must effectively steward the school by fulfilling their fiduciary role; the board’s partnerships with the head of school and business officer are critical. This webinar will foster a deeper level of fiduciary stewardship and financial governance. Trustees will enhance their understanding of the multi-faceted independent school business model and learn to ask the right questions to inform more strategic discussion. School leaders will learn how best to report information to ensure financial stewardship and long-term sustainability.
    Wearing Three Hats: Trustee-Parent Dilemmas
    Robert Evans, Psychologist, Author & School Consultant 
    The relationship between trustees and parents has always been complex. It begins with the closest of connections when the trustee also is a parent at the school. Wearing two hats—as steward and customer—presents a range of challenges. But trustees also have a third hat when they deal with parents, especially those who second-guess and criticize teachers and seek special treatment for their children. What are the best ways to manage these situations? In this webinar, Evans will outline concrete steps for successful coping.
  • THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2024 Futureproofing Your Board
    Greg Bamford & Carla Silver, Leadership+Design
    Most trustees know that their primary role is to hold the school in trust and to steward it into the future. However, most boards tend to focus on the present and–at best!–think about the next 5-7 years. Thinking like futurists allows boards to consider a longer-term direction and be more likely to shape the future rather than simply react to it. Trustees should be thinking about playing the long game, and thinking like a futurist is a mindset that we can develop, practice, and apply to board work. Embracing futurist thinking at the board level leads to higher trustee engagement, more fulfilling work, and a board that is focused on strategic thinking and generative governance. We’ll introduce fundamental frameworks for bringing futurist thinking to the boardroom: identifying the signals of our possible futures, using scenarios to sharpen strategic thinking, and framing strategic questions to guide you toward your preferred future.

Board Chair Roundtables will take place from
4:00 – 5:00 pm eastern (Will NOT Be Recorded)

  • THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2023 Board Chair Roundtable I Lucinda Lee Katz, Former Head of School & Board Chair & Irvenia Waters, Former Board Chair & Executive Coach Join us for a facilitated conversation on issues board chairs confronting board chairs. Former board chairs themselves, Katz and Waters invite your engagement to share and hear from peers.
  • THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2024 Board Chair Roundtable II
    Georgy Ann Peluchiwski & Stephanie Rogen, Greenwich Leadership Partners
    Join us for a facilitated conversation on the issues confronting board chairs. Peluchiwski and Rogen invite your participation to share and hear from peers.