October 3 & 4
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented virtually via Zoom


Guide Your Community through Change
The AISNE Governance Conference is designed specifically for Heads of School and their Board of Trustees. Take a deep dive into the executive-level topics that keep a school operating at its highest quality, including finance, human resources, DEI, and strategic planning. We will cover the hot topics in education today, from cyber security to retention in this age of “The Great Resignation.” You will come away with a solid foundation to make progress on improving your school, no matter your goals.


AISNE Members save $100/pp compared to non-members. Not a member? Join today.

 Number of Attendees    AISNE Member Schools    Non-Member School  
 1 – 3  $240  $340
 4 – 7  $215  $315
 8 – 19  $190  $290
 20+  $180  $280


Board Members Can’t Make It?
We understand scheduling your board can be difficult. Registrants who are not able to attend live sessions will have access to recordings of all topic sessions, the keynote, and the general session—more than 12 hours of learning content! Register each of your board members and unlock access to the recordings.


Agenda at a Glance

Monday, October 3

  • 9:00 – 10:15 AM | Opening Keynote with Bo Seo
  • 10:30 – 11:45 AM | Topic Sessions
  • 11:45 AM – 12:00 PM | Learning Reflections and Networking

Tuesday, October 4

  • 9:00 – 10:15 AM | Topic Sessions
  • 10:30 – 11:45 AM | General Session: Cyber Security & Your School
  • 11:45 AM – 12:00 PM | Learning Reflections and Networking
  • 12:00 – 1:00 PM | Lunch & Learn Conversation


Bo Seo | Good Arguments: How Debate Teaches Us to Listen and Be Heard

Explore how big ideas and debate show up in the governance of your school. Bo Seo will share how debate offered an opportunity for him to find his voice and to excel socially and academically. Consider how the debate of topics and ideas plays a role in board meetings, conversations with colleagues, and strategic planning decisions and learn why the presence of debate yields better and stronger outcomes.

When Bo Seo was 8 years old, he and his family migrated from Korea to Australia. At the time, he did not speak English, and, unsurprisingly, struggled at school. But, then, in fifth grade, something happened to change his life: He discovered competitive debate and was hooked. It turned out that debating was the perfect activity for someone shy and unsure of himself. Two-time world champion debater and former coach of the Harvard debate team, Bo Seo tells the inspiring story of his life in competitive debating and reveals the timeless secrets of effective communication and persuasion.

And he’s not the only one. Far from it: presidents, Supreme Court justices, and CEOs are all disproportionally debaters. By tracing his own journey from immigrant kid to world champion, Seo shows how the skills of debating—information gathering, truth finding, lucidity, organization, and persuasion—are often the cornerstone of successful careers and happy lives.

Drawing insights from its strategies, structure, and history, Seo will share the skills of competitive debate, and in doing so show how you can improve your communication with friends, family, and colleagues alike. He will demonstrate how, far from being a source of conflict, good-faith debate can enrich our daily lives. Indeed, these good arguments are essential and are more important than ever.

Bo Seo is a two-time world champion debater and a former coach of the Australian national debating team and the Harvard College Debating Union. One of the most recognized figures in the global debate community, he has won both the World Schools Debating Championship and the World Universities Debating Championship. Bo has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, CNN, and many other publications. He has worked as a national reporter for the Australian Financial Review and has been a regular panelist on the prime time Australian debate program, The Drum. Bo graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University and received a master’s degree in public policy from Tsinghua University. He is currently a student at Harvard Law School. His book, Good Arguments: How Debate Teaches Us to Listen and Be Heard was released in June 2022. 

Buy the Book


Monday, October 3
9:00 – 10:15 AM | Opening Keynote: Bo Seo

Good Arguments: How Debate Teaches Us to Listen and Be Heard
See above.

10:30 – 11:45 AM | Topic Sessions

Head of School Contracts and Financial Wellness

Presented by Randy Feid, Vice President of Business Development,  TCG (a HUB International Company); and Mason Moses, Senior Vice President of Executive Compensation and Consulting, TCG (A HUB International company)

The contract for a Head of School is a critical document in not only establishing the relationship between them and the governing board, but also in assisting the Head meet their individual financial goals. Independent schools face a more difficult challenge since they must comply with Federal standards around CEO compensation making it critical that they think creatively about how they compete for and retain quality leadership. This session will educate you on what strategies can be implemented through a Head’s overall compensation to improve their financial confidence and discuss how to best approach this topic of discussion with grace and integrity. This session is for both Heads of School and Board members.

Trustee Preparation for a More Diverse and Inclusive Leadership Pipeline

Presented by Martha Haakmat, Executive Director, Haakmat Consulting
Headship is evolving. A quick glance at the National Association of Independent Schools’ (NAIS) research on headship illustrates notable shifts in the leadership profile to include more women, people of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and Heads who bring other kinds of under-represented diversity to the position. With lots more work to do to attract, hire and retain heads from various different under-represented groups, trustees are called upon to not only run an anti-bias search, but to support and prepare their school communities for a new leader who might bring life experience that may be unfamiliar to a great majority of stakeholders. This requires ongoing and specific trustee professional development. Join this interactive workshop to begin to build trustee knowledge, skills and tools for understanding and preparing for a more equitable and inclusive search process, as well as for the attraction and retention of a new head from an increasingly diverse pool of candidates.

Navigating the Generational Divide: Quantifying the Unquantifiable 

Presented by Eric Heilman, Executive Director of The Center for Institutional Research in Independent Schools at Maret School & Greg Martin, Humanities Department Chair, Vermont Academy

The average age of the parent has shifted to the Millennial generation, with Gen Z not far behind. Depending on the grades your school spans, you may have Gen Alpha and Gen Z students, Gen Y and Gen X Parents, and Baby Boomer alumni and donors. TEAMs are tasked with knowing all of the nuances of the various groups within your school community and are expected to know how best to communicate with them. We will explore the various generational profiles, consider the consumer habits of Millennials as they relate to school decisions, and find meaningful ways for your school’s purpose and programs to resonate with current and prospective parents. 

We will also explore data collection strategies that help schools detect and understand differences between constituent groups in their community. By examining case studies, gain insights and understandings about the values of different constituency groups while also learning what questions you might ask to get the essential information and quantifiable data that will allow you to be planful and move forward.

Legal Hot Topics for Trustees in 2022

Presented by Sara Goldsmith Schwartz, Founder and President, Schwartz Hannum PC
In this lively and interactive session, experienced education and employment lawyer Sara Schwartz will facilitate a conversation about 2022’s top legal issues facing independent school trustees. These include best practices for addressing anonymous complaints, navigating community unrest with parents and employees, takeaways from recent school litigation cases, Title IX developments, enterprise risk management, and tips and traps for good governance. Sara will use case studies to generate dialogue and highlight real world situations, while illuminating practical solutions for you to use in your school.

Sara Goldsmith Schwartz is the Founder and President of Schwartz Hannum PC, a law firm founded in 1995 and based in Andover, MA, that specializes in education, employment, and labor law. She has represented more than 250 educational institutions across the United States on matters as wide-ranging as family handbooks to sexual abuse allegations. Sara is a graduate of Yale and Harvard Law School. 

Using Accreditation to Drive Strategy 

Presented by Clair Ward, Head of School, Shore Country Day School & Allison Webster, Head of School, Dedham Country Day School

With the current trend in Head of School transitions, relying too heavily on the assumption of leadership consistency could make a school vulnerable in terms of its steady progress.  Schools need to create systems that integrate the strategic behaviors necessary for continuous school improvement across all areas of operational leadership.  By doing so, schools can capitalize on accreditation as an opportunity to socialize the importance of school improvement beyond simply the Head of School. Participants will leave the session with a better understanding of how to monitor and encourage strategic behavior, how to integrate accreditation with strategic planning, and how to use these skills to maintain school improvement even if faced with a leadership transition.

11:45 AM – 12:00 PM | Learning Reflections and Networking

Tuesday, October 4
9:00 – 10:15 AM | Topic Sessions

The Strategic Small School Board

Presented by Brooke Carroll, Small School Coach and Consultant
Boards of small schools often find themselves focusing primarily on the day-to-day operations and struggling to think about, decide on, and plan for the long-term success of their school. We know we need to be strategic, yet we don’t always know how. This workshop presents a framework that boards can use to organize their meetings so that they focus more on strategy and generative thinking. Board members will leave with a tool they can implement immediately to guide strategic planning and decision-making. Brooke’s book, Governing the Small School: Strategies for Boards, will provide a foundation for this workshop.

Restructuring Board Committees to Drive Balcony-Level Thinking

Presented by The Pike School

  • Heather Clark, Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees
  • Tasneem Dohadwala, Chair of the Board of Trustees
  • Ashley Marshall, Head of School

While the traditional structure of board committees does help the school achieve its mission, it has limitations. Since this structure mirrors the structure of the Administrative team, there is a blurring of lines between the role and work of trustees and that of the Administrative team. The Pike School will share their experience about this new structure. This new committee structure enables trustees to engage in strategic and generative dialogue and focus on long term sustainability and thrivability of the school.

Parent Partnerships: Creating Culture and Boundaries

Presented by Jen Cort and Jill Goodman, Educational Consultants
Parents are pushing back. Some are gently nudging, while some are bringing in metaphorical bulldozers. In the wake of the pandemic, school leaders are seeing parents question every aspect of school life from the academic program to DEI initiatives to athletics. Some schools have seen the largest enrollment in a decade, and some are starting to see pandemic-related attrition. The recent and rapid growth or change in population at the school have caused confusing and concerning shifts in culture. Combining their expertise on this topic, Jen Cort and Jill Goodman bring participants awareness surrounding Seven Critical Culture Fails and what school leaders can do about them right now. Participants will learn actionable steps to improve the experience of parents, students, and faculty at your school, to help leaders identify issues, and to put your school community on a path to solidifying a healthy and dynamic culture that is true to the school’s mission and philosophy.

Jen Cort is a diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice consultant working with schools and organizations in multiple countries.  As an educator and clinical social worker, Jen has served as an assistant head of a lower school, head of a middle school, and senior administrator as well as a counselor in lower, middle, and upper schools and private practice. Jen has presented at national conferences, hosts a diversity institute, is a frequent contributor to publications, and her work has been quoted in the NAIS Independent Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, The New York Times, and more. Jen is the host of an internationally syndicated podcast Third Space With Jen Cort.

Jill Goodman is a consultant for independent and private schools with more than 20 years of experience working with organizational leaders. She specializes in helping schools advance their mission through enrollment-related qualitative research, strategic visioning, leadership mentoring, and development capacity-building. Jill is known for her presentations on educational advancement, leadership, and constituency relations that have been well received by audiences across the country. She is a frequent podcast guest, blogger, and author.

The Fundamental Principles of Crisis Leadership

Presented by Chris Joffe, Founder and CEO, Joffe Emergency Services
Crises are known to have myriad issues blended together and launched at the speed of… Crisis! In this workshop we will learn how to interpret data to know what data is action-worthy and what is not. We will explore which decisions should be made swiftly and which can be prioritized for later. You will learn how to recognize and overcome analysis-paralysis, an enemy of leaders everywhere. Together we will identify graceful techniques for consolidating the perspectives of multiple leaders into a single, decisive, organizational perspective. This is a nail-biting, pencil jotting session designed to entertain, inform, and enable progress.

As a part of this session, there will be a 10 – 15 minute pre-workshop assessment to identify your leadership style. Your results will help inform the work of the session.

Chris Joffe is the Founder and CEO of Joffe Emergency Services, a company wholly dedicated to school safety programs, event safety, and emergency preparedness. He has spent his career dedicated to making the world safer. Over the past decade he and his team have worked with thousands of schools across the country to provide training, consultation, and support. Chris studied paramedicine at UCLA and earned his Masters in Technology, Business and Integrated Design at the University of Southern California (USC) and he’s currently in the process of publishing a book on the principles of community safety.

Leading the Charge, Learning the Way: Trustees’ Role in Building Strong DEI Schools

Presented by Heather Flewelling, Carney Sandoe & Associates
Independent schools have tremendous opportunities to create communities that are committed to, but facile, in their DEI/Cultural Competency work. There is evidence that strong programming, policy, and personnel work in the DEI area can hold significant benefit to the cognitive, social, and emotional growth of students. But the the commitment to the work and its implementation can show significant confusion, leading to critique and backlash from multiple sources that can put schools under internal and external scrutiny. A school’s board of trustees can play an important role in supporting the leadership, staff, and faculty as they undertake this dynamic work. This session will explore some of the broad challenges of offering that support, identify important areas where trustee and governance bodies’ ownership and leadership are critical to the success of the work, and build language and tools to be more effective agents of advocacy and support to their schools.

Heather Flewelling is the Chief Talent Officer for Carney Sandoe & Associates, one of the United States’ leading educational recruitment, search, and strategic consulting firms. Prior to her work with Carney Sandoe, Heather served as Director of Multiculturalism and Community Development at Milton Academy in Milton, MA.

10:30 – 11:45 AM | General Session: Cyber Security & Your School
Protecting Yourself Against Current Threats

Presented by First Republic Bank

  • Brad Carpenter, Special Agent, Cyber Division; Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Christopher Wing, Client Cybersecurity Representative; First Republic Bank

In a world of continual disruption by online criminals, cybersecurity safeguards continue to be an essential element of “best practice” for our schools. Join us for advice from the FBI and First Republic Bank’s internal cybersecurity expert as they discuss the latest COVID-driven threats and provide practical solutions you can implement to protect yourself and your school community. A panel of school leaders will join Brad and Christopher to consider how Boards, Heads, and IT teams can work together to secure your school. You will come away with eyes wide open, prepared to address your technology team in conversations around email security, proper password procedures, WiFi networks, and Internet usage, mobile device protections, and common phishing scams. We’ll also cover protections you can make for your personal accounts—have your phones handy! 

Brad Carpenter is a Supervisory Special Agent with, FBI Cyber Division and currently manages FBI Cyber Operations with the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA) and the Financial Systemic Auxiliary & Resiliency Center (FSARC) in New York City.  As an FBI Special Agent for over 17 years, he has been responsible for investigating computer intrusions targeting the financial sector, cybercrime, and various financial crimes including money laundering and terrorist financing.

Christopher Wing has been with First Republic Bank since 2014. He currently serves as their Client Cybersecurity Representative. Since joining the Bank, he has assisted with fraud prevention, incident response, cybersecurity threat intelligence and security awareness. Mr. Wing holds an MBA from Babson College, a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and several industry-recognized certifications (CISSP, SSCP, GSEC and GCTI).

11:45 AM – 12:00 PM | Learning Reflections and Networking

12:00 – 1:00 PM | Lunch & Learn Conversation
We will wrap up our time together with a convivial and stimulating lunch conversation. This is a time to network with fellow board members from schools across the region, discuss challenges and solutions, and share resources. All attendees are welcome to attend.

Join Your Peers

We look forward to welcoming educators from across New England. Join Heads of School, board chairs, and board trustees from the following schools that have already registered:

  • The Advent School
  • Andover School of Montessori
  • Bancroft School
  • Belmont Day School
  • The Bement School
  • Berkshire Country Day School
  • Berwick Academy
  • Brimmer and May School
  • Cambridge-Ellis School
  • The Cambridge School of Weston
  • The Center School
  • Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall
  • Charles River School
  • Charlestown Nursery School
  • The Chestnut Hill School
  • The Common School
  • Commonwealth School
  • Dana Hall School
  • Dedham Country Day School
  • Derby Academy
  • The Derryfield School
  • Dexter Southfield School
  • Fayerweather Street School
  • Glen Urquhart School
  • The Gordon School
  • The Gordon School
  • Heronfield Academy
  • Holderness School
  • Inly School
  • Kingsley Montessori School
  • Lander Grinspoon Academy
  • Landmark School
  • The Learning Project Elementary School
  • Lexington Montessori School
  • Meadowbrook School of Weston
  • Nashoba Brooks School
  • Oak Meadow School
  • The Pike School
  • Pine Cobble School
  • Pingree School
  • Pinkerton Academy
  • The Putney School
  • Quest Montessori School
  • Red Fox Community School
  • Rocky Hill Country Day School
  • The Sage School
  • Shady Hill School
  • The Sharon Academy
  • Shore Country Day School
  • St. John’s Preparatory School
  • Summit Montessori School
  • Tabor Academy
  • Tenacre Country Day School
  • Tower School
  • Vermont Academy
  • Vineyard Montessori School
  • Walnut Hill School for the Arts
  • Waynfleet School
  • The Wheeler School


Cancellation Policy

Virtual Events
Cancellations and transfer requests must be sent via email to info@aisne.org. Cancellations will receive a 100% refund less a $25 administrative fee. Transfers of registrations from one person to another are permitted up to 24 hours before the start of the event, or first event of a series of events.

In-Person Events
Cancellations and transfer requests must be sent via email to info@aisne.org. Cancellations received up to 14 days before the start of the event will receive a 100% refund less a $25 administrative fee. Cancellations received within 14 days of the start of the event will receive a refund less a $100 fee. This fee covers the cost of our minimum commitments with our hotel partners; thank you for your understanding. Transfers of registrations from one person to another are permitted up to 24 hours before the start of the event.

Not an AISNE Member?

Become part of a network of more than 260 schools across New England. Enjoy opportunities for your entire school staff and faculty to connect with and learn from peers, and engage in high-quality professional development. AISNE is here to support your school’s excellence and continuous improvement.

Join today or renew your membership.