Join us for our 2022 Heads’ Retreat and Annual Association Meeting.

We are coming together again for days of community, laughter, learning, and growth. Engage in generative discussions, hear from world-class speakers, share experiences both positive and not so positive, and re-connect as school leaders. Whether you are new to the AISNE community, or an old friend, you will find this in-person gathering stimulating and reinvigorating.

Explore the agenda and find information about registration and hotel bookings below.

Retreat Dates: Tuesday, January 25th – Thursday, January 27th

Retreat Location: Wentworth by the Sea, New Castle, New Hampshire


Conference Agenda

Tuesday, January 25

Arrival | 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. EST

  • Registration/ Check-in
  • Networking Games
  • Pulse Points Q&A Station

Cocktails and Conversation | 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. EST

Dinner | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. EST

Networking | 8:30 – 10:30 p.m. EST

Wednesday, January 26

Optional Activities  | 6:00 – 8:00 a.m

  • Workout
  • Pool
  • Walk on the grounds
  • Spa Appointments (8:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.) (by appointment)

Breakfast | 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. EST

Group Meetings  | 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EST

AISNE Board Meeting 

This meeting is intended for AISNE board members.

New Heads Working Session: From Insight to Action: An Opportunity to Look Inward and Plan Forward | Lynn Bowman

As a head of school in years 1 and 2, you have joined a school community during COVID and we want to offer you a space to share generously and openly with your peers who are also new to being a head of school. We have designed the morning to focus on you and your leadership.  Emotional Intelligence, a key ingredient for effective leadership, is a set of emotional and social skills that collectively impact our capacity for decision making, self-awareness, self-perception, intrapersonal relationships, and stress management.  Take time to self-assess yourself using a positive intelligence framework and learn strategies to improve your own social and emotional well being thus impacting the teams you lead.  We will spend time considering the following questions:

  • How do you share yourself and your mission with the broader community?  
  • What roles do trust and transparency play in your day-to-day work and your strategic planning?  
  • How are you showing up as a leader and how are you creating space for others?
  • What are your strengths to leverage and what leadership skills can you grow/amplify?

As we dig into our time together, we will devote time to your work, your role, and how you balance it all.  We will also take some time to examine how who YOU are informs what you DO. 

Join us for this time and push pause with your peers: celebrate, reflect, converse, and share tools to bring back to your day-to-day work.

Pulse Points: A Tour of Your School Data  | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EST | Eliza Alexander, Managing Director, Northern New England & Alexander Noren, Director, Finance, Technology & Research

This time is intended for any Heads of School who have arrived and are not engaged in the board meeting or new heads session. 

Lunch  | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m

Registration and Refreshments | 1:00 – 2:00 p.m

Retreat Welcome and AISNE Remarks  | 2:00 – 2:15 p.m

Opening Session   | 2:15 – 4:45 p.m

Build Networks of Productive Interdependence | Jody Hoffer Gittell, Professor of Management at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy & Management, and co-founder and board member of the Relational Coordination Collaborative

We are witnessing a revolution in people analytics, where data are used to identify and leverage human talent to drive performance outcomes. Today’s workplace is interdependent and individuals drive performance through networks that span classrooms, teaching teams, and departments. Jody Hoffer Gitell will expose us to the relational coordination framework, with a validated scalable analytic tool that has been used successfully across dozens of countries and industries to understand, measure, and influence networks of relationships in and across organizations – and can be applied at schools of any type and size.  We will devote time to examine our own organizations with attention to structure and objectives while also considering interactions among members of our school communities and among groups within our organizations.

Break  | 4:45 – 5:00 p.m

AISNE’s Annual Meeting of the Association  | 5:00  – 5:45 p.m

Cocktails and Conversation  | 6:00 – 7:00 p.m

All Attendee Dinner  | 7:00 – 8:30 p.m

Optional Networking  | 8:30 – 10:30 p.m

Thursday, January 27

Optional Activities  | 6:00 – 8:00 a.m

  • Workout
  • Pool
  • Walk on the grounds

Breakfast  | 8:00 – 9:00 a.m

Topic Sessions  | 9:00 – 10:15 a.m

Lead with a Legal Lens: Risk Management in a Rapidly-Changing Environment  | Matt Batastini, Managing Partner, Schwartz Hannum 

Independent schools have faced unprecedented challenges over the past several years.  As if figuring out how to operate a school in a global pandemic was not difficult enough, school leaders have simultaneously dealt with culture wars on television, social media and in their communities, parents on edge, students struggling, and rapidly evolving employment laws and requirements.  As we begin 2022, many New England employers are suddenly struggling to identify and retain qualified employees.  Job flexibility is now king, and talented employees may be seeking remote positions, or even to start their own businesses, to preserve their newfound work/life freedoms. In this lively and interactive session, experienced education and employment lawyer Matt Batastini will facilitate a conversation around strategies for you and your school to consider to address the risks schools face as we begin to move through 2022 and into the second half of this academic year. 

Topics will include:

  • Making sense of vaccine (and booster) mandates
  • Eye on workplace safety: OSHA’s new and evolving standards
  • Keeping employees happy at work
  • Managing student stress and related misbehavior
  • Reigning in poorly-behaving parents
  • Enrollment and faculty agreement updates for 2022-23

The Head of School and DEI Director Partnership: How to Navigate and Lead in the Face of Challenges and Opportunities  | Heather Flewelling, Chief Talent Officer/Search Consultant, Carney Sandoe and Associates

More and more schools are recognizing the importance of explicit development of their diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) programs in order to better live their missions of excellence. With that, many schools are leaning on their DEIB directors to navigate a complex landscape with increasing challenges. This session will discuss ways in which the HOS/DEIB Director partnership is central to schools’ successful navigation and growth of inclusive excellence and becoming the communities of belonging they aspire to be.

Hiring and Retaining People of Color: Five Areas for Schools to Consider | Keith Hinderlie, Ph.D.,  Hinderlie and Associates


Participants will drill down to understand five areas of leadership focus that will yield better results in recruiting and retaining diverse employees. This session will utilize case studies and best practice examples.

Closing Keynote  | 10:30 – 11:45 a.m

A conversation with Gish Jen, Author, Storyteller, and Advocate

In a conversation with Heather Flewelling, a thought leader in the space of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our schools, Gish Jen will make connections between her nonfiction and fiction work, her upbringing, her experience with public and private schools, and her life as a Chinese American. She will connect her personal and professional journey to the ongoing work you and your school community are doing around inclusion and belonging.  With her distinctive combination of expertise, quick wit, and engaging personality, she will make complex topics comprehensible and inviting.

Highlights and Closing Remarks  | 11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m

Lunch  | 12:00 1:00 p.m

Optional Activities  | 1:00 – Departure

  • Workout
  • Pool
  • Walk on the grounds
  • Spa Appointments (1:00 -9:00 p.m.) (by appointment)

Register Here and Join Your Peers

  • Melissa Earls, Academy Hill School
  • Nicole DuFauchard, The Advent School
  • Holly Hirst, Andover School of Montessori
  • Marshall Carter, Atrium School
  • Dr. James Hickey, Austin Prep
  • Trey Cassidy, Bancroft School
  • Charles Carter, Jr., Beacon Academy
  • Kim Samson, Beaver Country Day School
  • Brendan Largay, Belmont Day School
  • Mike Schloat, Bement School
  • Jim Hamilton, Berwick Academy
  • Peter Twadell, Birches School
  • Grace Cotter Regan, Boston College High School
  • Chris Kolovos, Boston University Academy
  • Judith Guild, Brimmer and May School
  • Jonathon Bartlett, Brookwood School
  • Mark Tashjian, Burr and Burton Academy
  • Lise Charlier, Cambridge School of Weston
  • Renee Greenfield, Ph.D., Carroll School
  • Charlie Spencer, The Center School
  • Lance Conrad, Chapel Hill- Chauncy Hall School
  • Gretchen Larkin, Charles River School
  • Tamara Schurdak, The Chestnut Hill School
  • Fr. Bob Pecoraro, Chevrus High School
  • Jennifer Borman, Commonwealth School
  • Katherine Bradley, Dana Hall School
  • Allison Webster, Dedham Country Day School
  • Mary Carter, The Derryfield School
  • Jadihel Taveras, Esperanza Academy
  • Moira Kelly, Exploration
  • Rob Gustavson, Fay School
  • Kimberly Ridley, Fayerweather Street School
  • Derek Boonisar, The Fenn School
  • Aléwa Cooper, The Foote School
  • Erin Mayo, Fryeburg Academy
  • Gretchen Forsyth, Glen Urqhart School
  • Noni Thompas López, The Gordon School
  • Tao Smith, Gould Academy
  • Beth Venable, Hampshire Country School
  • John Turner, Heronfield Academy
  • Phil Peck, Holderness School
  • Donna Luther, INLY School
  • Dave Armistead, John Bapst Memorial High School
  • Chris Cheney, Kents Hill School
  • Steve Farley, Kingsley Montessori School
  • Christine Metzger, Lexington Christian Academy
  • Jeffrey Burroughs, Lincoln Academy
  • Sophie Lau, Lincoln School
  • Winn Price, Maine Central Institute
  • Christine Hanson, Nantucket Lighthouse School
  • Todd Eveleth, Nantucket New School
  • Joe Williams, New Hampton School
  • Ben Jackson, North Yarmouth Academy
  • Scott Young, The Park School
  • Brian Thomas, Proctor Academy
  • Kevin Folan, Providence Country Day School
  • Emily Jones, Putney School
  • Adam Fischer, The Rashi School
  • Rebecca Clapp, Riley School
  • Ned Parsons, The Rivers School
  • Diane Rich, Rocky Hill Country Day School
  • Kerry Brennan, Roxbury Latin School
  • Marie Leary, The Sage School
  • Mark Stanek, Shady Hill School
  • Amy Shen, Shrewsbury Montessori School
  • Walter Landberg, St. Michael’s Country Day School
  • Michael Wolfe, Stanstead College
  • Will Crissman, Tenacre Country Day School
  • Serena Wilkie Gifford, Tower School
  • Jennifer Zaccara, Vermont Academy
  • Antonio Viva, Walnut Hill School for the Arts
  • Tory Amorello, Waterville Valley Academy
  • Geoff Wagg, Waynflete
  • Allison Gaines Pell, The Wheeler School
  • John Drew, The White Mountain School
  • Sarah Pelmans, The Winsor School
  • Patrick McInerney, Wolfboro School

Reserve Your Room at Wentworth by the Sea:
1/25 and 1/26
Call for AISNE Rate ($149 +tax/night): (866) 384-0709
Room Reservation Deadline: 1/7
Room rates are subject to availability and to applicable state and local taxes (currently 9%) in effect at the time of check-out.
AISNE’s rate is available (three days pre and post-event based on availability) should you wish to extend your stay.

Full details re: room reservations

AISNE Asynchronous Sessions

These sessions will be available for asynchronous viewing in the socio-event app.

Motivations and Mindsets: Donor Behavior in Research and Practice | Anna Schlia, Vice President, Graham Pelton

Donors support your school for many reasons. Perhaps they have a personal connection to your institution or are searching for a way to support their broader community. In reality, it is rarely that simple: donors are guided by a complex web of personal, cultural, and financial goals that all influence their giving. 

By understanding these motivations, schools can deepen relationships with supporters and create more meaningful opportunities for philanthropy. We’ll share the psychological principles that shape a person’s desire to give and equip you with the tools needed to start decoding the complexities of donor motivation at your school. 

Our talk will include: 

  • The history of academic research on donor motivation and how motivations have changed over time
  •  Strategies to uncover motivation when meeting with prospects
  • How to align a donor’s desires with your school’s needs to create the most meaningful ask

Boost Adaptability within Yourself and Your Leadership Team  | Anne Converse Willkomm, Goodwin College of Professional Studies, Drexel University

While the pandemic forced employers and employees across many different sectors to suddenly pivot, it was perhaps an education that felt the biggest impact of this needed shift. Educators and administrators from daycare, pre-school, secondary school, and up through higher education had to suddenly shift to provide meaningful educational opportunities to their students in very different and new ways. Organizations that practiced and fostered adaptability before the pandemic handled the pivot more quickly and with more ease. But adaptability is not only necessary for large-scale interruptions, it is a necessary skill and trait for smaller shifts, and challenges, as well as sudden opportunities. In this session, we will look at why boosting adaptability is advantageous for leaders and for their teams, identify ways to boost and enhance adaptability, as well as how practicing adaptability within the workplace can spark creativity and innovation. We will also look at the challenges and fears people often face as they begin to adopt adaptability skills and thought processes.

AISNE Retreat: COVID Guidelines

Providing a safe environment for learning is a top priority. We need your help to achieve this. We want to keep you safe and healthy!

  • All participants will be asked to show proof of a negative COVID test that was taken no more than 48 hours prior to the start of the event.
  • As safety guidelines continue to shift based on emerging data, we will determine our on-site masking and distancing protocols accordingly.
  • AISNE-branded masks will be provided to every attendee.

We are grateful for the partnership with Fusion Cell in determining these mitigation strategies. Fusion Cell helps organizations navigate the impacts of COVID with science-based strategies that inspire confidence across all constituents.