Wednesday, April 27 – Thursday, April 28, 2022
Presented virtually via Socio and Zoom

Gather together with your fellow Heads of Schools from across Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine for idea sharing, learning, and community. We’ll celebrate our outgoing Heads, make space for new Heads to reflect on their first year, and hear from thought-provoking keynotes on the topics of citizenship and preparing students for the rapidly changing world.

$175/pp, AISNE Members
$275/pp, non-members




Wednesday, April 27

  • 4:00 – 5:15 p.m. | Opening Keynote: Brett Pierce
  • 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. | Celebration of Retiring Heads of Schools

Thursday, April 28

  • 7:00 – 7:45 a.m. | New Heads: Year One Reflections
  • 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. | State of the States: The 2022 Elections & Our Schools
  • 9:15 – 10:30 a.m. | “Talking Heads” Peer Learning Sessions
  • 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. | Closing Keynote: Rajiv Vinnakota & Reflections



Wednesday, April 27

Author Brett Pierce headshot.

4:00 – 5:15 p.m.
Opening Keynote: Brett Pierce | Founder, Meridian Stories
Preparing Students for a Future of Omnipresent Change

Brett Pierce is a program developer, producer, and educator, who founded and leads Meridian Stories, a Digital Storytelling nonprofit for middle and high schoolers that challenges students to create digital narratives around core curricular goals. Pierce has spent much of his professional life at Sesame Workshop in New York City, serving as a Co-Executive Producer on media projects about literacy, math, science, and conflict-resolution for youth around the world. The latest project was with the Abu Dhabi-based Executive Team on the production of Sesame Street in the United Arab Emirates (Iftah Ya Simsim).

Last year, Pierce completed production on a radio drama – Sawa Shabab – targeting youth in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya about gender equity issues, life skills, and co-existence. Most recently, Pierce has pivoted toward digital storytelling for social impact, working with community service organizations in Iraq and the diaspora of Hong Kong. In support of this work, Pierce wrote the new National Geographic Storytelling for Impact course series which just won the 2022 Gold Anthem Award and will be publishing a book, Expanding Literacy: Bringing Digital Storytelling into Your Classroom with Heinemann Publishing in the spring of 2022.

Brett holds a BA from Kenyon College, and Masters Degrees from Middlebury College (English) and Columbia University (Education), and teaches an annual intensive at Colby College called ‘Developing Media for Social Change.’ He lives in Freeport, Maine.

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Community Celebration
Let’s raise a glass to a trio of remarkable and dedicated Heads of Schools who are retiring this year:

  • Emily Jones, Putney School (Vermont)
  • Phil Peck, Holderness School (New Hampshire)
  • Twiladawn Perry, Lyndon Institute (Vermont)

This is a time to be in community with one another, celebrate achievements, share stories, and honor these great colleagues!


Thursday, April 28

7:00 – 7:45 a.m.
New Heads: Year One Reflections
This coffee clutch is for Heads completing their first year. Join Claire Leheny (AISNE Executive Director) and Eliza Alexander (Managing Director, Northern New England) to look back on the year, share insights and anecdotes, and look forward to the year to come. Bring your favorite morning brew!

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
State of the States: The 2022 Elections & Our Schools with David Gregory
In any year it can be challenging to stay the course and remain focused on your school’s mission and values. When elections are in full tilt the pressure is that much more. Renowned journalist David Gregory will discuss the hot topics where education and policy intersect in the lead-up to this year’s midterms. We’ll reserve time for breakout discussions by state in order to cover local topics as well as national and regional.

David Gregory has spent the last three decades in journalism. During his career, his work has taken him across the country and around the world. Currently, he is a political analyst on CNN as well as a visiting professor at Georgetown University. David also speaks around the country about politics, leadership, and media. Best known for his nearly twenty years at NBC News, Mr. Gregory served for six years as the moderator of Meet the Press and Chief White House Correspondent during the entire Presidency of George W. Bush.

As a correspondent, David covered the trials of OJ Simpson and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh as well as other breaking news around the country. Mr. Gregory traveled with President Bush on 9-11 and during Mr. Bush’s first visit to Ground Zero after the attacks. From the White House, Mr. Gregory covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and earned a reputation as the toughest questioner in the press corps. David is married to the litigator Beth Wilkinson and they have three children, all of whom attend independent schools. He is a past parent, board member, and currently serves as Board Chair for Cardigan Mountain School in NH.

9:15 – 10:30 a.m.
“Talking Heads” Peer Learning Sessions
Join one of these sessions presented by a fellow Head of School.

  • The Captain’s Log: A Model for Cohesive Administrative Communication and Planning
    Brian Thomas, Proctor Academy
  • Aligning Mission Revision and the Accreditation Process to Strategic Plan Development
    Tyler Lewis, Kimball Union Academy & Anne-Marie Balzano, Mission & Data
  • What The Heck Just Happened?: Lessons Learned from the Different Stages of the Pandemic
    David Armistead, John Bapst Memorial High School


10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Closing Keynote & Reflections: Rajiv Vinnakota | President, Institute for Citizens & Scholars
Citizen Development in Partisan and Fraught Times
Moderated by Sharon Howell
As our society and schools grapple with the question of how to develop educated, engaged, and hopeful citizens, we are all confronted with numerous questions: What are we trying to achieve? What should schools be expected to deliver? What might students and families want, and what do they need? Raj Vinnakota will share what he has been learning from his work to develop a field of civic learning and approaches to consider. In an area with few definite answers, Raj is working hard to develop consensus on what we should intend to achieve.

Rajiv Vinnakota is President of the Institute for Citizens & Scholars. Prior to joining Citizens & Scholars in July 2019, Raj served as the Executive Vice President of the Youth & Engagement division at the Aspen Institute, a new venture focusing on youth leadership development, civic engagement, and opportunity. Before working at the Aspen Institute, he was the co-founder and CEO of The SEED Foundation, the nation’s first network of public, college-preparatory boarding schools for underserved children. Raj remains on the board of The SEED Foundation.

A graduate and former trustee of Princeton University, Raj has dedicated his career to educating, empowering, and supporting America’s youth, particularly those from disadvantaged communities. His work as a social entrepreneur and non-profit leader has earned him national recognition in the form of prestigious fellowships from Echoing Green, The Ashoka Foundation, and the Aspen Institute, as well as awards such as Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson Award, Harvard University’s Innovation in American Government Award, and Oprah Winfrey’s Use Your Life award.

Sharon Howell, Ph.D., is Headmaster of St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont. Prior to her current role, Dr. Howell served as Head of School at Indian Springs School in Birmingham, Alabama, and Associate Head of School for Strategic Planning and Administration at Northfield Mount Hermon School in Gill, Massachusetts. Sharon was the Allston Burr Resident Dean in Adams House and Lecturer in History and Literature at Harvard University. She is a poet and has served as a Massachusetts Cultural Council Poetry Fellow. Sharon’s poems can be found in her book, Girl in Everytime.



We look forward to welcoming Heads of School from across Northern New England. Join your colleagues from the following schools:

  • James Hamilton, Berwick Academy
  • Kristy Kerin, Brewster Academy
  • Martin Mooney, Bridgton Academy
  • Christopher Day, Cardigan Mountain School
  • Kate Punderson, Carrabassett Valley Academy
  • Willard Morgan, Chewonki Schools
  • Brad Bates, Dublin School
  • Timothy Seeley, George Stevens Academy
  • Katherine Meyer, High Mowing School
  • Phil Peck, Holderness School
  • Laura Gauld, Hyde School
  • Dave Armistead, John Bapst Memorial High School
  • Christopher Cheney, Kents Hill School
  • Tyler Lewis, Kimball Union Academy
  • Jeffrey Burroughs, Lincoln Academy
  • Twila Perry, Lyndon Institute
  • Winn Price, Maine Central Institute
  • Joe Williams, New Hampton School
  • Ben Jackson, North Yarmouth Academy
  • Brian Thomas, Proctor Academy 
  • Emily Jones, The Putney School
  • Rebecca Clapp, The Riley School 
  • Dan Love, Sant Bani School
  • Sharon Howell, St. Johnsbury Academy
  • Kate Saunders, Tilton School
  • Jennifer Zaccara, Vermont Academy
  • Geoff Wagg, Waynflete School
  • John Drew, The White Mountain School
  • Edward Cooper, Wolfeboro Camp School