May 4, 2023
Four Points by Sheraton, Norwood
1125 Boston-Providence Turnpike
Norwood, MA 02062


Join us for AISNE’s annual Health & Wellness Conference. We invite you to experience a day filled with stimulating breakout sessions, community building with peers from across New England, and opportunities to practice self-care. Our program focuses on student, staff, and faculty well-being, and moving forward with purpose, confidence, and clarity.

If you have any questions or accessibility needs, please contact us at


Attendees AISNE Member Rate Non-Member Rate
1 – 3 $360/pp $460/pp
4 – 7 $325/pp $425/pp
8 – 19 $290/pp $390/pp
20+ $270/pp $370/pp


  • Continuous | Chair Massage
  • 8:00 – 8:45 AM | Registration, Breakfast & Networking
  • 8:45 – 9:00 AM | Welcome & Morning Mindfulness
  • 9:00 – 10:00 AM | Opening Keynote with Ethan Kross
  • 10:15 – 11:15 AM | Topic Sessions
  • 11:30 – 11:45 AM | Spoken Word Performance with Dariana Guerrero
  • 11:45 AM – 12:45 PM | Featured Session with Justine Ang Fonte, M.Ed. MPH
  • 12:45 – 1:30 PM | Lunch and Transition to Topic Sessions
  • 1:45 – 2:45 PM | Topic Sessions
  • 3:00 – 4:00 PM | Wellness Sessions
  • 4:00 PM | Farewell

Featured Sessions

Opening Keynote: Ethan Kross | “Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It”

Overthinking can fuel our anxieties and impair our ability to make decisions—but we can learn to harness our inner voice and turn it into our own personal motivational coach, becoming healthier, wiser, and more resilient in the process. Award-winning psychologist and author of the instant national bestseller Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Ethan Kross shows how the conversations we have with ourselves can improve our lives in surprising ways: from our health and our job performance to our relationships and decision-making. His accessible, science-based talks reveal how we can harness the power of our minds to boost productivity and well-being in our personal lives and help us become better leaders to others. The most important conversation we have each day isn’t with our boss, our spouse, or our friends: it’s the one we have with ourselves. When we’re facing a challenging task, our inner voice can motivate us and help us keep our focus. But more often than not, we come up against the nagging voice that tells us we can’t do it, or that people will laugh at us if we try. The million-dollar question, then, is how can we transform our self-saboteur, determined to undermine our success, into an internal life coach that will buoy us up and help us expand our potential?

Enter Ethan Kross. A world-class psychological scientist, Kross has written one of the most definitive guides to mastering self-talk in modern history. In Chatter, he uses a blend of cutting-edge science (from his own lab) and real-world case studies to help us harness the power of our inner voice. The tools are all around us—from the objects we surround ourselves with to our relationships with other people, the physical spaces we inhabit, and the digital worlds we interact in. This talk is a lively exploration of how we can use those tools to make our inner voice work in our favor, and it answers some valuable questions along the way. For instance, why do we seem immune to toxic chatter when we attempt to provide other people with advice? What factors determine whether we receive—and provide—helpful or harmful social support? And how can we approach our decision-making differently, learning to control our emotions and reason wisely instead of acting on impulse? An expert storyteller, Kross brings his research to life in a way that is fascinating, accessible, and immediately applicable to our daily lives.

Along with being a pioneering psychologist and neuroscientist, Ethan Kross is an unusually gifted writer and storyteller. He shows that instead of trying to silence your monkey mind, you can learn to educate it, motivate it, and even reason with it.

Ethan Kross is a leading expert on controlling the conscious mind. An award-winning professor and bestselling author in the University of Michigan’s top ranked Psychology Department and its Ross School of Business, he studies how the conversations people have with themselves impact their health, performance, decisions and relationships. Ethan’s research has been published in Science, The New England Journal of Medicine, and The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, among other peer-reviewed journals. He has participated in policy discussion at the White House and has been interviewed on CBS Evening NewsGood Morning AmericaAnderson Cooper Full Circle, and NPR’s Morning Edition. His pioneering research has been featured in The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Harvard Business Review, The Economist, The Atlantic, Forbes, and Time.

Justine Ang Fonte | “The Whole Child Means Centering On Health”

Consider the number of times your academic teaching is up against a student’s health barrier: chronic illness, stress, anxiety, depression. Approaches to Health Education strategically include prevention, yet too often, the preferred metric of success with health is that “nothing bad happened,” so the school proceeds as is. As educators of pubescent students, we know how much mental health, body image, relationships with food, social belonging, and sexuality are affecting our students’ learning experience. Our students need and deserve comprehensive health education in every subject. This type of programming is a critical part of a student’s education because healthy students make for stronger learners. Justine Ang Fonte, M.Ed, MPH, has more than a decade of experience building intersectional health education programs in school communities across subject areas and to the adults in children’s lives. It’s time actually to prioritize the whole child.

Justine Ang Fonte is the child of Philippine immigrants ​and a nationally-recognized intersectional health educator, speaker, and consultant.​ She received her Master’s in Education in Teaching from the University of Hawai’i and her Master’s in Public Health in Sexuality from Columbia University. She was recently featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Business Insider, and NPR for her notable teaching career in sexuality education.


Continuous | Chair Massages
Enjoy a relaxing neck and shoulder massage. Sign-ups for times throughout the day will be made available to attendees in advance of the conference.

8:00 – 8:45 | Breakfast and Networking

8:45 – 9:00 AM | Welcome and Morning Mindfulness

9:00 – 10:00 AM | Opening Session: Morning Keynote: Ethan Kross
*See above

10:15 – 11:15 AM | Topic Sessions 1

The Why and How of a Digital Detox

Krystal Boivin, Health & Wellbeing Program Development, Borislow Insurance
It’s no secret that everyday technology affects our everyday mental health and wellbeing, which in turn determines how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy behavior choices. In this session, we’ll explore many core aspects of today’s digital overload—television, social media, sleep, email, and intentional engagement. We will share compelling data supporting the benefits of digital detox, and provide you with the material needed to run a successful five-week challenge. You’ll come away with templates for weekly tips and micro-challenges. You’ll also learn how and why to encourage your colleagues and students to create healthy behaviors, through both educational content and simple challenge suggestions.

 Health at Every Size: Expanding our Idea of What Healthy Is

Justine Ang Fonte, M.Ed, MPH, Consultant 
Current health measurements—BMI, “thinspiration” campaigns, and other fatphobic concepts—are limited, incomplete, oppressive, and not inclusive. However, what if we accept the premise that inclusivity is literally healthy? By listening, using intuition, and honoring a variety of body shapes and sizes, we can improve our health lessons and create learning environments where all students feel accepted. This session will equip you with the tools, language, and latest research so you can do just that.

Post-Pandemic Health and Wellness: Thoughtful Programming, Curricular Design, and Operational Changes

Meg McLaughlin MS, FNP, MPH, Director of Health and Wellness, Middlesex School
Heidi Qua, Wellness Department Chair, The Fay School
Amanda Santos Valenzuela, Wellness Department Head, The Winsor School
As schools emerge from pandemic planning, they have a renewed commitment to wellness. But what does that look like? We will discuss how wellness strategic planning, programming, and curriculum can show up in meaningful ways where wellness is not just a buzzword. In this session, staff members responsible for wellness at three local independent schools will give an overview of their operational, programmatic, and curricular work. You will be encouraged to think about and discuss wellness at your schools via facilitated conversations. You will learn from peers about new and creative ways to respond to the evolving needs of your communitiy and to anticipate those needs and cultivate thriving communities. 

Who’s Minding the Teachers?: Understanding and Supporting the Other Adults on Campus

Deb Offner, Ph.D., Consulting Psychologist, Beacon Academy
You were hired to support students and families, but you find yourself spending as much time aiding distressed colleagues or advising your leadership team about interpersonal dynamics as you do working with kids! If this describes you, you’re not alone. This session addresses how you can effectively (and efficiently) support the other adults on campus. Explore the evolving professional and personal challenges facing your friends and colleagues. We will discuss hypothetical scenarios that describe some of the most common and/or challenging dilemmas that arise as you work to ensure the wellbeing of your colleagues. 

Using Data to Better Understand and Support Student Wellness

Dr. Amy Patel, Medical Director, Phillips Academy & Laura Warner, Director of Academic Skills Center & Student Accessibility Services
Data can be a powerful tool in assessing student health and wellness, yet often schools do not have sufficient or consistent data sets or collection systems. In this session, we will begin by exploring teen health data in the US, discussing trends and developing school health priorities. We will discuss ways that schools can leverage campus partnerships and collect centralized data through existing or new technologies. We will share out as a group how we collect data that is impactful in supporting student wellness, and leave with strategic action plans that you can bring back to your school for immediate impact.

Strategies and Solutions for Social Anxiety in Neurodiverse Early Childhood and Elementary School Students

Sharon Saline, Psy.D, Clinical Psychologist, & Author  
Do you work with neurodiverse tweens and teens who struggle with making and keeping friends, speaking in front of others, or joining group activities? It’s common for many adolescents with ADHD, ASD, learning disabilities, or twice-exceptionality to be concerned about rejection, embarrassment, and exclusion—especially in this age of technology. With higher levels of anxiety in teens than ever before, educators need practical strategies to help students reduce their worries, develop self-confidence, navigate complex social situations, and participate more fully in satisfying relationships. In this session, Dr. Sharon Saline offers effective tools to assist you in helping tweens and teens manage the challenges of their social world by improving conversational skills, initiating and fostering healthy friendships, and increasing their self-esteem.

11:30 – 11:45 AM | Dariana Guerrero: Spoken Word Performance

Dariana D. Guerrero is a celebrated writer, activist, and educator from Lawrence, MA. Beginning her teaching career at Phillips Academy Andover and Noble and Greenough School, respectively, Dariana taught high school English and championed the voices of women of color and other marginalized writers in her classroom. As a queer mestiza Latina, Dariana views her identity as a resource and catalyst for expanding, deepening, and challenging the traditional canon of English literature. Dariana’s works have been featured in a wide variety of publications including, Caustic Frolic Literary Journal, Exposed Brick Literary Magazine, Glass Poetry Journal, Voices and Visions, and Women: A Cultural Review, and Witness Magazine to name a few. Her debut collection of poetry, Sancocho, was a finalist for The Sexton Prize for best outstanding poetry. You can check out more of her work on her website.

11:45 AM – 12:45 PM | Keynote: Justine Ang Fonte, M.Ed. MPH
*See above

12:45 – 1:30 PM | Lunch

1:45 – 2:45 PM | Topic Sessions 2

How to Support Student-Athletes in the College Process

Jamie Brewster, Senior Associate Director of Systems Administration and Reporting, Colby College
Kia McNeill, Head Women’s Coach, Brown University
Daniel Wystepek, Director of Recruitment, Bryant University 
Gain helpful tips to help guide student-athletes planning to play in college through the application process and learn the specifics of the role athletics plays in that process. Come away with a deeper understanding of the different divisions (I, II, III), the recruiting timelines, and a grasp of recruiting structures and rules. You’ll leave in a better position to support your students as they find the school that is right for them.

Where DEIB, Antiracism, & Wellness Intersect

Ivy Alphonse-Crean, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Dedham Country Day School
Learn how wellness and intentional self-care can mitigate the effects of systemic oppression in this workshop. We will first walk though an overview of systemic oppression, then engage in relective activities, personal audits, and small group discussions. This work will help you reflect on your personal wellness philosophy and how your school community can use wellness in its DEIB work. You’ll leave with valuable data and a wellness toolkit for furthering your and your school’s goals.

Porn Literacy: How and Why to Teach It in Our Schools

Justine Ang Fonte, M.Ed, MPH, Consultant 
Porn is an entertainment industry, not an education industry. Yet, unfortunately, it’s become the default sex education for many young people. How does this impact the ways they understand their bodies, behaviors, and our beliefs about sex? What does media literacy in schools look like when it’s sexually explicit? How do we promote bodily autonomy and ethics in this complicated space? This session will examine those questions through an intersectional lens.

Growing Up Public: Helping Students Navigate Online Personas

Devorah Heitner, Ph.D., & Author
Educators are dealing with more issues related to kids’ public sharing. What does it mean to be “famous” these days? What can we do when explicit or hateful images and videos circulate in school communities? What about explicit pictures of kids? Or screenshots of students saying unkind things about one another? This interactive workshop will help educators move towards character-based conversations and away from threats when students mess up online. Come away with an understanding of how to prepare students (and staff) for the realities of having a searchable digital reputation.

Strategies and Solutions for Social Anxiety in Neurodiverse Middle and High School Students

Sharon Saline, Psy.D, Clinical Psychologist, & Author
Do you work with neurodiverse children who struggle with making and keeping friends, speaking in front of others, or joining group activities? It’s common for many children with ADHD, ASD, learning disabilities, or twice-exceptionality to be concerned about rejection, embarrassment, and exclusion. With higher levels of anxiety in children than ever before, educators need practical strategies to help students reduce their worries, develop self-confidence and participate more fully in social situations. In this session, Dr. Sharon Saline offers effective tools to improve conversational skills, initiate and foster friendships and increase your students’ self-esteem. Come away with tools for reducing negative thoughts and pessimism, and techniques for teaching conversational skills that reduce bullying and improve peer interactions. 

 Evaluation and Treatment of Teenage Substance Use with a Non-Disciplinary Approach

Marco Thompson LICSW, MLADC, Counselor, Phillips Exeter Academy
In this workshop, you will hear about one school’s model to assess, educate and provide support to students struggling with drug and alcohol use. The Academy Student Assistance Program’s non-disciplinary nature is designed in parallel with the harm reduction approach to treating adolescent substance use and misuse. Its goal and intent are multifaceted, encouraging students to reach out for help for themselves and others, receive counseling and health education support, and gain refusal skills amongst peers. It also aims to provide treatment interventions that attend to the root causes of substance use, such as underlying mental health conditions and other maladaptive behaviors.

Applying the Science of Compassion and Kindness to Your School

Dr. Christopher Willard, Psy. D., clinical psychologist, author, and consultant
Learn the science of how kindness leads to happiness, and happiness leads to creativity and finding new perspectives and opportunities. Dr. Willard discusses genetics, behavior, neuroscience, psychology, and “social contagions.”

3:00 – 4:00 PM | Topic Sessions 3 

What’s the Tea?: Herbalism 101 & How Plants Can Support Your Work

Ivy Alphonse-Crean, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Dedham Country Day School
Incorporating the teaching of Karen M. Rose of Sacred Vibes Apothecary, this session will do a deep dive into the pharmacological and traditional properties of six herbs (our plant allies.) We will discuss a few of the foundations of herbalism, and participants will create a personal tea blend to support their work. You will learn what herbalism is, how plants support your needs in a busy school year and the pillars of ancestral medicine.

Dual Hats: When Your Child(ren) Attends the School Where You Work

Olivia Moorehead-Slaughter, Psychologist, The Park School, and Mental Health Care Consultant
Julie Mumford, Clinical Social Worker, The Park School
Independent schools offer employees with children an incredible benefit—the benefits of your child(ren) attending the school tuition-free or at a significant discount. Every faculty, staff, and administrator who has taken advantage of this benefit knows that having dual roles in a school—that of a school employee and parent of a student attending the school—has its challenges. Join us for this session to unpack the complicated nature of wearing multiple hats in your school community.

Bailar y Construir Comunidad / Dance and Build Community

Rodney Eric Lopez, CEO of Rodney Eric Lopez Enterprises, Gordon School
Come have fun and learn some new moves at this active dance shindig, led by Rodney Eric Lopez. Rodney is an accomplished dance instructor and performer and was the director of the Salsa Program at Dance Manhattan, one of New York’s finest social dance studios. Today, he is the CEO of Rodney Eric Lopez Enterprises, which provides coaching and consulting services in the areas of arts education, fundraising and development, and nonprofit leadership. Come ready to dance!

Mindfulness-Based Strategies for Resilience and Regulation in the Classroom and Beyond

Dr. Christopher Willard, Psy. D., clinical psychologist, author, and consultant
This is an extremely stressful time for each of us as well as the students with whom we work. Learn how simple mindfulness exercises not only physically change our brain for the better, but also help our response to stress.

Meditation as a Liberatory Practice

Susan Yao, Consultant, and School Founder
Mindful practices have become very popular in schools, but they are often taken out of context and appropriated. Meditation is not just about emotional regulation or personal stress reduction; it comes out of ancient liberatory practices. Let’s reframe the ways that we are using meditation practices in our schools and work towards collective thriving.

4:00 PM | Departure and Farewell

Our Learning Community 

Join your peers from the following schools across New England:

  • The Advent School
  • Bay Farm Montessori Academy
  • Beacon Academy
  • Beaver Country Day School
  • Belmont Day School
  • Belmont Hill School
  • Berwick Academy
  • Boston University Academy
  • Brooks School
  • Brookwood School
  • Buckingham Browne & Nichols
  • Cambridge Friends School
  • The Cambridge School of Weston
  • The Carroll School
  • Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School
  • Charles River School
  • Cushing Academy
  • Dana Hall School
  • Dedham Country Day School
  • Derby Academy
  • Dublin School
  • Eaglebrook School
  • Fay School
  • Fayerweather Street School
  • The Fenn School
  • The Fessenden School
  • Friends Academy
  • Gordon School
  • High Mowing School
  • Holderness School
  • Hurricane Island Outward Bound School
  • International School of Boston
  • Jackson Walnut Park Schools
  • Jewish Community Day School of Boston
  • Kimball Union Academy
  • King School
  • Kingsley Montessori School
  • Long Trail School
  • Meadowbrook School of Weston
  • Middlebridge School
  • Middlesex School
  • Milton Academy
  • Miss Hall’s School
  • Moses Brown School
  • Nashoba Brooks School
  • New Hampton School
  • Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart
  • Noble and Greenough School
  • The Park School
  • Phillips Academy
  • Phillips Exeter Academy
  • The Pike School
  • Pingree School
  • Pomfret School
  • The Rashi School
  • The Riley School
  • Saint John’s High School
  • Shady Hill School
  • St. George’s School
  • St. Mark’s School
  • Tabor Academy
  • Tenacre Country Day School
  • Tower School
  • Vermont Village School
  • The Village School of North Bennington
  • Walnut Hill School for the arts
  • Wellan Montessori School
  • The Wheeler School
  • Wilbraham and Monson Academy
  • The Winsor School

Thank you to our Conference Planning Committee! Our event would not be possible without their work and support.

  • Erin Fisher, Director of Wellbeing and Wellbeing Dept Chair, Pomfret School, CT
  • Willow Graham, Director of Health Services, High Mowing School, NH
  • Jennifer Hamilton, School Psychologist, Noble and Greenough School, MA 
  • André Heard, Associate Dean of Students, Milton Academy, MA
  • Tara Hofherr, Director of Elementary Programs/Director of Next School Counseling, Kingsley Montessori School, MA
  • Pam Hubbs, M.Ed AC, School Counselor, The Village School of North Bennington, VT
  • Lauren Martin, Community Wellness Educator, St. Mark’s School, MA
  • Olivia Moorehead-Slaughter, Psychologist, The Park School, MA
  • Dr. Amy Patel, Physician and Wellness Educator, Phillips Academy, MA

Thank You to Our Sponsor

The AISNE 2023 Health and Wellness Conference would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors.


Cancellation Policy

Virtual Events
Cancellations and transfer requests must be sent via email to 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 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.

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