January 23 – 25 | Wentworth by the Sea Resort

Join us for our 2024 Heads of School Retreat and Annual Association Meeting. We are excited to come together for days of community, laughter, learning, and growth. Engage in thought-provoking discussions, hear from world-class speakers, share experiences, and connect with fellow school leaders. Whether you are new to the AISNE community, or an old friend, you will find this in-person gathering stimulating and reinvigorating.

Pricing and Hotel:


This event is exclusively for AISNE Members.


Hotel Information
Wentworth by the Sea
588 Wentworth Rd
New Castle, NH 03854

Group rate: $169/nt + taxes, based on availability
Rooms must be reserved by December 15

Reserve Your Hotel Room

Agenda at a Glance

Tuesday, January 23

  • 5:00 – 6:00 PM | Welcome Cocktails & Registration, Courtesy of Blackbaud
  • 6:00 – 8:30 PM | Dine on Your Own
  • 8:30 –  | Cocktails & Conversation

Wednesday, January 24

  • 7:45 – 8:45 AM | Breakfast
  • 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM | Collaboration Café: New Heads of School (Years 1 – 3)
  • 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM | Collaboration Café: Veteran Heads of School (Years 4+)
  • 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM | General Session: What Calls You to Leadership? with Dr. Gene Batiste 
  • 12:00 – 1:00 PM | Lunch 
  • 1:15 – 2:45 PM | General Session: How You Call Others Into Leadership with Wanda Holland Greene
  • 3:00 – 4:30 PM | Creation Stations: Letting Your Leadership Come to Life
  • 3:30 – 4:00 PM  | Optional AISNE Member Benefit Info Sessions
  • 4:45 – 5:30 PM | AISNE Annual Meeting 
  • 5:30 – 6:30 PM | Cocktails, courtesy of Rockland Trust
  • 6:30 – 8:30 PM | Dinner
  • 8:30 –  | Cocktails & Conversation 

Thursday, January 25

  • 7:45 – 8:45 AM | Breakfast
  • 9:00 – 10:00 AM | Topic Sessions 1
  • 10:15 – 11:15 AM | Topic Sessions 2
  • 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM | Closing Keynote
  • 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM | Lunch & Farewell

Conference Agenda

Tuesday, January 23

Welcome Cocktails & Registration, Courtesy of Blackbaud | 5:00 – 6:00 PM 
Our friends at Blackbaud are happy to welcome you to the 2024 AISNE Heads of School Retreat.

Dine on Your Own | 6:00 – 8:30 PM
Explore the local area and restaurants independently, or sign up for a small, informal dinner with Heads from programs and backgrounds similar to your own. If you would like to dine with fellow attendees, sign up for a casual group experience here.

Cocktails & Conversation | 8:30 – 10:30 PM 
Join us in the Salt Bar, located in the hotel lobby, for a nightcap.

Wednesday, January 24

Breakfast | 7:45 – 8:45 AM

Collaboration Café: New Heads of School (Years 1 – 3) | 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM

As a new head of school, you have either joined a new school community or transitioned into headship—and AISNE is here to offer you a space to share generously and openly with your peers. We have designed the time to focus on you and your leadership. We will help set you up for long-term success by discussing how to balance the many roles and challenges of headship. Join us for this time, and let’s ‘press pause’ to celebrate, reflect, converse, and share tools to bring back to your day-to-day work.

Collaboration Café: Veteran Heads of School (Years 4+) | 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM

Come together for an open discussion of the challenges facing you and your peers today. As a group, we share resources, best practices, and solutions that you can bring back to your school.

General Session: What Calls You to Leadership? with Dr. Gene Batiste | 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM

Lunch | 12:00 – 1:00 PM

General Session: How You Call Others Into Leadership with Wanda Holland Greene | 1:15 – 2:45 PM

Creation Stations: Letting Your Leadership Come to Life | 3:00 – 4:30 PM

Optional AISNE Member Benefit Info Sessions | 4:45 – 5:30 PM

AISNE Annual Meeting | 4:45 – 5:30 PM

Our Annual Meeting is a time to reflect on the successes of the past year and look to upcoming initiatives for the future. We will celebrate our community and share in the progress we have collectively made. Join AISNE’s Executive Director, Claire Leheny, and our association’s Board President, Sarah Pelmas.

Cocktails | 5:30 – 6:30 PM

Cocktails provided by Rockland Trust.

Dinner | 6:30 – 8:30 PM

Cocktails & Conversation | 8:30 –  

Join us in the Salt Bar, located in the hotel lobby, for a nightcap.

Thursday, January 25

Breakfast | 7:45 – 8:45 AM

Topic Sessions 1 | 9:00 – 10:00 AM

Discovering The Why, The What, and The How of Your School Community

Chris Doktor & John Harden, Partners, Olson Lewis + Architects
Use this time during this Retreat to step back and take a balcony-level look at the driving “why” behind your school community. Drawing from a proven process developed over years of master planning and independent school projects, this workshop is designed to efficiently guide you through the crucial steps of the Immersion process. In a series of engaging exercises, you will identify what makes your school and its community unique and how to leverage that to build consensus among stakeholders and envision future-looking possibilities. Through insightful discussions, we will distill common themes and aspirations, providing you with actionable ideas for fostering belonging, community, and impactful school projects.

How to Leverage Word-of-Mouth to Drive Enrollment

Maria Kadison, CEO and President of EdwardsCo
Word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective and least expensive source of prospective families, yet it feels outside of our control. It is not. This interactive workshop will share the essential elements and best practices of a successful brand ambassador program, one that is specifically geared to increase enrollment demand at your school. You will learn why word-of-mouth is so important and who should participate. 

Caring for Yourself & Others During a Capital Campaign

Kate Villa, Executive Vice President, CCS Fundraising
Transformational campaigns require an enormous time commitment from leaders in an era of high Advancement and Head turnover. In this session, we will examine how you can ensure both a foundation of success from Day One and a culture of care for yourself and your senior leadership team—even in the face of setbacks and challenges. We will offer tactics, tips, and learnings from peer schools about how they overcame obstacles and created the conditions for success. You will be presented with examples of the resources, time, and care required to ultimately allow a Head of School to focus on high-level responsibilities such as visioning and campaigning.

Topic Sessions 2 | 10:15 – 11:15 AM

Leading with Purpose: DEI and the Life of a Head of School

Nicole DuFuchard, Head of School at The Advent School
Join us for an insightful and empowering session designed for those seeking to amplify Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in their daily leadership practices. We will explore ways to integrate DEI principles into the core fabric of your school’s mission, vision, and daily operations and consider how to align DEI initiatives with your leadership style and institutional goals. This session is not just a discussion—it’s an exploratory exercise with other Heads committed to championing DEI through their leadership. Come away with actionable insights, tools, and a renewed sense of purpose to create a school environment where everyone thrives.

Dilemmas of Leadership: Wisdom and Counsel of the Group

Allison Gaines Pell, Head of School, Wheeler School
It is often the case that we come to conferences and retreats with ongoing, in-the-moment dilemmas that are weighing on us. This session is for you if you have something you want to process with other Heads. Using a structured dialogue, Heads will come together to process those real-time dilemmas and get real-time feedback from other Heads of School in a confidential environment using a Dilemma Consultancy Protocol. The protocol includes a presenter, clarifying and probing questions, and then a session for listening to others process your issues. Learn how this protocol has changed Allison’s own professional development trajectory and is now used weekly with Wheeler’s leadership team.

Impactful Strategic Planning: How to Stand Our in a Competitive Independent School Market

Stephen Holmes, Principal and Founder, The 5Rs Partnership
The outcome of your strategic plan needs to provide compelling and cogent reasons for parents, students and staff to choose your school. How do you build plans that do this? We will discuss the need for wider perspectives, systems, and supports create enthusiastic constituents. You will dive into characteristics and objectives of strategic plans that help build market success for your school in a highly competitive region of independent education. Dr. Stephen Holmes will present a five-part framework for your strategic thinking and encourage you to create compelling and ambitious big picture understandings that come to life across your school’s pedagogy and curriculum and within your school’s marketing and communications. You will come away with a trajectory for success that you can share with your board and senior leadership. 

Closing Keynote | 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM 

Lunch & Farewell | 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM

Join Your Peers

  • Martina Albright, Apple Orchard School
  • Sue Angelides, Cambridge Montessori School
  • David Armistead, John Bapst Memorial High School
  • Steve Armstrong, The Fessenden School
  • Cady Audette, Charlestown Nursery School
  • Timothy Bakland, Waring School
  • Eric Barber, Walnut Hill School for the Arts
  • Jonathan Bartlett, Brookwood School
  • Brad Bates, Dublin School
  • Danielle Beale, Nantucket New School
  • Deanne Benson, Lesley Ellis School
  • Beth Black, Wellan Montessori School
  • Derek Boonisar, The Fenn School
  • Jennifer Borman, Common School
  • Katherine Bradley, Dana Hall School
  • Carrie Brennan, Thetford Academy
  • Gabe Burnstein, Charles River School
  • Jeffrey Burroughs, Lincoln Academy
  • Joanne Carruthers, Stanstead College
  • Marshall Carter, Atrium School
  • Charles Carter Jr., Beacon Academy
  • Andy Chappell, The Derryfield School
  • Lise Charlier, The Cambridge School of Weston
  • Lance Conrad, Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall
  • Will Crissman, Tenacre Country Day School
  • Jon Deveaux, Campus School of Smith College
  • Marcia Diamond, The Bay School
  • Courtney Dickinson, Acera School
  • Margaret Douglass, Odyssey Day School
  • Nicole DuFauchard, The Advent School
  • Todd Eveleth, Tower School
  • Henry Fairfax, Concord Academy
  • Steve Farley, Kingsley Montessori School
  • Adam Fischer, The Rashi School
  • Gretchen Forsyth, Glen Urquhart School
  • Chris Fortunato, Thayer Academy
  • Allison Gaines Pell, The Wheeler Shcool
  • Diana Gleeson, Bridgton Academy
  • Renee Greenfield, Carroll School
  • Judy Guild, Brimmer and May School
  • Thomas Haferd, St. Paul’s Choir School
  • Danielle Heard, Nashoba Brooks School
  • Dalia Hochman, Gann Academy
  • Brooke Hopkins, Riverbend School
  • Sharon Howell, St. Johnsbury Academy
  • Colin Igoe, Long Trail School
  • Ben Jackson, North Yarmouth Academy
  • Moira Kelly, EXPLO
  • Laurie Lambert, Stoneleigh-Burnham School
  • Walter Landberg, St. Michael’s Country Day School
  • Brendan Largay, Belmont Day School
  • Gretchen Larkin, Eagle Hill School (Greenwich, CT)
  • Sophie Lau, Lincoln School
  • Marie Leary, The Sage School
  • Tyler Lewis, Kimball Union Academy
  • Stephanie Luebbers, Bancroft School
  • Roderick MacNeal, The Chestnut Hill School
  • Alex Magay, The Woodward School
  • Tom McKenney, Nativity School of Worcester
  • John McVeigh, Holderness School
  • Rene Menard, Thornton Academy
  • Dona Milani Luther, Inly School
  • Emily Miller, Nantucket Lighthouse School
  • Timothy Newbold, Village School of North Bennington
  • Mary Newman, Sharon Academy
  • Kathleen Nicholson, Wolfeboro Camp School
  • Daniel O’Brien, The Putney School
  • Garine Palandjian, St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School
  • Kelly Pellagrini, Charlestown Nursery School
  • Sarah Pelmas, The Winsor School
  • Nick Perry, The Grammar School
  • Timothy Powers, Pinkerton Academy
  • Jen Price, Buckingham Browne & Nichols School
  • Colleen Ramsden, Derby Academy
  • Rebekah Riley, Cambridge-Ellis School
  • Kim Samson, Beaver Country Day School
  • Kate Saunders, Tilton School
  • Margaret Schlachter, The Mountain School at Winhall
  • Mike Schloat, The Bement School
  • Daniel Skoglund, Maple Street School
  • Tao Smith, Gould Academy
  • Jamie Soule, Erskine Academy
  • Elizabeth Speers, Middlesex School
  • CJ Spirito, Rock Point School
  • Karen Thomson, Red Fox Community School
  • Katherine Titus, Moses Brown School
  • Thomas Trigg, The Waldorf School of Lexington
  • John Turner, Heronfield Academy
  • Jessie Vogel, North Shore Nursery School
  • Amy Vorenberg, Shore Country Day School
  • Geoff Wagg, Waynflete School
  • Mary Warner, Berkshire Country Day School
  • Allison Webster, Dedham Country Day School
  • Serena Wilkie Gifford, Tower School
  • Scott Young, The Park School
  • Jennifer Zaccara, Vermont Academy

Thank You to Our Sponsors

The AISNE 2024 Heads of School Retreat would not be possible without their generous support.


Cancellation Policy

Cancellations and transfer requests must be sent via email to info@aisne.org. Cancellations received up to 10 days before the start of the event will receive a 100% refund, less a $150 administrative 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 3 business days before the start of the event.

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