Thursday, May 2, 2024 | Four Points by Sheraton Norwood

Join us for a day focusing on the wellbeing of you and your students. This invigorating day of learning will offer sessions on mental health, athletics, boundaries, and wellness topics. Topic experts will be on hand to address your questions and provide resources to support your work. Self-care sessions will allow you to recharge and gain ideas to bring back to your colleagues and students. You will leave energized for the remainder of the school year with new perspectives to inform your work. This event is designed for all roles in the school community, including:

  • Teachers
  • SEL Counselors, Psychologists, and Psychiatrists
  • Nurses and Doctors
  • Athletic Directors and Coaches
  • Deans of Students and Faculty
  • Residential Life Directors
  • Wellness Staff and Faculty
  • Academic Deans, Department Chairs, and Division Heads

Pricing and Location:

Number of Attendees AISNE Member Schools Non-Member School
1 – 3 $399 $499
 4 – 9 $359 $459
 10 – 19 $319 $419
 20+ $299 $399

Your registration includes lunch.


Location Information
Four Points by Sheraton Norwood
1125 Boston-Providence Turnpike
Norwood, MA 02062

Stay Wednesday Night

AISNE has a block of rooms for the night of May 1. The rates are $165 + tax for a standard room and $185 + taxes for a deluxe room. To book a hotel room, call the hotel’s in-house reservations at 1-781-769-7900 and mention the AISNE Health and Wellness Conference.

Agenda at a Glance

Thursday, May 2

  • 8:00 – 8:45 AM | Registration and Ask an Expert
  • 8:45 – 10:00 AM | Morning Mindfulness & Keynote: Lisa Baylis
  • 10:15 – 11:15 AM | Topic Sessions 1
  • 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM | Ask an Expert
  • 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM | Lunch
  • 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM | Wellness Sessions
  • 1:30 – 2:30 PM | Afternoon Keynote: Darryl Bellamy
  • 2:45 – 3:45 PM | Topic Sessions 2
  • 3:45 – 4:00 PM | Reflections and Farewell

Keynote Speakers

8:45 AM
Self-Compassion for Educators: Fostering Sustainable Wellbeing for Yourself and Others
Lisa Baylis
There has never been a time in history when educators have felt such overwhelming levels of stress, burnout, and exhaustion. Educators and administrators work tirelessly to support students in our schools, often forgetting or neglecting to take care of ourselves in the process. We suffer from burnout and easily become overwhelmed beneath the weight of our responsibilities. Take this time to develop greater compassion for yourself and others so you can reduce feelings of shame, criticism, and self-doubt and build resiliency both personally and professionally. Learn and practice mindful practices to awaken your wellbeing and grow resilience. This session will focus on what to do to support the sustainable wellbeing and self-compassion of yourself and others. Lisa’s work is rooted in helping you build resiliency, awaken wellbeing, and feel in control of your work and personal life.

Lisa Baylis has been sharing wellbeing strategies for the last 20 years. A natural-born connector with an innate ability to make people feel valued and heard, she is an instructor, a counselor, a facilitator, and a mother. Lisa is a published author of Self-Compassion for Educators as well as, the creator of the AWE Method—Awakening the Wellbeing for Educators—which merges self-care, mindfulness, and self-compassion. Lisa’s teaching experience was gained in classrooms across British Columbia, Canada. Trained by mindful self-compassion pioneers Chris Germer and Kristin Neff, Lisa is also a certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher. 

1:30 PM
Fearful to Fear(less): The Unexpected Ally for Educational Success
Darryl Bellamy
In the realm of leadership, navigating uncertainties and challenges is par for the course. Yet, true leadership transcends mere management; it requires fearlessness. Join us as Darryl Bellamy guides us through a transformative keynote session, illuminating the path to fearless leadership. Uncertainty is a constant companion. Whether it’s diverse student needs and challenges, or evolving school culture, fear and uncertainty abound. Darryl will leverage insights from 60,000+ fears (thousands from Independent schools) collected across five generations of adults and students to offer strategies that empower you to harness these emotions for personal and professional growth. Central to his message is the profound truth that each of us harbors the power within to choose courage over fear. Discover how to recalibrate your reactions and responses to the ever-shifting landscape of worries and fears, paving the way for fearless leadership in every aspect of your life.


Darryl Bellamy is the owner of Fearless Inside, which has inspired thousands of students to act beyond their worries, fears, and anxiety. Darryl has collected, read, and shared thousands of students fears on campuses all over the country. He prides himself in reading every fear, which keeps him connected with what students are feeling and at times, hiding. He provides actionable strategies to move your students from Fearful to Fearless. Thousands of students wear “The Fearless Bracelet,” given to every student inspiring them to push through fear long after Darryl leaves the campus. Darryl attended UNC Charlotte and entered the world of corporate finance and banking. He quickly became a “Corporate America dropout,” pivoting to a career of inspiring students. He is the author of Waking Up Chase: One Student’s Journey to Awakening His Potential and has been a presenter at AISNE’s Middle School Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference. He resides in North Carolina.



8:00 – 8:45 AM | Registration and Ask an Expert
Enjoy light refreshments as we welcome you to our conference. Use this time to browse a selection of titles from Wellesley Books, and engage in conversation with topic experts on a variety of topics.

8:45 – 10:00 AM | Morning Mindfulness & Keynote: Lisa Baylis
See above.

10:15 – 11:15 AM | Topic Sessions 1

A Deep Dive into Thriving through Uncertainty

Presented by: Darryl Bellamy, Founder at Fearlessinside
Explore the challenges of educational uncertainty in this interactive session. You’ll come away with practical tools to help you thrive in uncertain and constantly changing environments. We will discuss research-backed strategies and hands-on techniques to help you manage fear, worry, and uncertainty in your role. You will gain actionable insights to drive educational success when working with students and beyond. Come away on steadier ground as you return to your role in your school.

How Innovative Schools Are Addressing Social Media, Current Events, and Tech

Presented by: Caitlin Dallmeyer, Head of Partnerships at The Social Institute
Teachers face enormous challenges in the face of digitally distracted classrooms: cyberbullying, sexting, and endless notifications from social media apps, to name a few. This can make high-impact and successful teaching difficult. We will discuss ways you can navigate the many tech issues impacting learning. Together, we will review the science behind screen time and how it affects students’ success. You’ll learn how to establish standards in your classroom that help students manage their social media usage and leave with 5 best practices for creating an engaging classroom.

Empowering Students to Take the Wheel in Cultivating Wellbeing

Presented by: Erin Fisher, Director of Wellbeing; Bobby Fisher, Director of Spiritual Life; and Students from Pomfret School
Learn how to empower students to support their own wellbeing, both within and outside of the classroom, and hear firsthand the value of flipping the script to student-directed learning. You will hear from students about the ways they are prioritizing their wellbeing and working to cultivate their own habits and practices beyond the classroom. Additionally, they will share how they are facilitating peer-to-peer learning programs, supporting male mental health, and building meaningful connections in the greater community. Come away with a variety of ideas to implement back in your school. The material in this session is applicable for all grade levels.

Athletic Coaching for Inclusion and Belonging

Presented by: Rebecca Flores Harper, Director of Equity and Community at Hopkins School, and Dante M Brito Jr., Associate of Athletics & Associate Director of Equity and Community at Hopkins School
How can you make space for all players to find their voice? Come learn how to create space for each player to have agency. You will be asked to identify how you value community and share those values with your team. We will recognize how inclusion and belonging empower and strengthen team culture and generate broad buy-in from all team stakeholders. Come away with tools to evaluate your practice, policies, and handbooks through an inclusion lens.

Case Study: The Benefits of a Fully Integrated Mindfulness Program

Panelists: Meg McLaughlin, Erika Mills, Kristyn Willis, and Doug Worthen, Middlesex School
When Middlesex School embarked on an embedded mindfulness program over a decade ago, it was done only after careful consideration and scrutiny of the growing research regarding its benefits for teenagers. 10 years later, Middlesex is an example of how a fully integrated Mindfulness Program can have exponential benefits for students and the entire school community. Leave with a better understanding of the ‘why’ behind incorporating mindfulness programming at their schools. You will be able to articulate the mission, vision, and goals of a mindfulness program in your school and consider creative ways to weave it into areas of school life that haven’t existed before.

Trauma- & Mental Health-Informed Schools and Classrooms

Presented by: Dr. Christopher Willard, Author, and Clinical Psychologist
With the surge of mental health and trauma-related issues in schools come new anxieties and demands on classroom teachers, administrators, student support staff, and more. This straightforward workshop walks educators through recognizing warning signs and effective adaptations that minimize disruption to struggling students and the larger community. We will be discussing universal approaches to teaching and community building that benefit all rather than singling out struggling students for support. You’ll come away with ideas for maintaining academic rigor while supporting students who are struggling.

New this year, we have created a refreshing midday slate of activities to nurture body and mind. Choose from a list of recurring sessions and activities, speak to our guest content experts, and enjoy a delicious lunch. Use this time to your liking—enjoy multiple wellness sessions, hold conversations with your peers, or get resources from the experts in any combination that works for your mood, pace, and interests. 

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM | Ask an Expert
Our topic experts are on hand to answer your questions, share resources, and discuss the topics that matter most to you.

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM | Lunch
Grab lunch, talk to the topic experts, and/or join a 30-minute wellness session during this midday open time.

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM | Wellness Sessions
Each of the following sessions and activities will be offered throughout the 2-hour Lunch & Learn. Session times are 11:30 – 12:00, 12:10 – 12:40, and 12:50 – 1:20. Activities are ongoing.

  • Wellness Practice: Self-Compassion Break with Lisa Baylis
  • Sorting it Out: Identify Your Wellness Priorities with Anush Hansen and Kristin Ryan
  • Salsa Steps and Salud / Dance and Build Community with Rodney Eric López
  • Mindfulness-Based Self-Regulation for Resilience & Performance with Christopher Willard

1:30 – 2:30 PM | Afternoon Keynote: Darryl Bellamy
See above.

2:45 – 3:45 PM | Topic Sessions 2

Courageous Compassion: Practicing It & Modeling It

Presented by: Lisa Baylis, Author and Wellbeing Strategist
This workshop is set up to introduce the foundations of self-compassion and delivers practices that can be used in and out of the classroom. You will be led through exercises to understand the fundamentals of self-compassion, recognize your inner critic, and access self-compassion in moments of burnout and fatigue (especially in relation to burnout experienced currently in schools). This session will be interactive, and you will be encouraged to try the aforementioned practices and share your experiences in small groups. This session is open to everyone. You will come away able to understand the 3 components of self-compassion, practice informal self-compassion practices, and know the difference between empathy and compassion.

Addressing Substance Use: Innovative Approaches to Policy, Programming, and Partnership

Presented by:
Sarah Ferraro Cunningham, Co-Founder at Panaptic, and Lisa Roethling, Director of Counseling at The Hill School
Student disciplinary events or substance use crises present unique challenges in independent schools. This workshop will introduce research regarding student substance use and highlight how collaboration with key stakeholders, adopting wellness-focused policies, and integrating innovative programming into the clinical counseling model can transform crises into opportunities for student reflection, growth, and lasting change. Participants will explore results-driven strategies and programs that have been instrumental in addressing and preventing student substance use at The Hill School in Pottstown, PA.

Embracing Rest as a Vital Component of Athletic Success and Physical Health

Presented by: Matt Ghiden, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Thayer Academy, and Orlando Patterson, Associate Director of Community & Equity at St. Mark’s School
In this session, tailored for coaches, athletic directors, and faculty supporting student-athletes, we will delve into the often-overlooked role of rest in optimizing physical fitness. You will explore practical strategies, including meditation, to incorporate rest into student-athletes’ daily routines, drawing inspiration from iconic athletes like Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. The overall message emphasizes the importance of balancing athletic dedication with joy and wellbeing while also highlighting rest as a form of resistance to grind culture, capitalism, and white supremacy—aligning with the ethos of Rest Is Resistance.

Teaching the Science of Happiness in Independent Schools

Presented by: Jen Hamilton, Director of Counseling and Psychology at Noble and Greenough School
In this workshop, we will examine a recent Yale University course, “The Science of Well-Being,” which explored the science of happiness and unpacked its key findings and takeaways for educators. You will learn the science behind why the things we believe will make us happy (money, status items, the perfect body) fall short and the various ways our minds lie to us about what we think we want. We will then explore a variety of actions we can incorporate into our lives that have been proven to make us happier: meditation, gratitude, connection, kind acts, sleep, and exercise. In addition to discussing these techniques, you will have the opportunity to practice some of them with your fellow participants.  We will also discuss how to get buy-in from the administration to implement a Science of Happiness and Wellbeing course in independent schools, talk through some of the potential roadblocks, and offer some suggestions for making it a successful endeavor.

Building Hope & Resilience: Supporting Climate-Competent Kids

Presented by: Castle O’Neill, Educational Consultant
In this workshop, you will learn how to help students feel set up for success in the face of global climate change. We will hone in on resilience and hope as centerpieces for tackling challenges and explore ways to teach these mindsets through everyday activities. You will also be asked to explore climate change through an equity lens, shift the discourse on climate from one of doom and gloom to one of optimism, and discover ways to support parents’ perspectives alongside those of students.

Grounding Your Student Experience in the Principles of Wellbeing – SESSION CANCELLED

Presented by: 
Bryan Smyth, PhD, Director of Research at ISM
School schedules are traditionally curriculum-centered or adult-centered. That is, they are designed to serve the perceived requirements of the courses, leverage the need for “rigor,” and/or satisfy requests of adults. To really impact student wellbeing, we need to revisit the assumptions upon which schools build the daily, weekly, and annual experience for students. This session will consider this in light of the factors that underlie student wellbeing.

Maintaining Mental Health in the College Transition

Presented by: Dr. Christopher Willard, Author, and Clinical Psychologist
Many of our students will enroll in college with an existing mental health diagnosis. Some will develop mental health issues under the stress of transition and adjustment. In this workshop, you will learn to recognize and support students’ signs of early mental health issues. Learn ways to support them in making important decisions as they consider their mental health away from home. We will also identify ways to give students the skills they need to recognize issues in themselves and friends who may be struggling with mental health once they depart for college.

3:45 – 4:00 PM | Reflections and Farewell
Before we say goodbye, we will reconvene to share out final thoughts and participate in a prize giveaway.

Our Learning Community

Join your peers from around New England, including groups from these schools:

  • Acera School
  • Beaver Country Day School
  • Belmont Day School
  • Belmont Hill School
  • Berkshire School
  • Berwick Academy
  • Boston University Academy
  • Brewster Academy
  • Brimmer and May School
  • Brooks School
  • Brookwood School
  • Buckingham Browne & Nichols
  • Cambridge Friends School
  • Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School
  • Charles Rivers School
  • Cushing Academy
  • Dedham Country Day School
  • Dublin School
  • Esperanza Academy
  • Fay School
  • Fayerweather Street School
  • The Fenn School
  • The Fessenden School
  • Gordon School
  • Inly School
  • International School of Boston
  • Jewish Community Day School Boston
  • Kimball Union Academy
  • King School
  • Kingsley Montessori School
  • Lawrence Academy
  • Lexington Montessori School
  • Middlesex School
  • Milton Academy
  • Miss Hall’s School
  • Montrose School
  • New Hampton School
  • Newman 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
  • Roxbury Latin School
  • Shady Hill School
  • St. George’s School
  • St. Mark’s School
  • St. Michael’s Country Day School
  • St. Sebastian’s School
  • St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School
  • Tenacare Country Day School
  • Thayer Academy
  • Ursuline Academy
  • Walnut Hill School for the Arts
  • Waynflete School
  • Wellan Montessori School
  • Wilbraham and Monson Academy
  • The Winsor School
  • Worcester Academy

Thank you to the AISNE Health & Wellness Conference Planning Committee.

Pictured from left to right:

  • Erin Fisher, Director of Wellbeing and Wellbeing Dept Chair, Pomfret School, CT
  • Jennifer Hamilton, School Psychologist, Noble and Greenough School, MA 
  • Tara Hofherr, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Next School Counseling, Kingsley Montessori School, MA
  • Pam Hubbs, M.Ed AC, School Counselor, The Village School of North Bennington, VT
  • Olivia Moorehead-Slaughter, Psychologist, The Park School, MA
  • Dr. Amy Patel, Physician and Wellness Educator, Phillips Academy, MA
  • Orlando Patterson, Associate Director of Community & Equity/Faculty Recruitment Coordinator. Assistant Football Coach, St. Mark’s School
  • Lamar Reddicks, Athletic Director, Milton Academy
  • Mark Spence, Dean of Student Engagement, Noble and Greenough School
  • Dorla White-Simpson, Teacher/DEIBJ/Admissions Support, Fayerweather Street School

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations and transfer requests must be sent via email to 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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